How to earn bonus points or cash back on tolls
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
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.
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 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.
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:
- Freedom Pass
- Flex Pass
- NC Quick Pass
- PAL PASS
- Peach Pass
- 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!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)