Mobile Phone Service Autopay Discount Rules Could Make You Ineligible for This Credit Card Benefit


Life is expensive, so taking advantage of any opportunity to save money is wise. Many mobile phone service providers offer customers a small monthly discount when they enroll in autopay. The customer wins by keeping more money in the bank, and the company benefits because more bills get paid on time.

However, some service providers have gotten stricter about what kind of payments qualify for an autopay discount. If you have a credit card with cellphone protection coverage, you may be unable to use it while also getting an autopay discount from your phone company. Find out why.

You may be required to pay using funds linked to a bank account

Most cellphone service providers allow customers to pay their bills in various ways, including with a debit card or checking account, credit card, or gift card.

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Some providers also offer discounts to those who set up autopay through their accounts. However, some companies are getting pickier and only extending autopay discounts for subscribers if they link a checking account for automatic payments.

If you want to get a deal on your mobile phone bill, you may be required to link a debit card or checking account. If you wish to continue paying your bill manually with a credit card, you’ll no longer qualify for this discount. This change is sad news for rewards credit card users.

How this impacts customers who prefer to pay with credit cards

Many people pay for everyday purchases, including phone bills, to earn credit card rewards. When mobile phone service providers no longer allow customers to pay their bills automatically using a credit card, they miss out on the chance to earn rewards for their spending.

But there’s another reason payment rules like this could impact some credit card users. Some rewards credit cards include cellphone protection coverage. Most credit card issuers allow cardholders to qualify for this coverage by paying their cellphone service bill with their credit card.

If you ever need to make a claim because your phone is lost, damaged, or stolen, you can save money on repair or replacement expenses thanks to this credit card perk. But you won’t get this coverage if you switch to paying your cellphone bill with a debit card or checking account.

Do the math to determine which move is right for you

You may wonder whether to switch to paying with bank funds or to skip this discount entirely. You should do the math to see which move is best for you. Calculate the total annual savings from the autopay discount. If it’s $10 a month, that’s a savings of $120 per year. Next, determine what rewards you’d earn by paying your monthly bills with a rewards credit card.

It would also be helpful to consider whether there are any benefits you can take advantage of by paying your bill with a credit card. One example is cellphone protection. If your credit card offers up to $1,000 in coverage for eligible claims with a $100 deductible, that’s a value of $900 per claim if your phone is damaged, lost, or stolen.

Consider this if you hope to change carriers or are about to switch your payment method to get a discount on your phone bill. For some, saving $10 monthly on their phone bill may be more worthwhile. For others, paying their bill manually with a credit card may be best. Always consider your personal finances when making decisions, such as the best way to pay a bill.

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