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  • $2.54 per month for a Pre-paid Cell Phone

    Posted by Frugal on July 29th, 2006

    As you may be aware from my previous cell phone post, that I was paying $3.21 a month for my cell phone on my AT&T (now Cingular) Free2Go plan. Because I could no longer buy those $10 refill card from grocery store, my minimum rate will be going to $8.33 a month instead (one $100 refill card per year). Because of this incoming change in a few more months, I have decided to shop around and see what I can find. So much for all the wireless competitions in the last few years, I was amazed that most of the major wireless carriers have increased their rate on various plans. But fortunately and surprisingly, I found another cheaper pre-paid cell phone plan offered by Page Plus Cellular from forum of Here are the details of this pre-paid plan:

    1. You can buy $10, $25, $50 refill cards, each won’t expire in 120 days. The rate per minute ranges from 14 cents on $10, to about 12 cents on $50 cards.
    2. There is a monthly maintainence charge of 50 cents.
    3. Wireless network is from Verizon Wireless, and it uses CDMA technology.
    4. Minutes can be roll-over before expiration.
    5. Roaming is expensive at $1.99 per minute. Text messaging is 8 cents per minute. And according to raderator at the forum of, they charge for leaving voice mail.

    So based upon the above information, the minimum that you need to pay per month is $10 / 120 days * 365 days / 12 months = $2.54 / month. Because there is a monthly maintainence of 50 cents, I calculated that paying the minimum will get you 175 minutes (at 14 cents per minute) which is about 15 minutes per month (but can be accumulated and carried over). Adding more minutes will be easy by just refilling with more. Let’s assume that every year, you only refill with $10, $10, $10, $25 cards which are $55 in total. You can get 32 minutes per month, at the price of $4.58 per month. At any rate, because you can roll-over your minutes, often you can simply accumulate your minutes for emergency usage, and eventually settling down on paying only the minimum of $2.54 per month (assuming you don’t talk more than 16 minutes per month).

    On my Free2Go phone, I know I use very little, even though I pay $10 for 40 minutes about every 3 months, just about 13 minutes per month. Most of the time, I just use the phone to tell my wife about my whereabouts, and that only takes 1 minute (or 2 minutes on both phones). Currently, I have accumulated some $30 and $10 dollars on the two phones that I have due to all the roll-overs.

    By the way, user raderator at the forum suggested to activate the phone from Ebay for only $14.95 with 100 minutes (in case the auction expires, you can search for “page plus cellular prepaid” on ebay), and I did check it out. It looked easy, fast, and reliable to me.

    Here is an user who has used the service for 7 months plus.

    I won’t be switching to this plan yet, until probably early next year when all of my $10 refill cards run out. But I can’t wait to tell you about this cheap pre-paid cell phone plan. If anyone has any good or bad experiences with Page Plus Cellular phone service, please be so kind to share with me & the readers. Their home page looks not 100% professional to me, but since someone has used their service for more than 7 months, I assume that it must be sufficiently good. If anyone gets to try their service out, please let me and everyone reading here know about your experience. Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Another VERY GOOD (if not better) pre-paid cell phone plan is T-Mobile. Be sure to check the comment sections for the details.

    More related posts:
  • How I pay just $3.21 a month for cell phone
  • Switching to T-Mobile Prepaid

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    12 Responses to “$2.54 per month for a Pre-paid Cell Phone”

    1. Jbo Says:

      Tmobile\’s prepaid is a better deal to me, it\’s 10 cents a minute and it lasts 1 full year and minutes do roll over if you buy another card. You have to pay 100 dollars, but there\’s no monthly fees and that\’s the bottom line 10 cents a minute that lasts for 1 year the minutes. No cancelation, no maintence, no fees on top of that and I don\’t even think there was taxes.

    2. frugal Says:

      Thanks Jbo,

      Yes, TMobile is very good, and could well be better than Page Plus Cellular. A friend of mine told me about TMobile after I post this. I have not checked with TMobile, but I believe that after the 1st $100 for the first year, you can refill just $10 card to rollover your minutes, and still extend your expiration date by one year.

      I haven’t had time to call up TMobile to double check on that detail. But from their webpage, it appears to be correct.

      So if you pay $100 for the first year, and then just pay $10 or whatever amount that is needed the subsequent years, that will definitely be cheaper after 5 years. Assuming you use your cell phone minimally, and pay the minimum:
      $100, $10, $10 for the first 3 years, you get $3.33 per month.
      Then the 4th year with $10 refill, you pay $130 per 4 years, which is $2.71 per month.
      Then the 5th year, with $10 refill, you pay $140 per 5 years, which is $2.33 per month.

      Now obviously, the better thing about TMobile is not about $2.33 per month after 5 years, but rather getting every minute at 10 cents without maintainence fee.

      For people who may need more minutes, TMobile is definitely the way to go, instead of the Page Plus Cellular.

      Actually, keeping the same cell phone for 5 years nowadays seems to be impractical at all. For certain, if you don’t change your cell phone for a new one, you will need to get a new battery. I think making a plan for 3 years is probably more realistic.

    3. YAY Says:

      Page Plus Cellular correction to Frugal:
      Roaming is expensive at $0.99 per minute. Text messaging is 8 cents per minute. And according to raderator at the forum of, they DO NOT charge for leaving voice mail.

    4. John Barker Says:

      Page Plus is a problem. Where I live in NC, you go to the local store and ask for a Page Plus pin because they have a sign in the window indicating they sell them. The store clerk has to call thier pin dealer and get them to fax a pin to them…. Takes like 20 minutes for me to wlak into the store and get a pin and leave even with no other customers in thier store. I asked why and they explained that they are not allowed to sell Page Plus pins in NC. What they are doing is getting around Page Plus’s distro rules by calling some one who can sell them in another state and having them fax the pin to the local store, to sell to me.

      The store, NC dealer, Page Plus and Emida/Debisys should be shot!

    5. Frugal Says:

      Thanks YAY & John Barker for your inputs. I have not used their service as I have said in my post. Certainly from your comments, I will go with T-Mobile early next year.


    6. Craig Marshall Says: may be of interest to some Cingular prepaid customers. They are giving 10% extra minutes for any refill amount. No PIN required.

    7. Frugal Says:

      Thanks Craig for your tip. Appreciated.

    8. Terry Says:

      I walked by a retailer selling all kinds of wireless service; they had a ton of rate plan info in the window. The impression I got from TMobile is that you have to buy $100 in smaller increments (more expensive per minute and shorter expiration) first before you can go for the 1000 minute for $100 and good for a year. (I’m guessing that enough people did what is described above, and TMobile adjusted their options.)

    9. Frugal Says:


      I have switched over to TMobile. As you said, you can even add your $100 in several steps, and they will change all of your minutes to 10 cents per minute.

    10. Tamer of Page Plus Says:

      Actually now Page Plus Offer cheaper Rates than ever
      8 Cents per Minute when you buy the $80 Card
      10 Cents per Minute when you buy the $50 card
      14 Cents for the $10 and the $25 Card

      If you wanna fill your phones with minutes you can go to
      or go to any Convenience store next to you.
      BEst Regards
      Tamer of Page Plus

    11. Frugal Says:

      Thanks Tamer,

      Things do change (a lot). Unfortunately, my posts are “frozen in time”.
      But I do allow comment sections for anyone to make updates.


    12. Frugal Says:

      Closing comment in this old post.