Update: This article contains mentions of Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
There’s so much to love about this card, from the massive welcome bonus, to the 3x points bonus categories, to the excellent car rental protection, to this card being an excellent hub for earning Ultimate Rewards points.
In this post I wanted to focus specifically on one of my favorite benefits of the card, which is the cell phone protection. How exactly does this benefit work?
Ink Business Preferred cell phone insurance
Probably my single favorite benefit of the Ink Business Preferred Card is the cell phone protection it offers. Given how expensive smartphones are nowadays, this is a benefit that could prove especially beneficial for many.
In this post I wanted to look at how this benefit works in more detail.
What is the Ink Business Preferred cell phone protection benefit?
With this benefit, those with the Ink Business Preferred Card can get up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill.
In order to take advantage of this you need to pay your cell phone bill using the Ink Business Preferred Card, and you’re limited to three claims in a 12 month period, with a $100 deductible per claim.
The Ink Business Preferred cell phone protection is supplemental to any other insurance you may have on your cell phone.
Also keep in mind that the Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points on phone services, meaning that when you use this card to pay your monthly cell phone bill you’re earning bonus points as well.
Who is eligible for the cell phone protection benefit?
To be eligible you need to charge your monthly cell phone bill to the Ink Business Preferred. The coverage is effective the day following your cell phone monthly bill payment, and remains in effect until the last day of the calendar month following the payment.
You don’t receive this benefit if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with another card. However, there’s no requirement to have actually purchased your phone with this card.
What isn’t covered with the cell phone protection benefit?
The following are some of the things not covered as part of this benefit (I’m copying this from the benefits guide, to be thorough):
- Cellular wireless telephone accessories other than standard battery and/or standard antenna provided by the manufacturer.
- Cellular wireless telephone purchased for resale.
- Cellular wireless telephones that are lost or “mysteriously disappear.” “Mysterious disappearance” means the vanishing of an item in an unexplained manner where there is absence of evidence of a wrongful act by a person or persons.
- Cellular wireless telephone under the care and control of a common carrier (including, but not limited to, U.S. Postal Service, airplanes, or delivery service).
- Cellular wireless telephone stolen from baggage unless hand-carried and under Your personal supervision, or under the supervision of Your traveling companion who is previously known to You.
- Cellular wireless telephone which has been rented, leased, borrowed or cellular wireless telephones that are received as part of a pre-paid wireless service plan or “pay as you go” type service plans.
- Cosmetic damage to the cellular wireless telephone or damage that does not impact the cellular wireless telephone’s capabilities and functionalities of the phone.
- Damage or theft resulting from abuse, intentional acts, fraud, hostilities of any kind (including, but not limited to, war, invasion, rebellion, or insurrection), confiscation by the authorities, risks of contraband, illegal activities, normal wear and tear, flood, earthquake, radioactive contamination, or damage from inherent product defects.
- Damage or theft resulting from misdelivery or voluntary parting with the cellular wireless telephone.
- Replacement cellular wireless telephone not purchased from a cellular service provider’s retail or Internet store, (for example: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Wireless, etc.) or from an authorized cellular phone retailer.
- Taxes, delivery and transportation charges, and any fees associated with the cellular service provider.
How do you file a claim for the cell phone protection benefit?
To start the process of filing a claim, you’ll want to call the benefit administrator within 60 days of the incident. After you call you’ll be sent the claim form, which must be completed within 90 days of the incident.
You’ll need copies of your card statement reflecting your monthly cell phone bill payments during the time of the damage, and a store receipt for the purchase of your replacement cell phone, if applicable.
Depending on the circumstances, you’ll then either have your phone repaired or replaced, or will be reimbursed for the lesser of $600 (minus the $100 deductible) or the current suggested retail price of a replacement phone that’s a similar quality to what you have. Reimbursement should occur within 10 business days of the approval of your claim.
What other credit cards offer cell phone coverage?
If you don’t have the Ink Business Preferred Card, what other credit cards offer cell phone protection? There are a couple of other options:
- The Uber Visa Card is a no annual fee personal card, and offers up to $600 in supplemental insurance coverage against theft of, damage to, or involuntarily and accidental parting of your cell phone not otherwise covered by another insurance policy
- The Citi Prestige Card is a $495 annual fee personal card, and offers up to $1,500 in yearly benefits for up to five phones on your monthly bill
The catch with both of these cards is that neither offers bonus points when paying your cell phone bill, so there’s quite an opportunity cost to taking advantage of the benefits.
Compare that to the Ink Business Preferred, which offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on those purchases. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so that’s like a 5.1% return.
Being able to earn a good return on cell phone spending while also having coverage is a real sweet spot, in my opinion.
However, the downside is that the card offers 1% cash back on your cell phone spend, so to me it’s not worth forgoing all of those points in order to get the coverage. It’s also not a card that I otherwise find to be terribly useful.
The cell phone protection benefit on the Ink Business Preferred Card could prove to be hugely valuable.
The benefits are fairly straightforward, though the main things to keep in mind are that the benefit only applies to you and your employees, you need to charge the cell phone bill to your credit card, you need to have bought your phone new, and if your phone was stolen you’ll need a police report filed within 48 hours of the incident.
If you meet the above terms, this could easily be one of the most valuable credit card perks out there. For full details, see the Ink Preferred benefits guide.
Has anyone used the Ink Business Preferred cell phone protection benefit? What was your experience like?