Other credit card benefits such as extended warranty protection and purchase protection can cover you when you buy a new cell phone with select credit cards for a set period of time. Here, we’re focusing on the ongoing protection provided by select credit cards when you pay your cell phone bill with the card. While this benefit isn’t revolutionary as some cards have had it for a while, 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.
- 10X Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- 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.
Why we chose it
The Amex Platinum 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.
- 3X Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
- 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Why we chose it
If you’re a high-budget business owner and fly Delta often, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card is an elite airline card with a sleuth of benefits. While the card does come with a high annual fee, the impressive benefits including exclusive Delta SkyClub and Amex Centurion lounge access, airport, free checked bags, priority boarding and a fast track to Delta’s elite Medallion flying status by spending a considerable amount on the 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
Why we chose it
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 protections, shopping protections and will also have primary coverage when renting a car for business purposes for you and your employees.
- 25X Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.
- 2X Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
- 1X Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Why we chose it
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is hotel chain’s top-tier cobranded card. The card delivers strong earning rates on IHG purchases, a free anniversary award night and generous sign-up bonus.
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|Card||Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus||Earning Rate||Annual Fee|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||100,000 points||
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card||80,000 miles||
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||100,000 points||
|IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||150,000 points||
||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $89|
On April 1, 2021, American Express added cell phone 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 cell phone 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.
Related reading: Amex adds new cell phone protection benefit
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*
*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.
We’re calling it out on its own as one of the top card options for cell phone protections because it is also one of the co-branded travel cards that Amex tapped for monthly statement credits toward cell charges in 2021.
This means if you start paying your monthly cell phone bill with this card from April – December 2021, you’d rack up $20 in credits each month ($180 for those nine months) and your phone would be protected for up to $800 in damage per claim. You do need to add the relevant Amex Offer to your card in order to earn the monthly credits.
As an added bonus, you’d also potentially be charging your way towards earning bonus Delta elite qualifying miles.
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 $600 per claim and $1,800 per 12-month period. The protection covers damage and theft.
Per Chase, it does not cover:
- Cellular wireless telephone accessories other than standard battery and/or standard antenna provided by the manufacturer.
- Cellular wireless telephone purchased for resale.
- Cellular wireless telephones that are lost or “mysteriously disappear.” “Mysterious disappearance” means the vanishing of an item in an unexplained manner where there is absence of evidence of a wrongful act by a person or persons.
- Cellular wireless telephone under the care and control of a common carrier (including, but not limited to, U.S. Postal Service, airplanes, or delivery service).
- Cellular wireless telephone stolen from baggage, unless hand-carried and under your personal supervision, or under the supervision of your traveling companion who is previously known to you.
- Cellular wireless telephone which has been rented, leased, borrowed, or cellular wireless telephones that are received as part of a pre-paid wireless service plan or “pay as you go” type service plans.
- Cosmetic damage to the cellular wireless telephone or damage that does not impact the cellular wireless telephone’s capabilities and functionalities of the phone.
- Damage or theft resulting from abuse, intentional acts, fraud, hostilities of any kind (including, but not limited to, war, invasion, rebellion, or insurrection), confiscation by the authorities, risks of contraband, illegal activities, normal wear and tear, flood, earthquake, radioactive contamination or damage from inherent product defects.
- Damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting with the cellular wireless telephone.
- Replacement cellular wireless telephone not purchased from a cellular service provider’s retail or Internet store (for example: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Wireless, etc.), or from an authorized cellular phone retailer.
- 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.
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.
As a World Elite Mastercard, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a cell phone protection benefit 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.
Unlike the protection offered by the Citi Prestige and similar to the Ink Business Preferred, the Mastercard protection does cover stolen or damaged mobile phones as well as cosmetic screen scratches, even if they don’t affect the ability to make or take a call, as long as the crack or fracture is more than two inches in length. However, the return you’ll get for paying your bills with the IHG Premier is not as good as the other cards, since IHG points are only worth .5 cents each, compared to 1.7 cents and 2 cents, respectively.
Here’s a list of other World Elite Mastercards, but it’s currently not clear whether all come with cell phone insurance. Although Mastercard initially announced that cell phone insurance would be added to all World and World Elite cards, reports suggest that some cards, such as the Citi Premier® Card, may be excluded. Mastercard has not responded to TPG’s requests for further information
- 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 Citi Prestige card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum, 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.
Uber Visa Card
While not network-wide like Mastercard, a handful of Visa Signature cards offer cell phone protection when you use your card to pay your monthly bill, with coverage amounts ranging from $100 to $600. One of these cards is the Uber Visa Card.
This card has no annual fee and provides up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you charge your total monthly wireless telephone bill to your card. Theft, damage and involuntary and accidental parting of your cell phone are covered. Coverage is secondary, though, so you’ll need to file with any other applicable insurers first.
You’re covered up to $600 per claim after a $25 deductible, but coverage is only up to the suggested retail value of a replacement cell phone. You can only have two claims per 12-month period and these claims can total no more than $1,200. See your guide to benefits for complete details.
Note, the card isn’t accepting new applicants at the moment.
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 Wells Fargo Propel card is no longer available for new applicants. The information for this 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 cell phone protection, it’s a no-brainer to use that card to pay your cell phone 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 cell phone 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.
The other cards described in this article don’t feature bonus earning when you pay your cell phone bill, but there is a $20 credit available with the Delta Reserve each month in 2021. If you don’t currently have a credit card that offers cell phone coverage, you should evaluate whether the potential money saved by picking up a card that offers this protection and using it to pay your cell phone bill is worth foregoing any points you are currently earning by paying your cell phone bill with another credit card. After all, some of these cards don’t charge an annual fee and also offer solid bonus earnings in other categories.
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.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Delta Reserve Business card, click here.
Featured image by praetorianphoto via Getty Images.