3 Simple Steps to Reshop Your Cell-Phone Plan
These tips can help you save big.
Match a plan with your usage patterns. At www.wirefly.com, enter the type of phone you want, the number of minutes and text messages and the amount of data you typically use in a month, whether you prefer having a contract or not, and the number of phone lines you’d like. The tool will produce a list of suitable plans and prices. A basic prepaid plan may be a good fit for casual users, but if you stream video or music regularly, look into a plan with bountiful data. If you crave the newest devices, focus on an early-upgrade plan that allows you to trade in your phone after you’ve made a certain number of payments.
Look for deals. Wireless carriers are battling to grab your business. But check the fine print and do the math to make sure you’re getting a better deal. For example, Sprint recently promised AT&T and Verizon customers that they would pay half their current plan’s monthly price if they switched to a similar Sprint plan. Sprint also offered to reimburse any early-termination fees and to waive activation fees. But you have to buy a new Sprint phone at full retail price (or agree to a leasing program), and you must trade in your old phone or pay a $200 fee. In addition, the plan price may jump when you eventually upgrade your device.
Check network coverage in your area. Ask neighbors, coworkers and friends who have service with carriers you’re considering about the reception. At www.rootmetrics.com, you can check your location on a coverage map to see network performance based on RootMetrics’ testing.
You may find a better wireless plan at a lower price.