Pay-as-you-go cell phones?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by gomomgo, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. gomomgo

    gomomgo Mouseketeer

    Mar 4, 2006
    My DH is changing positions in his company and will no longer have use of a free cell phone. I have the lowest plan possible with Verizon. I thought it would be just another $10-15 to add DH to the plan, but I was wrong.

    To add DH to my existing plan we have to upgrade to the Family Plan which will cost another $30-$40 per month. DH does not use the cell often (maybe 1-2 times/day) but would like to have one.

    Does anyone have any info on pay-as-you-go phones?? Are they more expensive in the end? Are they loaded with extra fees?? What are the pros vs. cons?

    Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated. TIA!
  2. simonkodousek

    simonkodousek DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2007
    Wal-Mart is having a sale on TracFones with double lifetime minutes... if you buy a 60 minute card, the phone will automatically double it to 120 minutes for free. :)

    I had T-Mobile ToGo cell phone two years ago, and I got rid of it because no one carried the cards; even the Wal-Mart where I bought it from! If I wanted to put more minutes in, I would have to drive all the way to the mall (30 minutes), walk through two crowded stores, locate the small T-Mobile kiosk, and ask for more minutes. It took about 2 hours to put more minutes on the ToGo phone, so I decided it wasn't worth it.

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  4. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

    Feb 24, 2008
    Dh and I use verizon pay as you go and we do the cheapest we can $30 every 2 months. My phone is mostly for emergencies like if the schools need to reach me. Dh does use his more often and I have had to add minutes before our next payment (rarely). This works best for us since we don't text, or use any other features.
    The greatest expense is the phone itself. You will have to pay full retail for it, you can't get those great deals you can when you do a 2 year contract. I just upgraded my phone to a pink razr that I bought on ebay for $100. It works great and it was a fraction of the cost if I had gotten it directly through verizon. You do need to be careful on ebay though.
    My dd has a firefly phone through cingular (I think its AT&T now), we pay $25 every 3 months for her but she has never used her phone.
    We have had our verizon prepay accounts for years so ours are a little different then if you sign up now. Today you have to pay $1 per day only on days you use the phone and any calls to other verizon customers are free. We don't pay the $1 fee but we are charged for calling other verizon subscribers.
    I did get my dad a Tracfone and I purchase him an annual minute card (around $100) every Christmas. He has never had to add minutes but he rarely uses it.
    For us they make sense financially, but if you and your dh use your phones alot the prepay plans may not work for you.
  5. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

    Feb 24, 2008
    I have my prepay accounts automatically deducted from our bank account. YOu should also be able to add minutes online or by calling CS from your cell phone. I don't know if thats the case for all prepay but I do know it is for verizon, cingular and even tracfone (online) now.
  6. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2001
    We got our TracFone free with a one year card, so for $99.00, we got the phone (Motorola flip style) one year of service and 400 minutes with a special code we actually got 650 minutes. They always have codes too, so that's the cheapest we've found. We never use all the minutes and they do carry over as long as you enter another card by the end of the 365 days. Check the website for their deals.
  7. Feelin' Goofy

    Feelin' Goofy Mouseketeer

    Jan 5, 2002
    I have had a tracfone for 3 or 4 years my cost is around $100.00 / yr. and the mins roll over as long as you keep it updated.
  8. C-CMom

    C-CMom Mouseketeer

    Mar 30, 2005
    My Cingular Prepaid became an ATT prepaid with the buyout - pay 25$ for 90 minutes every 3 months (other time amounts available, but must get at least 90 mintues for rollover I think). Balances roll-over as long as you don;t let it expire. Have had it for years, and have been perfectly happy with it as I use the phone only occasionally and it has been the cheapest option I could find. I do refills by credit card on the website. Very easy - just have to be sure to keep the date on my calendar of when the time needs to be refilled to keep the rollover time. They also send reminders but I don't make enough calls to count on getting the reminders in a timely manner. When the kids ultimately need phones, will probably need a different solution...
  9. paladin

    paladin DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2002
    My DH and I both have the T-Mobile pre-paid and really like it. For $100 plus tax you get 1000 minutes that are good for a year.

    We love the ease of this and not having to re-fill often. (They also have lesser amounts too of course).

    I have never had a problem finding the refill cards - they carry them at Target and Walmart by us, plus you can just call T-Mobile to re-fill or do it online.
  10. Va-bear

    Va-bear BEAR!

    Jun 7, 2006
    I have had the Virgin plan for years and years and love it. Now almost everyone in my fmaily has one too. There are no hidden fees and instead of $30 every two months like some, it is only $20 per 2 months to top up. You can top up automatically, w/ a credit card, thru Paypal, or severl other ways. And often you can find the 20.00 top up cards on sale for 15.00 - so its even cheaper.

    You can often find deals to get the phone for free - mine was not on sale and cost 20.00.

    They even have a way to earn some free minutes on thei webiste! It is the perfect phone for me, a VERY low user type. I figure I spend about $70/yr max, even w/ buying a new phone every 2-3 years.

    Good luck finding a good plan for you.:)

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