6 Cell Phone Carrier Secrets That Will Save You Money

I don’t know about you, but my cell phone bill is probably the most expensive bill that I pay every month (apart from rent). It’s one thing in my life that I choose to splurge on. I don’t really mind doing so since my phone is practically an extension of my body (it has most everything I need – i.e. an iPod, a camera, a GPS, etc. – and helps me save money on a daily basis with apps like GasBuddy, Coupons and Amazon Price Check). However, dishing out that money monthly can be irritating at the very least.

If you’re looking to save some money on your cell phone bill, take a look at some of these secrets that your cell phone carrier doesn’t want you to know about. It’s very likely that you can cut a few bucks off of your bill (if not more) just by following some of this advice from US News’ My Money:

Don’t Buy That App

Carriers today sell a variety of smartphone applications that you can get elsewhere for free. A good example of this is a navigation program that uses your phones GPS to give you turn-by-turn directions. While the carriers charge for navigational apps, there are a number of third-party navigation apps that are free. As a result, we are now seeing carriers reduce the price of these programs. Verizon use to charge $9.99 per month for its VZ Navigator, but recently dropped the price to $5 so it can better compete with the free apps that provide the same services.

I can completely attest to the fact that you can find great free apps out there that perform nearly the same function as paid ones. For example, I just recently took the plunge and bought an iPhone (which has been wonderful so far). When I asked about the GPS in the phone, the salesperson told me that I could use the maps application on the phone but that I’d have to pay $5 a month if I wanted an app that spoke directions to me. Instead of taking her word for it, I forwent the service and searched the App Store for myself. Lo and behold I found a free Mapquest app that has voice Navigation.

Lesson learned? Always do your own research and look for free options when you can.

Improve Your Plan

Do you ever wonder if your current cell phone plan is more than what you actually need? You can use a service called Validas to help you figure out if there are other available plans that cost less that are appropriate for your specific usage and needs:

With Validas, you can upload your cell phone bill, and the site will crunch the numbers and tell you if a less expensive plan will meet your needs. There is a cost of $4.99 for consumers to evaluate up to five lines, but you get to see your savings before deciding whether to buy the service.

Find more secrets over at US News’ 6 Secrets of Cell Phone Carriers.