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Personal Finance
Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!
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Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

You can save up to 60% or 75% on your monthly cell phone bill while still enjoying the same service from your current cell phone provider…

Here’s how!

The Big 4 have secret discount brands

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have long had secret sub-brands for price-sensitive customers.

AT&T has Cricket Wireless, Sprint has Boost Mobile and T-Mobile has GoSmartMobile.

Price points generally start around $25 to $35 a month for the same towers and the same service you could pay a lot more for.

RELATED: 5 things you need to know before switching to Cricket Wireless

Like Verizon service? Total Wireless offers it cheaper

Tracfone has a new service with Verizon called Total Wireless. This hidden gem is basically Verizon’s sub-brand.

Total Wireless offers the same service, same towers — the same everything — you’re used to with Verizon.

But it comes at a price you’re unaccustomed to from a Big 4 wireless carrier: $35 a month for unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 5 GB of data.

All with no contract…for the same towers and the same service as the name brand!

Now with 4G!

When money expert Clark Howard first talked about this service last year it had a catch: It would only run on Verizon’s 3G network. That was a deal breaker for many people.

But no more! Total Wireless is now 4G too!

“It’s the best service available for people who want to be on Verizon’s network,” Clark says.

With Total Wireless, you can typically use the same phone you currently have from Verizon as long as you’ve completed your contract with the carrier.

Enter your phone number or serial number here to find out.

Xfinity Mobile: Pay from zero dollars to $12/month for Verizon service

If you really want to reduce what you pay but still have Verizon service, there’s a new play in the marketplace that you need to know about.

It’s called Xfinity Mobile and you must have internet service through Xfinity in order to sign up for this offer.

Xfinity Mobile plans, which runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, operate on a freemium business model.

That means you can get unlimited nationwide talk and text and 100 MB of shared data for free — with no line access fees on up to five lines.

Need more data? Just connect to Xfinity’s 18 million free Wi-Fi hotspots for additional data needs.

The net result is that it’s entirely possible to pay zero dollars a month for this service if you’re a light data user!

If you decide you want access to more cellular date in your life, there are two monthly data options to choose from:

  • By the Gig: $12 per GB of shared cellular data across all lines
  • Unlimited: $45 per line on up to five lines; speeds reduced after 20 GB

So there you have it; you can skate for free with the freemium data lite offer of 100 MB of cell data and piggyback off free Wi-Fi hotspots when you need more. Or you can pony up $12/month and have at least 1GB of monthly cellular data for when you’re on the go and maybe can’t access Wi-Fi.

Either way, this is a really cheap option!

There is one caveat though: Unlike Verizon, Xfinity Mobile doesn’t allow users to bring their own phone. That’s still in the works.

In the meantime, Xfinity Mobile sells more than a dozen smartphones on its website — including the iPhone 8 or X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.

For an in-depth review of Xfinity Mobile, check out this article by Clark.com writer Mike Timmermann. He received no compensation to write an unbought and unbossed review of his experience on the $12 plan so far.

Spectrum Mobile: Another ISP with a mobile offer running on Verizon

There’s an emerging trend in the tech world of Internet service providers offering mobile service at a deeply discounted price so long as you remain a customer of theirs for Internet.

So just like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum offers its own Spectrum Mobile service to customers at a low price point. There are two data plans to choose from:

  • By the Gig: $14 per GB
  • Unlimited: $45 a month (reduced speeds after 20 GB per line)

At the moment, Spectrum Mobile only supports a handful of devices from Samsung and LG. Look for more devices to come on board soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about Spectrum Mobile here.

Visible: Get unlimited data on the Verizon network for $40/month

Here’s a new option for cutting your Verizon bill down to size…

Visible offers unlimited data, messages and minutes in the U.S. for just $40 a month.

This is a new company that runs on the Verizon network and is actually owned by Verizon, yet it runs independently of its parent company.

In that sense, it’s similar to Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T and offers service on AT&T towers while operating independently of Ma Bell.

Here are five things you need to know about Visible:

  1. Visible is only set up for unlocked iPhones at this time. So if you’re an Android person, you’re out of luck with this one.
  2. Everything is done through the Visible app, including customer service and paying your bill. There are no physical storefronts.
  3. You won’t be penalized for being a data hog. The only time you’ll be slowed down is during times of network congestion — not because you scarf up too much data.
  4. Download speeds are limited to 5 Mbps.
  5. This service is currently in beta, so you’ll need an invite code to sign up. Get yours at bevisible.com.

Prepaid plans from Verizon starting at $40 for 3 GB

Finally, if you want a little more simplicity in your life without having to always chase free Wi-Fi, the fourth way Verizon customers can lower their bill is with the introduction of a couple new prepaid plans.

3 GB for $40

Plus unlimited talk and text in the U.S., carryover data with on-time payment, mobile hotspot and unlimited international messaging to more than 200 countries.

7 GB for $50

Same as above. With this tier, you get more than twice the data of the lower priced plan for only $10 more.

10 GB for $60

Same features as above, plus unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada thrown in. So you get more than triple the data of the $40 plan for only $20 more each month.

More cell phone stories on Clark.com:

Read More

News

  • The U.S. Forest Service says the largest wildfire on record in California is 100 percent contained. The agency made the announcement Wednesday about the so-called Mendocino Complex of twin fires that erupted in July. The fires north of San Francisco killed a firefighter, destroyed 157 homes and scorched 720 square miles (1,865 square kilometers). That's an area more than twice the size of New York City. Officials say 460 firefighters remain in the area, working to prevent erosion and monitoring spots that are still burning. The blazes prompted the evacuation of thousands of people in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn counties. Authorities are still investigating what started the fires.
  • A new report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than 2 million American teens have used an e-cigarette to vape marijuana >> Read more trending news  The new data, based on a representative sample of middle and high school students questioned in the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, showed 8.9 percent of the 20,000 students surveyed had smoked cannabis via e-cigarettes. That means nearly 1 in 11 students answered, “Yes, I have used an e-cigarette device with marijuana, THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] or hash oil, or THC wax.” Nearly 1 in 3 high school students and about 1 in 4 middle school students reported using cannabis in the devices, amounting to about 2 million young people nationwide — figures much higher than researchers previously predicted. >> Related: Atlanta parents weigh pros and cons of letting their teens vape The number is worrying 'because cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory and may impair later academic achievement and education,' said lead CDC researcher Katrina Trivers. Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking, because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs. But there is little research on e-cigarettes' long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit. The rise in teenagers using e-cigarettes has alarmed health officials who worry kids will get addicted to nicotine, a stimulant, and be more likely to try cigarettes. >> Related: Community Voices: Many see e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking “Shifts in social acceptability and access to cannabis could occur as several states consider legalized cannabis sales for adults,” the researchers wrote in a letter published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. The letter comes on the heels of a recent statement from Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who last week declared youth vaping an “epidemic.” The FDA gave the five largest e-cigarette makers 60 days to produce plans to stop underage use of their products. >> Related: Vaping device that looks like USB drive popular with teens “In the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA’s history, the agency issued more than 1,300 warning letters and civil money penalty complaints (fines) to retailers who illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors during a nationwide, undercover blitz of brick-and-mortar and online stores this summer,” the agency news release stated. While critics have often argued vaping is a partial solution to America’s cigarette smoking crisis, Gottlieb said there are “clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion.” “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing,” he added. “We’re going to have to take action.” >> Related: US officials call teen vaping 'epidemic,' weigh flavor ban It's unclear whether marijuana vaping is increasing among teens or holding steady. The devices have grown into a multi-billion industry, but they are relatively new. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Days before sentencing, Bill Cosby's trial judge denied a defense motion to step down from the sex assault case because of what Cosby's team called a long-ago grudge with a pretrial witness. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill has seen the case through two trials, hard-fought pretrial hearings and 15 defense lawyers since Cosby's arrest on Dec. 30, 2015. Cosby's two-day sentencing hearing is set to start Monday. A jury this spring convicted him of drugging and molesting a woman friend at his home in 2004. The actor, now 81 and legally blind, faces a guideline sentence of about one to four years, but O'Neill can choose anything from probation to a 30-year prison term. Camille Cosby filed a state ethics complaint this week accusing O'Neill of bias against her husband because of what she called his feud with a former prosecutor who testified in an early 2016 pretrial hearing. O'Neill had competed against the witness, Bruce Castor, for a political post years ago. 'The fact that this court sought a party nomination for the office of District Attorney nearly 20 years ago is a fact of public record that could easily be uncovered in the exercise of due diligence by no less than 15 attorneys (and their private investigators),' O'Neill wrote in an opinion issued Wednesday, noting that Castor has litigated cases in his court for years. 'No 'grudge,' animus, bias or prejudice can be claimed because it simply does not exist,' the judge wrote. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele opposed the defense motion.
  • Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, Touki Toussaint pitched into the sixth inning and the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves snapped a four-game skid with a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. It was a big win for Atlanta, which began the day with a 5½-game lead over Philadelphia and opens a four-game home series against the Phillies on Thursday. The Braves need any combination of six victories or Philadelphia losses to clinch their first division title since 2013. St. Louis, which had won three straight, began the day leading Colorado by 1½ games for the second wild-card spot. Closer A.J. Minter, working in a non-save situation in the ninth, walked two to load the bases, but he struck out Jose Martinez and got Paul DeJong to pop up. Freeman's 23rd homer, an opposite-field shot to left-center, put the Braves up 2-0 in the fourth against Jack Flaherty. Freeman went 3 for 3 and is hitting .405 over his past 11 games. Toussaint (2-1) allowed five hits, two runs, three walks and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings. A rookie making his fourth career start, Toussaint was chased after Yadier Molina's RBI single cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth. At least for one game, Atlanta snapped a funk at home, where it had dropped 14 of 18 and has won just one of its past seven series at SunTrust Park. Flaherty (8-8) gave up five hits, five runs and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. Facing the Braves for the first time, Flaherty began the game as the NL rookie leader in strikeouts, winning percentage and opponents' batting average. He had gone 4-1 with 1.69 ERA in his previous eight starts. Tyler Flowers doubled to begin the three-run fifth, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on Flaherty's wild pitch. Freeman chased Flaherty with an RBI single, and the lead swelled to four runs on a double steal by Ender Inciarte and Freeman. The Braves successfully challenged to get the call overturned that Freeman had been tagged out. Atlanta added a run to make it 6-2 in the seventh. Ender Inciarte doubled and scored when second baseman Kolten Wong threw errantly to first on a potential double play grounder. Jedd Gyorko's sacrifice fly in the eighth cut the lead to 6-3. Flowers' eighth homer in the bottom half of the inning made it 7-3. OUCH Harrison Bader was hit in the back of the helmet by a pitch in the third, but he convinced St. Louis' trainers that he wasn't affected and jogged to first. STREAK ENDS The Braves had dropped eight straight home games to St. Louis since the start of the 2016 season. UP NEXT Cardinals: RHP John Gant (7-6, 3.53 ERA) will make his 18th start when St. Louis, following a day off, opens a three-game home series against San Francisco. He allowed six hits and six runs in his previous start, a 17-4 loss to the Dodgers. Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (10-10, 3.92 ERA) will make his ninth start since being acquired in a trade with Baltimore as Atlanta tries to pad its lead on the Phillies. He is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts at SunTrust Park. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The investigative files on an infamous 1989 child abduction and murder in Minnesota are set to be made public Thursday, two years after the case was finally solved. Jacob Wetterling, 11, of St. Joseph, vanished the evening of Oct. 22, 1989, as he rode home on his bike with his younger brother, Trevor, and his best friend. The three boys had gone to a nearby convenience store to rent videos and buy snacks. His disappearance remained unsolved until the fall of 2016, when Danny James Heinrich, who became a person of interest in 2015 after being arrested on child pornography charges, confessed to killing the missing boy. He also led police to Jacob’s remains, which were buried on a farm about 30 miles from the site of the abduction.  Heinrich, 55, is serving a 20-year sentence on a child porn charge.  >> Related story: Jacob Wetterling’s killer gives chilling details of abducted 11-year-old’s final moments alive Stearns County officials said last week that the Wetterling case files would be released to the public Thursday morning. Sheriff Don Gudmundson is also expected to hold a news conference when the files become public.  The files were initially slated for release in 2017, but Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, filed a lawsuit seeking to block the release of information about the family that they felt should remain private, KSTP in Saint Paul reported.  A judge ordered prosecutors to return FBI documents to the federal government and release the rest of the case file, the St. Cloud Times reported. The Wetterlings decided against appealing the judge’s decision this summer.  Heinrich admitted in court in September 2016 that he stopped Jacob and the other boys along a dead-end road in St. Joseph and ordered the other boys to run home and not look back. He abducted Jacob, the frightened boy asking “What did I do wrong?” as Heinrich handcuffed him and drove away, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported in 2016. As Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, sat listening in the front row of the courtroom, Heinrich detailed how he drove their son to a gravel pit, made him undress so he could molest him and shot him twice in the back of the head after he cried and asked to go home. “I raised the revolver to his head. I turned my head and it clicked once. I pulled the trigger again and it went off. Looked back, he was still standing,” Heinrich said, according to the newspaper. “I raised the revolver and shot him again.” Heinrich’s confession was part of a plea deal with prosecutors in his child pornography case. In exchange for a maximum sentence of 20 years, Heinrich confessed and escaped prosecution on another 24 child porn charges, as well as in Jacob’s murder.  >> Read more trending news The Star Tribune reported that Heinrich also detailed his molestation of another boy, 12-year-old Jared Scheierl, in Cold Spring, Minnesota, nine months before he abducted and murdered Jacob. Investigators long believed the two cases might be connected, due to the description of the suspect in each case, and Heinrich was tied by circumstantial evidence to the Cold Spring attack as early as February 1990. He was physically linked to that case last year when DNA found on a sweatshirt Scheierl was wearing during the attack was matched to Heinrich's DNA profile, according to WCCO, Minneapolis' CBS affiliate. Prosecutors could not bring charges against Heinrich in that assault, however, because the statute of limitations had expired. 
  • The Atlanta Braves defeated the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday afternoon at SunTrust Park! With the 7-3 victory, the Braves' 'Magic Number' to clinch the NL East is now 6. We'll have highlights and reaction from today's game on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m. The Philadelphia Phillies, who started the day 5.5 games behind the Braves in the division, play Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. If the Mets beat the Phillies, the Braves' 'Magic Number' falls to 5.  The #Braves magic number to clinch the NL East is down to 6. They avoided a St. Louis sweep with a 7-3 win. Next up: the all-important 4-game series vs the Phillies at SunTrust Park. Philadelphia hosts the NY Mets at 6:05. A Philly loss reduces magic # to 5 #ChopOn — Anthony Amey (@AnthonyAmeyWSB) September 19, 2018