How I lowered my cell phone bill to $12 per month

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How I lowered my cell phone bill to $12 per month
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All year long, Clark.com’s Michael Timmermann is sharing quick and easy ways to save money as part of our Michael Saves series. Check in every Monday as he puts new and familiar savings strategies to the test. Sign up for our newsletter to have these stories delivered to your inbox!

My cell phone bill is now the cheapest it has been since I got my first mobile device more than 15 years ago.

For the past month, I’ve tested out Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, a new cell phone service from the cable and internet giant that’s designed to help you save money.

Here’s a snapshot of the billing details on the last day of my current cycle:

How did I manage to lower my monthly cell phone bill to just $12 before taxes and fees? It was surprisingly simple. And there’s even a way for light data users to pay $0!

I’ll share more about my experience later on, but first here’s how Xfinity Mobile works.

Everything you need to know about Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile service

RELATED: Best cell phone plans and deals for 2017

Verizon’s 4G LTE network + Xfinity’s Wi-Fi hotspots

Xfinity Mobile runs on Verizon’s strong and reliable network, but it’s Xfinity’s more than 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide that can help subscribers cut costs by only paying for the data they use.

In addition to using Wi-Fi at home, nearly 70% of customers connect to those hotspots while on the go to limit cellular data use.

Xfinity Mobile: How much does it cost?

You must have internet service through Xfinity to sign up for the mobile deal. It includes unlimited nationwide talk and text, 100 MB of shared data and no line access fees on up to five lines.

After using up the 100 MB of included data, there are two monthly data options to choose from:

  • Unlimited: $45 per line on up to five lines; speeds reduced after 20 GB
  • By the Gig: $12 per GB of shared cellular data across all lines

Using only that 100 MB of shared data, extremely light data users could potentially have a $0 monthly bill, a Comcast spokesman confirmed to Clark.com.

One of Clark’s Facebook fans said that’s what he does:

Bobby: “I’ve been using it for a few months… and have kept it under 100MB most of those. Service has been great… I hope this stays a ‘secret.'”

Subscribers would still pay the monthly installment on their phone, if applicable.

Switch back and forth between plans

One thing that makes Xfinity Mobile unique is its flexibility. Customers can switch from “By the Gig” to “Unlimited” data during their billing cycle at no additional charge.

Also, accounts with multiple lines of service can mix-and-match “By the Gig” and “Unlimited” data options.

You can’t bring your own phone (yet)

One downside is that you can’t bring your own phone to Xfinity Mobile, at least not yet. But here are some of the latest high-end smartphones that the wireless provider sells:

  • Apple iPhone X (coming soon)
  • Apple iPhone 8
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+

Xfinity Mobile also offers the more affordable LG X charge, priced at $180.

RELATED: This new tool negotiates with your cable and internet provider to lower your bill

My experience with Xfinity Mobile

Moments after the Samsung Galaxy S8 I bought through Xfinity Mobile arrived at my door, I was up and running.

There have been no issues with call, text and data performance. I’ve also been impressed with the number of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots that I’m able to connect to when I’m away from home or work.

Those hotspots helped me keep my data use to 0.4 GB for one entire billing cycle:

Xfinity Mobile $12 phone bill

By limiting Facebook activity when I’m not connected to Wi-Fi, activating Chrome’s Data Saver and utilizing Wi-Fi only mode for Google Maps, I’ve used even less cellular data than I expected.

Xfinity Mobile makes it easy to monitor your data usage, refreshing it every 20 minutes in the app.

I also like how I’m not tied down to the “By the Gig” plan. If my data usage happens to spike for some reason, I can switch to “Unlimited” without being penalized.

However, with Wi-Fi available in so many places, I don’t expect to take the unlimited data option anytime soon.

Xfinity Mobile says it can save most consumers 30% on their wireless bill compared to other providers. I was able to reduce my monthly bill from $60 with Sprint to $12 with Xfinity Mobile.

Read more in Clark’s guide to the best cell phone plans and deals!

Check out more from our Michael Saves series:

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Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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