Monday, December 12, 2005

Prepaid Cell Phones

My family is down with a cold, so I'll make this quick.

Thank you for all the prepaid cell phone comments! Our T-Mobile Family Plan contract runs out this month, and we're really not getting our money's worth. At least on my end--I use the phone so rarely it loses charge before I need it again. In fact, my reaction to thoughtless cell-phone shoppers and drivers is to retreat even farther from new millenium technology. My husband teases me about this attitude, to which I reply, "Hey, at least I have a who's behind on the times, now?"

A summary of your helpful advice:
If you rarely use a cell phone, prepaid service is the cheapest option.
A big expense of the prepaid system is the phone itself, but you can buy them used online.
You can save money on minutes by buying at Sam's Club or bidding for minutes on Ebay.
Don't wait until you are low on minutes to bid for more airtime on Ebay.
When you win an auction for minutes, you send the seller your esn#, and the seller will email you the codes to enter. (Dena)
Tracfone is probably the largest and most reputable prepaid company (Kathryn).
Virgin Mobile offers frequent deals, rolls minutes over, and gives you a grace period if you forget to renew your minutes quarterly. (Coffee and a Muffin).


Laura Talbert said...

I missed the cell phone discussion. Like you, I rarely use my cell phone and it often loses charge between times.
I have a pre-paid phone from Virgin. I buy $20 worth of minutes every 3 months(to keep it active), with there always being at least $10 left each period to roll over. At the time I got this phone Virgin was the only one I knew that let you roll over minutes. It has worked very well for me.
My brother recently got a Virgin phone and I think he paid $35 for it brand new. That seems cheap to me, but I haven't really looked into it since my 2 year old phone works just fine.

Anonymous said...

I too have a Virgin phone. I asked for the phone last Christmas, so it was free to me (my MIL paid $40). Like the above comment, I keep it active with $20 re-ups every 3 months -- $80 per year. At the time I was researching phones last year that was the lowest cost that I could find on a prepaid phone. I rarely use mine and have about $50 built up on mine right now, but I do love having it for the insurance and those times when I need to be in contact with some one.

Kim said...

I bought my phone from Virgin Mobile for about $25 (they had it on clearance). Can't get much cheaper, eh?

Kim said...

Looks like my phone is on sale even cheaper than when I bought mine!