The average phone bill for Americans is $1,200 per month, according to research firm Nielsen.
That’s the highest of any major country.
But that’s only if you’re willing to pay for a phone service that can be a little pricey.
For example, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless have been among the highest-priced phone companies in the world, with the cost of the phones running up to $600 a month.
So, even though you might have to spend more than that on a phone bill, it’s worth it to keep the bills down and avoid getting your money ripped off by an expensive bill.
Here are a few ways to avoid a phone phone bill.
Use your credit card to pay bills The best way to save on your phone bill is to use your credit cards to pay off your bills, says Jessica Vidal, director of communications for the Consumer Federation of America.
“Credit cards are the best way for consumers to reduce the risk of getting a high-cost bill,” she says.
If you’re not already using your card for all of your other bills, Vidal says it’s a great idea to get one.
Find out how to pay your bills online You don’t need to be a bank employee or even an account manager to pay a phone or internet bill.
Most credit card companies let you pay with your credit or debit card.
“If you’re paying your bills with your own credit card, you can reduce the bill and still save money,” says Vidal.
“You’ll save money by paying with a credit card because you can do that in person.”
But, if you do have a bank account, make sure that you don’t keep your credit and debit card balances on the card.
If it’s an annual or revolving credit card you have, Viding says, it can be more difficult to access your credit.
Pay with cash Most credit cards are accepted by banks and ATMs, so you can always use cash.
But you can also use cash if you want to.
Paying bills with cash can also save you money if you pay by credit card or ATM.
Vidal recommends that you pay your phone bills with a cashier’s check or money order, and you can get the savings by using a credit or ATM card that has a higher minimum balance.
“For example, a $500 bill might cost $5,000, but if you put $5 in cash, you save $2,500 in credit card fees,” she explains.
Use the same phone service You don,t need to pay extra for different phone services.
“A lot of people who use a cell phone have a number of different numbers that they use,” says David Kocher, vice president of product management for phone service provider Cricket Wireless.
“Some of those numbers will work with other phone companies and some of those services will not work.”
He adds that the same number will work if you don: have a fixed line plan; have a prepaid line plan with Cricket; or have a plan that includes voice and data services.
If the phone company offers voice and video services, Kocer says, you’ll get the same rate as if you used the same service on your mobile device.
If not, Kucher says, pay with the same plan.
Get a good credit score When it comes to getting a good phone plan, Koger says it pays to know your credit score.
If your credit history is low, it might be worth it just to avoid having a phone plan that’s too expensive.
Vides says that the best phone plan is one that has good credit scores.
You can look at your credit report and see if you can afford to pay more.
If so, you should get the best plan you can, she says, adding that the higher the credit score, the more likely you’ll pay for the plan.
If a plan isn’t good enough, Vides suggests that you get a better phone plan or cancel your current one and start from scratch.
Use a prepaid plan When you pay for your phone plan with a prepaid card, the card is billed by the credit card company instead of the phone provider.
So if you buy a plan with the prepaid card you’ll save on the bill.
But if you choose to pay with a phone company, you have to make sure you get the plan you want.
And you have three options.
You could pay by cash, check, or money orders.
Use an in-person service When you want the best service, Vines says it can cost you more if you use an in person service.
“It can be hard to get the service you want in person, but that’s the most expensive way to get your phone, because you have the option of going to an in house service or going to a local phone company,” she adds.
Vines recommends calling your local phone companies to find out how