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So we have seen a lot of changes over the last few years with how carriers are doing business. Increased competition and all-in-one plans have been blanketing carrier marketing campaigns. How can you take advantage of lower rates with these carriers?
The catch with many carriers is the phone itself. Plain and simple, if you own your phone or are willing to use an older phone not on contract you could potentially save money every month. The only drawback is that if you are on an older plan such as Verizon’s unlimited data plan you will likely have to switch to a current plan.
What should you do if you own your phone or don’t have a contract any longer?
This depends on carrier but for all of them you should contact your provider and ask them what incentives they have for non contract plans at an acceptable data plan for your usage. For most of us the unlimited data plan is not utilized fully, especially since Verizon locks Wi-Fi tethering on many of its devices, an option that is not unlocked unless you root your phone or have their share everything plan.
Carriers are giving more incentive now more than ever to use older devices on their plans. Under contract Smartphone users don’t have much to work with unfortunately. You are typically stuck in your contract for the two years without the ability to upgrade. For those of us that don’t need the latest and greatest you can save money by waiting for your contract to expire than renewing your subscriber plan with one of the newer plans being offered in which you fully own your device.
Trade in plans are also the norm now. Carriers aren’t stupid, they know they can get you back into another plan easily by offering you a trade in on your current device. Don’t be fooled, most times you can get more for your device selling it on the open market. Granted it does take some additional effort but there are tons of people looking for off-contract working phones that will purchase your phone quickly and for top dollar. It’s wise to check around to see what your phone is actually worth and many shops such as Repair Sharks would make an offer on buying your old phone.
We are seeing a trend of carriers offering non-contract services. They have separated the actual phone service from the price you pay for the phone. In other words there are now two separate parts to having a phone on such services as T-mobile. The first is your actual service fees, the other is a finance charge for the device if you choose to purchase your phone and spread out payments over time.
For AT&T and Verizon you will stay on your old plan which still incorporates its monthly device fees. You must contact them and ask what is your best option if you own your phone. Within Verizon and AT&T’s account management you can see your monthly data usage which should give you a great indication of what your highest data usage has been. You can then choose a data plan that fits your usage behavior.
We recommend discussing your best options directly with your carrier. They have new plans and rates quite regularly and most carriers are competing heavily with the others. A lot of people worry about holding onto an older device. With services such as ours we can always help you get working again quickly and usually a lot cheaper than replacing your device.