Amex adds new cell phone protection benefit — check here to see if your card is eligible

Mar 1, 2021

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Like most types of insurance, cell phone coverage doesn’t get much thought until calamity strikes.

That could in the form of a cracked screen — thanks to the laws of gravity — or worse still, a soaked or stolen device. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, we’ve seen more credit cards that offer cell phone protection. For instance, in 2019, Mastercard added this perk on World and World Elite cards.

And now, Amex is introducing its own version of cell phone protection for eligible U.S. consumer and small business cards starting on April 1, 2021.

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Select premium Amex cards will have this new coverage — here is the full list of 12 eligible cards.

*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.

Related: Best credit cards for cell phone protection

How Amex’s cell phone coverage works

In order to qualify for coverage, you first must be a cardholder of one of the products listed above. Additionally, 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.

Amex notes that the protection includes screen damage, which is typically excluded from damage coverage. Theft and any other form of damage can be reimbursed for repair or replacement costs.

Claims and deductible

Phones can be pretty expensive these days, so exactly how much is covered?

You 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 also applies to each approved claim. Eligible cardmembers can file a claim by calling the number on the back of their card.

During March, Amex will notify cardholders of this new benefit and how to take advantage.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Combine with Amex’s limited-time wireless credits

If you have the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (as of Jan. 1, 2021), the deal is even sweeter.

That’s because earlier this year, Amex announced that small business cardholders can earn up to $220 in statement credits on U.S. wireless telephone services through the end of 2021. So besides having your device protected, you’ll also get a monthly credit for paying a wireless bill with your card.

Here’s how that statement credit breaks down with each card.

To earn the statement credits, you must first enroll through Amex Offers.

Screenshot courtesy of Amex

Related: Here’s a handy tool to track all your Amex credits 

Comparing coverage with other popular cards

Besides Mastercard World and World Elite cards (such as the Citi Prestige® Card), another popular credit card that offers cell phone protection is the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Here are how these three protections compare.

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Coverage and deductible Notable exclusions Cell phone bill earning rate
New Amex cell phone protection Up to two claims; $800 per claim, up to $1,600 per 12-month period; $50 deductible. Cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect phone’s ability to function, lost phones 1x
Citi Prestige Up to $1,000 per claim; $1,500 max per 12-month period; $50 deductible Cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect phone’s ability to function, lost phones 1x
Chase Ink Business Preferred Up to three claims;  $600 per claim; $1,800 max per 12-month period; $100 deductible Cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect phone’s ability to function, lost phones 3x

As you can see, the Amex cell phone protection coverage is very competitive when compared to these two other cards. However, the Ink Business Preferred comes out on top when it comes to its standard earning rate for phone services.

Related: How to submit a cellphone insurance claim for the Ink Business Preferred

(Photo by The Points Guy)

For cards such as the Amex Platinum, this adds to already-existing purchase protection and extended warranty benefits.

On the Amex Platinum, purchases of up to $10,000 per incident are protected against damage, loss or theft for up to 90 days. The Platinum also offers 90 days of return protection, up to $300 per item. And extended warranty protection offers one full year of coverage at $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year. 

If you now have an Amex card that offers cell phone protection, it’s likely a no-brainer to use that card to pay your phone bill. You may lose a few points by switching from a card that offers bonuses on phone bills, but this way you’ll have coverage for you and others on your plan without needing to pay your phone company for device coverage.

Featured photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images. 

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