Most Americans have a phone in this day and age, and you can’t get away with dodging a phone plan. Unfortunately, you also can’t dodge paying for a phone plan, which has become more costly by the year.
Making phone plans affordable requires a knowledge of your own needs and an understanding of the different plans available on the market. There are a lot of phone plans out there, and each one fulfills different things, so you mustn't pay for things you don’t need.
What Affects the Price of a Phone Plan?
Cell phone service plans offer more than just minutes these days, and big cell providers are always fighting to see who can tack on the best perks to their unlimited plans.
Streaming platforms (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon), subscription services, data options, and more are all offered as package deals when you choose an unlimited plan from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile.
Branding also plays a part in pricing: a smaller, lesser-known company usually has cheaper plans than a big company. It is also important to pay attention to how many lines you need for your plan, as different companies will offer different options for family plans.
How Much Does Adding a Line to Your Phone Plan Cost?
Big telecommunications companies like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will offer discounts for plans with multiple lines. Buying a single line on an unlimited plan is rarely a good idea with these bigger companies because you will spend significantly more money than you would if you split it.
For example, one line of T-Mobile’s Magenta Max plan comes out to $90, but if you purchase five lines, it comes out to $255, or $51 per person. Family plans give you much more bang for your buck, and popular plans exploit that.
For individual use, smaller companies like Mint Mobile are a good option because they offer solid pricing options for single-line plans. Mint’s unlimited plan offers three months of service for only $30 per month, which is significantly lower than many other single-line options.
How Much Does Extra Cell Data Cost?
Data is usually purchased as part of your cell phone plan, but it can also be purchased as part of its plan.
Each of the big three cell carriers’ primary plans pushed in marketing is plans that include unlimited data as the main selling point.
While unlimited plans refer to unlimited talk and text, many plans accept those as a given and make data the attractive unlimited option.
If you are not interested in setting up an unlimited plan, it is always possible to purchase data separately. Many prepaid plans give you the option of purchasing a set amount of data that can be recharged at your leisure.
Data can be bought from stores like Best Buy with easy-to-use cards. This works well for people who are not just looking for a plan for their cell phone and want to be able to use the data for other devices.
Are You Financing Your Phone?
The traditional method of purchasing your phone outright is not your only option. You can finance your hardware either through a retailer or a cell phone company through a buy now, pay later system. Financing your phone allows you to pay over time instead of all at once, giving you the freedom to develop a long-term plan for sustaining both a phone and a phone plan.
If you decide to go through a retailer, you can usually enroll in a program that allows you to do so. For example, Best Buy has a system where utilization of a My Best Buy credit card allows you to finance your phone with no interest if fees are paid on time.
Cell companies, on the other hand, have programs like T-Mobile’s smartphone equity plan that lets you set up a payment plan with no credit check. Doing so through your cell provider might also open up options for other perks with your desired phone plan.
How To Find a Phone Plan That Works for You?
With all of this in mind, what things do you need to consider when choosing a plan?
First and foremost, figure out whether or not you need unlimited data. Modern phone plans are split between unlimited and non-unlimited plans, and unlimited plans will always be more expensive. If you do not need unlimited data, you can go after a much cheaper phone plan.
It is also important to decide whether or not you want extra perks like subscription services. If you do, you will get a lot for your money with a big brand carrier, but if not, then you would do just as well with a smaller option.
Why You Should Use More Wi-Fi and Less Data?
Data is one of the biggest determinants of which plan you should choose. If you can cut down on data usage, then you have the option of purchasing a cheaper plan. For example, a prepaid T-Mobile talk and text plan can go as low as $10 for 1GB of data.
You can bypass using data by keeping yourself connected to WiFi networks instead of using your cellular network. If you limit your internet use to home and the office, where you have safe and consistent WiFi access, you can get away with never using cellular data.
This option is not for everyone, and many people need access to a network outside of their usual WiFi connections. However, if you have the option, purchasing a plan with minimal data inclusions could help you pay a fraction of what you would with an unlimited plan.
Understanding your phone plan is key to ensuring you aren’t paying too much. Navi’s goal is to help you take control of your technology so that it works for you, not the other way around.
If you have more questions about your phone and your plan, Navi has a variety of resources that can help you clear them up. Everything from phone plan comparisons to industry tips is available through the Navi website.
If you want more help finding the perfect plan so that you don’t overpay, check out Navi. Always pay attention to your own needs and keep an eye on the best current deals so that you get the best plan for the best price.
Compare our unlimited cell phone plans | T-Mobile
$30/Month Unlimited Data Plan | Mint Mobile
Get The Phone You Want with Smartphone Equality Program | T-Mobile