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Free cellphone coverage
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Free cellphone coverage

A broken or stolen cellphone can ruin your day and send you into text withdrawal. Some credit card issuers come to the rescue by offering free insurance protection to offset the cost of a new phone.

Banks including Wells Fargo, Citi and Fifth Third offer cellphone protection when you use their credit cards to pay your wireless bill. Wells Fargo offers up to $600 in coverage, minus a $25 deductible, and Citi's Forward card for college students reimburses up to $250 for a damaged or stolen mobile phone, beyond a $50 copayment.

You'll have to decide if it's worth getting a credit card just to insure your cellphone, especially if the card has an annual fee. Home insurance policies provide some coverage for lost or stolen phones (minus your deductible), and your wireless service provider may offer a protection plan for a few dollars a month.

If you decide to go with a credit card protection plan for your phone, watch for exclusions. For example, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third won't help if your phone is stolen from baggage or a construction site, or it's damaged in an earthquake or flood.


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