There’s no way around it — phone bills are expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the data you want to use each month, but there’s also a monthly line access fee.
Plus, there’s the cost of the device, which you also need to pay off each month (if you have a plan that allows for that).
Verizon made an announcement earlier this week that reduces those costs by at least a little bit. In addition to cutting $US10 off your monthly data costs depending on your plan, the carrier is also shaving money off your monthly access fee if you meet certain requirements.
Previously, you would need to choose a plan with 8GB of data or more to get a $US25 discount off your monthly access fee. Now you can get that same deal starting at 6GB. For anything less than that (i.e. any plans that allow between 500MB and 4GB per month), you get a $US15 discount.
These discounts only apply if you have a phone that you bought on contract that’s now more than two years old.
AT&T offers a similar price cut, but you need to get a monthly data plan with 10GB of data or more per month. If you purchased a phone on a two-year contract before Feb. 2, 2014 and meet the data requirements, your line access fee is chopped to $US15 per month versus $US40. So it’s the same discount Verizon offers, but you need to be paying for 10GB of data per month as opposed to 6GB of data.
For AT&T users with data plans that fall between 3GB and 6GB, you can pay $US25 per month for line access instead of $US40. But, you need to have purchased a phone on a two-year contract before March 9, 2014. Both discounts apply if you buy an off-contract phone or purchase a phone through AT&T’s Next plan, which lets you pay through monthly installments.
So what’s the real difference here? With Verizon’s deal, you’re paying less since you only need to pay for at least 6GB of data per month to get a $US25 discount on line access (or $US15 per month instead of $US40). But the catch there is that your phone needs to already be two years old.
AT&T offers less of a discount for those who pay for less data per month, but you can get the discounts if your phone is about a year old instead of two. So if you’re on contract, you don’t have to wait as long to get a discount through AT&T.
There are lots of caveats with both deals, but it’s at least worth looking into to see if you qualify.