“Always be prepared!” That’s the Boy Scout motto. Here are 10 phone numbers we could not care less about until the moment we need them, at which point they save us time, money and general peace of mind. Do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to program each of these handy numbers into your mobile phone. I promise you, the convenience you will gain from it someday is priceless.
1. Lost or Stolen Credit Card Hotline - Sure, the number for your credit card issuer is conveniently located on the back of your credit card… that is until the card gets lost or stolen. It’s nice to be able to cancel a credit card the minute you realize it’s missing. That way you can solve the problem before it starts by avoiding the need to deal with expunging malicious charges.
- Visa: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-847-2911)
- MasterCard: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (800-622-7747)
- American Express: 1-800-992-3404
- Discover: 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683)
- Diners Club: 1-800-2DINERS (1-800-234-6377)
2. Car Insurance Claims Hotline - Pretty much the first number you should call when you get in a car accident. Or the second number if the accident was severe, just after calling 911. Here are a few of the major provider’s claims department numbers:
- Geico: 1-800-861-8380
- Allstate: 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828)
- Nationwide: 1-800-421-3535
- Progressive: 1-800-PROGRESSIVE (1-800-776-4737)
- Liberty Mutual: 1-800-2CLAIMS (1-800-225-2467)
- State Farm: Depends where you live (find your agent’s number).
- AIG Direct: 1-888-244-6163
- Travelers: 1-800-CLAIM33 (1-800-252-4633)
3. Health Insurance Provider - Should tragedy strike and you find yourself headed to the emergency room for medical care, you will want to be sure that your medical bills are covered by your health insurance provider. Have someone make a quick call to your provider to make sure you’re approved for full coverage. It’s certainly more productive and a lot cheaper to address this before the medical care, unless of course you enjoy paying for medical bills out of your own pocket. Find your provider’s number on your health insurance card and program it into your phone as ‘Health Insurance’.
4. Free 411 From Anywhere - It’s always nice to have the ability to find a phone number or address to a specific business of interest when you are on the road. If you don’t have an internet ready mobile phone 1-800-GOOG-411 is you next best bet. It’s Google’s free nationwide 411 information hotline and it beats the heck out of paying your mobile service provider 75 cents for their sub-par directory assistance.
5. Local Locksmith - There’s nothing worse than being locked out, especially at night. Save yourself the hassle of trying to find a reputable locksmith with reasonable prices when you are locked out and stressed out. Do a little homework now and find yourself a reputable locksmith that has a 24 hour emergency call service. Find a local locksmith on YellowPages.com.
6. A Friendly Colleague’s Direct Line - You can use this person as a messenger to pass an important piece of information on to your manager or someone else at the office when you are on the road. Or you can call them if you accidently left an important phone number or piece of information behind at the office. Tell this person that you would be happy to return the favor anytime.
7. Local Towing Service or AAA - When your car breaks down in an inconvenient location this number will make your life a lot easier. The company with the largest geographic service area is always your best bet. Find a local towing service on YellowPages.com. If you have AAA, congrats for being wise.
8. Home or Work Entry - You should always have an entry for Home and/or Work in your mobile phone. Each entry should point to your direct corresponding number at each location. These entries are not there to help you call your home or your work. They are there just incase you lose your phone and someone with a little honesty and compassion finds it. It gives this person an easy way of getting in touch with you.
9. Primary Care Physician - If you are on the road or out of town and a non-emergency medical issue arises, it’s always nice to be able to run the information past your primary care physician or one of his/her nurses. After all, this is the medical team that has familiarity with all your recent personal medical history. They may be able to give you more insight into your problem by weighing your symptoms against your historical medical files and profile.
10. Airlines Reservations Hotline - Obviously this one helps out more when you’re traveling, but believe me someday it will come in handy. When you’re on a trip far away from home and your rental car gets a flat tire on the way to the airport, or your luggage is lost, or you are running late and need to check your flight status… these are times when having your Airlines on speed dial saves you some serious peace of mind. Airlines reservation hotlines usually bring you directly to a human being, so it’s a good number to use to get a hold of someone that can transfer you in the right direction if necessary. Here are the phone numbers to some of the major carriers:
- American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
- Continental: 1-800-525-0280
- Delta Airlines: 1-800-221-1212
- JetBlue: 1-800-538-2583
- Northwest Airlines: 1-800-225-2525
- Southwest Airlines: 1-800-435-9792
- Spirit Airlines: 1-800-772-7117
- United Airlines: 1-800-241-6522
- US Airways: 1-800-428-4322
Bonus: How many minutes do I have left before I’m broke? - Dial the following numeric and symbol combinations into your mobile phone to find out how many minutes you have remaining on your plan for the current month.
- AT&T: *646#
- Sprint: *4
- T-Mobile: #646#
- Verizon: #646
I know there are numerous other important phone numbers out there, but I believe these 10 numbers are applicable to almost everyone.