If you often go over your monthly mobile allowance or want to check you’re on the right plan, your phone bill can help. It holds the key to how you use your phone and how to save money.
Your mobile phone bill should show what’s included in your monthly phone contract including:
*You can often use a portion of your data to roam in the EU. Here’s more about roaming and charges.
You could also check your data plan online by signing into your account, or calling the network provider direct.
Data is the more expensive part of your bill so if you go over your allowance, you’ll pay quite a bit more.
If you often get notified that you’ve hit 80% of your data, and struggle to make it last the month, you probably need a higher allowance.
Many plans include unlimited data, but they can sometimes be pricey. So, look for a plan with an allowance that’s close to your actual usage but won’t leave you short.
Or, if you’re a very heavy data user and on an unlimited plan, check if there’s a fair usage policy attached. Some unlimited plans cap your data at 60GB a month.
Your bill should list all the calls you made the previous month, and show whether they’re included as part of your plan or cost extra.
If you’ve made calls outside your plan, check if they’re to:
*Some plans include unlimited calls to the same network only.
This will help you work out what you need your next plan to include more of.
Whichever network or call plan you choose, these types of numbers aren’t usually included as part of your call allowance:
You can check what each network provider charges for these premium service calls in their pricing guide or general terms and conditions. Our guide to call charges can also help.
To find out more about PRS including how to check and block a number or make a complaint, visit comreg.ie who regulate these services.
Check how many texts you make and whether there are any that fall outside your plan. If you tend to text a lot more than you call, you might need a high allowance or even unlimited supply.
To get around this, you could use other messaging services such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which won’t eat up any of your text allowance.
Try and check at least three bills to make sure your data, calling and texting usage is consistent, and take into account things like holidays which often affect usage.
Your options for reducing your bill and phone costs will largely depend on whether you’re tied into a contract or not.
If you’re not sure when your contract ends, log into your network account, or give them a call.
If you need extra data, calls or texts, the right add-on could work out cheaper, for example:
If your contract has ended and you’re still happy with your handset, your cheapest option is to get a SIM-only plan.
If you want a new handset but your budget’s a bit tighter, you could consider getting a refurbished phone and SIM-only plan.
Most SIM-only plans are on a rolling 30 day contract basis, so there’s no lengthy tie-in.
To find out more about how to switch, read our guide to switching to a SIM-only deal.
If you’re not tied into a contract and want a new handset, choose a bill pay phone and then find the best plan for you.
Make sure the new plan solves any issues you had previously, and if you’re switching networks, check the coverage in your area.
Don’t forget about your old handset too, our guide explores what to do with your old mobile phone.
If your usage varies each month, or you want more control over your spending, here are some options to consider:
They let you know when your phone’s paid off (which you can do early if you wish) and you’re then free to upgrade it.
If you don’t upgrade your phone, your bills will reduce to just the call plan for the remaining term.
48 offers a prepay, SIM-only plan for €10.99 a month. This gets you:
You can even try before you buy and get 1GB data free when you order your SIM.
Most networks also offer ‘perks’, but don’t pay extra for things you won’t actually use, for example:
Yes if you’re an extremely heavy user or if you make calls or texts that are excluded from your allowance. Not all unlimited plans are truly unlimited as they have a fair usage policy attached to them.
This caps your texts, calls and data usage each month but at a very high level, for example:
Our guide to call charges covers unlimited calls and fair usage limits for each network.
You can’t usually exit your contract early without paying a penalty. Most networks charge you for the total of the remaining months left on your contract.
It’s usually cheaper to wait until your contract ends, unless you want to upgrade your phone with the same network provider and the new plan is more expensive. In this situation, you may be able to exit early.
Yes, but you’ll need to make sure your phone is unlocked so it can accept another SIM card. Here’s our guide to unlocking your mobile phone.
If you’ve used up all your data, minutes or texts but keep on using the services you’ll be charged for the extra you use.
If you can’t cut down on your usage, it might work out cheaper to buy the right add-on for the month that gives you more of what you need. Each network offers different options so you’ll need to see what’s available.
It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving.