Martin Lewis: Pay more than £10/mth on your mobile bill? You’re probably burning cash – here’s how to cut costs
Mobile phone users are likely to be burning through cash if they pay more than £10 a month on their bill, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has warned in the latest episode of The Martin Lewis Money Show. You can watch Martin explain it below, plus use our key links - Cheap Sim Finder tool, Cheap Mobiles tool and our Cheap Mobile Phone Insurance guide - to help you cut costs.
The clip above has been taken from The Martin Lewis Money Show on Thursday 13 January 2022, with the permission of ITV Studios. All rights reserved. You can turn on subtitles by selecting the keyboard image at the bottom right of the video. You can also watch the full episode on the ITV Hub
Cheap Sims start from as little as £3.90/month for 1GB of data
Before Martin's latest show he asked his Twitter followers how much they pay for their mobile bill. More than three in ten (78%) responded saying they pay more than £10 a month - see the full results below.
But Martin explained in his show that these users need to ask themselves why? “Nowadays, the average data use is 4GB a month – you can get that seriously cheap,” Martin said.
For example, Martin explained that you could get a Lebara 10GB Sim, with unlimited texts and calls, for £6 a month, or an O2 Sim for £10 a month with unlimited calls and texts plus 30GB of data.
However, Martin added that many of the cheaper deals aren’t available direct from the network and you instead need to go through comparison sites or resellers. See our Cheap Sim Finder and Cheap Mobile Finder tools for help bagging a bargain.
It's 'dead easy' to keep your phone number when you switch
“If you’re worried about keeping your number [when you switch] it’s dead easy these days,” said Martin. You simply text ‘PAC’ to 65075 and you’ll receive a code which you give to the new network provider. This allows it to transfer your number from your old network to your new one.
Switching doesn't mean losing your phone signal
Martin also acknowledged that people might be wary of changing to a different network with worse signal, but he explained that in reality this is unlikely to happen. That's because there are only four main phone networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, and the other mobile providers simply just 'piggyback' off those.
For example, Lebara (which we highlighted for its cheap Sim deal above) uses Vodafone. This means you can switch elsewhere to cut costs but keep the same signal. See our Piggybacking your phone network guide for a full breakdown of who piggybacks on whom.
Martin added: "The only thing I’d watch for is that if you like Wi-Fi calling, 5G or tethering, it [your new piggyback network] may not have it, so check before you sign up."
You may also be able to save £100s a year on your mobile phone insurance
During the show, one MoneySaver asked Martin whether there’s an optimum time to renew mobile phone insurance, as you would with car insurance. In response, Martin said no. This is because car insurance prices are linked to risk, while mobile phone insurance is priced at a flat rate, which means there's no prime time to renew.
Martin said: "Most people are paying around up to £180 a year [for insurance] if you go through your network, and you can get it [the broken/lost mobile phone] changed pretty quickly."
However, Martin went on to say that it is still worth checking to see if you could get a better annual deal on your phone insurance. If you aren't worried about getting your mobile phone back - or a replacement one - right away, there are cheaper, standalone insurance policies available. Martin said these can cost around £60 to £70 a year, which could save you half of what you were paying previously. See our Cheap Mobile Insurance guide for help finding the best deal.
Martin added that families may also want to consider opening a Nationwide Flex Plus Bank account. This covers mobile phones for a family of four, plus travel and breakdown cover for £13 a month - so £156 a year. See our Packaged Bank Accounts guide for more info.
Register for Airtime Rewards
And finally, Martin encouraged mobile users to register with Airtime Rewards, a cashback app that tracks spending at various retailers - including Argos and Boots – then rewards users with a discount on their mobile phone bill.
Users could earn between 1% and 10% cashback. For more information, see our Airtime Rewards Deals Blog.