My husband has been using T-Mobile for years. He’s been using the unlimited talk and text on his non-smart cell phone for quite some time, and it’s worked well for us. (I’ve been using a non-smart cell phone with Tracfone for years.)
Recently, we decided to upgrade both of our phones to smartphones, and, since we’re not fond of contracts, sticking with T-Mobile seemed like a good idea. We have to pay more for our phones, but we also aren’t tethered by a contract – and we’re paying less per month for unlimited talk, text, and data than we’d pay if we went with Verizon, which is our other major option here in town.
Here is a look at our options, and what we’re doing:
Before the Switch
Upgrading to the iPhone 5 means that we are paying more per month for phone and Internet services than we were before. Before making the switch, we had a home phone through the Internet, paying a total of $93.90 for voice and Internet service.
My husband’s monthly plan cost $50. Since I was on Tracfone, the cost varied according to how much I used the phone, with the monthly cost breaking down to between $4 and $7 per month. If you add all of that up (and assume the higher $7 cost for my Tracfone), the monthly bill came to $150.90.
Our phones were also quite inexpensive, costing about $50 apiece, so $100. Over the course of two years, we paid $3,621.60 for voice services plus Internet.
As part of our switch, we ported the home phone number to my cell phone and ditched the phone portion of our service. This leaves our monthly high-speed Internet at $64.95 per month. My son now has my Tracfone, and will be using it much less than I did (for now anyway), at a monthly cost of about $2. Our new T-Mobile service is $80 for our shared plan with unlimited talk and text. To receive unlimited data access, it’s another $20 per month per phone, so our monthly total for the T-Mobile plan is $120. (This plan also comes with 500 MB free Hotspot data.) So, the monthly total cost for voice, messaging, and Internet service is $120 + $2 + $64.95 = $186.95.
We’ve already decided this monthly increase of $36.05 is worth it, since I’ve been able to use my phone for work on the go already, and my husband has made liberal use of the phone as a GPS device.
The phones aren’t subsidized, so they cost $580 (we got the cheapest option). However, if you turn in your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s, you can get a credit of between $100 and $120 to knock down the cost. The other cool thing is that T-Mobile will let you pay off your iPhone 5 over the course of two years, interest free.
Two year cost for voice, messaging, and Internet service with T-Mobile: $4,486.80.
Finally, we could have gone with Verizon. The phones are $199.99 apiece, with a two-year contract. However, the monthly cost with Verizon is more. There is the “Share Everything” plan that costs $40 per month. However, that doesn’t cover data access. According to the data estimate, my husband and I use about 16 GB per month (this is consistent with our trend of usage so far). This plan level costs $130 per month, plus the two $40 charges for a total of $210 per month. Add in the home Internet and my son’s $2 per month, and the monthly total is $276.95.
The two-year cost with the phones and the monthly charges is $6,646.80.
In our case, T-Mobile is worth it over the cost of Verizon – especially if you add in the fact that it costs $350 to cancel the Verizon contract early, if you decide to move on before the two years is up. There’s no worry about a cancellation fee with T-Mobile, although if you take the lower pricing on phones with T-Mobile, you’ll still be liable for the monthly charges for the phone hardware.
What do you think? Would a T-Mobile plan work for you? Leave a comment!