Let’s be honest. A generous sign-up offer and rewarding bonus categories are why most frugal travelers apply for credit cards. However, some of these credit cards offer fantastic perks that shouldn’t be ignored. Cell phone protection is one of them.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The newly launched Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers up to $600 per claim for cell phone protection against theft or damage. Because it’s a business credit card, the protection covers business owners as well as their employees.
The requirement is, the monthly bill must be paid with the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, and covered employees must be listed on the bill. Chase allows a maximum of three claims in a 12-month period and charges a $100 deductible per claim.
This benefit is a new addition to Chase’s Ink line of cards. The previously offered Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash cards did not offer this perk to cardholders.
So, at least dropping your phone, damaging the screen or camera or having it stolen won’t sting as much. And earning 3x points per dollar spent on mobile phone bills doesn’t hurt, either. The annual fee on this card is $95.
||Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card
$95 annual fee
|Earn 80,000 bonus points.
After you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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|Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card|
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Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card
This no-annual fee credit card offers up to $600 protection to customers who pay their monthly mobile bill with an eligible Wells Fargo consumer credit card. Note, the phone itself doesn’t have to be purchased with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Credit Card.
Coverage includes up to four cell phones listed on the bill. All phones are protected against damage or theft. However, coverage doesn’t include lost cell phones. And I know what you’re thinking. If you lose your phone at a bar, you can’t just say Jack Daniels took it. You might have to provide a copy of the police report with the claim. Wells Fargo allows a maximum of two claims in a 12-month period. A $25 deductible applies.
The cell-phone protection benefit extends to not just this card, but to all Wells Fargo Propel cards.
Citi Forward (not available to new applicants)
Although this card issued by Citibank is no longer open to applications, cardholders who still have it can use its cell phone protection benefits.
Similar to Chase and Wells Fargo cards, this benefit is automatic if a monthly cell phone bill is paid with this credit card. Only cell phones purchased by card members are covered. Coverage applies to mobile phones as well as personal digital assistants (PDAs) against damage or theft.
The maximum benefit limit isn’t as generous on this no-annual fee card: up to $250 per claim and $500 per 12-month period. A $50 deductible applies to all claims. Also, this type of coverage is supplemental to existing coverage options, such as homeowners insurance or insurance provided by third parties through cell carriers.
American Express cards
This one isn’t exactly a cell phone protection, but rather a purchase protection. I’ll explain the difference.
Most credit cards issued by American Express offer purchase protection. However, and this is a bit of a downer, the items are covered for just 90 days from the purchase date. Theoretically, if you purchase a new phone in full with an American Express credit card and damage it within this time frame, you can file a claim. However, if something happens beyond the allowed period, you’re out of luck.
The per-claim limit is $1,000, up to $50,000 annually. If you have The Platinum Card from American Express, the coverage amount per claim goes up to $10,000. The Platinum Card also covers losses, whereas other Amex cards cover only theft and damage.
I recently purchased a new cell phone. Because I don’t have any of the three credit cards mentioned above, I put the purchase on my Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. The device cost less than $1,000, and in the process I accumulated Starpoints, which are notoriously hard to earn. Although my new phone is covered for only three months from the date of purchase, it’s better than no coverage at all.
What card would you use to pay for your device or mobile bills?
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