The Easiest Ways to Make Your Mobile Phone Bill Cheaper
I remember the days when you had no idea what your cell phone bill would be at the end of the month. At the time, we were allotted about 500 off-market text messages per month, and once you crossed those, the bill shot up to appalling levels. Since then, like many others, I have strived to keep my mobile phone bill as low as possible. If your account needs a little trimming, here’s where to start.
“Autopay” your mobile phone bill
This is slam dunk. Many major carriers will offer a discount if you sign up for automatic bill payment each month. T-Mobile is offering $5 per line for each eligible phone on your plan, Verizon is offering $5 to $10 per line rebate depending on your plan, and AT&T is offering up to $15 per line depending on your plan. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about late fees included in your bill again.
One word of warning though: if you’re traveling outside of the country, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. You don’t want to end up with a big phone bill due to roaming or international data charges, automatic billing, and then wake up one morning with less money in your checking account than you might otherwise expect.
Spring for Unlimited Data
The real place where you can take a hit on your phone bill is when you go over your data limit. For example, Verizon charges a steep $15 per gigabyte of your data. This is probably not needed for everyone; if you have a cheaper data plan and do not exceed the limit, there is no need to upgrade to an unlimited data plan.
Otherwise, most providers offer unlimited data at competitive prices, so if you haven’t taken advantage of this yet, now might be the time. Verizon’s unlimited data plans start at $80/month ; AT&T starts at $65/month ; and T-Mobile also starts at $65/month .
Try a smaller carrier
There’s so much buzz around Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile that you’d think they’re the only mobile carriers in the game right now. However, there is a whole infrastructure of small companies that favor low prices if you are willing to make some sacrifices. The unlimited plan for Mint Mobile costs $30 per month for a single line, and cheaper options are available for plans with less data. The Boost Mobile unlimited plan starts at $50/month , while the Xfinity Mobile plan starts at $45/month (each for one line).
While these carriers are cheaper than their Big Three counterparts, that’s because they lease the wireless network from larger companies instead of maintaining their own cell towers. This means you might see lower data rates if the network is congested, as larger companies will prioritize their customers first. But if sheer data rate isn’t a big deal to you, this is a great way to save a significant chunk of change on your monthly phone bill.
Remember that strength is in numbers
If you want to save on your phone bills, the most effective way is to subscribe to a “family plan”. Carriers provide significant discounts for groups that enroll in a plan together. The difference between enrolling in a Verizon plan on your own and a “family” of four is $25 per month per line ; for AT&T the difference is $30 per month per line ; and for T-Mobile, the difference is $38.75 per month per line. And best of all, there is no requirement that the members of the family plan are really a family – it is open to anyone who wants to save money.