Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
Welcome to BestPrepaidCellPhonePlans.org! On this site, we publish reviews and comparisons of the the best prepaid or no contract cell phone plans. These cell phone plans allow users to talk, text, email, do social updates (eg. Facebook, Twitter) and browse the web freely and reliably. See No Contract Cell Phone Plans Comparison Chart.
We understand that some users are just looking for a basic phone for emergencies, while others prefer the latest iPhone or Android smartphones with more features. The numerous plans and companies we review on this site cover both ends of the spectrum, plus everything in between.
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What This Site Is About & How You Can Benefit From It
This site is dedicated to sharing helpful information on different prepaid or no contract cell phone plans. This allows readers to quickly find out about the various plans and phone companies out there, and to compare which one works best for them. Currently, there are dozens of prepaid phone companies in the marketplace with competing offers. It is often confusing and time-consuming to shop for the best plan, as there are lots of details involved. By using the comparison charts and reviews on this site, we hope that readers can quickly cut through the confusion and find what they need.
To get started, check out the Cell Phone Plans Comparison Chart
You can also skip ahead to check out the Best No Contract Cell Phone Companies
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What Are Prepaid Cell Phone Plans?
Prepaid cell phone plans are no contract phone plans that are priced independently from the cost of a cell phone. Traditional contract/postpaid phone plans bundle the cost of the phone together with a contract. This increases the monthly cost of the plan.
Since traditional postpaid plans take on both the cost of the phone and the risk of financing the phone, this is reflected back to customers in more expensive phone plans. Cells phones are not as expensive when you pay for them upfront, rather than rely on financing them through monthly plan costs. In fact, a stylish touchscreen phone with a Qwerty keyboard for texting costs around $40, while budget Android phones are around $100 or less. It's not worth paying an extra $50 a month in costs for a bundled phone and plan subscription.
Prepaid cell phone plans also have the advantage of much smaller outlays. A Pay As You Go plan cost as little as $10 a month for a decent amount of airtime. Regular cell phone bills are typically $80 or more a month. These plans may include a lot more minutes of talk time and allow for lots of text messaging, but if you can't use most of it, what's the point?
By picking some of the best prepaid cell phone plans instead, users could enjoy identical services for a lot less money and with no long-term obligations. Call connections are made using the same physical networks such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Prepaid phone companies lease space from these large networks and package them into their own branded plans. They are what is known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators. The best prepaid cell phone plans allows you to talk and text as much as you like very cost-effectively and in a reliable way. They can be accessed with trendy cell phones that are great for texting, talking, doing Facebook updates, video and web browsing.
In 2014, the prepaid phone scene is sophisticated. Gone are the times when prepaid phones looked like poor cousins compared to phones that work with regular postpaid plans. If you are not aware of the advantages of prepaid wireless plans, it could be because they have evolved and improved rapidly in the last 5 years. The pricing and features available that you read up about pre-paid cell phone services as recently as a year ago may already have changed, and probably for the better.
Types of Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
In this introduction, 4 types of prepaid or no contract cell phone plans for talking and texting are introduced. Each single one of these plans can save you hundreds of dollars each year when compared with a similar contract plan. By the end of this information-packed article you will at least be able to see if any of these plans is compatible with your criteria for a cell phone plan.
1. Pay As You Go
Pay as you go plans are the best prepaid cell phone plans for people who use their phone infrequently. A ballpark number is less than 100 minutes a month, or less than 200 text messages a month. The first type of prepaid cell phone plan is Pay As You Go. Pay As You Go is the most basic way is to buy prepaid service.
You buy airtime - a term that means a fixed number of phone minutes and a period of active service. For example, you can buy an airtime card of 120 minutes, for 3 months of service, for $20. That means Pay As You Go service will stay active for 3 months and you have 120 minutes during that period for use. The minutes are depleted every time you use your phone.
The bare minimum necessary to keep the Pay As You Go service active is to have unexpired service time, even if all your minutes have been used up. For light occasional users of a cell phone, this is our recommended best choice for inexpensive prepaid cell service choice and would keep costs to as low as $7 a month. For this option, TracFone offers the best value. Check out Tracfone prepaid's double-minute or triple-minute benefit that could really bring the cost per minute down tremendously.
If your phone usage is highly concentrated just on certain days of the week such as weekends, or weekdays, or other special days, you may save even more with the next option, Pay By The Day.
2. Pay By The Day
Pay By The Day are the best types of prepaid cell phone plans for users who need to use their phone only only on certain days of the week. They do not use the use the phone a lot, but when on the days they use it, usage could be heavy.
Pay By The Day prepaid cell phone plans have been gaining in popularity recently. With Pay By The Day you pay only for the days that you use the phone. The charge could be a combination of a fixed amount, for example, $1 a day, and then 10 cents for each additional minute of talk time. Or it could be a small fee like $3 a day for unlimited use for the whole day. Specific plan offerings and charges will vary by specific prepaid cell phone companies, but in general, these plans qualify as the best prepaid cell phone plans if you plan on heavily using your cellphone only on specific days.
Similar to the Pay As You Go service, you prepay for a fixed length of service time, usually once every 3 months or once every year, and the usage amount will be deducted from your prepaid balance for the days that you use the phone. This is suitable for people who may not need to use the phone everyday but on the days they use it, they use it quite a bit. Note that if you use the phone almost every day but for just a few minutes each time, you probably will spend less with the Pay As You Go option. For the Pay By The Day option, T-Mobile's Prepaid and AT&T's GoPhone are recommended choices. Verizon also has a similar prepaid cell phone plan.
Pay As You Go and Pay By The Day plans are commonly considered the best prepaid cell phone plans there are for infrequently phone patterns. But before deciding on them, let's also take a look at the next two types of best prepaid cell phone plan categories and you can then take time to compare prepaid cell phone plans and see what works best for you.
3. Prepaid Cell Phone Monthly Plan
The monthly prepaid cell phone plan is considered the best type of prepaid cell phone plans for moderately to heavy users of cells phones.
The Prepaid Cell Phone Monthly Plan is similar to regular contract-based cell phone services in that you pay once a month on a recurring basis. An example would be a plan for $15 a month with 150 minutes. Since there are no contracts, you can stop it anytime with no penalties. Another benefit is that your phone automatically gets topped up with new minutes every month, so you do not have to take time out of your schedule to purchase refill cards. For this option, Net 10 and T-Mobile's FlexPay plan are recommended choices. In particular, the Net 10 prepaid cell phone plan has been rated highly by Consumer Reports as well as the JD Power and Associates prepaid cell phone users survey.
4. Unlimited Prepaid Cell Phone Monthly Plan
If you use the phone a lot, then the best prepaid cell phone plans recommended are unlimited cell phone plans. Unlimited Prepaid Cell Phone Monthly Plans became popular since 2006 with the introduction of several plans such as Metro PCS, Boost Mobile and StraightTalk. Net10, a prepaid plan that is associated with pay as you go and monthly plans, has also added unlimited to its plan options.
These high usage and Super Usage or Unlimited Plans are a high-end variation of the monthly preapid plan and has attracted new converts accustomed to high volume usage on a contract-based plan. For $50 or less a month, you can find prepaid plans that offer unlimited talk, text and data access. For $30 a month, you can find plans offering 1,000 minutes of talk time and 1,000 text messages. This is perfect for you if you use your cell phone all the time. For this option, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and StraightTalk's service are recommended choices. There are a number of prepaid cell phone companies here, so browse and compare their prepaid cell phone plans before deciding on one.
So, which prepaid cell phone plan is the best? All four are the best prepaid cell phone plans in their own ways. The best plan for each person will vary depends on how much he or she plans to use the pre-paid phone for texting, talking or web browsing. With the information presented here, you have gained a basic understanding about how the four different types of prepaid cell phone plans work.
If you are looking for the best prepaid cell phone plans that will match your needs, the next step is to get into action and check the specific plans offered by prepaid cell phone companies (eg. AT&T, Trac phone, Virgin or Net 10 prepaid cell phone plans), as well as the prepaid cell phones offered. By selecting the best prepaid cell phone plan for your needs, you could very well end up with a wonderful, stylish new prepaid cell phone for talking and texting. On top of that you may save hundreds of dollars each year on your cell phone charges.
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