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Best Credit Cards for Emergencies – August 2020

Best Credit Cards for Emergencies – August 2020

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jul 31, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

We all know emergencies can happen. They are usually unexpected, unavoidable and expensive. I don’t know about you, but the emergencies that have happened in my life have always come at the worst possible times. This is why it is important to build an emergency fund, but sometimes the extra cushion of cash just doesn’t cut it.

What to Look for in an Emergency Credit Card

Having a credit card on hand during an emergency can mean the difference between a truly unfortunate event and sailing smoothly through the crisis. Emergency credit cards aren’t like other forms of plastic; you’re not going to use them for everyday expenses, so you don’t need to focus on rewards and perks.

Here are some key features to keep in mind when searching for an emergency credit card:

  • Low interest: If an emergency happens, chances are that you’ll be responsible for paying off a large balance. By using a low interest credit card, or one that offers an intro 0% for 12 months or more, you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding additional charges.
  • No annual fee: You should never pay to carry your emergency credit card.
  • High credit line: Having access to a high credit limit on your emergency credit card will give you more cushion to work with in the event of an emergency. Plus, this method will also help your credit utilization ratio.
  • Additional protections and insurances: Most credit cards have additional benefits that many cardholders are unaware of. These benefits can bring extra protections and insurances that may come in handy in the event of an emergency.

Best Credit Cards for Emergencies

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: This card has a $550 annual fee (if you renew your card membership between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, the annual fee will be reduced to $450) and no intro period offers, but it does provide benefits for emergencies that may arise. You may be covered for medical services and transportation on up to $100,000 if you or a family member fall ill or are injured during a trip that requires evacuation.

Other cardholder benefits include earning 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, July 1 through Sept. 30, earn 5x points on Instacart pickup orders and deliveries, up to $3,000, as well as a $50 statement credit on Instacart Express membership. Also earn 5x points on gas purchases up to $1,500 and 10x points on participating streaming services up to $1,500 during that same time period.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: This credit card is known for having the least amount of fees attached with it. It comes with a $0 annual fee, and an intro 0% for 18 months on Purchases and intro 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. The on-going APR is 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) based on creditworthiness. The long intro rate makes the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever a great option to use for major purchases.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card: This low interest and easy to use card would be a good choice if you need to for an emergency credit card. It features a $0 annual fee and an intro 0% for 18 months on Purchases and intro 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. The on-going APR is 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable). This is a pretty basic credit card that does not come with any complicated terms and conditions or confusing fine print.

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. *

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

Discover it® Cash Back: The Discover it® Cash Back card comes with an intro 0% for 14 months for both purchases and balance transfers, followed by an on-going APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable. This credit card comes with a $0 annual fee, so it doesn’t cost you to carry. The Discover it® Cash Back also offers the following rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Maintaining Your Emergency Card

We feel it’s wise to maintain at least one credit card for emergency purchases only, which has a relatively large credit limit. Since you won’t be using your emergency credit card regularly, you want to make occasional small purchases with the credit card to keep the account open and active.

It’s also a good idea to set up a PIN in case you need quick access to cash. Don’t wait until an emergency happens to request a PIN because banks need time to create and send you your PIN.

The information related to the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.


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