Prepaid Cell Phones

With prepaid cell phones you buy your minutes before you actually use them. Basically, you buy credit to use a provider’s network so you can avoid a contract and the recurring bills that come with a contract plan. They are often referred to as a “pay-as-you-go” plans.

With most wireless service providers, you can add credit, or minutes and service time, to your prepaid phone account at any time. This can usually be done by purchasing a prepaid card in a retail store, adding minutes online or using your credit card to buy the additional credit directly through your cell phone provider. In most cases you buy an allotment of minutes that has a service date that expires. If you don’t buy more minutes before this date you will lose any remaining minutes and your account will lapse, but with most service providers if you add more minutes your unused minutes will carryover. Continue reading

StraightTalk

Many people who are looking for cheap cell plans with a lot of talk, text and data all in one simple plan are looking at StraightTalk cell phone plans. StraightTalk is a trademark of TracFone and offered at Wal-Mart as a low cost option for people who need to use their cell phone on a regular basis. The generous amount of minutes on their plans make it difficult to complain about the talk and texting limits, but for some people the data plans aren’t all they claim to be.

Like any wireless service provider they have their pros and cons. The options look good in print, but are they all they are cracked up to be? For some people they have been a great find, but for others they have been a disappointment. Here is a list of their pros and cons including their biggest strengths and biggest weakness. Continue reading

TracFone

TracFone may be one of the most well known names in prepaid cell phone service. They were one of the early providers of this type of service and they are still around evolving their plans. TracFone isn’t one of the cheapest plans if you look at the cost per minute, but they are one of the lowest cost per month options for people who don’t use their cell phone that often. They also offer cheap prepaid cell phones. They don’t have the most advanced selection of headsets, but for the most part their low cost cell phones fit the occasional users they are marketing their services to.

TracFone isn’t the best option for people who use their cell phone frequently or for people who want heavy data coverage, but it is a good option for occasional users. It’s also a good option for seniors or kids who may be getting their first cell phone. TracFone is one of the cheap prepaid options that actually rates pretty well. Continue reading

Net10

Net10 is just one of the many options available if you are looking for a cheap prepaid cell phone. They are more well known than some of the other no contract wireless carriers, partially because they are a branch of TracFone, a well established no contract wireless provider. While customer service seems to be lacking for many wireless providers, including Net10, they have overall good customer satisfaction ratings and a good coverage area.

Net10 plans are simple and their website is pretty easy to navigate so you can find answers to your basic questions. They are getting a better selection of headsets, including touch screen Androids. But they also have simple cheap cell phones and refurbished cell phones to fit basic needs and to fit any budget. Some of their headsets even come with minutes and 30 days worth of service, which makes them a better deal. Continue reading

MetroPCS

MetroPCS may have started as a small carrier, but they have grown and are now competing with many of the large wireless carriers. MetroPCS cell phone plans are all no contract plans so you can give them a try without risking too much, especially if you can use your own CDMA cell phone. They specialize in unlimited cell phone plans that are all inclusive (text, data and voice), so you don’t have to pick and choose separate voice, messaging and data plans to get the service you need – one plan provides everything. These are pretty cheap cell phone plans if you are looking for unlimited service.

They offer some more advanced headsets than some of the other budget cell phone carriers. These headsets allow you to make better use of their 4G LTE unlimited plans, some of which include Rhapsody Unlimited Music, Video On Demand or GPS navigation.

If you’re looking for family plans for teens who like to text a lot, you can get a $5 discount per line. With these plans you won’t have to worry about overage charges, so they can save you a lot of money in that regard. Just make sure they have good coverage in your area and wherever you need to use the service or the cheap unlimited coverage won’t do you any good. Continue reading

Just5

Even though the majority of wireless service providers seem to be competing for the younger, tech savvy crowd, there are a few providers who realize some people just want a simple cell phone for calling and texting without all the complications of a smartphone. Just5 is one of those companies. Just 5 cheap cell phone plans are geared toward seniors and people who just want the basics at an affordable price. As you may have guessed from the name, Just5 offers five simple and relatively cheap cell phone plans, all of which are prepaid with no commitment to a contract.

The main draw is their senior cell phone. This cell phone has large buttons that are easy to use and read, along with a display screen with larger text than most and a clear image. It has clear, loud audio that works with hearing aids. It also has an emergency feature called an SOS button. When this button is pressed and held for four seconds it sends alerts to pre-programmed family or friends letting them know help is needed. This phone even has a small flashlight in it. While this is marketed mostly as a cell phone for seniors, people who just want a simple phone with long battery life may also like it. Continue reading

Consumer Cellular

Even though Consumer Cellular cell phone plans have options that make them a good fit for seniors looking for easy-to-use senior cell phones and plans doesn’t mean they are limited to this age group. While this wireless service may not be the best choice for the technically savvy, heavy cell phone user, Consumer Cellular does have some plan options that make them a good fit for those who need to use their cell phone fairly regularly.

Consumer Cellular offers options that literally start at basic service with no minutes included; any calls made are charged at 25 cents per minute. They offer a lot of other choices with their most expensive plan providing 2,400 minutes per month for $60. They also have varying levels of text/data that can be added to the voice plan for not too much more per month.

Any plan can be turned into a family plan by adding another line (for $10). The minutes are then shared between all of the phones on that plan. The headset choices are somewhat limited, but unlike most other no contract cell phone providers they offer a senior cell phone that boasts larger, easy-to-read and use buttons, and an emergency call feature. They do offer a couple of smartphones with touch screens as well. Continue reading

PlatinumTel

There are a lot more wireless service providers than most people realize. PlatinumTel is one of those carriers that most people don’t know about. They specialize in prepaid or pay as you go style cell phone plans. Their focus is to offer cheap prepaid cell phone plans and phones to fit a variety of needs. They offer four different plan styles with different options available within each of these plans so more people can find a plan that actually fits their needs.

If you are looking at cheap cell phone plans PlatinumTel’s Real Paygo plan is worth considering, or at least worth adding to your comparison list. This plan offers a 365 day service option for $100. At 5 cents per minute for calls and 2 cents per minute for basic texts that $100 can go a long way. This option also offers data for 10 cents a MB. If this isn’t the plan for you there are other options available that provide more talking and texting per month.

Before you choose any carrier it is important to look at their headset selection, customer service and general customer reviews. This is what people had to say about these subjects. Continue reading

Jitterbug

If you’re searching for cheap cell phone plans for seniors you may want to consider Jitterbug. Jitterbug cell phones are very basic and easy to use with large backlit buttons, simple navigation and an easy to read screen. They were made for people who just want a simple headset without complication or extra features. Because they are often marketed toward seniors they also have additional services you can add to their plans that fit this demographic, like LiveNurse and Urgent Response.

Jitterbug prepaid cell phone plans are also pretty simple. They offer four different plans starting with basic voice with 50 anytime minutes, stepping up to an unlimited plan that offers both unlimited voice and text. Their higher-level plans can be turned into family plans with free mobile-to-mobile calling for members within the plan.

Jitterbug has good coverage area and their signature senior cell phone, which is a benefit for people looking for this, but this isn’t one of the cheapest prepaid cell phones available. The per minute cost is higher than many other prepaid or pay as you go wireless service providers, but they do offer some unique features and added services. Continue reading

Cheapest Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

Whether you are tired of being locked into a cell phone contract or you’ve experienced cell phone bill shock one too many times you may be starting to compare prepaid cell phone plans to see what options are available. When you are looking for the top cheapest prepaid cell phone plans that will meet your needs and fit your lifestyle there are a couple of factors that may help you make your final decision.

Anytime you are looking at the cheapest cell phone plans it is important to look at more than just the price of the plan. Consider how you use your phone. Think about how many minutes you use per month, what kind of minutes and consider your texting and data needs. Are you an occasional user who simply needs a decent low use cell phone plan or do you rely on your cell phone for multiple functions every day?

Defining how you use your phone will help you find the best option in the right category. There are a lot of prepaid cell phone plans available but some are stronger in certain areas than others. Knowing what to look for will help ensure you find the best prepaid cell phone plan for you. Here are some tips that will help you find that plan. Continue reading