Whether you’re ready to graduate from that sticky family plan or you’re just trying to save a few extra bucks, you’re thinking about switching wireless carriers. Choosing a new provider can be stressful. Fortunately, we made it super easy to help you prepare with the 5 things to know before you take the plunge.
1) What should you be paying for your plan?
The first thing you want to know (and might already) is what your current monthly payment is and what your plan includes. Are you getting overage charges and fees that could be avoided? Are you overpaying for unlimited data when you’re only using 3GB or 8GB? Take a look at your most recent bill to see what exactly you’ve been paying for to set the benchmark and help you decide what you need and, more importantly, what you don’t need.
2) How much data do you need per month?
This one is a cinch to check and can save you a lot of grief (and money). Just check your monthly account statement with your current carrier to see how much data you use on a monthly basis. If you’re paying for a pricey unlimited plan and are only using close to 5GB (the US national average) then now’s the perfect time to cut your cost and get on the right plan!
On the other hand, if you are frequently haunted by texts that you’ve reached your data limit two weeks into your billing cycle, then it may be time to look into a higher data plan.
The other thing to ask yourself is how often are you connected to WiFi? You may be able to save loads of data just by hooking into home, work or your boo’s WiFi so you can save up your data for when you need it.
3) What kind of coverage do you need?
Having great coverage is essential to finding happiness with your wireless carrier. Think about where you are going to need the best coverage based on your lifestyle, whether you travel often or are more of a hermit. Not all coverage is created equal so make sure to check the coverage of any provider you’re thinking of signing up with. Check here to view your coverage on Mint.
4) Can you bring your phone or do you need a new one?
If you plan on keeping the same phone when you switch to a new carrier, you’ll need to make sure your phone is compatible with the new carrier’s network. Is it GSM or CDMA? Without getting too technical, this basically is the network technology your phone runs on. Think AM vs FM. Is your phone locked or unlocked? Unlocked phones on the GSM network can be brought over to Mint. If your phone is locked to your current carrier you may need to do something before you can bring it over to Mint, like pay it off or take another action. Find out if your phone is locked or unlocked by contacting your current carrier.
5) Are you in the middle of a contract?
Most big carriers lock customers in long-term contracts through their phone purchases and require that you pay off your phone before allowing you to take it to your new carrier. Contact your current carrier to find out any limitations you may have before you purchase a new plan.
Switching wireless carriers can be a real pain in the neck, but you could be saving a fortune with Mint! Here are the 5 reasons why.
Still have questions? Ask in the comments below or share your experience switching carriers!