Customers can save more than half the cost of a cell phone tariff by switching from a contract to a prepaid tariff. With the same performance, this brings in hundreds of euros a year.

Telecom customers who want to save more than 200 euros a year in times of high inflation without giving up anything should compare their mobile phone contract with an equivalent prepaid solution. As the comparison portal Verivox has calculated, customers with the MagentaMobil XS tariff save 225.05 euros a year by switching to MagentaMobil Prepaid L: Both tariffs offer the same speed and five gigabytes of data volume per month, but the prepaid option only costs 14. 95 euros for four weeks; the contract strikes at 34.95 euros per month. Calculated over a year, contract customers pay around 54 percent more without getting anything out of it. The long contractual commitment even makes it difficult for them to switch.

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Customers save a similar amount in other networks: With Vodafone, the prepaid option costs only 165.01 euros or 46 percent less for a comparable amount of data, but with six instead of five gigabytes it even offers a little more mobile surfing freedom. At O2, the percentage savings are comparable.

Verivox advises customers to pay more attention to these savings options when choosing a tariff than, for example, to the price of the mobile phone supplied. Anyone looking for the cheapest possible iPhone usually concludes contracts that are too expensive, from which only the providers benefit.

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In addition, customers should not overestimate the data volume they need, Verivox advises: Because our cell phones often dial into WiFi at work, at home or at school, customers usually need fewer mobile gigabytes than they think. Anyone who books ten gigabytes, although they only need five, gives away around five euros every month.

That’s why it’s worth taking a look at the little-known, because hardly advertised, prepaid tariffs. All major network operators offer these. Customers conveniently top up their credit using an app, text message or code from the supermarket instead of using the cumbersome scratch cards used in the past. According to Verivox expert Verena Blöcher, anyone who opts for the automatic extension, which is also available, gets “the convenience of a contract tariff and still remains completely flexible.”

The prepaid trick is unsuitable for frequent surfers: the supply of prepaid cards decreases from a data volume of 15 gigabytes per month. If you want to pull a gigabyte or more from the mobile network every day, you have to continue to use contracts. According to Verivox, normal users who consume around five gigabytes a month save the most.

Verivox also advises caution with prepaid offers from discounters. Although they are often cheaper than those from Telekom, O2 and Vodafone, they usually offer lower speeds. This could slow you down if you want to watch videos on the go. The big providers, on the other hand, usually deliver the modern 5G network even with prepaid tariffs.

“All three network operators now also offer high surfing speeds of up to 500 megabits per second in the prepaid sector,” says Verivox expert Bloche. “This is a clear advantage over discount providers, who often only allow 50 Mbit/s or less. Even the new 5G network can be used in many prepaid tariffs.”

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