How to lower your phone bill

Are you one of the 71.2% Americans overpaying on your cell phone bill? 

At BillSmart, we’ve saved our users $352 on average for carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.  In this guide, we’ll teach you how to lower your phone bill and maximize your savings.

If you’d like the experts to do the work for you, click the button below to get started.

Looking for more specific info?  Check out our definitive guides on how to lower ATT bills, how to lower Sprint phone bills, lower verizon bills and lower tmobile bills.

1. Move to a different cell phone carrier

It takes some work but you can cut your phone bill by moving to a different service provider.  Sprint and T-Mobile offer the cheapest plans at $60 for a single line.  If you’re willing to take a chance with a smaller player you can try visible for $40 a month.  The downside with visible is that speeds are only 5mbps.

Sprint is the way to go if you have more than one line. At four lines, Sprint’s Unlimited Basic plan is $40 a month cheaper or 29% less than comparable plans from AT&T and Verizon.

2. Enroll in Autopay

Cell phone companies apply per line discounts if you are on auto-pay and choose paperless billing.  AT&T and Verizon provide a $10 discount per line.  Sprint and T-Mobile’s autopay discount is a $5 discount per line. 

You can enroll in autopay online or by speaking to a customer support representative.  If you’re past due on your bill, most service providers assess you a late fee that you can get waived if you call in.

3. Downgrade your hotspot

Is 30GBs of mobile hotspot worth $360 a year to you?  If not, you could save 20-30% on your monthly bill by getting the right mobile hotspot for your needs.  It’s a little-known fact but the primary difference between basic and premium plans is different data and speed tiers for mobile hotspots.

For T-Mobile, the difference in mobile hotspot data between their lowest and highest tier plans is 3GB data vs 20GB of 4G data.  You’ll save $25 a month with a single line and $50 with 4 lines if you’re okay with a lower mobile hotspot data allowance.  For Sprint, the lowest unlimited plan tier has 500MB of mobile hotspot data while the highest has 100GB.  However, you’d save $20 a month with a single line or $80 a month with 4 lines if you’re willing to have less hotspot.

AT&T and Verizon’s lowest tier Unlimited plans do not have mobile hotspots.  If you’re willing to go without these hotspots, you’ll save $20/month on a single line and $60/month with AT&T and $20/month on a single line and $80/month on 4 lines with Verizon.

In our experience, the majority of customers rarely use their hotspot or don’t even know they have a hotspot.  If you don’t know what your hotspot usage is, ask and find out what your average usage has been over the last three months.  Downgrade your plan if it’s right for you by speaking or chatting with a representative on a phone or online.

You should also make sure you’re not paying for any features that you’re not using. We’ve seen numerous cases where people will be enrolled in 3rd party services like Verizon cloud and be paying $10 a month for years without realizing that they had the service at all. You can save a lot by downgrading your plan if you forgo the free hulu, netflix or disney plus that some of these service providers are giving out.

4. Cut your insurance in half

If you have phone insurance for over a year, you’re being ripped off.  An iPhone X cost $999 in 2018 and is worth $440 today.  Basically, you’re paying a monthly fee to replace an asset that’s getting cheaper over time.  We’ve seen some real horror stories.  Some of our customers have paid $15 or $20 for years for insurance for phones they no longer have.

If you can’t bear to part with your insurance, you can negotiate it lower depending on how long you’ve been paying for it.  It’s rare for people to renegotiate their insurance so they’re often willing to cut your insurance rate in half while still promising to replace your phone in case it gets lost or stolen.  If that doesn’t work, threaten to remove the insurance and you’ll often see a cheaper rate pop up.

5. Negotiate your plan lower

Phone companies have special promotions that you can only get activated if you call in.

Ask if there are any promotions available. Say you’re thinking about switching your carrier or that you want to save money. Ask if they can provide a bigger discount or extend the discount. Ask to speak to a representative.

For AT&T and Verizon mention that Sprint or T-Mobile has cheaper plans. For Sprint, complain about the network. You can also complain about the taxes and fees that AT&T, Sprint and Verizon tack on but T-Mobile doesn’t.

These deals change all the time so be sure to call every six months and see if there’s something available for you.

6. Get one time credits

Did you know you can get credits applied to your account even if you haven’t not paid any fees in the past?  Your account is worth thousands of dollars to phone companies and they have buckets of money to keep you happy and on their network.

The loyalty credit is the most common one time credit.  If you’ve been with your phone company for many years, ask them to help you out with your next bill.  Depending on how much your bill is and how long you’ve been with the carrier, you could save between $20-$100.  Ask for more as the first offer is generally not their best deal especially when you ask to speak to a supervisor.

Even if you’ve been with your phone company for a month, you can still ask for a discount and often get a courtesy credit.  These credits are less than loyalty credits but there’s no harm in getting $5-$20 off on your next bill in addition to the recurring monthly credits you’ve already negotiated.

Specifically for Sprint, you can request payoff credits for phones and other devices.  Sprint is the only carrier that offers to waive the remaining payments on your phone.  This is generally for customers that have been with Sprint for a long time and only have a couple of months more for their phone to be fully paid off.

Finally, don’t forget to ask to get late fees and activation fees credited back.  Even if the fee was incurred 3+ months ago, reps can see the fee in their system and reverse it and give you a statement credit.

Lower Your Phone Bill With BillSmart

Negotiating your phone bill takes some time and research but can save you a lot of money.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, sign up to BillSmart.  Our expert negotiators will lower your phone bill on your behalf saving you hundreds.