Mobile Phone Coupons Tips

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What is an open/unlocked phone?

Open/Unlocked Phones

When you hear the term “open/unlocked phones” it means that the phone will work with any service provider that uses a SIM card. The SIM card is small and thin, even smaller than memory cards for digital cameras. It typically slides into a phone underneath the battery.

The SIM card is what stores your personal information like billing and your phone number. Simply pop the card out of one phone and into the next, then dial your number and the new phone will be the one that rings.

Certain companies, like T-Mobile for example, do use SIM cards. Some other companies do not. If your service does use this method, you can purchase any “open/unlocked phone” from a retailer and place your SIM card in it. Now you have a new phone. There are tons of cell phone deals available from retailers for these types of phones, since they can work with several different companies.

Make sure you are certain that your phone uses this technology before making a purchase. If it does not, there is no way of transferring your service to the new phone. In this case, you have to purchase a phone that is meant specifically for your carrier.

Did you verify that the mobile phone deal is current?

Make Sure Deals Are Current

Whenever you use wireless coupons online, always make sure that they are current promos and not out of date. Cingular Wireless coupon codes found online, for example, might not work since that company is now part of AT&T. There may still be coupons that are valid that use the name Cingular, however. These could be from a third party offering coupons using that name for customers who had Cingular service before they became part of AT&T.

Mobile phone companies merge and/or change their names on occasion. So it is important that you pay close attention to mobile coupons to make sure that the deal you want actually exists and is an option currently available to you.

If you are unsure whether an offer is still valid, try calling the customer service phone number on the provider's site. They should be able to tell you whether or not a promotion is ongoing, and give you a list of all the current deals available.

Mobile phone companies roll out new coupons and special deals pretty regularly to stay competitive and bring new customers on board. Use these offers to get deals on phones and service, but make sure that the company's service is a good fit for you in the long term, not just for the short term savings.

What is Pingo?

Pingo International Calls Savings

If you do a lot of traveling to other countries but still need to use your phone to make international calls, you want those calls to be affordable. The same principle applies if you have friends and family that live in another country and you want to talk to them instead of only trading e-mails. There is a way to make these calls at an affordable rate.

Pingo is an international calling provider that saves customers huge amounts on calls overseas. With a Pingo calling card, what would normally be several dollars for a few minutes will be a fraction of that price. At you can select the country you are in and the country you wish to call and it will provide you with the current rates you would be charged. If the rates are different for mobile and landline phones it will give you those details as well.

Callers can save up to 90 percent of what they would normally pay with standard international calls. Wireless coupons are also available for first-time customers as well. So the next time you are planning a trip out of the country, pick up a Pingo calling card and see how much you save on international calls.

Are you eligible for an upgrade as a valued customer?

Valued Customer Upgrades

You may find that your wireless provider offers discounts to its valued customers over time. Most companies offer a free or discounted phone upgrade every year or two that you remain a customer. This can be especially useful if you tend to drop or “beat up” your phone a bit over the course of a year.

When the time comes that your service provider offers you a deal like this, there are huge savings to be had. Scour the Internet for wireless coupons that you can combine with the discount the wireless company is already giving you.

Now, if your new phone was not going to be free already, it just may be once you apply the coupons. The addition of the wireless coupons might also make it possible for you to upgrade to an even better phone than the one you were originally being offered.

Many people do not realize that they are eligible for these offers and pay full price for every phone they purchase when they do not have to. So the next time you are looking to buy a new phone, see if you can get a discount for being a valued customer. Throw some coupons into the mix and get a brand new, sleek and stylish cell phone that is reliable too.

How can I get the activation fee waived?

Free Service Activation

There are ways around those pesky activation or start-up fees that people typically get hit with when they sign up with a new service provider. Why should you pay $40 or $50 in addition to the cost of the cell phone and service contract when you might not have to?

Look for wireless coupons online that wipe out that activation fee. They are out there if you look hard enough. If you are unhappy with your current service company you could try asking another provider if they will waive the start-up fee if you switch to their company. You would be surprised at how they would welcome the opportunity to get a new customer.

Another option that can net you some big savings would be to buy a new phone from a retailer that offers free activations with your purchase. Get some printable coupons from the Internet and bring those with you to reduce the overall price of the phone and any accessories, and then get a free service activation. More and more retailers are offering this option now and there is the potential for a lot of savings.

What hands-free options are there for phone use in the car?

Hands-Free Options

Talking on your cell phone while driving has become a big problem over the last few years. With mobile phones and driving safety being a major issue, it is a matter that is getting more attention. It is even illegal in many states now to drive while using a handheld cell phone device.

But, talking to someone on the phone while driving can be no more hazardous than talking to a passenger in your car, if done properly. When you use a cell phone while driving, one of two things should be done:

First, you can put the phone on speaker. There are specialized holders that can be placed on your dash or next to your seat. Keep the phone in one of these and you can comfortably talk with whoever you want on the way to your destination.

The other option would be to get a hands-free headset. This can be connected to your phone with a wire, or it can be wireless like Bluetooth headsets. With either of these options, the point is to have your hands free to control the steering wheel. Accidents do not happen simply because the driver is having a conversation, but because a phone takes a hand away from the wheel.

Try looking for cell phone accessories coupons and use them to pick up one of these hands-free options. You, along with all of the other drivers on the road, will be safer for it.

Is your phone reliable?

Not All Phones Are Created Equal

Unlike people, not all phones are equal. Some phones are built better than others. This is why it is important to get a little feedback before you buy a new phone. While the device may look sleek and cool, that does not guarantee you will feel the same way about its performance.

Check out user reviews online, write-ups in trade publications, or even ask someone you know that owns that model of phone before you buy it. Find out how reliable it is. Is the screen bright enough. Can you actually feel the phone vibrate in your pocket when you put it in silent mode? Is it durable and does it get good reception?

These are all things you want to find out so your money is well spent. Sometimes the phone that you get for free with a new service contract is not very reliable and sometimes it is a great model. Also, just because a model is expensive does not mean it is better than other lower-priced ones.

Once you have all the information you need and are confident in your choice, see what discounts or coupons are being offered by mobile phone companies for that phone. Can you get a percentage-off deal, or a free Bluetooth headset with your purchase?

What deals can you get on accessories?

Cell Phone Accessory Coupons

Cell phone accessory coupons are all over the place these days. This is one of the most common deals out there for mobile phone customers. And it is a source of a large portion of online savings related to wireless service and devices.

Service providers, manufacturers and retailers offer deals on accessories when you purchase from them. Companies like T-Mobile or AT&T might offer a free case or belt clip with the purchase of a new phone. Retailers like Sony Style might offer a percentage discount on accessories when you buy a particular model of cell phone.

These cell phone deals may be contingent upon certain things, however, so make sure to check. Discounted accessories at a store might only come with certain models of phones. If you are purchasing from a service provider, it might require the activation of a particular plan that they offer or an agreement to a certain contract length.

Whatever accessory you are looking for, there is most likely a wireless coupon or offer that will get it for you at a discount, if not for free. The same thing applies to service contracts. Almost any plan you find will be accompanied by some sort of deal on accessories for your phone.

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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.