Report: Americans are overspending by more than $1,500 a year on their cell phone plans

2024 Cell Phone Plan Overspending Report by WhistleOut in partnership with Mint Mobile

SALT LAKE CITY, June 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Are you overpaying for your cell phone bill in 2024? The annual Cell Phone Plan Overspending Report by WhistleOut, in partnership with Mint Mobile, looked at consumer habits to determine how much money people are paying to stay connected and what the average cell phone plan looks like by provider.

The average cost of a cell phone plan through a major carrier like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, is $157/month, compared to just $30 on average for comparable MVNO plans.

So what on Earth is an MVNO? Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MNVOs, are smaller carriers that operate on the same networks as major carriers, providing the same cell coverage for a much cheaper price. Americans are starting to catch on; MVNOs account for 47% of all cell phone users in 2024 vs. 38% in 2023, although the Big 3 cell phone carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) continue to dominate the market. 

Already in the know about MVNOs? One surefire way to reduce your phone bill is to check your data usage (no matter what carrier you use!)

  • 76% of cell phone users pay for an unlimited data plan, although more than half of them use less than 15GB a month
  • 30% of users don’t know how to check their cell phone data usage at all and may be using way less than they think they need
  • 39% of people who said they use over 20GB of data a month found that they are actually using much less
  • 68% of Baby Boomers use under 10GB of data per month despite 74% having an unlimited data plan

If you find yourself using WiFi more often than not, or if you’re hanging on to your plan with a bigger carrier, you could be saving an average of $1,524 a year on your cell phone plan - that’s $85,344 over the course of a lifetime!

  • If everyone in NYC alone switched to an MVNO from a major carrier, they would collectively save over $5.2 BILLION, per year
  • A lifetime of savings from switching to an MVNO is the equivalent of 77 iPhone 14 Pro Max phones, 667 Broadway tickets, or a brand-new 2024 Tesla

How can MVNOs provide the same cell phone service for a better price? In a recent interview with WhistleOut’s Sherri Riggs, Mint Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer Aron North said customers can think of MVNOs in a similar way to store-brand groceries or generic medicine. “It’s like a store brand when you go into the grocery store. The grocery stores don’t have factories making all these consumer products. They go to the industry leader and they say: ‘Make me my own.’ That’s really what it is.”

The best time to make changes to your cell phone plan to save yourself thousands of dollars was eight years ago, but the second best time is right now. If you need help finding the best bang for your buck, WhistleOut’s custom search tools and coverage maps can lead the way.

Read the full report here: 

METHODOLOGY: Results are from a post-stratified survey of 1,000 American adults who have and pay for their own cell phone bills as well as US Census data. Monthly MVNO costs are based on internal data.

ABOUT WHISTLEOUT: WhistleOut is a specialized search engine designed to make mobile and internet decisions easier and more accessible to consumers, bringing the world closer together through increased connectivity.

ABOUT MINT MOBILE: Mint Mobile took what’s wrong with wireless and made it right. Everything they do is to help you save money on wireless, so you can spend your cash on other stuff.

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Average MVNO Savings 2024 Mobile Overspending by State

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