PlatinumTel

There are a few pay as you go or prepaid cell phone service providers that aren’t very well known, PlatinumTel is one of them. Is it better or worse to go with a lesser known carrier? Read on to see what they offer and how they stack up against some of the other carriers that offer affordable prepaid cell phone plans available.

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PlatinumTel Cell Phone Plans

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PlatinumTel offers four different cell phone plans, plus options for International calling for all plans. The International rates vary based on where you are calling, but they start as low as 1 cent per minute.

Real Paygo
The Real Paygo plan is advertised on their site as one of the cheapest cell phone plans you can find if you are looking for true pay as you go cell phone plans. Calls are a flat 5 cents per minute, texts are 2 cents each, picture texts 10 cents and 3G web is 10 cents per Megabyte (MB).



Service plans start as low as $10 for 90 days and are also available at $20 for 90 days, $30 for 180 days, $50 for 180 days and $100 for 365 days. The airtime doesn’t expire for the $100 plan and the minutes will work as long as you have service days; airtime expires one year from the date it was added to the account for the other plans. For more about how prepaid cell phone plans work read: Prepaid Cell Phones

Unlimited Talk & Text
PlatinumTel’s Unlimited Talk & Text plan, as the name states, offers unlimited calling and texting, but it also offers 150 MB of 3G web for $45 per month. Additional web time is billed at just over 50 cents per MB, or you can add 2 GB of web for $10 per month. Picture messaging is an additional 5 cents per minute, or for $10 you can get unlimited picture messaging.

Android Unlimited Talk & Text
The name of this plan is a little deceiving because you don’t get unlimited data. The Android Unlimited Plan is basically the same as the Unlimited Talk & Text plan except you get 200 MB of web with unlimited talk and text for $50 per month; picture messaging is still 5 cents per message. Or you can upgrade to the $60 a month plan, which includes picture messaging and 1 GB of data per month. Additional data on these plans is also billed at just over 50 cents per MB. If you’re looking for unlimited data consider StraightTalk unlimited cell phone plans or MetroPCS unlimited cell phone plans.

Hybrid
The Hybrid plan provides two base plans and options for add ons for text and data. The main base plan is $30 for 30 days, 300 anytime minutes, 300 texts, 30 MB of data and unlimited nights and weekend calls (calls after 9:00 pm). The other base plan is bi-monthly; for $20 you get 15 days of service, 200 anytime minutes, 200 texts, 20 MB of data and unlimited night and weekend calling. Both of these plans charge 10 cents per message for picture messaging.

If you want more texting for $5 you get an additional 500 messages, or for $10 you get 1,500 messages. Both of these add ons are good for 30 days.

If you want more data for $5 you can get an additional 40 MB, or for $10 you can get an additional 100 MB of data. Both of these add ons are good for 30 days as well.


Basic Plan Details

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Here are a few of the plan details for PlatinumTel cell phone plans:

  • No credit checks
  • No contracts
  • No activation fee
  • No on-network roaming charges
  • They use Sprint’s nationwide network
  • 411 calls are $1.29 plus applicable airtime
  • International calling available
  • Minutes rollover, but they do expire; expiration dates vary by plan
  • Refill or add service online or at an authorized retailer
  • No family cell phone plans

Cell Phone Selection

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As you compare prepaid cell phone plans the cell phone selection is one thing to consider. PlatinumTel doesn’t have a big selection of prepaid cell phones, but they do have a few decent options including a few cell phones with QWERTY keyboards to make texting easier and at least one touchscreen Android cell phone. They also offer cheaper models starting at around $20. A lot of their phones are refurbished cell phones, but there are some new cell phone options as well.

Reviews have been mixed on their cell phones. Some people have been very happy with them and haven’t had any problems, but others report having problems. The phones are under warranty for 30 days, so problems reported within 30 days are covered, but anything after that isn’t.


Customer Service

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There are also some mixed reviews on their customer service. Some people say they have had a good experience with the customer service, while others have had complaints. Their customer service is U.S. based.


Fees

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PlatinumTel is a prepaid or pay as you go service provider so they don’t have a cancellation fee. They also don’t charge an activation fee. They do, however, bill a small monthly fee on their Real Paygo and Hybrid plans (50 cents per month for Real Paygo and $1.50 for the Hybrid plan). They are labeled Federal and Portability Fees; these fees are contributed to Wireless Local Number Portability and the Federal Universal Service Fund.

They don’t charge extra fees for in-network roaming, but they do charge a $1.29 fee for 411 calls.


Pros And Cons

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Pros

  • They offer a variety of plans to fit more needs
  • Affordable plan options
  • International calling available

Cons

  • Some customer service complaints
  • Some complaints about the phones

Summary

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More people are looking for cell phones without plans because they don’t want to be stuck in a two year contract. PlatinumTel has some nice plan options if you are looking at cheap cell phone plans without a contract, particularly the Real Paygo plan. With this plan they offer very affordable options with longer service days than most other prepaid cell phone providers. On the Real Paygo plan you only pay for what you use and the $100 plan for one year of service can last a long time if you don’t call or text a lot. Some families have found that getting separate $100 plans for each person has helped them save money over using one of the big name contract cell phone family plans like Sprint or Verizon. Other people with a single individual plan have been very happy with the amount of money they have saved by using PlatinumTel.

It’s nice that they have extended expiration dates for leftover minutes, but the expiration can be confusing since different plans have different expiration dates, unless you stick with the $100 plan. Many plans offered by other companies, like TracFone cell phone plans, offer a straight rollover that is added to your account balance and doesn’t expire until you stop renewing your service days.

PlatinumTel uses Sprint’s nationwide network, so the coverage could be good or bad depending on where you live and where you use your cell phone. Check their coverage map for more detailed coverage information: Coverage Map

There are some complaints about customer service and about their cell phones so consider this if you are thinking about switching to PlatinumTel. They do, however, have an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with relatively few complaints.

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