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While many travel rewards cards offer barely distinguishable benefits, some stand out for offering unique perks. TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Richard Kerr takes a look at one such benefit: cell phone protection through select Wells Fargo cards.

Lately, Wells Fargo has been making a bit of noise in the rewards-earning space with new card offerings and a valuable Go Far Rewards Program. As the bank’s appealing more to award travelers now, it’s worth drawing attention to one especially interesting benefit offered by several Wells Fargo cards: free cell phone protection when you pay your bill with an eligible card.

All you have to do is pay your cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo credit card, and you receive the coverage on up to four phones on a single cell phone plan. If a cellphone is stolen or damaged, you can request the original purchase price of your phone up to a maximum benefit of $600 per claim (subject to a $25 deductible). The protection policy does not cover lost phones, and there’s a maximum of two claims (up to $1,200) per 12-month period.

The following Wells Fargo Credit Cards offer the cell phone protection benefit:

  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Rewards Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card
  • Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Home Rebate Visa Card

As with many credit card benefits, there are plenty of exclusions. Some examples include if your phone was purchased as a resale, if your phone was lost during the delivery process and if your phone wasn’t purchased from the provider’s store. See the full list here (PDF link).

You can keep your cell phone safe with a Wells Fargo credit card, but you
You can keep your phone safe with a Wells Fargo credit card, but it comes at the cost of maximizing rewards. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

In order to file a claim, you have to submit your Wells Fargo credit card statement showing the wireless bill you paid including the time frame your phone was damaged or stolen, the original receipt for the purchase of your phone, a copy of your current wireless provider’s statement, a document from your wireless provider proving the phone you are claiming is tied to your wireless account and any other documentation at the benefit administrator’s sole discretion.

Is It Worth It?

The restrictive nature of the policy’s fine print and the apparent difficulty involved in filing a claim do not make this an attractive benefit. The coverage is also specifically detailed as being supplemental to any insurance you have through renter, home owner or cellular phone provider policies. On top of insurance (or as an alternative), you could extend the manufacturer’s warranty of a phone and receive up to 120 days of purchase protection by using the right credit card to purchase your smartphone.

Plus, since you have to pay your phone bill with an eligible Wells Fargo card, you’ll miss out on earning 5x Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Ink Plus Business Card. Since TPG values UR points at 2.1 cents apiece, this card gives you a 10.5% return on cell phone purchases (on up to $50,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year) — while the maximum return from Wells Fargo will be 1.5 cents per point toward air travel if you have a Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card.

Bottom Line

While it’s definitely worth you carrying insurance on today’s expensive smartphones — and we give Wells Fargo points for offering an unusual perk — this protection policy probably shouldn’t be a deciding factor when you’re considering signing up for an eligible Wells Fargo credit card.

How do you pay for cell phone insurance?

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

One of the most unique benefits of this new card is that you can get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel Amex. This card is also a great option for gas purchases since you'll earn 3X points and the 30,000 point sign up bonus is worth $300 cash back.

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More Things to Know
  • New! Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 14.49%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Intro APR on Purchases
0% for 12 months
Regular APR
14.49%-26.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
3% Intro for 12 months, then 5%
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.