American Express Adding Cell Phone Protection To Several Premium Cards

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American Express is adding a new cell phone protection benefit to several of its premium cards starting April 1.

This includes The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express (as well as personal and business Centurion cards) as well as the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. Schwab and Morgan Stanley-branded Platinum cards and Goldman Sachs Platinum and Centurion cards qualify as well.

Coverage includes theft and damage – even a cracked screen – and provides for reimbursement of repair or replacement, up to $800 per claim and two claims per 12 month period (with a $50 deductible per claim).

You just need the cell phone line listed on your wireless bill and prior month’s bill charged to the eligible card to qualify for overage.


Copyright: creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

On top of adding trip delay benefits to certain premium cards, it’s great to see Amex building out its ancillary benefits that protect customers – especially when we’ve seen Citibank and then Barclays eliminating protections from their cards. (Frankly I do not see how a bank can issue American Airlines co-brand cards without offering trip delay protection.)

I’m glad to see the addition of cell phone protection to certain American Express products but it won’t change how I charge my monthly bill. For several years I’ve charged mine to the no annual fee Ink Business Cash® Credit Card for the 5x earning (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year) at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services.

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card currently offers $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Think of that as 75,000 points, which – if you have an Ultimate Rewards card whose points transfer to airline miles and hotel points – can be combined into one of Chase’s annual fee Ultimate Rewards products, and then transferred to a variety of loyalty program partners.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. @Gary I’ve waffled multiple times between using Ink for my wireless bill and using a different card that offers protection. I’m curious how you do the calculation/risk assessment that the 5x UR points from your phone bill is more valuable than the phone protection coverage.

  2. @JDN – I haven’t had a damage claim on my cell phone in 9 years and that was covered by purchase protection since it happened soon after I bought it. And that was before I put a case around it. I drop my phone regularly and nothing happens.

  3. Gary, any idea on if I pay $15 of my cell phone bill on the Amex Bonvoy Business card for the $15 credit, and then pay the remainder on my Platinum card, would that qualify for coverage?

  4. Will claims be administered by Amex, as they are for other claims like return protection and warranty? If that’s the case then this becomes the best phone protection out there because Amex in-house claims unit is so much better and easier to deal with than the Visa and MC outsourced insurance that make their money by denying claims. If anyone can confirm please post.

  5. Aren’t you able to get 5x Membership Rewards points with the business Platinum card? Seems that’s the better value play, getting the same 5x as Chase, plus the protection.

  6. My AT&T bill is usually the only charge on my Wells Fargo card due to the strong protection plan, which comes with a $25 deductible. But I will gladly switch to Amex for the better claims experience.

    If your children have iphones the coverage is a no-brainer. Almost everyone in my family has cracked their screen at least once in the past decade.

  7. @Gary how do these cell phone protections with the plat card stack up against the ink business preferred card? Factoring in the extra points gained with ink business (x3 points) and lower AF.

    I tend to care less about cell phone protection after enough time passes that the value drops down low enough that the points become more valuable.

  8. Boraxo – Wells has a $25 deductible with a $600 maximum per claim, while Amex has a $50 deductible but an $800 maximum per claim. I’ve made claims for the Well insurance and it was handled well.

    So one question is – how often would someone have a claim that is over $600? Presumably in theft situations (assuming value of phone is over $600), or physical damage that is so severe that phone can’t be repaired – e.g., water damage, phone run over by car?

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