Finding a good bargain on a mobile phone contract can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the contract’s duration. We will go over some of the most effective techniques to lower your monthly expenses.

woman sitting in chair with cat, looking at mobile phone

It is more vital than ever before to make sure that you are saving money wherever you can, and that you are getting the most out of everything for which you pay a monthly charge, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise. There are a variety of ways to minimise costs, one of which is on your monthly mobile phone bill, to assist in the fight against inflationary pressures. We will explain how you can save tens or even hundreds of pounds on your current contract or when you are seeking to buy a new device by switching to a different provider.

1. Give getting a phone with a contract some serious consideration.

Before signing a long-term contract for a new phone, you should definitely do the math first if you are in the market for a new device. Although contracts enable you to spread the cost over a longer period of time, they frequently end up costing more money overall.

You can also be faced with price increases in the middle of the contract, which might vary greatly from provider to provider. If you have the financial means to buy the phone entirely, purchasing a SIM-only plan that costs less money and provides you with the exact amount of data you require can help make your future payments more predictable.

It is also simple to transfer providers if you find something that is superior, as there is a large selection of rolling contracts that last for 30 days. Utilizing our mobile phone contract calculator can assist you in determining if purchasing a contract or a SIM-only plan is in your best interest.

Potential saving: over £200

A 24-month contract with the iPhone 12 from Three costs £42 per month and includes 4GB of data for an additional £29, totaling £1,037 over the course of the agreement. If you buy an iPhone 12 outright for £629 and sign a rolling 30-day contract for 4GB of data at £5 per month with Smarty, you might pay just £749 over the same length of time.

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2. Do not pay more than necessary for data.

It is not uncommon to see premium phones being marketed on contract with enticingly high data deals; nevertheless, you should not be tricked by this practise. If you don’t consume a lot of data, then the majority of that will be wasted on you. One of the most crucial steps you can take to ensure that you are receiving the best price possible is to keep track of the amount of data and minutes that you use. This will allow you to determine how much you actually require.

Another advantage of having a rolling monthly Sim-only plan is the flexibility it affords you to adjust your data limit upwards or downwards in response to changes in your use needs.

Potential saving: £336

annualised ID Mobile’s low data contract, which includes 5GB of data and costs £6 per month, costs less than EE’s high data contract, which includes 100GB of data and costs £34 per month. There are a tonne of options that fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, such as sixty gigabytes of data for ten pounds a month from SMARTY.

3. Consider options other than the “big four.”

According to the telecoms regulator Ofcom, there are more than 80 million active mobile subscriptions in the United Kingdom, and the bulk of consumers are with one of the “big four” networks. These networks include EE, O4, Three, and Vodafone. It is simple to feel comfortable by a well-known brand, but the big four are consistently among the most pricey options on the market, particularly for data plans with limited storage space.

Virtual service providers frequently provide bargains on their service packages, which might result in further cost savings, in an effort to win new consumers. Read our guide to the top and bottom mobile network providers in the UK to see which of the lesser-known networks offer the most reliable service.

Potential saving: £240

within the first twelve months EE charges £27 per month for a SIM-only plan that includes 10 GB of storage space. The initial three months of Smarty’s 5G data plan cost only £4 per month, but after that, the cost increased to £8 per month.

save money on your mobile phone bill

4. Haggle for a better offer

You should start bargaining one month before the end of your contract, as your supplier should be able to offer you a better deal before your next payment. If you start haggling early enough, you may be able to save money.

We allows you to compare different SIM-only plans. Switch Mobile will inform you of the various deals that are available as well as the appropriate price that you should be paying. You should be ready to highlight prices that you’ve found at other places. Mention it when you’re haggling if you’ve had any issues with your provider, like as poor coverage or inadequate customer service; it could give you an advantage.

Check to see if you can obtain any additional perks included in addition to a price discount. For example, greater data or savings with companies that are partnered with the network would be great additions. Just make sure that you really want any rewards that are offered to you and that you will make use of them. Say you’d want to leave and want to speak to the retentions team, who will be able to offer you better prices if you stay with them. If your current provider is unable to negotiate or the deal they are offering is not satisfactory, say this.

You are free to reconsider your decision at any time and leave if that is not what you ultimately want to do. If you want further guidance on negotiating, you should read our article on how to negotiate for the best internet bargain. A lot of the information in that post is applicable to your mobile contract as well.

Potential saving: £34 per year

According to a recent study, customers who haggled over their mobile phone bills saved an average of £34 a year, which is equivalent to a 9 percent savings. Customers of the main carriers saved considerably more money: haggling resulted in an annual savings of approximately £45 for customers of Three, and £75 for customers of EE. Customers of smaller suppliers saved less.

5. Consider a new mobile phone service.

If you find that negotiating does not bring you the price and deal that you want, you should not be scared to look for a new mobile operator and try your luck there. Changing your mobile service is now less of a hassle than it has ever been thanks to a feature called text-to-switch. Find out more about how to switch mobile providers by reading our comprehensive guide.

As a result of the fact that networks are consistently trying to win over new consumers, there are frequently excellent starting offers available. After the honeymoon phase, there will most likely be an increase in the prices. Use Which? Move Mobile to uncover the most recent deals on mobile phones before you switch providers.

Potential saving: £40

A recent study found that switching mobile providers resulted in an average annual savings of $40, which is equivalent to a 12 percent savings. Customers who left O2 and Three were eligible for the greatest discounts on.

Mobile phone providers

6. Instead of a rolling Sim plan, think about using a Pay as You Go (PAYG) plan.

Think about how frequently you need to make calls, send texts, or utilise data. If you primarily use the internet when connected to wi-fi, and for the occasional phone call for an emergency, it may not even be worth having a cheap monthly Sim deal – especially considering the proliferation of free chat apps that have made it simple to call using data. This is especially true if you only use the internet when it is connected to wi-fi.

Find out how much it will cost you to use data or make calls whenever you need to by looking into the PAYG rates offered by your carrier. One of the most affordable options is iD Mobile, which charges only one penny for each megabyte of data sent and three pence for each minute of voice communication. However, you should carefully review the terms and conditions of this offer because it requires a £10 payment every two months. Asda Mobile, which is powered by Vodafone, is yet another budget-friendly PAYG choice.

At this location, the rate for each megabyte of data is 4 pence, and the rate for each minute of a phone call is also 4 pence. The way that PAYG works is by adding money to your account, also known as “filling up,” whenever it is necessary. This makes it simple for you to keep track of how much you are spending.

Potential saving: £5-20

If you have a contract with Three for one month, it will cost you £19 a month to get 4GB of data. This is equivalent to 190 minutes’ worth of calls or 380 megabytes’ worth of data.

7. Make sure you check your roaming fees.

If you are going to be travelling, you should make sure you are aware of the specific fees associated with using the data on your phone while you are away from home. While EE, Three, and Vodafone have all implemented new fees for accessing your data in Europe since Brexit, O2 has not done so.

When you go outside of Europe and want to utilise your data plan, the price you pay can vary greatly depending on which provider you use. Carefully reviewing your contract can help you avoid receiving a hefty invoice out of the blue.

Checking to discover if you have any roaming ‘add-ons’ attached to your bill is another important step you should take. If these aren’t required, getting rid of them could result in some additional savings. In this section of our guide to cell roaming prices and international calls, we explain the fees that you may be required to pay in order to access data while travelling in Europe and farther abroad.

Potential saving: £5.80 per MB of data

in America The process of using data while travelling in the United States varies greatly from provider to provider. Plusnet charges six pounds per megabyte, but Giffgaff only charges twenty pence per megabyte.

save money on your mobile phone bill

8. Consider your options for mobile phone coverage

You should give any optional add-ons that come with your mobile phone contract careful consideration. It is possible that you do not require them, and if you do, it may be more cost effective to purchase them separately. For instance, mobile phone insurance can compensate you if your device is lost or stolen, damaged, or broken, or if it experiences any other type of tragedy.

On the other hand, considering that the price tag can be shockingly high for something that you hopefully won’t ever require, it might not be worth it to pay for it. Insurance for today’s most cutting-edge smartphones can run as much as ten pounds each month. If you have contents insurance, you should check to see if you can cover your cell phone under the personal property section of the policy.

This ensures that your valuables are safe anytime you are away from home and may even provide security when you are travelling internationally. Read our article on how to acquire the best possible insurance cover for your mobile phone for more information.

There is the possibility of a saving of up to £120 annually

Insurance for today’s most cutting-edge smartphones can run as much as £10 per month. It’s possible that your homeowner’s insurance already covers accidental damage to a phone both inside and outside the house, but if not, it’s something that can be put on for a relatively little additional cost.

9. Look for useful perks

Look for beneficial add-ons such as free subscriptions and discounted tickets or meals, as well as advantages such as rollover data that can make it possible for you to purchase a bundle at a lower cost than you would otherwise be able to. Sky Mobile includes a function that, at the end of each billing cycle, rolls over any unused data into the user’s Sky Piggybank account.

After that, you may either use it to buy further data in the future or trade it in for a range of different rewards. A benefit of this nature is helpful since it prevents you from squandering money on unused data.

Other bonuses, such as O2’s offer of up to six months free Disney+ to new users and consumers upgrading from an older plan, could be beneficial if you would make use of the service. Likewise, customers of Three may use the Three+ app to purchase weekend movie tickets for just £3, receive a discount of 20% at Uber Eats, enjoy two main dishes for just £10 at Frankie & Benny’s, and have access to festival tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

If you want to utilise this membership service, there is a possibility that you will save money by purchasing Disney+ for a period of six months rather than paying the full price of £47.94.

10. Give your decision to purchase a high-end phone some serious consideration.

You are going to pay a considerable premium for these gadgets, regardless of how alluring the monthly repayment charge might look. This is true despite the fact that it is enticing to want to purchase the most recent iPhone or flagship Android handset. Our mobile phone reviews have uncovered, over the course of the previous several years, models that are capable of matching the performance of flagship devices at a fraction of the cost. You might potentially save money by purchasing a mobile phone that has been previously owned but has been refurbished.

Potential saving: over £700

There is a price gap of £749 between two mobile phones sold by Best Buy, both of which received scores of 80 percent in our laboratory testing. This might mean a savings of approximately £25 per month if you purchase the item on a contract.