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 wirelessadvisor.com. Here are the details of this pre-paid plan:
- 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.
- There is a monthly maintainence charge of 50 cents.
- Wireless network is from Verizon Wireless, and it uses CDMA technology.
- Minutes can be roll-over before expiration.
- Roaming is expensive at $1.99 per minute. Text messaging is 8 cents per minute. And according to raderator at the forum of wirelessadvisor.com, 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.
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.
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