Chase notified IHG co-branded credit cardholders this week of some upcoming changes. Starting on Nov. 17, 2019, cardholders of both the IHG Rewards Club Select (which is no longer accepting new applications) and the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card will get cell phone protection added to their card account.
This means that if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your IHG credit card, you will receive up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection ($600 per claim if you carry the IHG Select Card) against covered theft or damage as long as the phone is listed on your account. You will have to pay a $50 deductible per claim, allowing you to make a maximum of two claims in a 12-month period.
Also as a part of this announcement, Chase indicated that effective Nov. 17, 2019, both IHG cards will no longer offer price protection or Mastercard Concierge service.
Price protection is a benefit we are seeing eliminated from a number of cards as it is becoming expensive for banks to offer it, thanks in part to services like Paribus that automate finding price changes. Citi eliminated the benefit from most of their cards in September while Chase removed it from the Sapphire Reserve Card in August of 2018.
This is a fantastic addition to the IHG Credit Card, though it does require you to pay your mobile phone bill with the IHG card to be covered. And that will come with some opportunity cost since the IHG cards would only earn one IHG point per dollar spent on mobile phone bills. Put simply, you could do better with a different card.
If you are a small business owner, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card also offers the same cell phone protection coverage, but it also earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on cell phone services on the first $150,000 spent each year in combined bonus categories.
Or carrying the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express allows you to earn 2x Membership Rewards points on every dollar you spend up to $50,000 each year.
Even if you aren't a business owner, carrying a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card can net you 1.5% cashback (or 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points) for every dollar you spend. A far better return than earning one IHG point per dollar spent.
All that said, this is a fantastic addition to an already powerful co-branded hotel credit card. It's also a smart move from Chase as it will encourage spending on the card that they may have not otherwise captured.
If cell phone protection coverage is important to you, this is a benefit that is worth considering. Starting Nov. 17, 2019, just for paying your phone bill with your co-branded IHG card, you will be covered up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage as long as the phone is listed on your account.