Pre-Paid Cell Phone Plans
Can Be More Economical Without Credit Checks.
If you are an infrequent
user or if you want to manage your wireless spending, prepaid cell phone
plans can be ideal for you. With pre-paid cplans, you can buy minutes
ahead of time and replenish them as needed, instead of signing up for
long-term contracts. Already widely used in Europe, prepaid wireless plans
have become the fastest-growing segment of the wireless marke in the US.
More companies offer more attractive and competitively priced prepaid
Possibly the best thing about prepaid cell-phone plans is what it doesn't
have. There are no contracts to sign, no monthly bills, no long-term commitments,
no credit checks, no age limit and no hidden fees. These features are
what make prepaid wireless plans so attractive.
Prepaid cell phone
can stop you or your family members from wasting money. With
prepaid cell phone plans, you're going to pay as you go along. So you
know how much you are spending.
a prepaid long distance calling card, you buy the phone, activate it,
and then pay to put minutes or "units" on your account. As you
use the phone, minutes are subtracted from your account. When you run
low on minutes, you pay to add more minutes.
phone plans are ideal if...
- you want a cell
phone phone but would like to budget your usage.
- you want a cell
phone phone for safety without the monthly bill or long-term contract.
- you don't like
the hassle of a credit check.
- you want to buy
a cell phone for your children, but want to control their usage.
Prepaid Service Providers
Prepaid Minutes Expire; Refill Before Expiration Date.
There are two disadvantages to prepaid wireless. First, although per
minute rates have come down, they remain higher than traditional postpaid
service. Second, your minutes are good for only a limited time. , usually
30 to 90 days. If you don't buy more minutes to your account before they
expire, you lose them.
At most carriers, minutes are easy to purchase online, by phone, or via
prepaid cards sold at numerous retailers. Some carriers also offer plans
that automatically charge credit cards to replenish minutes.
Consumers considering a prepaid plan should consider their calling needs
carefully. Prepaid is appealing to people who want a phone to use occasionally,
but it can become expensive if the user gets hooked on wireless calling
and starts spending far more than he would with a standard contract.
Which carrier should you choose?: Depends
on your priority
- For infrequent
users (emergency users, seniors): choose a carrier that offers longer
airtime - Tracfone
offers refill cards valid up to one year.
- For teens and people
who talk a lot on the phone: choose a carrier that offers cheap per
minute rates - Cingular
Wireless INpulse offers rates as low as 10¢ per minute
- For credit challendged
people who want regular postpay style calling plans: choose Cingular
(GoPhone Pick Your Plan) or Verizon
Wireless (EasyPay Plan)
As the prepaid business expands and new companies enter the market, calling
rates keep coming down and the length of time before minutes expire keeps