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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    What prepaid cell phone to get?

    I have a big beef with AT&T. I also have an AT&T GoPhone. I do not plan on putting more minutes on it when these ones are used up and need to find a new phone. We don't use a cell phone enough to have even the cheapest of plans, but we do need to have one for emergencies. A prepaid is perfect for us. We went with the GoPhone because of the rollover minutes. We use it so frequently we almost always are running out of time before we run out of money.

    Do any other prepaids have this? What one are good to go with?

    I have heard Virgiin and Boost are both good. Neither have service here. I am pretty sure Trac phones work here as well as T-mobile. I will have to look around at local stores (aka Walmart, Kmart, Walgreens, and RiteAid are the only options) and see what they have for sure.

    So, if you have a prepaid and are happy with it, please let me know more about it. For the phone itself, we just need the most basic one, no need for a camera or texting.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy rochelle's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BunniesMommy View Post
    I have heard Virgiin and Boost are both good. Neither have service here.

    You can check coverage for your zip code here

    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check...phone-coverage

    http://www.boostmobile.com/coverage/

    T-mobile has decent coverage at my area but it has more blind spots than Cingular.

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  5. #3
    Senior Community Member solmama's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    There's also Straight Talk ( www.straighttalk.com ) and Net 10 ( www.net10.com ). Straight talk is Verizon...don't know about Net 10.
    DD-12 years, 68"
    DS-10 years, 60"

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  7. #4
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by rochelle View Post
    You can check coverage for your zip code here

    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check...phone-coverage

    http://www.boostmobile.com/coverage/

    T-mobile has decent coverage at my area but it has more blind spots than Cingular.
    Thanks! I do so much online, I have no idea why I didn't think the check out coverage areas!

  8. #5
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by solmama View Post
    There's also Straight Talk ( www.straighttalk.com ) and Net 10 ( www.net10.com ). Straight talk is Verizon...don't know about Net 10.
    Opps, should have multi-quoted. Thanks, I had heard of Net10 but forgot about it. Never heard of Straight talk. Going to go check out both of these now.

  9. #6
    Senior Community Member Spam's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Net10 and Tracfone are basically the same thing. I have tracfone and have great coverage where I am. Plus my phone has double minutes for life, so whenever I add like a 60 minute card I get 120 minutes and so on. I don't use a ton, and it works great for when I do. Dh and I both have them. My parents also use them, and they use the family value plan monthly pay service. My dad's phone will get 60 minutes a month and my moms 30 minutes. It's $15 a month, and like us just don't use it all the that often so it works great for them too.

    When you call the tracfone activation # it asks if you have tracfone or net10.

    I've used boost in the past, and it was okay for me. I liked being able to click and talk to my bro, but that was pretty much it for me. My brother now has a virgin, it's better on rates for texting I guess and he does more of that.
    Austin 06/30/08 Tucker 07/30/2010 Elias 11/09/2011
    Brody 03/30/2013 ^Jamie^ 04/01/2015
    Rainbow coming February 2016

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  11. #7
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    I love my Tmobile pay-as-you-go. You do keep your unused minutes if you buy a refill before they expire. I talked about it a lot in this thread.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  13. #8
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spam View Post
    My dad's phone will get 60 minutes a month and my moms 30 minutes. It's $15 a month
    They both get minutes for only $15 total? Am I understanding correctly? Thanks.

  14. #9
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    They both get minutes for only $15 total? Am I understanding correctly? Thanks.
    Right. Though it's 50min/30min, and $16/mo

    https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Valu...ACFONE&lang=en

    That is the plan I was going to get, with two of these double-minutes phones:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-L...ories/12509597

    when we finally realized we were really wasting money with Nextel. I ended up going with Boost Mobile, though, when I realized I could get new SIMs for our existing Nextel phones and we'd still get the option of push-to-talk (which we like very much).
    Homeschooling mama to safely transported kids-
    DD1- 11/2001 - 61.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)
    DD2- 11/2004 - 62.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)

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  16. #10
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    I love my Tmobile pay-as-you-go. You do keep your unused minutes if you buy a refill before they expire. I talked about it a lot in this thread.
    I think this may be perfect for us with the Gold plan. I didn't even notice it at first but when I went and read your other post about it and saw that it would allow me to keep the phone active for $10 for a year after paying the first $100, that is great! I am going to look in town to see if I can find a phone I like better than what they have online and then go from there. This is much better than at least $10 every mo or whatever the required is on the GoPhone. Maybe it is $25 for 3 mo...either way, this is much better!

    Do you know if I can transfer my GoPhone number to a Tmobile prepaid? I did see the option on the Tracfone site, but nothing about it on Tmobile. The biggest headache of changing is of course making sure everyone has the new number, so if they can do that....I am done looking! I know there was that law that went into effect a few years back with keeping phone numbers but I am not sure if prepaid phones have to do it.

    Thanks!

  17. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    We recently made the switch to iwireless from us cellular. It really is ALOT cheaper, but I dont think their minutes roll over. You just pay for so many minutes/texting/web for so many days. I get unlimited minutes, texting, and web acess for $50/month.

    They are a partner with T-Mobile so if you have T-Mobile coverage there, you should also have iwireless.
    http://iwireless.com/coverage_viewer.asp

  18. #12
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BunniesMommy View Post
    Do you know if I can transfer my GoPhone number to a Tmobile prepaid? I did see the option on the Tracfone site, but nothing about it on Tmobile. The biggest headache of changing is of course making sure everyone has the new number, so if they can do that....I am done looking! I know there was that law that went into effect a few years back with keeping phone numbers but I am not sure if prepaid phones have to do it.
    You should be able to. I transferred DS's Virgin Mobile Number to T-mobile's prepaid. It did take two phone calls over a couple of days since the first person I talked to didn't get all the right info, but they got the number ported over. I do like some things about Virgin better (mostly the website...I still have a Virgin phone for myself), but he really wanted a T-mobile phone like most of his friends have, and it has worked out to be cheaper for how he uses it.
    Mom to DS-22 driving a 2011 Honda CR-Z, DS-19 driving a 2010 Toyota Prius, DD-16 driving a 2017 Toyota Yaris iA, and DD-14 riding in a 2018 Mazda CX-9 & 2018 Mazda CX-3

  19. #13
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Great! That means I am going shopping tomorrow! Haven't bought a new phone since 5/06. Still quite happy with it, but not with the carrier,so time to move on. Excited to get to pick a new one though, since this one has been so good there has been no reason to check what else is available. Now to make the plan with DH ....do we allgo or I just go and he can stay home with the kids. Guess we will see what happens!

  20. #14
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    i currently use the tracfone & have been VERY HAPPY with it. HOWEVER when Qarin told me about T-Mobile's deal......that would work WAY better for me. MUCH MUCH cheaper & saving our pennies is always a good thing. just so you know....the tracfone for a year service & PLENTY ol minutes is $100 but you have to pay that EVERY year. the T-mobile's deal with the Gold is $100 the 1st year & whatever you need for the following years so lets say i need as much as $50 tho i doubt it. that's 1/2 the cost for year 2+ than the tracfone. YAY!
    i bought my t-mobile phone. just a basic one i got on sale for $15 & i'll be switching mid march when my tracfone expires. i don't plan on transfering my phone number because the one i have is a completely different area code than where i live & many people think i'm FAR away (including the school) when am all of 10 mins away.
    Ginny
    Mom to 4!
    DS1 16yo, DS2 15yo, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo

  21. #15
    Cassandra
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    I got Net10 prepaid at Target. $50 a month buys me unlimited everything - talk, texting, web and 411 calls. I got a 50 bundle just for international calls in addition. I never knew Target carried Net10 until I was shopping there one day, but I'd heard Net10 is rated #1 for consumer satisfaction.

  22. #16
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    I find it interesting the definitions of "cheap" on this thread. For some of us, it's $10/year, while others think nothing of spending $50/month. I definitely fall somewhere in the middle.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  23. #17
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    I find it interesting the definitions of "cheap" on this thread. For some of us, it's $10/year, while others think nothing of spending $50/month. I definitely fall somewhere in the middle.
    I think that with prepaid phones, there are a couple of different kinds of users- some want to be able to use a phone a fair amount but keep the costs down (so Boost or Net10's or whoever's $50/mo unlimited plans are great- substantially better than most contract plans, and low per-minute (if you're not doing an unlimited plan) costs are important), while others want to have a phone for limited or rare use, so their goal is to keep the recurring costs as low as possible.

    Our family falls into that latter camp- we use less than 60min/mo combined (sometimes MUCH less), so for us, we wanted a service where the minimum costs were the lowest- some require refilling every 30 days, with a minimum cost for that refill of around $20, so that's $20/mo per phone; others require refilling every 60, or even 90 days, perhaps with smaller minimum refill amounts. Minimizing the per-month cost was important to us, while minimizing call cost was actually not (if the minimum per-month is enough to cover the number of minutes we use, it doesn't really matter how much it was per minute).

    (PS., I don't think it was me who brought up T-mobile, was it? I suppose it's possible )
    Homeschooling mama to safely transported kids-
    DD1- 11/2001 - 61.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)
    DD2- 11/2004 - 62.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)

  24. #18
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qarin View Post
    while others want to have a phone for limited or rare use, so their goal is to keep the recurring costs as low as possible.
    Yes, this is me, too. I'm spending less than $10/month, and I'm not rationing my minutes at all. I don't need the cheapest per minute cost. I need the cheapest out of pocket cost (i.e., I don't care if the minutes are $.05 each if I have to buy 5 times more than I need just to keep the phone active from month to month). That's why I tend to pimp Tmobile.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  25. #19
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qarin View Post
    I think that with prepaid phones, there are a couple of different kinds of users- some want to be able to use a phone a fair amount but keep the costs down (so Boost or Net10's or whoever's $50/mo unlimited plans are great- substantially better than most contract plans, and low per-minute (if you're not doing an unlimited plan) costs are important), while others want to have a phone for limited or rare use, so their goal is to keep the recurring costs as low as possible.

    Our family falls into that latter camp- we use less than 60min/mo combined (sometimes MUCH less), so for us, we wanted a service where the minimum costs were the lowest- some require refilling every 30 days, with a minimum cost for that refill of around $20, so that's $20/mo per phone; others require refilling every 60, or even 90 days, perhaps with smaller minimum refill amounts. Minimizing the per-month cost was important to us, while minimizing call cost was actually not (if the minimum per-month is enough to cover the number of minutes we use, it doesn't really matter how much it was per minute).

    (PS., I don't think it was me who brought up T-mobile, was it? I suppose it's possible )
    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
    Yes, this is me, too. I'm spending less than $10/month, and I'm not rationing my minutes at all. I don't need the cheapest per minute cost. I need the cheapest out of pocket cost (i.e., I don't care if the minutes are $.05 each if I have to buy 5 times more than I need just to keep the phone active from month to month). That's why I tend to pimp Tmobile.
    This is exactly us! This is why I am now in love with the idea of the way Tmobile works. It is perfect for us. It was Ulrike that brought it up in my post here, but Qarin, who knows, maybe you did somewhere else! LOL!

    I was thinking Virgin's prepaid sounded good, but it did require refills every month and a monthly charge is what we were trying to get away from with cancelling our contract phones.

    Then when I checked out the Tmobile way I was in love! It is exactly perfect for us. I would say some months we use no minutes at all. Then sometimes there is an issue with our magicjack or internet and we have to use the cell for everything or extra use on vacations or whatever. I love that we are no longer attached to cell phones, and this Tmobile prepaid will make us very happy. We will have it when we want/need it but it won't be an issue for us to keep it active when we don't need it.

  26. #20
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: What prepaid cell phone to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BunniesMommy View Post

    I was thinking Virgin's prepaid sounded good, but it did require refills every month and a monthly charge is what we were trying to get away from with cancelling our contract phones.
    Virgin only requires topping up every 90 days, not every month, and there are no monthly charges with the minute-to-minute plans.
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    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
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