Which Credit Cards Offer Cell Phone Insurance? A 2020 Roundup of Cell Phone Protection.

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Which credit cards offer cell phone insurance and coverage in 2020?

Which Credit Cards Offer Cell Phone Insurance? A 2020 Roundup of Cell Phone Protection.

Numerous credit cards offer cell phone insurance / coverage in 2020, which is a surprise. As many other credit card perks have gone the way of the Dodo in 2019, this perk remains. In fact, it’s expanded. More banks and credit card issuers are adding this perk. We’ll look at what cell phone protection is and which credit cards offer cell phone insurance at this point.

What is Cell Phone Protection?

Cell phone protection covers damage, loss, theft, and other issues related to your cell phone. While things like warranty protection and purchase protection can help you in the days immediately after purchase, what happens if your phone breaks a year later? Numerous carriers offer insurance plans that you pay for monthly. Your phone’s manufacturer may also have a monthly payment plan. However, numerous credit cards offer cell phone protection built in. Just pay for the phone and/or the bill (different policies have different rules) with that card to get the protection.

What Does It Cover?

Different plans have different amounts of coverage. Theft? Was it your fault by dropping it in the ocean? Are you on a phone payment plan, or did you buy it outright? These items will drastically affect your coverage under your carrier’s plan or things like Apple Care. With cell phone protection, you should be covered for most or all situations.

What Doesn’t It Cover?

The one area to pay attention to for what’s not covered is cosmetic damage. Some cards will cover this, but others won’t. What is cosmetic damage? It’s things like scratches or a cracked screen that look bad but don’t make your phone stop working. Read the terms for whether a cracked screen or other cosmetic damage will be covered on your card.

These Credit Cards Offer Cell Phone Insurance in 2020

Hotels.com Visa from Wells Fargo has cell phone coverage/protection

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee and an incredible 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points welcome offer. It’s also one of the better-known on the list of which credit cards offer cell phone insurance. Here are the details on its cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: all employees of the business listed on the cell phone bill
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,800 per year
  • Deductible: $100
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Phone services are a 3x bonus category on this card. Cosmetic damage is covered.

IHG Rewards Club Premier - which credit cards offer cell phone insurance?

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier

Chase’s IHG Rewards Club Premier card has an annual fee of $89 and a welcome offer of 125,000 IHG Rewards points. It also offers cell phone protection. Here are the details:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $800
  • Annual maximum coverage: 2 claims
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Cosmetic damage is covered.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Select

The older IHG Rewards Club Select card has an annual fee of $49 and is no longer available to new customers. A reader called to confirm, and it still does offer cell phone protection. Here are the details:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,000
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Cosmetic damage is covered.

Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card has no annual fee and welcome offer of $200 in cash back after spending $500 within 90 days. This is a new product from Chase as of September 15, 2020. It is a World Elite Mastercard with the following phone protection benefits:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $800
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,000 per year
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: provides secondary coverage only

US Bank Visa Platinum card offers cell phone protection

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card has $0 annual fee and a lengthy (18 months) 0% APR when you open the card. Here are the details on its cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,200 per year
  • Deductible: $25
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: If you have another insurance plan, this coverage will reimburse your deductible. Cosmetic damage isn’t covered

NFCU nRewards Secured Card offers cell phone protection

Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card

The NFCU nRewards Secured Credit Card has no annual fee but requires a one-time $200 security deposit. That’s because it’s a secured card (ideal for those building credit). With this card, you’ll also receive quality cell phone protection. There’s a Visa and a Mastercard option for this card, and coverage varies.

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $250 Visa / $600 Mastercard
  • Annual maximum coverage: $500 per year Visa / $1,000 per year Mastercard
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Cosmetic damage may not be covered; must impact performance. If you have another insurance plan, this coverage will reimburse your deductible.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card offers cell phone insurance

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has $0 annual fee and 12 months 0% introductory APR (including balance transfers) when you open the card. Here are the details on its cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,200 per year
  • Deductible: $25
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Coverage is secondary. You need to file with any applicable insurance first (homeowner’s, auto, cell phone carrier, etc.). Cosmetic damage and loss are not covered.

Hotels.com Visa from Wells Fargo has cell phone coverage/protection

Wells Fargo Hotels.com Rewards Visa Card

The Wells Fargo Hotels.com Rewards Visa Card has no annual fee and is a newcomer that we first wrote about here. Here are the details on its cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: all lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,200 per year / 2 claims
  • Deductible: $25
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Cosmetic damage is not covered. See full details here.

World Elite Mastercards like Citi Prestige offer cell phone insurance

World Elite Mastercards

World Elite Mastercards — such as the Citi Prestige, and Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard — all offer the same levels of coverage. You’ll need to register your card here to enroll in benefits. Here are the details on their cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: the primary insured and the first 4 additional lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $1,000
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,500 per year
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: Cosmetic damage and loss are not covered.
  • Other World Mastercards to consider:
    • Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
    • Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
    • Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
    • Citi Prestige Card
    • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard
    • Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

It’s important to note that Citi Premier is not eligible for this coverage, even though it’s a World Elite Mastercard.

World Mastercards like the Bank of America Cash Rewards card offer cell phone insurance

World Mastercards

World Mastercards, such as the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, all offer the same levels of coverage. The coverage is similar to the above with World Elite Mastercards, but at reduced rates. Here are the details on their cell phone protection:

  • Coverage: the primary insured and the first 2 additional lines on your cell phone plan
  • Per claim coverage: $600
  • Annual maximum coverage: $1,000 per year
  • Deductible: $50
  • What triggers the coverage: pay your monthly bill with this card
  • Special notes: There’s a Visa version of the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, also. It does not offer phone protection. Cosmetic damage and loss are not covered.
  • Other World Mastercards to consider:
    • CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
    • JetBlue World Mastercard
    • Allegiant World Mastercard Credit Card
    • Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
    • Spirit Airlines World Mastercard

How to Use Cell Phone Protection / Insurance From Your Credit Card

Policies couldn’t possibly be different. How to make a claim varies wildly. For the World Elite Mastercards, you need to enroll to have the benefit activated. For the others, it should be automatic. So what happens when your phone is lost, stolen or broken — when it’s time to use the benefit? Unless your credit card issuer gave you a benefits portal and specific information, there’s always one place to start. Call the number on the back of your card and ask how to start a claim.

Final Thoughts

It’s surprising to see that so many credit cards offer cell phone insurance still. After numerous losses and cutbacks in 2019, this is one benefit that seems to be growing. The popularity of this perk should make it easy to find a card in your wallet that offers cell phone protection. Cell phones have become a quasi-essential item at this point in our world. Dropping it, breaking it, losing it, or otherwise losing access to precious photos or important work emails can be brutal. At least now it won’t cost you so much to replace it.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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24 COMMENTS

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24 COMMENTS

  1. You are missing the new hotels.com Wells Fargo credit card – and the reason I point it out is because of the awesom $25 deductible.

  2. I used the benefit on my Ink Bus card earlier this year. They require a lot of documentation (estimates, copies of several months worth of bills, etc) and it took probably 5 -6 weeks but I did get the full amount minus the $100 deductible.

    • Thanks for letting me know what’s involved. I hope I never have to use it, but good to hear what’s involved.

  3. Interesting that Chase covers cosmetic damage, but not Citi. So, it is a trade-off of lower coverage, but having cosmetic coverage.

    My phone died twice last year from the Apple slow-downs. Citi covered the phone both times and the process was painless. However, once I used up my coverage, I was happy to have the IHG card to cover my new phone for the balance of the year.

  4. It’s confusing but are you sure every World Mastercard includes the cellphone insurance? It’s not in the T&C of the Amtrak World MasterCard, for example.

    • Eric–thanks for the question. Now that I’m looking into it, it seems like some of these silently disappeared, and I can’t figure out when. I’ve reached out to Mastercard for clarification.

  5. I just found this Ting $6 monthly service without any call mins, data or text, just saying if your not going to actual use the SIM it would be hard to find any insurance plan cheaper then $6 a month, is a great deal if in fact the credit card does honor a $6 monthly plan without any fine print?
    https://ting.com/rates

  6. So is there any card that offers protection withoht paying a monthly bill? I always just buy the phone outright because I swap SIM cards depending on where I am travelling. So I guess I am out of luck for cell phone protection

    • Dave I believe you just need just any “monthly cell phone bill”. Im not 100% sure if it would work but there are many super cheap $10-15 a month of basic limited mins call only service from off brands such as trackphone, mint mobile etc.. If you can find the cheapest monthly plan it may actually be cheaper option to just pay a cheap plan Vs paying for insurance coverage?

      • You need to be pretty careful with the terms and conditions. I’ve tried using the coverage from the Chase Ink Preferred card while using a Mint Mobile plan, but was denied due to Mint being a prepaid service. Apparently it was pretty deep in their terms and conditions.

    • Thanks for all your replies. I don’t think I would sign up for a card specifically for this benefit but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try getting the insurance coverage if you already have the card. Btw I noticed one of the most useless cards I own (Lufthansa Miles&More World Elite by Barclaycard US) has cell phone protection. It’s seriously such a stupid credit card as it has almost zero perks, the customer service is absolutely horrible and it doesn’t even offer basics such as purchase protection.

    • VT – it comes down to how the terms get interpreted. The terms I saw when looking at the cards for this article always said things like “pay your bill and you’re covered”. What counts as ‘pay your bill’ is the question. You could try asking card issuers, but I’d give 2 caveats: 1-if they say ‘partial counts’, get it in writing. 2-remember that different phone reps might have different answers.

  7. Nice roundup. Had some questions:

    1. Does the $49 IHG card also offer cell phone insurance or it’s just the new one with the higher AF?
    2. Do you know which of these cards (if any) will only pay you a depreciated rate for the phone. (For example you have a $800 phone that is one year old when it breaks, and the insurancy company will only give you $600 since they say that’s the current value of the phone).
    3. The World Elite MC section is confusing. At the beginning you mention Citi Premier, but then at the end you say Citi Premier is not eligible.
    4. Might want to mention the upcoming SoFi CC since that will be 2% cashback and World-Elite-level coverage

    • HoKo – the $49 card doesn’t offer this, since it has reduced benefits for the cheaper fee. I assume all insurance companies will look at depreciation, but the specifics I don’t know. If anyone else has filed claims through these, I hope they will jump in to share some experience. Premier is a World Elite card, so I changed the wording to make it clearer. Sorry about that.
      The SoFi CC – we are waiting on confirmed details when they roll it out, but I’m hoping for good things!

    • HoKo – I stand corrected. A friend of mine just called Chase about the $49 old IHG card and was told it DOES offer cell phone protections/insurance. The benefits phone number is 800-627-8372.

  8. Wow great post I had no idea looks like ill start paying my phone bill with my IHG card. Although most phones are worth more then $800 these days if its lost or stolen that will still help cover a big chunk of the phone.
    Anyone with experience out there with any experience using any of the insurance?

  9. I got the IHG card for the sign up bonus but was thrilled to see the cell phone coverage. Overall as good as what I was paying ATT over $30 month for (4 IPhones on plan) so that alone easily covered my annual fee. Then you add the free annual night and other benefits (granted Platinum status on IHG isn’t that great but the Global Entry/Precheck credit definite has value) and I consider this card a no-brainer

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