Few things are more annoying than finding out you’re paying for something you don’t even use. The feeling gets much worse when you realize you’ve been paying for months for something you don’t use.
Your cellphone bill might be hiding a few extra services that you don’t really need, but still might be charging you money for them every month.
Here are the top things to look for in your cellphone bill that you might not need at all.
1. International data plans
Cellphone carriers can charge a flat rate to your plan every month for international travel data. Travel plan add-ons can cost you somewhere between $10 and $20 a month.
It’s possible that you added the international data plan during a big trip but forgot to remove the service from your plan.
Depending upon your cellphone carrier, the international data add-on could take on a different name. Here’s what to look for in your bill depending on your carrier:
- Verizon: TravelPass
- AT&T: International Day Pass
- T-Mobile: World Class International Roaming
If you see any charges on your bill that sound like any of the services above, you should contact customer service and have them remove the charge.
While you’re at it, you should see if they can retroactively refund you for all those months you might have paid for the service without using it.
You can always (politely) threaten to switch carriers if they don’t seem willing; that usually gets customer reps pretty motivated.
2. Hotspot data
A hotspot is one of those features that you either use all the time or basically use never.
For folks who work remotely in places without a hard-wired internet connection, or commuters who need access to reliable Wi-Fi on the train or subway, hotspot data is absolutely essential.
But if you get along fine with your home Wi-Fi connection and wireless connection, you probably don’t need to pay a premium for hotspot data.
If there ever comes a time when you need hotspot data, you can always upgrade your plan to include the service.
The word “hotspot” probably won’t explicitly show up in your bill, so you’ll need to review your data plan to see if it includes hotspot data.
Most unlimited plans automatically come with a few gigabytes of hotspot data, but the premium plans come with significantly more hotspot data. For example, look at the difference between AT&T’s Unlimited Extra plan and AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan:
The Unlimited Extra plan costs $75 per month and comes with 15GB of mobile hotspot data, whereas the Unlimited Elite costs $85 per month and comes with 40GB of hotspot data.
Long story short, if you’re paying for the AT&T Elite data plan and aren’t using your hotspot data, you could probably save a good deal of money every month on a cheaper plan.
If you’re on the other side of the equation and want to find the most cost-effective way to add a hotspot data plan, here are some of the best value options out there for hotspot data:
3. Extra add-ons and perks
Generally speaking, the more expensive the cellphone plan, the more add-ons and features that are included. For starters, unlimited data plans almost always cost more than limited-data plans.
If you don’t really need unlimited data, you can always opt for a more inexpensive, limited-data plan. To give you an idea of what you’d pay for a limited-data plan, here are some popular cellphone plans:
A common add-on you’ll find with the most premium cellphone plans is a free streaming subscription. Verizon offers free Disney+, AT&T offers free HBO Max, and T-Mobile offers free Netflix with higher-tier data plans.
If you already have a streaming subscription set up and don’t need the free subscription from your wireless carrier, that’s a sign you shouldn’t be paying for an expensive unlimited plan. Look for other features like these streaming services that come with your cellphone plan but aren’t anything you need or want.
Definitely the easiest way to save money on your cellphone plan is to downgrade to a more bare-bones data plan.
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