One of my missions in this Cheapskate life is to encourage folks to look beyond the Big Four phone carriers. Why? Simple: You can save big by switching to an MVNO — a smaller carrier that leases the same cell towers used by the big ones.
I’m talking Cricket, Mint Mobile, Ting and Tello, to name just a few. In fact, Tello just kicked off a promotion that’s worth a look: Double the data for six months.
See it at Tello
Available for new subscribers only, this applies to all of the carrier’s current plans — but I’ll focus mainly on the unlimited ones. These start at $14 per month, a price that would normally get you unlimited talk, text and data, with 1GB of high-speed data. With the promotion, you’ll get double that: 2GB of high-speed data per month for the next six months.
Likewise, at $19 per month you’d normally get 2GB, but here you’ll get 4GB. I think the sweet spot here, for many people, is the 3GB plan at $24: You’ll get 6GB for that first six months.
What happens after that? According to a Tello rep, it’s back to the regular data allotments — though I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers increased permanently by then. Maybe not double, but higher. (That’s entirely a guess on my part, but industry-wide, it seems like high-speed data allotments continue to increase while prices remain steady.)
Either way, that’s July’s problem. The beauty of the unlocked phone (which you’ll need to take advantage of this) and the no-contract service is that you can easily jump around to whatever carrier is offering the best deal.
Because Tello is a Sprint-based MVNO, you’ll need to have an unlocked Sprint-compatible phone. Check the FAQ page to see what models (including those from other carriers) will work. Tello supports tethering at no extra charge, and also allows free calls to Canada, Mexico and China.
If you’re already a Tello user (or you were in the past), hit the comments and let your fellow cheapskates know what to expect from the service.
Bonus deal: I’ve written before about smartphone gimbals, which help you shoot much steadier video, especially when you’re moving around. Usually a good three-axis gimbal runs at least $100.
Not today. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the Tzumi SteadyGo three-axis gimbal for $34.99 shipped when you apply promo code CHPSKTGIMBAL at checkout. Cheapskate exclusive!
See it at Daily Steals
Why is this model so much less than others? Most likely because the body is made of plastic, not metal. That means it’s lighter (which strikes me as a good thing), but also less durable. If you happen to drop it, well, it could be game over.
Indeed, I’ll note that the very mixed user reviews on Amazon give me pause. But the smattering of ratings I found elsewhere were much more positive, and this YouTube review helps you get a real feel for how the device performs.
My take: If you’ve been wanting something like this but just couldn’t swing a $100-or-more price tag, it’s definitely worth a look.
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