Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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cell phone data plans

Are you itching to get a new phone?  The minute a big brand releases a new model, folks start scrambling to see where to get it and whether or not to change providers.  I’ll confess I also jumped on that bandwagon.  I’m due for an upgrade with Verizon, but I’m not loyal to anyone (loyalty just means you pay more generally).  So for the past few weeks I’ve been digging to see who has the best rates possible.

We are in a unique situation, my phone many times is my internet.  We live in the boonies and could have dial-up, satellite or 4G.  Since you can’t run a website off dial-up and couldn’t work if it was raining on satellite we opt for 4G.  I guess you could say Southern Savers is currently powered by Verizon…  What that really means is that I need as much data as they’ll give me for the cheapest price!

Today AT&T announced that they were doubling data for FREE on plans 15GB or higher for anyone that signs up for a new contract or existing customers that call customer service.  You need to call/sign up before 10/31/14 to get the free bonus.  The double data bonus will continue forever for your plan as long as you don’t change plans.

This new announcement made me continue my search again this morning… just exactly what plan is the best??

Smartphone Data Plan Prices

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So to break down the table for those that want it spelled out.

  • If you need only one line: Sprint wins. It’s true unlimited data (vs. the two prepaid companies that will reduce your speeds after you reach the limits noted in the chart.)
  • If you need multiple lines AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all come in with a plan at $100, but again Sprint’s is giving you more for that $100.

The real thing to realize is that no matter how you look at it… Verizon never wins.  The problem though is service area.  If you travel a ton you need to take into account what the network looks like for each provider.  This is where Verizon usually wins, they know that and feel like price wise they don’t need to compete because of the strength of their network.

Want to take the leap and try out another plan?
Both T-Mobile and Sprint are offering to buy you of any any existing contract that you are in up to $350.  You can get this in a Visa gift card or right off your next few bills.  Note this is just for data plans and not for basic phones.

I would love to hear from folks on what plans you have and what you think about your network coverage etc.

    • kaoscasa

      If you go with Verizon, be sure to ask if they have any discounts. In our area, teachers get a 19% discount!!

    • Guest

      We use Republic Wireless. Not for everyone, but it has been great and super affordable! It beats all the other plans by a ton.

    • Lisa

      I switched from T-mobile to Straight talk wireless. With T-mobile I was constantly dropping calls and paying way too much. For less than 45$ a month you can’t beat straight talk if you don’t care about the data. I have had it several months now and have never gone over my data. Customer service is not as good as t-mobile, but that is the price you pay.

    • carrie

      We just switched from Verizon contract to Verizon prepaid and its $45 a month unlimited talk/text and 1gb of data per phone. Verizon’s service cant be beat..I never drop calls…I could be on a mountain and still get service.

    • Siamese

      State Employees usually receive discount as well. I know Westinghouse in Columbia also gets a discount…Verizon

    • Laura

      I use a prepaid service called Page Plus. It uses all Verizon towers but the cost is so much less. Unlimited talk/text/pictures with 1GB for 39.95, with 3 GB and 200 International minutes for 55.00, and the largest plan has 5 GB data with 400 international minutes for 69.95. If you’re interested, go to pagepluscellular.com

    • Emily

      I recently left Verizon with my fulfilled iphone 4s. I turned the iphone into an ipod, since I’m rarely away from wifi for any length of time, and bought a $25/month unlimited Cricket plan and a cheapie flip phone. So far, so good. And I don’t feel like my life is over when I leave my phone at home – I swear, smartphones are light high-tech leashes!

    • Celia

      There is the option of Page Plus. They use Verizon towers and no contract. The plans start at $12 up to $55. I use the $29.95 plan for 3000 text 1200 calls and 500 mb of data. (Plenty with wifi everywhere)
      Also, they will be going to 4G next month!

    • Kelly Secosky

      Can anyone give good or bad feedback regarding Sprint’s service? I’m in the Raleigh area so I would expect service to be good in a large metro area but am wondering how it is in other places. I have always had Alltel/Verizon but am looking for a cheaper option.

      • Jessica

        I have Sprint in the Raleigh area and I don’t always have a signal. Even when we lived near Charlotte there were lots of dead spots. We’ve had it for years so I haven’t switched. My husband has At&T for work and always has a signal & 4G.

      • Barb

        I am in Raleigh and have had Sprint for years. I used to experience dead spots (including my kitchen), but each time I upgrade my phone, it improves. I no longer have any dead spots with my IPhone 5. I can honestly say I have no complaints.

      • Beth Y

        We just tried Sprint for 2 weeks and do not have ANY signal where we are moving. It’s outside of Athens, GA. It is pretty much in the middle of no where, but Verizon, ATT and Straight Talk work out there and Spring does NOT. We had to cancel everything.

    • Kathy

      Verizon makes me so mad with their pricing, but as others have said, their service can’t be beat and the coverage is excellent. Until others step up their game with better coverage, I’ll be staying with them. And I do get a 19% discount through my employer, which helps!

    • Pam

      There is fine print with the sprint $50 plan. They either add $25 or $35 to your bill depending on the iPhone. They are doing a new monthly installment plan for the price of the phone which ends up costing $700 vs $200.

    • Elizabeth

      I use Ting. They run off of Sprint’s towers and then roam to Verizon for talk and text (no data roaming). Best customer service ever and my bill is typically around $22 including taxes! (I have an iphone.) No other company can compare!

      • Logan

        Love Ting, it is a pay as you go service. I purchased a used iPhone 5 from eBay and was able to port my existing number from Verizon to Ting. Great customer service. Oh and they support many phones now as well including the iPhone 5c and 5s. Been with them since Nov 2013 and have had no problems and have saved so much on my cell phone bill. I also like that they will help pay some of your ETF (early termination fees). Very happy with my savings!!

      • Ashley

        I just switched to Ting last month and my husband and I both have a Samsung Galaxy we got off Ebay. Our bill for both phones was $29 +tax last month, but after a $25 first month discount because I was referred by friend, it was only $9 including tax :) Love Ting!! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for for years since we like to have smartphones, but have always hated paying $20+ a month for data that we don’t use much because we have wifi everywhere we go!

    • Tori

      Where I live, Verizon has the most reliable service and best
      coverage but, I didn’t want to pay Verizon prices. I eventually chose Net10 and pay $35 a month for unlimited phone, text and data (throttles at 500MG or ½ GB). I save $5/month by using auto-pay. No fees and surcharges. My total monthly bill including taxes is $36.10/month. No contracts so, no subsidized phones which means I was able to shop for the best phone price. With the amount I saved each month, I broke even on the phone purchase within a few months.

      Whem I was researching, I discovered is that the phone (GSM= AT&T and T-mobile, CDMA-S= Sprint or CDMA-V= Verizon) determines which towers are used. I bought a CDMA-V phone (V is for Verizon towers) so I have Verizon reliability and towers but at a significantly lower price. Right on the box my phone came in, it showed CDMA-V and had the Verizon coverage map. (I went to a few local brick and mortar stores and discovered that their phone boxes had GSM, CDMA-S or CDMA-V along with coverage maps on them.) When I did a reverse look-up of my cell phone number, it says “Verizon Wireless”.

      Since I am near wifi most of the time, I typically use less than 100
      MG of data per month even while traveling. Net10 has worked great for me.

    • shouldastayed

      I switched to AT&T after being with Verizon for 15 years. I can’t wait to switch back even with the half price discount I have for a sibling working for AT&T. Service is sketchy. My mom had to pay off her contract because she had absolutely no service from anywhere near or at her home. Verizon has its issues but I was never unhappy with their customer service!

      • Nic

        We’re the opposite. I get very spotty reception until I reach the end of my street on Version and my moms ATT gets reception. I never had a problem with ATT service, but Version service isn’t awful, just meh.

    • Danielle

      Where is the best place to buy an iPhone to use with Sprint.

      • Logan

        I have purchased both my used iPhones from eBay. You can also purchase from Swappa or Glyde. Also, make sure you read the descriptions the sellers provide, as many phones are sold for parts or may have a bad ESN’s (Electronic Serial Number). I purchased my iPhones so I could use them with Ting (which runs on the Sprint Network). Hope that helps.

    • jessie

      U S cellular has awesome service every where I have been .Their plans can not be beat

    • Dee Wolters

      Reliability and coverage is so important! The reason we (6 of us) have phones is to stay in contact, emergency, and work. It costs a bit more, but Verizon has the best coverage. We all travel a lot, and have coverage, when others often do not. Good customer service when we need it.

      • Lory Calabrese

        AGREED! Coverage is at the TOP of my list…AND Verizon beats all the others in that category.

    • Michelle

      Could you tell me how you got the AT&T information? I’m n GA and when I just went online to look at the plans, I’m not seeing the same price points as you posted.

      • Debra

        I currently have the 10G plan with AT&T. I can go to the 15G plan for $30 more. With this promotion AT&T is doubling the plan to 30G. Basically I’m getting 20G more for $30. No contract. I looked at my plans last night and saw all this. But this morning, I was having a terrible time on the website. When I called AT&T the recorded message said certain SE customers are experiencing higher than average wait times. (I’m in AL). I went through the automation to get to a customer service representative, and was transferred immediately. AT&T is probably just getting hit with all these customers trying to take advantage of a great promotion.

    • tnoelw

      Thanks Jenny!

    • Lory Calabrese

      Did you take into account the plan prices at AT&T based also on IF you have the NEXT?

    • Brooke

      Look into Republic Wireless. They utilize the Sprint Network with free roaming on the Verizon Network (although that may be changing some for data). They are one of the few companies I know of where you can purchase a smart phone and not have a data plan. After carrying a Envy 3 on Verizon for several years. The Moto X without a data plan is a HUGE upgrade and it only cost me $10 a month. 3G is $25 a month and 4G is $40 everything unlimited. You can also change your plan twice a month. So if you are going on vacation and need a data plan, get it for the week and then go back you no data plan!. They keep their cost low by using WiFi to make calls when available instead of the cellular. Due to those modifications you have to buy one of the 3 phones they offer starting at $100 and up. That is the only down side since they are all Android phones if you are an Apple person. We had iPads, but I have not had an issue with switching to Android. Another one to checkout is Ting.com, I have friends you have been happy with them.

    • emily

      Hands down TING.com was the best switch I ever made!. You actually only pay for what you use.

    • l

      I use Page Plus and its $30 a month on the Verizon network since it is the only carrier that has a signal at my house. I get 2k texts 1200 mins and 500mb data. You can bring any Verizon phone you want and they will allow 4G next month.

    • Julie

      I just upgraded to an iPhone 6 yesterday with Verizon. They also gave me a Tablet for free but I had to pay $35 activation fee. It’s $10 a month service and you have internet where ever you have Verizon service. They are also giving 1GB extra for 2 yr activation.

    • India

      I’ve been with Sprint for years. We pay about $260 per month for 5 smart phones with unlimited data.

    • valeriejcm

      We live in north GA and have always used Straight Talk. I have a basic phone with 1500 minutes and texts for $30 a month. My husband has an android phone that we got at Walmart for $40 with unlimited minutes and texts and 3G and he pays $45 a month. They run off Verizon towers so we never drop calls and always have service. The data is limited after a certain time, but he never reaches that time period because it runs off wireless when in range.

    • MakingCents

      I pay no more than $10/month using a combination of the Virgin mobile pre-paid custom plan and Google Voice (free). I bid farewell to Verizon and the world of contracts. Coverage is fine and, thanks to an environment where free wi-fi access and computers are rampant, I can conduct the vast majority of my correspondence through the internet using Google Voice. My annual cell phone budget is now less than 2 months of what I paid for Verizon.