Cell phone insurance from your credit card

Credit card companies are always tweaking their benefits to entice the most customers to use their products.  The latest benefit that is being added is free cell phone insurance.  At least four major credit cards offer some sort of cell phone coverage as part of the benefits package, and I suspect more will be adding this very popular benefit.  Commercial cell phone coverage can be costly, whether you pay monthly, yearly or as a one-time fee, typically have fairly large deductibles, and usually only cover one phone.  The coverage offered through credit cards is free, have more reasonable deductibles, and usually cover multiple phones.

This week, Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) has announced that it joins the list of credit card companies that offer cell phone coverage free if you charge your cell phone bill to your credit card.

The fine print of NFCU’s deal is similar to most other credit card cell phone insurance offers:

  1. protection for up to three phones owned by the cardholder
  2. reimbursement of up to $250 per claim for damages or theft (up to $500 per year)
  3. $50 deductible per incident

Now, there is  a lot of fine print.  In particular, it seems that the phone must be purchased from the carrier and can not have been purchased on the secondary market.  It also says that your carrier must not be a “pay as you go” plan, but doesn’t define that clearly.

Other credit cards offer different details, but the premise is the same.  If you don’t use NFCU, check with your credit card to see if they offer cell phone insurance as part of their benefit package.  If you do have cell phone insurance as part of your credit card’s benefit package, and you are paying for coverage elsewhere, you may be able to cut that cost out of your budget.

As the mother of four teens, I am thrilled about this!  We seem to have broken phones A.  LOT.  For me, this is a no brainer – we already charge our cell phones to my credit card.  NFCU’s coverage is up to three phones per card, so I’ll be moving three phones to my husband’s NFCU credit card asap.  And while I hope we’ll never need this coverage, I suspect we will, and I will be glad to take advantage of it.

By Kate Horrell, 

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