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View Full Version : Tired of paying for unused minutes!


Mai Ku Tiki
07-31-2009, 07:33 PM
Anyone have suggestions for PAY AS YOU GO or other inexpensive phone plans? We currently pay about $77 p/mo which is a WASTE of $$$ for us since we get 700 min p/mo & only use about 10 of them!! Besides, we'd would rather give our hard-earned money to DISNEY:goodvibes
I guess I'm even ready for the JITTERBUG but the phones themselves are $149!!! We NEVER use our phones-I know-we're weird! :rotfl:Really only want them for emergencies....How can we save $$$?????

bigbabyblues
07-31-2009, 08:02 PM
I have had a Tracfone for about 2 years and haven't had any problems. I rarely use it, but I think it's $20 or $25 every three months to buy minutes for it, and the phone itself was $12.99 at Walmart. I can't remember how many minutes I get for that, I know it came with a "double minutes for life" thing when we bought it, and the minutes rollover if they aren't used and you buy more before they expire. There are different amounts you can buy too, I buy the least.

SandrA9810
07-31-2009, 08:13 PM
Do you use only 10 minutes a month?? Or is there only 10 minutes being deducted from your minutes used.
We have AT&T with rollover, and while we never reach 750 min even with 4 phone lines, A LOT of minutes are used through nights and weekends and mobile to mobile. And if you go with a pay as you go phone, well then you have to pay for those minutes as well.

Many companies offer pay as you go, including AT&T... so look into if your carrier offers pay as you go, and if they do, you can use your current phone for it as well. And works the other way around. I've lost my phone before, and instead of spending a 100$ to replace it, I bought a 20$ go phone through AT&T, called with the new sim card number and wa-la new phone for my line.

Usually if you buy more upfront, the cost per minute goes down. So if you only buy say 100 minutes it'll cost you 15 cents a minute, but if you opt for say 500 minutes up front, then the cost is like 10 cents a minute. As least that's how it works for some phones.

1PrincessMomma1
07-31-2009, 08:23 PM
:thumbsup2I have had a Tracfone for about 2 years and haven't had any problems. I rarely use it, but I think it's $20 or $25 every three months to buy minutes for it, and the phone itself was $12.99 at Walmart. I can't remember how many minutes I get for that, I know it came with a "double minutes for life" thing when we bought it, and the minutes rollover if they aren't used and you buy more before they expire. There are different amounts you can buy too, I buy the least.

What they said!!!

Mai Ku Tiki
07-31-2009, 08:26 PM
Do you use only 10 minutes a month?? Or is there only 10 minutes being deducted from your minutes used.
We have AT&T with rollover, and while we never reach 750 min even with 4 phone lines, A LOT of minutes are used through nights and weekends and mobile to mobile. And if you go with a pay as you go phone, well then you have to pay for those minutes as well.

Many companies offer pay as you go, including AT&T... so look into if your carrier offers pay as you go, and if they do, you can use your current phone for it as well. And works the other way around. I've lost my phone before, and instead of spending a 100$ to replace it, I bought a 20$ go phone through AT&T, called with the new sim card number and wa-la new phone for my line.

Usually if you buy more upfront, the cost per minute goes down. So if you only buy say 100 minutes it'll cost you 15 cents a minute, but if you opt for say 500 minutes up front, then the cost is like 10 cents a minute. As least that's how it works for some phones.

Are you really only 15 mi from WDW???? I envy you!!!:goodvibes

yes, we only USE 10 min on our phones. That's 680 min each mo. we NEVER use. When my son was home, we needed it for him & 2nd phone was free. But he's away, our contract is soon finished & we want to be FREE of this ridiculous wasted uneeded monthly expense! We are with VERIZON now but their prepaid/limited min. do not roll over & aren't much cheaper. Ya know, maybe we'll just go back to the good ole' days when the phone was in the kitchen & we only talked when we wanted to, not 24/7!:rotfl:

Mai Ku Tiki
07-31-2009, 08:27 PM
I have had a Tracfone for about 2 years and haven't had any problems. I rarely use it, but I think it's $20 or $25 every three months to buy minutes for it, and the phone itself was $12.99 at Walmart. I can't remember how many minutes I get for that, I know it came with a "double minutes for life" thing when we bought it, and the minutes rollover if they aren't used and you buy more before they expire. There are different amounts you can buy too, I buy the least.

I will check into this also. Thanks!:)

SandrA9810
07-31-2009, 08:38 PM
Are you really only 15 mi from WDW???? I envy you!!!:goodvibes


Yes and I know this for a fact as well... we use the car care center at the TTC for all our car repairs. Good set of guys there... any case, we have AAA and needed one of our cars towed to there, and AAA only gives the first 5 miles free (or the closest AAA approved car repair place if it's greater than 5 miles). After that each mile is 5$... I think we're about 15.6 miles away. So we had to fork over 50$ for the tow.

You probably should just get rid of the phones all together. Kari's parent's have a line thru our contract, so it's only 10$ a month for the line, and they use it mainly for calling out of state family. And they're always so good at calling at night or on weekends as to not use any of the minutes. It's better for them so they don't have to pay for long distance phone service. And we originally added them to the plan because they were moving but their new house wasn't ready, so they had a time when they couldn't even get a house line. And they have it for road trips as well, since they decided because they're retired they deserved an RV as well.

If your son is a big cell phone user, see if he can add you to a family plan. additional lines are usually only 10$ a month. So you can still have the phone and he doesn't have to worry about you eating up his minutes.

cglaura
07-31-2009, 09:14 PM
I use Virgin Mobile. It is $20 every 90 days, 18 cents per minute voice, 15 cents per txt, 25 cents per photo txt ---> This is the basic plan, NOT the 30 day minute pack plan, which expire after 30 days unless you buy another 30 day pack.

The basic plan minutes roll over and never expire as long as you keep your account active by topping up at least $20 every 90 days (or you can do $10 every 45 days). The minute packs are good deal if you talk more, but the basic plan sounds like what you'd need.

They have many phones from $9.99 to $89.99. I have a basic TNT, it is not fancy scmancy, but it was the only phone with no buttons on the outside...my purse tends to like to make calls when I have that type of phone :laughing:

daleswife
07-31-2009, 09:38 PM
I have an AT&T go phone. Its $15 a month or $25 for three months. If you call someone its like $1 a day(not per call) plus 10 cents a minute. If you call someone on any AT&T then it doesn't subtract from your amount, but it does charge that $1 a day. you have to buy texts separate too, but Im pretty sure its like $5 for 200 texts. I like it but I hardly ever use it cause there is not signal where we are. I just keep it for when I go to the grocery store (an hour away).

abcboys
07-31-2009, 09:49 PM
We have tracfone as other prepaid's like Virgin Mobile and others don't work in our area. Have never had any problems and the minutes roll over. We pay around 20 every 3 months for mine and dh has double minutes on his phone and we pay 10/mo. for 100 minutes.

We switched to tracfone for the same reason you are saying. We had the regular plan paying around 55/mo. for minutes we didn't need. I figure we are saving almost 40/mo. and now we have 2 phones instead of 1.

enchantingodin
07-31-2009, 11:35 PM
I use Virgin Mobile. It is $20 every 90 days, 18 cents per minute voice, 15 cents per txt, 25 cents per photo txt ---> This is the basic plan, NOT the 30 day minute pack plan, which expire after 30 days unless you buy another 30 day pack.

The basic plan minutes roll over and never expire as long as you keep your account active by topping up at least $20 every 90 days (or you can do $10 every 45 days). The minute packs are good deal if you talk more, but the basic plan sounds like what you'd need.

They have many phones from $9.99 to $89.99. I have a basic TNT, it is not fancy scmancy, but it was the only phone with no buttons on the outside...my purse tends to like to make calls when I have that type of phone :laughing:

I have Virgin as well - when I first signed up they sent me a email saying if I "toped up" at least 10 dollars the day I activated the service would be good for a year. Not sure if they're still doing that or not.

But I have the same plan you do. I think I've spent all of 30 bucks in the past 6 months. And that includes the 7 dollar game (I'm a nut for monopoly - and play while I'm at school waiting for the kids to get out), oh and the dollar ring-tone (rockin' the old school rotary style ;)). Not too bad I think. :thumbsup2

BABY_EINSTEIN'S_MOM
07-31-2009, 11:44 PM
We also only used our phones for emergencies and occasional chatting. After studying many options, we found that nothing was cheaper than NET10. They are always 10 cents a minute and never any roaming. Texts are .5 min in and out.

You do not have a contract, and only have to buy minutes every so often to keep your phone active. Alternatively, you can choose to pay monthly and have minutes automatically added to your phone. We pay for the $15/150 minutes per month plan. We pay $60/month for 4 phones.

dd50
07-31-2009, 11:51 PM
I have the AT&T prepaid plan. I pay $25 every 90 days or $15 for 30 days. I always buy the $25 as I don't use the phone much. $25 gets you 100 minutes for the 90 days and the minutes that you didn't use rolloever. I have had it for about 5 years now and like it as I don't talk on the phone except for a few calls a month but it is good to have. I am on my second phone only because I wanted to change it.

I tried Virgin Mobil as my kids have that but the two phones I tried needed to be recharged at least once a day which is a little crazy as I never used the phone. I took them back. My kids phones seem to only last less than a year and they are broke or the chargers won't work.

squirrel
08-01-2009, 02:00 AM
I also have a Virgin Mobile phone.

I pay once a year (when I remember to pay before the min expire) and keep all the minutes from the previous year. It costs me $113 CAN for the year, this is the cheapest way to do the Virgin Mobile. Not sure what the plans are like down in the US.

I have had the phone (Stealth) for about 2 years and not had any problems with it. It charges fine and I rarely use it, so I don't need to charge that often.

S. C.
08-01-2009, 02:12 AM
Tracfone use to have a plan for like $94 a year and you had so many minutes for that year. Not sure if they still have that or not.

KatRob
08-01-2009, 03:59 AM
We have Tracfone also and have never had a problem. I was paying about $50 a month for one phone and never using the minutes (emergencies only). We got 3 Tracfones for $9.99 each and use their value plan. One phone gets 50 minutes a month and the other two each get 30 minutes for a whopping $24+change. And there's no roaming fees or long distance charges when we do use it (Bahamas, calling CA and AK).

Mai Ku Tiki
08-01-2009, 06:20 AM
Thanks for sharing all the great info! Trying to wade thru options on the internet takes valuable reading time away from my DISNEY planning! :goodvibes

Going out today to pick SOMETHING up...hope the TracFone or other works in NJ/NY area ok.

Off to ADR land!!!!!!!!! :banana:

clori
08-01-2009, 06:38 AM
I would check out the tmobile prepaid phone. I have no idea how much the actual phone costs. The plan is $100 for 100 minutes which are good for 365 days and if you add another card unused minutes do roll over at the end of the year. I am currently visiting a friend in Queens and it works great here. My dh's family is from midtown Manhatten so I've used it there and all the usual NYC touristy places no problem. I'm going to visit a friend in NJ (near Morristown area) and the phone also works great there.

Oh I've also used my tmobile phone at all of the Disney World parks, downtown disney, Pop Century, Contemporary, Fort Wilderness and onboards the Disney Wonder/Magic while waiting for departure and it worked well there. It didn't come in well inside MCO near baggage claim. My brother has a family plan and also used it all over Disney with no issues.

Mai Ku Tiki
08-01-2009, 07:17 AM
Thanks! Ok...if phones are , how should I say this???.... CHEAP!:rotfl: I'll research this one too!

mom2threets
08-01-2009, 07:30 AM
We also use tracfone. We got the inexpensive (I think they were 19.99) "double minutes for life" phones. Every time we add 60 minutes we realy get 120. I always find codes online for bonus minutes. I just added time to DH's phone the other day - got hime 180 minutes for 90 days - it cost 19.99. The time does not expire as long as you add time before the expiration day.

We have never had a problem with our tracfones. DH rarely uses his phone. I use mine more but not enought to justify the monthly bills. I add time about 1xmonth. He addes every 90 days right before the expiration day.

mom2threets
08-01-2009, 07:32 AM
Thanks for sharing all the great info! Trying to wade thru options on the internet takes valuable reading time away from my DISNEY planning! :goodvibes

Going out today to pick SOMETHING up...hope the TracFone or other works in NJ/NY area ok.

Off to ADR land!!!!!!!!! :banana:


I am in NY and it works fine. Was just in RI and it worked there too.

paladin
08-01-2009, 08:25 AM
I would check out the tmobile prepaid phone. I have no idea how much the actual phone costs. The plan is $100 for 100 minutes which are good for 365 days

Actually, it's even better than than. It is $100 for 1000 minutes (not 100). We have this and love it.

hsmamato2
08-01-2009, 07:57 PM
T-Mobile is the cheapest prepaid- 10 cents a minute flat rate- buy a card for 100.00,it lasts for one year,you get 1000 minutes. that averages out to 8.---- per month. and leftover minutes roll over.
I tried Net10/tracphone,they have worst customer service on the planet,so I gave up and went back to T-Mobile (be warned,the customer non-service at net10 and tracphone is legendary)

AuroraBeauty
08-01-2009, 08:12 PM
I got my grandma (DGM) a T-mobile prepaid phone. We used to have T-mobile and she was on our plan as an extra and it was $10/month so it was negligible. Then DH and I switched to AT&T and b/c I didn't want to have to teach her how to use a new phone (she's 88) and deal with the whole VM thing or texting, we switched DGM to T-mobile's prepaid plan. I just watch her minutes online and refill it when it gets low. She likes her phone, it doesn't have VM (I had to call to have it disconnected b/c she doesn't know how to check it) and we had texting disabled on it too. It's actually a nice phone (I've uploaded one picture to it so she always see DGGD (great grand daughter) when she opens it.

Also, if she ever has any questions she goes in to a local T-mobile store and the people are always so helpful. Maybe that's b/c she's 88 and very grandmotherly or it could be that she goes in at least once a month so now when she goes in she bakes them a cake first. She's adorable!

Anyway, we've liked the T-mobile and so does my DGM.

d96j97
08-01-2009, 08:32 PM
We have had tracfones for at least 3 years now and believe they are the way to go!!! We pay $99 plus tax per year (which breaks down to about $8.50 per month). We have phones that have double minutes and I usually get online and get a promo code which give at least 200 bonus minutes and most of the time I get 250 bonus minutes. Therefore.....for a year, we are getting 400 reg. minutes + 400 bonus minutes (because our phones double minutes) and 250 bonus minutes with a promo code. That works out to be 1050 minutes per year which also carry over when not used.

For us...you can't beat it!!! No contracts and only 1 time per year do you have to deal with a payment. Good luck!

Queen of 3 princess
08-02-2009, 10:19 AM
Alltel has a really good pay as you go program. You pay for minutes between 15c-25c a minute. But unlike track phone. You DON'T have to put minutes on the phone every three months. You just put minutes on when you are out of minutes. :thumbsup2 You have to use at least one minute in a month or it charges a slight penalty. On which they just take a couple of minutes off your minutes you have on the phone. But if it takes you a year to use your minutes up thats fine. Just put more on the phone when it is low. My parents both have this and I used to untill my husband had to change due to work reasons.

Cheshire Figment
08-02-2009, 12:58 PM
I checked my bills last year and found that I had used fewer than 800 minutes oin my cell phone the whole year.

I went to T-Mobile and purchased a phone with 10 minutes for about $50. I then bought a 1,000 minute refill for $100, so my first year cost will be $150 for the year and then $100 per year after that.

I have no service contract and if I ever want a new phone all I have to do is buy the phone and get it switched over to my number.

An additional benefit I found was I was able to put my phone directory into My Account on their web site and then press a couple of buttons and the system would synchronize my phone with the site. So if I ever lose the phone or it breaks or I get a new one it will be very easy to load the directory.

wdwfan16
08-02-2009, 01:45 PM
Anyone have suggestions for PAY AS YOU GO or other inexpensive phone plans? We currently pay about $77 p/mo which is a WASTE of $$$ for us since we get 700 min p/mo & only use about 10 of them!! Besides, we'd would rather give our hard-earned money to DISNEY:goodvibes
I guess I'm even ready for the JITTERBUG but the phones themselves are $149!!! We NEVER use our phones-I know-we're weird! :rotfl:Really only want them for emergencies....How can we save $$$?????

Do you call each other or others who have your plan? If so, then you are using more than 10 minutes per month.

We have 450 minutes and only use about 200 each month. DH and I use hundreds of minutes calling each other, but they do not count. Many of our family members have the same carrier. They do not count either.

If you only want the phone for emergency, then prepaid is the way to go.

Mai Ku Tiki
08-02-2009, 06:20 PM
Everyone has been so helpful.:flower3: Tomorrow the search begins.....:drive:

erin1715
08-02-2009, 06:41 PM
I don't want to hijack the thread, but do any of you who have prepaid phones use those as your main phone line? My husband and I are on a family plan and we pay $50 per month for unlimited texting and I don't even know how many minutes, but we both hate talking on the phone so we don't use them that much. However, we also don't have a home phone line and just use our cell phones. I was wondering if the prepaid phones are just as reliable for having them as the main phone line in a household.

rumrunnergirl
08-02-2009, 09:57 PM
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fakereadhed
08-02-2009, 10:36 PM
Check the website for deals. YMMV depending on area code. I just got one for my DD with double minutes for life, and 60 minute card(which doubles to 120 after you activate you DMFL). A 60 min. tracfone card goes for $20. My DD didn't need a new phone, but for $20 for 120min. was too good to pass up. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy another phone than a refill card.

Princess April
08-02-2009, 11:11 PM
We use Tracfone for ourselves as well as for my grandfather. #1, we hardly ever use our cell phone, but, like you we need one for emergencies as well as the occasional phone call or text. #2 My grandfather is 82, teaching him how to use a cell phone was a chore enough and I have found the Tracfone's to be the most simplistic out there, and the least expensive! (like how we had to replace DH's today b/c he jumped into the pool after DD (long story :sad2:) and all we had to do was go down to the local Target and grab one for under $50.00, come home get online, transfer all the minutes and info and within 10 minutes of coming home we were in business, no muss no fuss!). We use the same formula for the entire family. 1 year long card gives us 400+ minutes plus DH and I have double minutes for life on our phones so that gets us 800 minutes plus you can search the web for "promo codes" (just Google Tracfone promo codes and trust me you will find tons of listings) and that usually gets us 200 more mins. 1,000.00 mins and a year of usage for about $100.00, not too shabby!