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Picture it: Your phone falls from your pocket and hits the ground face first. With a sense of dread, you stoop to pick it up and assess the damage.
Could it be a cracked screen? Or worse, a dead phone?
If you pay for cell phone insurance through your carrier or another provider, you may be covered. But if not, check your credit card. Some offer built-in cell phone insurance, as long as you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card.
You shouldn't choose a card based solely on this feature. But if you're already paying separately for cell phone insurance, here are some of our favorite cards that could spare you that expense.
As of July 2019, Mastercard added cell phone insurance as a benefit for World and World Elite credit cardholders. Coverage on these cards is provided by the payment network (Mastercard) rather than the issuing bank, although your issuer might choose to supplement this benefit. If you have a World or World Elite Mastercard, click here to find out more about your benefits.
Top credit cards that offer cell phone insurance
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Our pick for: Rewards optimizers
5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories that change every quarter (activation is required). See bonus categories here.
5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5% back on qualifying Lyft services (through March 31, 2025).
3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
3% back at drugstores.
1% back on all other purchases.
Welcome offer: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Annual fee: $0.
APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-27.99% Variable APR.
Cell phone insurance: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns rich rewards in rotating and fixed bonus categories, but it has the potential to get complicated. You have to activate bonus categories every quarter and also remember to stay on top of them to get the most from your spending. This card also provides generous introductory offers and secondary cell phone insurance. To qualify for the cell phone benefit, use the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill. It covers up to $800 per claim (for a maximum of $1,000 per year) for a damaged or stolen phone.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Our pick for: Travel perks
5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
2 points per $1 spent on other eligible travel expenses booked with American Express Travel.
1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Terms apply — see rates and fees.
Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Annual fee: $695.
Cell phone insurance: In addition to offering multiple luxury travel perks (like lounge access and automatic elite status), as well as monthly Uber statement credits, The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers cell phone protection. Use the card to pay your monthly wireless bill, and you'll be covered if your cell phone gets damaged or stolen, including a cracked screen. Eligible claims can be reimbursed for a maximum of $800 per claim, or $1,600 per 12-month period, up to two approved claims. Terms apply.
As of April 2021, American Express added cell phone protection on a variety of eligible cards, not just The Platinum Card® from American Express. Terms apply.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Our pick for: Travel rewards
10 miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
5 miles per $1 spent on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2 miles per $1 spent on everything else.
Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
Annual fee: $395.
Cell phone insurance: You'll earn 2X miles and protect your cell phone when you pay your bill with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. If your phone is damaged or stolen, you'll get reimbursed up to $800 per claim with a maximum of two claims and $1,600 in a 12-month period.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Our pick for: 0% intro APR
Cell phone insurance: In addition to having one of the longest 0% APR periods around, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card covers your primary cell phone and additional lines in your plan up to $600 per claim, for a maximum of $1,200 per 12-month period. Simply pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card and you’ll be covered for damage or theft starting the next month. If you already have your own insurance, this benefit will reimburse the deductible portion required by that plan.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Our pick for: Road warriors
5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center.
4 points per $1 spent on travel and at gas stations.
2 points per $1 spent on dining, at grocery stores and on streaming services.
1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. That's a $500 value redeemable towards travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and more.
Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
APR: The ongoing APR is 20.24%-28.24% Variable APR.
Cell phone insurance: The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card earns solid rewards on everyday purchases, but gas guzzlers will get the most value from it. The cell phone protection benefit is less generous on this card than on other cards — even those without an annual fee. It offers secondary cell phone insurance for a damaged or stolen phone if you’ve used the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill. It covers one claim per year, up to $600. Terms apply.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Our pick for: Business owners
3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year.
1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®..
Annual fee: $95.
APR: The ongoing APR is 20.24%-25.24% Variable APR.
Cell phone insurance: Get up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection for damaged or stolen cell phones when you use the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to pay your monthly cell phone bills. Coverage is supplemental to your provider’s insurance or other qualifying insurance, and it extends to employees as long as they are also listed on the monthly cell phone bill. The benefit covers up to $600 per claim, with a maximum of three claims and $1,800 per 12-month period. Terms apply.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Our pick for: Students
Rewards: 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
Sign-up bonus: None.
Annual fee: $0.
APR: The ongoing APR is 22.99% Variable.
Cell phone insurance: The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students stands out as a credit card that doesn't solely rely on the traditional FICO scoring model; the issuer has its own underwriting standards. As a student credit card, it ups the ante by offering secondary cell phone insurance when you use the card to pay your monthly bill. Coverage of up to $600 per claim (for a maximum of $1,000 per 12-month period) can go a long way for a damaged or stolen phone. So much can happen to a phone on a college campus or in the fog of finals week — this way, you can put your money toward books or pizza. Terms apply.