I grew up in New Jersey so I never knew it was possible to drive any distance on a highway without paying a toll. My mind was kind of blown when we drove to Florida and went through state after state with no toll booths.
So when we moved to Central Florida, we were back in a land where if you wanted to get from point A to point B without sitting in a massive traffic jam, you needed to take a toll road. Progress.
Fortunately, by the time we moved, you no longer had to throw coins into a basket or give your money to a toll booth operator. We’ve had a Sunpass or E-Pass transponder on our cars for the entire time we’ve lived here. At first, it allowed us to go through a designated lane but now allows us to drive through the toll scanners at full highway speed.
We automatically load our pass with a credit card when the balance goes under a certain level. The money on the pass can disappear quickly when you’re taking road trips to Key West or Georgia.
Up until now, I was putting our toll expenses on my Premier card which provided 3x ThankYou points per dollar for “Other Travel” expenses. Unfortunately, that benefit went away in April 2021 and since then I’ve been earning only 1 point per dollar. That means it’s time to find a new card for the toll charges.
Doing a quick search, I found that articles seemed to mention the same cards for toll charges.
- AMEX Blue Cash Preferred – 3% Cash Back
- Wells Fargo Propel – 3 points per dollar
- Bank of America Premium Awards – 2 points per dollar.
There are some cards that we do have that offer bonuses for toll charges
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3 Ultimate Rewards per dollar
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar
I was ready to move our tolls to the Sapphire Reserve but then I remembered another card that earns a good return on a broad range of travel expenses, including tolls. It’s the same card we use to pay for our Airbnb rentals.
It’s the American Express Green Card.
Once again I’m forced to admit that the AMEX Green Card is a great travel card with a reasonable annual fee. If it weren’t for the great travel coverage we get from the Sapphire Reserve, I’d put all of our travel spend on the Green Card.
The choice is if I want to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards or 3x Membership Rewards for our toll expenses.
I’m going for the Membership Rewards and it’s because of our travel habits. We tend to have more use for Membership Rewards than Chase points. We’ve transferred AMEX points to the following programs.
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Singapore KrisFlyer
- Virgin Atlantic
We also earn more AMEX points because of the Blue Business Plus card earning 2x points on all charges and the AMEX Gold Card earning 4x points on dining expenses.
While it pays to diversify points, there aren’t that many Chase partners that we often use for travel redemptions.
If you’re looking for a card for your generic travel expenses (tolls, taxis, train tickets, ferries), don’t forget the AMEX Green Card may be one of your best options.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary