Probably the most dramatic way to slash your cell phone costs is to switch to a pay-as-you-go plan and use your mobile phone only for emergencies. This is my tactic, but I know it’s not an option for most people who work outside the home. So why not check to see if you can get an employee or student discount on your current plan?
Companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile offer discounts —- as high as 25% off —- to thousands of corporations, government agencies, and schools.
To cash in on the discount, all you need to do is to enter your employer-issued email address into the phone company’s website. If your email address matches up with the phone company’s list of qualified businesses, you’re in the money.
Tip: Many universities offer free email addresses to their students and alumni.
Almost Too Good to Be True
We were chugging along paying full price for my husband’s Verizon cell phone service until I revisited a Money magazine article — 35 Minutes to Riches — that I had clipped three years ago. (Talk about procrastination!)
Buried among the 47 quick tips was a blurb on employee cell phone discounts that caught my eye. I went to verizonwireless/getdiscount and typed in my hubby’s work email address. Within seconds he received a congratulatory email with instructions on how to sign up for a 19% discount!
It’s Up to You to Claim the Discount
My husband has been working at this hospital for a year and a half, but we were unaware of the cell phone benefit. Informational flyers can get buried in the mountains of paperwork you receive when starting a new job. And because phone companies are not motivated to publicize these offers, it’s up to us to find out about the programs and claim the discount.
Just for fun, I typed hubbie’s email address into the AT&T and Sprint sites. Even though he doesn’t have service with these carriers, he would have gotten a 23% Sprint discount, a 13% Nextel discount, as well as an AT&T discount.
Since T-Mobile requires a T-mobile phone number to start investigating special offers, I wasn’t able to check that one out. But according to their site, if your company qualifies, you can request a corporate discount of up to 15%.
Start Saving Money Now
To find out if your employer or school has been offered mobile phone discounts, here’s where to start clicking — and cashing in: