If you own an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you're probably concerned about three things: loss, damage, or theft. Fortunately, your credit card or debit card may already cover the most common wireless repair and replacement situations.
American Express extends two powerful benefits to cardmembers: purchase protection and warranty extension. Purchase your new phone with an AmEx card and you can return it or replace it within 90 days, regardless of the purchase policies of the vendor from whom you bought the device. If you file a police report and you can show that you took reasonable care not to lose your stolen device, AmEx can even cover the cost of its replacement with a like model.
Many American Express charge cards will also extend warranty protection on your wireless device for up to an extra year. Once your claim gets approved, just pay for the repair with a qualifying American Express card, and the company will reimburse your expense on a future statement.
If you don't have a credit card, you can still take advantage of American Express' generous program. Purchase protection and warranty extension terms now apply to AmEx's line of prepaid debit cards, including the Bluebird and Serve brands. Depending on special offers and promotions, you may not even have to pay a fee to load your prepaid card, so you can cover your cell phone against loss and damage at no extra charge.
Visa Signature, MasterCard, and Discover also offer versions of purchase protection and warranty extension programs that can vary based on card type and issuer. If your claim would ordinarily fall under your homeowner's, renter's, or auto policy, your credit card may cover your insurer's deductible on an approved claim.
If you're like my friend who keeps his iPhone in the front pocket of his fly fishing vest, you'll probably just want to park a few extra dollars per month in a high-interest savings account to cover the deductible on a carrier's cell phone insurance plan. Otherwise, it's a good idea to make your purchase with a credit card than can cover most, if not all, of the calamities likely to befall your new wireless device.