Do you worry about cell phone mishaps? Before you shell out for insurance, see whether your credit card comes with coverage as a free benefit. Last year, Mastercard began offering cell phone protection for holders of its World and World Elite credit cards. Consumer credit cards from Wells Fargo come with phone insurance, and so do the Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa, Uber Visa and U.S. Bank Visa Platinum cards.
To get the insurance, you have to pay your monthly wireless bill with the credit card (check with the issuer to see whether all phones on a family plan are covered). The coverage limit per claim is often $600, although Mastercard World Elite cardholders get up to $800 a claim. Yearly coverage limits apply, too, typically ranging from about $1,000 to $1,800. And the number of claims may be capped at two or three annually. Deductibles run from about $25 to $100.
The insurance usually covers devices that are damaged or stolen (but not lost). The type of damage that qualifies varies. Mastercard’s protection, for example, includes screen scratches that don’t affect your phone’s ability to make or take calls; some other plans exclude cosmetic damage. Other exclusions may include phones paired with a prepaid wireless plan, devices stolen from checked baggage during air travel and electronic problems not caused by physical damage, such as inability to charge the battery. If your phone is stolen, you may have to provide the benefit administrator a police report that was filed within 48 hours of the incident, and damage claims may require a repair estimate. And you’ll typically have to file your claim within a specified window after the damage or theft occurred—often 90 days.
If you buy insurance through your phone carrier, you may enjoy higher coverage limits of about $2,000 per claim and inclusion of lost phones in the plan, says Tina Chang, of WhistleOut, a phone-plan comparison site. But the cost may be about $10 to $20 per month in premiums.
Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.
How to Buy Stocks
Not everyone knows how to buy stocks, even as investing in the stock market becomes more and more popular. This four-step plan can help.
By Will Ashworth Published
One Key Rule for Understanding 2023 RMDs
RMDs Required minimum distribution (RMD) rules can be confusing, but there is a guideline that can help.
By Kelley R. Taylor Published
Four Tips for Renting Out Your Home on Airbnb
real estate Here's what you should know before listing your home on Airbnb.
By Miriam Cross Published
Five Ways to a Cheap Last-Minute Vacation
Travel Procrastinator? No matter. You can pull off a fun and memorable getaway on a moment's notice — without breaking the bank.
By Vaishali Varu Published
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
insurance Instead of relying on rules of thumb, you’re better off taking a systematic approach to figuring your life-insurance needs.
By Kimberly Lankford Published
When Is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime In 2023 Amazon had two Prime Day events — one in July and another, called Big Deal Days, in October. We expect 2024 to follow the same schedule.
By Bob Niedt Last updated
How to Shop for Life Insurance in 3 Easy Steps
insurance Shopping for life insurance? You may be able to estimate how much you need online, but that's just the start of your search.
By Kaitlin Pitsker Published
5 Ways to Shop for a Low Mortgage Rate
Becoming a Homeowner Rates are high this year, but you can still find an affordable loan.
By Daniel Bortz Published
Mastercard Says It Is Not Raising Network or Swipe Fees
Card processing giant says WSJ story on credit card fee hikes ‘is wrong.’
By Joey Solitro Published
Retirees, It's Not Too Late to Buy Life Insurance
life insurance Improvements in underwriting have made it easier to qualify for life insurance, which can be a useful estate-planning tool.
By David Rodeck Published