Thursday, December 2, 2010

How I Saved $50/month Switching from AT&T to T-Mobile while Still Using my iPhone

Guest post by Toby Cryns

How I Saved $50/month Switching from AT&T to T-Mobile while Still Using my iPhone

My AT&T iPhone bill for the month of November, including taxes, was $97.70.  That included 450 minutes, 1500 SMS messages, and unlimited 3G internet access.  After a quick switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, my bill for December will drop to around $60…AND I will have an upgrade in service!
Below I outline how you, too, can save $50/month or more.
  1. When your contract expires, do not upgrade your phone.
    I have and will continue to use an iPhone 3G that I purchased 2 years ago.
  2. Move to a cheap month-to-month cell phone plan with T-Mobile or another provider that your existing phone is compatible with.
    In my case, my iPhone 3G works perfectly on T-Mobile’s network.
  3. Drop unneeded services.
    I dropped text-messaging (SMS) completely and went with a 200 MB data plan with T-Mobile
That’s it!  Here is how my costs broke down on my recent upgrade:
I WAS paying $39.99/month for 450 minutes; I am now paying $39.99/month for1000 minutes.  That’s 550 additional minutes per month, which I will use.  I was always counting my minutes and regularly exceeding the 450 minute allotment.
I WAS paying $15/month for 1,500 text messages; I am now paying $0 for zero text messages.  I was receiving around 250 text messages per month and sending 10 per month.  I will not miss text messaging.
I WAS paying $30/month for unlimited internet access; I am now paying$10/month for up to 200 MB of internet.  I was using around 400 MB/month, but I plan on making up for this by using WiFi rather than 3G access.
On top of all that, if I were to get another nice smartphone such as the MyTouch 4G or the G2, I would be paying another $250 or around $10/month for the phone, plus another $20/month that T-Mobile tacks on to contracts that include a discounted cell-phone (plus I would be locked into a 2-year contract!).  So, I am, in effect, also saving another $30/month of which I will only include $10 in my equation since it complicates the math a bit.  But know that the actual savings is around $70/month!  Wow!
When all is said and done, I am saving $45/month before taxes (or $65/month if you include the hardware discount noted above), which will easily end up rounding out to around $50/month after taxes are added in.  PLUS, I am getting more of the service that is most valuable to me – minutes!
To accomplish this, I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile.  NOTE: You will want to wait until your contract expires before doing this, or else you will be hit with a cancellation fee from your current service provider. It also required me to unlock my iPhone, which was a single click using the free Blackra1n software.
When I got to thinking about it, I realized that the main things I use my iPhone for are:
  • Directions/maps
  • Checking email
  • Playing mp3s and podcasts
  • Making phone calls
As such, I don’t require a whole lot of internet access, nor do I particularly enjoy text-messaging.  For me, this decision was a no-brainer.  I got more of what I wanted (minutes) and save $50/month! 

Visit Toby's website


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