Paying Too Much for Cellphone Service? 5 Ways to Save Money

If soaring costs are getting you down, finding ways to reduce expenses will help keep your head above water and your spirits high. This post offers five ways to save money on your cell phone bill. Using these tips you may be able to cut your monthly bill in half! 


1. Change Companies

Verizon and AT&T’s unlimited plans are the most expensive, with T-Mobile coming in a close third. These service providers are popular among customers because they’re familiar brands and offer good network coverage.

But here’s what most people don’t realize: The leading mobile carriers (Verizon, AT & T, and T-Mobile) own and operate discount brands that use the same towers and charge lower monthly rates.

These discount companies are known as mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs. Cricket, Visible, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile—many more MVNOs out there—don’t own cell phone towers. Still, they partner with major carriers to offer affordable wireless service for their customers. Some MVNOs offer plans as cheap as $10 per month.

Call a couple of MVNOs to find out how much you could save. But before you jump ship with your current provider, make sure you are not legally obligated to a contract that would be expensive to terminate.

2. Change Plans with Your Existing Provider

Not interested in switching cell phone providers? You may be able to save money by changing plans with the company you have now. Call customer service and ask them to review your current plan. You may be paying for services you are not using, such as an unlimited data plan. But do you really use or even need that much data? If you’re often connecting to Wi-Fi at home and work, you could be using a lot less data than you realize—data you’re paying for whether you use it or not.

If that’s the case, ask to downgrade to a cheaper plan, which won’t affect your current usage. It won’t cost a penny to find out. Make the call.

3. Join a Family Plan

Typically, family plans are cheaper per phone line than each person buying service as an individual. For instance, discount carriers Mint Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile often offer four lines of unlimited cell phone service for $25 per line—just $100 a month.

Or take a look at Visible, which offers Party Pay, a service that lets you put multiple people on one plan with each person having a separate account and bill.

4. You May Qualify for a Special Discount

Some major wireless providers offer discounts or special deals for teachers, members of the military, and seniors.
For example, by signing up for T-Mobile’s Magenta Unlimited 55 Plan, customers 55 and older can get two lines with unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data for a flat rate of $70 a month—no annual service contract required. That’s a big saving.

5. Agree to Auto-Pay

Put your monthly cell phone bill on auto-pay, and you are likely to get a small discount each month. That might not sound like much, but even if it’s a measly $5 a month, that adds up to $60 a year. That is not a bad payoff for such a simple move.


Updated and Republished: 3-25-23




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  1. Carlson Mary Lynn says:

    We have used Patriot Mobile for quite a few years now. They are very reasonable as well as supporting conservative causes. They were recommended by FRC.

  2. Deb R. says:

    We switched from Verizon to Xfinity Mobile. We reduced our overall monthly costs for our mobile phones (was two with Verizon but added one more when we switched to Xfinity), tv, internet, and home phone by over $100 a month. Yes, it was a package deal but we can renegotiate before the end of the two years and not have an increase per the Xfinity Mobile rep. Plus they have a local storefront, so no more calls, waiting on hold forever to end up talking to someone who doesn’t understand what I am saying.

  3. Kim says:

    You might want to check with your credit company about included insurance on your phones instead of the $5 per month discount offered by your carrier. Instead of the discount, I get insurance on my phones. I autopay my bill with my credit card and insurance coverage is automatic. I have used the benefit twice and it was a fairly simple process to be reimbursed for the majority of the cost. With phones costing as much as they do (and two of my children on my plan) this coverage fits my situation better than the discount.

  4. compass19 says:

    While I have already cut some costs with T-Mobile by doing their Magenta 55 rate for the two of us, I have resisted going to a lower provider bc T-Mobile gives me Netflix for free and also this year offered me a year of Apple TV for free. Something to consider.

  5. J says:

    Just wanted you to know Verizon won’t give you a $5 discount unless you auto-pay with your bank account; no discount for using a credit card.
    Thanks for all the info you post.

    • teresa says:

      I had Verizon for years then I switched 2 years ago, it was a nitemare bc they kept sending me bills. I had to go to a lawyer. I wouldn’t recommend them at all! sorry

  6. Mark says:

    The best cellular company that I have found is Tello. It uses the T-Mobile network. I pay $9 plus taxes and fees for unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data. More data plans are available, but 500 is all I need.

  7. Judy says:

    I just checked on the unlimited talk and text Magenta 55+ and 2 phones on the plan is $90. Same as I pay with my current carrier.

  8. Julie says:

    I highly recommend TELLO. I switched from Consumer Cellular to Tello in 2018 and I’m so glad I did. Tello is an MNVO and uses the T-Mobile network (just like Consumer Cellular). T-Mobile has 5G and I purchased a 5G capable Samsung phone from Best Buy. I’m a senior on a fixed income and my bill is $14.43 per month! I have unlimited talk and text, plus 2 GB of data, which is all I need. It’s only $10 per month for 1 GB of data. They have multiple service plans and the lowest monthly plan is only $5. The call quality and customer service are excellent! I kept my home phone number that I’ve had now for 34 years. I haven’t had any problems with the service here in Southern California. Check out their prices and service plans at

  9. Sarah Hamaker says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention prepaid plans. We have one through T-Mobile for four phones unlimited text/talk for $100 a month. Since everyone on the plan uses WiFi whenever possible, we rarely go over our data usage for streaming (our two teenagers stream a lot on their phones). Saves us a bundle and we have no contract. We got our phones used through Back Market, so saved there too.

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