Saving Money on Your Cell Phone Bill: Part 2

By Brett W.

Go here for Part 1!

2 – Switch to an MVNO

A what?  An MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator.  In the USA there are four major networks – Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.   They are the most expensive options when it comes to cell service, because they own and operate their own networks (cell towers, hubs, frequencies, and so on).  MVNOs rent network access from the “Big Four”.  Where they have no network to maintain, their overhead is often much lower.  This allows some of them to offer inexpensive service and some unique plans.

For instance, Google owns an MVNO called Google Fi.  They allow you to pay for only as much data as you use. Other MVNOs are also extremely affordable.  Take the example of Mint Mobile.  They offer three months of wireless service that includes: Unlimited calls, unlimited texting, three gigs of data, and international calling to Mexico and Canada for $15 plus taxes.  Are you a data hog?  Bump the data up to 12 gigs a month and the price goes up to $25.

For a list of MVNOs check out https://bestmvno.com/mvnos/ .  You may be surprised by how many options there are.

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3 – Buy an unlocked phone

Many people do not own their phones. The cost of their phones is either built into their base plan or being paid for through a monthly installment that is added to their bill. Did you know you can buy a phone directly from the manufacturer? They call this an “Unlocked” phone, since it’s not tied to a major carrier like AT&T. In many cases you can activate your unlocked phone on any network you want.

There are a number of reasons to buy an unlocked phone, but for this post we’ll only focus on one. There are no hidden costs or fees. Some unlocked phones are less expensive, while offering a great value. Motorola sells the vast majority of their phones directly or through Amazon (you can find a huge selection of unlocked phones on Amazon). Some of their phones cost less than $200 and offer many of the features of the $1000 “flagship” phones. By purchasing a $200 unlocked phone instead of a $1000 “flagship” phone from the big networks, you could save not only the $800, but also lower your monthly cellphone bill, since you will not be making the installment payments.

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If cell phone bills are getting you down, try out these tips to save some money! Cell phones may be a big part of daily life for most people, but huge costs don’t have to be. Let us know if you have any other ideas by commenting here or on our social media!