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Can I use my benefits card on a road trip?

Benefits card road trip eligible expenses

We have good news- your benefits card* can stretch a lot farther than you might think. While the term “benefits card” may conjure up images of deductibles and doctor’s visits, you can also use your card while traveling. (For business or pleasure.)

In preparation for your next road trip, let’s explore how your benefits card can be your best travel companion.

Stop One: Visiting an Out-of-Town Relative

You’ve been driving for hours and finally reach your relative’s house two states away. As you walk up the stairs to the guest room, your relative’s cat darts out of nowhere you trip over it, falling up the stairs. You catch yourself with your wrist and hear an unpleasant crack. A few seconds later, your worried-faced relative appears and asks if you’re all right. Inspecting your wrist, you decide it’s “better to be safe than sorry” and ask to be taken to Urgent Care.

Using your benefits card

When you arrive to Urgent Care, you find out your wrist is sprained and will require a brace. You pull out your benefits card to pay for the Urgent Care visit and wonder “Is a wrist brace is an eligible expense?

Travel Tip: If you visit an out-of-state Urgent Care facility that isn’t in-network1, it’s still going to be cheaper than a visit to the ER. The medical attention you receive at an Urgent Care center is considered an eligible expense. You can use funds from your pre-tax account to pay1 for the visit. Finally, yes, a wrist brace is an eligible expense.

Stop Two: Concert with Pyrotechnics

The next day, you leave your relative’s house (wary of the cat), and drive to meet some old college friends for a concert. It ends with pyrotechnics and a smoke show. You drink in the spectacle, but the contact lenses you have in start to feel dry. You put in eye drops before driving home, but your eyes still sting. When you get back to your room and check your toiletries bag, you realize you’re out of contact lens solution.

Using your benefits card

You make a quick run to the local pharmacy to pick up more contact lens solution.

Travel Tip: Regardless of what part of the country you’re in, your benefits card will almost always be accepted as a payment form for eligible expenses at IIAS and 90% merchants**. Not sure what an IIAS or 90% merchant is? Find the definition here. In most cases, large retailers like CVS and Target are a safe bet. However, depending on how your employer set up your plan, certain expenses might not be eligible. Check your Plan Highlights.

Stop Three: Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping: The final stop on your road trip is a bungee jumping excursion. You’re about to go home, so you want to make sure you go out with a bang. You jump, and the adrenaline rushes through you. After your cord steadies, you’re pulled back up to solid ground. It isn’t until a few hours later, when you’ve been on the road for a few hours, that you feel the subtle throb in your lower back.

You try to push through, but your the pain in your back gets worse and worse. You pull over and use your phone for a telemedicine check-up. The doctor instructs you to pick up a hot and cold pack and then schedule a visit to the chiropractor’s when you’re home.

Using your benefits card

Your card will cover all three items in the situation above: the telemedicine visit, the hot and cold pack, and the chiropractor’s appointments (once the appointments take place. You cannot pay for an eligible expense before it occurs).

Travel Tip: Need to pick up an item like a hot and cold pack, but aren’t sure how much money you have in your account? Check your balance. If you have a pretax account through Benefit Resource, you can use our mobile app or login to your account at BRiWeb.

Safe Travels

In conclusion, your card (and funds) can go wherever you do. Regardless of what adventures you encounter during a road trip (or otherwise), you can rely on your benefits card as a travel companion that has you covered.


*In this article, the term “benefits card” refers to the multi-purse Beniversal® Prepaid Mastercard®. Your employer may work with a benefits administrator (like Benefit Resource) that offers a benefits card or several benefits cards.

**An IIAS merchant has an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) that can automatically identify eligible medical expenses. A 90% merchant has registered with a national organization, certifying that 90% or more of its revenue is from the sale of eligible medical items.

1 Depending on how your plan is arranged, out-of-network expenses may not be covered. Check your Plan Highlights.