Mobile phones are increasingly becoming expensive. The monthly cost of the latest iPhone X is on par with the monthly cost of my energy bill. Nowadays, it has become a necessity to own a smart phone. I personally use my phone for Emails, Calendar, Notes, Music, Content Creation and the list goes on. This means i need a decent phone that supports my needs. However, this can sometimes translate to a large phone bill every month.
So if you are tired of forking out a lot of money on your phone bill every month to make calls, send texts and watch a few videos of cute animals on Instagram on your smartphone you should be aware that there are various ways to cut your mobile phone bill. Here are my top tips to help you lower your phone bill.
1. Choose the Right Plan
If you’re signing up to a new mobile phone contract, its important that you choose a plan were you’re only paying for the allowance that you need. Choosing a plan with unlimited texts, minutes is always advisable to ensure you never go over your allowance and incur charges outside your plan. When it comes to data you need to ensure that you choose the amount of data that suits your needs. It’s always nice to get a lot of data but you may use your phone less than you think therefore, you will end up paying for data that you do not use.
To ensure that you choose the right plan make sure you complete a usage audit. Take a look at your mobile phone usage within the last six months to analyse and determine if your average usage is way under the allowances you are paying for. If that is the case, you can save some money by switching to a downgraded plan, so you’re only paying for what you are using. It’s also important to factor what you are going to use your phone for in the future so that the plan you takeout is future proof. If your circumstances or needs change in the future your plan will still support your needs.
2. Keep Your Current Phone Longer and Get a SIM Only Plan
New shiny and beautiful smartphones are released each yeah, and they come with new amazing features which will tempt us all to upgrade to a new phone every year or so. However, you might end up shelling out hundreds pounds for a new phone. This is because you might end up paying an upgrade fee if your contract has ended when you upgrade which will add to your monthly cost.
If your current phone works properly without any issues, hold onto your phone to save money by signing up to a SIM only plan. SIM only deals are pay monthly contracts that only includes minutes, texts and data, but don’t include a phone. Prices for SIM only plans are very competitive, hence why these deals are usually a lot cheaper than a standard mobile phone monthly contract that’s bundled with a handset. SIM only plans are generally 30 days, 12 months and 24 months long.
Find out more about Getting The Best SIM Only Deal with this expert guide from Which?.
3. Family Plan and Additional Line Discount
If you need more than one phone line on your plan for example, a phone and a tablet or iPad, I recommend you check if your network provider offers family plans or additional line discount. Family plans offer savings for taking out additional phone lines, decreasing the average cost of each line.
At the moment in the UK, O2 seems to offer the best additional line discount through their family plans. According to the O2 website, you or your family can get up to 50% off an Airtime Plan on O2 Refresh, when you add a connection to your Family Plan. The discount is open to both new and existing customers.
Vodafone also offers loyalty discount. According to their website existing customers can get 15% off, on some deals. They are offering 15% off when you add a SIM only plan to your account as an additional plan and you can get 15% off any additional Pay monthly phone you buy.
Both Three and EE websites claim to offer existing customers access to exclusive deals on additional contracts but their websites have no clear indication of what these offers are. If you are a Three or EE customer I recommend you contact them to find out more information on their plans.
4. Student Discount
Many network providers offer student discounts on both phones and accessory. If you are a student and have a verified Unidays account you can get discount with both O2 and EE.
Through O2 students can get 20% off Airtime Plan, when you sign up or upgrade to a new O2 Refresh plan as well as 20% off selected accessories when you shop with O2 online or in store. You’ll need to claim your Airtime Plan discount within 28 days of signing up to O2 Refresh.
If you want to go with Vodafone, students at participating universities in the UK can get a 10% discount on Vodafone Pay monthly plans. A list of participating universities can be found here.
Three also offers student discount. Students can get exclusive savings on SIM only plans – only for students. To qualify for the discount, you’ll need a valid university email address (ending in ac.uk), or a Student Beans account.
5. Employee Discount
Many employers and jobs have discounts available with major network providers. If your employer has a business plan with a network provider, employees are typically eligible for a discount. Its worth finding out if your employer or network provider participate in such plans. You can ask your HR department about this benefit and the amount of the discount. Below are the best employee discount I have found. These schemes have strict terms and conditions. Ensure you read these carefully before signing up to any of the schemes.
Vodafone offers Vodafone Advantage Scheme. The Vodafone Advantage discount is available on 12 or 24-month Pay monthly plans, including SIM only plans. The discounts are 15% off any Pay monthly phone, iPad or tablet plan and 15% off any 12-month Pay monthly SIM only plan. If your organisation is registered for the Vodafone Advantage scheme, your HR or benefits team will be aware of it. You should contact the relevant team in your organisation for more information.
O2 offers O2 Open discount scheme which has over 6000 registered organisations on their O2 open list. If you work for a company or organisation registered for O2 Open, you can get up to 25% discount on the Airtime Plan of one O2 Refresh phone tariff, and one tablet or mobile broadband tariff. Check with your HR or benefits team to see if your company’s registered.
6. Negotiate or Bargain With Your Provider
With the mobile phone industry being a very competitive market, many mobile network providers face stiff competition from other mobile network providers. As a result, sometimes network providers may be willing to negotiate and give customers a special loyalty discount to keep your business.
To bargain with your network provider you should tell them your bill is too high and that you’re considering switching to another provider. Its important that you are ready with offers from other network providers which are comparable to what you want to pay. Ensure you have done your research before entering negotiations.
7. Recycle Old Devices (Mobile Phones, Tablets or iPads)
Most network providers now operate zero landfill policies. They offer people to recycle their old devices in exchange for a cash if the device has a cash value. All recycled devices will be responsibly reused, refurbished or recycled in an environmentally friendly way. With most of network providers you can trade in any mobile phone, tablet or iPad as long it’s in their database and get money for it. When you buy a new mobile phone in a store, ask how you can recycle your old one. You could get cash for your phone or credit towards a new handset and you will be doing your bit for the environment.
Before recycling your old devices for a peace of mind ensure you have fully removed any personal data. Performing a factory reset is the best way to remove your personal data as it will erase all your content and settings. Removing your data will ensure that your sensitive information won’t be accessed by others and will prevent misuse of your data.
8. Make Your Mobile Phone Bill Tax Deductible
If you have a home business and use your phone to conduct business calls and emails, you can deduct some or all of the cost of your mobile phone when you complete your self assessment at the end of the tax year. This will reduce the cost of your mobile phone bill as you will charging it on your business. Read the Expenses If You’re Self-employed guide on GOV.UK.
9. Cost Share with An Employer
If you are conducting business for your employer which requires the use of the your personal phone to make phone calls, email and any other work activity you should ask your employer if they participate in phone reimbursement or cost-sharing policies. If your employer has such scheme it means your employer will pay a portion of your mobile phone bill for using it to conduct work related activities.