Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Prepaid Phone Service Review - Some Amazing Deals

Prepaid cell phones have evolved in recent months. They used to be considerably more expensive than contract plans, but have now dropped their prices and are a viable option for many.

Below is a list I compiled of the best current prepaid services. I've included the relevant links for more information and, where applicable, possible methods of further lowering the price.

Think of your typical cell phone usage and calculate which prepaid service matches your needs. Keep in mind that although all information is current at time of publishing, prices may have likely changed by the time you are reading this.
  • Net10
    This plan is excellent for short term use or if you use only a couple hundred minutes a month.

    It has a starting price of under 4 cents a minute, which lasts for up to 600 minutes and 4 months. Beyond that, it is 10 cents a minute, which is not that cheap, unless you get a new phone every time your minutes either finish or expire.

    Using the current promotion, the total is under $24, after taxes and shipping. For that price, you get a phone, 600 minutes and a leather accessory kit.

    • Click Here (or Fatwallet for 10% cashback and MrRebates for 15%)
    • Enter your zip code.
    • Choose the LG300 that has a picture of a 300 minute card next to it, for $30. Note: If it doesn't have a picture of a 300 minute card next to the phone, you won't get the extra 300 minute card!
    • Enter the following coupon codes: 44477, 34567 and 88125 88121.

    The accessory kit will automatically be added to your cart, and the total should be $22. Choose the $4.95 shipping. Don't worry, the shipping will come off at checkout.
  • Pure Talk USA
    You can order a phone with 150 minutes included for $10. Choose the free phone located towards the bottom of the page. Great for real short term use. More on Fatwallet.

  • PagePlusCellular
    PagePlusCellular.com
    Costs $29.95 a month for 1200 minutes and 1200 texts. There is also an unlimited plan for $39.95.

    It works on Verizon network so it there is good coverage. You can either get a PagePlus phone, or use any Verizon phone. If you buy a Verizon Prepaid, don't activate it on the Verizon network, activate it only on PagePlus. (See here for more details.) Activate the phone easily through KittyWireless (A PagePlus dealer).

    Update February 2010: Verizon has locked all their prepaid phones, so they cannot be used with PagePlus. Be aware. Click here to check any ESN to see if it can be activated on PagePlus.

    Any time you add money, it extends your minutes by four months. You cannot extend it to more than four months in the future.

    Note: You can get the monthly cards even cheaper from PagePlusDirect.com (A PagePlusCellular dealer).
    More on Slickdeals and Fatwallet.

  • Straight Talk
    $30 a month for 1,000 minutes and texts. $45 for unlimited talk and text. Taxes are added to the total, unlike most prepaid phones, which include taxes in the advertised price.
    This service runs on Verizon network. Straight Talk branded phones are necessary and are available at Walmart and Straighttalk.com
    Every time you add $30, the month and the minutes reset. This differs from PagePlus, above, which waits until the end of the month before extending service for another month. More on Slickdeals.

  • MetroPCS
    $30 a month for unlimited minutes. Cell phone reception is limited to specific metropolitan areas and people complain about the quality. Click here for their promotion page. It seems that you need to buy their phone.

  • T-Mobile
    Last year, when I wrote a review on T-Mobile Prepaid, it was the best deal around. But now, with prices lower with other companies, I only recommend this service if you want to keep the phone for a long time and rarely use it. For example, it's great if you live abroad but want a cell phone when visiting the US.
    Once you add $100, every $10 will extend your minutes by a year.
    Click here, or get 35% cashback with Bing.com - search for "t-mobile". Or $9 with BigCrumbs.

  • Low Income Households
    Check AssuranceWireless and SafelinkWireless.

8 comments:

Levi said...

T-Mobile 35% BCB

Anonymous said...

What about ATT? They also have an unlimited deal.

Shmuly - BuyRightSpendLess.com said...

I didn't see anything really good from ATT. If you see something, please post a comment.

Yonah said...

I activated Page Plus at a store. They gave me a number to call for customer service to complete the activation. I have not been able to reach customer service to complete the activation for over a week. I sent a support request through their website and they still have not gotten back to me.

Shmuly - BuyRightSpendLess.com said...

Waiting on the phone for customer service can be a real pain, but once they pick up they should be able to help you. Why did you need to call them to complete activation? You can also just activate online as well.

Yonah said...

When activated in the store (we thought it would be quicker) that is what they told us to do. Also, it's not as if there was a holding pattern , the phone number when called said "all circuits are busy now" and then hung up. Even now, it is just giving me a busy signal.

Shmuly - BuyRightSpendLess.com said...

When their lines fill up, that's what happens. I was just able to get through, try redialing a few times.

Yonah said...

Finally got through. now have three lines with them, though it is still hard to get through. Once I got through though they were helpful although succinct.

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