Teacher Cell Phone Discounts Available on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile

iPhone vs. Windows Mobile Samsung i760
One nice discovery from my cell phone free agency process was to find out that teachers get monthly discounts on their cell phone plans.  I cannot believe that I have taught for 11 years (5 private, 6 public) and have been paying full price for all of them!  Perhaps, I am the last one to find out, but if not, here's the deal:

Nearly all of the major cell phone carriers offer a discount to teachers on their monthly cell phone services.  They generally range between 10-20 percent off the total bill.  I've been told that this may also apply to family plans, as one teacher said that she pays just $10-20 each month to her mom for her cell phone!  Considering that I get data as well, my cell phone bill was usually $90/month and I know others easily break the century mark.  With a 10-20 percent discount, that can quickly add up to major savings each month.  If you're not already getting a discount, I highly recommend you consult your current carrier to see how you can start saving now.

I have heard of savings through NEA, but I was unable to find anything on their member benefits website.  For the following carriers, I tried to find direct online links (click on Verizon and AT&T), but it may be best to call the carrier's local store directly, not an authorized retailer, or just stop by the store in person.  You'll likely need your school id card and possibly a recent pay stub.  

Verizon (18%) - I went with "Big V" after announcing on "The Decision."  I had no problems arranging for my discount when I went to the Verizon store (North Ave. - great service from Ms. C).  They just took a picture of my school ID card and sent me on my way. I'll be super happy (about the discount) once I see my first bill.  

AT&T (up to 15%) - Given how frugal I can be at times, it's hard to imagine that I went 2 years with the iPhone and I had no idea that I could have been saving 15% a month.  With a monthly bill of $90, that would have translated to close to $300 saved over the course of the contract.  On the flyer I received at ISTE, the fine print states that the discount is available to those with a "qualified business agreement", so punch in that email or check the store directly. Not a teacher? Looks like AT&T offers a 15% discount to participating unions, so check here as well. The list appears extensive.

Sprint (up to 15-18%) - At ISTE, I got to play around with the HTC EVO 4G.  Fresh off learning about AT&T's discount, I asked Sprint if they did the same.  The representatives answered an enthusiastic "yes", and told me to call directly.  I have read that Sprint often has competitive rate plans, so with one of the hottest Android phones, a potentially lower rate plan, and a teacher discount on top of all that, you have a very competitive option.  

T-Mobile (15% - see comment below) - Updated 1/19/11: A reader has posted a 15% discount on new 2-year contracts. I don't know much about what T-Mobile has to offer discount-wise other than what I see on a few forums. Performance wise, I do see the carrier near the top of cellular service in many areas, and they still have the G1 phone (try it with some Froyo!), myTouch, and the newly released Samsung Vibrant (their Galaxy variant) in the arsenal.  

So, there you have it.  If you're paying full price for your cell phone plan, and you're educating the minds of our youth, check to see if you can save a few bucks each month.  Feel free to leave a comment if you have any additional savings tips or insights on cell phones for educators.

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d.mc said…
I called up T-Mobile today to find out their policy. They will give you a 15% discount, but you need to agree to a new, 2 year contract for it to take effect.
chanatown said…
d.mc: thanks for the info - I added this into the main article. I'll be updating this post periodically, so feel free to send any updates to me directly or via comments.

Xochitl-Julisa said…
Verizon doesn't give teacher discounts, they give discounts to teachers who work at a school that has an exclusive contract with Verizon. Essentially, they are giving discounts for contracts, not to award teachers' services.

I was told I could get a teaching discount, but a week after I applied, I was denied. After dealing with a customer service rep and a marketing rep, it finally came out that I was ineligible because my small private school had no contract with Verizon and then the marketing rep tried to sell me on getting the school to sign up.

I think it is incredibly unethical to call a contract discount a teacher discount.
chanatown said…
I'm sorry to hear that you had this negative experience.

I do not think that my school has an exclusive contract with Verizon, but it is a large, public school, so that could have played a role.

Does anyone else have successes/failures in securing discounts from Verizon? Specifically, anyone working in a private school? I'll publish your comment and/or edit the article as needed.

s stauff said…
Verizon's discount has nothing to do with a contract. I was given a discount based on being a government employee. Private school teachers are not government employees.
s stauff said…
Verizon doesn't give teacher discounts. They give discounts to government employees. Private schoolteachers are not government employees.
chanatown said…
Thanks for the comment - if anyone has any contradictory evidence regarding private school teachers getting a discount, please let me know, and I'll post.
Anonymous said…
T-Mobile also does not give a discount for private school teachers. I just phoned to ask.
Kendra said…
ATT gives a "contract discount". They gave me the discount when I signed up (I teach public school), then a month or two later, they charged me for all the discounts they had given, upped my bill, and said it was a mistake. By then I had already bought an iphone and they were the only provider. Suck.

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