Step 1: Determine your needs
How do you define your calling time needs?
In 2023, the market offers 3 main call time options; 0 minutes, 100 minutes or unlimited, a majority prefer to have peace of mind and opt for the unlimited call time option, but is it the most economical option? To avoid overpaying, review your recent bills via your current provider's app or customer portal to take stock of your call usage over the past few months.
Is 0 minutes of calling time really a viable option in 2023?
VOIP apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, allow you to call without using a phone plan. Regarding emergency calls like 911, these are always available even if there are no minutes of call time. It is therefore possible to choose a 0 minute plan without putting your safety at risk if you are a person who rarely uses his phone for regular calls.
The latest smartphones have the ability to direct calls to Wi-Fi. You could use this feature if you have access to a Wi-Fi connection. However, your provider will need to have this feature enabled.
Is 100 minutes per month of calling time enough?
The 100 minutes plans are ideal for someone who wants to talk mostly via VOIP or Wi-Fi calls, but who would like to ensure a safety cushion for impromptu calls.
Unlimited calls, is it the best option?
If peace of mind is priceless to you, the answer is "yes". If your concern is not to save money on your cell phone plan, but to have the peace of mind that you will be able to talk for as long as your smartphone battery will allow, unlimited calling time plans are for you!
How to evaluate your texting needs?
The vast majority of plans include unlimited messaging for text messages in Canada. It is therefore advisable to assume that unlimited texting is what you need unless there is a specific condition in your situation that favours a limited number of texts. If that's your condition, look into pre-paid plans. Among others, Virgin Plus offers packages of 500 text messages per month.
How to choose your calling options?
Several options that used to be paid for are now included in subscriptions and prepaid offers such as voicemail, caller ID, and unlimited texting.
Other options such as three-way calling, however, require you to check with your operator to see if they are offered or what their limit is. For example, some operators may charge you for a three-way call if you exceed a specific number of hours per month. The same thing for call forwarding, it is included, but only to Canada. If you plan to have your calls forwarded to a phone abroad, the option becomes payable.
If you're looking for a package for everyday use, consider only the basic options such as voicemail, call display and unlimited texting so as not to increase your bill unnecessarily.
How to determine your data needs (GB)?
Both iOS and Android smartphones log incoming and outgoing data volumes. Look in your device's settings to see the amount of data consumed (GB). The settings and path can differ and vary greatly from one cell phone to another so the easiest way is to search for "how to view your mobile data usage [Brand and Models of your device]?"
Another way is to look at your bill or the usage section on your online account. Choose three recent plans, 1 busy month, 1 average month and 1 below average month, and add them up and divide the result by 3 to get an average.
If this is your first cell phone plan and you have no idea how much data you're going to use, choose a basic plan which usually includes between 2 and 6 GB of data. Then go to your phone's data settings and enter a cellular data limit that is 50% of the data included in your plan, or 3 GB for a 6 GB plan. You will receive an alert when you approach this limit. If this happens during the first two weeks and you feel that your consumption has been normal, you will probably need to increase your data volume.
Contact your carrier to choose a higher data plan.