StraightTalk

If you are looking for a cell phone plan that offers a lot of minutes and no contract at a decent price you may want to consider StraightTalk cell phone plans. StraightTalk, a division of TracFone owned by Walmart, offers cheap cell phone plans for people who want a lot of talk and text with dedent data options too.



But before you make a decision check out their plan options, look at what they offer, what they don’t and evaluate the pros and cons of this service. While this is one of the cheapest prepaid cell phone plans for the amount of minutes you get, it isn’t the right option for everyone.

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StraightTalk Cell Phone Plans

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The Basics
StraightTalk offers two main plans with a couple of other similar web exclusive plans. Their cheapest cell phone plan is $30 for 30 days of coverage, which includes 1,000 nationwide voice minutes, 1,000 text messages or picture messages, 30MB of data and 411 calls.

StraightTalk’s 30 day unlimited plan is $45 for 30 days of coverage which includes nationwide unlimited voice, text, picture messages, data and 411 calls.

Their other plans, listed as web exclusive, are variations on the 30 day unlimited plan only in different service day increments of 90 days, 180 days or one year.

What Else To Consider
It is important to note that use of the term “unlimited” in these plans is not entirely accurate; there are some limits. While the limits aren’t clearly defined up front you’ll find wording in the terms and conditions that provide examples of the limitations. The limitations are probably most notable in the data plans, for example there is wording prohibiting the streaming of audio or video programs. For most users these limits shouldn’t interfere with what they want from this service, but if you think you’ve found a loophole for cheap heavy data use this plan may not be what you want it to be. If you want to tether your cell phone to your laptop for an internet connection this won’t be one of the best wireless plans for you.


Basic Plan Details

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

  • No roaming charges
  • No international calling
  • No credit checks
  • No contracts
  • No rollover minutes
  • Auto-refill available or you can add more time online or buy service cards at participating Wal-Mart retailers
  • 911 calls are available
  • No family cell phone plans

Cell Phone Selection

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As with most budget or discount cell phone carriers their selection of prepaid cell phones isn’t huge, but it is decent and it is improving. You’ll find better options here than you’ll find with Consumer Cellular cell phone plans or PlatinumTel, but there aren’t as many options as you can find with similar unlimited MetroPCS cell phone plans. In the early years they only had a few offerings and none of them had great capability to take advantage of the data plan, but now they have a few smart phone options with QWERTY keyboards. They also have a couple of Android powered touch screen smartphones.

If you’re looking for a cheap cell phone they have a few options for $20 or less including at least one free option. Some of these are reconditioned or refurbished cell phones. They offer a few options of both higher end and cheap refurbished cell phones.

Most of their smartphones only work with the $45 unlimited plan, but this plan makes the most sense for those phones anyway.


Customer Service

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Unfortunately their customer service is one of their weak points. Many people have had frustrating experiences with customer service; I’ve even seen a couple of people say they have to call about 3 times on average to resolve an issue.


Fees

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Like Net10 and TracFone cheap cell phone plans, StraightTalk doesn’t charge activation fees or roaming charges, and because they only offer no contract plans they don’t have cancellation fees either.


Pros And Cons

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Pros

  • Affordable monthly plans with lots of minutes/texts
  • Relatively simple plans
  • Good coverage area
  • Under the established brand of TracFone

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • No international calling
  • Web access isn’t truly unlimited

Summary

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I’ve seen a wide range of reviews of StraightTalk cheap cell phone plans, some people love what they get for the price and some people have been really unhappy with the service. The biggest complaints are with the customer service.

They have a great coverage area for non-Android phones and they offer a lot of minutes/texts for the price. If you use your phone a lot for talking and texting it is hard to get a lower per minute price for this many minutes, but if you don’t use anywhere near that many minutes you may be paying more than you need for what you are getting.

Since the data isn’t truly unlimited, don’t make your decision solely based on the claim of unlimited data until you look at the fine print. Keep all of these things in mind as you compare prepaid cell phone plans so you can find a good fit.

If you have teenagers who text or talk a lot and you are tired of cell phone bill shock from overage charges, this may be a good option for you.

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