Using Visa and Mastercard emergency cash assistance |

Using Visa and Mastercard emergency cash assistance

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.

Compare travel credit cards

Rates last updated April 21st, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
of transaction value
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

Compare up to 4 providers

Travelex Money Card

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Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
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    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a writer and editor for who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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