3 things I wish I knew before I asked for emergency cash from Visa
Visa, Mastercard and American Express have a handy feature for travelers: emergency cash assistance. Lost wallet, stolen bags, silly mistakes – there are a thousand reasons why you may need this service.
Your credit card provider should be able to arrange for a temporary replacement, but, you can still access the money in your account while you wait. Here are three things I learned about the process.
1. Don’t receive any calls. Period.
You may get charged for receiving incoming calls when you’re outside of the country. Before you travel, ask Visa for a reverse charge number to call in case of an emergency. If you’re on the phone with Visa and it asks to call you back, say ‘no’. Say that you’ll call the reverse charge number after an agreed period of time. This will probably mean you have to make one or two calls more than you have to, but it’s better than being charged to receive calls.
2. The details you tell Visa must exactly match the details your bank has on file.
In order for everything to flow smoothly, you should have a copy of your information in your email or on hand so you can clearly relay the information to Visa. This will ensure that you’ll be able to get cash emergency assistance or a temporary card as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble dealing directly with Visa, you can ask a customer service representative at your bank to help.
3. Emergency card replacement is the way to go.
It’s easier to request an emergency replacement card from Visa or Mastercard than it is to request emergency cash. The replacement service typically only takes a day or two to be delivered. If you’re with friends and they can spot you for a day or two, you can save valuable vacation time instead of being on the phone waiting to get approved for emergency cash request.
The Visa and Mastercard Emergency Assist services will come in handy should anything happen to your card, so make sure to have the relevant emergency contact details in your phone and report the issue as soon as possible.
- Tip: In the case of an emergency, always make sure to have more than one travel money option as a backup. If you’re using a prepaid card, see if you can get an additional card, and also make sure you have cash and a credit or debit card for emergencies.
Visa overseas emergency cash assistance
You can place a collect call from anywhere in the world to Visa emergency services by calling 1-303-967 1096. If you’re in the US, call 1-800-847-2911. These numbers are free and available to contact any time of the day or week. A Visa representative will be able to help you with an emergency cash request or issuing a temporary emergency card.
- Calls to toll-free numbers from mobile phones may still attract international call charges.
Mastercard overseas emergency cash assistance
The Mastercard website has a directory of numbers for Mastercard emergency contacts in different countries. Alternatively, you can make a call to Mastercard in the US at 1-636-722-7111 and they can direct your call. You can also reach Mastercard via your bank if you’re calling them first to report your card as lost or stolen.
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