Saving on a cell phone plan is a viable way to increase your savings funds or have extra money for miscellaneous expenses. Cell phone service plans seem to increase in price annually, which makes finding ways to save money even more important to household budgets every year. The good news is government agencies and cell phone service providers both understand the need for consumers to spend less money on phone bills in 2021.
Family plan discounts and low-income prepaid cell phones offer reduced pricing for qualified consumers. Lower rates on cell phone plans for seniors are available. Many companies also offer multiple-line discounts and price reductions when you purchase or finance select phones along with your service plan. Even free phones/phone plans are available for select consumers who meet qualification conditions. Unprecedented times require new methods of achieving frugality and reducing expenses. Read ahead to discover hot tips for saving on a phone plan and improving your budget fast.
Ways to Save
Cell phone service plans are sold as either postpaid or prepaid plans and accounts. Ways to save money on each type of plan exist if you know how to utilize them. Knowing the primary differences and benefits pursuant to postpaid and prepaid accounts is an important first step to saving on a cell phone plan today.
Postpaid Cell Phone Plans
Postpaid cell phone plans are commonly referred to as contract plans because they involve a time-structured commitment from the consumer. Two-year commitments to the service provider are generally required, although customers are permitted to change plans within those two years. Competition among service providers for consumer business is fierce, so companies often offer promotional pricing and deals on cell phones for new customers. Some providers even offer to buy out your current contract to win your loyalty and new business.
Switching to a new provider offering promotional pricing is an effective way to save money. Pricing on postpaid plans varies per company and features included, however, but many companies offer great deals on top-tier phones in tandem with service plans. For example, Verizon Wireless is currently offering a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) free 5G iPhone 12 mini (64GB only) with the purchase of another. Verizon is also offering a free Motorola one 5G UW ace when you sign up for select unlimited postpaid service plans in addition to other deals.
Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
Prepaid cell phone plans allow you to use your current phone or purchase a new one. Prepaid plans involve no contracts or long-term commitments of any kind. Many consumers do not need intensive data plans for streaming videos and movies and simply want a quality phone/plan with calls, text messaging and access to the internet for necessities only. For example, unlimited calls/text to the U.S., Canada and Mexico with 5GB of data costs only $30/mo with the AT&T Budget Conscious plan (SIM card and activation fee not included).
Family plans are an excellent way to save money on cell phone bills each month if you have people to participate in the plan. Most cell phone service providers offer tiered discounts for each line added. For example, one line might cost $45/mo with certain companies but adding a second line reduces the cost to $40/mo per line. Adding a third line reduces the per-line cost to $35/mo and so on. Family plans are not restricted to use by family members only. Friends and roommates are also capable of saving using the benefits of family plan pricing.
Low-Income Prepaid Cell Phones and the Lifeline Program
The Lifeline program is facilitated by the U.S. federal government. The program allows $9.25 to be deducted from the cell phone bills of every qualified participant on a monthly basis. Qualification is based on household income and enrollment in other government-sponsored benefits programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP (food stamps) and more.
Mint Mobile sells plans starting at $15/mo for new customers. Mint Mobile also offers six months of free service when a new customer purchases a OnePlus N100 (plus premium wireless) outright or finances it at $12/mo using Affirm. TruConnect participates in the Lifeline program and offers additional free device services for qualified customers. Finally, Consumer Cellular offers talk, text and data plans starting at only $20/mo. Consumer Cellular also has highly rated customer service and is valued by consumers as a money-saving option nationwide.
Senior Cell Phone Plans
Consumer Cellular is a popular choice among U.S. seniors due its low rates and simple plans. FreedomPop is also a viable money-saving service provider for senior cell phone plans even though it is less visible on the market. FreedomPop plans offer 250 minutes of talk time, unlimited text messages, unlimited free Wi-Fi calling and 1GB LTE data for only $15/mo.
Republic Wireless allows plans to be paid annually at deep discounts. Already affordable monthly rates of $15/mo are reduced to $12.50/mo for unlimited talk/text plans when paid in advance for one year. Additional senior cell phone plans include:
- Magenta Unlimited 55+ (T-Mobile).
- Boost Mobile Unlimited.
- Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) - Mint Mobile.
- Tello ($10.50/mo for 6-months then $14/mo thereafter).
Free Phones and Phone Plans
Multiple companies offer free cell phones and phone plans to qualified consumers. Features might be limited with some free services but the tradeoff involves saving more money than possible on even the lowest priced prepaid/postpaid plans. Free phones help low-income citizens stay in touch with friends and family. They help children stay connected to their parents and give seniors access to medical services fast. Qualification requirements vary per provider. Most acceptance requirements are based on household income in relation to the U.S. national poverty level and/or serious disabilities. Companies offering free phones and phone plans in 2021 include:
- Access Wireless.
- Assurance Wireless.
- QLink Wireless.
- SafeLink Wireless.
- FeelSafe Wireless.
Major Phone Plan Providers 2021
Major phone plan providers offer discounts they keep out of view from consumers when possible. For example, some companies price-match if you push your request with enough ambition. Most major providers offer low-income plans and/or plans for senior citizens. Many participate in the Lifeline program. The major phone plan providers in 2021 include Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Visible and Google Fi. Contact each provider and ask about special discounts not listed on their websites to find additional savings today.