June 17, 2008

Pre paid cell phone service

With cell phone systems nowadays you're usually paying $30 or 40 a month minimum. If you don't use your service that much then you might be able to save some money by switching to a pre-paid cell phone plan. Generally the prepaid plans charge you $0.10 to $0.25 cents per minute Some plans have no regular monthly charge and some have a $1 daily fee or a monthly access fee.

T-mobile pay as you go plans : $1 / day fee with free nights from 7pm to 7am and $0.10 per minute charge for other times. OR bulk minutes at rates from $10 for 30 minutes to $100 for 1000 minutes. $3.33 monthly minimum using a $10 card for 3 months, Phones starting at $40 with 10 minutes

AT&T plans: 25¢/min or 10¢/min + $1.00/day, includes rollover minutes, $8.33 monthly min using $25 card for 3 months. Phones starting at $25 including $25 airtime

Verizon plan : $0.99 / day + 10¢/min, $8.33 monthly minimum using $100 card for a year. Phones starting at $60 with $10 airtime

Tracfone plans: They also have double minutes cards you can buy for a phone to double any minutes you buy for that phone. Bulk minute card plans at rates of $0.18 to $0.33 per minute. $6.67 monthly minimum using $20 card for 3 months. Phones starting at $15

Generally it looks to me as if T-mobile & AT&T have the better plans overall. T-mobile's per minute costs are pretty reasonable when paying by the minute. AT&T has a cheap phone cost if you're using a $1/day plan.

For very infrequent calling:
If you use 10-30 minutes per month then the $10 cards from T-mobile would probably be your best deal. You could spend $10 for 3 months and have 10 minutes a month to use.

For evening calling:
If you only use your phone in the evening then one of the $1/day plans from T-mobile or AT&T would probably work very well. For example if you make evening calls 2 days a week then you would pay $8 / month roughly. But if you make much of any daytime calls then these plans don't work well. Daytime minutes are $0.10 each which can add up quick.

If you're using 250 or more daytime minutes then you'll come out ahead with a cheap monthly plan. However, if you call infrequently and/or call in evenings only then a prepaid plan could end up saving you some money.

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