“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 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.
Also, check out these best selling books for more handy lifehacks:
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…
Eric Svenningson says
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.
Shirl T. says
These numbers are good….but can only be used in the U.S.
What about the number to a good booty call?
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!
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.
Hayden James says
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 Mortgage Co
o Civic Theater
o Car Repair
o Work Employee Service Center
o Metro Bus
911 SPECIALIST says
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.
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.
maybe your girlfriends name and number as well 😛
Did these guys jack your article? http://www.abc2news.com/content/websweeps/story.aspx?content_id=fc26a237-b6fa-402f-aca1-eeb77ca908cc
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.
Thanks for the great article! It was an inspiration for one of my first articles on unbit.nl, 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:
– 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)
– 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
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.