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Amex Adds Cell Phone Protection to Many Top Travel Cards

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American Express announced Monday they will add a new cell phone protection benefit to many of their top U.S. consumer and small business travel cards starting on April 1, 2021.

This new benefit will cover stolen or damaged phones – including cracked screens, a rarity for coverage like this – so long as you pay your cell phone bill with your eligible Amex card. It's just the latest new benefit American Express has added to travel cards as travel remains largely on hold.

But just because you've got an American Express credit card in your wallet doesn't mean you will be eligible for this new coverage. Read on to learn what is included – and what cards will get this new perk.


Which Amex Cards Will Offer Cell Phone Protection?

As of April 1, American Express will add new cell phone protection benefit to the following cards. If you hold one of these cards and you paid the prior month's wireless bill with the card, you'll be eligible for this coverage at no additional cost, which should allow you to decline any coverage from your cell phone provider.


What Coverage Will Be Provided?

If a card members' cell phone is stolen or damaged (damage even includes a cracked screen), American Express will reimburse the cost of repair or replacement for up to two approved claims for a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 over a 12-month period.

Your phone line must be listed on the wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill must have been paid with one of the eligible cards listed above.

Each claim will require the cardholder to pay a $50 deductible – a relatively small cost.


amex cell phone protection


How to File A Claim

In order to be eligible to receive the Amex cell phone protection coverage, you must report the claim within 90 days of the incident or the claim might not be honored. To get the process started, just call the number on the back of your eligible American Express card.

From there, American Express will provide instructions for filing the proof of loss, and the written proof of loss must be submitted within 120 days of the incident or the claim may not be honored.


Our Analysis

This is a great new benefit from American Express.

It's more-than-adequate coverage for cell phone damage. And it gives cardholders a reason to charge their cell phone bills to their Amex cards. That's a win-win.

Right now, just a handful of other credit cards provide a cell phone insurance benefit, including The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, the Chase Freedom Flex Card, The Citi Prestige, and the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. And none of them offer any sort of coverage for cracked screens – damage that is much more common than some of the other covered losses.

With the exception of the Business Platinum Card from American Express, which currently has an offer to earn 5x points through June of 2021, none of the eligible cards offer bonus points for cell phone spending. Still, giving up the ability to earn bonus points for solid device coverage is a trade I am willing to make.

But it is worth noting that some cell phone service providers, including Verizon Wireless, will charge you more to pay with a credit card. So while Amex does not charge for the coverage and isn't increasing the annual fee on any of the cards offering the protection, that's something you will need to consider.


Amex Platinum retention offer


Bottom Line

This is a great new permanent benefit from American Express.

Simply pay your phone bill with one of the eligible credit cards mentioned above and American Express will reimburse the cost of repair or replacement from damage or theft for up to two approved claims for a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12-month period.

Coverage starts on April 1, 2021.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

  • Verizon discount is $20/month (2 lines) to be on auto pay and paperless billing through a checking account. Credit cards don’t apply for that discount. The offsetting cost makes AppleCare+ less expensive. Great perk by AmEx for some providers, but not Verizon unfortunately.

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