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Credit card ancillary benefits are far too often overlooked and forgotten. Trip delay protection, delayed/lost baggage reimbursement, concierge services, rental car collision damage waivers and lounge access are typically on people’s minds when they discuss the benefits of credit cards in their wallet.

Today, I’m digging in to another little-known benefit — automatic cell phone protection — a perk that can prevent you from having to buy a new $600+ smartphone in case clumsiness, bad luck or mechanical malfunction proves Murphy’s Law correct.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

On top of offering 3 points per dollar when you use the card to pay your bill, the Ink Business Preferred from Chase protects your phone and any eligible phones listed on the same bill with 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. As 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 in order to avoid claim denial. You can go to page 48 of your Chase Ink Business Preferred benefits guide to read all the fine print for the protection.

Image by praetorianphoto via Getty Images.
Image by praetorianphoto via Getty Images.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

The recently relaunched Wells Fargo Propel Amex includes cell phone protection — just pay your monthly cell bill with the card and get up to $600 in protection against covered damage or theft (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. Not too shabby, especially considering this card has no annual fee.

This coverage is also supplementary to any other insurance you may have for your phone. Make sure you read all of the fine print of the policy in order to ensure your claim is eligible for approval.

The following other Wells Fargo Credit Cards also offer cell phone protection:

  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • Wells Fargo Rewards Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Home Rebate Visa Card

Is It Worth it?

If you have the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, I believe it’s a no brainer to use this card to pay your cell phone bill and have coverage for you and others on your plan. It avoids you having to pay the $9 per month per line I am currently paying with Verizon to cover my iPhone 6S — and that plan has a $199 deductible.

I pay my phone bill with the Chase Ink Plus card (not available to new customers), earning me 5 points per dollar instead of 3 with the Ink Preferred, which I don’t have. On a $200 family cell phone bill, that earns me an extra 4,800 Ultimate Rewards per year, which TPG values at $100.80. Because the Chase cell phone protection deductible is $100, it doesn’t make sense for me to forego my Chase Ink Plus and the 5x categories for the Chase Ink Preferred with 3x categories in order to be eligible for this coverage.

I also have the Citi AT&T Access More Credit Card (also not available to new customers), which offers a $650 statement credit for purchasing a new phone with AT&T (which can be unlocked). I am currently using this card as my own cell phone insurance of sorts. You should evaluate whether the money saved by picking up the Wells Fargo Propel Amex or the Chase Ink Business Preferred is worth foregoing the points you are currently earning on your cell phone bill paid with another credit card.

Bottom Line

Knowing you have coverage, with potentially only a $25 deductible, could really pay big dividends in case your expensive smartphone is damaged or stolen. Remember both of these policies are supplemental, so make sure they are the only coverage you have if you decide to go with one.

Featured image by praetorianphoto via Getty Images.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

One of the most unique benefits of this 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
  • 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 14.74%-27.24% 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
14.74%-27.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
3% for 120 days, then 5%
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

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