How to Change Carriers and Save Money in 2021

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Happy woman looking at new phone in the city outdoors
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A lot of folks keep their same cellphone plan for years and just never change cellphone plans. It’s like staying in a so-so relationship for way too long because it’s convenient.

Well, it’s never been easier to switch cellphone plans and save money on your monthly wireless bill. Here are the steps to follow to change your wireless carrier and start saving some money.

Make sure you can cancel your current wireless service

First things first, you need to make sure you can cancel your current wireless service without incurring any fees.

Out of the major carriers, AT&T is the only provider that still has contracts, so AT&T customers will need to double-check they’re free to switch.

Regardless of carrier, you also might be under a pseudo contract with your carrier if you’re still paying off your phone. If you opted for a payment plan with your device, you’ll need to completely pay off your phone before switching carriers.

Check off those two boxes, and you should be free to switch cellphone carriers.

Hit the pause button before you officially cancel your current cellphone service. If you want to keep your old phone number, you’ll need to provide account information to successfully port it to a new carrier.

Decide on a new cellphone plan

Now it’s time for the fun part — deciding on a new cellphone plan. The best part about switching carriers is that you qualify for all the best deals. Every other carrier is so desperate to have your business that they will practically give you a new smartphone if you switch over.

For starters, Verizon will give you a free iPhone SE (2020) if you switch over and activate a new unlimited plan.

You can also get up to $830 off an iPhone 12 from T-Mobile if you switch over, start a new unlimited plan, trade in your old phone, and purchase the device with the monthly installment payment option.

Your phone payment will automatically deduct from your monthly bill up until you max out at $830 worth of credits.

If you’re more of an Android person, you can always go with AT&T and get $800 off a new Galaxy S21 device. You just need to switch over to AT&T, trade in your old phone, and purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 via monthly payments.

Your phone credits will automatically apply every month over the course of 30 months, and after that, you’ll own the phone outright.

If getting an affordable cellphone plan matters more to you than getting a major discount on the latest device, the two best value plans come from Mint Mobile and Visible Wireless.

You can get unlimited data from Visible for only $20 a month for the first three months of your service (and then it jumps to $40 a month, which is still great value for unlimited data). Also, Visible Wireless uses Verizon’s awesome network.

Mint Mobile, on the other hand, only charges a steady $30 a month for unlimited data on T-Mobile’s network. Over time, Mint Mobile should cost you less than Visible, but Mint can’t beat Visible’s introductory price.

Still, if you’re looking for an ultra-affordable long-term wireless option, Mint Mobile offers the most bang for your buck.

Factor in all the awesome cellphone deals available to you, along with network coverage and cellphone data to help you decide on a plan.

Contact your new cellphone carrier

Once you’ve decided on a new cellphone carrier, you just need to go to their website or go to one of their brick-and-mortar stores to start the activation process.

Your new provider will contact your old provider to start the porting process, and when your new service activates, your old service should automatically cancel. You should nonetheless contact your old carrier to make sure that your service completely canceled, as well as work out any outstanding bills or debt.

Congratulations! You officially moved on from your old wireless carrier and can start saving money every month on your wireless bill.

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