Using ads on a cell phone to save money

How much do you love saving money? Just think about it for a minute while I talk about a little discovery while shopping on Amazon (big surprise). I’m always on the lookout for a great deal and when I was searching for a cheap and unlocked phone, I found something just for Amazon Prime members.

You see, Amazon is so good at promoting products to get people to buy, but this one made me think more than it did wanting to buy. The reason?

You could only save by allowing ads and offers on the phone!

Interesting concept, so let’s talk about it and then take a moment to comment at the end of the article to let me know if you’d do this just to save a little money.

Would You Allow Ads Just to Save Money?

So, I’m a huge fan of unlocked phones. Ever since I got away from Verizon and their contracts, I’ve always purchased an unlocked phone. I like the freedom to choose where I spend my money. If the service isn’t great, I just take my phone and move to a new service. This is why I’ve been able to test out so many different cell phone plans. Right now I’m on Republic Wireless with an unlocked Moto Z Play. I love the phone and I love Republic even more. Nothing beats their WiFi calling. Over the past few years, I’ve tried over 15 services.

I’m just letting you know this to show that I love saving money. Heck, there is a huge portion of this site dedicated to helping people save more money. That being said, here is my question about buying something from Amazon and being told you can save money by taking an action.

The Prime Exclusive Moto G Phone

The Moto G is probably one of the best budget phones out there. I had one (before upgrading to the Moto Z Play) and it’s been great. My wife still uses her Moto G and it works. The best part is it is less than $200 out the door. This means no phone financing and no contracts to get a cheap phone. You buy it and you own it. Boom!

On Amazon, the Moto G is $179.99. That’s a great price.

But, Amazon does something special only for Prime members and that’s to discount the phone down to $129.99. Basically, you’re saving $50 off the phone. There is one catch though…At that price, there are ads and offers on the phone from Amazon. Basically, Amazon is giving you a $50 savings in order to advertise to you. I’m sure it would be other Amazon products and services and it’s only on the unlock screen, but how would you feel about that?

Here are two screenshots when you’re logged out of Amazon and when you’re logged in (as a Prime member)…

Moto G unlocked with no Amazon Prime


Moto G on Amazon without Amazon Prime

You’re probably wondering what lockscreen offers and ads even look like. Amazon does give you a little sneak peak and they just seem to be ads and offers for their services. Here’s an example screenshot provided by Amazon.

Amazon Prime exclusive lock screen ads

OK, so now you have an example of a lockscreen ad from Amazon. Now, back to the question at hand.

Would You Allow Ads on Your Phone to Save Money?

In full honesty, I probably wouldn’t allow this. The $50 is nice, but I think I would be tempted to spend more over the course of owning the phone. This would outweigh the benefits of the upfront savings. Amazon knows this and that’s why they offer it. Some people love the quick savings wins and I’m one of them. The problem is I know my strengths and weaknesses. Amazon shopping is definitely one of my weaknesses. They make is so darn easy these days. Most of my orders are delivered next day and some even the same day. It’s why I’m an Amazon Prime member and love their service.

But, I also love my money. My wife and I worked very hard to save over $180,000 since paying off our credit card debt and if I was tempted every day to spend money, I could see that going south. There are more important things in life than saving a little money. If I knew that Amazon wasn’t going to tempt me to spend on a daily basis, then I might go with it, but I know me and this would be bad.

I wanted to see if there are other services doing this same type of advertising and found that Boost Mobile has Dealz. It’s an app that will show you ads when you’re on your unlock screen. In return, Boost Mobile will give you $5 off your monthly bill. This could be appealing for some people in order to save $60 per year off their cell phone bill just by allowing a few ads on their unlock screen.

The software powering this (not sure if Amazon is using it) is from an Australian company called Unlockd. They provide cell phone carriers a way to show ads and consumers to save money by allowing those ads to be shown on their phones. It’s an interesting concept for sure, but not sure how many people actually would allow this.

How about you? What do you think you’d do in this situation?

Would you go for the instant $50 off on the phone at Amazon or would you just wait to buy the phone and save up the extra $50? Do you care if ads were shown on your phone while trying to unlock it? Would that drive you crazy?

So, saving money or being shown ads?

Would you allow ads on your phone to save money?

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  1. There’s no way I’d be able to constantly look at ads and not get annoyed 😀
    I’m not usually tempted by anything I know I don’t need, so unnecessary spending wouldn’t be a problem, but I’d rather spend the extra $50 and have an ad-free phone.
    I’m already dizzy from all the ‘normal’ notifications. I understand their marketing strategy (smart move, Amazon!), but no thanks!

    1. I agree, but I think they might tempt me with a few of their ads. Would have to stay strong, but at least I know my weakness, so this would be bad for me.

  2. It’s totally fine with the ads as long as it is a few, but if there are more and kinda affects the functionality. I’d better get rid of it. It’s either I change service provider or pay that amount.

    1. The ads are only on the lock screen, so once you get past the lock screen, there would be no ads. Changing providers (if you used the Amazon one), wouldn’t do anything as these are unlocked phones and can go to any provider, so changing wouldn’t affect the ads.