If you’re like many of us here at Gadgetell, you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Palm Pre on June 6. You may also be wondering if you can even afford to dump your current wireless provider and make the jump to Sprint with the Pre. BillShrink.com will lay out the cold, hard numbers on what it will cost you to switch providers without much effort on your part. The site also takes your current cellphone plan and usage patterns and compares them against other available plans to see if there is a better fit for you. Keep in mind that the Palm Pre may only have certain plans available when it’s rolled out on the 6th of June, 2009.
How to find a better wireless deal
When you first go to the site, select “Cell phone plans” to get started. You have the option of estimating your cellular usage information or importing your last cellphone bill. The import option provides a more detailed breakdown of your usage, which the site displays using some colorful pie charts and bar graphs. You get a breakdown of your usage on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, as well as a breakdown of your popular contacts by number and by carrier.
All that juicy usage data gets churned into a list of plans (voice plan plus any needed add-ons) that will give you the coverage you need at a better price. Well, most of the time – you might already have the best plan for you. The results can be filtered by compatible phones, plan type (standard and prepaid), and carrier.
Each plan is assigned a ShrinkScore (savings + signal strength). The “savings” score takes into account the amount of time left on your current contract and applicable cancellation fees. You’ll see your total savings over the new contract period, which is usually 1 or 2 years, and how much you’ll pay a month. The “signal strength” score takes into account the average signal strength for each carrier in your work and home locations. If you are really into the details, you can click “How is this calculated” for every plan presented to see how the monthly price is arrived at, how the plan’s coverage compares to your average usage, and the “Commute score,” which rates signal strength for your daily commute.
How this will help you decide about Sprint
If you are lusting for the Palm Pre, but you’re not with Sprint, this site will help you see the real costs of making the jump. Just click the Sprint option to see only the Sprint plans in your results. You’ll easily be able to see if Sprint plans will save you or cost you in the long run. The site isn’t clear on whether the price of the phone is included, so you’ll need to take that into account. Another bonus of using the site is that you’ll save time by not having to go through all the plans and options on Sprint’s website and comparing it to your own carrier.
Save on gas and find a better credit card, too
While you’re at the site, you can also check out Gas Advisor Beta and Credit Card Advisor. Gas Advisor finds you a good deal on gas based upon your work and home locations, the make and model of your car, and how much you put into your tank at one time (i.e., $10, full or half tank). Credit Card Advisor takes your top three spending categories, whether you pay offf your bill each month, and what type of reward program you prefer, then shows you what cards might earn you more rewards and give you lower interest rates.
One last thing
You can create a free account at BillShrink.com so that you can receive e-mail updates when the site finds a new deal for you. The site’s tools make finding out ways to save money really easy, and even a little bit fun. Even if you’re not thinking about switching to the Palm Pre, I still recommend taking a look. You might be surprised to find a more cost-effective plan, or a better deal on gas, that will keep a few extra dollars in your pocket.