Having a cellphone plan is a necessity in today’s technological age. However, it can be a costly expense to many families. It can be especially burdensome for those seeking housing assistance. Making monthly cellphone payments can feel overwhelming for residents who are already struggling financially.
Fortunately, many affordable cellphone plans are available to meet the needs of different families. To discover more about where to find one of these plans, continue reading below. You will learn how to find the best low-rate plans, which providers offer these plans, tips on lowering your cellphone bill and much more.
Importance of Affordable Cellphone Services
There are currently more active cellphones than residents living in the United States. This was discovered more than six years ago. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately three-quarters of American adults own a smartphone today. Because so many people own a cellphone, carriers must participate in heavy competition to win customers. They do this by lowering prices and advertising special deals for data and minutes. Customers who take advantage of these deals can greatly reduce their monthly cellphone bills.
What Are the Best Affordable Cellphone Providers?
The majority of U.S. households are signed up with major cellphone provider such as Sprint and AT&T. However, cheaper service options are available through smaller carriers. Families looking for more affordable carrier options must look past major providers. A cheaper option is to sign up with a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). These carriers are wireless and operate off the networks of major cellphone providers. MetroPCS and Project Fi are examples of MVNOs. They offer different plans that meet the various needs of customers with low budgets.
Learn About MVNO Cellphone Plans
Mobile virtual network operators are small cellphone carriers that offer cheaper plans and more freedom to customers. MVNOs lease or share minutes and data with major networks and then resell it to their customers. MVNOs lease space or work with larger companies to provide their services. While some mobile virtual network operators are owned by the large cellphone providers, others are independent companies.
One of the benefits of MVNO cellphone plans is that they do not require commitment to a contract. This way, prospective customers do not need good credit to sign up. Furthermore, mobile virtual network operators are cheaper and have more straightforward plans than larger carriers. However, because MVNOs share bandwidth with major provider, they sometimes have slower data speeds.
Different Types of Cellphone Plans
Cellphone providers, both MVNOs and major companies, offer different types of plans for customers. There are four primary types of cellphone plans:
- Payment plans
- Pay-as-you-go or prepaid
- No-contract or monthly
There is no contract, commitment or monthly bill for prepaid plans. Customers purchase a certain amount of data and/or minutes to use until they run out under this plan. Depending on use habits, data and minutes can last for weeks or months. This type of plan is a great option for customers who have low credit scores, only plan to use their phones for emergencies or do not want a contact. However, pay-as-you-go plans often require customers to pay for their phones at full price up front. They also tend to have fewer features.
Cellphone plans with contracts usually require a two-year commitment from customers. Furthermore, providers often charge activation fees to begin using the service and early termination fees if customers to cancel the service before the contact expires. On the other hand, cellphone companies usually subsidize new model phones when new customers sign up.
No-contract plans do not require customers to commit to contract. However, they must still pay a monthly bill. These types of plans allow customers to select from different features like unlimited data or texting. However, customers must often pay full price for their new phone up front.
How to Save on Cellphone Plans
After deciding on a plan that meets their needs and budget, customers should look for deals to reduce their cellphone bill. Oftentimes, businesses, schools and government agencies collaborate with cellphone carriers to provide discounts to qualifying customers. Information regarding how to acquire these discounts is usually found on the cellphone provider’s website.
Customers who choose paper-free billing options or who automate their monthly payments typically qualify for discounts. Furthermore, customers can save on domestic and international calls by using other services and apps like Skype and WhatsApp. These services allow users to send texts and make calls over the internet instead of using their data or minutes.
Many customers can save by switching to their current providers’ rival company. However, it may be necessary to switch back after the promotion is over. On the other hand, customers may also be able to able to save by asking a customer service representative at their current provider how they can save on their bill.
In order to maximize savings, customers must be realistic about their cellphone use habits. They should only pay for what they need and make sure to avoid going over plan limits. Customers can make adjustments to their plan if they notice they are using more or less than what their current plan offers.