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Why can't there be a pay as you go cell plan


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that you can just put on a CC and it charges you as you go?

 

I hate reloading and worrying about going over, minutes expiring, etc....

 

I don't understand why they have to have it preloaded if you have a way to pay on file.

 

I don't want ANY monthly recharging, etc....I want to pay for calls AS I use them (or as my parents use theirs.)

 

Dawn

Edited by DawnM
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Our business phone bounces over to a Straight Talk cell phone when we're not in the office. Straight Talk is $45 for unlimited talk/text/data, so they just pull $49 something (tax etc) off our credit card each month. No worries :001_smile:.

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Isn't that basically what straight talk does? That is what we have and it just charges us automatically each month....

 

But that doesn't see pay as you go to me? Pay as you go, to me, would mean ONLY paying when you need more. Automatic monthly seems more like what we have now as a contract plan, minus (perhaps?) the contract.

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that you can just put on a CC and it charges you as you go?

 

I hate reloading and worrying about going over, etc....

 

I don't understand why they have to have it preloaded if you have a way to pay on file.

 

Dawn

 

Try ATT prepaid. You can get $100 of minutes that last a year and can roll over. My phone also updates me on the amount left after every phone call. It's not linked to a credit card, but it cuts down on the hassle of reloading and keeping track of usage.

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But that doesn't see pay as you go to me? Pay as you go, to me, would mean ONLY paying when you need more. Automatic monthly seems more like what we have now as a contract plan, minus (perhaps?) the contract.

 

Oh, I see. We just get unlimited for $45/mo (actual billed amount is usually $46 and some change) but no, there isn't a contract. We can cancel at any time, etc - and it's way cheaper than contract carriers.

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Virgin Mobile is pay as you go and you can enter a credit card and have them charge it automatically each month, but there's no contract. Their data plans are cheap but their customer service is pretty bare bones.

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I don't think I am explaining myself well.

 

I mean, pay ONLY for the minutes you use as you use them. Use $4 in calls, $4 gets charged to your CC.

 

I do not mean loading minutes and pre-paying and when they run out you get cut off and have to log on to reload minutes.

 

I don't want a $10 min. charge per month, I don't even want an $8/charge per month and I don't want a $100 for the year.

 

that is the big "catch" with all these plans......I thought GoPhone was like that, but I am finding out that they "expire" if you don't use them unless you get the $100 upfront, which would take my parents 2-3 years to use and I plan to get one for each of them. I really don't want to pay $200 plus phone charges up front!

 

Dawn

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I don't know if something you are looking for exists. My dh has a Tracfone that cost us $20. It gives double minutes for the life of the phone. He buys the 60 minutes cards for $20 (ends up 120 minutes because of the double), and it will last up to 90 days. Texts only use 1/3 of a minute. The per minute charge seems higher than some, but because he rarely uses all his minutes, it ends up costing us just about $7 a month.

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No. That is still roughly $7/mo. I want a $0 a month and just pay for the minutes you actually use as you use them.

 

My mom will use the phone about 60 minutes per YEAR.

 

I don't know if something you are looking for exists. My dh has a Tracfone that cost us $20. It gives double minutes for the life of the phone. He buys the 60 minutes cards for $20 (ends up 120 minutes because of the double), and it will last up to 90 days. Texts only use 1/3 of a minute. The per minute charge seems higher than some, but because he rarely uses all his minutes, it ends up costing us just about $7 a month.
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No, this would work for ME but not for my parents. They want a phone for emergencies, calling each other while on vacation, calling each other in the store, that sort of thing. Even the $10/mo per phone plans are really more than they need.

 

 

Not sure if I got what you are looking for: I have a plan that gets deducted once a month, unlimited minutes and texting. It's Straight Talk. $40.00 per month.
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The problem is that you are charged for minutes and for having service. That is why you have to keep loading. We have one pay as you go that has tons of minutes on it because we do have to keep reloading it. Net 10 is $15 a month and 150-200 minutes. I usually do the 60 days for $30 because we are swimming in minutes. Tracfone worked out the cheapest for my phone, $100 for 800-1000 minutes with a minute doubler, and one year of service. It does work out cheaper to prepay for more time. Tracfone's smaller cards come out to $.25 a minute, the year one is about $.10 a minute.

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No. That is still roughly $7/mo. I want a $0 a month and just pay for the minutes you actually use as you use them.

 

My mom will use the phone about 60 minutes per YEAR.

 

I really don't think you'll find a phone that is cheaper than $7 a month. Companies want to have a regular income, and even at $.25 a minute, 60 minutes is only $15 a year. I don't think any company is going to have that little revenue for providing service.

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Ok, well, that makes sense. I am still researching. Someone mentioned PlatinumTel yesterday and it looks like you can get a $100 card that never expires. I hate spending that much up front, but that may be my best option if they can have a couple of years to use it.

 

It is really more of a safety net for my mom and I am paying for it.

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T-Mobile had this option when I set up ds's phone ... he has the text only pay as you go. I didn't set it up for auto-pay, as it's up to him to pay it (he CAN give me cash and have me put it on my credit card, or he can go to the grocery store, etc. and buy a card and put it on himself). But it was an option.

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I just went through this exact thing trying to get an emergency phone to leave at home for my kids when I go out. There really is nothing. The best deal I could find was the $15 tracphone with the the 90 day card for $20 and yes I will have to renew it every 90 days, but that works out to about $7 a month. I really could not find anything cheaper. I was very frustrated as well to not be able to just get a card (with however many minutes) that would never expire.

 

Jen

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Technically in the USA any cell phone without service and with a charge should be able to make a call to 911 for free, or to almost anywhere with a credit card. But it's something like $3.99/minute the last I knew.

 

There are plans for older people or people with a limited income. I stumble upon advertisements for them from time to time, and an older lady I know got one after she retired. I don't know the details, but I imagine you could google for something like that for your mom.

 

Tracfone really is the best commercial option I know of. You can buy a year of service instead, but it ends up costing more, and the minutes do expire. This is why:

 

When I was in college I worked for a regional cell phone company for a while. The company made some money from its customers, but it earned most of its money leasing lines to other companies (like Verizon, etc).

 

Prepaid companies are on their own sort of pay by the minute billing option. They buy a certain amount of bandwidth, but it expires for them monthly too. If they were just paying as you used it, it would cost those companies too much to do business with you.

 

eta: I just remembered the last time I saw an advertisement for free service was at Dollar General store. You got a tracfone and 200 minutes a month free if you signed up and met certain income guidelines.

Edited by Katy
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Oh, that wouldn't be bad if you only have to add $10 or so the NEXT year. I just don't want to add $100 per year because I don't think she will use it.

 

I will check it out.

 

I don't have exactly what you are looking for, but it works for us. I have a T-mobile prepaid. Basically if you start out with a $100 card you can roll over any unused minutes at the end of the year if you add at least $10. We bought it 6 years ago and have only added $10 each year. So you figure it has cost me $150 for 6 years. They don't remind you though. DH sets a reminder on his computer.
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They nor we are low income, we just don't like wasting money unnecessarily. We are all cheap! :D

 

911 isn't the concern, it is being able to call my dad if she needs him, etc....

 

Dawn

 

Technically in the USA any cell phone without service and with a charge should be able to make a call to 911 for free, or to almost anywhere with a credit card. But it's something like $3.99/minute the last I knew.

 

There are plans for older people or people with a limited income. I stumble upon advertisements for them from time to time, and an older lady I know got one after she retired. I don't know the details, but I imagine you could google for something like that for your mom.

 

Tracfone really is the best commercial option I know of. You can buy a year of service instead, but it ends up costing more, and the minutes do expire. This is why:

 

When I was in college I worked for a regional cell phone company for a while. The company made some money from its customers, but it earned most of its money leasing lines to other companies (like Verizon, etc).

 

Prepaid companies are on their own sort of pay by the minute billing option. They buy a certain amount of bandwidth, but it expires for them monthly too. If they were just paying as you used it, it would cost those companies too much to do business with you.

 

eta: I just remembered the last time I saw an advertisement for free service was at Dollar General store. You got a tracfone and 200 minutes a month free if you signed up and met certain income guidelines.

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Do you know what towers the Tracphone uses? Or is that the one where it depends on what phone you pick?

 

I just went through this exact thing trying to get an emergency phone to leave at home for my kids when I go out. There really is nothing. The best deal I could find was the $15 tracphone with the the 90 day card for $20 and yes I will have to renew it every 90 days, but that works out to about $7 a month. I really could not find anything cheaper. I was very frustrated as well to not be able to just get a card (with however many minutes) that would never expire.

 

Jen

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I don't think I am explaining myself well.

 

I mean, pay ONLY for the minutes you use as you use them. Use $4 in calls, $4 gets charged to your CC.

 

I do not mean loading minutes and pre-paying and when they run out you get cut off and have to log on to reload minutes.

 

I don't want a $10 min. charge per month, I don't even want an $8/charge per month and I don't want a $100 for the year.

 

 

 

With pay as you go, you're not just paying for minutes, you're also paying for the phone service. Your phone remains active, you retain your number, you get customer service, they pay their employees, etc. You can't just think of it as minutes used.

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Oh, that wouldn't be bad if you only have to add $10 or so the NEXT year. I just don't want to add $100 per year because I don't think she will use it.

 

I will check it out.

 

Dawn, I would do the T-Mobile thing WendyK mentioned. I have a prepaid phone that I have had for at least eight years now and after that first $100 I have only added $10 each year. My parents also have one and do the same thing. They need it for six days a year when they're on the road as "snow birds". The cost is well worth it to them, and they are *tight*!! :lol:

 

I will say, though, that we get reminder texts before the minutes are set to expire. However, I still have a written reminder set, too.

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Can you check minutes online? They won't see or recognize a text! I will need to check on it for them.

 

Thanks,

 

Dawn

 

Dawn, I would do the T-Mobile thing WendyK mentioned. I have a prepaid phone that I have had for at least eight years now and after that first $100 I have only added $10 each year. My parents also have one and do the same thing. They need it for six days a year when they're on the road as "snow birds". The cost is well worth it to them, and they are *tight*!! :lol:

 

I will say, though, that we get reminder texts before the minutes are set to expire. However, I still have a written reminder set, too.

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Do you know what towers the Tracphone uses? Or is that the one where it depends on what phone you pick?

 

Tracphone uses CDMA networks... Verizon in many places, Alltell in the South, US Cellular in the Midwest.

 

It depends on the phone. Phone models that end in "G" are GSM and use AT&T and T-Mobile towers. Phone models that end in "C" are CDMA and use Verizon, Alltell, and US Cellular towers.

 

I currently have a LG500G Tracphone. In my area, I use AT&T towers. My husband has a Samsung, with a model number ending in "C", through Straight Talk. He uses Verizon towers and gets much better coverage than I do.

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Verizon used to have a plan like that, not sure if they still do. I believe you paid a flat fee but only on the days you used it. So it would be expensive if you used it every day but quite reasonable if you used it once a week.

 

http://www.verizonwireless.com:80/b2c/prepay/processPrePayRequest.do?type=ppdaily

Edited by Hwin
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Ok, sounds like this will be the way to go.

 

I am not even sure she will live for the next few years. She is 81 and in poor health, but refuses to get heart surgery and refuses to do what the doctor tells her with diet and such.

 

Ok, THREE MORE questions for those of you who use T-mobile/ATT.

 

1. I need a SIMPLE phone with large numbers but that will flip so she can't accidentally dial out, which she will! AND it needs to be able to lock out or not access the internet at all as she will push those buttons (and has on another phone) accidentally running up a huge bill without actually using the internet.

 

2. Can I get this without ordering in a store somewhere? Where?

 

3. It says something about $100 for gold but it doesn't specify if you have to buy it all at once. Anyone know if I did $25 quarterly if that would count? Is it cumulative?

 

Dawn

 

Yes you can. You can also buy/add your minutes on-line. Maybe there is a way to set up reminders, but I'm not aware of how to do that.

 

If we didn't have this deal we probably would get rid of the cell phone because I don't want to spend even $100 a year on it. We don't use it enough.

 

The phone we bought cost $20. It did break within those 6 years. It wouldn't hold a charge anymore. So we just took out the SIM card and put it in another $20 phone. It's obviously a no frills phone, but it works when we need it.

Edited by DawnM
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Yeah, she will never figure that out! She doesn't even know how to type an email.

 

It has to just not work when flipped shut and have decent sized buttons and NO web or extras.

 

Seriously!

 

I don't know about the other two. Mine isn't a flip and the buttons are small. If I recall correctly I did see one that flipped. That said, there is a way to lock it so you can put it in your pocket and not worry about butt dialing.
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Jitterbug cell phones are marketed for seniors. They are basic phones, large buttons, etc. I know nothing about the cost, I just remember seeing the commercials, lol.

 

My dh's grandfather has one of those phones, and he likes it. It is simple and easy to use.

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And expensive! Way more than the other plans we are discussing here.

 

Jitterbug cell phones are marketed for seniors. They are basic phones, large buttons, etc. I know nothing about the cost, I just remember seeing the commercials, lol.
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Try ATT prepaid. You can get $100 of minutes that last a year and can roll over. My phone also updates me on the amount left after every phone call. It's not linked to a credit card, but it cuts down on the hassle of reloading and keeping track of usage.

 

This! And they notify you when you are getting close to running out of minutes.

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I also found PagePlus Cellular. They use Verizon networks from what I can see. The cheapest rate is $10 but it works for 120 days and rolls over minutes unused.

 

$40 a year would be good.

 

The other thing with them, if the kids do a prepay, is that if you get the higher plans (I think $25 or more every 120 days) you get more minutes for your $$.....the $10 is .10/min. and the other ones are .06 min.

 

Dawn

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