The next time your cellphone is damaged or stolen, your credit card may be able to provide some relief. Some credit cards offer cellphone protection, an insurance-style benefit that can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
If you’re interested in cellphone insurance, we’ve listed the major credit cards that provide it. Of course, you shouldn't base your credit card decision solely on credit card insurance—cost, rewards, and benefits take priority—but if you’re deciding between two similar credit cards, the extra protection can be a tiebreaker.
Which Credit Cards Offer Cellphone Insurance?
While cellphone protection is uncommon, in our database of more than 300 credit cards that we track and monitor, more than a dozen cards offer some level of cellphone insurance. Coverage varies by credit card, and many limit the number of claims you can make each year. Deductibles vary by card but are reasonable.
Also, most cellphone insurance is secondary to your existing insurance; if you can make a claim with your homeowner's insurance, you need to pursue that option first.
Unless otherwise noted, the credit cards in the table below do not charge an annual fee:
|Credit Card||Per-claim Maximum||Annual Limits||Deductible||Coverage|
|Wells Fargo Propel Wells Fargo Cash Back College Wells Fargo Platinum Card Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa||$600||2 claims, up to $1,200||$25||Reimbursement for phone damage or theft. Coverage does not apply to lost phones.|
|U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card||$600||2 claims, up to $1,200||$25||Damage or theft to the primary cellphone line and any secondary, additional or supplemental lines|
|Navy Federal cashRewards Navy Federal GO Rewards Navy Federal Platinum Navy Federal nRewards||Visa: $250 Mastercard: $600||Visa: 2 claims and $500 Mastercard: $1,000||Visa: $50 Mastercard: $50||Visa: Damage, theft, or involuntary and accidental parting for primary phone Mastercard: Damage or theft for the primary phone|
|Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards||$250||2 claims and $500||$50||Damage, theft, or involuntary and accidental parting for lines listed on the wireless phone bill prior to the month the incident occurs|
|Chase Freedom Flex||$800||2 claims and $1,000||$50||Theft or damage for phones listed on the cardholder’s monthly cellphone bill|
|Ink Business Preferred||$600||3 claims||$100||Theft or damage for the cardholders and employees listed on the monthly cellphone bills|
|Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard ($450 annual fee)||$600||2 claims and $1,000||$50||Reimbursement for the actual cost to replace or repair a stolen or damaged phone|
|Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard ($99 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months)||$600||2 claims and $1,000||$50||Reimbursement for the actual cost to replace or repair a stolen or damaged phone|
However, iPhone users need to keep in mind that only two cards in the chart can cover the cost of a new iPhone 12 ($699 and up).
What These Credit Cards Don’t Cover
You can expect to receive coverage for common damages or phone theft, but some coverage limitations exist.
Cellphone protection typically doesn’t cover:
- Accessories, except the standard battery or antenna that came with your phone
- Phones you’ve purchased for resale or professional or commercial use
- Lost phones
- Phones under the care and control of a common carrier, like the U.S. Postal Service
- Phones stolen from baggage that you aren’t carrying by hand
- Phones rented, borrowed, or part of a prepaid plan
- Damage or theft related to abuse, fraud, illegal activities, or normal wear and tear
- Damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting with the cellphone
- Taxes, delivery and transportation charges, or fees associated with your service provider
- Losses covered under warranty
- Cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect how the phone operates
If your credit card’s cellphone insurance doesn’t cover your phone’s issue, you’ll have to explore other options, which may include paying out of pocket for a repair or replacement.
Cracked screens aren’t always eligible for reimbursement. For example, if you have a Navy Federal Mastercard, any screen cracks or fractures less than 2 inches long aren’t eligible for a claim if the crack doesn’t prevent you from making or accepting phone calls.
How To Make Sure Your Phone Is Covered
If you have an eligible credit card, getting coverage is fairly straightforward. You don’t have to enroll or pay an extra fee for coverage, but you do need to pay your full cellphone bill with your eligible credit card for insurance benefits. Coverage often begins on the first day of the month after you pay your bill with the eligible credit card.
Make sure you pay each bill with your credit card to avoid losing coverage. If you skip a month, your coverage might lapse and won’t pick up again until the first day of the month after you resume payments.
Most programs require you to start your claim within 60 days of the damage or theft and submit your claim within 90 days of the damage or theft.
The Bottom Line
Cellphone insurance can be a valuable benefit if you know how to use it. Check your credit card summary of benefits or contact your credit card issuer to ensure your card offers cellphone protection.
Pay attention to the amount of coverage per claim and the number of claims you can make each year, especially if your cellphone plan includes more than one line. And be prepared to submit documentation that you pay your cellphone bill with your eligible credit card, and the phone listed in the claim is part of that phone bill.
Chase. "Ink Business Preferred Credit Card."
Chase. "Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card."
Navy Federal. "Guide to Card Benefits for Mastercard Cardholders." Page 1.
Navy Federal. "Your Guide to Card Benefit for All Visa Consumer Credit Cardholders." Page 1.
U.S. Bank. "Cellphone Protection."
Wells Fargo. "Cellular Telephone Protection."