Topic Episode – Curve x BofA: 5.25% Cash Back on All Spend

How to get max 5.25% cash back

  • Requires Curve card (email me for referral churnersdigest@gmail.com) & Bank of America Customized Cash card

  • Customized cash lets you choose your category: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings

  • Online shopping includes all online purchases made online excluding some categories listed in this doc

  • Curve “hack” – all purchases show up as online shopping category for 3%

When using curve, you are not paying directly with your BofA card but with your Curve card first. Then Curve charges BofA which, to BofA, looks like an online purchase because it basically is (kind of like to PayPal or Shopify platform)

Online shoppping category selected Charge showing as online shipping Earned rewards for Online Shopping

Can hold multiple Customized Cash. Each has a max quarterly spend in the category (including the 2% for wholesale and groceries) of $2.5k

Caveats: has to be MC variant of Customized Cash because Curve doesn't support Visa at the moment

  • Business variant is MasterCard

  • You can hold multiple Customized Cash cards. List of Customized Cash variants (all Visa now and some no longer available)

  • I was told by CS rep that I could PC my Premium Rewards card to a MC Customized Cash but YMMV

  • I was also told that I could convert my existing Visa Customized Cash to a MasterCard but again YMMV

  • Curve is releasing Visa support “in the coming weeks” which I have little faith in but we shall see

Visa support coming soon according to chat


  • Churning for Dummies: very low level basics of churning & intro options to do for beginners

  • Ness Well review

  • Churners Digest Ep 5

  • Apartment Rant

Episode 3: I'm Back! SUBs, New CC Churns, Curve Tricks & More

Shout out Tom R for the motivation!

Discover SUB – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/discover-savings-150200-bonus-1500020000-deposit-new-exp-103117/

CapOne SUB – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/capital-one-100-500-savings-bonus-requires-10000-100000-deposit/#comment-1581807

Ness card – www.nesswell.com – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ness-wellness-credit-card-50000-point-500-bonus-349-annual-fee/

Oxygen 1099 update – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/oxygen-fintech-110-referral-bonus-for-each-party-requires-direct-deposit/https://fearthez.wordpress.com/2022/08/22/oxygen-bank-convoluted-yet-elegant/ – Referral: https://go.onelink.me/vjPj/?af_js_web=true&af_ss_ver=2_1_1&pid=af_app_invites&c=OxygenUserinvites&af_channel=owned&af_sub1=1420461&af_siteid=com.oxygenbank&url_timestamp=2023-04-30_17:19:51&af_referrer_customer_id=1420461&is_retargeting=true

bankHometown – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ma-bankhometown-200-checking-bonus/

USBank Business bonus – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/u-s-bank-750-business-checking-bonus-2/

Moomoo referral ~$40 value $1k for 60 days – Referral: https://j.moomoo.com/00xcZv

PNC bonus – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/pnc-up-to-250-400-checking-bonus/

BBBY bankrupt

Albert x Curve – Albert: https://fearthez.wordpress.com/2022/01/30/albert-neobank-overview/ – Curve: https://fearthez.wordpress.com/2022/11/23/one-card-to-rule-them-all-but-which-is-better-curve-vs-percents-cross-post/

Chase My Bonus – https://www.chase.com/mybonus

CSP 80k in branch I think it'll go to 100k – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-80000-points-signup-bonus-via-referral-link/

KeyBank – www.doctorofcredit.com/unknown-location-restrictions-keybank-200-checking-bonus/

Apple purchases – Macbook Air M1 256 8 $600 Ebay – 3 Apple TV 4k 128gb 3rd gen ~$100

I-Bonds 3.4% +.9% = 4.3% May – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/new-i-bonds-rate-announced-4-30-3-40-variable-rate-90-fixed-rate/ – I will probably hold through this rate because of no state tax

Upcoming: – Ness review talking to CEO and Product Manager – Moving, post trashing complex

I discovered that the service I was using, rss.com, only gave you one episode for free. So I will be uploading all of my podcasts to Spotify only. Sorry non Spotify users!

I discovered that the service I was using, rss.com, only gave you one episode for free. So I will be uploading all of my podcasts to Spotify only. Sorry non Spotify users!

Paceline update – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/paceline-credit-card-to-shut-down-apple-watch-statement-credits-ending/

Nation wide SUB Wells Fargo – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/wells-fargo-325-checking-bonus-available-online/

$525 WellsFargo in branch savings bonus – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/wells-fargo-525-savings-bonus-with-25000-deposit-in-branch/

Target Circle Week – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/target-circle-week-march-5-11-get-free-year-of-tripadvisor-plus-99-value/ RED card churning https://www.doctorofcredit.com/apply-for-a-new-target-redcard-debit-credit-and-get-40-off-40-shopping-trip-11-1-12-26/

Amex SUBs – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-excellent-increased-offers-via-referrals-for-both-referrer-new-member-platinum-gold-blue-cash-preferred/

SVB – https://www.fdic.gov/news/press-releases/2023/pr23016.htmlhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/11n88pd/what_is_the_deal_with_silicon_valley_bank/jbm60a7/

Chase higher SUBs ending – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/a-number-of-chase-credit-card-bonuses-get-lowered-on-march-19th-freedom-united-slate-ink/

CSP 90k in branch SUB – https://www.doctorofcredit.com/starts-3-19-chase-sapphire-preferred-90000-in-branch-signup-bonus/

Enzo no cash back?

MA Sports Betting Legal, get SUBs – https://sportsbook.draftkings.com/r/sb/fearthez/US-MA-SB Two “no brainer” bets bet $50 win $100 Nuggets to hit a 3 and Celtics to score a point

Churners Digest is a podcast I created to be a place to hear updates about happenings in the churning space. I am using the term churning loosely here as I plan to share updates on bank/fintech updates, SUBs for banks and CCs I think are worth highlighting, and other topics related to the finance sphere. I will also have an accompanying written companion for each episode on my site https://fearthez.wordpress.com/ as well as on the Simple Finances blog https://blog.simplefinances.net/fearthez/

  • Percents RIP


  • ICONIC shutting down 2/22


  • Oxygen 1099


  • Curve Metal

  • Enzo debit bill pay cash back



  • Chase CLI in app no hard pull


  • Paceline shutting down


  • CapOne 1099s



  • Chicken lawsuit


  • Celsius lawsuit


  • Juno Crypto 10k JCOIN promo

  • Juno JCOIN gift cards


In 2019 I started my beginnings of budget tracking at the end of the year. I was getting into the CC game and was curious, how much did I actually spend? Well, fast forward to 2023 and I have graduated college and am living on my own. Not only has my life matured, but so had my obsessiveness with tracking my spending. In this post, I am going to share all of my spending for 2022 with breakdowns for each spending category and cash back totals across all of my spend

Disclaimer: I find being transparent about finances to be valuable so these are my actual metrics. I am not doing this to brag in any way. I just hope that my insights can somehow help other and help myself be smarter about my money

The Totals

2022 Spending Recap Spreadsheet

2022 Spending Recap Spreadhseet

If you can read spreadsheets easily, you can just view the above tracker and call it a day. If you want to hear me break down each line item, keep on reading! I am going to break down each of the categories, explain them a bit and add any notes as I see fit. I will also have takeaways and how I created the spreadsheet at the end

2021 Spending Recap Spreadsheet

2021 Spending Recap Spreadhseet

For comparison, here is my 2021 spending recap. Note I did not track my repayments in this so that number is inflated.


Total: $11,419.88, 14.48% of total spend

Dining includes things like restaurants, fast food, bars and other specialty food restaurants. These purchases are put on my BofA Customized Cash card which is set to Dining for 4.5%. The purchase actually first goes through my Curve card which is still earning an extra 1% back on all purchases (read more here). This is true for most of my cards but as I track that separately I won't keep calling it out. So for the majority of my dining purchases, they go on this card.

My Cardless card earns 4% on Dining so that got some use and my HMB card used to earn 3% on the top category. And when they required CC spend to get 3% APY, I used that (read more about HMB here).

Recently I have been using my Oxygen card for Dining purchases. I have the Fire element card which earns 6% back on some categories, but all of their elements get $1 off any “fast food” purchase, minimum of $1 spend. If the charge is <~$15 I will put it on this card to get increased cash back on it.

Additionally, I used Albert heavily before they moved their cash back offers to behind a paywall. They had occasional 10%-20% cash back offers, up to $5 each.


Total: $6,444.68, 8.17% of total spend

This includes things like sporting events, concert tickets, movie tickets etc. Most of this went on either my BofA Customized Cash set to online shopping for 4.5%, or a rotating category card if that month was for entertainment/tickets. The Citi purchase for Entertainment was fully reimbursed to me and is accounted for in the Net Venmo Transactions (NVTs).


Total: $2,253.31, 2.86% of total

Unsurprisingly most of this spend went on my grandfathered 5% Ducks Unlimited card. Some spend went to Albert because of their occasional 10% off Shell up to $5 off.


Total: $2,194.71, 2.78% of total

This is one of the few categories I do not have a specific card dedicated towards. My BofA cards earn 3% here but I mainly use my 5% rotating cards when they offer it. Again, Albert had 20% off WholeFoods up to $5 which I used often. This is also so low because of all of my mealkits. I have been eating mealkits for every single one of my dinners since around April? And have gotten usually <$5/meal out of it, usually better thanks to intro offers, returning offers, new emails and cash back portals.


Total: $1,025.48, 1.30% of total

These are mainly CVS or doctors visits. I plan on making a post at some point about CVS Care Pass but if you shop there at least once a month, it is a huge savings opportunity


Total: $27,436.72, 34.70% of total

This is by far my largest and most eye opening category. This is also unsurprisingly my most broad category. This includes things like furniture, clothing, electronics, Costco, some subscription services etc. Unfortunately with many of the PDF year end summaries (particularly BofA), this category is just super broad. This is my largest gripe with my tracker as this is not particularly accurate and helpful for tracking. I may look into makin this better for next year but I think it would be a lot of manual effort which I do not want to do.

A lot of this was spent furnishing my new apartment which was not cheap. Although I was able to hit my Venture X SUB because of it so not all that bad. Also of note, Point often did big boosts for Costco purchases which I put on the card.


Total: $2,101.47, 6.47% of total

These are purchases that did not fall under any other category. This includes things like bank account funding (included to track cash back but removed via NVT*), rent payments and some other odd stuff

*Quick side note, I got lazy and didn't want to make a new entry in the totals to negate the bank funds so I just put it in NVT. I did not get it via Venmo but it was not real spend so I just put it in there


Total: $5,101.70, 6.47% of total

This includes tax payments, another large bank funding (again subtracted in NVTs*) etc. I accidentally did not pay state income tax for 2021 so my tax bill was thick


Total: $9,193.22, 11.66% of total

This year I went to New Orleans and Milwaukee on vacation and flew to my parents place a few times. Most of it was purchased on my Venture X and a lot of it was negated from NVTs since I was paid back for our hotel, which earned 10% cash back. I also used Juno to buy a few Airbnbs to get 10% cash back and was reimbursed for much of it. Some travel was also on my AFCU and Oxygen cards as they earn 5% and 6% respectively for round transportation aka public transit. My Cardless card earns 7% on rideshare which is nice too


Total: $1,574.50, 2.00% of total

The apartment I live in is in an old mill building with atrocious insulation and a very frequently and high changing energy cost per KW, sometimes costing $0.33 per KW. Needless to say I keep my heat at 60 and AC at 76 :) I also cook almost all of my meals on my electric range


Total: $128.75, 0.16% of total

My brother purchased a course and paid me back, nothing to see here


Total: $3,076.91, 3.90% of total

I am driving a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk with >120k miles on it. This year the battery and starter needed to be replaced (and needed a tow) and the rear diff was replaced. Gonna have to keep an eye on these costs as the car continues to age


Total: $1,248.45, 1.58% of total

This is a carve out from entertainment as these are solely gym memberships. I am an avid rock climber and have a membership to both a climbing gym and a normal gym. It is not a cheap hobby (which I fund with churning I guess)

Untracked Spend

Total: $5,100.13, 6.47% of total

Again not an ideal category, but some of the manual calculation was too much so I just did the totals for them. Like for my AFCU card, I always hit my max of $200 spend for 5% back per month and I didn't bother getting the categorical breakdown for it


Wow is living alone expensive. My main takeaways here are to spend less money on merchandise and that the hoops I go through to earn cash back are worth it! I earned almost $5.5k in cash back throughout the year with only one SUB and a blended cash back rate of 5.36% or 6.89% with my SUB!

My spending went up ~38% which makes sense considering I started living in my own apartment and had to completely furnish it

Top Cards

It is interesting to see which cards I use the most, which no surprise are the cards I earn the most cash back for. Ranked by total spend on the card, the top 5 are

  1. Venture X (to hit SUB of $10k)
  2. BofA Online
  3. BofA Dining
  4. HMB (before they changed to 1.5% on everything, catch all card with Curve 1%)
  5. BofA Premium (my catch all card and taxes)

In 2021 it was

  1. HMB
  2. BofA Premium (SUB)
  3. BofA Online
  4. BofA Dining
  5. Discover (SUB)

I am curious as to how this will compare to next year

Spaghetti Soup

What exactly is that bottom line? That is Total Spend with Rent – Total Cash Back – Sign up Bonuses – Rent Cash Back – Net Venmo Transactions – Shopping Portal Cash Back. This gives us our Non-Manufactured Spend (NonMST) total, which is how much I actually spent out of pocket for 2022: $81,811.95

The blended cash back is my total cash back divided by total spend which is 5.36%. Blended Cash Back + Sign up Bonuses gives me my total cash back with SUBs which is 6.89%.

The Tracker

This is my third edition of the tracker. The first one was much more rudimentary. The second one was very similar to this years but had estimates for CC rewards tracking. For 2022 I went through each card and calculated the cash back I earned for each of the categories.

Getting Spend Totals

To populate the tracker, some of it is done by hand but most of it is pulled from the CC companies. In my experience, banks handle end of year spend summaries in three different ways

  1. Downloadable Transactions Spreadsheet: Banks like Chase, Citi and Elan allow you to download csv's of your transactions for the entire year. These are the easiest and most manipulatable as they are already in a spreadsheet and contain merchant categories on each entry. This way I can do some sheets magic to group by matching category and add up my spend for that category

  2. PDF Year End Summary: Banks like Bank of America, Capital One, FNBO and Discover issue a Year End Summary in the form of a PDF. This is the second best way for me to get this data. I can't just copy-paste it into my spreadsheet but I can copy over how they divided up my spend into categories and try to match it to the other banks categories

  3. Manual Aggregation: Smaller banks like Albert, Venmo (P2P not card), Oxygen, Cardless and Atlantic Federal Credit Union (AFCU) do not offer either of the above two options. This requires me to go through all of my statements for them and manually account for all of my spend, what category it was in and how much cash back I earned on them. This is mostly a labor of love

Other Values

After completing all of the CC tracking, the total spend number was honestly surprising. I then went into thinking of how this number could artificially inflated. This is why I added my Net Venmo Transactions (NVTs). This is the total amount of money I received from friends and family repaying me for things I purchased for/with them on my cards. I have additional money I got via Zelle but I could not find an easy way to gather that data so I just left it

Rent cash back is from Enzo's $20/m on my rent payments. I also got into cashback portals, mainly MealKit purchase, which you can read a bit more about here

Final Notes

I hope you find this interesting! If you have any advice on how I can make this better or want more info on my spreadsheets just reach out! I plan on doing a churning recap at some point but for now here is a sneak peek 2022 Churning Recap

2/16/2023 Update: Percents is closing down effective 2/22/2023. Curve is still operational. My speculation is Visa shut them down

One Card To Rule Them All, But Which Is Better? Curve vs Percents

Curve vs Percents


It all started with PayPal Key. For those unfamiliar with what PayPal Key was, you missed out. PayPal Key was a product offered by PayPal in which you were given a virtual debit card that you could use anywhere and it would charge to your PayPal account. The key to this was that you could choose any card on your PayPal account to route the charge to. It also would show up as a debit card to retailers so those that charge lower fees for debit purchases (such as rent payments) would allow you to use a credit card but at debit card fees. It would also properly pass the MCC information to your charged card to get rewards points correctly

To much disappointment, PayPal discontinued PayPal Key on April 20, 2022, most likely due to push back from the card issuers (think Amex, Visa MasterCard etc.) and because of the debit card aspect people took advantage of. But from its ashes rose two new players looking to fill a similar void: Curve and Percents

Curve vs Percents

Both offer services that have the same general functionality: use one card for all your purchase and route those purchases to other cards you link to Curve or Percents. Both have additional features baked on top of this but this is the rudimentary service they provide.

The key thing to both is that the MCC and merchant information is passed down to whatever card you choose. So if you make a purchase at a restaurant and charge to a card that has elevated rewards for restaurants, the down stream card correctly awards you for your restaurant purchase. This does not work for things like mobile wallet or PayPal cash back boosts however



Curve offers their card through Hatch Bank and is an actual credit card with it's own credit line. Hatch has an interesting feature where only 50% of their credit applications get a hard pull, meaning that when you apply it is a random 50/50 chance whether you get a hard inquiry on your credit report. All Curve cards get a $500 limit. The actual credit line is used as a backup if for some reason the card you chose declines.

At present, the card is not reporting to credit bureaus yet but that may change in the future. You can apply via a referral link to get instant access to the card or apply via their site. There are also limitations as to which state you can open in. For example, they do not allow you to open the card if you reside in Massachusetts


Percents does no hard pull, does not have a credit line and does not show on your credit report. I am not sure how exactly they get away with this as the card is technically a credit card but at present it has no impact on your credit report/score

To apply, you can either fill out the form on their site or use a referral link to get instant access

Winner: Percents. There is no impact to your credit report/score

App Functionality

Right off the bat it is important to note that Percents is currently iOS only, so us android folks are out of luck. I luckily have an iPhone as my work phone that I use, or you could even purchase an iPhone SE just for the app but that's a bit much IMO


The Curve app is clunky to say the least. They repurposed their EU app (which is the first market they entered) so some features in the app are there but do nothing (such as ATM withdrawal routing since it is a debit card in EU but a credit card in US).

Curve App WalletView

The main view of the app is a carousel of all of the cards you have linked, similar to the Google Wallet carousel. I personally dislike this view as it is unintuitive when you have many cards added; swiping through all of them to find the one you want is annoying

Curve App My Money View The My Money section is the section I use the most. This shows all transactions you made on the Curve card and which card was used for each transaction


Percents App Main Page

The Percents app is very clean and modern. It's main view is basically the same as the My Money view of Curve which is what I prefer. They also have a graph which shows your spend and cash back earned and have (what they think) your cash back on each transaction is.

Percents Wallet View The wallet view is similar to Apple Pay which is a nicer layout for lots of cards

Winner: Percents. Cleaner and more intuitive

Smart Routing

This is the best feature of these cards IMO. Unlike PayPal Key where you would have to manually set what card will be charged for all transactions, these services that have smart routing which will route particular types of transactions to particular cards. This is very useful for rewards as certain cards are better for certain categories

Curve's Smart Rules

Curve's Smart Rules Curve relies on predetermined categories that they support for smart routing. These categories are not customizable and are not exhaustive. For example, gas does not fall under any of these categories. They also have a “general” categories but that is also not exhaustive. If a transaction does not fall under any of the Smart Rule categories, it will choose whatever card you have chosen as your default in app (denoted with a Curve logo on it in your wallet)

Curve also allows you to set a rule based on the amount a charge is. For example, I have all charges under $15 routing to a particular card. This is useful for cards that earn more on small purchases (like Citi's Rewards+ card) or to meet minimum transaction requirements for some debit cards

Percents' Autopilot

Percents tackles this in a different way. When you add a card, you are asked to specify which card it is. Percents has a database of most cards (more on this later) where they know what the card's reward structure is like. They use this to route your transactions. This is very hands off and “works like magic”

Generic Ducks Unlimited Card Unfortunately they do not support all cards yet. For example, my FNBO Ducks Unlimited card is not in their database. I am able to add the card, but Percents does not know what the rewards structure for that card is so Autopilot will not work and the cash back percent in app will not reflect properly. I can manually route the transaction to a different card (more on this later) but it is not hands off as they would like it to be. When adding a nonsupported card, it looks like the above generic card image

Winner: Toss up. I personally prefer Percents method of things but until they support all of my cards it is not a hands off solution for me. In addition, I like the routing based on amount that Curve offers. I hope to see something similar from Percents. Curve's categories are not good but work for most use cases, and again I can manually change it later if needed

Supported Cards


Curve supports all debit cards (minus Amex) but only MasterCard and Discover credit cards. The card itself is a MasterCard


Percents supports all debit and credit cards (minus Amex). The card itself is a Visa card so it can be used at Costco

Winner: Percents

Changing Routed Transactions

When the automatic routing fails or you want to override what it chose, you can manually change the card that was charged. Both services handle this uniquely

Curve's Go Back In Time (GBiT)

Go Back in Time in App Curve allows you to change the card that was charged (GBiT) once the charge as cleared and up to 30 days after the charge was made. You simply select Go Back in Time on the charge in app and reroute it to another card. Once caveat is you cannot reroute charges made to your Curve credit line or Curve Cash (more on this later). You also can only GBiT once per charge


Percents Change Payment method Percents on the other hand only allows you to reroute the purchase while it is pending, which is usually for 24-48 hours. Once the charge has cleared, you can no longer change what card was chosen. During this pending period however, you can change the chosen card as many times as you want.

Winner: Curve. Although having to wait for the charge to clear is annoying, being able to change it up to 30 days is awesome.

If Percents told me the MCC that the charge used in app I would be alright with the current implementation. This is because for example my BofA Customized Cash is set to restaurants to earn 4.5%. However, some merchants have a weird MCC chosen such as “5499 – Miscellaneous Food Stores – Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets” which does not fall under restaurants. With Curve, I can see once the transaction posts to my BofA card if it earned 4.5% then route it after if needed. But with Percents, you can't see the rewards of a transaction until it posts so if it doesn't earn the 4.5%, you're stuck with that card

Additional Features


Curve offers a sign up bonus of 1% additional cash back in the form of Curve Cash. This is a pool of money you can elect to use for a purchase. The 1% promo is for your first 6 months of the card, but was just extended to 1 year for me for some reason. You can also elect to have Curve Cash in the form of crypto but miss me with that

Curve cash is a bit annoying to use as it needs to cover the whole purchases. You can always use an Amazon gift card reload to clear it out though


Percents Earnings Graph Since Percents knows what the rewards structure for your card is, they show in app what your cash back percent is. You can also message support to add custom features like the increased cash back for BofA's Preferred Rewards program. They also have a nice graph and tracking app that shows your your total spend or total cash back earnings over a period of time

Also, when a charge is declined when trying to charge one of your cards for some reason, Percents will cover the charge for you until you choose another card to pay with. This is much better than Curve's use of their credit line as you can still choose another card that will earn cash back


Card Declines

For me, both cards have had weird times where they decline my purchase for no real reason. By this I mean the actual Curve or Percents card is declined, not the down stream card the charge routes to. This has most often happened to me at gas station pumps when using the chip or tap to pay with the card. It has stopped for my Curve card but has started acting up with my Percents card


Percents is very early on and seems to have a small but reliable and active support team. Curve on the other hand has an almost useless support system. Many users have reported issues with paying their Curve Credit Line balance off and other issues and get little to no help from support

Large Purchases

For larger purchases, if the charge is going to fall under a particular category that one of my cards earn elevated rewards on, I will use the actual card over Percents or Curve. 99% of the time the rewards track correctly but for a large purchase I don't want to risk it

Missed Rewards Tracking

Some cards (mostly debit cards with specific merchant cash back like Juno) don't reliably reward cash back for purchases made on their card through Curve and Percents. YMMV but I try to use the actual card over these services

Curve's Unsupported Merchants

Curve has some unsupported merchants where if you charge the purchase to the Curve card, it will automatically use your Curve line of credit. Lame


As someone who has 19 credit cards and multiple debit cards I use to maximize cash back, these products are must haves for me. I personally prefer Percents as the app is better, the routing is better (although it needs to add support for all my cards) and has a better decline feature, I use Curve because of the current sign up bonus. Once the additional 1% cash back ends I will be transitioning over to exclusively use Percents. Hopefully by then the features I would like to see are added

Winner: Curve until my added 1% cash back expires, then Percents

Curve Referral Percents Referral

Generic Visa Signature

Recently, I had the privilege's of my car breaking down which required me to solicit the services of a tow truck. Now, being a cheapskate frugal person I don't pay for AAA or have roadside assistance included my insurance. In fact, since owning my 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, I have never needed a tow until now. Let's take look how the service faired and if it is actually a decent alternative to a AAA subscription

Visa Signature's Roadside Assistance Coverage/Cost

As soon as the vehicle wouldn't start, my mind went to my Visa Signature card, specifically my Capital One Venture X. Looking at Visa's benefits page, we can see this PDF detailing the benefit. The important parts are the following:

For a set price per service call, the program provides: – Standard Towing – Up to 5 miles included1 – Tire Changing – must have good, inflated spare – Jump Starting – Lockout Service (no key replacement) – Fuel Delivery – up to 5 gallons (plus the cost of fuel) – Standard Winching

The set price is described as: Current fee for a standard service call is $79.95. Additional fees may apply for winching services under certain circumstances.

So for $80 I get any of the above, seems decent enough to me

Using the Service

On the PDF, Visa gives you a number to call. When you dial in, the only question they ask you if this is a new or existing request. Once you select your choice (I chose new), I was on hold for a minute or two and was patched directly to a real person. They asked me if myself and my vehicle were in a safe space; I was in a BestBuy parking lot so the answer was yes. They then ask me what service I need and for details about my vehicle.

When I said I needed a tow they asked me where I was and where I would like the vehicle towed to. They explained the included 5 mile tow for the $80 service charge and gave me a list of mechanics close to my location which was useful. I at this point decided to look up some mechanics on my own since I was in a new area and call them back.

Once I decided what mechanic I wanted to bring my vehicle to, I called back, chose the existing service option and using my number they picked up right where I left off with the last operator, nice.

Once I gave them the mechanic I wanted to go to, they texted me a link to put a hold on my card for the service fee. It was a simple web page for my card information.

Waiting for the Tow

After giving them the card information, they send me a link to track my service and text me the name and number of the towing company. Tracking Site The tracking site was clean and simple. Once the tow company accepts they give an estimated ETA and once they are enroute they have a little icon for the tow truck so you can track their location (which didn't update vary accurately unfortunately).

The Roadside Assistance service will also reach out to you once the ETA has expired asking you if the tow company has arrive yet. If they have not, they will reach out to the tow company on your behalf and get an updated ETA. I unfortunately know this because my initial ETA was 90-120 minutes but I had to request an update twice and the truck did not come until 4 hours after I made the request.

The second time I asked the service to contact the tow truck company, the service actually called me to inform me the tow truck company would not answer their phone. Based on this, I can tell an actual human is calling the tow company to get an updated ETA which is nice to hear.

When they finally arrived, the service went as expected and the driver even felt bad for being so late and gave me a ride home. Not part of the service or a reflection of Visa but it was nice of Alan


Even though the tow took twice as long as expected, I still think the service was good. The job was taken by an unreliable towing company but Visa's service did a good job of following up with the company so I don't blame them. As someone who never needs a tow knock on wood this is a nice option to have for a flat rate for some services. Because of this, I will continue my cheap frugal habit of not having AAA and have this service as a fall back

Potential Loophole

Now this is where it got a bit interesting. It is possible that they did some checks behind the scenes, but I don't think they actually check to see if the card you are paying with is a Visa Signature card. I did use a Visa Signature card to pay for the service, but I'm not confident they actually verify this. On my statement, the charge comes up as AGERO ROADSIDE ASSIST.

Also, while on the phone, they never once asked if I was a Visa Signature cardholder, for my card number, or anything like that, further adding to me theory. Next time I use this service I will be interested in seeing. If anyone else gets to try it let me know if you try a non Visa Signature card!