American Express Adds Cell Phone Protection on their Premium Cards (Platinum, Delta)

American Express added a new cell phone protection benefit on their premium cards which begins on April 1, 2021. If you’ve been using your card to pay your cell phone bill and your phone gets stolen or damaged (including screen damage), AmEx will reimburse the repair or replacement costs of up to $800 per claim. Limit two claims per 12-month period. $50 deductible on each claim.

Direct Link | Benefit Terms (pdf) 

The following cards are eligible:

  • AmEx Platinum cards consumer and business versions (including Schwab, Morgan Stanley, etc. versions)
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles cards consumer and business versions
  • Delta Reserve cards consumer and business versions
  • Centurion cards consumer and business versions

When comparing it to other cell phone credit card benefits, the $800 is higher than the standard $600 limit found on most cards, though lower than the $1,000 Citi Prestige benefit.  See Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance Compared – Get $600 In Coverage For Free (hopefully William will add the AmEx benefit to that post soon).

This benefit works especially well on the Delta cards during 2021 since there are separate wireless credits of $15 or $20 on the Delta Platinum business and Delta Reserve business cards through December. Also works well on the business Platinum card which earns 5x on the wireless category through June 30, 2021.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

How to Maximize the Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card

The $0-annual-fee Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card (issued by Wells Fargo) offers travelers flexibility because you can earn and redeem rewards at more than 500,000 properties around the world, including hotels, villas and apartments.

Maximize the value of the sign-up bonus

Get a reward night worth $125 when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. The bonus works like a one-time discount to a Hotels.com booking.

If you redeem the bonus reward night for a stay that costs more than $125, you’ll pay the difference. However, if your booking is less than $125, the value of the reward will be limited to the cost of the accommodation before taxes, fees and other charges. To maximize the value of the reward, you’ll want to book a stay that costs at least $125. Otherwise, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

Pay your cell phone bill to get insurance coverage

When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card, you’ll get automatic protection in the event your cell phone is damaged or stolen through Wells Fargo’s insurance plans. If you are currently paying for third-party cell phone insurance, you can potentially save money by relying on the coverage that comes with being a cardholder. The coverage is limited to the cost to repair or replace your phone and comes with a $25 deductible and maximum benefit limit of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period.

Combine rewards from spending and paid stays

In the Hotels.com Rewards program, 10 stamps are worth one reward night. As a Hotels.com Rewards member, you earn one stamp per night on eligible paid stays. But if you have the credit card, you also earn one stamp for every $500 in purchases on your card. You can combine stamps from your everyday spending with the stamps you earn from paid stays to reach the 10 stamp threshold required to earn a reward faster.

The stamps you earn from your credit card spending have a value of $110. But the stamps you earn from paid stays have a value equal to the average daily rate of your stay, excluding taxes and fees. For travelers who book more expensive hotel stays, your reward will have a higher value because the stamps from paid stays will increase your average.

Know your travel protection benefits

Many cardholders overlook benefits that can come in handy in case of a travel emergency. The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card offers several travel protection benefits, including:

  • 24/7 travel and emergency assistance services.

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver.

  • Roadside dispatch.

  • Trip cancellation and interruption.

  • Travel accident insurance.

For example, cardholders get up to $2,000 per person in trip cancellation and interruption coverage in the event you have to cancel a trip or cut it short due to illness. Read the fine print to make sure your travel is insured, especially when booking an expensive trip. Getting this type of coverage with a $0-annual-fee card is an excellent perk.

The bottom line

If you shy away from annual fee credit cards, the $0-annual-fee Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card might be a good choice. You can redeem rewards to save on stays at more than 500,000 properties — including not just major chains but also independent properties all over the world. You’ll get the most out of being a cardholder by earning and redeeming the sign-up bonus and taking advantage of the automatic cell phone insurance by paying your monthly bill with the card.

The information related to Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

Source: nerdwallet.com

What Is Phone Insurance?

What Is Phone Insurance? – SmartAsset

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Most adults in the U.S. consider a cell phone to be one of life’s essentials. We’re so reliant on our phones that losing or accidentally damaging a cell phone would constitute a major crisis. And because cell phones can be expensive, many Americans couldn’t afford to replace a cell phone right away. That’s why phone insurance can seem like an appealing option. Here’s what to know about phone insurance. 

Find out now: Is it better to rent or buy? 

Phone Insurance Basics

Like other forms of insurance such as life insurance, phone insurance is a hedge against risk. Specifically, phone insurance provides some protection against the loss, theft or destruction of your phone. Phone insurance may be offered to you when you buy your phone through your provider. Alternatively, you can buy a separate phone insurance policy.

Many phone plans and phone purchases come with basic phone insurance, through the phone manufacturer, the phone service provider or both. Generally, these built-in forms of insurance cover things that are the manufacturer’s fault. If your phone simply stops working, you’ll probably be able to get a new one at no cost.

But what about phone-related misfortune that isn’t the result of a manufacturing default? If you drop your phone in the bath tub, leave it at a restaurant or discover that someone has stolen your phone, what do you do? In most cases, your phone plan doesn’t come with built-in protection against these eventualities. You won’t be able to walk into, say, Verizon and ask for a new, free phone because you dropped yours on the sidewalk. But if you purchased additional phone insurance, whether through your provider or from another company, you would be covered against loss, theft and damage. Your phone would be repaired or replaced with a refurbished phone.

Find out now: How much life insurance do I need? 

Is phone insurance worth it? 

Phone insurance can add a significant expense to your budget. Like health insurance, phone insurance generally comes with both monthly premiums and a deductible. Phone insurance deductibles are usually around $200. The deductible is the amount you must pay before the insurance kicks in. Phone insurance plans generally limit the number of replacement phones you can get – so if you’re a chronic phone-loser, your policy might cut you off.

So is it worth it? Well, you may already have some coverage for your phone. Some phone plans come with built-in phone insurance, so before you evaluate whether to buy an add-on policy, take a look at your current plan to see whether you’re already covered. It’s also worth taking a look at the terms of your credit card, which may offer an extended warranty on your phone if you used the card to purchase the phone. And if you have homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance, take a look at those policies, too. Your phone might be covered through your homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance policy.

If you don’t have phone insurance, deciding whether to buy an add-on policy is largely a question of your comfort with risk and your budget. If you pay for phone insurance and nothing happens to your phone, you will have lost the money you spent on premiums. On the other hand, if you opt out of phone insurance and your phone is stolen, you’ll have to come up with the money to replace your phone. You won’t automatically get a refurbished phone, as you would if you had phone insurance coverage.

Check out our budget calculator. 

Bottom Line

If your phone is lost, stolen or damaged, you might want to dip into your savings to get a new, used or refurbished phone as a replacement. If you have some liquidity in your budget in the form of cash savings, opting out of phone insurance and buying a replacement phone could turn out to be a cheaper option. Before you decide, consider your budget and the likelihood that something might happen to your phone. If you do opt for phone insurance, look for an affordable option with a short (or non-existing) waiting period. Policies with waiting periods leave consumers out of luck if their phone is lost, stolen or damaged before the policy kicks in.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/MilosStankovic, ©iStock.com/xavierarnau, ©iStock.com/Portra

Amelia Josephson Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia’s work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.
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Source: smartasset.com