Cell phones have become more expensive, both to buy and replace. Luckily, many credit cards today will cover phone loss or damage.
In this article, we highlight credit cards that offer ongoing phone protection when you pay your cell phone bill with the card. While this benefit isn’t as revolutionary as others, it’s now being offered on more cards than ever before.
In 2019, Mastercard added cell phone insurance to most World and World Elite cards. Then, in early 2021, American Express added it to several of its premium cards. The benefit is also offered on some Visa cards, but not network-wide. See cards below from our partners.
- 5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
- 5% 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
- 3% 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
- 1% Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
The Chase Freedom Flex delivers a formidable 5% cash back on select bonus categories that change each quarter. You’ll also earn 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This card is an excellent addition to your wallet as it provides ongoing rewards, a welcoming sign-up bonus and no annual fee. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex.
- 10X Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- 5X 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
- 2X 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
If you can maximize the up to $300 statement credit toward Capital One Travel, the Venture X’s annual fee effectively comes down to $95, the same annual fee pegged to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Add in a 10,000-mile bonus every account anniversary (worth $185, according to TPG valuations), lounge access, and shopping protections and this card may become the strongest option out there for a lot of travelers. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
- 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
The American Express Platinum Card is unmatched when it comes to travel perks and benefits. If lounge access, hotel elite status and annual statement credits are important to you, this card is well worth the high annual fee. Phone protection is just one of the Platinum’s many benefits. Read our full review of the American Express Platinum Card.
- 3X Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- 1X Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases – with no limit to the amount you can earn
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is among the highest we’ve seen from Chase. Plus, earn points across the four bonus categories (travel, shipping, advertising and telecommunication providers) that are most popular with businesses. The card comes with travel and shopping protections, including cellphone coverage. Read our full review of the Ink Business Preferred Card.
- 2% Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
The Wells Fargo Active Cash card delivers simplicity to cardholders who want to pay for their purchases without worrying if you’re maximizing every last dollar. With a 2% cash rewards rate, you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re earning bonus points whether you’re online shopping or paying your hairdresser. Plus, enjoy other benefits like cell phone protection and access to the Visa Signature Concierge luxury hotels.
There’s no annual fee, and you’ll enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months from account opening, with the potential of an extension of up to three months, given that you make on-time minimum payments in the introductory period. After the introductory period, you’ll face a variable APR of 17.49% to 29.49%, depending on your creditworthiness.
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|Card||Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus||Earning Rate||Annual Fee|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||100,000 points||
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||75,000 miles||
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 80,000 points||
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||$200||
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Venture X card comes with a number of attractive benefits, from an up to a $300 annual travel credit for bookings made through the Capital One portal, Capital One lounge and Priority Pass lounge access for you and up to two guests and more.
What may really sell you on this card is its ample cellphone protection, covering theft or damage. By paying your monthly bill with your Venture X, you’ll not only earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, but cardholders are eligible for up to two approved claims each calendar year, for a maximum of $800 per claim and $1,600 per 12-month period. There’s a $50 deductible that applies.
Official application link: Capital One Venture X
The Platinum Card® from American Express
On April 1, 2021, American Express added cellphone protection to a number of its premium consumer and small business cards, including The Platinum Card. What makes Amex’s protection stand out is that it includes screen damage, which is typically excluded from damage coverage. It also covers theft and any other form of damage.
To be eligible, a cardmember’s cellphone line needs to be listed on the wireless bill and the prior month’s bill must be paid on the eligible Amex card account. Cardholders are eligible for up to two approved claims, for a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12-month period. A $50 deductible applies to each approved claim.*
Here’s the full list of Amex cards that will be eligible for cell phone protection:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Centurion® Card from American Express
- Business Centurion Card®**
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Charles Schwab**
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Morgan Stanley**
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Goldman Sachs**
- The Centurion® Card Exclusively for Goldman Sachs**
*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
**The information for these cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Official application link: American Express Platinum
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
On top of offering 3 points per dollar when you use the card to pay your monthly bill, the Ink Business Preferred from Chase gives your phone and any eligible phones listed on the same bill supplemental protection. That means damage may be covered, assuming the phone is not listed on any insurance policy from the provider or on your personal home/valuable property insurance.
This protection is subject to a $100 deductible per claim and a maximum of three claims per 12-month period. The maximum benefit limit is $1,000, for up to $3,000 annually per claim. The protection covers damage and theft. Per Chase, there are exceptions to this protection, including but not limited to:
- Cellular wireless telephone accessories other than standard battery and/or standard antenna provided by the manufacturer.
- Cellular wireless telephone purchased for resale.
- Cellular wireless telephone under the care and control of a common carrier.
- Cellular wireless telephone that has been rented, leased and borrowed.
- Cosmetic damage to the cellular wireless telephone.
- Taxes, delivery and transportation charges, and any fees associated with the cellular service provider.
You must file a claim within 60 days of the incident and provide all required documentation for the claim within 90 days of the incident. You can go to page 48 of your Chase Ink Business Preferred benefits guide to read all the fine print.
Official application link: Ink Business Preferred
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
The Wells Fargo Active Cash is one of the few cards on the market with no annual fee and offers cell phone protection against damage and theft. Just pay your monthly cell phone bill with this card and receive up to $600 in protection (with a $25 deductible). Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash rewards on purchases, making this one of the most lucrative cash rewards cards on the market.
Certain World Elite Mastercards
If you happen to carry a World Elite Mastercard in your wallet, you may be eligible for cell phone protection that covers damage or theft up to $800 (with a $50 deductible), and up to $1,000 per 12-month period. This benefit protects your primary cell phone line and the first two secondary, additional or supplemental lines when you pay your cell phone bill every month with a World Elite Mastercard.
Here’s a list of World Elite Mastercards, but it’s currently not clear whether all come with cell phone insurance.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
- Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (no longer open for applications)
- JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard
- Lufthansa Miles & More World Elite Mastercard
- Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
The information for the Barclays Arrival Plus, JetBlue Plus, Lufthansa Miles, and Hawaiian Airline cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Citi Prestige® Card
This premium card offers a cell phone protection benefit above the usual Mastercard World Elite coverage maximum. The benefit is for up to five phones when you pay their monthly bill with the card. You’ll get up to $1,000 per claim and up to $1,500 per 12-month period, with a $50 deductible.
This coverage doesn’t apply to phones that are lost or mysteriously disappear (though theft is covered), and you won’t be covered if your cell phone’s damage is merely cosmetic, “including minor screen cracks and fractures less than 2 inches in length that do not prevent the ability to make or receive phone calls or to use other features related to making or receiving phone calls.” Log in to your Citi account to read all the fine print about this coverage policy.
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Another Visa card to offer cell phone protection is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card. The benefit covers damage or theft up to $600, with a $25 deductible, for up to two claims ($1,200) per 12-month period. It protects your primary cell phone line and any secondary, additional or supplemental lines when you pay your cell phone bill every month with your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card. The secondary coverage provided by this card is similar to the coverage provided by the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and the Uber Visa Card, but check your guide to benefits for full details.
The information for the Wells Fargo Propel Card and Uber Visa Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Is cell phone protection worth it?
If you have a credit card that offers cellphone protection, it’s a no-brainer to use that card to pay your cellphone bill. These days, phones can cost more than $1,000, so being totally on the hook for an unexpected replacement can be very painful.
By leaning into some built-in card protections, you’ll have coverage for you and others on your plan without needing to pay your phone company for device coverage. The Ink Business Preferred has a $100 deductible, but you’ll earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on cellphone bills. So if your family has a $200 cell phone bill each month, you’ll earn 7,200 Ultimate Rewards per year, which TPG values at $144.
Knowing you have your phone protected could really pay big dividends if your expensive smartphone is damaged or stolen. Just make sure to set your monthly cell phone bill payment up to one of the cards that offer this coverage as it doesn’t kick in if you don’t use that card to pay your monthly bill.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Christina Ly.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured image by praetorianphoto via Getty Images.