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What is the best / Cheapest Prepaid Cell phone Plan?
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OG1


 
Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 23:28 pm    Post subject: What is the best / Cheapest Prepaid Cell phone Plan? Reply with quote

What is the best / Cheapest Prepaid Cell phone Plan?

What is a cheap and reliable prepaid cell phone?
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richc46


 
Joined: 16 Apr 2001
Posts: 830
Location: Connecticut, Fairfield County

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 0:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For about 3 years, I have been using trac phone. Cost me $30.00 for an excellent phone and $20 every 3 months. This plan is for 60 minutes.
It costs every 3 months, for extra minutes or whenever you need minutes.
I get more than enough minutes for 3 months with each purchase.
 http://www.tracfone.com/ 
With most purchaes of phones, you get a double minutes for life for each minutes purchase.
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Lost

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Joined: 30 Jan 2003
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Location: boston,ma

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 0:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T-mobile


$10
/Refill
30 minutes of talk
Messaging (Text): 5¢ to receive, 10¢ to send
Picture, Video: 25¢ to receive and send
Availability: 90 Days

 http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/prepaid-plans.aspx 

10$ for 90 days . Phone if you do not talk much 30 minutes

check coverage though
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xtgold


 
Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:17 am    Post subject: free Reply with quote

free if you are on the edge of poverty.
 http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/Welcome.aspx 
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richc46


 
Joined: 16 Apr 2001
Posts: 830
Location: Connecticut, Fairfield County

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I add, regarding TracPhone, the service and quality is excellent. I dont know their provider arrangments, but my service is actually ATT.
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Boz

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Joined: 21 Feb 2001
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends on how much and how you are going to use it.

 PagePlus  (Verizon Network)
You can maintain a phone number and service for as little as $2.50 for each 120 days. They have a variety of refill card values and prepaid "plans" available. If you buy the 2,000 minute refill cards, which don't expire for a year, they have the cheapest voice rates. I have used them for about 10 years. You can use any new or used Verizon post-paid phone, including all smart phones except Blackberry, or they sell new and refurbished phones. I currently use a Samsung Omnia i910 Windows Mobile phone, using wi-fi for almost 100% of my data needs.

 PlatinumTel  (Sprint Network)
PlatinumTel has lowered their rates. They have a variety of refill card values and prepaid "plans" available. They sell a variety of new and refurbished phones, including a refurb  SAMSUNG TOUCHSCREEN M800  for free (coupon code TSFREE) if you buy a $100 card with a 1 year expiration. I don't know if you can use old Sprint phones. It looks like they have the cheapest prepaid texting and data usage rates available for occasional use without a prepaid "plan", and their voice minute cost is also very reasonable. I don't know much about this company, but if I ever start texting or using data more, it might be worth it for me to at least consider the service. Here are some other coupon codes I came across, but I don't know if there are expiration dates. •RP50PRO200FREE: Get a Sanyo PRO200 Free with purchase of $50 on Real Paygo •PTGIMME10: 10% off any phone+airtime order •PT100GIMME15: 15% off phone+airtime order over $100

I can personally vouch for the reliability and true value of PagePlus. PlatinumTel may be just as good, and there is no question that their rates are very attractive, but I have no personal experience with them.
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EasyE


 
Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 13:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my understanding, you can bring your old Sprint MVNO prepaid phone for use on Platinumtel provided you can get a code from your old provider.

You are right though in that what is best/cheapest for someone depends on how much they call, text, and consume data every month. Plus, the intended calling area must be adequate using that network's prepaid coverage. Some areas might have acceptable coverage on only one network which naturally reduces your options. Also note that many of the prepaid providers compete based on price, so they are not known for great customer service.
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digger

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Joined: 29 Mar 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lost wrote:
T-mobile


$10
/Refill
30 minutes of talk
Messaging (Text): 5¢ to receive, 10¢ to send
Picture, Video: 25¢ to receive and send
Availability: 90 Days

Also, after your first $100, all refills are good for a year, even the $10 refills. Of course, if you don't talk much it might take 3 years for spend your first $100
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Boz

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 20:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...what will the purpose of the phone be, OG1?

If a friend or family member has an old Verizon or Sprint phone that they will give you, PagePlus or PlatinumTel would be the cheapest to get started with.

Another very attractive plan, depending on your needs, is the Virgin Mobile $25 Beyond Talk plan with UNLIMITED text, e-mail, data and web, and 300 voice minutes per month. That price is good for every phone they sell, including their Android smart phones. The phones on their website cost between $50 and $200. Service for Blackberries costs $10 extra per month. Virgin Mobile uses Sprint's CDMA network.
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OG1


 
Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 1193

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 22:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure. However, I am the last guy in NJ without a cell phone so i feel left out especially when people ask me for my cell #. I am between jobs so I have limited use for a cell at this time.

I am leaning towards getting a new Sanyo Pro 200 with a $10 - 90 day PlatinumTel card with a $12 discount net cost $27.99 for 200 minutes because it is only $0.05/min but minutes expire in one year if unused.

Any thoughts? What about the FREE Samsung Instinct M800 with $100 - 365 day card (2000 min.)?

Which is the better deal?
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bruce bailey

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One question. If I get one of these cheapo plans and someone sends me an unwanted text or message, do I get docked for the minutes? I would only use the thing for maybe an hour a month at most.
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richc46


 
Joined: 16 Apr 2001
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Location: Connecticut, Fairfield County

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, unfortunately you will get charged.
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OG1


 
Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bruce bailey wrote:
One question. If I get one of these cheapo plans and someone sends me an unwanted text or message, do I get docked for the minutes? I would only use the thing for maybe an hour a month at most.


Only $0.02 with PlatinumTel versus $0.05 to $0.10 per text with other prepaid cell plans.
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Boz

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 13:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I was starting over, I might give PlatinumTel a try, and I'd probably give it a try the cheapest way possible, just to make sure the service works well for you before investing a lot into it. So if you can't get a free used phone from a friend or family member, that Sanyo Pro 200 sounds like a good way to start.

Since I have a decent phone using PagePlus that I got from a friend after she switched phones at the end of her two year contract, I think I'll wait until that phone wears out. Then I will definitely consider trying PlatinumTel if this Real Paygo plan is still available.
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EasyE


 
Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 14:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OG1 wrote:
[..]
I am leaning towards getting a new Sanyo Pro 200 with a $10 - 90 day PlatinumTel card with a $12 discount net cost $27.99 for 200 minutes because it is only $0.05/min but minutes expire in one year if unused.


Just to be clear: If you do not use up all the minutes on a $10 card within 90 days, then you can refill (minimum $10 every 90 days) so those unused minutes will rollover. Unused minutes purchased with cards under $100 will expire after 1 year even if you keep refilling. The unused minutes on a $100 card do not expire provided you keep refilling. Also, be aware that Platinumtel charges a 50 cent monthly fee.
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Itzenuff


 
Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 66
Location: Twin Cities MN.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 23:11 pm    Post subject: Net-10 Reply with quote

Personally I like net-10 this service has worked well with no surprises at 10 cents per min and 5 cents per text.. I have a good basic gsm phone that proven to be durable which is all I really need right now although my next one would be bluetooth capable so I can answer calls without digging it outta my pocket on the road. Maybe pictures and video if the cameras are decent by the time I upgrade or this phone breaks. But the best part is that I'm under no pressure to to change up to the latest and greatest unless I want to. idea
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Boz

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 15:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let us know what you decide to do, OG1.
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OG1


 
Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 1193

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 21:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boz wrote:
Let us know what you decide to do, OG1.


Since my need is not immediate, I have not made a decision yet. I have narrowed down to PagePlus and PlatinumTel.

If I go with PlatinumTel I will get a New Sany Pro 200 ($29.95) + $10 top off card applying a 25% discount and geting a Free BlueTooth - Cost $29.95.

Ifr I go with PagePage, I already have a good used work Verizon LG VX5200 phone. I found a PagePlus dealer that will activate the phone online for Free and purchase an initial $10 card - Cost $10.00.

Over the long term, PlatinumTel is cheaper to use but PagePlus is even cheaper to maintain if you do not use it at all!

There is my problem - which???
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Boz

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to add a new card to Pageplus every 120 days in order to keep your account active, so, as mentioned, it would cost approximately $2.50 per month to keep it active and available to use. If you buy an $80 card, the expiration is one year. Unused minutes roll over forever as long as you add a new card every 120 days, or before the year is up for the $80 card. As long as your LG VX5200 was not originally a PREPAID Verizon phone, it should work fine. This would be the cheapest startup cost option.

I'm not clear on the PlatinumTel expiration dates.
 http://platinumtel.com/plans/realpaygo  wrote:
Airtime Expiration: For the $10, $20, $30, and $50 plans, airtime carries over for a full year from the date it is loaded onto the account. For the $100 plan, airtime does not expire and carries over until depleted.
But there is a chart that states:
 http://platinumtel.com/plans/realpaygo  wrote:
Plan $10 / $20 / $30 / $50 / $100
How Long? 90 days / 90 days / 180 days / 180 days / 365 days
So, for instance, does a $10 card expire after 90 days only if you don't add another card before the 90th day, but also in a year if you don't use it up? So in other words, is the least expensive way to keep the account active $10 every 90 days, or approximately $3.33 per month?

It sounds like a toss-up.

PagePlus would only cost you $10 to get started using your existing phone, the minimum to keep your account active is less, but it costs more to actually use the service.

PlatinumTel will only cost you $29.95 to get started, including getting a new phone, and even though it would cost a little more to keep your service active, it is cheaper to use if you actually use it very much.

Maybe you could start with PagePlus, and if your usage exceeds what you anticipate over the first 120 days, then you could switch to PlatinumTel.
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OG1


 
Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 1193

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boz wrote:
You have to add a new card to Pageplus every 120 days in order to keep your account active, so, as mentioned, it would cost approximately $2.50 per month to keep it active and available to use. If you buy an $80 card, the expiration is one year. Unused minutes roll over forever as long as you add a new card every 120 days, or before the year is up for the $80 card. As long as your LG VX5200 was not originally a PREPAID Verizon phone, it should work fine. This would be the cheapest startup cost option.

I'm not clear on the PlatinumTel expiration dates.
[..]

But there is a chart that states: [..]

So, for instance, does a $10 card expire after 90 days only if you don't add another card before the 90th day, but also in a year if you don't use it up? So in other words, is the least expensive way to keep the account active $10 every 90 days, or approximately $3.33 per month?

It sounds like a toss-up.

PagePlus would only cost you $10 to get started using your existing phone, the minimum to keep your account active is less, but it costs more to actually use the service.

PlatinumTel will only cost you $29.95 to get started, including getting a new phone, and even though it would cost a little more to keep your service active, it is cheaper to use if you actually use it very much.

Maybe you could start with PagePlus, and if your usage exceeds what you anticipate over the first 120 days, then you could switch to PlatinumTel.


A good idea. I never thought of that. Indeed, PlatinumTel unused "rollover" minutes expire one year from the date installed on the phone.
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