You don’t have to pay for 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 why the Uber Visa Card is the best option right now.

RELATED: Best credit cards: My strategy to earn the most cash back

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, Sprint, 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?

Quick links: 

How credit card cell phone protection works

Not all credit cards that offer cell phone insurance are created equal. The best ones will provide up to $600 for cell phone damage or theft after a $25 deductible.

The only requirement is that you must pay your cell phone bill with the credit card to keep active coverage.

To make sure that I’m always covered, I set up my Xfinity Mobile bill on auto pay with my Uber Visa Card to take advantage of the free mobile phone insurance.

You don’t need to purchase your phone using the credit card — just pay your cell phone bill with it.

Best credit cards with free cell phone insurance 

The credit cards on my list offer up to $600 for cell phone damage or theft and only have a $25 deductible, plus they’re just great credit cards overall.

What that means if they all have other valuable benefits like sign-up bonuses and cash back rewards.

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 three favorite credit cards that have free cell phone insurance:

Card name Maximum coverage per claimDeductibleTerms and conditions
Uber Visa Card$600$25Link to terms and conditions
Wells Fargo Propel$600$25Link to terms and conditions
Wells Fargo Cash Wise $600$25Link to terms and conditions

Barclays Uber Visa Card

Why I like it: The Uber Visa Card from Barclays offers great rates of cash back in popular categories, a $50/year streaming credit, a $100 sign-up bonus and no annual fee.

  • Earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 4% back on restaurants, takeout, and bars, including UberEATS
  • 3% back on airfare, hotels, and vacation home rentals
  • 2% back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Up to a $50 credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 on your card per year
  • No foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the U.S.
  • No annual fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Why I like it: The sign-up bonus for the $0 annual fee Wells Fargo Propel is worth $300, plus this card offers 3x points on dining, gas, travel and streaming services.

  • 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3x points on:
    • Eating out and ordering in;
    • Gas, rideshares, and transit;
    • Flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals;
    • Popular streaming services
  • Earn 1x points on other purchases
  • $0 annual fee

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Why I like it: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise is a simple rewards card that offers 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases and a $200 sign-up bonus.

  • $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • $0 annual fee

Alternatives to my top 3 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 less than $600
  • Deductible higher than $25
  • 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 aren’t covered.

I haven’t had to file a claim yet. I’ll update this article if that happens to detail that process.

Quick links to the fine print: Uber VisaWells Fargo Propel, Wells Fargo Cash Wise

Final thought 

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 — especially the Uber Visa.

Overall, I think that’s the card you’ll want to use for purchases other than your cell phone bill.

My cell phone provider, Xfinity Mobile, charges $12 a month for its cell phone protection plan that’s offered through Assurant — 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!

RELATED: Xfinity Mobile Review: $180 for 12 months on Verizon’s network