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If you’ve ever dropped your cell phone, you know that momentary feeling of panic as you watch it hit the ground. Cell phones can be expensive and pretty fragile too.
Perils are waiting everywhere, so carriers offer cell phone insurance policies for an additional fee. Some credit cards, however, actually offer cell phone protection for loss and damage as a free benefit to cardholders.
Cell Phone Protection by Credit Card Provider
Wells Fargo Credit Cards
Wells Fargo has several credit cards that offer cell phone loss and damage protection benefits. In order to get this coverage, cardholders just need to pay their monthly cell phone bill with their eligible Wells Fargo credit card.
The Wells Fargo credit card cell phone protection covers up to four phones listed on your wireless phone bill, so this is a great benefit for families with children. Although the benefits cover loss due to damage or theft, lost cell phones that were not stolen are not protected.
Cardholders get up to $600 protection after a $25 deductible payment. Owners making a claim can receive no more than the value of the original phone or a comparable replacement phone up to a $600 maximum value. So owners of the iPhone X should be aware that there is a limit on the value of the protection policy. Cardholders are allowed to make up to two claims during a 12-month period with a maximum benefit of $1,200.
The following credit cards from Wells Fargo offer the cell phone loss and damage protection for cardholders:
- Wells Fargo Visa Signature card
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Platinum card
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express card
- Wells Fargo Rewards card
- Wells Fargo Platinum card
- Wells Fargo Cash Back College card
- Wells Fargo Secured card
Chase Credit Cards
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card also offers cell phone damage and loss protection benefits. The coverage extends to any eligible phones on the same account. All you need to do to receive this benefit is to pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Chase Ink Business Preferred card.
While the Wells Fargo eligible credit card protection is best for individual family cell phone protection, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card benefits are meant for business owners and employees included on the company cell phone bill. Cardholders get up to $600 of coverage after a $100 deductible. Up to three claims per year are allowed for a total benefit not to exceed $1,800.
The Chase cell phone damage and loss protection benefit can be helpful, but there are also a lot of exceptions and conditions to their coverage. It only covers cell phones you have actually purchased and not those that are rented, leased, or borrowed. It also doesn’t cover cell phones you get for free as part of a pre-paid wireless service plan or a “pay as you go” type of cell service plan. Only cell phones purchased through a wireless carrier’s retail store or online store are eligible for protection benefits.
The coverage does not include any accessories other than the standard antenna and battery that come with the phone from the manufacturer. While the coverage does extend to certain cosmetic damages, such as broken screens, the damage has to impact the functionality of the phone. So scratches or cracks may not be covered unless they are considered to be bad enough to limit the capabilities and functionalities of the phone.
Finally, loss claims cannot be caused by individual misplacement of the phone. There needs to be evidence of theft in order to make a loss claim. In addition, claims due to loss cannot be related to loss caused by a parcel carrier. In those cases, you would need to file a loss claim with the parcel delivery carrier.
Are These Protection Plans Worthwhile?
Before opting out of an insurance policy from your wireless carrier, it’s important to consider whether this free benefit is worthwhile for you. The terms of coverage due to damage and theft are similar, but a wireless carrier may charge you over $100 a year for the same coverage.
If you are rough with your phone, you’ll probably find that some kind of cell phone damage protection is a necessity. You can save a considerable amount of money by simply paying your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible credit card.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand the limitations of the benefit. With the price of a new iPhone reaching around $1,000, you might consider an alternative insurance policy that would cover the full value of the phone.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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