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  1. #21
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    i've been happy with tracfone for a number of years. i get the yearly plan for like $100 & a bunch of minutes i don't use. LOL they rollover

    the t mobile sounds cheaper i might need to check that out....

    ETA: oh i see there is a MAJOR white area (no service) in the middle of my state. not sure how accurate that is. my DH has tmobile for work...i'll have to ask him of any trouble he has if any. i'm not sure i go that direction normally but what if i did....i'd hate to have no service there. KWIM?
    Ginny
    Mom to 4!
    DS1 16yo, DS2 15yo, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo

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  3. #22
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    I've been very happy with my Tmobile pay-as-you-go plans. We've got 3 now, one for Hubby, one for me, and one for the kids to use just in case. $10 gets 30 minutes that are good for a full 90 days, and if you refill the phone before the old minutes expire, you keep them! So, for ~$40/year, you keep your phone active. If you spend $100 on minutes in one year, you upgrade to "Gold" status, and then you just have to put an additional $10 on the phone every year to keep it active!

    The smaller cards do charge you more per minute. $100 card is 1000 min ($.10/min), while the $10 card is only 30 min ($.33/min), but the time lasts longer than Net10. $10 (30 min) lasts 90 days on Tmobile, while you have to spend $45 (450 min) to get 90 days of service on Net10. $100 (1000 min) lasts a year on Tmobile (and after that, you can just add another $10 to extend it an entire year), but to get a year of service on Net10, you have to spend $200.

    Virgin says it's as low as $.05/minute, but their website doesn't like me, and I can't click to view the details, expiration times, etc.
    ulrike, can you clear something up for me? for Tmobile, if you refill before your expire date do the minutes remaining roll over? or is a use em or lose em kind of thing? also the gold status - do you have to qualify every year (spend a $100) every year or can you just use say a $10 card & still have gold status for the following year?

    i'm SO CONFUSED. i tried reading everything online but seriously my head is spinning. i don't think i fully understand the deal. if its what i think/hope it is i'm thinking i'll be switching. DH said that anywhere i go i won't have a problem with any "dead zones" so that's good news
    Ginny
    Mom to 4!
    DS1 16yo, DS2 15yo, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo

  4. #23
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by ginny4 View Post
    ulrike, can you clear something up for me? for Tmobile, if you refill before your expire date do the minutes remaining roll over? or is a use em or lose em kind of thing? also the gold status - do you have to qualify every year (spend a $100) every year or can you just use say a $10 card & still have gold status for the following year?
    No problem.

    1) If you have minutes on your phone, and you add more minutes, the sum total of those minutes expires at the later date. So, if you have 2 minutes left, and you by a $10 (30 minutes) card, you now have 32 minutes that expire in 90 days.

    2) If you have reached Gold status, and you add minutes, those minutes are added to the minutes you already have, and the expiration is extended to a year from your most recent purchase. So, say I have 100 minutes left, but they expire next week. I buy a $10 refill (that gets me 35 minutes, because Gold gets you a bonus on your refills), and all 135 minutes are good for an entire year after that purchase.

    BTW, Tmobile doesn't have service at my Godparents house, but my phone picks up the ATT tower there, and I can still make & receive calls in their kitchen (but not in their livingroom).
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  6. #24
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    No problem.

    1) If you have minutes on your phone, and you add more minutes, the sum total of those minutes expires at the later date. So, if you have 2 minutes left, and you by a $10 (30 minutes) card, you now have 32 minutes that expire in 90 days.

    2) If you have reached Gold status, and you add minutes, those minutes are added to the minutes you already have, and the expiration is extended to a year from your most recent purchase. So, say I have 100 minutes left, but they expire next week. I buy a $10 refill (that gets me 35 minutes, because Gold gets you a bonus on your refills), and all 135 minutes are good for an entire year after that purchase.

    BTW, Tmobile doesn't have service at my Godparents house, but my phone picks up the ATT tower there, and I can still make & receive calls in their kitchen (but not in their livingroom).

    oooo THANK YOU THANK YOU. sounds good to me.
    LOL at the working in the kitchen but not the living room. you know i think my DH has that with his too- at my parents? tho i think strangely enough one day he didn't have to leave it in the kitchen. back to hounding my DH again about the service....tho i think no matter, it'll be about 1/2 the cost of our current deal with tracfone after the initial 1st year expense.

    sqeee....now to pick a phone.....
    which type of phone do you have? i can't figure out if i want just the basic one or one that does pictures & a whole bunch of stuff.
    Ginny
    Mom to 4!
    DS1 16yo, DS2 15yo, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo

  7. #25
    Senior Community Member BigDaddy's Avatar
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    There are some really cheap plans being discussed here:

    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/979161/

    Pure Talk USA offers a cell phone package at $10 a month for 101 minutes and the unused minutes never expire and they roll over.

    Pure Talk

    Always $10 per Month, 101 Minutes Included
    No Contract, Extra Fees, or Surprises
    Friendly Customer Service
    Unused Minutes Rollover

    There is a free phone and a free Sim if you already have a phone and there are several other fancier phones you can purchase

    Phones - free one is toward bottom

    I have personaly used this provider for the last several months and there has not been any problems what so ever.

    An even better plan imo is the $100 prepaid plan from mingo wireless. 1500 minutes and 1yr of service. It runs on Verizon's network so the coverage is pretty good. Any Verizon cell phone should work. If you want an inexpensive phone, get a $20 Verizon prepaid phone from WalMart and activate it through Mingo (do not activate through Verizon).

    At $100, the Flex 1500 plan gives you 125 minutes @ $8.33 per month ($0.0666/minute). The minutes are good for 365 days so no monthly roll over or refill hassles (the minutes do roll over with a refill). I got this deal for a relative who needed an emergency phone it and has worked out really well. I probably would not have made such a big deal about Mingo, but their customer service is great.

    An alternative ...

    T-Mobile prepaid:

    * $100 / 1000 minutes - 10% airtime discounts are common, so figure $90 or less.
    * 1 year expiration
    * Larger coverage area (YMMV if it works for you)
    * Just $10 rolls your unused minutes for another year.


  8. #26
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    I had the cheapest of cheap Nokia phones for 3 years. Worked great. No issues.

    This summer, I "upgraded" to a Nokia flip phone (put my old SIM card in my new phone, and kept my old number, my phonebook, etc). I'm less than impressed. I have a really hard time hearing the other person in any but the most quiet of quiet environments, and there's *no* volume control for that. I've never used the camera. I like that it flips closed, but that's about the only thing I like about it.

    So, if it were me, I'd just go with the base model. If you decide you like the service and you want more features, you can always upgrade in the future. BTW, my husband has a different model of flip phone, and he's never complained about his.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  9. #27
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    I had the cheapest of cheap Nokia phones for 3 years. Worked great. No issues.

    This summer, I "upgraded" to a Nokia flip phone (put my old SIM card in my new phone, and kept my old number, my phonebook, etc). I'm less than impressed. I have a really hard time hearing the other person in any but the most quiet of quiet environments, and there's *no* volume control for that. I've never used the camera. I like that it flips closed, but that's about the only thing I like about it.

    So, if it were me, I'd just go with the base model. If you decide you like the service and you want more features, you can always upgrade in the future. BTW, my husband has a different model of flip phone, and he's never complained about his.
    about your "upgrade". they have a pretty small list of choices for prepaid online. no flip phones which is what i would prefer. oh well.

    i had decided that double the price wasn't worth it for me for right now....i ordered the base model & got it on sale at best buy. i won't be activating it til closer to my expiry date of my current phone next month. i'm excited about it!! so thanks again for all your help.
    Ginny
    Mom to 4!
    DS1 16yo, DS2 15yo, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo

  10. #28
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: prepaid cell phones

    The phones they have online change at least once a month. I watched for several months before I found the one I got Hubby (that he likes) and for several more months before I found mine (which I hate). Before that, we had the same model, and it was occasionally confusing (until he abused his enough that it was easy to tell them apart). So, if you like T-mobile after you've had it for a while, just start watching the website and stores for a phone you like better at a price that's nice.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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