Let’s face it, these days a cellphone isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. They’re used for everything from a simple phone call to running businesses. So, how to choose a cell provider and a plan that works for you and doesn’t leave you stressing about the bill every month. Luckily the main four carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) all want your business and they’re ready to offer you promotional pricing on new phones, lower rate plans, and in some cases, a gift card when you sign up with them.
Ask Your Current Carrier
If you are happy with your current carrier, but the advertisements from the competition looks just too enticing to ignore, try going to your carrier with their competitors offer and see what they can do for you. They’ll want to keep your business which, in the long run, is worth more to them than giving you a new phone, or at the very least a decent discount. The bottom line here is that it never hurts to ask and if you don’t like the answer, you have options.
Analyze Your Usage
If you’re looking for more than just a new phone, start by taking a good look at your current cell phone bill. Look at your data usage because while unlimited date sounds amazing, if you really don’t use that much per month, you’re probably better off with a cheaper plan. If you’re paying for unlimited data but you’re only using 3 or 4 gigabytes a month you can get by with a cheaper plan. Hooking up to Wi-Fi is a great way to save on data usage when possible as long as it’s a trusted source. If you frequent places that offer free Wi-Fi with no password, you should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your cell phone or wireless device.
Check Current Promotions
The major carriers all have promotions or special offers all the time so just keep a sharp eye and pick a plan that works for you and your budget. For example, Sprint offers unlimited talk, text and data for about $60 a month with no contract. Ask about the extras. Many carriers will offer access to a streaming video service like Netflix or Hulu usually for a year when you sign with them. They also offer discounts if you use automatic bill payments and paperless billing. You can save about $5/month just by setting up autopay, which will keep your account in good standing without you having to remember to pay your bill.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount whether you’re a veteran, active military, a student or a senior citizen. All the major carriers have them and it can drop the price of your plan by 15%-20% per month. Now, if you’ve found a carrier that’s offering everything you’re looking for, but you’re worried about switching don’t be. Even if you are in a contract or you’re still paying off your phone, most carriers will by out your contract or even pay off your phone to get your business. Remember, it’s your money! Make them earn your business.