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Quick Points: Link a credit card with cell phone protection to your mobile bill

Nov. 05, 2021
5 min read
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Credit cards offer all kinds of protections, ranging from travel insurance and trip delay coverage to purchase protection and warranty extensions. One of the single most useful benefits any credit card can offer, however, is cell phone protection.

Nearly everyone has a cell phone these days, and the cost of repairing or replacing one if it’s damaged, lost or stolen can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the model you carry and your plan.

That’s where carrying the right credit card can come in handy. If yours provides cell phone protection, it can help cover part or all of the cost of fixing or replacing your phone. The catch? You’ve got to pay your phone bill each month using your card, or you might not be eligible for its protection.

Here’s why you might just want to link your credit card with cell phone protection to your mobile bill so you can make sure you're covered if something happens to your phone.

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How credit card cell phone protection works

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Once a relatively rare perk, more and more credit cards now offer some type of cell phone protection.

The specifics vary from card to card, but in general, cell phone protection will cover you against theft or major damage – this means most policies exclude scratched or cracked screens that do not impact the phone’s performance.

Policies typically cover $600-$800 per claim and up to two or three claims per 12-month period, with a deductible that’s usually $50-$100 per instance.

Most importantly, however, you must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your credit card in order to be eligible for its protection. It’s not enough simply to carry a credit card with this benefit; you’ve actually got to use it to pay your bill month after month for it to remain active.

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The good news is, if you do, the perk should cover not just the primary cardholder’s phone, but also any supplemental lines listed on the same account that you also pay for. Again, this will vary from card to card, so be sure to check your individual cards’ benefits guides before deciding which one might have the best coverage for your needs.

Because you’ve got to use your credit card to pay your monthly bill, the easiest way to make sure you can call upon your credit card’s cell phone coverage is simply to link it to your mobile bill so that it is automatically charged every month. Otherwise, if you pay manually, you might forget to use an eligible card sometimes, pay with another one that doesn’t have coverage, and then if something happens to your cell phone in the following month, you’ll be out of luck.

That’s why it’s always safest to link a card with cell phone coverage to pay your monthly mobile bill automatically.

Related: How I wasted $300 using the wrong card to pay my cell phone bill

Credit cards that offer cell phone protection

Without going into an exhaustive list of the best cards that provide cell phone protection, here are five of the top options.

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Amex only added this benefit in April 2021, so you might not have even realized you’re eligible for it with this card. When you pay your wireless bill with the card (the primary cardmember’s phone number needs to be listed on the bill), you’ll be eligible for up to $800 per claim and two claims per 12-month period toward theft of damage, with a $50 deductible per approved claim. From time to time, there are also Amex Offers that can help you save on your cell phone bill. Terms apply.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: This premium card’s coverage matches that of the Amex Platinum. Terms apply.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: This small-business card offers protection against theft or damage of up to $1,000 per claim, up to three claims per 12-month period, with a $100 per-claim deductible. Plus, it earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the first $150,000 spent on combined, assorted business categories each account anniversary year, including cell phone bills.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card (see rates and fees): This card’s benefit will insure you against theft of damage up to $600 per claim and two claims per 12-month period. What’s more, the deductible is just $25 per claim, which is more affordable than the other options on this list.

Bottom line

Several other major credit cards offer cell phone protection, including many World and World Elite Mastercards, so be sure to check your individual products’ benefits guides, or call your issuers to confirm what you might be eligible for.

Considering it can cost hundreds of dollars, or more, to fix or replace a stolen or damaged phone, having this type of protection can be a real money saver. While this is probably the most important consideration to keep in mind when deciding which credit card you should use to pay your monthly cell phone bill, also keep an eye on those that offer bonus earning opportunities on these purchases.

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

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023