A rash of people in my life have dropped their cell phones in public toilets. How many people in a “rash”? Three.
My buddy’s wife gave her device a swirly TWICE last year.
This money tip is very simple: If you pay your monthly mobile telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Visa Signature or Wells Fargo Propel American Express personal credit card, you’ll get up to $600 protection (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft at no cost. This applies to your primary phone and three additional lines.
You can do this twice a year. If you need it more frequently than that, what’s wrong with you?
I got this card specifically for the phone insurance. In fact, the only thing I charge on this card is my Sprint bill. I set it up to automatically pay my Sprint bill monthly and my checking account automatically pays my credit card bill. I don’t have to think about it AND I get insurance.
If you’d like to get this card (and the phone coverage), Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website. Then click the “Hotel Motel, Holiday Inn…” section (Wells Fargo thinks of this as a travel credit card). Scroll down to the 11th card (Wells Fargo Propel American Express). Email me if you have any questions. Full disclosure: I may get a commission if you apply using my link, so… Thanks!
What if you break your phone, take it swimming, or drop it in a Port-A-Let? Your provider doesn’t let you out of your contract. You have to buy a new phone unless you have insurance.
iPhone users: AppleCare is $79-129 per year. I used to pay Sprint $8/month for insurance before realizing it was a bad plan. If I used the Sprint insurance, I’d still have to pay an extra $100 for a refurbished phone. Not only was the Sprint insurance coverage weak, but I was paying $96/year for it.
Regarding the Wells Fargo phone insurance, a representative from Card Benefit Services (866-804-4770) told me that if your phone is stolen, they will need a police report. If you shatter your screen, they accept a photo. For other damages, they suggest you provide them with a diagnostic from the wireless provider. Just walk into the Apple or Sprint store for example, and have them give you the diagnostic.
When the insurer gets your paperwork, they’ll cut you a check up to $600. So, if your new phone cost $475, they deduct your $25 co-payment and send you $450. If your new phone cost $700, they’d send you $600.
My buddy’s wife’s phone did not cost that much. Here’s their check for $424.99. NICE SAVINGS and he did not have to pay for annual insurance coverage!
Another friend had an older iPhone. Apple offered him a replacement phone for $269. Wells Fargo Card Benefit Services sent him a check for $244 ($269 – $25 deductible). Pretty sweet!
Phone protection with the Wells Fargo card begins the first day of the calendar month following your first cellphone billing on your Wells Fargo card. The coverage remains as long as you pay your cell bill with the Wells Fargo credit card.
I got my card years ago. Because my Sprint bill ends mid-month, the first Sprint bill that I paid using my Wells Fargo card is the one that hit mid-January. That meant my coverage did not start until February 1st.
Here’s The Fine Print:
Since I will only be using this credit card to pay my cell phone bill, I authorized my bank to automatically pay off the credit card balance monthly. I noted this in my Quicken as well so I will not overdraw my checking account.