You don’t have to buy cell phone insurance! There are several popular credit cards that offer cell phone protection and will pay to replace your stolen or damaged cell phone.
In this post, I’ll explain how this benefit works and the best options that I’ve found.
What You Need to Know About Credit Card Cell Phone Protection
The free mobile phone insurance offered by credit card issuers is similar (but not identical) to what Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and other wireless providers sell for $10 a month or more.
Why pay $120 a year for cell phone insurance when you can get it for free from your credit card company?
How Credit Card Cell Phone Protection Works
Not all credit cards that offer cell phone insurance are created equal.
The credit cards on my list offer a maximum benefit of either $600 or $800 per claim. That typically covers cell phone damage or theft. The cards have deductibles of either $25 or $50, plus they’re just great credit cards overall.
The only requirement is that you must pay your monthly cell phone bill with the credit card to keep active coverage.
To make sure that I’m always covered, I set up my Visible cell phone service bill on auto pay with my credit card to take advantage of the free mobile phone insurance.
Best Credit Cards With Free Cell Phone Protection
More credit cards are starting to offer complimentary cell phone protection, including the rewards cards with no annual fee that made my list.
Think about it this way: If you’re going to apply for a new card to get cell phone protection, you might as well select a card that you’ll want to use for everyday purchases.
Read on for my favorite credit cards that have free cell phone insurance:
|Maximum coverage per claim
|Chase Freedom Flex
|Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Chase Freedom Flex
Why I like it: The Chase Freedom Flex offers up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection. However, it has a higher deductible than the other cards that I mentioned — $50 for every claim.
- $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
- 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories
- 3% cash back on dining and drugstores
- $50 deductible and $800 benefit limit per claim for cell phone protection
- First year only: 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not Walmart or Target) on up to $12,000 spent
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Why I like it: Launched in July 2021, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is a simple rewards card that offers 2% cash rewards on all purchases with no limits. Its cell phone protection provides up to $600 per claim minus a low $25 deductible.
- $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
- Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
- No annual fee
- $25 deductible and $600 benefit limit per claim for cell phone protection
Alternatives to My Top Picks
U.S. Bank, Fifth Third Bank and First Citizens Bank also have cards with free cell phone protection, but I ruled them out for one or more of these reasons:
- Maximum coverage per claim is less than $600
- Deductible is higher than $50
- Few other card benefits or perks
If you know about a credit card that offers cell phone protection and should be on my list, leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to check it out.
Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance Fine Print
This is important: Credit card cell phone protection is supplemental to other types of insurance, so it only kicks in once any other policies have been exhausted.
That’s why I really encourage you to read the terms and conditions to understand what’s covered and what’s not.
For example, I learned from my research that credit card cell phone protection generally covers devices that are stolen or damaged, but phones that are lost with no explanation may not be covered.
I haven’t had to file a claim yet. I’ll update this article if that happens to detail that process.
If you don’t already have a credit card that offers cell phone protection, check out one of the $0 annual fee cards on my list.
My cell phone provider, Verizon-owned Visible, charges $12 a month for its cell phone protection plan — so I’m saving $144 a year by using my credit card instead.
Leave a comment below if you have anything else to add about free cell phone insurance!