3 Questions to Ask Your Cellphone Provider

Asian woman talking on her smartphone
Photo by miya227 / Shutterstock.com

One of the best ways to save money on your cellphone plan is by switching carriers. Between the three major carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon) and the many MVNOs that piggyback off their networks, there are a ton of choices out there for you.

Switching carriers is fairly easy, but after shopping for other plans, you might find that you are perfectly happy with your current carrier. If you do decide to stand pat, ask your carrier these three questions and see if you can’t get more out of your plan.

Are there any available discounts?

The very first discount you should ask about and sign up for is an autopay discount. This is one of the most common discounts offered by cellphone providers, and if you aren’t already taking advantage, it’s one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly payment.

Secondly, ask about any other discounts you might be eligible for. Senior discounts are fairly common, as are military discounts for those who are serving or have served.

Many carriers have started offering discounts to first responders, and some cellphone companies have begun extending savings to teachers and medical professionals.

What are the perks?

When you first signed on to your plan, you may have been too concerned about the price and data allotment to even think about any other perks. You might be missing out.

Carriers are often changing their perk offerings, and you could possibly benefit. Verizon, for example, recently added free Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundles for customers on select plans. AT&T offers free HBO Max for anyone on their Unlimited Elite plan. Two lines in T-Mobile’s Magenta or Magenta Plus plans will get you free Netflix.

What are the limits of unlimited plans?

Ever notice that the data speeds on your smartphone are sometimes very slow? It’s possible you’ve reached the guaranteed high-speed limit of your plan.

That’s right, even unlimited plans have their own limits. While you can use all the data you want, after a certain amount of usage your carrier may slow your speeds down during times of heavy network traffic in order to provide more bandwidth to other customers.

If you don’t already know what this limit is for your plan, be sure to ask your provider about it. You might find that the limit is too low for your data usage habits and it might be worth it to pay for a higher plan that gets you more guaranteed full-speed data.

On the flip side, the priority high-speed data threshold on your account might be higher than you’d ever actually need. In this case, you might be able to switch to a lower-tiered plan and save some money.

These are some of the most popular unlimited plans offering various levels of prioritized data:

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