post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone

Handy Numbers for your Mobile Phone“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

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  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 phones.  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.

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  • […] numbers are firmly lodged in your phone’s address book? Serve up a few ideas in the comments. 10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone [Marc and […]

  • There’s one that all emergency personnel are trained to look for on your phone - a contact called ICE or In Case of Emergency. Great idea to keep that in there with the phone number of someone who cares…

  • I was working in Michigan once when I was locked out of my apt. Luckily - I had already thought of putting a locksmith’s number in my cell phone. Unluckily, my cell phone was locked inside my apartment as well….

  • I would add to these the following: the phone number of the person most likely to give you a lift to work, or near work; the person most likely to give you a lift from work, or from somewhere near your work.

    I also think we all should pick out a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a plumber, an electrician, a car mechanic, and a locksmith BEFORE you need them.

  • Very handy list! Thanks!

  • I recommend marking your “in case of emergency” contacts with the letters ICE, so hospital emergency department staff can contact your family.

  • There is also the very needed Taxi number :)

  • In some countries, emergency services look at your mobile phone, and call any entry labelled ICE.

    The ICE is “In Case Of Emergency”. If you’re found incapacitated, dead, or unconcious this is a quick way to reach your loved ones.

  • 11. In Case of Emergency, or ICE, is a program that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify victims and contact relatives in order to obtain important medical information. Just enter emergency contacts in your cell phone address book under the name “ICE”. Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as “ICE1″, “ICE2″, etc.

  • Worth noting. I would also store your frequent flier number in the same listing as the respective airline your calling. That way, you get your credit for that last minute ticket your buying!

  • I always keep the local police and state police numbers in my phone as well. Sure 911 works, but I might need police when it’s not necessarily an emergency.

  • Great list. It has already impacted my phone contact list.

  • Very good additions; I had some already preprogrammed and added the rest that applied. It makes things incredibly convenient when stuck somewhere and you need to get in touch with someone quickly.

  • Ummm… How about a local cab company? I keep that number in my phone because, personally, I’ve need to call one far more often than I’ve needed to call my PCP.

  • I suggest adding one or more ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact numbers to your mobile phone address book. Emergency response personnel are being trained to look for these numbers. Read about it here, and here Think it is an urban legend? Verify on snopes

  • You can also use #646# to see how many texts you used on T-Mobile. Not sure what it is for other carriers.

  • I keep a list of non-emergency numbers for police dispatch for the towns I frequent. This allows me to call dispatch for problems that don’t warrant a 911 call, such as street lights that are not properly working or livestock that have made their way to the highway.

  • Sometimes you miss such obvious things. Thanks for reminding Marc.

    I do another handy thing which is not exactly related to this topic. I also store my friends’ birth dates along with their names in my phone book. It helps me a lot in not forgetting their B day.

  • I’d add another one: a good criminal defense attorney. One of those numbers you hope you never need, but trying to find one while you’re on your way to jail can be problematic.

    If you’re a fine upstanding citizen and you don’t have a clue how to find a good lawyer, ask a cop friend. The ones every cop hates are the ones you want on your side.

  • You can also text any number to “google” (466-453) the name of any business you’re looking for, and you’ll get a text message back with the phone number and address. You can also text the name of a business + the name of the city you’re looking for. You can also find movie times, weather, stock updates, sports results, and other interesting things.

  • […] 10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone [Marc and Angel via Lifehacker] […]

  • nice list dude

  • […] some leftover space, why not consider adding some “important” numbers to your phone? This post over at lists “10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone”. Most of […]

  • Re: Free 411 From Anywhere
    I’ve used GOOG411 and it’s a great service. However, Microsoft has a competing service called LiveSearch411 (800-255-5411), which in my opinion is a lot more user friendly and provide more detailed information. Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE Google, but for free 411 info, in my opinion, MS has them beat.

  • add 1800USARAIL Amtrak

  • I’m always forgetting to take my phone with me when I go out. I guess I am just not a cellphone Mom.

    However–I keep my driver’s license and other important cards in a metal cigarette case with a picture of a blue Vespa on the front (’cause I ride a blue Vespa when I’m not driving the car). Inside the case, I put a LabelOnce rewritable label, and on that, in Sharpie, I wrote such important phone numbers as the AAA, my husband’s office phone number, my kids’ cell phone numbers, the number of our mechanic and the main Kaiser phone number in case I have an emergency. That way if I go off without my phone, I’m not totally lost.

  • Living in the semi-rural Midwest, I keep my local police non-emergency, along with the surrounding county sheriff non-emergency numbers + state patrol in my phone. Also have my favorite towing service in there, along w/ insurance agent’s number & 800 number. And generally any number I call with regularity (i.e. favorite restaurant’s reservation #).

  • Nevermind the costly locksmiths. Get prepared. Get copies of those important keys. Then find an hard to discover spot in the back yard, under a stone, on the top of the treehouse, whatever. Put the key there. Show your family where it is, especially your teenage kids. Next take a copy of your car key and tape it to your business card. Stick it in your wallet or your purse. Your set. These steps have saved me more than once and I don’t have to wait for the locksmith to show up and charge me.

  • Google 411 isn’t always perfect, so, as an alternative, you may want to keep Tell Me’s number saved as well. It’s a similar, free service that will tell and text you the results of your query:
    800-555-8355 (555-TELL) -

  • I keep our electric company’s emergency phone number on my cell. When the electricity goes out and it’s dark and scary, it pays to have a nice back lit screen with the company’s name and number easily accessible. ;-)

  • Locksmith: yes, do your research ahead of time, and locate reputable ones. Also, you should try to add more than one locksmith, as your first choice might be busy and not be able to get to you for a while.

    Also, having your local fire and police numbers is helpful (in the US, at least). When you call 911 from a cell phone, the call can go to a central center that will have to transfer your call to your correct local fire/police center. By having your local numbers, you bypass any delays in transferring your call, and your emergency gets handled faster.

    I also have the number for highway road conditions, but I haven’t decided if that’s really helpful (in California, google for “caltrans highway road status” for the phone number). Yes, I know that there are websites for this, but EDGE doesn’t necessarily work in the boonies.

  • Cab companies are a good idea for those nights out when you or a friend shouldn’t drive home. No excuse for not having that number.

    I’d also add your city’s police NON-emergency number for on-the-fly reporting of issues not important enough for 911, but still worth telling someone about. Missing manhole covers and malfunctioning traffic signals come to mind.

  • If you live in an apartment complex, frequently, they have a lock out number and a 24 hour emergency number. Wife and I locked ourselves out (very stupid story), went around to neighbors and our neighbor had to call some friends to get the lock out number. Grief would have been saved if I had had any of the numbers in my cell.

  • For those of us without cars, i’d replace the car insurance claim line & AAA numbers with “local cab companies.” in my experience, it’s generally a good idea to have more than one in your phone.

  • Thanks for all the comments everybody! I really didn’t expect this post to stir as much buzz as it did. I guess sometimes the simple advice is the best advice. ;-)

    And a big thanks to Lifehacker for picking up my article:

  • more great advice with which to help me organize the confusion which is my life.

  • Excellent!!



  • Yes…these numbers are all excellent numbers to have in one’s cellphone…many thanks for sharing. Regards, Keith J, Author “365 Great Affirmations”

  • Great list, thanks. I’d also add the vet’s number and the after-hour vet. Also perhaps the Humane Society or a non-kill animal shelter in case you find a lost animal.

  • […] 10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone (tags: phone Reference cellphone numbers contacts lists) […]

  • […] deleting old numbers, reorganizing your speed-dial, and so on. While you’re at it, follow Marc and Angel’s recommendations for 10 handy numbers to keep in your phone. For example, find a local locksmith and add his/her number to the address book, just in case you […]

  • Great list, although I have long made my cellphone my very own personal white and yellow pages. It has become so handy to be able to look up a business or whatever so quickly. Since I have a Treo smartphone, I have even added hours of operation and menu prices for restaurants so that I know how much the total will be before they ring it up.

    Friends now ask me for hours of operations or the phone number of businesses before they look for the yellow pages.

    It’s quite amazing how our cell phones have now become an essential tool in our everyday lives. Oh, I no longer carry a watch since I’ve already got one in my Treo.

  • Excellent list - many thanks.
    If your memory is as bad as mine, I put my PIN’s on - using a suitable false telephone number and name - like ‘Norm Worth 0123456789′ - where the last four numbers are my pincode for my NatWest Credit Card.
    Means I am never without my PIN’s when out.
    Mike Phillips, (England)

  • @Mike Phillips:

    A PIN is something you should probably just memorize and keep only in your head. But, I must admit that if you have to write it down, your method is a pretty secure way of doing so.

    Thanks for the tip. ;-)

  • A great list of suggestions. Can I add the phone numbers of the person who has the spare key to your house too!
    Also for taxis, pick the one you use from your house and then the ones you’d use when you go out on the town. For us they’d be different firms so you’d need at least two numbers.

  • As much as it can be quite handy to put everything important down in our cell phones, it certainly can make your life miserable should you accidentally lose it and someone else finds some use for all that info.

    Although it can help somewhat to have something like an encrypted program or security locking program installed, the best way to avoid possible problems is to not put it in, in the first place.

    That’s just my personal opinion.

  • A good friend of mine told me to put an emergency contact number (next of kin, etc) under the name “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) who can provide medical information (allergies and such) on short notice.

    He says that Emergency techs such as EMS and Fire fighters are taught to look for this.

    I’m not certain about that … but it cost nothing more than a couple minutes to punch it in “in case”.

  • I use the free Google 411 all the time. It’s amazing. I used to use a free International Calling service too, but unfortunately they got canned.

  • I have an ICE entry on my phone, but just thought of something else. I have a MedicAlert bracelet - if able, perhaps make a cross-reference note of this in your ICE entry.

    Also, most cities and counties have a central number (City or County Operator) to call for services. Good to have if you don’t know the office you are looking for in government.

  • I have NO DUI in my phone. It is a service that will drive me and my car home if I drink too much. Better option than the taxi.

    Also for the ICE I also label who that person is. IE my mom, sons dad, babysitter, etc) so when ER calls they know to say “your daughter” or “____ mom” rather than stumbling through….

  • I put all my important codes and passwords and stuff into my phonebook, saves a lot of hassle sometimes. Just make sure to save it abrreviated or under a different name, like for a key code, make it’s contact name : KC, or something to that effect. Also, I keep the number of local delis and restaurants in my phone book, then if your in a hurry (or you wanna save time), you order your food while your on your way. I have even called sandwich orders in at restaurants, while i’m outside, if the lines too long. Convenient numbers…

  • […] 10 handy phone numbers to store in your mobile phone - good advice. […]

  • You gotta have your local pizza and/or chinese food delivery restaurant somewhere in there too!!

  • You don’t need an internet ready phone to use GOOG-411. Just dial 1-800-466-4411 from ANY phone including a landline.

  • I’ve told all of my friends and family to plug their ICE numbers in their phones. I think that’s the best idea since Medilert bracelets for those that need them.
    I think we should all just have little microchips injected in our necks, but hey, that’s just me.

  • These numbers are good….but can only be used in the U.S.

  • What about the number to a good booty call?

  • […] 10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone (tags: lifehack mobile phone numbers) […]

  • […] Marcandangel] Technorati Tags: […]

  • nice list, thanks!

    i was going to enter all of them them and then thought just the 1 800 GOOG 411 would pretty much cover everything except the personal contacts, :-)

  • i worked at a hotel. people always lost their cellphones. we just looked up. Home. Wife/girlfriend. (yes people will sometimes put them down as such. not Suzy or jill. but girlfriend)
    then mom/dad/sister/brother. Usually we went with Mom first. mom usually tended to know where their child was, and an alternate way to get a hold of them. and there were not likely to question why they were at a hotel. sometimes spouses/gf/bf had no idea the person was staying at a hotel. at which point losing their cellphone was not the worst thing to happen to them.

  • Nice work! I had half of them…I know have the other half loaded into my Treo! Thank you!

  • […] your mobile phone. I promise you, the convenience you will gain from it someday is priceless. read more | digg […]

  • I would also add the number if your landlord, apartment manager, or other “emergency” apartment contact for those times when your water starts leaking or you get locked out.

  • […] the US will have to use the old-fashioned method and phone the operator! Or find a phone more | digg story Bookmark This Post Hide […]

  • A remarkably handy phone number list indeed! Thanks! I’m posting a link and sending our site members here to view it.

  • Great list! There are 2 important omissions in this list, IMHO.

    1. An immigration attorney, especially if you are a foreigner and are stuck on an airport while entering the country

    2. The big 3 credit scoring agencies (Experian, Transunion, etc.)

  • Here’s some that I have:

    o Wii (put Wii Console Number in the phone number)
    o Mom and Dad (or My Brother, My Sister, etc…)
    o Pizza Delivery
    o Cinema’s
    o Bowling
    o Mortgage Co
    o Civic Theater
    o Car Repair
    o Work Employee Service Center
    o Metro Bus

  • Good idea. It is also a great idea to put this information and other personal information (phone lists, credit card #’s, property serial numbers, property photos, etc.) on a thumb drive where you can have it in case of a natural (or man made) disaster. You can boot it off of a computer anywhere in the world. Also, having the serial numbers and photos(or video) of your property greatly increases the chances of recovering it if it is stolen or if you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Serialized property that is stolen can be put in to a nationwide database by law enforcement that all law enforcement has access to.

  • For me one of the numbers HAS to be Pizza Hut or Monicals Pizza.

  • what about 911?

  • It would be handy to have the number for the pharmacy that you use (and a 24-hour alternative) and the phone number + policy info for your health insurance.

  • […] book, deleting old numbers, reorganizing your speed-dial, and so on. While you’re at it, follow Marc and Angel’s recommendations for 10 handy numbers to keep in your phone. For example, find a local locksmith and add his/her number to the address book, just in case you […]

  • You may also want to consider adding your pet sitter’s number in case of emergency.

  • I would mention that putting the first 3 numbers in your phone as I.C.E (In Case of Emergency)
    That way if you are ever in an accident, people will check your phone. And when they see those numbers.. aside from 911. Alerting family members and good neighbors and friends can help save your life.
    Your parents might know what you are alergic to.. if you are incapable of speech. They would also know any other medical history.

  • […] make sure you program your cell phone with these 10 handy numbers, pack the family road trip must-haves and remember to properly thank your hosts if you stay in […]

  • maybe your girlfriends name and number as well :P

  • Did these guys jack your article?

  • Sure looks like they jacked that article Kerwin.

  • @Kerwin: Thanks for the heads-up. That is nuts! My articles get ripped-off all the time, but never by a professional news channel. What a bunch of plagiarists.

  • […] 10 Handy Numbers to Save in Your Mobile Phone […]

  • Thanks for the great article! It was an inspiration for one of my first articles on, a Dutch lifehacking-website. I referred to your article.

    If you want to take a look yourself, here’s the url:

  • I know this isn’t the only service, but if you dial “chacha” you can ask any question–”what’s the score on the blah blah blah game”, “what ingredients do I need to make a vegan thai curry” when you’re standing in the ethnic aisle at the grocery store, or “what is the best price for the nike pegasus sneaker in black in a women’s 9.5?” as you hold that shoe at the mall and wonder if you’re getting the best deal.

    sometimes they suck, but usually I get an answer within 3 minutes.

  • Great article! I’m a new mom and this helped me a bunch! Thanks!

  • Great handy list! I have never thought to add my health insurance number to my contact list.

  • A great Blog. Thanks.

  • I’d add a few numbers:

    - Pharmacy
    - Any health professionals you see, chiropractor, physical therapist, etc.
    - At least one neighbor (in case you are away and need someone to check on the house)
    - barber/hairdresser
    - tech support line for any critical equipment

  • give more numbers away, good ones that are useful

  • they are all very important numbers to have stored in your phone you never know whats going to happen.

  • if u have children its also a good bet to add poison control into ur contacts

    great list!

  • You have some great numbers on your list. I particularly like the free-411, locksmith and local towing company.

    A couple of other good to haves include the local and county police non-emergency numbers, for non-injury car accidents, police reports, etc.


  • An emergency number such as 111 for NZ.

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