Amex Adds Cell Phone Protection to Many Premium Cards

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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.

You'll want to use your Amex to get cell phone protection

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:

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.

For reference, here are the full terms of cell phone protection coverage for the Amex Platinum.

Quick Thoughts

There are several credit cards that offer cellphone protection in one form or another. Before this announcement, our go-to option was the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

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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Comments

  • This is a great benefit. I’ve used the phone insurance on my Barclays Uber card more times than I would’ve ever expected.

  • I think this is one benefit we can universally agree on

  • Alexander says:

    Too bad cosmetic damage is excluded, would have been a nice way to get a new screen for $50 prior to selling the phone and upgrading.

  • Cell phone insurance is meh…I would’ve preferred a better bonus category on the Platinum, or other more practical benefits. This has less value for people who rarely (if ever) lose or damage their iPhone. To earn 1x MR for a benefit with < 2% probability of being used in any meaningful way is a so-so tradeoff, and cellphone bills are an easy tool for meeting credit card minimum spends, so that's a non-trivial opportunity cost.

  • The Aspire is noticeably absent. 🙁

  • angelo fonseca says:

    for sure, it is an excellent benefit. I hope other credit card brands do the same.

  • Great addition to these Amex cards. Nice to see them adding benefits after taking a lot away over time.

  • It would be great to see this benefit to expand to other AMEX cards. Cell phone benefits can be found even on non-annual fee World Mastercards these days.

  • Tough choice between 5x on my Ink Cash and protection, but since I’m usually very careful with my phone (knock on wood), I’m leaning towards 5x.

  • Cell phone insurance is also available on the Wells Fargo Propel card when you pay your bill with the card and there is no annual fee associated with this card to boot.

  • Amex’s annual fee is too high to justify the benefit. It was more generous years ago.

  • pony_trekker says:

    Another useless benefit to those with manufacturer’s warranties or Apple Care. Next Amex will be telling us about that great benefit– 10% off getting our horses reshod.

    • While this benefit certainly won’t be valued by everyone, I have to think the overwhelming majority of cell phone users are not under warranty or Apple Care.

  • Wish they include the Amex Gold card as well