Your Credit Card May Come With Cellphone Insurance

Some credit card issuers now offer cardholders a free perk called cellphone protection. It's good for up to $600 if your phone is damaged or stolen.

Your Credit Card May Come With Cellphone Insurance Photo by sawaddeebenz / Shutterstock.com

Your credit card can spare you more expenses than you probably realize. As we reported earlier this year:

“Many cardholders aren’t even aware of the extra benefits they get with their cards. … Consumers who ignore or overlook credit card benefits may be missing out on thousands of dollars worth of perks and services.”

Many perks are travel-related — free rental car insurance, for example. Free cellphone protection is one credit card perk that can benefit most consumers — and save them as much as $600.

Cellphone protection

Clark.com reports that multiple credit cards issued by a few different companies now come with cellphone protection. It’s essentially a form of phone insurance.

For example, the following cards offer protection against phone damage and theft:

  • Some Wells Fargo credit cards: The benefit is worth up to $600 per occurrence, and you can file up to two claims per year. The deductible is only $25 per claim. Check out Wells Fargo’s guide to this benefit for more details.
  • Some First Citizens Visa credit cards: The benefit is worth up to $500 per occurrence, and you can file up to two claims per year. The deductible is $50 per claim. Check out First Citizens Bank’s guide to this benefit for more.
  • Some U.S. Bank Visa Platinum credit cards: This benefit is worth up to $600 per occurrence, and you can file up to two claims per year. The deductible is $25 per claim. Check out U.S. Bank’s guide to this benefit for more.

Such cellphone protection is generally free, although cardholders are required to pay their phone bill with the credit card that bestows the benefit. Getting cardholders to pay for that recurring monthly expense with their credit card is the point, consumer advocate Clark Howard explains:

“Credit card companies are offering a variety of unusual benefits to stand out from one another, including protection for electronics like your cell phone. They want you to pay your cell phone bill with their card. And if you do so, the cell phone may be covered if you break it or it breaks on you.”

Terms and conditions

Like most any other credit card perk, cellphone protection policies have terms and conditions. So if your credit card offers the benefit or you’re considering switching to a new credit card that does, be sure to read the card’s guide to the benefit.

Look at the details of the benefit itself, such as how many phones would be eligible to receive protection. Also look at what you would have to do to successfully file a claim. For example, some companies require you to provide receipts or copies of your credit card statements that reflect your phone bill payments.

You may also want to check whether cellphones are covered under an existing insurance policy, such as homeowners insurance. There’s little point in switching to a card with cellphone protection if your phone is already covered.

Have you ever taken advantage of a credit card perk like cellphone protection? Tell us about your experience below or over on our Facebook page.

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