Saving Money

Going Over Your Mobile Phone Data Plan This Month? Save Money With This Simple Trick!

Does your family exceed your normal cell phone data limit? This simple trick saved me money and got me even more data! It can work for you, too.

All of our mobile phones beeped or buzzed at the same time from an incoming text message. It was a single message from AT&T broadcast to all the phones on the same account stating that we were nearing our data plan limit for the month. I wasn’t surprised, as we had left town the previous weekend, which meant my son and wife and been streaming video in the van to and from our destination.

The text message stated that if we were to go over our 10GB limit, we would be charged $15 for each additional GB of data used. If we had been a few days from the end of the billing period, I would have simply asked the family to be diligent about being on wifi, and refraining from doing anything data intensive for a few days. Unfortunately, we had almost half the month left in the current billing period. With our three family members plus two extended family members on the plan, there was no way we were going to stay within our plan that month.

It was time to call AT&T and use a little money saving trick.

I told the customer service representative my situation, and requested to bump up my data plan to the next sized package for just this month. He gladly obliged my request, and told me my next bill would be increased by just over $20 after my employer discount was applied.

An Easy Way to Save Money on Your Mobile Data Plan!

For about $20, I upped my plan by 5GB. Had I paid the per GB overage fee, 5GB would cost me $75.

The representative then asked me if I wanted my plan to revert back to our usual 10GB plan the following month. I confirmed that I did, said a few parting words, and hung up the phone. I don’t know if I’ll use all 5GB of extra data that I paid for. But if I used one pixel of data over 1GB I’d pay $15×2=$30 which is more than the cost to bump up size of the plan for the month.

The best part is this little trick was actually passed along to me from an AT&T employee when we signed up. Usually companies are all about trying to get the most money out of you as possible, but in this case, the friendly employee gave us a very useful money saving trick.

Have you ever gone over your data plan limit? Did you pay the per GB overage fee?

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About the author

Brock Kernin


  • @MoneyBeagle – Very true, I’m on a “no contract” plan right now, so I’m good there – but it’s always a good idea to make sure they drop it back down the following month as requested. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Great trick – I actually got rid of data because it was distracting and not helpful to my life, so I don’t have to worry about going over, but I used to go over here and there and it was always quite expensive.

    • Almost, James. The point is to call *before* you go over your data plan amount. Typically, wireless carriers send you a text message warning you are getting close. If you’re almost to the end of your billing period, you may be OK. If you have days/weeks left (as I did in this case), then instead of paying an outrageous amount per GB overage fees, request to up your plan for the current month. You have to be a bit proactive (and pay attention to your data usage), but it can save a significant amount of money.

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