Credit card feature: AMEX Platinum’s free roadside assistance

Find out what free roadside assistance actually means on the American Express Platinum Card. Check out the other emergency cover options offered on this prestigious card.


Currently, no other credit cards in New Zealand offer free roadside assistance.

Free Roadside Assistance is offered in New Zealand as a benefit of carrying an American Express Platinum Card. There are various platinum credit cards on the market, and several versions are offered by American Express, but this one is the real-deal of platinum credit cards. Its annual fee should tell you that: $1,250.

As you might expect from such a prestigious card, there are benefits attached that are not available on lesser cards. One of those is free roadside assistance.

American Express Credit Card Comparison

Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee
American Express Airpoints Card
0% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% APR)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
Be rewarded with 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars. Simply apply, be approved, and spend $750 on your new Card in the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
2.99% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% APR)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149 p.a.
Enjoy a low rate on purchases and earn 20,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points if you apply, are approved and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% APR
Up to 55 days on purchases
$195 p.a.
Receive 200 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply, are approved, and spend a minimum of $1,500 in the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members only. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
American Express Platinum Card
Up to 44 days on purchases
$1,250 p.a.
A charge card with premium travel benefits. Plus up to 80,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months, available to new Card Members only.

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Free roadside assistance with the Amex Platinum Credit Card

This free roadside assistance is part of the Platinum Card’s Emergency Assistance Cover. This also includes:

  • Emergency Card Replacement, which replaces a lost or stolen card within 24 hours almost anywhere in the world
  • Emergency Cheque Cashing, allowing you to cash a personal cheque in most American Express Travel Service Offices around the world
  • Emergency Cash Advances, providing up to US$1,000 in local currency in an emergency resulting from the loss or theft of all necessary travelling documents, where there is no access to an ATM or the Amex Emergency Cheque Cashing Service
  • Home Assistance, to source a plumber, electrician or locksmith if you need one.

How does the Amex Platinum free roadside work?

Specifically, if your car breaks down when you’re travelling in New Zealand, Amex Insurance (run by Chubb Assistance) will arrange and pay expenses to cover on-the-spot repairs, towing to the nearest garage and transportation expenses to get you and your passengers back home.

How much Amex will pay depends on where you are.

If you are within 50kms of your home Amex will:

  • arrange and pay up to $200 for on-the-spot roadside assistance, this includes:
    • – the call-out charge,
    • – labour for minor roadside repairs,
    • – up to a maximum of ten (10) litres of fuel (if needed)
  • arrange towing to the nearest repair shop if necessary
  • if the car cannot be fixed within 48 hours, arrange and pay for a replacement rental that you can use for 3 days to continue your trip
  • arrange and pay for the transportation of you and up to four passengers back to your home
  • book and pay for a taxi to take to retrieve your vehicle from the repair shop

If you are more than 50kms from your home Amex will do all of the above but also:

  • arrange and pay expenses up to NZD500 or 400 km, whichever is less, for the transportation of you and up to four passengers back to your home
  • arrange and pay for the your vehicle to be delivered by a registered transporter to a depot near your home.

Is the Amex Platinum free roadside assistance useful?

How useful the free roadside assistance element of this is in reality will depend upon the extent of the problem you suffer:

  • If your car has a serious issue $200 is a nice gesture but won’t actually cover very much. It is also highly unlikely that anyone earning at least $100,000 a year (the minimum income criteria to apply for this card) will not have organised some level of breakdown cover for their car.
  • However, if your car has a small but fixable issue, having free roadside assistance that includes, $200 towards repair expenses, transportation back home and 3 days free car hire if needed, could make Amex’s Platinum credit card worth its hefty annual fee.
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