How To Find The Best Cell Phone Plan For You
Making an informed decision on your next cell network provider can end up shaving off a sizeable amount from your monthly bills.
In a relatively short amount of time, cell phones have gone from being a luxury item to a necessity for millions of Americans. As a result of this demand, consumers enjoy a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a phone plan that works best for their needs and their budget. This freedom of choice can be a source of confusion, though, since every plan has advantages and drawbacks, not to mention considerations depending upon devices the plan supports.
Making an informed decision on a cell phone network provider can shave a sizeable amount of money owed off your monthly bill, while maintaining your access to the services and support you rely on. Here are a couple key concepts to keep in mind when comparison shopping for your next cell phone plan:
In densely populated urban areas, every major cell service provider should offer reliable coverage for a majority of residents. But in smaller cities or rural areas, coverage may be sporadic depending upon the specific provider. If your plan is through a carrier without a strong presence in the places you use your phone most often, you may experience frustrating dropped calls or slow data speeds. As you research plans, review the coverage map provided by the carrier, or check out one of the many in-depth coverage reports compiled by independent researchers like OpenSignal and RootMetrics . Zero in on the area around your home and office, as well as any places in between, to look for potential service gaps between carriers.
You get what you pay for
Cell phone plans can vary widely in cost, but it wasn't always this way. Thanks to a rapid increase in low-cost wireless service providers in recent years, the average American household was paying around 13 percent less for their monthly cell phone bill in the middle of 2017 compared to 2016, based on federal economic data.
One possible explanation behind this trend is the fact that picking a plan requires sorting through a huge list of options and features. The price you ultimately pay will depend on factors like:
- How many lines you need.
- How much you and others on your plan use their phones, and for what purpose (i.e. data, texting, voice calls).
- Whether you have a preference for a specific phone.
- If you want additional services like international calling.
People who don't use their cell phones very much and want to save as much as possible might consider a prepaid plan. This tends to be the cheapest option available, but only if you can stick to low limits on how much you talk, text or download. Meanwhile, those looking for the best value in terms of price and features should look into bundling options, like family plans. These may charge a hefty monthly fee, but they include multiple devices with higher limits, or even no limits, on the amount of data or call minutes used per month.
Shopping for a cell phone plan may be getting more complex as cell phone use becomes more popular, but a little research goes a long way toward saving a lot of money. For more tips on how to save, contact us today.