Which phone plan if I want to go cheap?

dvader123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
105
0
I know you've seen this question a million times by now, but I hope I can get some help and advice anyway.

My only qualification is this. I want to get the iphone on the cheapest monthly plan.

Which carrier would I sign up for in that case? Virgin? T-mobile? That's what I've been hearing as the cheapest plans.

Thanks.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,372
1,134
Charlotte, NC
Cheapest monthly plan with the lowest upfront price for an iPhone 5 is Tmobile. $70

$50 for 500mb of 4G with unlimited talk and text and $20 per month for the iPhone

$150 upfront for the phone.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,889
900
I'm gonna assume that you want good service so I'm gonna say AT&T GoPhone. They just released a new plan. Unlimited texts calls with 2gb data for $60. That plus their superior coverage, it can't be beat.
 

emoore

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2003
122
0
What are your other requirements? Number of minutes? How much data do you use? Etc. It's difficult to answer your question without knowing more details. Do you live in a city or rural? Lots of potential options but you should pick a carrier based on the coverage of where you are going to be most of the time. There are low cost options for prepaid that are on some of the larger networks (Verizon, AT&T).
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
When people ask this question without disclosing what their usage is am thinking he wants post-paid. T-mobile is what people like these days.

If u want to go full-monte cheapo and basically use the phono for emergencies only and limit most of ur activities on WIFI, we can go insanely cheap.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,972
68
If service price is all that matters then look into prepaid. You should probably consider coverage (as always) though.

I'm gonna assume that you want good service so I'm gonna say AT&T GoPhone.
Coverage varies. You can't just blindly suggest a carrier as having good coverage everywhere.
 

dvader123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
105
0
Certainly, I would like good coverage as I have been spoiled with Verizon. But how bad are the other carriers?

Anyway, I hate the idea of paying for data. I wish it was optional so that I could just use the WIFI if I want internet.

Well, that's why I don't mind getting a cheap data plan so that I could just turn it off and use WIFI when I'm at home or at a public WIFI area. Is that possible? Do people do that?

T-Mobile sounds great. Paying $70 for talk, text, and data sounds like the best so far.

FYI: I live near NYC.
 

Connor77

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2013
29
0
Does anybody on Mac rumours live in Canada because the plans and service providers are so different here .
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,372
1,134
Charlotte, NC
Certainly, I would like good coverage as I have been spoiled with Verizon. But how bad are the other carriers?

Anyway, I hate the idea of paying for data. I wish it was optional so that I could just use the WIFI if I want internet.

Well, that's why I don't mind getting a cheap data plan so that I could just turn it off and use WIFI when I'm at home or at a public WIFI area. Is that possible? Do people do that?

T-Mobile sounds great. Paying $70 for talk, text, and data sounds like the best so far.

FYI: I live near NYC.
Check out the Tmobile coverage maps on their website. If you're in the green areas then youre good. If you're located in the yellow areas then you'll be on 2G/Edge data and might want to look elsewhere.
 

TacticalDesire

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2012
2,286
23
Michigan
Certainly, I would like good coverage as I have been spoiled with Verizon. But how bad are the other carriers?

Anyway, I hate the idea of paying for data. I wish it was optional so that I could just use the WIFI if I want internet.

Well, that's why I don't mind getting a cheap data plan so that I could just turn it off and use WIFI when I'm at home or at a public WIFI area. Is that possible? Do people do that?

T-Mobile sounds great. Paying $70 for talk, text, and data sounds like the best so far.

FYI: I live near NYC.
T mobile has pretty decent coverage in and around NYC.
 

Apple Trees

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2013
261
0
If you're trying to absolutely be cheap then T-Mobile might be your best chance I guess. Virgin uses Sprint's 3G network which is almost as slow as AT&T Edge data. Don't expect any of those carriers to have coverage that compares to Verizon though. That's the trade off for the price decrease.
 

iMas70

macrumors 65816
Sep 4, 2012
1,241
137
MA
I'm researching the same thing for my sister. She has a Blackberry that has a contract up for renewal in a few weeks. She currently has AT&T and pays $86. per month. Her budget really doesn't allow for that to go any higher. Her plan is 450 mins with rollover, 300MB data (ugh) and no texting. I'm trying to get her to go with an iPhone. She uses Whatsapp for texting and I would suggest 3GB of data so she can take advantage of the phone's features. I know a data package is required but don't remember if texting is.

What do you think. Would like this to be a good experience for her without breaking the bank.
 

Retired Cat

macrumors 65816
Jun 12, 2013
1,210
377
Certainly, I would like good coverage as I have been spoiled with Verizon. But how bad are the other carriers?

Anyway, I hate the idea of paying for data. I wish it was optional so that I could just use the WIFI if I want internet.

Well, that's why I don't mind getting a cheap data plan so that I could just turn it off and use WIFI when I'm at home or at a public WIFI area. Is that possible? Do people do that?

T-Mobile sounds great. Paying $70 for talk, text, and data sounds like the best so far.

FYI: I live near NYC.
Because you live in an urbanized area, and you hate paying for data, the basic T-Mobile $50/month plan is probably your best option.

You get unlimited Talk and Text, and 500 MB high speed data (throttled speed after that amount, but no extra charge).

As always, check the coverage maps.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
I'm researching the same thing for my sister. She has a Blackberry that has a contract up for renewal in a few weeks. She currently has AT&T and pays $86. per month. Her budget really doesn't allow for that to go any higher. Her plan is 450 mins with rollover, 300MB data (ugh) and no texting. I'm trying to get her to go with an iPhone. She uses Whatsapp for texting and I would suggest 3GB of data so she can take advantage of the phone's features. I know a data package is required but don't remember if texting is.

What do you think. Would like this to be a good experience for her without breaking the bank.
If I understand correctly, many AT&T plans that they're promoting now include unlimited texting. Unfortunately 300mb of data won't be enough. She'll easily go over that.

If her contract is up, you might tell her about T-Mobile's new no contract plans. For $50/month she can have unlimited talk and text and 500mb data with no overages (just throttling if you go over). My boyfriend moved his 4S from AT&T last month. He's paying a little extra for increased data. The nice thing is you get whatever data you're paying for plus the original 500mb.

I'm on Verizon, but that's the benefit of being on a family plan.
 

forcetactic

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
467
0
If you want no data, there are several options you can take depending on how many minutes you use.

If you use less than 250 minutes, then airvoice wireless has $10 a month plans.
If you use more than 250 minutes, then puretalk has $20/month for 325 minutes.
If you use more than 325, then airvoice has unlimited talk/text for $30/month

Texting with the nonunlimited will deduct a very minute amount. You'll have to buy the phone full price but even with that, these plans save you a LOT of money.

Keep in mind you can call/text for free with iPhone on a google voice number if you have wifi
 

iMas70

macrumors 65816
Sep 4, 2012
1,241
137
MA
If I understand correctly, many AT&T plans that they're promoting now include unlimited texting. Unfortunately 300mb of data won't be enough. She'll easily go over that.

If her contract is up, you might tell her about T-Mobile's new no contract plans. For $50/month she can have unlimited talk and text and 500mb data with no overages (just throttling if you go over). My boyfriend moved his 4S from AT&T last month. He's paying a little extra for increased data. The nice thing is you get whatever data you're paying for plus the original 500mb.

I'm on Verizon, but that's the benefit of being on a family plan.

I haven't looked into the T-Mobile plans. Are discounts phones available or do you have to pay full price? I believe you have to do that for some plans. AT&T is currently offering the 16GB iPhone 5 for $99.00.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
I haven't looked into the T-Mobile plans. Are discounts phones available or do you have to pay full price? I believe you have to do that for some plans. AT&T is currently offering the 16GB iPhone 5 for $99.00.
You can either pay full price for the phone or make a down payment of $150 (specifically for the iphone 5; other phones have varying down payments) and then pay it off at $20/month for 2 years. After that your monthly bill drops or you can get a new phone and do the same thing. I believe you can also change phones at any time, but you may have to pay for the remaining balance.

If $150 is a little much, it's entirely possible they will drop the price as the 5S release gets closer. I'm not sure if that will affect the monthly fee or not.

I also know they'll take old iPhones in a trade, so she may be able to get something for the BlackBerry as well.

Good luck helping her switch! I had a blackberry for two years and was very happy to switch to my iPhone.