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Make sure you have this most useful perks of the credit card perks


If you’re like a lot of Americans, your cell phone has basically become another subsection. And if you’ve ever broken – or broken – that appendage, you are fully aware of possible panic.

That might be why you decide to pay extra for coverage from your wireless carrier, usually for up to $ 20 per month, billed on your bill. But what if you could have the same peace of mind for free? If you have a qualified credit card, you can.

Cell phone protection was a rare thing party privileges is only found on selected credit cards. But in recent years, it is starting to become a standard boon for many customers.

Here’s why and how it can help.

Phone taking a shower?

Today, it’s hard to find an American who doesn’t own a cell phone. According to the Pew Research Center, a staggering 97% of Americans have a cell phone, with 85% owning a smartphone – up from just 35% of Americans using a smartphone in 2011. .

Read: 7 things you really shouldn’t buy with a $ 1,400 stimulus check

And our phones are not just things that we leisurely carry around. We have become engaged and actively dependent on them. One in three millennia would rather give up showering for a month than spend all day without a cell phone, according to American Express.
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Trendex survey in early 2021.

However, while many people have experienced damage to their phones, like flooding or cracked screens, Americans wait longer to replace their phones. Americans wait an average of 3.17 years for a new one, according to Daniel Research Group, a company that provides market research services, 25% longer than 2015.

Part of that reluctance may be the cost involved, especially if the phone isn’t covered. A new iPhone 12 can cost you $ 800. So what if your current phone has a few screen cracks? You can live with those until the next scheduled equipment upgrade.

Nerd Tips: If you have an iPhone, you can pay Apple
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Care protection, but prices vary depending on coverage and you will still enjoy any applicable deductibles.

The trend of win-win credit cards

Until a few years ago, cell phone coverage was not a popular privilege for cardholders. You can find it on a number of Wells Fargo
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credit cards and a bunch of individual products from other issuers, and that’s about it.

But in 2019, Mastercard
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announced mobile phone protection as one Extra benefits for World and World Elite cardholders. Mastercard does not issue credit cards; it’s a payment network that serves a lot of credit cards, no matter what banks issue them. As a result, this change has had far-reaching effects, from old protective tags to new products launched by new startups.

American Express – both the card issuer and the payment network – followed in early 2021, the announcement Cell phone insurance supplements Its for many premium credit cards. Terms apply.

That is a significant trend, experts say. “Promoting these benefits to cardholders can encourage spending on cards,” said Megan Cipperly, senior director of corporate insights analyzing how companies communicate with customers. bringing benefits for both parties and cardholders. “Customers have the right to use free mobile protection by using their card to pay their monthly mobile phone bill and the issuer ensures their card is used every month.”

Than: 7 credit card perks you should highlight this year

Even some retail credit cards are starting to offer perks, which Cipperly says can help encourage customers to use those cards outside of those store brands. It can also act as a differentiator between travel credit cards.

“There are many additional benefits associated with credit cards associated with travel,” Cipperly said. “Cell phone protection provides a way for publishers to diversify their interests, especially since COVID-19, tourism benefits may no longer be as appealing to customers as they once did. “

Things to know about mobile phone protection with credit card

All credit and benefits are not created equal. Often times, details about mobile perks can be buried deep in your credit card’s terms and benefits pages.

Also read: 8 tips to maximize your credit card rewards

“This could be a huge cost savings for consumers if it is provided,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, a national nonprofit education and advocacy organization. with their credit card and if they understand the terms. “Make sure you understand exactly what is covered and the insurance requirements, such as loss, theft and damage.”

Here’s what you should know:

  • You will need to pay your mobile phone bill with a credit card: In most cases, just keeping a credit card capable of securing cell phones is not enough.

  • You will owe a deduction: That amount varies by card, typically ranging from $ 25 to $ 50 per request. Additionally, each card has a limit on the amount it will pay for each claim and the number of claims it can claim.

  • You will need to submit the following paperwork: Terms may vary, but be prepared to submit documents such as a claim form, a billing statement from your wireless carrier, a copy of the receipt for any repairs. , etc.

  • Coverage may not be primary: In some cases, cell phone insurance from your credit card is in addition to other insurance, such as home insurance, car insurance or cell phone insurance that you may already have. purchased separately. That means it doesn’t go into effect unless all other coverage options are exhausted.

  • Usually “lost” phones do not qualify for coverage: Theft or damage? You are usually insured. But what if you just put it in the wrong place? Sure is not.

  • Definitions of “damage” are different: While most smartphone owners have had a hard time dealing with the scary cracked screen, a screen repair doesn’t apply to this privilege.

  • Even tags that look alike may not have the same benefits: Hunting,
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    for example, there is a popular line of Ink Business credit cards, but only one of these branded cards has cell phone protection.

  • Privileges can come from different places: Payment networks, like Visa
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    and Mastercard, which can provide coverage on certain cards. For example, Mastercard says cell phone protection is a core benefit it will provide to all eligible World Elite and World Elite cardholders, regardless of the issuer. On the other hand, although Visa makes mobile coverage an option on all its Signature cards, the card issuer (bank) will decide which card applies to the this card type.

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Erin Hurd writes for the NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]

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