The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Sunday, July 25, 2021

Credit Cards With Cell Phone Protection in 2021

Credit Cards With Cell Phone Protection

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: July 13, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

In our texting-addicted age, owning one of the credit cards with cell phone protection makes good sense. If your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged, there is the immediate panic of being out of touch with your family, friends, Twitter, and the rest of the world, not to mention the possible exposure of personal and account data.

To add insult to injury, there is the cost of repairing or replacing your phone, a cost that can be considerable.

By purchasing your phone or paying your monthly bill with a credit card that has cellphone insurance, you can reduce or eliminate the expense of fixing your phone or getting a new one. Make sure you read the fine print — each credit card issuer sets the rules regarding phone coverage.

The Best Cards With Cell Phone Protection

The following cards (some without an annual fee) are good choices to start with, and they’re made only better by including a cell phone protection benefit. The details of the various plans are similar but not identical, so you’ll benefit from reading the fine print accompanying each card offer.

For example, check whether the issuer will reimburse you with cash or with a statement credit.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • 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 Active Cash℠ Card
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR 15 months from account opening
0% intro APR 15 months from account opening
14.99%-24.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

The newly announced Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card offers cellular wireless telephone protection covering theft of, damage to, or involuntary and accidental parting (i.e., unintended separation from your cell phone when its location is known, but recovery is impractical to complete) of your cell phone. This Wells Fargo card provides secondary coverage that kicks in only after exhausting coverage from another insurance policy.

To be eligible, you must pay your cell phone’s monthly bill with this Wells Fargo card. The plan provides coverage of up to $600 per claim, minus a $25 deductible, with no more than two claims per 12-month period. The amount you receive for a repairable device is the lesser of the cost to perform the repair or to replace the phone, subject to plan limits.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ provides reimbursement for the actual cost to repair or replace a damaged or stolen eligible cell phone. You must pay the monthly bill for your cell phone with your card to qualify for coverage. The plan does not cover phones that are abused or mysteriously disappear (i.e., vanish in an unexplained manner with no evidence of a wrongful act by a person or persons).

The maximum coverage per claim is $600 with a $50 deductible. The coverage is limited to $1,000 per 12-month period and no more than two claims every 12 months. Coverage, provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company, is supplemental to that provided by your applicable insurance or indemnity.

Wells Fargo Platinum card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 16.49% to 24.49% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 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 Platinum card
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Monitor your spending, purchases and any suspicious activity with text and email alerts and notifications
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening
0% intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
16.49%-24.49% (Variable)
$0
Good/Excellent

The Wells Fargo Platinum card offers the same cell phone protection as that from the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card. If someone steals your cell phone, you must file a police report to receive reimbursement. Items not covered include mysteriously disappearing units, abused units, phones for professional/commercial use, phone accessories, and cell phones controlled by a common carrier (such as the U.S. Postal Service).

You have 60 days to file a claim by calling 1-866-504-4770 and then completing a claim form within 90 days from the date of theft or damage. You’ll have to submit additional documentation, including copies of your cell phone billing statement, credit card statement, and proof of phone ownership. You may also have to submit an itemized repair bill, the damaged Android or iPhone unit, and/or an itemized store receipt for the replacement cell phone.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card covers cell phone theft and damage for you and your employees who are listed on your monthly cell phone bill. This business credit card gives you up to $600 coverage per claim, minus a $100 deductible, with a maximum of three claims per 12-month period. You must pay your wireless bill with the card, which then rewards you with points.

Coverage extends to an involuntary and accidental parting of your cell phone, theft (a police report is required), and accidental damage. You may receive additional, albeit limited, cell phone protection from the card’s eligible purchases protection and extended warranty. With the coverage from this business credit card, your company will be spared the expense of paying for third-party cellphone insurance.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 10X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases on your new 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
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
  • $200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion Lounge
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$695
Excellent

The Platinum Card® from American Express delivers cellular wireless phone protection for your primary and additional phones when you pay your monthly wireless bill using the card. Coverage from this Amex card applies to the repair or replacement of stolen or damaged phones. The maximum benefit is $800 per claim (minus a $25 deductible) for up to two claims per 12-month period.

This is supplemental coverage, meaning it covers only what other insurance policies don’t, subject to various limits and exclusions. You can open a claim by calling 1-833-784-1467 within 90 days of the loss and filing proof of loss within 120 days of loss. Documentation requirements include copies of your Amex card statement, cell phone billing statement, purchase receipt, other insurance claims, and repair estimates and photos or a copy of a police report filed within 48 hours of the theft.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • For a limited time, get a special 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles, then a variable APR applies
  • Enjoy Cell Phone Protection Coverage when you pay your monthly cellular bill with your U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
  • View your credit score anytime, anywhere in the mobile app or online banking. It's easy to enroll, easy to use, and free to U.S. Bank customers.
  • Fraud Protections detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud
  • Choose your payment due date
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 20 billing cycles
0% for 20 billing cycles
14.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Excellent Credit

The eligible cellular wireless telephone protection feature provided by the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card covers you against damage to, theft of, or involuntary and accidental parting of your primary and secondary cell phones. The maximum cellphone protection benefit is $600 per claim for up to two claims within a 12-month period, with a $25 per-claim deductible. Your coverage is supplemental and kicks in only after other applicable insurance.

The coverage doesn’t apply to units that are lost or experience electronic failure or issues. You get coverage automatically when you use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bills. To receive reimbursement, you must notify U.S. Bank (at 1-866-894-8569) within 60 days and submit your completed claim form and supporting documentation within 90 days of the theft or damage.

7. Citi Prestige® Card

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

If you use the Citi Prestige® Card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you’ll be covered for the cost of repairing or replacing a stolen or damaged cell phone. Benefit limits are $1,000 per claim with a $50 deductible and $1,500 within a 12-month period, applicable only after coverage from your other insurance and indemnity policies.

The usual exclusions apply, including phones stolen from a construction site, phones that have been borrowed, and phones stolen from baggage when traveling. To commence a claim, call 1-833-763-6324 or visit the claim website within 90 days of loss. You must submit the required documentation within 120 days of the theft or loss.

Deserve EDU Mastercard Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.2

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases + Amazon Prime Student on us for 1 year
  • Cellphone protection up to $600
  • Prequalify in just seconds with no impact to your credit score
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No Social Security number required for international students to apply
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.74% (variable)
$0
None/Limited

The Deserve EDU Mastercard covers damage and theft to one primary and two secondary cell phones when you pay your cellular bill using the card. Coverage limits are $600 per loss (minus a deductible of $50) and up to $1,000 per 12-month period. This is excess coverage that activates only after you are reimbursed by other applicable insurance or indemnity policies.

To file a claim, call 1-800-Mastercard to request a claim form and submit it within 90 days of the loss. You have 120 days from the loss to submit the required documentation. Damage claims must be accompanied by a repair estimate and photographs of the damage, whereas theft claims require a copy of a police report filed within 48 hours of the theft.

nRewards® Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.1

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • Earn 1X points per dollar spent
  • The Navy Federal nRewards Secured credit card lets you earn rewards while building your credit
  • No annual fees, no balance transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no cash advance fees
  • Deposit at least $200 into your membership savings account (before submitting your application) to back your spending. Once approved, we’ll hold your deposit in your account as your card’s credit limit.
  • After just 3 months, you could be eligible for an upgrade. If you qualify, we’ll provide you with additional credit to allow for spending beyond your deposit. Then, at 6 months, we’ll review your account monthly to see if you’re eligible to have your hold removed and be upgraded to a cashRewards unsecured card.
  • Must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to qualify
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.00%
$0
None/Poor

The nRewards® Secured Credit Card from the Navy Federal Credit Union comes with supplemental eligible cellular wireless telephone protection against damage to, theft of, or involuntary and accidental parting of your cell phone. You receive benefits only after payment from other applicable insurance, such as homeowner or renter policies.

The cellphone protection benefit is $250 per claim with a $50 deductible, and you are allowed up to two claims every 12 months. Your coverage begins the first day of the calendar month following payment of your cellular wireless phone bill using the credit card. Various items are not covered, including cell phone accessories, phones purchased for professional or commercial use, and phones that mysteriously disappear without evidence of a wrongful act.

What Is Cell Phone Protection?

Cell phones have become indispensable to modern life, and their loss or theft can be extremely disruptive. The cell phone protection benefit won’t prevent damage or theft to a unit, but it will reimburse you for your loss, subject to certain limits and conditions.

Not all credit cards (and no debit card offerings) provide cell phone protection, and not all protection plans are equal. What they do have in common is that you must pay your cell phone bill using your card.

Credit Card and a Cell Phone
Cell phone protection (or coverage/insurance) is a perk offered to cardholders who use their card to pay their monthly cell phone bill with an eligible card.

If this sort of protection is important to you, make sure you read the card’s full disclosures to see how much money the plan will cover, what exclusions apply, and the timelines for filing a claim.

How Does Credit Card Cell Phone Protection Work?

For credit cards that offer it, cell phone protection covers theft of and damage to your cell phone(s), up to set limits per loss and per year. Deductibles usually apply, ranging from $25 to $100 per loss.

In virtually all plans, the coverage is secondary, meaning it only pays benefits after you’ve exhausted your claims from other applicable insurance and indemnity policies. Loss limits range from $250 to $1,000 per incident and $500 to $1,500 in a 12-month period.

Coverage begins when you pay your cellular bill with your credit card and lapses if you pay in some other manner.

One thing these protection plans don’t cover is mysterious disappearances. These are phones lost without evidence of theft.

But the exclusions don’t end there and may include telephones:

  • Purchased as replacements from other than a cellular service provider’s retail or internet store.
  • Purchased for resale or professional or commercial use.
  • Stolen from a construction site.
  • Stolen from baggage unless hand-carried and under supervision.
  • Suffering damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting.
  • Taxes, delivery or transportation charges, or any fees associated with the service provided.
  • Not received as a part of a recurring monthly plan from a cellular provider.
  • Under the care and control of a common carrier.
  • With cosmetic damage.
  • With damage or theft resulting from abuse, intentional acts, fraud, hostilities of any kind, confiscation by the authorities, risks of contraband, illegal activities, normal wear and tear, flood, earthquake, radioactive contamination, or damage from inherent product defects or vermin.

You must file and document a claim according to the card issuer’s timelines. Typically, you have 90 days to file a claim and 120 days to submit documentation, both dating from the day the phone was damaged or lost.

Which Credit Card Has the Best Cell Phone Protection?

Within our reviewed collection, the award for best coverage goes to The Platinum Card® from American Express, an eligible card account that offers up to $1,550 per 12-month period after deductibles.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 10X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases on your new 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
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
  • $200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion Lounge
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$695
Excellent

In second place is the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, providing up to $1,500 of coverage (after deductibles) per 12-month period.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Most of the other policies place their limits between $900 and $1,450 (after deductibles) per 12-month period. All offer secondary insurance that only kicks in after you’ve exhausted your primary policies, including homeowners and renters insurance.

Do Chase Credit Cards Offer Cell Phone Protection?

Two Chase offerings, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, provide cell phone coverage.

Interestingly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire premium card twins do not offer phone protection, nor do the other Ink business cards.

Apparently, Chase is being very strategic as to which eligible card account offerings have cell phone protection. This may be decisive for Chase customers who are about to choose one of its credit cards.

By the way, any World Elite Mastercard (a premium card) offers cell phone protection. If you happen to own a World Elite Mastercard, you’re already covered!

Does Cell Phone Insurance Cover a Cracked Screen?

In many cases, if you crack your screen, your card’s protection policy will cover the damage. This is a prevalent cause for claims, along with water damage. However, many exceptions may apply — for example, if the screen was cracked because of a natural disaster.

Cracked Cell Phone
Most cell phone insurance plans cover damage, including a cracked screen, though exclusions apply.

Also, not all plans cover a cracked screen, so you’ll have to take a deep dive into the credit card agreement to check whether you’re covered.

Compare Credit Cards With Cell Phone Protection Online

Although the demand for the perk appears to be strong, only a limited number of eligible card offerings have cell phone protection. Card issuers may be reluctant to pay for this benefit, as almost every American owns a cell phone and the annual costs of damage or theft are substantial.

If you want phone coverage from your next credit card (preferably without an annual fee), click on the APPLY NOW links for the reviewed cards that interest you the most. Make sure you understand the coverage benefits and limits of an eligible card before submitting your application, as policies differ among credit card companies.

Advertiser Disclosure

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