This is exciting – American Express just got cellphone protection on several cards and even offers coverage for cracked screens (which is usually excluded from this type of coverage with other card manufacturers)!
How does the Amex mobile phone protection work?
Starting April 1, 2021, American Express will offer a new cell phone protection benefit for eligible US consumers and small business cards. Here are the basics of how this reporting works:
- If a cell phone is stolen or damaged, including a broken screen, card members can be reimbursed for repair or replacement costs
- The fact that this covers screen damage is noteworthy as many other cards that offer a similar benefit specifically exclude cosmetic damage (which is usually thought of as such).
- This coverage is for up to two approved claims, up to a maximum of $ 800 per claim and $ 1,600 per 12 month period
- There is a $ 50 deductible per claim
- The cell phone line must be listed on a cell phone bill, and the previous month’s cell phone bill must be paid for with the authorized card
Please see the Benefits Guide for more details on the benefit.
Which Amex cards offer mobile phone protection?
American Express offers the new protection for mobile phones on the following cards:
My opinion on Amex’s new mobile phone advantage
I am very pleased that American Express offers additional protection for mobile phones with some premium cards. This is tremendous added value, especially when you consider how expensive cell phones are these days.
Personally, I’m trying to figure out what this means for my credit card strategy as I try to balance maximize points with the best possible cellular coverage:
- I am currently using the Ink Business Preferred® credit card (Review) for my cell phone bill, as the card offers cell phone protection and earns up to 3x Ultimate Rewards points for cell phone purchases; I estimate Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, which equates to a 5.1% return on my cell phone spend
- There is an opportunity cost there in terms of points because I have that too Ink Business Cash® credit card (Review) that doesn’t provide cellphone protection but earns up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points for cellphone purchase; In other words, I could get an 8.5% return, but I think I’ll be foregoing an incremental return of 3.4% to get cell phone coverage
- The problem with eligible Amex cards is that none of them offer bonus points for cell phone spending, although unlike my current coverage, they offer coverage for cracked screens. I value Amex Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so I would be giving up an incremental return of 3.4% to 6.8% compared to the other cards I could use
I don’t think this new benefit will change that much in my strategy as I will continue to use Ink Business Preferred on my cell phone bill to balance cell phone coverage with maximizing points. However, I would say that there are no really compelling personal cards that offer cell phone protection and bonus points for these purchases. So this might be the best option for that.
Decide which card to use for my cell phone bill
Amex has added cell phone protection (also for broken screens) to some of its premium cards. It’s always great to see more cards increase cell phone coverage considering how expensive phones are these days.
The problem is that there is often a tradeoff between maximizing points and taking advantage of such coverage. In my case, I don’t think I need to switch the card I’m using for my cell phone bill, although I’m sure it will prove valuable to others.
Kudos to American Express for the further innovation. This is a great permanent feature, on top of all of the temporary benefits that Amex has been adding to cards lately.
Are you planning to use Amex’s new cellular coverage for selected cards?