Credit Cards

This Overlooked Credit Card Benefit Saved Me Over $300

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If your cell phone is damaged or stolen, this overlooked credit card benefit could save you hundreds of dollars.

Key points

  • A damaged cell phone can be expensive to repair or replace.
  • This often overlooked credit card saved me over $300 on repairs.

I accidentally damaged my phone four days after I bought it. Fortunately, I use credit cards, and one of the cards in my wallet made it easy for me to get an affordable fix for my new phone.

Many rewards credit cards include valuable benefits that can improve your life. While not all credit cards offer cell phone protection coverage, some do. If your phone is damaged or stolen, this benefit can come in handy.

Instead of paying the full cost of repairs or replacement out of pocket, you can use your coverage to help cover part of the cost. For many, this can save hundreds of dollars. Find out how an often overlooked credit card benefit saved me over $300.

What is mobile phone protection and how does it work?

If you’ve never used your credit card’s cell phone protection benefits, you may be wondering how it works. This is what you need to know.

Mobile phone protection typically covers both lost and damaged phones. To qualify for this benefit, you must use your eligible credit card to pay your monthly cell phone service bill. I recommend setting your cell phone service bill to auto pay with your eligible card if you have this coverage.

When you go to file a claim, you will be asked to upload documentation.

Some examples of required documentation may include:

  • Proof that you paid for the phone (and it wasn’t free through a promotion)
  • Proof that the cell phone is linked to your cell phone service
  • Proof that your previous cell phone service bill was paid with your credit card
  • A repair estimate provided by an authorized repair service center

Your card benefits company likely has an online portal where you can file your claim, submit documentation, check the status of your claim, and receive reimbursement. While there may be a bit of a wait while your claim is reviewed, filing a claim is a relatively simple process.

Here are some things to keep in mind before filing a claim:

  • You may need to get a repair estimate before filing your claim.
  • You must file your claim within the time frame indicated in the terms of your benefits.
  • When claiming a stolen phone, a police report will be required

Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your card benefit because specific coverage details may vary from card to card. For example, the rules and coverage amounts may differ.

This is how this cell phone benefit helped me

I’m glad I had this benefit. Without it, I would have had to spend over $400 to get my phone repaired or choose not to do the repairs and continue to use my damaged cell phone.

My credit card offers reimbursement of up to $1,000 per claim and covers up to three claims per 12 months. The deductible is $100. It’s worth noting that the terms of my benefits state that I am responsible for taxes and fees, so I must pay sales tax on the repair bill.

Once I submitted all the required documentation online, my claim was approved. A day later, I received my funds. Since my pre-tax repair bill was $419 and my deductible was $100, I was paid $319. Now that everything is finished, I will make the repairs and pay directly to the repair service center.

Don’t let credit card benefits go to waste

If you have rewards credit cards, be sure to get the full value of your cards and use any included benefits. If you’re paying an annual fee to use your card, this is especially important. It’s good practice to review the benefits of each card you have in your wallet.

Here are some other benefits your card may offer that may be valuable:

If you’re not already using rewards credit cards, you may want to start soon. You can earn rewards for your spending and gain access to valuable benefits. Take a look at our list of the best rewards credit cards to find the credit card that’s right for you.

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