The Guide to AmEx Cell Phone Protection

Pay your cell bill with an eligible card and get up to $800 of coverage in case of damage or theft. Terms apply.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Meg Lee

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American Express only recently added cell phone protection as a benefit of certain AmEx cards. Before April 1, 2021, AmEx cards didn't offer cell phone protection. Now, AmEx cell phone protection is offered as a benefit of 15 premium consumer, small business and corporate AmEx cards.

As with any protection offered through a credit card, there are restrictions, limitations and deductibles to keep in mind. Here's what you need to know about how AmEx cell phone protection works.

How does AmEx cell phone protection work?

AmEx cell phone protection reimburses cardmembers the replacement value of a stolen phone or the actual cost to repair damage to their cell phone. This coverage extends beyond just the primary card member's phone to all cell phones on the plan.

This coverage is complimentary, and no enrollment is required. Instead, you get this coverage automatically just by paying your cell phone bill in full with an eligible AmEx credit card (see a list of those below).

Deductibles and limitations

AmEx cell phone protection reimburses up to $800 per claim for qualifying damage or theft. If your claim is approved, you'll be reimbursed up to the actual cost to repair your phone or the replacement value — which is solely at the discretion of the benefits administrator. Terms apply.

Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. That means the most you'll receive from a claim is $750. Cardmembers are limited to two claims per 12-month period. Terms apply.

Timing is important

Interestingly, your cell phone protection doesn't kick in the day you pay your first cell phone bill with an eligible AmEx card. Instead, coverage begins the first day of the calendar month following your first eligible payment. So, be extra careful not to damage or lose your phone during this waiting period.

For what it's worth, you receive that missing coverage on the backend. If you stop paying your cell phone bill with an eligible AmEx card, your cell phone protection ends at the end of that calendar month — not immediately. However, if you close an eligible card, your coverage ends immediately.

What's not covered

If you meet the eligibility requirements, AmEx cell phone protection does a good job of protecting your cell phone. However, there are important restrictions on what's covered.

The biggest restriction to keep in mind is that AmEx cell phone protection doesn't cover you if your phone is lost or has another type of "mysterious disappearance." Instead, this protection only covers theft or qualifying damage.

Speaking of qualifying damage, AmEx cell phone protection doesn't cover "cosmetic damage" to your phone. That's defined as minor abrasions, scruffs, scrapes, dints, scratches, chips and other superficial damages to your phone's screen or casing.

🤓Nerdy Tip

AmEx doesn't consider cracked screens to be cosmetic damage. A cracked screen — which includes a "fracture, break, shatter, crack or rupture" to your primary display screen — is fully covered by this policy.

Other AmEx cell phone protection restrictions to keep in mind:

  • Coverage doesn't extend to cell phone accessories — just the phone, its battery and antenna.

  • On consumer cards, coverage doesn't apply to phones purchased for resale or for professional or commercial use.

  • Coverage doesn't apply to cell phones stolen or damaged when "under the care and control of a common carrier" — such as airlines, the U.S. Postal Service or a delivery service.

Which cards have AmEx cell phone protection

American Express provides cell phone protection on over a dozen premium cards. However, that number is inflated as AmEx lists each variety of The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Personal cards with AmEx cell phone protection include:

Small business cards with AmEx cell phone protection include:

Terms apply.

The benefits, limitations and restrictions are the same on each AmEx card offering this benefit. However, AmEx can change the terms of coverage at any time — as long as it provides notice. See AmEx's benefits page for the latest terms and cards offering AmEx cell phone protection. Terms apply.

How to file an AmEx cell phone protection claim

To start an AmEx cell phone protection claim, call AmEx's benefits administrator AIG Claims at 1-833-784-1467. The hours of operation are currently 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST from Monday through Friday. Your claim needs to be opened within 90 days of your loss, or your claim may not be honored.

When you call, the benefits administrator will provide instructions for filing your proof of loss. For damage claims, you may need to provide documentation such as a copy of the repair estimate and photos of the damage to your phone. For thefts, the benefits administrator may require a copy of the police report filed — which needs to be filed within 48 hours of the theft. Such proof of loss must be provided within 120 days of the loss, or your claim may not be approved.

In addition, the benefits administrator may require documentation showing that you're eligible for this card benefit. Required documentation may include:

  • Your card statement showing the wireless service payment for the month preceding the date of your loss or damage.

  • A copy of your wireless service provider bill.

  • A copy of your purchase receipt for your phone.

AmEx cell phone protection, recapped

Cell phone protection is a relatively new and valuable benefit offered on over a dozen AmEx cards. All you need to do to get this complimentary coverage is pay your cell phone bill with an eligible AmEx card. Then, if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, start a claim within 90 days of the incident to be reimbursed up to $800 per claim — less a $50 deductible. Terms apply.

Just keep in mind that AmEx cell phone protection doesn't cover lost phones or all types of damage, and it doesn't take effect until the month after you make an eligible cell phone service payment.

All information about the Centurion® Card from American Express and Business Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Centurion® Card from American Express and Business Centurion® Card from American Express are no longer available through NerdWallet.

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