With cell phones getting more expensive every year it’s hard to afford the latest and greatest models without putting a serious dent in our bank accounts. We want the newest phones but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of our phone plans in order to keep our monthly cost down. We show how you can save yourself hundreds of dollars just by doing one simple thing—switching cell phone carriers.
How Switching Carriers Saves You Money
Cell phone carriers like Verizon, Sprint and AT&T advertise their special deals all the time—buy an iPhone and get one free, 50% a new Samsung Galaxy, lease a phone for just $5/month—there’s always a deal being offered. However, what you may not realize (at least immediately) is that these deals are usually only offered to new customers only. At the very least, you’re required to add a new line of service.
The best phone deals are offered to new customers only or require you to add a new line of service
So, what does this mean? Basically, it means that it you’re a T-Mobile customer, you’re probably not going to qualify for T-Mobile’s deal. What’s the solution? Simple. Switch cell phone carriers. You’ll be a new customer elsewhere and qualify for their deals.
How Much Could I Save?
In short, hundreds of dollars. Not only will you save on a new phone, but you could also save money on a new phone plan.
Saving Money on a New Phone
Let’s Talk Tip: Once you’ve finished paying off your phone, switch carriers again to get a great deal on a new phone. Rinse and repeat.
Perhaps your biggest benefit of switching to a new carrier is the money you’ll save on a new phone. Common phone deals for new customers include:
- Buy one, get one free (BOGO)
- 50% off a new phone
- Prepaid Mastercard with around $100-$250 credit
- Free phones
- Discounted family plans
- Huge discounts on phone leases from Sprint
For a while there, Sprint was offering the iPhone X on a Flex Lease for just $5/month—that’s just $60 total (for 18 months) for one of the most expensive phones on the market!
Saving Money on a Cell Phone Plan
Not only do carriers offer deals on cell phones, but they will also discount their plans or have special deals for new customers also. Past (and current) cell phone plan deals for new customers have included:
- Free month of service
- 50% more data
- $30 account credit
- 25% off plans for the first 6 months
- $100 prepaid Mastercard
Some of the best deals on cell phone plans we’ve seen in the past include Mint Mobile‘s deal on their Medium Plan. The carrier offered 2 months of service for free, bringing the price of their 3-month plan down to $20 for 3 months vs $60 for 3 months ($160/year in savings).
Another noteworthy deal is Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart plan which comes and goes quite often. For just $25/month, you get unlimited data, talk and text, but only if you’re a new customer. This is one of the cheapest unlimited plans we’ve ever seen.
How Do I Switch Carriers?
Switching carriers is a lot easier than it may seem. Now that carriers don’t lock you into cell phone contracts, you’re free to switch whenever you want. You do need to be aware of a couple things first though:
- Are you still paying off your current phone? If so, your current carrier will send you a bill for the remaining balance on your phone if you cancel your account.
- Is your phone locked? This is only a problem if you want to bring your own phone to a new carrier.
- Does your (potential) new carrier offer good coverage in your area? Make sure you check coverage maps before you switch.
Don’t cancel your current phone account before switching or you risk losing your phone number
When you’ve found the right phone plan and deal for you, simply follow these steps to switch and start saving:
- DO NOT cancel your current phone plan.
- Buy your new phone and plan from your new carrier.
- Let your new carrier know you’d like to port your number in (this is usually done online when you buy your new phone and SIM card).
- Activate your new SIM card and wait for the porting process to be completed.
Once your phone number has been ported over to your new carrier, your old account will be closed and you’ll receive a final bill with any remaining balance from your old carrier. It’s as simple as that!
Best Phone Deals Right Now
If you’re ready to start saving hundreds of dollars a year, then check out our picks of the best cell phone deals available now.