The 6 Best Credit Cards for Cell Phone Insurance Protection [2019]

iPhone 11 Pro in Retail Packaging On A Desk

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Cell phones — we all have one, and let’s be real: they’re getting more and more expensive.

In years past, flagship smartphones would sell for $600-800 depending on storage size, but over the past few years, we’ve seen the iPhone 11 Pro start at a whopping $999. Upgrade to more storage and a larger screen and you’re looking at $1,199 or higher as you continue to increase the storage.

Because of these rising costs, now’s the time to invest in cell phone insurance to protect you from damage to or theft of your smartphone. Oftentimes you can purchase this from your cell phone carrier, but that either requires a large up-front fee (think AppleCare+) or a monthly cost from your carrier. When it comes time to actually use the insurance, you’re still stuck paying a high deductible.

Thankfully, though, there are a few credit cards that now offer complimentary cell phone insurance when you pay your phone bill with the card. The best part is that this insurance is free — there’s no monthly fee, but you may be required to pay some sort of small deductible to use it.

This can save you a ton of money both because you’re no longer paying for insurance out-of-pocket and if you break your phone, you’re not on the hook for buying a new one at full-cost.

In this article, we’ll take a look at all of the best credit cards that offer cell phone insurance. We’ll give you a quick overview of the card, go in-depth on its cell phone insurance benefits, and round-out each card with an overview of who its best for.

Let’s get started!

All World Elite Mastercards — a Suite of Cards With Coverage

A Metal World Elite MasterCard On A Table
All World Elite Mastercards have complimentary cell phone insurance, so pick which is best for your spending habits. Image Credit: Adon Buckley via Shutterstock

You may know that Mastercard has different tiers of credit cards, each with varying levels of benefits.

The top-tier version of Mastercard is the World Elite Mastercard, which includes a number of benefits like complimentary rental car status, a discount on Lyft rides, and more. However, one of the best benefits is the World Elite Mastercard’s complimentary cell phone insurance.

There are a number of World Elite MasterCards on the market, each with varying benefits, welcome bonuses, and points-earning categories. Here’s a list of some of our favorite World Elite Mastercards (and a bit on why we like each card):

  • The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card – This credit card is great for frequent IHG hotel guests; it includes IHG Platinum Elite status, a free anniversary night, reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and more.
  • Citi Premier℠ Card — Applicants with high credit lines may be approved for the World Elite MasterCard variant, others may be approved for a World MasterCard variant. The card earns extra ThankYou points on travel and dining and can transfer these points to a number of airline partners.
  • The JetBlue Plus Card — The higher-end JetBlue co-branded credit card earns extra points on JetBlue and grocery store purchases, Mosaic status when you spend $50,000 on the card in a given calendar year, and 10% of your points back when you redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

All World Elite Mastercards include cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with your eligible credit card. This insurance will protect your phone from damage and theft, but note that loss isn’t covered under any circumstances.

You can make up to 2 insurance claims per year, with a maximum of $1,000 in claims per year. A single claim can have a maximum value of $800 and you’re charged a $50 deductible per claim.

Citi Prestige® Card — High-End Benefits, High-End Insurance

Citi Prestige Credit Card
The Citi Prestige card has a high annual fee, but it has the best cell phone insurance on the market. Image Credit: MyBankTracker

The Citi Prestige card is Citi’s highest-end ThankYou point earning card. The card has a large $595 annual fee but comes with nice perks like Priority Pass lounge access, a fourth night free at select hotels, $250 in annual airline credit, and elevated points earning on specific spend categories. These categories include:

  • Air travel: 5 points per dollar
  • Restaurants: 5 points per dollar
  • Hotels: 3 points per dollar
  • Cruise lines: 3 points per dollar

All other purchases earn a standard 1 point per dollar spent. The card also offers a hefty welcome bonus that will help you offset the first year’s annual fee.

Once you’ve racked up a substantial number of points with your Citi Prestige card, you can maximize your point value by transferring points to one of Citi’s powerful transfer partners. These include Turkish Airlines, Avianca, Air France, and others. Each of these programs has its own set of redemption sweet-spots, so make sure to check out our full guide to redeeming Citi ThankYou points for inspiration.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

While the Citi Prestige card is a World Elite Mastercard, Citi has beefed up its cell phone insurance. When you pay your cell phone bill with your Citi Prestige card, you’re eligible for up to $1,000 in coverage per theft or loss claim, minus a $50 deductible.

Further, you can make up to $1,500 in claims per year, and coverage starts on the first day of the calendar month following when you charged your phone bill to your Citi Prestige card.

Note that theft claims must be submitted within 48 hours of your phone being stolen, so don’t delay. Additionally, you’re responsible for any charges that go above the $1,000 claim limit.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® — the Best for Everyday Purchases

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The Wells Fargo Propel card is a solid $0 annual fee credit card with cell phone insurance. Image Credit: Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo Propel card is a newer player in the travel rewards card game. This no annual fee card earns points that can be redeemed at 1 cent per point towards paid travel like flights and hotels. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for cash-back, letting you save on everyday purchases or other large expenses.

Further, the credit card earns 3 points per dollar spent in the following purchase categories:

  • Dining out and ordering food in
  • Gas stations
  • Rideshare
  • Public transportation
  • Travel (flights, hotels, Airbnb, etc.)
  • Streaming services (think Apple Music, Netflix, etc.)

All other purchases earn a standard 1 point per dollar spent. Further, the card often has a hefty welcome bonus, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and often includes a promotional 0% APR for the first 12 months of being a cardholder.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

The Wells Fargo Propel card’s cell phone insurance is pretty standard, but great for a no annual fee credit card. Each claim pays out $600 for theft or damage, minus a $25 deductible. You can submit up to 2 claims per year, giving you a total value of $1,150 when you factor in the deductible.

Like most credit cards on this list, you must charge your phone bill to your Wells Fargo Propel card in order to be eligible.

Uber Credit Card — Great for Uber Enthusiasts

An Uber Visa Card on Top of A Cell Phone
The Uber card is rewarding and protects your smartphone. Image Credit: Kirill Kulakov via Shutterstock

The Uber card from Barclays is a card aimed at those that use Uber frequently. In lieu of points, the card earns Uber Cash that can be applied to Uber rides, Uber Eats deliveries, and JUMP bike and scooter rides in supported cities. You’ll earn Uber Cash at the following rates:

  • Uber rides, Uber Eats deliveries, JUMP rides: 5%
  • Restaurants, bars, hotels, airfare: 3%
  • Everything else: 1%

Plus, the card often includes a welcome bonus that will give you a set amount of bonus Uber Cash after spending a specified amount of money on your Uber card in a set amount of time from account opening. In the past, we’ve seen this go as high as $100 in Uber Cash for spending $500 in the first 90 days of opening an account.

The card also has no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, so you can use your Uber card to pay for purchases all around the world. This is especially useful when taking Ubers in other countries during your travels.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Likewise, the Uber Credit Card offers complimentary cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card. You can receive up to $600 per insurance claim and make up to $1,000 in claims per year. Further, there is a $25 deductible that is taken out of each claim and you’re responsible for paying the remainder of any claim that exceeds $600.

Simply call the number on the back of your card to submit an insurance claim. You can submit a claim up to 90 days after you have your cell phone repaired or replaced. Note that the card covers damage, theft, and “involuntary and accidental parting” of your cell phone.

To the best of our knowledge, “involuntary and accidental parting” doesn’t include losing your phone by mistake, but rather things like dropping your phone in the ocean when traveling and having it wash away. Make sure to ask Barclays for clarification if you have any questions.

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card — for Those New to Credit

If you’re new to credit, there’s a good chance you won’t be approved for many of the credit cards on this list. That’s OK — most premium credit cards require at least a limited credit history in order to be approved.

One of the easiest ways to start building credit is by opening a secured credit card. These cards are often given to those with little or no credit, but they require that you give the bank a cash deposit (usually equal to your credit limit) up-front. This cash deposit is used as collateral if you don’t pay your credit card bill and the account goes into default.

The bank will help you build your credit by reporting on-time payments and good credit utilization to the major credit bureaus every month. Plus, many banks will either convert your secured credit card to a standard, unsecured credit card after a certain number of payments. Alternatively, you can close your secured card when you are able to be approved for an unsecured card in the future (and of course, you’ll get your deposit back).

One of our favorite secured credit cards is the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card. This card works like any other secured card, but has one awesome perk: cell phone insurance!

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Simply charge your cell phone bill to the Wells Fargo Secured Card and you’ll get up to $600 in coverage if your phone is stolen or damaged. You can make up to 2 claims per 12-month period, and each claim is subject to a small $25 deductible. Note that you’re responsible to pay the remainder of the claim if it’s over $600.

This is the best coverage we can find on any secured or otherwise entry-level credit card, so it’s worth taking advantage of. Not only will you build your credit with this card, but you’ll save money on cell phone insurance, too!

For Business Owners: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

File up to 3 cell phone insurance claims per year with the Ink Business Preferred card. Image Credit: Chase

The Ink Business Preferred card is one of the best business credit cards on the market. The card earns Ultimate Rewards points on each purchase and has a number of 3x point categories (up to $150,000 in spend), including:

This means that you can earn up to 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year in these bonus categories alone. These points can be transferred to a number of airline and hotel partners, meaning you can redeem for things like business class tickets to Europe, suites at Hyatt hotels, and more! Check out our article on the best Chase Ultimate Rewards redemptions for more info.

Plus, there’s an attractive welcome bonus and a slew of other benefits that make this card one of the most rewarding credit cards for small and medium-sized business owners. Here’s a look:

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Not only do you earn 3 points per dollar when you pay your cell phone bill with the Ink Business Preferred card, but you also get complimentary cell phone insurance. Chase will reimburse you up to $600 per claim and you can make up to 3 claims per year. There is a $100 deductible attached to each claim, though, so you’re effectively getting $500 in value from each claim.

As you’d expect, this coverage covers both theft and damage and you’re responsible for paying the excess on claims that are over $600. Regardless, this is an excellent deal, especially if you have employees with company-issued cell phones.

Filing a claim is easy, too: just head over to the Card Benefit Services website and you’ll be prompted to sign in with your credit card info. After signing in, upload the requested documentation and submit your claim. You should hear back from Chase within a couple of weeks regarding your claim’s status and if approved, you’ll be paid via a check in the mail.

Final Thoughts

Each of these cards offers good cell phone insurance, so it’s up to you to figure out which card is best for your wallet.

High-end cards like the Citi Prestige card may offer the best cell phone coverage, but if you don’t use the card’s other benefits, it may not be worth the high annual fee. Likewise though, if you have good credit and lots of travel spend, you’ll probably want to skip on the Uber card.

In short, examine your spending habits and find which of these credit card’s bonus earning categories best align with your usual spending. Then, apply for the card and move your cell phone plan’s billing to autopay from your new credit card. Now, you’ll earn valuable travel rewards or cash-back and protect your cell phone from damage and theft at the same time.

In the comments, let us know how you protect your cell phone. We’re excited to hear from you!


Frequently asked questions

Does free cell phone insurance cover all types of cell phones?

Yes, it will cover whatever cell phone you have so long as you pay your cell phone bill with the credit card that offers free cell phone insurance.

Is this insurance primary or secondary?

Most credit card cell phone insurance is secondary, meaning that it pays out after your carrier or manufacturer insurance (if you have it). If you don’t have these, it will pay out immediately.

How does credit card cell phone insurance compare to AppleCare+?

AppleCare+ is billed as either a monthly subscription or up-front cost. Further, the deductible varies depending on what type of damage or loss you incur and the type of iPhone you have.

We recommend looking at the AppleCare+ cost for your specific phone and comparing it to your credit card cell phone insurance coverage and deductibles.

Does The Platinum Card® from American Express have cell phone coverage?

No, the Amex Platinum card does not offer cell phone insurance. Instead, it has purchase protection that protects all purchases for up to 120 days from the date of purchase. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per claim, up to $50,000 per calendar year per account.

Andrew Kunesh

About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City. He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. “All World Elite Mastercards include cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with your eligible credit card.”

    Unless something changed since September – when my Citi Premier claim was denied – this is false.

    From the Mastercard site:
    “Disclosure | Coverage is determined by the terms, conditions and exclusions of the Policies applicable to your Card, as specified by the underwriter, and is subject to change with notice. This site does not supplement or replace the Policy and/or Program Terms. Submission of a claim does not guarantee coverage or coverage availability.”

    “Please note: Benefits referenced on this site may not always be available on your card product. Selection of benefits on your Mastercard card may vary by card issuer. Please refer to your issuing financial institution for more details. Submission of a claim does not guarantee coverage.”

    My Guide to Benefits does not have cell phone insurance.

    Reply

    • Hi George,

      Can you confirm that you use that card to pay your monthly cell phone bill? My understanding is that this benefit is still in effect. Did they give you a reason why your claim was denied?

      Reply

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