How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill with Ting

September 23, 2013

Ting Cell Phone BillFor many Americans a family cell phone plan is a necessity to keep in contact with the hectic schedules we all have. Johnny needs a cell phone to call his mom after practice so she remembers to come pick him up, while his dad needs it to stay in touch with the family when he’s traveling for business.

As phones have gotten increasingly more complex ā€“ a good thing ā€“ the plans that support all of these features have become even more expensive ā€“ a not-so-good thing. A family of four all using cell phones on tiered data plans could pay more than $300 per month once all the taxes and fees are added on.

That’sĀ $3,600 per year.

Finding a way to trim your cellular service costs is difficult. With only a handful of major carriers they pretty much have the freedom to set the prices they want without serious consequence to market share.

So how can you save money on your cell phone bill? Here’s one new idea . . . .

Saving Money on Cell Phones with Ting

Enter Ting.

The company claims to be a different kind of mobile provider and in a way they are.

Instead of charging you for a set rate plan with a set number of minutes, text messages, and megabytes or gigabytes of data transfer, Ting charges you just on what you use. There are different buckets of usage that you graduate into with more use but you’re never charged a flat fee for a set number of minutes.

For light users of mobile services it can mean big savings. For a user that uses 500 (or fewer) minutes, 1,000 (or fewer) text messages, and zero data the bill would be $20 plus surcharges.

Ting’s goal is to provide a simple service that doesn’t hit you with overages and hidden fees.

Is Ting a Cell Phone Service Provider?

Ting rides on top of Sprint’s nationwide network just like many of the prepaid phone companies do. This puts Ting in competition with the likes of Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile who also utilize Sprint’s network.

Ting doesn’t own cell phone towers or any crazy type of infrastructure. They use Sprint’s network for a fee and charge you some other amount on top of their cost to make money.

How Does Ting Compare to Other Companies?

Let’s look at how Ting’s offerings compare to other companies.

Boost Mobile: Unlimited Android

Boost Mobile offers monthly plans with unlimited voice and texting. They claim “unlimited” data, but only 2.5 GB of that data is considered high speed. (In other words they throttle your connection after that.) The plans start at $55 per month for an Android phone and every six months you have on time payments the payment goes down $5. The lowest your bill can go is $40 per month.

With Ting $41 would get you 100 minutes, 2,000 text messages, and 1 GB of data.

Virgin Mobile: Unlimited

For $55 per month Virgin Mobile gives you essentially the same as Boost Mobile, including 2.5 GB of high speed access (LTE if available). With Ting you could 1,000 minutes, 1,000 messages, and 1 GB of data.

Where Ting Maximizes Value

Ting isn’t designed to compete with big plans from the legacy carriers like Verizon and AT&T nor to truly compete with the unlimited prepaid plans. Ting’s goal is to find a niche at the lower end of the scale with folks that use a cell phone only sparingly. You can get 100 minutes, 100 text messages, and 500 MB of data transfer for $25 plus surcharges. Your bill with other carriers would be much higher.

What Phones Does Ting Use?

You can buy a phone from Ting but they also accept used Sprint devices since Ting uses Sprint’s network. That means you could go to Craigslist or eBay to snag a cheap phone and get started with Ting for very little money up front.

Is Ting a Good Value?

It all depends on how you use your cell phone. If you are constantly on the road and utilizing a lot of minutes, texts, and data transfer then Ting probably isn’t the best bet for you. (Especially since it uses Sprint’s smaller network compared to Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.)

But for those that only sparingly use a cell phone Ting can be a great option to save some serious cash over other options. If you rarely call someone and use Wi-Fi a lot instead of cellular data, you can make Ting work for you to save big dollars compared to other plans.

What are some other ways you can save money on your cell phone bill? Leave a comment!


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Kevin Mulligan is a debt reduction champion with a passion for teaching people how to budget and stay out of debt. He's building a personal finance freelance writing career and has written for, Discover Bank, ING Direct, and many others.

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