These days, most of us hold on to our phones for a long period of time. That’s why when the time rolls around for you to finally upgrade, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the idea of embarking on something different. We understand: you’ve spent two or more years with your chosen service provider, blissfully unaware of the plethora of deals out there that are so much better for your needs. That’s why we’re here to outline some of the ways to get a cheaper phone deal.
Phone companies offer a huge range of different deals, varying on the limit of data, calls, texts, and other perks. The amount you pay for a contract depends on the make of your phone and what you want from it. It’s easy to get lured into a contract where you receive a free phone, however this may be a 24-month contract that can result in you paying more by the time the contract has finished. Using comparative websites like ComparetheMarket or phone retailers like Smartphone Company allow you to compare different contract deals before you buy, seeing which deal best meets your criteria.
If you’re on an existing contract, have a look at your current phone bills. These will show you exactly how much of your allowance you actually use, so it may be wise to rethink your needs if you don’t currently use all of your allocated data, minutes, and calls. You can find a cheaper contract package based on what you actually use.
SIM-only deals require a monthly payment for a package deal of mobile data, minutes, and texts. The only difference from a contract is that you don’t get a phone with the deal, just the SIM card. If you want to keep your current phone but improve the price of your monthly bill, this may be an ideal option. If you choose this option, be sure to check which SIM cards your phone is compatible with, as many are blocked from certain networks.
You’re probably on your current phone network because that’s the one your parents chose for you when you first got a phone but, believe it or not, networks will not give you a better service just because you’ve been with them for ten years. There are a huge selection of networks you can choose from and they do provide slightly different services depending on your needs. It’s worth shopping around to see if there’s a network out there that matches up to your needs.
The network EE (formerly Orange and T-Mobile) is widely known for offering the fastest 4G coverage, so if you’re on the move a lot or working on the go, EE is probably the one for you. If you like to be safe in the knowledge that your network is the most popular, Three is maybe the one for you — it covers 98% of the UK population and offers great deals on 4G. If you like to get a little more bang for your buck in terms of extras, perhaps O2 is the sweetest deal. O2 offers some of the best incentives around and O2 priority offers customers a great deal. If you’re a music fan without a subscription to a music stream service, Vodafone is a good deal as it gives you just that — but only for 6 months. Although a sturdy network, it does little to offer customers much more than that. It’s also worth considering networks like Tesco Mobile (who give you clubcard points on your contract deal), GiffGaff (whose price points are extremely cheap), and Talkmobile (a network with absolutely no frills).
Choosing the right mobile tariff can be a minefield, especially when you try and wade through the amounts of minutes, calls, and data each different tariff offers. One of the best ways to try and get the best phone deal is actually to sit down and inspect your current mobile usage. On average, how many texts are you sending each month? How much data are you using? Once you’ve got this figured out, you’ll be able to better assess what exactly it is you need from your mobile tariff.
Most companies offer unlimited texts and calls these days, and as most of us are on either WhatsApp or iMessage anyway, the amount of texts on a tariff rarely has an impact on our choice. Data is probably one of the main things you’ll be worried about and, unfortunately, apps like Instagram, Google Maps, and Facebook can eat up your monthly allowance. It’s better that you don’t use all your given data rather than spending over the limit every month, so add up what you use on average and then give yourself a bit of wiggle room.
Featured photo credit: The Bubble via bubblear.com