Author Topic: Dialing down my cell/data plan  (Read 2034 times)

Cool Friend

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Dialing down my cell/data plan
« on: April 16, 2019, 08:17:30 AM »
I'm currently using AT&T which gives me a phone line and 2GB of data for $50 a month nominally, but really around $58 after taxes and a litany of surcharges.

Other things to note about my usage:
 - I use on average 0.5 GB of data a month, but AT&T doesn't offer a plan smaller than 2GB.
- I don't often use my phone (older generation iPhone SE) for its namesake purpose. Texting and email is my primary form of non-IRL-based communication with friends/family.
- I live in a major US city.
- I'm not on a contract and can opt out of my service any time.

Can I do better?  Whenever I try to do research I get a headache trying to understand the telecom companies' convoluted plans and aggressive upselling strategies.

SmileAllDay

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 10:48:30 AM »
Hey @Cool Friend ,

I've used Google Fi since 2016 and I'm very happy. It's $20 a month for calls +texts. You only pay for the data you use (@ $10/GB). So, in your case, that would be $5 per month in data. Sounds like it would cut your bill in half.

And (shameless plug), I wrote an article about it if you wanna go into more depth: https://www.sowherewerewe.com/best-phone-plan-for-full-time-travel-2019/

Have a look. Here's a link for $20 off, if you're interested: https://g.co/fi/r/0MC2A7

All the best!


Paul der Krake

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 10:52:50 AM »
0.5 GB you say? Say hello to redpocket's $10 plan:
https://www.redpocket.com/plans
You can get it on whichever network you want, and even slightly cheaper if you buy the annual plan SIM on ebay, $100 for 12 months.

Buffalo Chip

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2019, 05:30:30 AM »
 For your usage, the plan I use isnít optimal. I have visible which uses Verizon towers (I believe theyíre associated with Verizon in some manner)

Unlimited data, texts, and phone plus tethering of one device. They do ratchet down your data speed somewhat , but itís still all you can eat and I donít really notice. $40 a month including taxes and fees.

lhamo

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2019, 11:09:01 AM »
I'm also very happy with Google Fi.  If you travel internationally at all, it is awesome -- seamless coverage in just about any country for no extra cost on data/text/wireless.  Voice calls are also reasonable if you need them.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 06:18:10 PM »
Get this:

I average about 10 bucks a month on my T-mobile pay-as-you-go plan. No data and 10 cents per minute or text. I don't even have e-mail set up on it, although it is wifi capable! I bought this LG3 new a few years ago for 50 bucks, plus, of course another 50 for screen protector and case (= pure profit). It works great and has a decent screen, camera and other handy apps (Calculator, calendar, clock) my previous old candy-bar-phone Motorola POS lacked.

Nevertheless I am happy with it because I hate phones and I have more than enough e-mail and other internet-based distractions on my PCs at home and work, as well as a laptop.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 06:21:13 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

MasterStache

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 08:22:24 AM »
We've been very happy with Consumer Cellular. I think you could get a single plan for about $25/month. We have 3 lines and pay $59/mo for all 3. We do use data but not sure how much.

grobinski

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 05:59:49 PM »
Have been happily thrifty on MintMobile for a couple of years for $15/month (when paying 12 months at a time). The only complaint I have is limited coverage in remote areas (northern MN and WI) has been fine in populated areas including a recent trip to Hawaii. MintMobile uses T-Mobile's GSM network, unlimited talk and text, 3gb of data, wifi hotspot ok.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 12:37:59 PM »
Get this:

I average about 10 bucks a month on my T-mobile pay-as-you-go plan. No data and 10 cents per minute or text. I don't even have e-mail set up on it, although it is wifi capable! I bought this LG3 new a few years ago for 50 bucks, plus, of course another 50 for screen protector and case (= pure profit). It works great and has a decent screen, camera and other handy apps (Calculator, calendar, clock) my previous old candy-bar-phone Motorola POS lacked.

Nevertheless I am happy with it because I hate phones and I have more than enough e-mail and other internet-based distractions on my PCs at home and work, as well as a laptop.

I've been a long-time T-Mobile prepaid user. They're great for light usage. Their current offering has a $3 monthly minimum that covers your first 30 minutes and/or texts, then 10 cents per minute/text after that.

For data, I got myself one of these FreedomPop SIMs. $50 prepaid for one year, 1 GB per month. I can't really recommend relying on FreedomPop for calling; my experience with them has been that the reliability is less than great for voice because they do some weird VOIP stuff or something.

I got a dual-SIM phone and this lets me easily use both plans at once, for roughly $8 per month. I use Google Voice for texting. This uses a small amount of data, but avoids the 10 cent charge per text.

That Red Pocket company linked above looks like a pretty nice option as well, but since you said you average 500 MB per month rather than having 500 MB be your maximum usage, their $15 plan might be more up your alley.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 12:40:44 PM by seattlecyclone »

Enigma

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 12:58:39 PM »
I'm currently using AT&T .... Can I do better?
Walmart uses StraightTalk on AT&T's network (Bring your own phone/prepaid).  3GB of high speed data then unlimited data on the 2G network, unlimited talk, and unlimited text for $35/month.

Cwadda

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 01:08:50 PM »
I'm giving a shoutout for Airvoice wireless. They have unlimited plans with 1 GB of data for reasonable prices. Right now, they have rate of $20 for 2 GB of data + unlimited talk/text. In addition, you get 10% if you set up automatic payments. So it'd be $18/month.

Elle 8

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2019, 04:59:43 AM »
...

 - I use on average 0.5 GB of data a month, but AT&T doesn't offer a plan smaller than 2GB.

...

Is this new?  I'm helping my father with his bills and all of a sudden his AT&T bill went up.  Upon closer examination, he was switched from 1GB to 2GB.  I didn't know why since he doesn't use close to 1.  I've been meaning to call and find out why.  Maybe this is the answer.

MatthewK

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2019, 12:08:18 PM »
...

 - I use on average 0.5 GB of data a month, but AT&T doesn't offer a plan smaller than 2GB.

...

Is this new?  I'm helping my father with his bills and all of a sudden his AT&T bill went up.  Upon closer examination, he was switched from 1GB to 2GB.  I didn't know why since he doesn't use close to 1.  I've been meaning to call and find out why.  Maybe this is the answer.

yup it's new and it's ridiculous. I'm on red pocket with at&t and my wife is still on regular at&t, she didn't come close to using 1gig and they upped the minimum to 2gig and raised the price, it's now almost $70 a month compared to my $15 a month with 1000 minutes, unlimited text and 1 gig of data.

sargentd

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 11:33:22 AM »
Checkout US Mobile. I've been happy with them and use their $10/month unlimited text/talk plan because I don't use data. However, you can customize your plan specific to your needs: https://www.usmobile.com/plans

Indexer

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2019, 05:14:02 PM »
Have been happily thrifty on MintMobile for a couple of years for $15/month (when paying 12 months at a time). The only complaint I have is limited coverage in remote areas (northern MN and WI) has been fine in populated areas including a recent trip to Hawaii. MintMobile uses T-Mobile's GSM network, unlimited talk and text, 3gb of data, wifi hotspot ok.

This!

I used Republic Wireless previously, which was great, but MintMobile costs less at $15/month and I get 3gigs of data. Unlimited talk, text, and 3 gb(more than I have ever used, even on trips) is a steal at $15.

Saving in Austin

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2019, 02:20:48 PM »
A warning about disconnecting from AT&T:

They will not prorate your last month of service.

If you are on their network for even a few minutes into the new billing cycle, they will bill you for the full month.

CCCA

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Re: Dialing down my cell/data plan
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2019, 04:24:09 PM »
0.5 GB you say? Say hello to redpocket's $10 plan:
https://www.redpocket.com/plans
You can get it on whichever network you want, and even slightly cheaper if you buy the annual plan SIM on ebay, $100 for 12 months.


I'll also recommend redpocket which is what I'm using (on the verizon network). I only average around 300 mb per month so the 500 plan works for me, though occasionally I'll top off with a $2 for an extra 100MB if I'm traveling or for some reason use a bit more data than normal).  Also I'm on the $5/month plan which is 100 min/100txts and 500mb.  I think that's only available on ebay (called the $60 plan (i.e. per year). 

By the way, their plans are often cheaper on ebay.  I got my $60 plan for $50 there.