After two years, 1/3 of cell phone tariffs will be significantly more expensive

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Many cell phone tariffs are attractive in the first 24 months – thanks to new customer bonuses and reduced basic charges. But after the end of the minimum term, it’s not just the new customer benefits that fall away.

Is your tariff still cheap?

cell phone tariffs

I currently pay €12 per month for all domestic calls, text messages (in German: SMS) and 30 GB of data. At the end of the 2-year contract, it will be €20/month more. So I have to cancel in good time! This is a good tariff for me, because I only use it to make calls within Germany or in other EU countries. I only make calls abroad from Germany via WhatsApp.

After two years, 1/3 of cell phone tariffs become significantly more expensive

In every third cell phone tariff, the regular basic fee is increased from the 25th month – some even double. This is shown by a price analysis of 548 cell phone tariffs by the comparison portal Verivox.

Average price increase of 45% from the 25th month onwards

The price differences between the first 24 months and the period thereafter are sometimes drastic: 32% of the cell phone tariffs examined become more expensive after the end of the minimum contract period; on average, the monthly costs increase by 45% compared to the first 24 months. The tariff service is not increased, but remains the same. The increase also affects flex tariffs, which can be terminated on a monthly basis.

For 8% of tariffs, the price increase is even over 100%, including discount tariffs as well as individual Young tariffs from network operators. This results in a price increase of up to 55 euros per month – without taking into account new customer benefits such as lower basic charges in the first few months. If these were included, the price gap would widen even further. All tariff classes are affected, from small 3-gigabyte tariffs to unlimited flat rates.

“The price structure of many providers is clearly geared towards short-term customer acquisition,” says Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President Telecommunications at Verivox. “The calculation is that a large proportion of customers will not notice the changed price structure. There is often a lack of transparency: the presentation of one-off and recurring costs is not handled uniformly on the market.”

Network operator tariffs are more expensive, but more transparent

The network operators Telekom and O2 remain true to the one-off basic fee even after the 25th month. Only the special tariffs for young people do not include the Young bonus. At 1&1, the Young tariffs also remain as before from month 25. Vodafone communicates a special price in the first 24 months, which is then discontinued. However, the network operators have a significantly higher price level overall than mobile phone discounters: For tariffs for average users, the savings potential in the first 24 months is currently over 70 percent.

“Nobody should suddenly pay a higher price for the same service,” says Theumer. “And that’s not even necessary: thanks to a change in the law, customers can now get out of old and overly expensive contracts more quickly. These can no longer be automatically extended by a further 12 months, but can be terminated on a monthly basis after the minimum term.”

Important to know: When financing devices, consumers should pay attention to the small print: in three out of four cases, the hardware costs simply continue after the minimum term – even though the smartphone has already been paid off. On the other hand, buying the smartphone and tariff separately saves an average of 22% of the costs; at peak times, the savings even exceed 50%.


The regular monthly basic charges of 548 cell phone tariffs (network operators and discounters) incurred in the 1st-24th month of the contract were compared with the basic charges payable in the same tariffs from the 25th month (postpaid, 1-24 months minimum contract term; private customers, incl. Young tariffs). One-off charges and promotional prices are not included. Sources: Verivox database; provider websites. As at: 14.12.2023.

Calls abroad are a completely different matter

Calls abroad are in Germany very expensive – but special SIMs are helping!

Be careful with cell phone calls abroad!

You can call France with your cell phone for 3 cents (+15 cents one-off connection fee) or for 199 cents per minute. So if you make a lot of calls abroad, it may be worth getting a second SIM or switching at all. The analysis of your phone bill should tell you that!

You can find the costs for calls abroad at teltarif, for example:

Important to know: The German word for cell phone is Handy!

This article appeared firstly on Gourmet-Report/blog

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