Savings (MP) Nowadays smartphone bills can cost you either an arm or a leg or sometimes both. As these devices have become more built-into everyday living, monthly bills have increased. The common customer of one of the Big Four cellular providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) spends more than $90 monthly for individual service—and the figure can reach $148 for Verizon users, according to a survey by Cowen and Company.
Fortunately, the cellular-service industry has changed during the past two-years. Smaller providers are offering new plans that split cost of monthly service from the amount of the handset to monthly cellphone bills, and they’re also competing to steal each other’s customers.
How to reduce your smartphone bills?
Fed up with paying high cell phone bills? Here are simple ways to bring your bill down to size.
1. Drop the contract!
Applying for a one or two-year contract with a big wireless provider is for the birds. They’ll offer you a brand new free or discounted phone but, recover the cost by charging you astronomical monthly fees, over a two-year contract period. However, to be fair most major wireless providers (including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) also offer cheaper, no-contract plans or prepaid plans. You won’t get a zero-down phone with the no-contract plans but, it’ll mean significant savings of up to 50% less using your smartphone bill. The thing especially like about no-contract plans is if you find a reduced price elsewhere, you can simply switch providers by the end of month without penalty. Compare costs of no-contract plans at MyRatePlan.com.
2. Shop the small players!
Although big carriers may seem to have the edge on the small guys for value, there are some great reasons to change to the smaller carriers. Within the new survey, the most satisfied cellphone customers were those using smaller wireless providers, for instance TracFone, Net10, StraighTalk, Consumer Cellular, Republic Wireless, and Virgin Mobile. Their reasoning: The tinier companies prices beat out those of the larger providers, and their customer service services is rated over the charts!
3. Opt for using VoIP!
Maximize your minutes with VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, where you make calls or send messages over the internet. VoIP is aimed toward those with limited voice and data plans, so one don’t have to sacrifice speed. Those with iPhones can use Skype or Google apps to make calls over the super-fast 3G network. T-Mobile offers free Wi-Fi calling that also can help you save on your cellular phone bills. .
Google Voice and Skype are great VoIP options, by downloading a Skype app, you can make unlimited calls in the U.S., for a small fee, without resorting to your phone’s minutes. With Google Voice, you’ve got free voice and text messages.
Sign up for a service such as freevoipdeal.com, which lets you make free phone calls around the world.
4. Don’t pay for more data then you need!
Once you’ve freed yourself from your contract, it’s time to find a better deal. Wasting cash by buying more data than you use is actually a common problem. Don’t fall into this trap! Start with calculating the data requirement for each of your devices. Say good-bye to unlimited data plans and hello to dirt-cheap voice minutes and texts. Verizon and AT&T offer $15-per-month data plans. T-Mobile’s is $10. AT&T’s text plan gives you 200 texts for $5 per month.
Review your old smartphone bills, consult your carrier’s data calculator, or use a data-measuring app such as My Data Manager to figure out how much data you’re using. Most people can get by with 1GB to 2GB per month, especially if they make ample use of Wi-Fi connections. If you travel a lot and are frequently away from a Wi-Fi connection, figure on 4GB to 5GB monthly for your phone.
More Smartphone data saving tips
The cellphone industry knows the money resides in the data. If you really want to save on your smartphone bill cutting down on data usage is a must. Another great way to minimize your data costs is to use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Particularly try to avoid doing the following while on your cellular network:
6. Make video calls!
Face-to-face video calls can employ a hefty 2.5MB to 3MB a minute. Cut these down to size and save.
7. Video streaming!
An HD-quality video stream consumes up to 5MB or 6MB per minute. Streaming one 4-minute video a day from YouTube can eat up 700MB of data each month. Lowering your usage will save money on your smartphone bills.
8. Upload videos!
A 3-minute video clip in HD (1080p) can be as large as 300MB. If you must upload videos, reduce the resolution to minimize the data usage.
9. Stream music!
Streaming favorite tunes to your phone eats up 1MB of data per minute. Listen during a half-hour commute on weekdays and a few 20-minute workouts per week, consumes up to 700MB of data each month.
10. Playing fast games!
Playing high-octane games online is costing you money on your smartphone bills. Think 1MB of data per minute of play. Regulate your usage to low levels.