Pre-paid cellphone help

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by it5five, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'm looking at different pre-paid cellphones, but can't quite find any one cellphone company that isn't a complete rip-off.

    I looked at T-Mobile, but it seems that if I don't want my minutes to expire very quickly, I need to become a "Gold Member" or something, which would require me to buy a $100 card right off the bat.

    I looked at AT&T, but I have to pay a daily access fee of $1 every day I use my phone, so I'm not even going to consider them.

    Verizon has even more expensive daily access fees than AT&T, and worse expiration times than T-Mobile. Plus, I don't like Verizon at all.

    Pretty much, I can't seem to find any prepaid plan that isn't awful in it's own way. But I don't want to continue paying $54 a month for a phone I hardly use.

    I'm leaning toward T-Mobile, but was wondering if any other MRers use a prepaid cellphone, and what your experiences and suggestions are.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    If you want prepay to avoid contracts, T-Mobile has something called FlexPay which you may want to look into. I don't know all the details, so you'll probably want to go into a T-Mobile store or call them for more info, but basically, it's the same as a regular monthly cell phone plan, however, you pay before the month begins (rather than you get a bill for your usage at the end of the month) and there's no contract required.
     
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #3
    Virgin Mobile is what I used for a while. I believe it's like 25 cents a minute for the first ten minutes of each day, and after that it's 10 cents a minute. (Runs off the Sprint network)
     
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #4
    I don't think they have that exact plan any more........I've had VM for years and have been pretty satisfied with it. IIRC, every 90 days you have to add $20 of time to your account. You don't lose any of your unused minutes, you just add to your balance when you buy time. And if you buy $100 of time in one purchase, they give you a whole year before you have to buy any more credits.

    When I first went with Virgin Mobile, they were about the best that I could find as far as their pricing went.....haven't really checked in a while but I would definitely say check them out to see if they'll work for you
     
  5. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #5
    Virgin mobile seems to be the most popular, whether or not that makes it the best is another matter.
     
  6. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #6
    You don't have to buy a $100 T-Mobile card right from the get-go to become a Gold member, you just become one once you've spent $100 in top-ups.

    Tracfone is also a good option if it's a phone you're planning on using only for emergencies.
     
  7. EMU1337 macrumors member

    EMU1337

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #7
    I use the Virgin Mobile monthly pay thingy and am pretty satisfied. Its like 35 bucks and there are no contracts. It can even deduct the payment off a registered credit/debit card at the beginning of the month so you don't have to send a bill in or anything. I used to have Boost Mobile and that was garbage.
     
  8. Motley macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    #8
    The $100 option does give you the best bang for your buck. 10 cents a minute good for a year.
     
  9. it5five thread starter macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Thanks everyone.

    I'll probably go with T-Mobile's prepaid cards, especially since my current carrier is T-Mobile and I really haven't had any problems with them.

    Sort of on the same topic, can anyone recommend a decent phone that I can find unlocked somewhere online? The phone I have now I have had for about 4 years (and only holds it's charge for about a day), and don't want to get a new one from T-Mobile otherwise I'll be locked into another 2 years. I pretty much only need my phone to make phone calls and text. I also like the sliding and bar style phones, but I'll pretty much take any decent phone that isn't too expensive.
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    Check out anything Sony Ericsson makes. IMO they're some of the best phones out there.

    Just make sure it supports 1900MHz. You'll also want it to support 850MHz so you can roam onto other networks if needed
     
  11. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #11
    If you buy a prepaid phone from T-Mobile, it doesn't have a contract. That's one of the main points of prepaid! However, their phones are more expensive than contract phones, and the last time I checked, their prepaid lineup of phones were bad.

    If you're looking for unlocked phones, look on Amazon, WirelessImports.com, PureMobile.com, or direct from the manufacturer.

    Two models I recommend are the Motorola W375 or a Nokia 6070. Just be sure you have the right frequencies and don't end up with a 900/1800 MHz Euro only phone. Since you're doing T-Mobile and only prepaid, just make sure the phone has at least 1900 MHz. I wouldn't worry about getting a phone with 850 MHz.
     
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #12

    I would. T-Mobile does have some 850 roaming for prepaid customers, and you never know when you'll need it. I have T-Mobile (postpaid) and wouldn't buy a phone without 850.
     
  13. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #13
    But their roaming with 850 on T-Mobile To Go is very limited especially compared to the Postpaid roaming with 850. Sure, it's a plus if you have it, but in his situation, I don't think it's too big of a deal.
     

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