Cellular carriers like to nickel-and-dime us out of every bit of money they can feasibly justify, so as consumers, we owe it to ourselves to make sure that we're getting our money's worth.
There are several under-advertised freebies and discounts that come included with a contract from all four major U.S. carriers. These deals could be for hardware, software, streaming media, and services. So if you're a customer, make sure to read on below to see what kind of bonuses and extras you can receive.
- International Student Program: No security deposit or Social Security number required for international students in the U.S.
- Lifeline Discount: Government assistance program that will save qualified users at least $9.25/month on their service contract.
- NFL Mobile: Exclusive free access to live games and NFL coverage with an iOS and/or Android app.
- Smart Rewards: Earn points by paying your bill on time, going paperless, and sticking with Verizon, then redeem points for goodies.
- Veterans Discount: Active duty and military veterans can receive 15% off of their Verizon Wireless monthly bill, and 25% off select devices. (Tip: For veterans, use the "paystub" option when signing up, list your branch of service as the "employer" and your billing address as the "employer address," upload an approved form of veterans ID as the "paystub," then wait a few days for review.)
- AT&T Address Book: Automatically back up your contacts on compatible devices and manage or restore them from any computer.
- AT&T Locker: 50 GB of free cloud storage for backing up documents using an app for iOS, Android, and/or Windows Phone.
- AT&T Messages: Free Android app that allows you to send and receive text messages from a tablet or computer.
- AT&T Smart Wi-Fi: Free service for Android devices that automatically connects you to trusted Wi-Fi hotspots using an exclusive app.
- Veterans Discount: Active duty and military veterans can receive 15% off of their monthly bill.
- Binge On: Free, unlimited video streaming (at lower quality) for select services like Netflix and Hulu.
- GoGo In-Flight Texting: Free, unlimited texting during flights from select airlines on compatible devices.
- Music Freedom: Free, unlimited music streaming for many online radio services.
- Simple Choice North America: Free calling to Mexico and Canada, plus free roaming with unlimited 4G data, SMS, and calling in Mexico and Canada.
- Veterans Discount: Active duty and military veterans can receive 15% off of their monthly bill. This must be asked for in-person at a local store, and you'll need to bring in proper veterans identification.
- Wi-Fi CellSpot Router: Free router (with $25 deposit) that serves as a personal T-Mobile cell tower for your home.
- T-Mobile Tuesdays: An official app that gives you either food, movie tickets, gift cards, subscriptions, ridesharing, etc. every Tuesday.
- NASCAR Mobile: Free access to live NASCAR radio broadcasts, in-car audio, and alternate-angled camera feeds.
- Sprint Drive First: Free Android app available to Sprint customers that automatically silences alerts and sends calls to voicemail while driving.
- Sprint Global Roaming: Get free, unlimited 2G data and text messaging when roaming in over 120 countries.
- Veterans Discount: Active duty and military veterans can receive 15% off of their monthly bill. This can be applied for in-person or online.
- Wi-Fi Connect Router: Available to customers with compatible devices, this free router is optimized to improve Sprint's Wi-Fi calling service.
Know of any bonus services that we didn't cover here? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line via social.