Using Visa and Mastercard emergency cash assistance |

Using Visa and Mastercard emergency cash assistance

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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

Updated June 22nd, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
16.49% Variable
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49% Variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases.
16.49% Variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
16.49% Variable
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
16.49%, 22.24% or 25.24% Variable
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
16.49% to 24.49% Variable
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
14.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Earn 50,000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* ? that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($550.00 thereafter)
0% Variable
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($450.00 thereafter)
17.49% to 24.49% Variable
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($75.00 thereafter)
16.49% to 24.49% Variable
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
17.49% to 26.49% Variable
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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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