With new mobile phones being developed and released all the time, it can be tempting to upgrade handsets as soon as your contract ends.
But in a climate where Brits strive to save where they can, it’s worth evaluating whether or not upgrading is really necessary. In conjunction with Uswitch.com mobile expert Catherine Hiley we offer our top tips to save money when you reach the end of your mobile phone contract:
1. Consider a SIM-only plan
If you’re happy with your current handset, switching to a SIM-only deal is a great way to save money. And doing so can save you approximately £335 a year.
SIM-only deals have the benefit of being more flexible than other contract types, allowing you to choose from 30 days, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. You can use your SIM in any handset, as long as it’s unlocked.
2. Negotiate a better deal
When your phone contract ends, you will usually carry on with your old provider on the same tariff. But if you want to stay with your current provider, it’s always worth trying to negotiate a better deal.
Take a look at the deals that are available and compare them with what you currently pay. Your network will want to retain as many customers as possible, so knowing what else is out there could help to bring them down on price or earn you some extras, such as data add-ons.
3. Transfer your phone number
If you choose to switch providers at the end of your contract, you will need to transfer your phone number to your new SIM. To keep your mobile number and transfer it to another network, you need to request what’s called a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) from your old provider and then give the code to your new provider so they can schedule the switch.
To request your PAC code, all you need to do is text PAC to 65075 and you’ll get your code straight away. You don’t even have to make a phone call. When you give your PAC code to a new network, the cancellation process will begin automatically with your old network.
4. Trade in or sell your old handset
If you upgrade your phone to a new model, don’t leave your old handset in a junk drawer and forget about it. Instead, you can trade it in to offset the cost of your new handset. If your network doesn’t have a trade-in scheme, there are a number of specialist companies that will buy your old phones, such as Mazuma Mobile or Music Magpie.
Or, if you want to sell your mobile yourself, sites such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay require a little more effort but can see higher returns, especially if you’re selling a recent model.
5. Consider what mobile package you need
The end of your contract is a great time to check if you’re using the data you’re paying for. If you use a lot less than your monthly allowance, you should consider downgrading your contract. This usually comes at a lower cost, so can save you some precious pounds each month.
6. Compare different providers
As you approach the end of your mobile contract, your current provider will likely try to get you to upgrade your handset to a new model.
But there’s no guarantee that these deals will be the best on the market. If you want to upgrade your handset, it’s important to shop around and compare mobile phone deals to make sure you’re getting the best price for the package you’re interested in.