7 ways to reduce your cell phone bill
Have you ever opened your cell phone bill and thought, “Wow, that was cheap”? Yeah, I didn’t mean it.
But rest assured: it is possible to save money on your cell phone bill without making drastic changes. Simple adjustments can lower your bill, saving you big money over time.
1. Opt for automatic payment
Most cell phone carriers will cut $ 5-10 on your bill if you sign up for automatic payments. T-Mobile applies its $ 5 discount per line, so a family of four could save $ 20 on their monthly bill by switching to automatic payment. With some carriers, including Verizon, you can’t use a credit card for automatic payments, but instead must link a checking account or debit card.
2. Switch to prepaid
A 5GB plan with Cricket Wireless costs $ 40 per month before auto-pay discounts. The cheapest postpay plan available from AT&T, owner of Cricket, is 3GB for $ 60 per month before auto-pay discounts.
Four unlimited data lines cost $ 100 per month with Boost Mobile, but $ 160 per month (before discounts) with its parent company, Sprint.
Verizon customers can get 6GB of prepaid data for $ 40 per month or 2GB of postpaid data for $ 55 per month.
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3. Change or cancel your cell phone insurance
Most mobile phone operators offer a variety of protection plans. Your options may include extended warranties, insurance, and full 24/7 technical support for any Bluetooth enabled device in your home.
In most cases, standard insurance provides more than enough coverage. It protects you if your phone is lost, stolen or damaged. It is also the cheapest option available from your wireless carrier.
Switching from a premium protection plan to basic insurance coverage will save you a few dollars each month. Take the insurance out completely and you’ll save $ 80 to $ 180 per year, depending on your carrier and current protection plan.
Dropping insurance can be risky if you have a brand new phone, but it can make sense for older devices. Indeed, the insurers of the main mobile operators generally charge deductibles ranging from $ 100 to $ 300.
If giving up a policy leaves you vulnerable, consider an alternative, like AppleCare + or SquareTrade.
4. Skip the phone upgrade
Your smartphone is designed to last over two years, but most people still trade after 24 months. That locks you in on 18-24 months of additional payments for that new phone – adding $ 20 to $ 40 per month, per line to your bill. Keeping your smartphone even a year after it’s been paid off can save you hundreds of dollars. So wait until your phone really needs to be replaced before upgrading. Then, consider a used cell phone to save even more money.
5. Take advantage of discounts
Students, government employees, current and former military personnel, and employees of certain companies may receive a discount on their cell phone service. The easiest way to find out: call your carrier or stop by a store. You often need to check your status – with an email address or a check stub, for example – to keep your discount active.
6. Add lines
This seems counterintuitive, as adding one or more lines will increase your bill. But sharing the cost with other people can reduce the amount you each pay. Here is how it works:
One line on AT & T’s Unlimited Starter Plan costs $ 65 per month (after auto-pay discounts, before taxes and fees). But if you have four lines on that same plan, the cost per line is $ 35.
One line on Verizon’s 8GB plan costs $ 90, but if you have four lines sharing the plan, the price drops to $ 37.50 per line before taxes, fees, and device charges.
7. Update your service address
The taxes and fees added to your bill each month are based on where you live. If you’ve moved to a new state or someone on your family plan has, you could save a lot just by updating your service address.
A person moving from Washington state to Oregon would save an average of $ 170 per year in wireless taxes and fees, according to a June 2016 NerdWallet study. Migration from Illinois to Wisconsin? You would pocket $ 103.72 in savings on average. These figures are based on an individual cell phone bill; the savings would be greater on a family plan.
Updating your service address is easy. In most cases, all you need to do is log into your account and edit it under your user profile, just as you would your billing address.