I'm currently considering getting a subsidized phone for $0 with a 2 year contract through some Canadian carrier. I'd like to use one of my credit cards that extends the manufacturer warranty up to 2 years.

Can my credit card extended warranty somehow apply to the phone purchase?

Will the carrier issue me a $0 bill (full price minus subsidized amount) for the phone purchase that I can pay with my credit card?

I read my card benefits fine print and unsurprisingly couldn't find any information surrounding this specific case.

  • Some companies ask you to pay X$ for the phone, and then give you a gift card for the same amount. The original charge should be charged to a credit card. Mar 5, 2015 at 13:07
  • Note that "subsidized" phones aren't always cheaper than buying an unlocked phone and getting the coverage plan separately. Run the numbers and check the alternatives before buying, unless you really can't afford to pay for the phone up front.
    – keshlam
    Mar 7, 2015 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


Your best bet is to call your credit card. However, it's extremely unlikely that your phone would be covered unless you bought it, straight out, on your credit card. The situation you are describing is one where you do not buy the phone (until your contract is up), and so you should not expect your extended warranty to apply.

Note that it is often cheaper, over the course of the contract, to purchase an unsubsidised phone and take advantages of discounts most Canadian carriers offer, rather than lock in to a two year contract. Of course, this relies on you having the money up-front.

  • 1
    I ran the numbers last month for the buy up from and take the discount option. Whether this makes sense is greatly dependent on how much you spend on your plan, price of the phone and how long you expect the phone to last. For low end plans (under $50/month) and expecting phones to last 2.5 years I didn't find a single phone where it made sense to go this route.
    – Myles
    Mar 5, 2015 at 16:38
  • Cell companies charge a significant markup on purchasing the phone, to make it seem better to lock into a contract. But you don't have to buy it from them. You can often find much better deals online, as long as you do your research and make sure the phone will be compatible with your desired network. Used phones are even cheaper: I've bought my last 3 phones secondhand, in excellent condition, and saved hundreds of dollars!
    – Elbyron
    Mar 5, 2015 at 21:52
  • I did call my card issuer. The agent told me that as long as a bill for the phone purchase is made and paid using the credit card I should be covered. How much the agent was knowledgeable I do not know. They would probably argue were I to eventually call for a claim. Reviewing my card policy again I just found this: "Extended Warranty benefits are limited to the lesser of the cost to repair or replace or the original purchase price of the eligible item, including applicable taxes." So even if I were to pay a $0 bill for the phone, the extended warranty would probably be limited to that amount.
    – Jules
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:18
  • I also have run the numbers and came to the conclusion that it is not really worth buying a phone in the Canadian market. The plans are made in such a way that you're disadvantaged if you're not going with the contractual subsidized phones. But then it also really depends on which phone you want, the latest ones or not, if you want it new or used, how long you expect to keep it and whether you value being contract-free.
    – Jules
    Mar 6, 2015 at 20:39

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