How to earn bonus points or cash back on tolls

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There isn’t much to get excited about when you spot a toll booth ahead. But using a credit card that earns rewards can help soften the blow!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, earns 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel. Most of us think of travel purchases as airfare, hotel, and car rental, but Chase’s definition of travel is broader than you might think, and includes purchases like toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best toll purchases so you can maximize the rewards you earn for this common expense.

(Photo by ben bryant/Shutterstock)

Earn rewards on tolls

Here are four excellent credit cards to choose from if you’re looking to earn rewards for your toll spending:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® – 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – 3% cash back on transit
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card – 3x Wells Fargo Propel points on transit

The Wells Fargo Propel card is no longer available for new applicants.

The information for the Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. 

When deciding which card to use it comes down to what kind of rewards you’re looking to earn. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are always a fan favorite because they’re so flexible, so the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve may be the best bet for some.

But if you prefer the simplicity of earning cash back, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card should be at the top of your list. It earns 3% cash back on transit including parking, tolls, trains, buses, taxis, subways, ferries and rideshare services — which is hard to beat. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

Here are a few of the most common toll services in the U.S., which, in theory, should code as travel or transit for bonus category purposes:

  • ExpressAccount
  • ExpressToll
  • E-ZPass
  • FasTrak
  • Freedom Pass
  • Flex Pass
  • I-Pass
  • MnPass
  • NC Quick Pass
  • Peach Pass
  • Pikepass
  • SunPass
  • TollTag
  • TxTag
  • AutoExpreso (Puerto Rico)

What if you don’t earn your bonus rewards?

In theory, all tolls should qualify as “travel” or “transit,” but in practice, that isn’t always the case.

For example, Chase awards points according to the category Visa uses to code each merchant. For this reason, some tolls might not code as travel. Some have been reported to show up as “Government Service,” “Financial Service,” or similar.

But many programs like E-ZPass have the option to replenish your account at kiosks and in certain stores with cash or card. When using this method, Visa will likely code your purchase under the store you’re using (retailer, gas station, etc).

That said, your best bet for receiving bonus points is to refill online. That way Visa won’t confuse the merchant!

You can always check your account transactions to see if you’ve earned bonus rewards on your toll purchase. If not, you can try calling, chatting, or sending a secure message to the bank, and they may be able to fix it for you.

Does your favorite toll program earn bonus rewards? Let us know in the comments!

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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