Cheaper cell plans question

Clark talked about switching to cheaper cell plans. I am currently with AT&T and while the service has been great, I am looking to reduce the cost.

Several of the companies Clark talked about are ones I am considering. However, the catch is I am still under contract with AT&T. I have about 6 month left and will then unlock our iPhones and takes them to another carrier.

When clark talked about switching, I am assuming he is referring to bringing your own phone though, right? Or is there another way to approach it?

A lot of times you get the phone for free, but in the the future, I am not signing a 3yr contract again. 2yrs max. Does clark think you should just outright buy the phone? If so, that can be pricey.

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With contracts, the phone is never really “free”. But do the math – purchasing an unlocked phone and getting a cheap plan, vs a “free” phone with a contract.

If your phones are still working, then definitely take them to another carrier - but check if they are compatible with the new carrier.
The carriers I’ve used also sell compatible phones if you don’t have one, or you can purchase from somewhere else (Best Buy, etc).

In the meantime, shop around for a carrier that suits you in terms of coverage and data/minutes plans. There are a lot of them out there.

Also - some carriers are completely online and any customer/tech service is online or via phone. But if you need occasional assistance or feel better in-person, you can go through a store like Target, Best Buy, etc., where someone can help you.

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I would recommend you consider one of the MVNO carriers that Clark mentions in several articles. I personally use Consumer Cellular which uses the AT&T network for service. I am very happy with them, and they have great customer service. No contracts.

When I get a new phone, I always buy the phone up front. I generally do not buy the cheapest phone and I definitely do not buy the most expensive phone. I shop for a phone in the middle looking for a “sweet spot” comparing features and price.

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I’m so glad that you’re looking to make the switch & save on your monthly phone bill- it’s so easy to end up overpaying for service directly from one of The Big Three carriers with price raises & contracts.

You may be able to contact AT&T and see if you can pay your phone off early. If you have the AT&T Installment Plan, you should be able to pay off the balance in full at any time. Once your phone is paid off, you should be able to request that the carrier unlocks it. After it’s unlocked, you can check its compatibility on any phone service provider’s website to make sure it’ll work with their network. Once you’ve found a new carrier/plan, you should be able to drop your AT&T service.

Honestly, I do tend to buy my phones outright. I also don’t get the newest/most expensive device or the oldest/cheapest device. The last time I upgraded, I waited for the latest device to drop and then grabbed an older-model phone for a lower price.

Some prepaid carriers like Metro by T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless and Total Wireless do offer free phones when you switch, but these aren’t going to be the latest devices. Be sure to also read the fine print so that you don’t end up getting locked into a specific plan or carrier. Alternatively, you can buy an unlocked phone from a retailer like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, Swappa, eBay, etc. and set it up on any carrier.

The biggest perk of having an unlocked phone is being what Clark calls “a free agent.” You can switch plans at any time to grab new customer offers any time and make sure you always have the cheapest plan available.

I’d start by calling AT&T and asking about your options for ending your Installment Plan early. The amount that you still owe on your phone may end up being around the same price you’d pay for a new unlocked phone, or it may help you save the difference in what you’d pay for your current plan vs. a cheaper plan over the next six months.