Zombies have haunted our nightmares for centuries. But now, we're embracing zombies in everyday culture. Shows like "The Walking Dead" and books such as "World War Z" have driven popular culture into zombie overdrive. Athletes bored with timed competition can even enter "zombie runs" where you either beat your personal best or get turned into lunch.
Meanwhile, news reports indicate that we're closer than ever to a real-life attack from the undead. The zombie-like effects of synthetic recreational drugs have put law enforcement officials on alert. A prominent counter-terrorist training summit even included a zombie disaster crisis scenario on its agenda of military role-playing exercises.
As the military starts treating zombie uprisings as a tangible threat, a few of us on the CardRatings.com team wondered: just what would be the right credit card to carry with you in the event of a full-on zombie outbreak?
Here are our recommendations for the best credit cards to survive a zombie apocalypse:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
You'll want to get out of town quickly, so we recommend getting help from the travel team working in a secure, underground lair for Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders. Pay for your airfare and hotels with Ultimate Rewards points, and you'll enjoy an automatic 20 percent discount on your travel costs. Should the authorities evacuate you outside the United States, you'll appreciate that this card charges no foreign transaction fees.
The Platinum Card from American Express
You'll get many of the same benefits from The Platinum Card from American Express as you will from a Chase Sapphire Preferred account. However, your higher annual fee comes with one important perk: enroll in Priority Pass™ Select and have access to over 600 participating airport lounges around the world. Airport lounges can protect you better than shopping malls or high-rise buildings. Plus, everyone knows that zombies struggle to make it past TSA screening checkpoints.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Humorist and noted zombie survival expert Max Brooks recommends a serious shopping list for getting through the first wave of the attack. Invest in a water pump, some high quality boots and a short haircut, Brooks suggests, so you've got nothing to slow you down and nothing zombies can grab. And because "blades don't need reloading," Brooks advises readers to pick up a strong sword instead of a shotgun. You can finance your attack readiness plan with Citi's low introductory rate offer: up to 18 months with no interest on purchases and balance transfers (when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening).
Yes, we know "The Ring" is about a completely different kind of terror. However, this Ring gives you a low APR on balance transfers that can come in handy if you need to stretch the payments out for the replacement windows and the strong fence you'll buy when you finally make your way back home. Barclaycard's social approach to issuing credit cards enables Ring members to vote on charitable projects and to post on private message boards: a community you may want to count on for company if you're holed up at home, surrounded by a horde.
PenFed Promise Visa Card
It's a pretty safe bet to stick by the military during a global pandemic. Pentagon Federal Credit Union has been catering to military families with low interest rate cards with no fees. You don't even have to be in the Armed Forces to qualify for membership to the credit union. Anyone can establish membership status by joining the National Military Family Association or Voices for America's Troops with a low one-time fee. You'd better support our troops if they're fending off wave after wave of the undead at the city limits.
Escape by Discover Card
Editor's note: This offer has expired and is no longer available. We couldn't make a list of the best zombie survival credit cards without including a card that actually says "Escape" in giant letters, right on the front. Discover's customer service team wins awards every year, because they're just the kind of people who would still show up for work in the midst of a zombie attack.
One final note of caution. If you're bitten by a zombie, don't go running up your credit card bill before you lose consciousness. We've written plenty of articles about zombie debt collectors. We'd rather not start writing about zombie-hunting debt collectors.