Students going to high school, college, or university have even more choices when it comes to cellphone plans. The question is, are the plans promoted to students really better? Students also have a number of unique issues to think about to wisely choose a suitable plan. The Cell Plan Experts have some advice for you about what to look for, what to consider, and what to watch out for.
Airtime and Long Distance
Airtime and long distance are the big ticket items on most bills. Don’t forget about incoming long distance when you are outside your home calling area – this is especially important to commuter students. Many providers have small calling areas, so it is even possible that your high school might not be local. If this is an issue for you, look for plans or features that substantially reduce these costs like nationwide long distance, MY5 type features, or nationwide network calling. Some family plans allow free local or long distance calling between members on the same bill. Remember that features that are advertised for “local” calling will still cover the airtime portion of your long distance calls (but not the long distance rate).
Moving to a different calling area for school?
To avoid paying incoming long distance on all your calls, you should probably choose a new phone number in your new city. Be careful though: if you spend summers back home or elsewhere, you’ll be stuck with incoming long distance on all calls made during that time. If this is going to be an issue, check if your provider will let you add an option for cheaper or unlimited long distance for just those months. It’ll probably be cheaper than paying extra all year on a plan with included long distance (A nationwide plan).
Also, if you’re moving to Saskatchewan, Manitoba or the Atlantic provinces, be sure to take advantage of the cheaper plans available there.
Heading to the States (for Reading Week)?
It’s a long time away yet, but if you’re going to the US for reading week or at any other time, check the “roaming” rates before you go. Better yet, check them before you commit when you’re still shopping for plans! The new providers have brought some sanity to pricing and offer rates that are over 85 percent cheaper! If that’s not an option for you, make sure to add a US roaming package before you leave. This can greatly reduce voice, text, and data rates which could otherwise give you a very painful bill hangover.
Promotions plans can be a great deal… if it’s for something you needed anyways. Many feature National “MY5″ type features and include data service as well. However, pay attention to the drawbacks. 3 Year contract only? How about the less prominent rates for using extra. Most of all, make sure it matches your usage. Don’t get locked into a larger monthly bill than you need to.
Don’t Pay For It At All!
There are many freebies at school and on campus. Wireless Internet is usually available free everywhere on campus, at coffee shops, the pub, and in student houses. Get a wifi capable phone to take advantage of this and scale back or eliminate your cell plan’s data plan costs.
If most of your long distance is going to be with the parents back home, arrange to use free voice services like Skype instead. Make sure their computer is setup with the software and a headset and they know how to use it before you leave.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a price war on right now! Do your homework. Research the competition. Our free calculator can help of course: