Did you know Wells Fargo offers Cellular Phone Protection as a benefit of their personal credit cards?
It covers up to $600 of protection against damage or theft, twice per 12-month period, after you pay a $25 deductible. That’s up to $575 back toward a replacement!
I’ll go over the details of the program. And tell you about a credit card that allows you to earn a new smart phone!
Emily and I don’t earn a commission on these cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
How Wells Fargo Cellular Phone Protection Works
To be eligible for the $600 worth of protection, you do NOT have to purchase your cell phone with a Wells Fargo credit card. But you DO have to pay your monthly phone bill with a Wells Fargo credit card.
Only personal credit cards are eligible for coverage. Business credit cards and debit cards are excluded.
Coverage starts the month following your 1st phone bill payment with a Wells Fargo credit card. After that, you can make 2 claims in a 12-month period, as long as you keep paying your phone bill with a Wells Fargo card.
But there are some exclusions:
- Lost phones are NOT covered
- It must be your personal cell phone
- Covered phones must be purchased new. Refurbished or resold phones are NOT included
The full terms and conditions of the program are here.
To take advantage of the program, start paying your phone bill with a Wells Fargo credit card. Coverage will begin on the 1st of the following month.
Say you pay your July phone bill with a Wells Fargo credit card. Cellular Phone Protection will begin on August 1st. And you will be covered the entire month of August.
But if you stop paying your phone will with a Wells Fargo card, the coverage will end. You’re only covered until the end of the most recent month you’ve paid.
How to File a Claim
To make a claim, call a Wells Fargo Benefits Administrator at 866-804-4770 within 60 days of damage or theft. You’ll need a copy of your receipt that shows when you bought your phone, your most recent cell phone bill, and proof that you paid your last phone bill with a Wells Fargo credit card.
If your phone was stolen, you’ll need a police report. And if your phone was damaged, they might require an assessment from a qualified phone repair service, or that you send in your phone to be inspected.
If approved, you pay Wells Fargo $25. And they will reimburse you up to $600, or the price you paid for your phone, whichever is less. Claims are usually processed within 10 business days.
Are There Drawbacks?
As with anything, you should make sure it’s worth it to you to use this protection.
It could be a hassle to gather up all the paperwork needed to file a claim. And if your phone is stolen, you’ll need to file a police report.
Also, if you have insurance coverage, like homeowner’s or auto insurance, the protection offered by Wells Fargo will kick in after use the insurance you already have. Because it is supplemental insurance.
Wells Fargo says:
“Cellular Telephone Protection is supplemental to and excess of valid and collectible insurance or indemnity (including, but not limited to, Cellular Wireless Telephone insurance programs, homeowner’s, renter’s, automobile, or employer’s insurance policies). After all insurance or indemnity has been exhausted, Cellular Telephone Protection will cover the damage or theft up to $600.00 per claim subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and limits of liability of this benefit as well as the twenty-five dollar ($25.00) deductible.”
Also, Wells Fargo credit cards can be hard to get if you don’t already have a banking relationship with them. Read my review of the Wells Fargo Propel cards for more info!
Some folks may find it easier to pay for a new phone with an AMEX card to take advantage of their extended warranty protection. And then use a Wells Fargo card to pay their phone bill after the AMEX protection expires.
If you want to earn the maximum points possible from your phone bill, a Wells Fargo card is not your best option. Remember, the Chase Ink Plus and Ink Cash cards give you 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on your phone bill.
And Chase has lots of transfer partners to help you get Big Travel.
So it’s up to you whether you want to earn points or extra insurance when you pay your phone bill!
You’ll want to understand the terms and conditions of the coverage before you start depending on it. For example, if your phone screen is cracked but you can still use it to make calls, you might NOT be eligible to make a claim. And remember that all claims have to be approved by a Wells Fargo Benefits Administrator.
Here are some other scenarios that Wells Fargo says will NOT be covered by Wells Fargo Cellular Phone Protection:
• Cellular Wireless Telephones under the care and control of a common carrier (including, but not limited to, U.S. Postal Service, airplanes, or delivery service).
• Cellular Wireless Telephones 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 Telephones stolen from a construction site.
• Cellular Wireless Telephone which has been rented, leased or borrowed or Cellular Wireless Telephones that are received as part of a pre-paid plan.
• Cosmetic damage to the Cellular Wireless Telephone or damage that does not impact the Cellular Wireless Telephone’s ability to make or receive phone calls.
• 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 or vermin.
• 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.
• Taxes, delivery and transportation charges and any fees associated with the service provider.
On the plus side, you can make 2 claims for up to $600 each within a 12-month period.
I don’t have 1st-hand experience filing a claim with Wells Fargo. But some folks have had success.
Family Plans Are Included
If your spouse, partner, or children damage their phone or have it stolen, it’s covered too!
Wells Fargo says:
Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephones are limited to the primary line and up to the first three additional, or supplemental lines as listed on Your cellular provider’s monthly billing statement for the billing cycle preceding the month in which the theft or damage occurred.
So not only is YOUR personal cell phone covered, but also up to 3 additional phone lines that are listed on your account statement. If you have a family plan with multiple phone lines, and pay the bill with a Wells Fargo credit card, your family’s phones are covered, too!
Earn a Phone – Then Protect It
If you have AT&T as a service provider, you’ll earn 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 you spend with AT&T on the Citi AT&T Access More card. But you will be forgoing the Wells Fargo Cellular Protection Plan because this is NOT a Wells Fargo card.
Keep in mind you don’t have to keep AT&T as your service provider just because you buy your phone there. Because there is NO contract involved. So you can choose from any service provider!
International Travelers Can Use the Coverage
I’ve written about how to stay connected to your loved ones while traveling. Now with Wells Fargo Cellular Phone Protection, you’ll have an added layer of security if something happens to your phone abroad.
Wells Fargo’s Cellular Phone Protection will give you up to $575 back if your phone is damaged or stolen in everyday life OR along your travels. And it covers up to 3 additional lines, as long as they are listed on your account statement and paid monthly with a personal Wells Fargo credit card.
When combined with the Citi AT&T Access More card, you can earn a new phone and protect it with Wells Fargo’s coverage. But if you’re an AT&T customer, you’ll be giving up 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 by charging your monthly bill to a Wells Fargo card instead.
Folks who value peace of mind more than the extra points, may consider taking advantage of this built-in coverage by paying monthly phone charges with a Wells Fargo credit card.
Emily and I don’t receive a commission from the Wells Fargo cards or the Citi AT&T Access More card, but we’ll always tell you about the best ways to use your cards to save money!
If any of y’all have filed a claim with Wells Fargo, please let me know about your experience in the comments!