Smartphone plugged into a laptop with a charging cable

Easy ways to cut down on your mobile phone bill

Mobile phone bills can be expensive, so how can you save on them?

Recent research from Virgin Media showed that 90% of Irish adults own a smartphone, and that most of these would switch mobile phone provider if the price of their plan went up.

The same research shows that price is by far the biggest driver for people when choosing a mobile phone provider. So, clearly cost is important when it comes to mobiles - but, if your mobile costs are higher than you’d like, how can you reduce them?

  1. If your contract is up, switch to a SIM-only deal
  2. Review your current usage, and tweak to save
  3. If there’s a suitable optional add-on, use it
  4. Use WiFi as much as possible
  5. Switch mobile phone provider or plan

1. If your contract is up, switch to a SIM-only deal

When you sign up for a mobile phone deal, you’ll normally choose a handset to go with this. Often, this handset is included free - or at a greatly reduced price - so your monthly payments are generally a lot higher as a result.

If your contract is up, but you are still happy with your handset, consider moving to a SIM-only mobile plan. This will generally be much cheaper per month, as you’re not paying a premium for your handset, and most have 30-day contracts, so you won’t be tied down.

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
iD
SIM Only €24.50
30 days Contract
10,000 Minutes
250 Texts
30GB Data
Save €73.50
€12.25 Per month
for 6 months, €24.50 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming Included

Use your minutes and texts while roaming plus 6.3GB of roaming data.

+ Tweak your plan monthly

+ Save €73.50

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Virgin Mobile
Unlimited
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€25 Per month
+ 4G
+ Uses Three's Network

+ EU Roaming Included

Tesco Mobile
Unlimited 30 Day 20GB
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
20GB Data
€25 Per month
+ Uses Three's Network

+ Double Clubcard points

Tesco Mobile gives you double Clubcard points when your pay your phone bill.

+ EU Roaming

EU Roaming is included. Use your minutes and texts while roaming plus 5.3GB of roaming data

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

eir mobile
SIM Only Unlimited 15GB
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
15GB Data
Save €30
€25 Per month
for 6 months, €30 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ Unlimited YouTube, social networks and messaging

Unlimited access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Viber messaging

+ EU Roaming

Your call, texts and up to 6.3GB of your data allowance can be used while roaming in the EU

+ Save €30

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

2. Review your current usage, and tweak to save

Most mobile phone bill plans give you a set amount of calls, texts and data. Review your usage over a month or two and see what percentage of this allowance you’re using.

Knowing how you use your plan will help you to see where you’re over- or under-utilising your free allowances. You can then tweak your usage accordingly, or - if your contract is up - switch to a more suitable plan.

3. If there’s a suitable optional add-on, use it

Once you’ve reviewed your plan, you’ll have a better idea of your usage. So, if you consistently make additional calls in the evening, for example, or you regularly call the UK, see if your phone provider can offer an add-on to cover these.

You’ll pay a set amount each month for the add-on - normally a few euro - but you could save in the long-run. This Virgin Mobile plan, for example, allows customers to choose an International Add-On - which includes 50 Minutes and 50 text messages to 27 European countries - for €5 extra per month.

4. Use WiFi as much as possible

If you don’t have unlimited data, going over your allocated allowance could be really costly.

Using WiFi as much as possible will save you on your data, so if you regularly watch content on the move, for example, try downloading it when you’re in a WiFi area so you don’t need to stream as you go.

5. Switch mobile phone provider or plan

As with broadband and TV and gas and electricity, the biggest savings you will make on your mobile phone will be made by switching. Breaking mobile phone contracts early can be really costly, so check with your provider to make sure your contract is up before you start shopping around.

If you’ve already reviewed your usage, you’ll have a good idea of the type of plan you need, but you’ll need to think about whether or not you want to change your handset, too.

Remember that if you opt to include the handset, it’s likely you’ll have to sign a 24-month contract - and your monthly payments will be much higher than if you go for a SIM-only deal.