Consumer Reports recommends money-saving cellphone plans

CR says to look at Ting, Consumer Cellular, Google's Project Fi

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - No one wants to pay more for their cellphone plan than they have to, but whether you’re a college student, a world-traveler or part of a busy family, there’s a plan for you. You might save a bundle by switching, but you have to think about who is using the phone and how they’re using it.

"College students are already paying high tuition bills, so they’ll want a plan that keeps rates low and uses the Wi-Fi networks that are already available on most college campuses," said Chris Raymond, with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports said Ting Wireless may be a good option. It offers one of the cheapest deals out there and is compatible with about 80 percent of phones. For $6 a month, you get unlimited calls and texts when you’re on Wi-Fi. When you’re not on Wi-Fi, cellular prices are still reasonable. And your bill is based on how much service you used in the previous month.

If you’re looking for a plan to cover your whole family, Consumer Reports said you’ll want one that’s highly customizable with low rates and top-notch customer service. For that, Consumer Reports said to check out Consumer Cellular. It’s one of their top-rated services which offers plans and smartphones ranging from cheap to premium. The downside? Fewer phone models to choose from compared to bigger carriers.

If you often travel out of the country, using your smartphone can be expensive, but there are ways to save. For world travelers, Consumer Reports recommend Google Project Fi, which relies on Wi-Fi for service and to keep costs low. When Wi-Fi isn’t an option, rates are still affordable. One drawback for Google’s Project Fi is that it  offers only three models: Google’s new Pixel smartphone and older Nexus phones, the 6P and 5X.

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All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.