Tips for saving on your cell phone bill
The average monthly cell phone bill in the U.S. was $144 in 2021, up from $127 the year before. The average price of a phone itself rose from $402 in 2016 to $557 in 2021. Taxes and fees have also been rising.
Fortunately, you can take steps to hang up on high prices for your mobile device. Here are some tips.
Find a Lower-Cost Wireless Carrier
The biggest carriers, like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, are full-service companies that have their own cell networks and offer many extras. But alternative service providers can cost less, including “mobile virtual network operators” (MVNOs). They don’t have their own networks but use signals from the big carriers, and they often offer cheaper plans, sometimes prepaid. There are lots of MVNOs, including Cricket, Mint Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Google Fi, Ting Mobile, Tello, and Twigby.
Consider a Limited-Data Plan
Big carriers these days emphasize unlimited-data plans. If you stream a lot of music and movies or upload your videos using your cell signal, you probably need an unlimited plan. On the other hand, if you use your phone mostly for calls, texting, and checking websites occasionally, consider a limited-data plan. First, check your level of past data use to decide on the right plan for you.
Set Up Autopay
Check with your wireless company; many offer you a discount if you authorize them to withdraw your payments automatically from your bank account. And that way you won’t forget to pay.
Fish for Status Discounts
Call your carrier and ask for a discount. Your carrier may cut you a break based on your employer or if you’re a student, teacher, senior, or in the military. Also, check at work to see if your company offers a cell phone stipend to employees who use their phones for work.
Check the Perks
Some wireless plans offer you free access to video and music streaming channels and other goodies that you might otherwise be paying for.