Let’s face it—whether you have Verizon, AT&T, or a smaller carrier like Cricket Wireless, you probably don’t want to have to deal with a paper trail or a pesky phone call when you can simply pay your phone bill online. Especially right now, during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to get on the phone with a carrier representative, which is why we want to encourage you to utilize an online payment method. Luckily, paying your phone bill online is super easy—you can pay via browser or mobile app. Every carrier’s process is going to be slightly different, but not by much.

In this guide:

Pay Your Phone Bill Online Via Your Carrier’s Website

Many carriers allow you to pay your phone bill easily online. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to pay your cell phone bill on your laptop or desktop:

  1. Sign in to your account: If you aren’t yet registered, then create an account. This will only take a few minutes.
  2. Select “Make Payment” or “Pay Bill”: This phrasing may differ from carrier to carrier but they all sound similar to one of these options.
  3. Enter a payment amount: Usually, this will already be entered for you unless you want to customize your payment amount.
  4. Choose your payment method: You can typically choose from a saved method if you have one or enter a new credit card, debit card, checking account, savings account, or gift card.
  5. Enter your payment method details: Card number, expiration date, etc.
  6. Click “Continue”: This will take you to a page where you can review your info.
  7. Review your information: Double-check your payment details to make sure everything is correct. Read the Terms and Conditions if that’s your thing.
  8. Click “Send Payment” or “Agree & Submit”: Your carrier’s exact wording may be slightly different than either of these options but I think you get the idea.

And voila! You paid your cell phone bill online and helped save the planet a little bit. If you’d rather use your mobile app to pay your bill, then check out the instructions below.

Pay Your Phone Bill Using Your Mobile App

As with the browser method, every carrier’s mobile app is slightly different but they’re all easy enough to navigate. Here’s how to pay your cell phone bill with your mobile app:

  1. Sign in to your carrier’s app: Make sure you write that login down somewhere handy!
  2. Choose “Pay Bill” or “Make a Payment”: Depending on the carrier, your billing statement may already be on your home page or you’ll find it under “Menu.”
  3. Enter your payment amount: Like the browser option, this will probably automatically be entered.
  4. Specify your payment method: Choose from a saved method or select a new option.
  5. Enter your payment details: Card number, checking account number, etc.
  6. Follow the prompt to complete the transaction: Depending on the carrier, you may select “Make Payment,” “Continue,” “Confirm,” or “Agree & Submit.”

And there you have it—you just successfully paid your phone bill using your mobile app.

Enrolling in AutoPay

One way to ensure that you never miss a payment is to enroll in automatic bill payments—which many carriers refer to as “AutoPay.” Simply choose the payment method you want to use and then you’ll automatically be charged each month. That way, you don’t have to worry about remembering to log on and manually pay your bill. In addition to saving time and frustration (as well as avoiding late fees), you may even get a discount when you sign up for AutoPay.

Enrolling in AutoPay could save you $10/month or $120/year!

Which Carriers Have Mobile Apps?

The majority of cell phone carriers recognize the need to manage and pay your phone bill on the go, which is why they have mobile apps. All of the major carriers—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint—have their own mobile apps, available for both iOS and Android devices. Below are some other popular carriers that offer downloadable apps for your convenience:

  • Cricket Wireless
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • Visible
  • Boost Mobile
  • Straight Talk
  • Ultra Mobile
  • Tello
  • Simple Mobile

This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have a phone plan with a different carrier, make sure to check the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to see if your carrier offers a mobile app.

Why Pay Your Phone Bill Online?

We know it can be hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but once you start paying online, you won’t ever look back. There are many advantages to paying your cell phone bill online, including:

  • It’s extremely easy
  • It saves time
  • Your payment goes through immediately (as opposed to waiting for your carrier to cash your check)
  • You don’t have to wait for a customer service rep to help you
  • You can pay from home (vs. going into the store to pay in person)
  • There is a lower risk of error (vs. calling and accidentally mistyping numbers)

How to Reduce Your Phone Bill

If you log on to your account every month and dread the number that you see, it may be time to consider switching to a cheaper phone plan. Did you know that the average U.S. adult spends about $114/month on their phone bill? That’s nearly $1,400/year people are spending on their cell phone service. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few ways you can decrease your phone bill and save money:

  • Check your talk, text, and data usage: The reality is, most people don’t need unlimited data. If you’re using less than 15GB/month, you’ll want to switch to a limited data plan.
  • Browse prepaid or MVNO plans: Prepaid plans offered by the majors and small carriers alike can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your phone bill.
  • Keep your smartphone for longer: If you’re like millions of other consumers, you probably bought your smartphone on monthly installments that get bundled with your monthly service bill. Once you’ve paid off your device, you may want to consider holding onto it for a while, as long as it’s in good condition.
  • Consider switching to a family plan: Round up your friends or family members and choose a family plan that works best for everyone—most carriers offer discounts for every line you add to a plan. You can reap all the benefits of an unlimited plan this way, but for less.

Cheap Phone Plans

Ready to make the switch? Check out the list of affordable phone plans below. All of these plans include unlimited talk and text and at least 2GB of data.