Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.
I Pay $45/Month for T-Mobile’s Unlimited Service. I Heard Mint Mobile Is Only $30/Month and They Run on T-Mobile. Should I Switch?
Paul from Massachusetts asks: “I’m a T-Mobile customer. I pay $45 a month for unlimited service. When I heard Clark say that Mint Mobile was offering unlimited service for $30 a month, I immediately called T-Mobile and asked if they would match that rate. They refused but offered a one-time credit of $30 off my next bill.
“I would prefer to stay with T-Mobile as I’ve been with them for over 20 years, but I see no need to pay a higher price for the same service. Your thoughts and suggestions?”
Clark’s Take on Whether You Should Switch From T-Mobile to Mint Mobile
Clark says: “You’re obviously a very loyal person that you’ve stayed with one cell phone carrier for over 20 years. It’s a hard leap for me to ask you to do this, but if you do the Mint Mobile and it works out well for you, then you’re saving $180 a year for their unlimited plan.”
The beauty of switching cell phone plans without a contract is that “you always have the option of going back to someone else when it’s not working for you anymore,” he adds.
But there’s another alternative that Clark likes as well: Visible Wireless.
Visible offers an unlimited data plan with no fees for $40 a month. If you sign up for Party Pay, you can add friends, family and even strangers to one plan, where each pays just $25 a month.
Visible is owned by Verizon, so you’ll benefit from the former’s same 4G LTE and 5G networks.
Why Prices Are Scattered in the Cell Phone Market
“The marketplace is moving in two directions at once. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, with their brand name companies, are all trying to push people’s rates up,” Clark says. “At the same time, each of them offers their discount plans, where prices are going down. And then with third-party companies like Mint Mobile, rates are going down, down, down.”
Check out these cell phone plans and deals to find one that fits your budget. Clark says many customers will stay with the major carriers regardless of price, while others will try other options.
“People who want the comfort of staying with a brand name may find they are paying more for their cell phone service,” he says. “People who are willing to break away could end up getting a real deal.”
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