Tips for lowering your cell phone bill

(WCPO) - Despite all the family plans that cell phone carriers have pushed in recent years, our monthly cell phone bills continue to go up and up and up. But this year there are new options for lowering those bills without dropping your smartphone.

But the key is: you have to ask.

Remember when a cell phone bill was $40 a month? Neither do most people.

Many smartphone bills long ago passed $100.

Danielle Hofacre could use some relief but she doesn’t know where to start.

"I pay about 200 bucks a month for it," she said.

The good news:  you can lower your rising rates, thanks to new rate plan wars. But you have to do the work, they won't just offer it to you.

  • AT&T has just lowered single smartphone rates from $80 down to $65 a month for voice, text and 2 gigs of data.
  • Verizon recently cut the price of its edge plan from $90 to $80 a month.
  • T Mobile, which started the wars, has a simple choice plan with 1 gig of data for $50 a month.
  • And Sprint's new family plan lets you add another member for as low as $25 a month, including data.

Julio Clark cut his bills by doing that.

"Forty-five dollars a month, I would say for text and minutes and everything," Clark said.

Also, save $10 a month by dropping texting entirely, then using an app like "What's App" to send texts virtually for free.

Not enough savings? Consider a prepaid phone from Walmart’s “Straight Talk,” or smaller carriers like Virgin, Boost Mobile or Net 10.

Save on phone.com compares them for you. For less than $50 a month, you'll get unlimited talk, text and around 2 gigs of data.

Bottom line:  the major carriers all have new plans this year but you have to call them and ask, they will not offer these to you.

And if that’s not enough, consider a prepaid smartphone which can cut your bill by $25 a month or more so you don’t waste your money.

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