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I use the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase to pay my cell phone bill, as it covers up to $600 for repairs or replacement after a $100 deductible. Damaged or stolen phones are covered, but lost phones are not. For stolen phones, a police report must be filed within 48 of the incident. A detailed explanation of coverage can be found on page 48 of the benefits guide.
On my recent tour of the Pacific islands, my iPhone XS was no match for the mighty Pacific. (Side note: I witnessed several people at the Apple Store with water-damaged iPhone XS phones—don’t trust the company’s water-resistant claims). Water damage also is not covered by the iPhone warranty, so I was looking at a $549 fee for an out-of-warranty full phone replacement. Luckily, my Chase Ink Business Preferred had me covered, and I was able to submit this expense for reimbursement, minus the $100 deductible.
To be eligible for cell phone protection, you only need to have paid the bill preceding the incident with your Ink Business Preferred Card. You don’t need to have purchased the cell phone or paid for the repair with the card.
I’ll take you through the step-by-step process of submitting an insurance claim for the Ink Business Preferred in case you find yourself in the unenviable position of needing it. You can submit a claim over the phone, but it’s much easier to do online.
Before you start, be sure to have the following information available, including the documents in digital form ready to upload.
- Ink Business Preferred credit card number
- Cell phone purchase date
- Bill pay date (prior to incident)
- Cell phone make, model and serial number
- Claim amount
- Description of incident
- Document: credit card statement prior to incident
- Document: cell phone statement prior to incident
- Document: police report (if phone was stolen)
- Document: device summary that shows serial/IMEI number and link to wireless account
- Document: diagnosis and service summary (if applicable)
- Document: receipt for repair/replacement
Your first step is going to cardbenefitservices.com. If you don’t already have an account, you will need to create one.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be taken to the Claims Center, from which you can submit or manage claims and products.
Select “File a claim” where you’ll be taken through five straightforward steps to submit the claim.
You’ll likely get an error in Step 2 for having not yet registered your device, but you can do so within the step.
The reimbursement method gives you the choice of a mailed check or a payment to your debit card. For the latter, a card benefits representative will call you for your debit card information.
Four documents are required (five if phone was stolen), but I added three more on my own to expedite the processing.
This is what I submitted for each document:
- Cellular Wireless Telephone account (required) — Full PDF of most recent cell phone bill
- Service provider billing statement (required) — Full PDF of most recent phone bill
- Device Summary Page (required) — Photo of receipt from AT&T store of my cell phone purchase which listed device IMEI number
- Credit Card Statement (required) — Full PDF of most recent credit card statement
- Apple Service Confirmation (my add) — Diagnostic report from Apple Genius bar confirming phone damage
- Apple Service Receipt (my add) — Shows the amount I paid for the repair
- Credit Card Line Item for Cell Phone Payment (my add) — The most recent cell phone bill was paid after my most recent credit card statement, so I included this.
Rather than wait for a benefits administrator to approve the claim and ask for diagnostic information and a replacement receipt, I added those initially. I don’t know if the credit card line item would be needed, but I wanted to eliminate any back and forth and give them everything they could possibly need to approve the claim.
When I the finished the steps and returned to the Claims Center, I could select “Manage claims” and see that my claim was under review.
The next day, I received notice the claim had moved to adjudication, and the following day I was told a check was in the mail. Five business days later, a letter arrived, addressed to “Captain Brian Biros.” I have absolutely no idea how I got the title “Captain,” but I’m keeping it.
Inside was a check for $449, which equaled the pretax cost of the phone replacement minus the $100 deductible.
In all, it took seven business days from when I filed my claim until I received my check. Presumably, it would have been even faster if I had chosen payment directly to my debit card. This was much easier than when I submitted a T-Mobile phone protection claim through Assurant a few years ago. I paid $8 a month for that service and a $175 deductible for a stolen phone, and the replacement did not arrive in the timetable promised.
On another occasion, an AT&T representative, who had grown tired of hearing complaints from customers about their cell phone insurance claims, candidly suggested I not use their service. One notable difference, however, is that insurance through a provider often covers lost phones, but insurance through credit cards does not. Regardless, I’d highly recommend ditching handset protection fees by a cell phone provider and paying your monthly bill with a credit card that offers handset protection like the Ink Business Preferred.
Know before you go.
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