The 14+ Best Credit Cards for Cell Phone Insurance Protection [2021]

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 to $800 depending on storage size, but over the past few years, we’ve seen the iPhone 12 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 size.

Because the loss, damage, or theft of your cell phone can be an expensive and inconvenient event, now’s the time to secure protection that could help offset the economic damage should there be such an occurrence.

Oftentimes you can purchase cell phone insurance from your phone carrier, but that either requires a large up-front fee (think AppleCare+) or a monthly charge 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.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best credit cards that offer cell phone insurance and find out if that coverage might be a sufficient alternative to purchasing coverage. 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 it’s best for.

Let’s get started!

What Is Credit Card Cell Phone Protection?

Cell phone insurance is exactly what it sounds like: an insurance plan for your cell phone. As discussed in the intro, this is slowly becoming a more common credit card benefit.

Most of the time, credit card cell phone insurance is secondary to any other coverage you might have. For example, you may have a monthly protection plan you purchase from your phone carrier, or perhaps there’s cell phone coverage on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. You’d have to claim this insurance before you can claim your credit card benefits.

Many credit cards have other limitations such as not covering a lost phone. Instead, cell phone insurance usually covers things like theft and damage — more on that later.

Who’s Covered

Most credit card cell phone protection will cover the phones associated with the monthly service bills you pay with your eligible card. In other words: the phone numbers must typically be listed on the monthly bill in order to be covered by your credit card’s insurance plan. This makes credit card cell phone insurance extremely valuable for family plans as everyone on the plan will be covered.

Some card issuers limit the number of additional lines that are covered, such as Citi that has a limit of 4 additional lines, while others can be unlimited. Make sure to double-check these limits if you have a large family plan.

What’s Covered

Most credit card coverage comes with a deductible that you must pay when you claim the insurance benefit — this can range from $25 to $100 and is usually deducted from the insurance payout.

Also, if you have cell phone coverage other than that on your credit card, that coverage will primary before the credit card coverage kicks in. With this in mind, you may want to deny coverage from your carrier or the manufacturer when you purchase your cell phone.

Typical losses that are covered include accidental damage that makes your phone less functional or non-functional, water damage, and most cases of theft.

In order for your phone to be covered, you must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your credit card. Coverage typically takes effect on the first of the month after you start paying the monthly service on your card.

What’s Typically Not Covered

As with most protection, there are more losses that are not covered than are covered. Here’s a list of common exclusions for cell phone protection found on your credit card:

  • Phone accessories
  • Phones purchased for resale
  • Mysterious disappearance
  • Phones stolen from carry-on baggage or under the control/care of a common carrier
  • Cosmetic damage to the phone
  • Pay-as-you-go, prepaid, leased, borrowed, or rented phones
  • Intentional or illegal acts
  • Voluntary parting with the phone (involuntary and accidental parting may be covered)
  • Replacement phones not purchased from the retailer
  • Taxes, delivery, and transportation fees

Bottom Line: You can cover more cell phones than just your own by paying for the monthly service with your eligible card. Plus, theft and damage are the most common losses covered, while the act of losing your phone may or may not be covered. Coverage specifics solely depend on the credit card’s coverage terms and conditions. 

The Best Personal Credit Cards That Offer Cell Phone Insurance

Group of friends taking a selfie on a cell phone
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions via Pexels

Now, let’s take a look at the best credit cards that offer cell phone insurance. We’ve outlined them in the table below, and gone in-depth on each card in the following paragraphs.

CardCard ProtectionEarnings on Cell Phone Bill
The Platinum Card® from American Express$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Amex Membership Rewards point per dollar
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Delta SkyMile per dollar
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Delta SkyMile per dollar
Citi Prestige® Card$1,500 in claims, 2 claims annually, $1,000 per claim maximum; $50 deductible.1 Citi ThankYou Point per dollar
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®$1,000 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible.1 AAdvantage mile per dollar
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card$1,000 in claims, 2 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $50 deductible.1 IHG Rewards point per dollar
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card$1,200 in claims, 2 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $25 deductible.0%
Uber Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants)$1,000 in claims, 2 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $25 deductible.1%
Wells Fargo Propel American Express®$1,200 in claims, 2 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $25 deductible.1 Wells Fargo point per dollar
Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card$1,200 in claims, 2 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $25 deductible.1 Wells Fargo point per dollar
World Elite Mastercards$1,000 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductibleVaries by card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card is one of the best travel cards on the market thanks to it being jam-packed with excellent benefits like access to multiple airport lounge networks, elite status with Marriott and Hilton, annual Uber credit, and even cell phone insurance!

Frequent flyers will love the earn rates on the Amex Platinum card, which include:

  • 5x points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
  • 5x points per dollar on hotels booked with Amex Travel

Plus the Amex Platinum card earns 1x point per dollar on all non-bonused purchases.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

With your Amex Platinum card, you’ll receive up to $1,600 in cell phone protection against theft and damage per 12 month period, including cosmetic damage like cracks to your phone screen. Coverage is limited to up to 2 claims per year with a total of $800 per claim. Each time you submit a claim you’ll be responsible for a deductible of $50.

In order to receive this coverage, you’ll need to pay your monthly phone bill with your Amex Platinum card.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

An excellent option for Delta flyers, the Delta Platinum card offers benefits like free checked bags, discounts on inflight purchases, an annual companion certificate, and much more.

The card also earns Delta SkyMiles on the following purchases:

  • 3x miles per dollar on Delta and hotel purchases
  • 2x miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets

You’ll also receive 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases that fall outside of the above categories.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

The Delta Platinum card includes up to $1,600 in cell phone protection against theft and damage per 12-month period, including cosmetic damage which is not often covered with most plans. You can submit up to 2 claims per year for a total of $800 per claim, and keep in mind that each claim will come with a deductible of $50.

As with the other cards mentioned, you’ll need to pay your cell phone bill with your Delta Platinum card to be eligible for the coverage.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Apply Now
(at Amex's secure site)
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary access into Delta Sky Clubs and Centurion Lounges.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, click here.

Must Reads: For more info on the Delta Reserve card, see our insights on its benefits and our full review.

The Delta Reserve card is a must-have for Delta loyalists. Not only does the card offer access to Delta Sky Clubs and Amex Centurion Lounges when flying Delta, but you’ll also receive access to complimentary upgrades on Delta flights, an annual companion certificate, priority boarding, and more.

The Delta Reserve card has just 1 bonus category that allows you to earn 3x miles per dollar on all Delta purchases, but you’ll also receive 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

As with the Delta Platinum card, the Delta Reserve card also includes up to $1,600 in cell phone protection per 12-month period, including cosmetic damage. You can submit up to 2 claims per year for a total of $800 per claim, and keep in mind that each claim will come with a deductible of $50.

Again, you’ll need to pay your cell phone bill with your Delta Reserve card to be eligible for the coverage.

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 15 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No Annual Fee

While the IHG Traveler card from Chase isn’t a World Elite Mastercard, it still offers cell phone insurance because it’s a lower-tier World Mastercard.

The card includes some interesting benefits like complimentary IHG Gold Elite status, a fourth night free on points stays, and no foreign transaction fees.

Plus, the card has solid points earning, too. Here’s a look:

As you’d expect, all other purchases earn a standard 1 point per dollar spent, so you’ll still earn IHG Rewards points on your cell phone bill.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

The IHG Traveler card includes up to $1,000 in cell phone protection against theft and damage per 12 month period. Further, you can make up to 2 claims with a $600 maximum per claim, and each claim is subject to a $50 deductible.

Oh, and 1 last thing: you must pay your cell phone bill every month with your IHG Traveler card in order to be eligible for this benefit.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

Looking for a card with a low-interest rate instead? Consider the U.S. Bank Platinum card.

This card frequently offers an extended 0% promotional APR in lieu of points earning. This can be helpful for times when you need to finance a large purchase or transfer a balance from another credit card or line of credit with a high-interest rate.

In the end, this can save you hundreds of dollars in interest charges. Just make sure to pay the balance off before the promotional period ends — if you don’t, your remaining balance will be subject to the card’s standard APR which is based on your creditworthiness.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

This card doesn’t offer rewards or a ton of benefits beyond the promotional 0% APR, but it does offer cell phone insurance. This protection gives you $1,200 in protection spread across 2 claims per year, with a maximum of $600 paid per claim. You’ll pay a $25 deductible per claim.

You’re eligible for cell phone insurance so long as you pay your cell phone bill with your U.S. Bank Platinum card every month. As discussed earlier, set the card to autopay your bill to be safe.

Uber Card

The Uber card from Barclays (no longer open to new applicants) 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:

  • 5% back on Uber rides, Uber Eats deliveries, JUMP rides
  • 3% back on restaurants, bars, hotels, airfare
  • 1% back on everything else

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 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 Propel American Express®

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 (Apple Music, Netflix, Disney+, 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 for a total value of $1,150 in claims 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.

Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card

Wells Fargo also offers cell phone insurance on some of its other credit cards, including the Wells Fargo Signature card. This no-annual-fee card runs on the Visa network, but has significantly fewer points-earning benefits than the Wells Fargo Propel card we outlined earlier.

The card earns 1 point per dollar on all purchases but earns 5 points per dollar on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months of card membership. Just note that this promotion has a $12,500 limit.

Another interesting benefit is that the card gets a 50% bonus when redeeming for paid airfare.

This means that you can redeem just 20,000 points for a $300 flight. Plus, if you also hold a Wells Fargo Propel card, you can combine your points with the Wells Fargo Signature card and take advantage of the heightened redemption rate for all of your points.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo Signature card, you’re eligible for up to $600 in annual cell phone protection from damage and theft with a $25 deductible per claim. Note that you can make 2 claims for a total of $1,200 in claims per year.

World Elite Mastercards — a Suite of Cards With Coverage

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

You may be aware 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):

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

World Elite Mastercard offers cell phone protection as one of its benefits. The card issuer then determines whether their specific credit card will offer the coverage.

To receive coverage, pay your cell phone bill with your eligible credit card and receive protection for damage and theft. 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.

Bottom Line: You’re more likely to find cell phone protection on World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard credit cards than any other card issuer network.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

One of our favorite World Elite Mastercards is the AAdvantage Aviator Red card.

This American Airlines co-branded credit card has a standard $99 annual fee with limited points-earning but has some interesting travel benefits. For example, there’s an annual $25 American Airlines Wi-Fi credit and an American Airlines companion ticket that’s issued after your account anniversary when you spend $20,000 on the card.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Since the card is a World Elite Mastercard, it’s subject to the same cell phone insurance protection benefits we outlined in the section above: $1,000 in claims per year with a 2 claim maximum and a $50 deductible.

Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige card is Citi’s highest-end ThankYou Points-earning card. The card has a large $495 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:

  • 5x points per dollar on air travel and restaurants
  • 3x points per dollar on hotels and cruise lines

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, including Turkish Airlines, Avianca, and Air France. 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.

The Best Business Credit Cards That Offer Cell Phone Insurance

Business woman taking order on cell phone
Image Credit: Amina Filkins via Pexels

Looking for a business credit card that offers cell phone insurance to you and your employees? Consider the following options.

CardCard ProtectionEarnings on Cell Phone Bill
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Amex Membership Rewards point per dollar
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Delta SkyMile per dollar
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card$1,600 in claims, 2 claims annually, $800 per claim maximum; $50 deductible1 Delta SkyMile per dollar
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card$1,800 in claims, 3 claims annually, $600 per claim maximum; $100 deductible.3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Business owners who are looking for a great travel card that also offers cell phone insurance will be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Amex Business Platinum card. With it, you’ll receive access to the best-in-class American Express Global Lounge Collection, Hilton and Marriott elite status, a $200 annual Dell credit, plus excellent travel and purchase protections.

With your Amex Business Platinum card, you’ll earn rewards at these rates:

  • 5x points per dollar on flights and hotels purchases through Amex Travel
  • 1.5x points per dollar on purchases larger than $5,000

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

The cell phone insurance coverage provided with the Amex Business Platinum card is top-notch, giving cardholders up to $1,600 in cell phone protection each year. Better yet, the coverage includes cosmetic damages to your phone, like a cracked screen, which is something that many other phone insurance policies exclude.

Amex Business Platinum cardholders are able to make 2 claims per year for themselves or any employee phone, and each claim will cover up to $800 in damages after paying a deductible of just $50. Of course, in order to receive the coverage, you’ll need to pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Amex Business Platinum card.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Business owners who spend a lot of time flying with Delta will love the benefits of the Delta Platinum Business card, like the annual companion certificate, status boost, and free checked bags.

With the Delta Platinum Business card you’ll earn on the following purchases:

  • 3x miles per dollar on Delta and hotel purchases
  • 1.5x miles per dollar on purchases over $5,000

You’ll also receive 1 mile per dollar on all purchases that fall outside of the above categories.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Just like the personal version of the card, the Delta Platinum Business card offers cardholders up to $1,600 in cell phone protection against theft and damage per 12 month period. You can submit up to 2 claims per year, with a maximum of $800 per claim, and a $50 deductible per claim.

In order to receive this coverage, you’ll need to pay for the monthly cell phone bill of your business with the Delta Platinum Business card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Any business owner who is Delta frequent flyer should really consider adding the Delta Reserve Business card to their wallet. Not only does it offer cell phone insurance, but it also gives you access to complimentary upgrades, along with Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta.

Plus, you’ll earn 3x miles per dollar on all Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. However, once you’ve spent $150,000 on the card, your non-Delta purchases will begin to earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, making it a great option for Delta loyalists with a lot of expenses.

Cell Phone Insurance Overview

Unsurprisingly, the coverage of the Delta Reserve Business card is the same as all of the other Delta cards including in our list, with up to $1,600 in cell phone protection per 12-month period. Cardholders are allowed to submit 2 claims per year, up to $800 per claim, and each claim includes a deductible of $50.

Like the other Delta cards, in order to use the cell phone insurance coverage, you’ll need to pay your monthly phone bill with your Delta Reserve Business card.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Credit CardKey Benefits & Info
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Apply Now
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $2,000
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 25% more value when redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards® travel
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $95

Must Reads: For more info on the Ink Business Preferred, see our guides on its benefits, 7 things to do as a new cardholder, and our full review. This is our favorite Chase business credit card.

While some personal credit cards offer cell phone protection, you can receive both protection and greater earnings with select business credit cards.

The Ink Business Preferred card is one of the best Chase business credit cards (or any business card!) on the market and also one of the best for cell phone protection.

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.

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; if approved, you’ll be paid via a check in the mail.

Hot Tip: To learn about other business credit cards that offer cell phone protection and earn rewards when paying your monthly bill, check out our guide.

Limited Cell Phone Protection via Purchase Protection Coverage

Woman Holding A Broken Cell Phone
You may have a limited period of time to make a cell phone damage claim if your credit card has purchase protection. Image Credit: paulzhuk via Shutterstock

If you purchased your cell phone with a credit card that offers purchase protection, you may have a limited period of coverage if your phone is lost, damaged, or stolen — but only within a certain amount of time from the day of purchase.

For protection to be valid on your cell phone, you must have paid for the phone in full with your eligible card and/or rewards points earned on that card. The following are some of the most popular cards that provide purchase protection which can cover a cell phone in the first few months of ownership:

CardPurchase Protection Benefit
$10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account, coverage is valid for 90 days from date of purchase
$1,000 per claim, $50,000 per account, coverage is valid for 90 days from date of purchase
$10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account, coverage is valid for 120 days from date of purchase
$800 per claim, $1,000 per year, maximum 2 claims in a 12-month period
$10,000 per claim, $50,000 per account, coverage is valid for 90 days from date of purchase or delivery of the item, whichever is first

Hot Tip: If your cell phone is damaged or stolen within the first few months of ownership and you purchased it with a card that offers purchase protection, you may have coverage available.

Limited Cell Phone Protection With Extended Warranty Coverage

Further, some credit cards offer extended warranty protection. This coverage generally extends your phone’s (or other products) manufacturer’s warranty for a year, giving you protection against defects. However, things like theft and accidental damage are usually not covered by this benefit.

Dozens of credit cards offer extended warranty coverage — way too many to list here. You can determine if your card has this coverage by calling the number on the back of your card, accessing your card account online, or referencing the Guide to Benefits that came with your card.

Here’s how coverage breaks down by card issuer:

Card IssuerExtended WarrantyCoverage Limits
ChaseManufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less are extended by 1 year$10,000 per item/$50,000 per account
American ExpressManufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less are extended by 1 year$10,000 per item/$50,000 per account
CitiManufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less are extended up to 2 years$10,000 per item
Visa Signature/Visa Infinite from various banksManufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less are matched up to 1 year for (Visa Signature) and extended 1 year for (Visa Infinite)$10,000 per item/$50,000 per account
Bottom Line: Even if your card does not offer cell phone protection, you may find coverage, depending on the timing and type of loss, under your card’s purchase protection or extended warranty coverage. 

Tips for Filing a Cell Phone Protection Claim

Police Report
If your cell phone is stolen, be sure to secure a police report. Image Credit: Jordan via Unsplash

Damaging your phone or having it stolen is already a stressful experience — don’t make things more stressful by filling out your claim improperly.

Make sure to include the following in your credit card cell phone insurance claim:

  • Take note of the details of the incident (where, when, etc.)
  • If your phone was damaged, do not throw it away; you may be asked to send it to the claim administrator
  • If your phone was stolen, obtain a police report as soon as possible
  • To quickly start the claim process, call the number on the back of your card and they can transfer you to the claim administrator so that you can request a claim form
  • Pay attention to deadlines — you have a limited amount of time (usually 60 days, but possibly less) to file a claim and ensure all the required documents are received by the claim administrator

Knowing in advance what you might need to file a cell phone claim could save you some serious time and frustration.

You may be asked to provide any of the following:

  • Completed and signed claim form
  • A copy of your bill showing that the monthly service for the phone for which you’re making a claim was paid for with your eligible card
  • An itemized repair estimate
  • The damaged phone
  • Receipt for a replacement phone, if applicable
  • Documentation of any other insurance claim settlement
  • Substantiation of the time, place, and cause of the damage/theft
  • Documentation of the original price of the cell phone

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 U.S. Bank Platinum 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!


The information regarding Citi Premier℠ Card, The JetBlue Plus Card, AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, Citi Prestige® Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express®, Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card, Uber Credit Card, U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, and Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided or reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.


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 cell phone insurance offered by a credit card considered 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 Amex Platinum card have cell phone coverage?

Yes, the Amex Platinum card offers cell phone coverage. The Amex Platinum card covers up to $1,600 in claims, with up to 2 claims annually. Each claim will cover up to $800 in damages with a $50 deductible.

Which is the best credit card for cell phone protection?

It may not make sense to select a credit card based on cell phone protection alone.

The best credit card for cell phone protection will be the one that offers other card features that match up with your spending habits, desired usable benefits, and redemption options that make sense for you. If all of these align first, then it makes sense to pay your monthly bill with that card and secure the cell phone protection.

Business credit cards tend to have better earnings when paying for cell phone service than personal cards and can even offer better coverage.

Does my credit card have cell phone insurance?

The best way to tell if your call has cell phone protection coverage is to call the number on the back of your card. You can also access a list of benefits by logging in to your online credit card account and look under the Benefits tab.

What's covered with credit card cell phone protection?

Normally you’ll receive coverage for theft or damage of your cell phone, up to a specified limit, with the protection that is included on your credit card.

Depending on the card, you may also have additional coverage for “involuntary and accidental parting” from your cell phone.

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.

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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.

19 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

      • I just was denied a claim on my Citi Premier card, as of Oct 2020. Please remove Citi Premier as a card that offers cell phone protection. And yes, of course I pay my monthly bill with the Premier.

        Reply

  2. Hello,

    I just called Bank of America Master Card Cash Rewards World, credit card. They said they do NOT offer cell phone protection. Today is Mar 26, 2020.

    Please let me know if this is true, I was hoping it really had protection as that is what you stated here.

    Reply

    • Hi John,

      You are correct. Bank of America does not offer cell phone protection on the Cash Rewards World card. I’ve updated the post to remove that information. Thank you for pointing this out so we could correct it!

      Reply

  3. What happens if it’s a phone that is no longer sold?

    Reply

    • Hi Greg. I’m sure this is a scenario that has happened. Each card issuer has its own claims administrator handling the claims process so each one might handle the claim differently. Perhaps an equivalent newer model, a set amount towards a newer phone, etc. But that is speculation on my part, the terms and conditions of the coverage on each card will dictate the settlement. You could always call the number on the back of your card and ask the claims administrator.

      Reply

  4. Will any of these cards provide coverage when the card is used to make a partial payment of the cell phone bill (and the bill is paid in full with another card) each month?

    Reply

    • Jay, in reading the terms and conditions, each card states that the cell phone bill must be paid for with the eligible card. I did not find any mentions of a partial payment qualifying.

      Reply

      • Thank you – unfortunately, that was my interpretation, too. I was hoping I was being overly conservative in my read. I am trying to invoke this insurance while also getting the $20 per month credit from my AMEX Platinum.

        Reply

  5. For the IHG Traveler card, I don’t believe these statements are true:
    “Do note that this card isn’t open to new applicants. You can only get the card if you already have an IHG Premier card and want to downgrade (usually to avoid the annual fee). Simply call Chase and ask to downgrade to this product if you’re interested.”
    In fact, in your post there is a direct link to a 75k SUB for this card.

    Reply

    • Hi BC,

      You’re correct about that – and thank you for pointing it out! I’ve updated the post to the correct information.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  6. You should update this list to include Chase Freedom Flex.

    Reply

  7. If I pay the monthly bill to Tello (as supposed to the big cell phone companies like Verizon), do I also get the insurance offered by Chase Freedom Flex? My monthly bill is only around $10/month. Thanks.

    Reply

  8. Is a cracked screen considered cosmetic damage? The phone still works. That’s most of the damage now with dropping a phone.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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