Clark Howard: Deals on cellphone plans just keep getting better

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With all the cellphone rate cuts that keep coming, it’s like 1996 all over again. That was the last time we had a massive wave of discounting like we’re seeing now.

The latest news involves Verizon’s announcement that they are losing customers to the lower-cost plans available in the marketplace.

Historically, Verizon has had the best reliability and network…but they’ve also had prices that are much higher than the rest of the industry. So now the company faces a tough choice: Will they cut prices or continue losing customers?

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has a new rate plan for data hogs. Two people can get unlimited talk, text and data with no throttling for $100. Each additional person you add to the plan is $40 a month.

Yet if you don’t need unlimited data, there are much cheaper options. But you have to buy a real phone at a real price.
Motorola is selling the Moto G — a very good Android with a 5-inch screen that gets great reviews — for $179 via both Amazon and their own site. This is a phone you can use on AT&T, T-Mobile, Straight Talk and any of a variety of non-contract players.

If that’s too expensive for you, here’s another idea: Freedom Pop has free cellphone service. They’ll give you 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500 MB of data for free every month. (The typical person uses about 1 GB of data each month.) With Freedom Pop, you have to buy a phone from them in order to get this deal.

Republic Wireless offers more robust service for just a few dollars more.

With all the price cuts in the cellphone world, if price matters to you and you have not shopped your plan in the last 90 days, odds are you’re paying too much!

Clark Howard — Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs — for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Find more answers to your consumer questions at Clark’s website

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