When purchasing a phone, there is rarely any reason to pay full price. Manufacturers, retailers and carriers often offer discounts or freebies as incentives to make buying one even more appealing.

Many of these deals require switching carriers or adding new lines of service; however, some offers are also open to current customers, so read my list of tips below for how to find and test various cell phones and plans.

Do Your Research

Cell phones and plans aren’t exactly inexpensive, so it is wise to shop around every month for the best deal possible. Do your research and take a closer look at several options before settling on one that best meets your needs.

Verizon, AT & T and T-Mobile (which recently absorbed Sprint) are the main four carriers in the US; however there are also numerous discount brands that purchase network space from these larger providers and sell services at far cheaper rates; these MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators still provide excellent deals while not matching up with service levels found with larger providers like AT & T and Verizon.

Consider these aspects when selecting your plan:

Coverage area

This factor is especially relevant to people who work remotely or travel frequently for personal or professional purposes.


Consider how much data you require, especially if you have an unlimited plan. Exceeding your data limit could result in additional charges being imposed as penalties for going overage fees.


If you plan to add multiple lines of service, consider opting for a family plan. They tend to be cheaper than individual plans, and most carriers allow you to add members without being related.


Signing up for autopay can help you save even more. Most major postpaid and prepaid carriers offer discounts of $5-10 monthly just for making automatic payment of your bill, and in case of late payments your provider will automatically deduct that amount from either your paycheck or bank balance.

Shop Around

When purchasing a mobile phone or plan, shopping around and making sure you find the best possible deal is key to finding a top-rated provider with reliable coverage in your area.

Consider all available options, including smaller carriers known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs. These providers purchase network space from larger carriers at reduced prices and offer services at far more attractive rates; some even allow you to bring in your own device or fold its cost into a two-year contract agreement.

Make sure to research all available options for special discounts and bundling options before making your choice. Many carriers provide price breaks to military members, first responders and educators; AARP membership and AAA may also qualify you for savings. US Mobile and Metro provide excellent prepaid plans suitable for students as they offer your school’s discount code which could save up to 20% on plans along with providing them with free SIM cards with 10-day trial periods – this makes US Mobile an excellent option when choosing for students!

Look for Perks

Finding a great phone or plan deal requires hunting down specific perks – these may include free phones or smartphones, free streaming subscriptions like Disney+, Apple Music or Google Play and family plan discounts that could save significant sums over time. These offers come from various cell phone carriers competing to win your business.

These benefits may be offered by both large and small phone providers, but smaller providers typically provide some of the most attractive offers. This type of provider, known as mobile virtual network operators or MVNO, purchases network space from larger providers at far reduced rates before passing these savings along to their customers – examples include Metro (which operates on T-Mobile) and Mint Mobile as well as lesser-known ones that work across different networks.

Be sure to look into any special discounts offered, such as those for students, veterans or first responders. These special promotions are often given as a gesture of thanks, helping save you a considerable amount over the long haul. Taking advantage of any perks, such as receiving a complimentary smartphone with certain prepaid plans may also be great motivation for signing on a contract agreement.

Check Out Big Sales Events

Big sales events offer shoppers an excellent way to take advantage of discounted electronics, cell phones and plans. Today’s retailers host various sales events throughout the year including Black Friday, Prime Day and Cyber Monday sales events – so you can test your device out, cheaply, and perhaps return it before making a choice. Other retailers may cater to specific types of shoppers like tech enthusiasts or gamers; still others have sales events specifically for Valentine’s Day or Presidents Day celebrations.

Merchants offer special promotions during these events that may include exclusive deals or perks not normally available throughout the year, such as free smartphones with new plans or streaming subscriptions like Amazon Prime or Disney+. Other perks might include discounted family phone plans from US Mobile or other carriers – it’s wise to take advantage of such offers if you plan to buy new phones or switch providers!

If you want the best possible deal on a phone or plan, negotiate with your provider. This can be done through their customer service department or even over the phone – though be mindful that some providers require commitment before offering discounts.

As part of your negotiations with your provider, some key strategies for success include being direct and using emotional tactics. If you’re concerned about losing your current contract or canceling services, this can spur salespeople into offering better terms. Many find contacting customer retention managers directly via phone or online can be highly effective at getting great phone deals – these representatives know the current market prices as well as competitor offers and promotional offerings available in their region.

Check with Your Current Carrier

If your contract is coming to an end soon, don’t be intimidated into asking your carrier for an upgrade. They might offer a very tempting deal in order to retain your business; especially when new versions of popular devices hit the market soon afterward.

These deals tend to spread the cost of purchasing a phone over 18-30 months with monthly payments that fit within your budget (according to this link), sometimes offering phones completely for free if you sign up with a new carrier plan or add an additional line of service to your account.

Some carriers provide incentives such as Hulu, Netflix or Disney+ subscriptions as part of certain plans and phone upgrades. Although some perks can be relatively mundane, others can add real value.

Bottom line, cell phone companies make more money off mobile plans than selling phones themselves; therefore, they’re constantly offering discounted phones to attract new customers and maintain profitability. To find a great cell phone deal, shop around for low prices and stay abreast of when your carrier offers special promotions.

As a rule of thumb, it’s usually wise to wait about a month after a new model hits the market before shopping as this is usually when retailers begin offering steeper discounts in order to clear out inventory. But be warned: waiting too long could increase discounts further as last-generation models become outdated.

If your carrier can’t offer you anything that meets your needs or an alternative provider offers cheaper devices with more data (like Visible Wireless or Mint Mobile), consider looking elsewhere such as an independent mobile-only carrier such as Visible Wireless or Mint Mobile instead if necessary.