Which Credit Card to Use for New Phone Purchases

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In our household it seems that at least one iPhone needs replacing every time there is a new phone released…which then often leads to phone upgrade musical chairs where someone is getting a new phone, someone is getting someone else’s old phone, etc.

What Credit Card to Use for New PhonesSince we have yet another phone clinging to life support for a while holding out for the new models, we were online this morning pre-ordering the new iPhone 6s and we had to decide what credit card to utilize in order to make the most of the purchase.  Since I bet some of you will be getting a new phone, too, I’ll share what we did to not only earn extra points but also protect ourselves in the process.

Since our new phones from AT&T have always billed as an AT&T charge when we order from that website, it has always counted for 5x points.  Considering that the mid-range new iPhone 6s with a two-year contract bills at about $350 all-in, that is 1,750 points.  Obviously if you are buying pricier models or are paying the full non-contract price that amount of points earned will go even higher.  Buying the phone via other carriers or sites may also not result in 5x earning depending on how it bills.

Make Sure You Have Extended Warranty Protection via Your Credit Card:  With this coverage we get an extra year on the manufacturer’s one year warranty and are protected against damage or theft for the first 120 days.  We have used the manufacture’s warranty extension on an iPhone that stopped working in the past and we were sent a check to cover the replacement of the phone (up to the original purchase price of the phone charged on the card) when we were able to demonstrate that the phone was not able to be repaired and it was a defect that would have been covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty.

That saved us close to $300 and I will forever be sure to make this sort of purchase on a card that gives me some extra protection and peace of mind. You can read all about this process and how we made the claim here.  I’m also glad that we will have 120 days of protection in case we break the phone or have it stolen.  I know several people that have had their iPhone screens repaired via this protection coverage!

You will find that many of the premium credit card products that are common in the miles and points arena have these very nice built-in perks!

Get $650 Towards a New Phone with New Citi Credit Card:

AT&T Access More Card from Citi, an AT&T credit cardOne other credit card that is worth a specific mention while we are on the topic of new phones is the AT&T Access More Card from Citi (not an affiliate link – just worth a mention!).  This credit card gives you $650 towards a new contract-free AT&T phone as a sign-up bonus after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months.  This phone also provides 3x points at online at retail and travel website as well as on AT&T charges.

I don’t personally have this card, but if you planned to spend $650 on a contract-free phone, this may be a card worth considering to keep that money in you pocket.

This card will also provide extended warranty and damage/theft protections, so you are covered in this case, too!

Which credit card do you use when it is time to upgrade a phone in your household?


Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. If purchasing an iPhone directly from Apple, you could go thru UR shopping portal for 2X and pay with AMEX BRG for another either 2X or 3X on computer purchases depending on which 3X category you have previously chosen. Apple phones purchased from Apple are unlocked, but AT&T won’t unlock them right away.

  2. I would second the Amex recommendation, their warranty claim process puts the rest to shame. You can keep the 5x points, I’ll take their warranty everyday.

    I bought a Nexus 4 from Google that began acting up many months later. It was a minor intermittent problem that was probably carrier-based but all I had to do was send them my receipt from Google Play along with a description of the problem. In less than a week, they refunded the purchase to my card and didn’t even ask for the phone back. We still use it as a sort of tablet when we’re home on WiFi.

  3. Used the Capital One Spark business card with a $500 bonus and 2% cash back. Bought the HTC One 9 for $515 and paid used back–free phone!

  4. Why not get the new phone with the access card and add it to your account? I was told that would save me $25 per month and that they no longer offered the $199 deal with a 2 year contract. I’m in NY so maybe you have an option I don’t?

  5. This isn’t directly relevant to new-phone purchases, but I pay my monthly phone bill with my Wells Fargo AmEx because one of its benefits is phone insurance for loss or damage. (Lesser-known card, partly because it hasn’t had extra-large sign-up bonuses and partly because they don’t publicize it well, but it’s a solid card for miles/points and has no foreign transaction fees. Annual fee is $175, but you get $100 back in airline fee credits.)

  6. Not exactly sure why anyone would want a two year contract. AT&T has the Next plan which is basically 0% financing. Do the math, you can come out ahead if you happen to own the phone >24 months.

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