Best cell phone deals in August – Christian Science Monitor
Summer is winding down and back-to-school shoppingÂ is ramping up.
AmericansÂ are expected to spend $75.8 billion this back-to-school season, according to the National Retail Federation, and cell phone companiesÂ want a chunk of that cash. If a new cell phone plan or smartphone is on your back-to-school list, check out these deals on traditional and prepaid cell phones.
A back-to-school bonus for families
VerizonÂ took some flak for raising pricesÂ when itÂ revamped its signature cell phone plans in early July. To counter that, the carrierÂ just announced a new promotion that doubles that data on someÂ Verizon family plans. A family of four can now get 16GB of shared data for $150 per month, instead of the usual 8GB, when theyÂ upgrade existing phones or activate new phones.Â The promotion is good on anyÂ plans sized large or bigger, with each new or upgraded line getting 2GB of bonus data per month. Since Verizon family plans share data, thatâs a bonus for the whole family.
Treats for teachers and students
K-12 and college teachers and staff as well as college students can save $60 on select smartphones and tablets with T-Mobile. The catch: It needs to be a new line of service and you need toÂ verify your eligibilityÂ with a valid school email address and dated school ID card or letter of employment or enrollment. Students can submit a current class schedule or registration receipt in lieu of a school ID. When your academic status is confirmed, youâll get a one-time promo code to use online or over the phone.
Not a student or teacher? You can stillÂ get a great deal with T-Mobile. The self-proclaimed âuncarrierâ is offering a free Samsung Galaxy On5 or Galaxy J7 for each new line of service. Which phone you qualify for depends on your plan. The Galaxy On5 promo is available on 6GB and higher plans, whereasÂ the J7 promo is only good with a 10GB or higher plan.
Back to reality âÂ virtualÂ reality
Starting Aug. 5, you can get the newly released Alcatel Idol 4, plus a set of virtual reality goggles, for $190 when youÂ activate a new smartphone plan with Cricket Wireless. The duo retails for $399. The Alcatel Idol 4 is an Android device and comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera (for all those selfies), 32GB of storage and specs comparable to top-tier phones. Cricket Wireless smartphone plans start at $40 for 2.5GB, and you can get $5 off per month if you sign up for autopay.
GoPhones go half-off
AT&T isÂ selling select GoPhones for 50% off, now through Sept. 22. The deal includes the Samsung Galaxy Express 3, Motorola Moto E and the LG Phoenix 2, among other devices. This offer is only available online, and requires you to make your first payment onÂ a 3GB ($45) or larger GoPhone planÂ when you buy your phone. You can later switchÂ to a lower plan.
Sprint is giving you one last chance toÂ get a free iPhone 6S. The ongoing promo is a package deal, so you have to buy one to get one, and itâs good on the 64GB and 128GB models. Donât expect this deal to last much longer. Apple is expected to release its iPhone 7 in September, and Sprint will be rolling out new plans and promos before that happens. Rumor has it, those plans will be more expensive thanÂ Sprintâs current offerings.
This article first appeared at NerdWallet.