Credit card superheroes - making the most of your plastic in an emergency

There are many other ways an emergency credit card can serve you in times of need. The RinggitPlus.com team spoke to a few ordinary Malaysians who found that their credit cards were there to save them in time of crisis.

You are the perfect money manager. All your expenses and incomes are neatly recorded in your notebook and you have a sizeable ‘rainy day’ account to deal with life’s little disasters. And you don’t exist.

I jest.

But for the rest of us mere mortals or those primarily up for the Sod’s Law Awards, there will be definitely times when that emergency credit card will come in handy.

Not quite the Superhero: but he knows how to use his Credit Card

We spoke to four everyday Malaysians who were faced with some ‘horror stories’ and this is how their credit cards came to the rescue.

The Medical Emergency

I had just started working when my mum took a fall that resulted in a fractured hip. My savings account had less than half a month’s pay in it. While I I knew that my extended family could help out with the bills, but at that very moment, I needed to get her admitted at the hospital and that required a RM2000 deposit. Luckily, I had just applied for a credit card and was able to use it on the spot, for the deposit. I dread what could have happened had I not applied for the credit card. Having that credit allowed me to quickly get my mum the help she needed.  

Mohd Radzi, 25, Accounts Clerk

The Travelling Nightmare

It was my first trip overseas for work and as luck would have it, it was the time of the volcanic ash fiasco that stalled over 900 flights in Europe in 2010. I was stuck at Glasgow Prestwick Airport with very little money, and no ATM. It was Tuesday and the earliest they could predict resuming of flights was Wednesday. Even that wasn’t a surety. With a bad back, camping out at the airport lounges was out of the question as I had another 15 hours of interconnecting flights through Dubai to get home. Thankfully I had my credit card and the Thistle Hotel nearby welcomed me. Due to the sudden surge in occupancy, the only available room was a ridiculously expensive suite. My wife and money manager would’ve cried but I figured I would take what I could get. My flight only made its way out of Glasgow on Thursday but because I had my emergency credit card on hand, the delay turned out to be an added vacation.

Mohandas, 38, Project Executive

The Childcare Fiasco

After a seafood meal, my 11 year old started developing severe rashes. He’s never been allergic to seafood so the reaction was quite surprising. We thought it was nothing severe but within the hour he started heaving and we knew he had to be rushed to the hospital, Our savings had been sorely depleted after our recent move to a new house with renovations and all. I was worried about the impending hospital bill. Fortunately my husband kept an emergency credit card that was hidden in the dresser. It was such a comfort that I could put the money worries aside for awhile and just focus on him.  My son was treated and kept in observation for a few days before returning home. At a time when we needed it, the credit card saved my son’s life.

Chin Li, 35, Homemaker

The Car Calamity

I know nothing about cars. But I have a good mechanic who is trustworthy. This of course, was of no help because he was back home in Sungai Petani and I was in Kuala Lumpur for work. My car chose to stall on the Federal Highway one evening. At the time, I had a grand total of RM20 in my wallet and my usual array of credit cards. After calling a few friends and colleagues in KL for help, one recommended a good tow-truck and service centre that could help. The only catch was that they were expensive and before they did anything to my car, they wanted payment. Lucky for me, he accepted my ‘emergency’ credit card. I managed to pay for the tow, the service and the parts (it was a burnt radiator!) and keep the RM20 for a cab ride back to my hotel. 

Anne, 31, Marketing Executive

How often has this happened to you?

Emergency Credit Card Best Practices

There are many other ways an emergency card can serve you in times of need and when you do get your credit card, here’s some tips to remember:

·         Keep it empty: Your emergency card is just that – for emergencies. Try not to use it for anything else. Keep an everyday grocery/petrol card and have an extra emergency card for times of need.

·         Choose your card well: Keeping in mind that your emergency card isn’t going to see much daily use, pick a card with no annual fees or minimal required swipes. You don’t need a lot of benefits or rewards, so a simple no-fuss card works best. Of course, RinggitPlus is on hand to help you with this.

·         Pay as quickly as you can: Your emergency card needs to be kept available so once you’ve used it, be sure to quickly pay off the charges or you’ll be back at square one - without an emergency safety net!

When wielded well, your emergency credit card could be the saving grace you need when the chips are down, so use it wisely.

If you're looking for the right emergency credit card and are wondering which one to apply for the RinggitPlus.com has chosen the best Emergency Credit Cards in Malaysia. Check out our list and see which Emergency Credit Card best meets your needs - then apply online.

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