Easy tips to save money on your mobile phone bill

With the cost of living crisis still a daily problem for many households, getting the most out of your monthly bill while paying less is important.

To help manage soaring prices on phones, contracts and more , there are many ways you can cut costs – from using refurbished devices to making the most out of offers and deals.

Here, we share some useful tips to keep in mind next time you’re sorting out your phone expenses

Don’t pay for unused data

On average, UK consumers use around 5GB of data each month.

If you’re paying for more, you could be paying for data you’ll never use.

Check your bills to see how much data you’re using each month to get a clear understanding of what you need.

Some providers allow customers to flex their airtime up or down each month so if you’re on an unlimited plan but only using 8GB per month, ask if you can switch.

Don’t miss out on deals and offers

Most mobile providers offer discounts and deals to their customers that could provide big, annual savings.

For example, O2 offers 20% off for students, as well as family plans, which can help bring down monthly bills.

By bringing together your contracts onto one account, a family of four with typical mobile bills could save around £140 a year.

Check with your provider to see if you can benefit from a discount or put the family on one easy to manage bill.

Don’t overlook used devices

The second-hand phone market can provide great value for those looking to upgrade but don’t want to pay for the latest handsets.

Some providers now offer refurbished devices with 12 month warranties to offer even better value to consumers.

For instance, choosing a refurbished iPhone 13 rather than a new one with major providers can save you around £200 per year.

Consider opting for a refurbished device instead of a brand-new phone to save on the monthly cost.

You can also trade old phones in for a discount, so have a look through drawers and cupboards for those pre-loved devices to knock some money off your monthly bill.

Do you qualify for the National Databank?

The National Databank, an initiative set up by Virgin Media O2 and run by Good Things Foundation, works in a similar fashion to a food bank.

Instead of food, it provides free mobile connectivity to those facing problems associated with digital exclusion.

Who qualifies for the National Databank?

If you meet the following requirements, you can access the National Databank for free internet access:

  • You’re over the age of 18
  • You’re from a low income household
  • You have no access or insufficient access to internet at home
  • You can’t afford a monthly contract
  • You don’t have access to the internet when away from home

Visit the Good Foundation for more information

If you’re eligible, you can get a free O2 SIM which provides 20GB of free data per month for up to six months.

Make sure you’re not overpaying for your mobile phone

Many UK mobile service providers continue to charge consumers more than £500 million per year on handsets customers have already paid off.

When you sign up to a mobile phone contract, check to see if your bill is split into two parts: airtime (data, calls and texts) and device.

If your contract combines those costs into one, you could end up paying more for the cost of your handset than you need to. 

Recent research from Virgin Media O2 revealed that on average, impacted consumers are overpaying by more than £200 a year.

You can check to see if you’re overpaying, or are at risk of paying more for your phone than you need.

Could you be entitled to double data?

If you’re living in a household that has O2 and Virgin Media services, connect the two accounts.

This will get you a broadband speed boost to the next available speed tier, and you’ll also get double data on any eligible O2 SIMs.

If you’re going on holiday, check if your contract includes inclusive EU roaming

Many mobile network providers don’t include EU roaming in contracts, so check to make sure you don’t incur any surprising costs!

Some, such as O2, already provide customers with EU roaming up to 25GB included within their mobile plan as standard – avoiding roaming fees and the faff of having to buy extra data.

If you’re with another mobile provider, check your tariff before you set off as it might be more cost effective to buy a roaming bundle instead of being charged roaming fees while you’re away.

Remember to add a spending cap to avoid unexpected costs on your mobile bill.

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