The cell phone bill is an expense that seems to keep growing large on most people’s budgets. While there are more options than ever before this doesn’t always equal a better price for the average consumer. Learning a few tips to save on your cell phone bill can mean anything from a few extra dollars in your pocket to hundreds of dollars saved yearly. We’ve done the research and found eight easy tips to help you save on your bill. These tips include everything from just picking up the phone and negotiating to using free activation coupons, taking advantage of employee discounts, and analyzing current plans to figure out the ideal plan for you and/or your family.
So look through the tips below to hopefully help you save a few dollars on your cell phone bill and even on the purchase of the phone itself. If you’re looking to switch to a cheaper plan make sure you check out our guide to the cheapest cell phone plans available on the market now. Find all of the tips below with detailed on how to implement each.
Pick Up The Phone and Ask
You would be amazed at how many times you can drop the total of your monthly bill by simply calling your wireless provider. It doesn’t matter if it’s Verizon or AT&T, the customer service reps at wireless carriers may be able to help you drop your bill through a variety of means. This could be something such as helping you take away data or minutes you don’t need or helping you bundle your existing services for a lower price. Now with T-Mobile shaking things up on many fronts most carriers are much more open to lowering your monthly bill than they were in the past.
You may also find that you’re missing out on things like employer and membership discounts that we will go into more detail on later in this post. There are some discounts for employees that will take an instant 25% off your monthly bill, no questions asked. Look for the section below to find more detailed information.
Don’t Pay For What You’re Not Using
Most average phone users pay for way too many minutes and too much data. By taking a quick look at what you consume over a three month period of time will give you better insight into what plan you actually need. Remember that most cell phone carriers are now giving your free minutes mobile-to-mobile so the majority of your minutes will be used up when talking to someone on a landline. Since many people don’t talk to a lot of people on landlines you may be using a lot less minutes than you think. Places like Sprint give you free mobile-to-mobile that includes anyone using a cell phone and not just those on the same network.
On the data side of things you will probably see that you’re nowhere close to using up all of your data on a monthly basis. The data can get expensive and by lowering the amount of data you use you can save a good chunk of change on your bill. Very few people actually need the unlimited plan. The only people who should be taking advantage of this plan are the data-hogs who are likely to go over the data amount each monthly because of video streaming, gaming and using the phone as a hotspot. If you go over your data then the expensive surcharges will easily exceed any savings you get from cutting down your data. Keep this is mind if you’re cutting your data but are still close to the limit on your plan already.
Use Wifi When You Can
The price of data is one of the more expensive parts of any wireless plan. When you’re in your home, office, or any other place that offers Wifi you should take advantage of this to make sure you aren’t wasting your data. By using Wifi you’re not using your data, this means it can help you cut down on data used and allow you to chose a plan with less data. Why waste your precious data when you’re sitting in your home with available Wifi on the internet you’re already paying for. Make sure you set your phone to connect to Wifi whenever it’s in range and also make sure you double-check to make sure an app is using the Wifi and not your data.
Aside from just using Wifi for data you can also use it to make free calls. A combination of Google Voice and GrooVe IP lets Android users make free calls and those who use the iPhone are stuck using Skype and very few other options for now.
Skip The Phone Insurance
Phone insurance is something that is sold with the purchase of a new phone on most plans. This fee can be anywhere from $7 to $20 per month to help “protect” your phone and help you get a new phone if you were to destroy the one you have. This sounds great in theory but when you look into the fine print is doesn’t look as great. Most of the phone companies have some type of deductible on the plan, which is usually around $50.
This is why unless you’re someone who’s very hard on their phone I wouldn’t recommend you pick up phone insurance. If you look through the financial data you will see that you’re better off saving that amount each month and just using that money to replace the phone or get it repaired if needed. If you don’t damage your phone during the contract then you now have a small amount saved up towards the purchase of a phone.
Search For Coupons and Discounts
One of the many overlooked aspects of saving on your cell phone bill is looking at the large variety of coupons and discounts available. We list coupons on this website for all of the major phone companies along with many pre-paid and no-contract wireless brands. There are usually a good selection of coupons available for each which can help you get everything from $100 off your phone or bill when you switch to other things such as free activation. Just the free activation coupon along can save you an instant $25 to $50 at most carriers.
Aside from just a promo code or printable coupon there are usually sales listed on phones as well. We see new sales daily for almost all of the most popular phones including the iPhone plus phones from brands like Samsung, LG, HTC and so on. By taking a few minutes to search for coupons you can easily save $100 or more to put you ahead from the start. Just use our search bar at the top right to see what coupons we have available from your wireless provider or for the phone you’re looking to purchase.
Take Advantage of Membership, Employer, Government, and Military Discounts
If you work at a major corporation, work for the government, work in the military, or you’re a member of a large organization you may be missing out on some huge discounts. Most of the major wireless brands have some rather large discounts for people in those categories. This includes employee discounts from Verizon Wireless of 25% off for General Electric, 21% off IBM, 20% off Morgan Stanley and so on. Each of the providers have different discounts depending on employment. For those that work for the government or you’re either active duty or in the reserves for the military you can be entitled to discounts. The discounts of course vary depending on where you work but all it takes is to simply pick up your phone and give them a call.
You will have to provide proof of some sort for your discount to be applied. This can mean faxing or emailing certain documents. Once the proof is accepted you will see this discount applied to your monthly bill automatically. It’s hard to beat an extra 25% in savings. Getting this discount has the highest impact on cost that we’ve seen over the years so make sure you take advantage of it.
We will be adding discount guides for each wireless company but as of right now all we have up is the Verizon discount list. We will add the other carriers and phone companies here as we add their discount lists. You can usually find the discount list on their main website buried deep on a page somewhere or by calling.
Switch Your Wireless Provider
Just because you hear about the major wireless brands like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile this doesn’t mean they’re your only options. Choosing a secondary provider like Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile can save you hundreds per year. Many of the pre-paid plans can save you hundreds a year. This also doesn’t mean you can’t have access to data and text messages as places like Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk offer unlimited plans for a low monthly fee. The only downside to this is that you must purchase your phone at the regular price instead of getting it subsidized by the carrier. This can be a turn off to those who like to switch to the latest and greatest the week it comes out. For most consumers, the pre-paid option is the best choice available that few take advantage because it’s not as widely advertised.
Look For A Senior Discount
For those that are 65 and older there are many plans available that are specific to your age group. The senior plans usually have less text and data than other plans but also have a much lower monthly price. These plans aren’t ideal for everyone, but if you’re older and want to save big on your phone while still having the convenience of a cell phone this is usually the best option from a financial standpoint.