If you’re like me, your smartphone is basically an extension of yourself. It keeps me on track for meetings, helps me navigate through traffic, reminds me of my daughter’s cello performances, and lets me stay connected with friends and family.

With so much riding on our phones, the thought of losing or damaging them is pretty scary. But here's some good news: credit card insurance might be the unsung hero you didn't know you had. While it's often associated with travel or purchase protection, credit card insurance can also cover your phone against damage or theft.

Got a family plan? Credit card insurance often covers all the phones on your plan if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card. It’s a perk that many people overlook.

Let me share a personal example. My iPhone's charging port stopped working recently. Thanks to my credit card insurance, I only had to pay a $50 deductible instead of shelling out over $500 for repairs or a replacement.

How Credit Card Insurance Works for Cell Phones

It’s pretty simple. When you pay your cell phone bill with an eligible credit card, you automatically activate the insurance coverage that comes with it. This covers accidental damage and theft, so whether you drop your phone or it gets stolen, you’re covered.

Credit Card Options

If your credit card doesn't provide cell phone insurance, here is a great option to consider: the Wells Fargo Active Cash card. It has no annual fee and gives you 2% cash back on every purchase.

In terms of cell phone protection, it reimburses you for the cost to repair or replace the cell phone in the event it is damaged or stolen. The one caveat is that cracked screens that do not impact the phone's functionality are not covered with this card.

As long as you pay your monthly bill with your credit card (must post to the covered account the month preceding the damage/theft), you are protected for up to $600 per claim (minus a $25 deductible). Coverage is for 2 paid claims per 12 month period.

Other personal credit cards with cell phone insurance include: The Platinum Card from Amex, Capital One Venture X Rewards Card, Chase Freedom Flex, and Wells Fargo Autograph Card. Each card has different coverage limits and terms, so be sure to read the fine print.


When our smartphones are such a critical tool in our everyday professional and personal lives, protecting them from damage or theft brings tremendous peace of mind. While you may consider AppleCare with Theft and Loss protection ($13.50/month per phone) or Verizon Wireless Phone Protection ($7.25/month per line), credit card insurance provides a valuable safety net all at no additional cost to you, the cardholder.
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