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In another strong move to boost card value, Amex announced that it will add cell phone protection as a benefit for several popular cards. Starting April 1, 2021, certain Amex cards will cover stolen or damaged cellphones (including cracked screens) up to $800 per claim twice a year. That now makes these cards some of the better options for paying your cell phone bill.
Which Amex Cards Will Have Cell Phone Protection
Starting April 1, 2021, the following cards will have access to Amex's new cell phone protection benefit:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — as well as the Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Ameriprise versions
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Centurion® Card from American Express — as well as the Goldman Sachs and business versions
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Starting then, U.S.-based customers with these products can be reimbursed for the replacement or repair costs for their phone if it's stolen or damaged. However, there are some important terms to be aware of:
- The maximum reimbursement per claim is $800 with a $50 deductible.
- Cardholders can file a maximum of two claims per 12-month period.
- To qualify, the phone line must be on a wireless bill where the previous month's bill was paid by an eligible Amex card.
Interestingly, Amex's new benefit even covers screen damage. Cracked screens are a common issue for smartphone users, yet credit card cell phone coverage typically excludes claims for screen repairs. That makes it all the more surprising and valuable that Amex does not.
Going forward—that may change. Amex's new cellphone protection tops the Ink Preferred‘s in almost every way:
- It offers a higher maximum payout per claim ($800 vs. $600).
- It charges a much lower deductible per claim ($50 vs. $100).
- Plus, it covers screen damage in addition to functional damage (Chase considers this screen damage cosmetic).
Perhaps the only aspect where the Ink Preferred is better is the maximum number of allowable claims per year. Chase allows customers to receive three eligible claims per 12 months as opposed to Amex's two. But let's be honest, if you're using this benefit for personal use, you probably (hopefully) won't need to file more than two claims every 12 months.
However, I do find the selection of affected cards curious. All of the Platinum card variations make sense—after all, it's Amex's flagship card product. However, why did Delta's top two cards also receive this coverage over other cobranded offerings? Moreover, I can't help but notice that the Platinum Delta Amex and Business Platinum Delta Amex are the only mid-tier cards to offer the benefit.
Overall, Amex's new benefit adds a significant boost of value for zero additional cost to the cardmember. Several of these products—including the Amex Platinum—already offered industry-leading benefits packages before. Now it's even better.
How do you feel about Amex's new cell phone protection?
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