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Prepaid Cell Phones

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would like to get a prepaid cell phone. I travel to cat shows and would like to be able to call home and have one in case of emergency. This phone will only be used for those reasons. I have no idea where to begin looking for one so I am looking for ideas from anyone.
post #2 of 18
I bought Lee a Tracphone for V-Day. It gets really good service and is pretty inexpensive.
post #3 of 18
I have a trac phone it works really well and they're fairly inexpensive these days. The downside is that you either have to buy cards every (I think) 60 days or buy a year long card that has a lot of minutes to keep your phone activated. If you don't use it that often you'll end up with a ton of minutes.
post #4 of 18
My sis went to WalMart for mine. TracFones start at $20 and the cheapest air time card is about $20. So you can get started for less than $50. Also, when I activated the phone, I got extra air time. You just have to tank up every 2 months and you don't lose your minutes if you don't use them.
post #5 of 18
I have a Cingular GO Phone. The phone cost me $30 and they started me with $5 airtime. I have to put a minumum of $15 on it, every month, they charge me $1 for every day that I use the phone, .10 per minute airtime and any unused $$ roll over to the next month. Since I use my cell less than an hour per month, this works for me. I only pay for what I use and they have the coverage that I want. Voice mail, caller ID and call forwarding are included and text messages are a nickel apiece.
post #6 of 18
If your just using it for emergencies, prepaids are good. But if you plan on using it regularly they cost alot more than having a regular cell phone plan.
post #7 of 18
Do some research. Most carriers have prepaid plans...Verizon, T-Mobile, Cingular. You can also find them in most department stores...Walmart, Target. But beware, the fewer minutes you buy, the more you pay for them! Trac-fone's cheapest card is $10.00. You pay aroud $0.65 a minute.
post #8 of 18
I DID have a tracfone but now have a Net10 phone. Its same company as tracfone, same service, same phones, but the minutes are a LOT cheaper. I buy a card every 60 days, for $30 with 300 minutes. I don't use nearly that many, but its nice to have for emergencies. Tracfone you would get the same card, same price, with only 120 minutes so its not nearly as good a deal.

Just be sure not to let your minutes or your service expire or you will have to re-activate and lose your phone number. They do have 6 month or 1 year cards you can buy also. I love mine because it works out to only $15 a month with more minutes than I will ever need.
post #9 of 18
I use one for emergencies or traveling too. I think I live in the only area of the US that doesn't have cell service so they don't work when I am home. It was stupid to be spending 30 a month on a phone I never used

Alltel has a good plan, your minutes are good forever, you only need to make a 1 minute call a month. It is either 10 cents or 15 cents a minute. and you can get a phone for $19.00. With the new cell phone laws you might be able to get them to reprogram your current phone and not have to buy a new one.

this is the Alltel U program and I use the pay per minute program.
http://www.alltelu.com/pay-per-minute.jsp

They also have the pay per day and pay per month. The per minute for me is excellent. I got my phone last October and put the initial $20 worth of minutes on it and I still have $13 left.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
I DID have a tracfone but now have a Net10 phone. Its same company as tracfone, same service, same phones, but the minutes are a LOT cheaper. I buy a card every 60 days, for $30 with 300 minutes.
I looked Net10 up and from I read it is $30 for 300 minutes for 30 days not 60 days. That is to much for me. Looks like I am deciding between Tracfone and Cingular. Tracfone could be cheaper depending how many calls I would make with Cingular. But I think Cingular would be more convenient with their pay plan.

My question is adding minutes. Lets say one month I know I need a few extra minutes then my norm, which would be cheaper? Tracfone all I see online are $20 cards. With Cingular I am not sure does it have to be $15 or can I add as little as $5?
post #11 of 18
Nope, Net10 is 30 days and 150 minutes for $15 which is the lowest amount they sell, but the $30 one is 60 days and 300 minutes. Thats what I use.

tracfone has the 60 min one for $20 but I'm not familiar with Cingular.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I miss read Net10. To many services! I get confused! Tracfone does cost more then Net10 and Cingular. It does look like Net10 is the cheapest. I did more research and found you can purchase Net10 for $15 for 150 minutes for 30 days. Now that is what I like Cingular is 10 cents a minute plus $1 per day only on the days you use it. But does Cingular have better coverage and less dropped calls like they claim? I also think adding minutes is more convenient with Cingular. But I am all for cheap.
post #13 of 18
I live in Europe, but spend about one month a year in the U.S.. I have a tri-band prepaid cell phone, which functions all over Europe/the U.S.. My account is with T-Mobile, and I only have to add minutes (a minimum of €15/$20.20) once a year.
post #14 of 18
I have a Net10 phone.It's cheaper than the Tracphones and I get better service and coverage.
For 250 min. for the Trac, it's almost $50
for 300 min for the Net10, it's only $30
post #15 of 18
I get much better coverage with my net10 than I did with tracfone, which doesn't make sense since its supposed to be the same company... I did upgrade my phone though, so maybe thats why. I've never had a problem with dropped calls or anything though. Hard to beat $15 a month too if you're not going to use it often.

No idea how the cingular works but they should have good service and coverage. I don't like the idea of the $1 a day extra charge though...

This weekend I"m going to northern va and west va, and didn't get service with my tracfone so I'll let you know if the net10 is any better.
post #16 of 18
I have a Cingular Go plan. I don't talk on the phone a whole lot so I have a ton of minutes. But it's very conveniant as they just tap my bank account for payment once a month, so I don't have to bothered with buying a card and loading it myself. I just hated that part with Tracfone! I don't get charged 1$ a day for using it, maybe that's something that started after I got mine. The service is awesome, I"ve only had one dropped call in almost two years, and I was in the boonies! My husband used to have Verizon and had to stand on one foot, stick his tongue out just to call from 6 miles away and it was still iffy! His work changed the phones to Cingular and he has no more problems.
post #17 of 18
I've had Cingular since October and never had a dropped call. They also don't charge me for roaming. Once a month, I go to their website and add $15.

One of my concerns was coverage. My son lives 30 miles away and there's a whole lot of nothing, between here and there. If I'm on the road alone, I want to be able to reach AAA or the cops if I need to.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e View Post
I have a Cingular GO Phone. The phone cost me $30 and they started me with $5 airtime. I have to put a minumum of $15 on it, every month, they charge me $1 for every day that I use the phone, .10 per minute airtime and any unused $$ roll over to the next month. Since I use my cell less than an hour per month, this works for me. I only pay for what I use and they have the coverage that I want. Voice mail, caller ID and call forwarding are included and text messages are a nickel apiece.

i had the same here, until work got sick of being able to find me.
Man,

i really like how they did cell phones in indo and thailand better,
you got a phone, you would register your sim with which ever company you wanted, pay for your time. Then when you used it up, you went back and got more.. no contracts etc to sign. that seemed to be there normal way of doing it.
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