Updated: Jan 8, 2022
They lure you in like a fisherman uses bait to catch a fish. Once you bite, you may be in for an unpleasant bill—after the welcome offer has expired. Who are we talking about? Your cable & internet service provider!
All opinions and reviews expressed herein are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or approved by any credit card issuer, airline, bank, hotel chain, or other entity. Some of the credit card offers and links appearing in this article are from companies from which we may receive commission or a referral bonus when you click on the link. You do not need to use our links but we appreciate it when you do—it helps support our website!
Cable & Internet Service Providers
AT&T, Spectrum, Xfinity, Cox Communications, WOW!—these are some well-known cable & internet service providers within the United States. Whatever provider you have, one thing is certain—they want your business and your money.
When selecting a cable & internet provider, it is important to look at the big picture. Don't fall into the trap of seeing the tree but not the forest. Shortsightedness can turn into a bad financial decision. Let's face it—with inflation on the rise, it is important to make choices that allow us to keep more money in our bank account(s).
Let's now discuss three easy—but effective—ways you can substantially lower your cable & internet bill. These steps work and will save me over $500 this year alone!
1. Purchase Your Own Modem and Router
Your cable & internet service provider will generally provide you with a modem and router—for a monthly fee. They may also charge an additional fee to protect the equipment.
For example, my internet service provider—WOW!—used to charge me $10 per month to lease their modem. I also noticed on a recent Invoice that they improperly attempted to charge me $5 per month for their Service Protection Plan; this was unneeded as I did not use any of their equipment.
Paying an extra $15 per month may not seem like a lot. But, it does equate to $180 per year. That would be $900 over five years! That is one reason buying your own modem and router can result in significant savings over time.
"A lot of expenses can be reduced by adopting the 'pay now' mentality. Paying later often results in paying more."
I went that route in March of 2019. I purchased a high-quality Netgear Orbi WiFi Cable Modem Router (CBR40) for $300. It has awesome features and has been a great modem router combo! I need a top-notch router—I have over 50 devices to connect!
I have owned my Netgear Orbi for around 34 months. Paying WOW! $15 per month—for 34 months—would be $510. Hence, I have saved over $200 by purchasing my own modem router combo! Every year that I keep my Netgear Orbi will result in saving an additional $180 versus what I would pay WOW! It is easy to see the logic of buying your own modem router combo.
2. Contact Your Cable & Internet Service Provider When Your Bill Increases
It is frustrating when you get your cable & internet bill and see that it has increased from the last one. Your cable & internet service provider is hoping that you do not notice. Sometimes we don't. But, for those of us who are meticulous about our finances, we are paying attention.
An old fashioned telephone call will often result in your bill being lowered. For example, I noticed that my internet bill increased by around $15. I knew what had to be done—something I have been doing for almost 20 years. I contacted my internet service provider—WOW!—and explained to them that I was planning on canceling their service because of the price increase. The customer service representative commented that I had been a loyal customer since 2003—and lowered my bill by $35 per month! She guaranteed the rate for 12 months.
This one telephone call—that took less than 15 minutes—will save me around $400 this year alone! Granted, with our busy schedules, it can be aggravating to make this type of phone call on a regular basis. Nevertheless, with practice, you can get it down to a science, and it becomes a relatively easy process.
Keep these points in mind when you place your call:
If you are open to canceling your service, be sure to talk to the cancelation department. Oftentimes, they have a dedicated department designed to keep you as a customer; this means you typically can have your bill reduced. The best deal you can receive may very well depend if they think you will be leaving them to go to their competitor.
Treat the customer service representative in a kind and dignified manner. Raising your voice or becoming irate may implode the desired outcome. On the contrary, being respectful and mild may make it easier to negotiate a better rate.
Understand your bill! Take time to understand the itemized charges on your monthly statement. Knowledge is power. Are you being billed for services that you don't need? Be sure to get those removed.
Research their competitors. If you can get the same/ similar service from one of their competitors for substantially less, bring it up to the representative. They may attempt to match the rate or come as close to it as they can.
I have been with WOW! for almost 20 years for a reason. Not only do they have great rates compared to their competitors, but I have always been able to work with them to lower my bill. If WOW! is in your area, and you click here, you will get a $100 Visa® Reward Card for signing up!
3. Use the Right Credit Card
Do you use a debit card to pay your cable & internet bill? If you do, you are leaving money on the table. Learn more about why this is so in the following post: Why You Lose Money When Using a Debit Card.
Many credit cards earn miles & points when paying cable & internet service providers. Not all are created equal.
I vacillate between three different credit cards: Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. An exception would be when I am working on meeting a sign-up bonus. The sign-up bonus almost always is better than the bonus categories!
In 2020 and 2021, Chase had internet and cable as a 5X bonus quarterly category for the Chase Freedom Flex℠. I suspect it will also be a quarterly category in 2022—and will use my Chase Freedom Flex℠ to earn 5X Ultimate Rewards® during that quarter. This is a very powerful no-annual-fee credit card and has an awesome sign-up bonus right now. You can apply for this card here! Also, feel free to learn more about this card in the following post: Chase Freedom Flex—A Remarkable No Annual Fee Card!
If I am trying to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards®—and Chase does not have cable & internet as an active bonus category—I will use my Chase Freedom Unlimited® to earn 1.5X Ultimate Rewards®. This card is part of the "Chase Trifecta" and has a great sign-up bonus right now that includes grocery stores as a bonus category for the first year! You can apply for this card here! Learn more about this card in the following post: Chase Freedom Unlimited—Don't Miss Out on This Card!
Right now, I am trying to increases my Capital One Venture miles. As a result, I am using my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to earn 2X Venture miles. The reason I am trying to increase my stash of Venture miles is because of Turkish Miles&Smiles loyalty program! Turkish Airlines is a transfer partner of Capital One and they have some amazing sweet spots!
I typically will use my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card for non-bonus category spend. With unlimited 2X miles, a 60,000 miles welcome bonus, a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, it is a great card to have! You can also apply for this card here! Learn more about this card in the following post: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card—Simple But Powerful!
Everyone has their own "custom" spending habits. Therefore, selecting the right credit card is a personal decision. Wouldn't it be great if there was a "custom" calculator that generated a value based upon your spending habits?
There is! AwardYourMiles has developed a Miles & Points Calculator. Select the credit card and enter the amount of money you spend on average per month in the corresponding category. It will calculate the following:
The monetary value of your first and second years using the credit card; and
The miles/ points generated from your spend.
AwardYourMiles has also developed a Credit Card Selector Calculator. It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of each credit card in your first year of use!
The Bottom Line
Saving money on your cable & internet bill takes work and effort. For most of us, it is worth the time. Learning how to save money and increase your credit card rewards will go a long way in reducing your stress and making your money stretch farther. Learning how to do this in other areas of your life will multiply the results.
With practice, persistence, and patience you can be successful in reducing your cable & internet bill!