Beginning April 1 2021, select Amex cards gain cell phone protection. Eligible cards include Centurion cards (consumer and business), Platinum cards (including the business Platinum and co-branded consumer variants), Delta Platinum (consumer and business), and Delta Reserve (consumer and business). Strangely missing from the list, in my opinion, are the $450 Bonvoy Brilliant and Hilton Aspire cards. I’m also a bit surprised not to see the Gold Card or Business Gold Card on the list.
- Coverage includes phones that are stolen or damaged.
- We have been told that cracked screens are covered.
- Max $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12 month period.
- A $50 deductible applies to each claim.
- “You must charge your monthly Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone bill to your Eligible Card Account.” (interestingly, the terms do not say that you must pay in full each month, but maybe that’s implied?)
- Policy details can be found here.
Cell phone protection is already available from many other credit cards (see: Credit card cell phone insurance compared), but it’s great to see Amex join the party. Keep in mind that this is different from purchase protection (which Amex provides as well). Amex’s purchase protection covers damage, loss, or theft for 90 days from purchase. Nick had great luck using their purchase protection with a phone that smashed shortly after he bought it. Cell phone protection, meanwhile, is continuously available as long as you pay your wireless bill with your eligible card. With purchase protection there’s no deductible, but with cell phone coverage they impose a $50 deductible per claim. If Amex handles cell phone protection claims themselves the way they do with purchase protections, that’s fantastic news: According to many accounts, Amex is generally much better to work with than 3rd party insurers.
If you have multiple eligible cards, here are my thoughts about which are best to use to pay your cell phone bill in the short term:
- Delta Business Platinum or Business Reserve: If you’ve had your business Delta card since January 1, 2021, then it is eligible for monthly $15 (Platinum) or $20 (Reserve) wireless credits. See this post for details: Delta cards: Enhancements for 2021 (dining, wireless, status boost, and Delta spend bonuses).
- Amex Business Platinum: If you’ve had your Business Platinum card since Nov 1 2020, then you are eligible to earn 5X rewards for wireless spend (among other categories) through June 2021. Amex Business Platinum – 5X gas station, wireless, office supply, shipping, and advertising.
For reference, here’s the information sent to us by Amex’s PR firm:
Knowing how important these devices are, American Express is supporting Card Members by adding Cell Phone Protection as a new benefit for eligible U.S. Consumer and Small Business Cards, inclusive of protection against screen damage, which is typically excluded from damage coverage. Effective April 1, 2021, if a Card Members’ cell phone is stolen or damaged, including a cracked screen, they can be reimbursed for the repair or replacement costs for up to two approved claims, for a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12-month period, when their cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month’s wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible applies to each approved claim.
Cell Phone Protection will be included for no additional cost for the following American Express Card Members:
- Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business Platinum Card®
- Centurion® Card from American Express
- Business Centurion Card®
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Charles Schwab
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Morgan Stanley
- The Platinum Card® Exclusively for Goldman Sachs
- The Centurion® Card Exclusively for Goldman Sachs
For more information about the coverage, please see the Guide to Benefits at americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/policies/cell-phone-protection.html.