American Express is about to add a benefit to many of its credit cards that will end the question of whether you should pay for separate insurance on your smartphone. From April 1 (don’t worry, it’s not an early April Fools gag) the Cell Phone Protection plan will come into effect, covering two claims per year against stolen or damaged phones.
The good news is the damage coverage includes broken screens, probably the most common phone-related accident, and usually an expensive one, too. Amex says it will cover you for up to $800 per claim, to a maximum of $1,600 per year. This should be enough even if you manage to clumsily break your brand-new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or even a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Amex’s Cell Phone Protection to available to anyone with its Platinum, Business Platinum, Centurion Card, and cards from Delta SkyMiles, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. It won’t charge for the service either, unlike some of its accident and travel insurance coverage benefits. There is a $50 deductible for each claim that gets approved. However, one important thing to note is you will need to have paid your phone bill with the Amex card, so if you want to take advantage of the cover, make sure you’re doing this.
Paying extra for third-party insurance plans or extended warranties on a smartphone is often a waste. When Digital Trends spoke to the Consumer Reports’ electronics editor a few years ago, we were told, “Reader surveys have shown time and again that extended warranties are not a good deal for most consumers,” but getting one essentially for free is different.
Remember though, if you are worried about breaking your phone, Amex’s $50 deductible could easily fund a case which may help avoid the problem in the first place. Take a look at our favorite iPhone 12 Pro cases, and Samsung Galaxy S21 cases, to get an idea of what’s out there for popular phones, and how much they cost.
That said, if you already have an Amex card, then it may be worth using it to pay your phone bill to get the extra reassurance that if the device suffers any damage, it may not be financially ruinous.