Best Credit Cards for Paying Your Cell Phone Bill
Whether you use it to manage your bank account, send money to friends or just check out the latest cat memes, your cell phone is probably a big part of your life.
Paying your bill on time each month is a must to make sure you stay connected.
You could pay your cell phone bill from your bank account, but that usually doesn't offer anything in return. A rewards credit card, on the other hand, could give you points, cash back or miles when you pay your bill.
Earning rewards is a sweet incentive to pay with a credit card, but which one should you choose?
We've researched the options and come up with a list of the best credit cards for paying your cell phone bill.
The Best Credit Cards for Paying Your Cell Phone Bill
We selected four cards as the beset for paying your cell phone bill.
Each one offers rewards on cell phone payments, along with some other noteworthy benefits.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
The offers an impressive 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases each quarter.
The 5% cash back bonus applies to two spending categories of your choice, including cell phones.
This card also delivers 2% cash back on groceries or gas, and 1% cash back everywhere else. That makes it a solid pick for paying your cell phone bill and earning rewards on everyday spending.
There's no annual fee on this card.
The offers tiered cash back rewards with rotating bonus categories. When you activate the bonus, you can earn 5% cash back each quarter, on up to $1,500 in purchases. The bonus calendar routinely includes cell phone services.
When you're not earning 5% back on cell phone purchases, you can still earn unlimited 1% cash back for paying your bill. There's an introductory cash back bonus and you can earn up to $500 in cash back a year just for referring friends to the card.
You'll pay no annual fee for the Chase Freedom card. You can also take advantage of a low introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.
AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards
The AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards card may be worth a look if you have cell phone service with AT&T.
This card has a unique rewards structure: for every dollar you spend on eligible AT&T products and services that matches the amount you spend on other purchases, you'll receive 10% savings in the first 12 months. You continue earning 5% savings after that.
Those savings are applied as a billing statement credit. So if you use your card for regular purchases and to pay your cell phone bill, you're essentially getting a 10% discount on your bill for the first year. You can save up to $350 per year when you use your card to pay your cell phone bill.
This card is also part of Citi's ThankYou rewards program. You'll earn 1 point per dollar on non-AT&T purchases.
There's also an introductory points bonus for new cardholders who meet the minimum spending requirement. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel and gift cards.
Huntington is a smaller bank but the Huntington Voice credit card offers big rewards for cell phone users. This card lets you earn 3X points per dollar each quarter in one category of your choosing. That includes utilities, which covers cell phone providers.
You can earn 3X points per dollar on up to $2,000 in spending each quarter. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Some of the other bonus categories you can choose from include travel, home improvement stores, restaurants, and gas.
Every point earned equals a penny, so $3,000 points equals $30 in cash. Points can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel, or merchandise from selected partners.
Using Credit Cards to Pay Your Phone Bill
If you're planning to use your credit card to pay your phone bill, here are a few tips for getting it right:
Set up autopay to avoid paying late
Paying your cell phone bill past the due date could trigger a late payment.
Even worse, your service could be turned off, which means a reconnect fee once you settle your bill.
Setting up an automatic payment with your credit card lets you avoid these hassles.
Opt for notifications about your bill
Putting your cell phone bill on autopilot doesn't mean you don't need to review it each month.
If you don't want to deal with paper statements, sign up for email statements instead.
When a new one hits your inbox, read it over to make sure there are no new changes or unusual activity on your cell phone account.
Pay your credit card bill on time
The only thing worse than a late payment on your cell phone bill is a late payment on your credit card.
Late payments can take big points away from your credit score.
Set up a regular email or text alert letting you know when your credit card bill is due in case you need a reminder.
Aim to pay in full to avoid interest charges.
Carrying a balance month to month can make your cell phone bill more expensive if you're paying high interest.
If you're charging your cell phone bill or any other expenses to your card, cap spending at what you can pay off in full when your statement comes in.
Paying your cell phone bill with your credit card is a good way to maintain activity on a credit card you don't use often. It keeps the account active and it's also helpful for your credit when you pay on time and keep your balance low.
Best Business Credit Cards for Paying Your Cell Phone Bill
If you run a business, freelance or have a side hustle, you could qualify for a business credit card.
Business credit cards can offer even better incentives for paying your cell phone bill.
Here are two business credit cards we recommend for paying cell phone bills:
Chase Ink Business Cash
The offers 5% cash back on cell phone, internet and cable services and office supply store purchases.
The 5% cash back bonus applies to the first $25,000 spent annually. After that, you earn unlimited 1% cash back.
You also get 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else. Rewards can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel, and merchandise through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Like some of the other cards included here, this one has a $0 annual fee.
If you're looking for added cell phone benefits, you might look at the Chase Ink Business Preferred card as well. This card offers points on cell phone purchases versus cash back, but you get another valuable benefit: up to $600 in cell phone protection.
SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
The SimplyCash Plus Business credit card from American Express is excellent for earning cash back on cell phone purchases.
This card offers 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. You get the same 5% cash back at office supply stores.
The card also pays 3% cash back on the category of your choice, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, gas, and restaurants. All other purchases earn 1% cash back, with no annual fee.
Should You Use Business Cards for Personal Use?
This is a tricky question to answer because it's tempting to use a business card to pay your personal cell phone bill if you're earning big rewards. But, mixing business and personal spending is generally a bad idea.
Why? For one thing, if your credit card company catches on, they could switch your business card to a personal account. Then you lose your chance to earn better rewards on business purchases.
It's also something to think twice about if you use your card to charge deductible business expenses.
Doing your taxes could be a headache if you have to sift through your credit card statements and figure out which expenses are business-related and which are personal.
Finally, business credit cards don't have the same consumer protections as business credit cards. If you're worried about fraud or identity theft, personal cards can do more to protect your bottom line than a business card.
The Bottom Line
Using a credit card to pay your cell phone bill is a great way to earn rewards and take advantage of other card perks.
Just remember to compare your card choices carefully to find the one that offers the best combination of cell phone rewards and all-around benefits.