Rewards Credit Cards That Cover Cell Phone Damage or Loss – Forbes

Cell phones are one of the most expensive possessions we own. When they get damaged or lost, we know that’s going to be a large, unplanned expense. If you don’t have a warranty or protection plan on your phone you may be covered for damages with your rewards credit card, especially if you have a business credit card. Plus, the rewards credit cards with the best cell phone protection plans are often the best rewards credit cards to use when purchasing a phone, especially the expensive iPhones. 

What rewards credit cards offer cell phone protection (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Here are two rewards credit cards with great cell phone protection:

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is the only Chase credit card that offers cell phone protection. Chase will cover up to $600 for theft and damage claims after paying a $100 deductible. You can make up to three claims every 12 months for a total of $1,800 in claims.

You can also earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in 3 months, which equals at least $800 in statement credits or $1,000 in travel. 

Chase’s cell phone coverage is also secondary and will require other insurance policies to pay for damages first. If you have a protection plan with your cellular plan provider, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or auto insurance, you will probably have to submit a claim with these groups first.

Terms and Conditions

You also need to pay attention to the Ink Business Preferred terms and conditions. Your phone will not be covered if any of the following events occur:

Your phone will not be covered if any of the following events occur:

  • Phone can still make and receive calls
  • Damage to non-manufacturer batteries and antennas
  • Cell phones are lost or “mysteriously disappear”
  • Phone is under the control of a common carrier (i.e. U.S. Postal Service, airplanes, or delivery service)
  • Phone is stolen from checked baggage (hand-carried bags are covered)
  • Telephone belongs to a prepaid or “pay as you go” plan
  • Damage or theft stemming from abuse, international acts, fraud, hostility, natural disasters, and confiscation of authorities

It’s possible to view an entire copy of the terms and conditions for the Ink Business Preferred Cell Phone Protection Plan here.

Additional Users

One benefit of the Ink Business Preferred is that other employees can get an additional card for free. The annual fee for the primary card is $95 a year.

The cell phones of additional cardholders can also be covered and can keep your business overhead lower if their phones are lost, damaged, or stolen.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo will reimburse up to $600 per claim (subject to a $25 deductible) when your cell phone is damaged or stolen. Lost cell phones are not included in Wells Fargo’s protection claims. You can claim up to $1,200 per 12-month period.

To qualify for the coverage, your monthly cell phone payment needs to be paid with your Wells Fargo consumer credit card.

Some of the credit cards that qualify for the Wells Fargo protection plan include:

  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
  • Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card
  • Wells Fargo Rewards Card
  • Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card
  • Wells Fargo Home Rebate Card

Coverage is secondary, meaning Wells Fargo will only cover expenses after any additional insurance plans have paid for your claim.

Wells Fargo will not cover claims linked to a debit card, business credit card, or other lines of credit.

Terms and Conditions

You will need to make sure your claim qualifies. Wells Fargo will not cover any costs for the reasons listed below:

  • Accessories other than standard battery and antennas
  • Cell phones that are lost or “mysteriously vanished”
  • Phone purchased for resale, professional, and commercial use
  • Phones in checked bags (unless hand-carried and under your personal supervision)
  • Cell phones under care of a common carrier
  • Prepaid cell phones
  • Replacement phones not purchased directly from the cell phone carrier or an authorized retailer
  • Damage or theft resulting from abuse, fraud, normal wear and tear, and hostilities of any kind

This is only a partial list. You can view the entire Wells Fargo Cellular Telephone Policy to review all the terms and conditions.

Submitting a Claim

If you own the Ink Business Preferred or one of the Wells Fargo credit cards that cover cell phone damage or loss, you will have 60 days to submit a claim and a total of 90 days to complete all the paperwork.

Qualifying for Cell Phone Insurance

If you are considering switching credit cards just to protect your cell phone for free, you need to take a few factors into consideration.

You might not qualify for a coverage for the following reasons:

  • Belong to a prepaid plan (i.e. Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless)
  • Purchased your phone from a third-party (i.e. eBay, Amazon, Craigslist)

Generally, you need to belong to one of the major cellular networks such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

For quality control purposes, Chase and Wells Fargo will require your device to be purchased from the carrier or their authorized retailer. They do not want to reimburse you if you buy a used phone on eBay or Amazon that happens to be a dud. After all, that phone might be for sale for a reason.

Which Plan Is Better?

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Overall, the Ink Business Preferred is probably the better option for most people. If you can qualify for a business credit card, you will earn the following purchase rewards:

  • Earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on combined purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services, advertising purchases made with social media and search engines each anniversary year
  • Earn one point per $1 on all other purchases

Rewards points redeemed for travel are worth 1.25 cents each. Just like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And, you can even transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to other transfer partners.

Even if you only get the Ink Preferred for the cell phone protection, the $95 annual fee can be cheaper than similar device protection plans that can cost $10 per month per device.

Wells Fargo

If you do not qualify for a business credit card, Wells Fargo is also an excellent option. The cell phone protection benefit is available for their credit cards with or without an annual fee. Plus, you can earn cash back rewards of up to 1.5% on purchases.

Wells Fargo doesn’t offer any travel rewards cards, but, picking up a no-fee card like the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card can be a great secondary credit card just to charge your cell phone bill and other non-travel and dining purchases.

Summary: Rewards Credit Cards with Cell Phone Protection

Credit card cell phone protection benefits are not a very common benefit. The good thing is that these benefits are available for personal and business credit cards that earn purchase rewards. Even if you only use one of these credit cards for secondary purchases, one covered claim can be worth it.


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