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Posted: 3/30/2009 7:34:17 AM EDT
Has anyone ever used or is using a prepaid cell phone or Trac Phone? My Verizon service sucks and I am living
in a dead zone. Guess I am the exception to the rule. AT&T phones work where I live. I plan on getting an AT&T single
phone plan. My wife uses her phone once in an blue moon and thinks we will save money by going with a prepaid phone
for her to use. I am wondering your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:39:27 AM EDT
Make sure you read the fine print. I looked into those phones a year or three ago, and they generally require purchases of minutes or whatever every few months. It's a de facto subscription. So, the costs may not be what they appear.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:42:32 AM EDT
My wife has an AT&T pre-paid phone. When we bought it we put $100 of credit on it so it is now good for an entire year. Also, when you apply more money to the account it will extent the life of the money that it always there. So, as long as you keep the account current you will never lose money.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:44:24 AM EDT
I switched the family to Tracfone from a Cingular family plan.

Glad I did.

The money I spent per month with Cingular covers about 3-4 months with Tracfone.

When you buy a card, you're getting two things with it –– (1) minutes, and (2) service expiration date extension.

I hardly use mine, and I have 542 minutes which expire in early October.

Even if you hardly EVER use a phone, do the Pre-Paid. Buy the cheapest phone available, and buy the minimum number of minutes available (cheapest option). If those minutes expire, you didn't lose much. If they get used, great.

Oh, and as far as numbers go –– Cingular family plan was about $120/month. $100 covers me and my wife for about 3-4 months.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:45:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 7:58:04 AM EDT by DarkStar]

I'm using TracFones... I'm not a big cell user so it made no sense to get involved in a cell contract. I add a $20 60 minute card every 3 months which is the minimum TracFone requires... cheap and it always works, what's not to like? I got this phone for $17 at WallyWorld...

Edited to add: TracFone carries your minutes over so I'm sitting on over 600 minutes right now but they require a service extension which is the cheap 60 minute cards I buy every 3 months...

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:46:23 AM EDT
Plans vary. Alltel has 3 different plans and they are all different.

One plan expires your minutes or "time" at the end of the month, another one doesn't.

You really have to read them carefully.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:46:57 AM EDT
I'm on Sprint right now, and we got phones that I hoped would last through our two-year agreement. The charging systems in both of our phones have failed. I managed to find an external battery charger that should keep us running for now, until our two-year contract is up.

They want an outrageous amount for a replacement phone, and we found that for $50 a month you can get an unlimited pre-paid phone (voice, text, etc.).

As soon as our Sprint contract is up we are switching to pre-paid.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 7:55:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 7:57:06 AM EDT by David0858]
My wife and I were spending >$75 a month with ATT, we are now spending $14 a month with Tracfone (we got phones that double your minutes) and talk just as much as before (we never used any where near all of our minutes with ATT).
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:16:29 AM EDT
I use Virgin Mobil, costs $20 every 3 months minimum.You can buy as many minutes as you want if you need more. Unused minutes are rolled over at end of pay period.
No roaming, no long distance charges
I was able to take advantage of a speciel they were running recently for $15 every 3 months.
So it cost me $5 a month to have a cell phone, hard deal to beat
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:20:27 AM EDT
I had a Tracfone for 3 years. It all really depends on your usage. I'm in college and my cell phone is the only one I use, so the Tracfone got way too expensive. My university sends out alerts and notifications via text message. That cost quite a bit too. So it really depends on your situation.

Also my TracFone never worked in my dorm room. I had to hang halfway out the window to make or answer a call.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:23:11 AM EDT
If you use less than 200 min a month go TracFone and don’t look back.

Buy a TracFone phone that doubles the min. and look for online promo codes for extra min. I went from spending $60 a month with Embarq wireless to about $7 a month with TracFone.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:24:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 8:27:38 AM EDT by Primos]
I use T-mobile pre paid. Voicemail, caller id, call waiting, can check balance on the phone, on the screen, and on the internet.

They sell $10, $25, $50, and $100 increment refill cards. Minutes last for 3 months when you have spent less than $100 (cumulative) on your account.
Once you hit the $100 mark on your account, your minutes will not expire for a year. (And even then, as that year mark gets close, just add a small amount of money/minutes, and ALL of your minutes last for another year. 'Rollover' or whatever.)

I don't use my cell phone very often at all, and it works out great for me. I've been doing it for two years, now.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:24:14 AM EDT
T-Mobile FTW

You hit $100 in phone cards and you secure 1 year service, every card you add after that adds a year from that date.

I spend about $20 a year for the wifes phone.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:26:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 8:28:37 AM EDT by mags]
NEVER add another monthly bill to your debt load that isnt NESSESSARY or making you money. Thats how the POSTS' Kellogs" and ATT & the like got rich becoming part of your monthly bill. I use double minutes tracphone/ 180 min for 30 bucks including the phone and a 20buck 60 min card with their always great 'coupons'(online promos) that add another 20/30/ OR 60 min for zippo!JMO
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:50:29 AM EDT
We've used Tracphone for a year now. Had issues at first... Long story.. But have been happy since that issue was resolved.

We have three phones, so it costs us about $20 per month for all three. We are not big cell phone users, and since we got the "double minutes" card for the wife and my phones, we have more than enough minutes.

Here's a quick breakdown on savings: 3 Phones (1 was a free promo) = $35, 2 Double minute cards = $100, 12 - 60 minutes cards = $240.... Total for year = $375.
This compared to 12 months @ $65/month = $780 Savings = $405 (And I still have my paid minutes compared to losing minutes each month with AT&T)

And FYI... Tracfone here uses the AT&T cell network. This was important, since there are a few spots on my commute that the other networks have poor coverage.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:53:22 AM EDT
I use tracfone.

I paid 40 for the phone and 100 for the card which is good for a year and which gave me 400 minutes. The phone came setup to double minutes that I put on it, so I had 800 minutes that I could take a year to use.

140 bucks is about 3 months on a regular contract.

I can text and I can get on the internet, too.

I seriously doubt I'll ever go back to a month to month, unless I can get a smoking deal on an iPhone.

Once iPhone goes prepaid... I'm so there.

Link Posted: 3/30/2009 8:55:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2009 8:55:49 AM EDT by Bludd]
I have used a Trac they work fine. just a little spendy on mins if you use it often,
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 9:12:11 AM EDT
I have a Tracfone that came with double minutes. You buy a 200 min. card for $40, you get 400 min, you add a bonus code given to you from

Tracfone for an additional 40 or 50 mins. and your paying less than 10 cents a minute. You get 3 mos. to use these minutes. If you don't use them,

in that time, they roll over. If you use them up before the 90 days, get another card and the time is added to the time you already paid for. For

example - right now I have about 400 mins. on my phone, but I don't have to get a card for another 11 mos.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 9:15:38 AM EDT
I'm happy with Tracfone, but I barely use it.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 9:16:46 AM EDT
I'm a satisfied Tracfone user.

I might use 100-150 minutes per month.
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