Every few months I suggest taking the time to check your cell phone plan to make sure it fits your needs.
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile lock users into two-year contracts, but that doesn’t mean the monthly bill is locked. Users can change most plan options, features and add-ons without extending the contract.
Saving just $10 a month on a cell phone plan can cover the cost of a new phone at the end of a two-year contract, so don’t ignore small monthly savings.
It’s easy to make these changes online in a matter of minutes.
Find A Better Plan
Cell phone plans revolve around minutes and text messages. BillShrink provides a free service that identifies average monthly cell phone usage to find the best plan. Users can import their most recent cell phone bill from Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint to compare plans and prices.
BillShrink can help find better fitting plans on the same carrier or on a new carrier. The service includes pre-paid and month-to-month options for users who are looking to cut back further. BillShrink will not recommend a switch to a carrier that doesn’t offer service in your area.
BillShrink provides a detailed analysis of minutes used, text messaging, most popular contacts, most called carriers and much more. BillShrink’s analysis is easier to understand than a standard cell phone bill.
Billshrink can find a better plan, but falters at helping users switch to a plan on the same carrier. Users must note the plan name and make the change on their own account or by calling the carrier.
For users willing to switch, the service walks you through a purchase at partner LetsTalk, and includes the cost of canceling a current plan in the estimated savings section.
For subscribers who don’t need a new cell phone plan, it’s time to take a look at features.
Subscribers can add or remove features at will, which makes them a great place to look for savings. Some of the most popular places to look for savings are insurance, hotspot service and subscriptions.
This is a good time to make sure you’re using the features you pay for. Check the following features to find savings on your cell phone plan.
- Mobile Hotspot – Save $30 a month turning this off when it is not needed.
- Ringback Tones – Is this feature really worth $12 per year?
- Roadside Assistance – Users with AAA don’t need this added service.
- Visual Voice Mail – Try Google Voice for a better voicemail experience at no extra charge.
Another place to look for savings is insurance and warranty programs. Cell phone insurance is important for new devices, but as devices get older it consider dropping the $8 a month charge as long as a backup phone is available in the house.
Dropping insurance for the last 6 months of a cell phone contact is an easy way to save $50 towards a new phone.
Take Advantage of Features
Many cell phone plans include extras features that help save money, but users need to turn them on.
I discovered that I had never set up friends and family numbers on my cell phone plan. By adding 10 numbers, all of which get unlimited calls, I can switch to a cheaper monthly plan. The BillShrink service made finding these top ten callers easy.
It’s a good idea to check cell phone plans for savings every 3 months, and anytime life circumstances change. In 15 minutes I was able to save $30 a month by remove a rarely used hotspot feature, and after a month of using Friends and Family numbers I expect to switch to a cheaper plan for bigger savings.
Remember not to cut back too far. Cell phone minute and text overages can wipe out months of savings.