Prepaid Cell Phone

@MandaLee (3738)
United States
March 3, 2012 4:09pm CST
I am getting a prepaid cell phone. What has your experience been with prepaid cell phones? Would you recommend them? Why or why not?
7 people like this
40 responses
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
14 Apr 12
Actually I had one from Virgin Mobile that I used for about 3 years. I really only used it for emergencies or to call to say I was running late or to see what someone wanted to eat from a fast food place or something. The pre-paid phones are not the kind of phones you want to have if you plan on using the phone a lot or for long conversations, but if you just need a phone to carry with you just in case or to make quick calls they are fine. I never had a problem with my Virgin Mobil phone. One time we rented a cabin along with some friends and every body else had their fancy phones and not one of them could get a signal, my Virgin Mobil was the only phone that did. That still makes me laugh.
1 person likes this
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
14 Apr 12
That is so funny! My best friend has Virgin Mobil. He swears by it. Have a great weekend!
1 person likes this
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
14 Apr 12
You too!
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
3 Mar 12
I switched from a contract phone to a prepaid phone just about a year & a half ago & it is the absolute BEST thing I ever did!!! Now is a GREAT time to switch!!! Most of the prepaids have an unlimited plan right now. I talk a lot on my cell & I was paying $125.00/mon for my contract phone's unlimited plan. When I switched to prepaid, I still have unlimited talk, text, photos & internet PLUS I only pay $45.00/mon. Boost Mobile is now my provider. When I bought my phones (I've had 2) I wasn't offered a rebate...then again, the price of each phone was equal to what a contract phone cost AFTER the rebate & I didn't have to wait 2 months to get my money back!!! I'm saving $80/mon & with Boost, my prepaid fee goes down $5 every 6 months. So when I make my April payment I'll only be paying $40/mon & that's for a smartphone!!! I talk over 2,000 min a month & I text anytime I need to. So, YES, I recommend them if you go with the right provider. If you don't go with the unlimited plan, you can get screwed!!! The most EXCITING thing about my plan is, IF I decide tomorrow I no longer want the plan, I just stop paying for it & it goes away WITHOUT a $200 early termination fee!!!
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
3 Mar 12
Hi Lady Marissa, Wow. I am a bargain hunter. This is fantastic news! I am EXCITED about not having an early termination fee. Does Boost Mobile have phones with touch screens?
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
4 Mar 12
My first phone was a Blackberry Curve & it had a small screen & a keyboard. I'm going blind in my old age & the screen was tool small for my ability to see!!! My current phone is an Android - Samsung Transform Ultra. It has a touch screen PLUS it has a slide out keyboard; so, no matter my mood, I've got it covered!!! If you're really interested in looking without any commitment, go to boostmobile.com & look around. If you decide you like, you can order online & they ship it directly to your home. Then when you receive it, you just go online to activate it. If my memory serves me correct, it took me about 15-20 min to activate!!! Any problems, call the HELP desk & they walk you through it. In the last 18 months, I've talked to the HELP desk ONCE!!! I like looking at the phone before I buy, so I research on the website the phones available. Then I go to Best Buy or Radio Shack & look at the actual phone. I purchased the first one from Best Buy & the last one from Radio Shack because they were on back order at Best Buy. For an additional $5.00 I get insurance that pretty much covers any repairs & even if I lose it. I think there is a deductible for loss, but it's cheaper than buying a new phone!!! Previously, I was with Alltel, Cingular, Verizon & Sprint & I am a whole LOT happier with Boost!!! GOOD LUCK no matter who you choose!!!!
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Lady Marissa, Thanks for all of the wonderful information!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 12
I've been using a prepaid phone since late 2008. I've had up and down experiences with it, but it's served me pretty well. They are great if you aren't a big talker or texter. They are also great for controlling how much you want to pay. If any of this applies to you personally, then I would definitely recommend you give it a try.
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Hi Prospectboy, I appreciate your response. Thanks! Have a great weekend.
• United States
4 Mar 12
You're very welcome, and thank you. Have a great weekend as well.
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
3 Mar 12
I think it al depends on how many phone calls you make. Over here you have to pay a bit more if you make a phonecall or send a text. Before I had no prepaid but had to pay each month 25 euro or so. If I made a phonecall or text I had to pay extra for that. Since I seldom call and seldom text those 25 euro was a big waste of money. I think I use about 100 euro a year at most for prepaid credit, my daughter (21) is not even using 30 euro a year. So we cancelled everything also the house line. I bought an extra prepaid sim card to text my husband. One from a different provider since the prepaid I already had is charging 5 times more for 1 text to Africa. I am satisfied with that one as well.
• Netherlands
3 Mar 12
Ps also great.. the newest provider has frequently a great deal. If I buy the credit at a certain shop they give me 50% extra. That is really worth to me to go over to that shop since it makes calling and texting cheaper.
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
3 Mar 12
Kitty, Glad you are satisfied with your providers. Thanks for the great advice.
• United States
23 Mar 12
Personally I have never utilized a pre-paid cell phone, I have heard however they aren't that bad and a lot of people are now utilizing them now a days. I currently have Sprint as a provider and I love them, but I know that they also offer pre-paid services as well. It is convenient if you want to avoid month to month contracts.
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
23 Mar 12
Thank you. Welcome back!
@13tyates (1610)
• United States
4 Mar 12
I think this will be a little bit of a bias opinion because I have never actually used a prepaid cellphone. I have known friends that do use prepaid cellphones and I hear complaints all the time, usually because they have run out of minutes or text messages. I think if you have the money to buy more minutes and messages as you need them then it could be a better deal for some people. Over all I like contract phones better because they have deals so you never have to worry about running out of minutes. With contract phones it seems more reliable to me and I think if you are dependent on a phone then contract is better. Good luck making a decision!
• United States
4 Mar 12
I used prepaid and I pay by the month and have unlimited minutes. Maybe your friends need to change their plan so that they will not run out of minutes. Some prepaid companies are a bit sluggish about their minutes but now most of them have a unlimited plan that includes text, data and web.
• India
4 Mar 12
I think the postpaid phone is more better than prepaid cell phone. Postpaid cell phone is sucure, relaxable.
• United States
4 Mar 12
Not everyone can afford the postpaid/contract phones. With prepaid you do not have to worry about the hidden fees they throw in there or worry about going over your minutes because you have a set amount of minutes. I am currently using a prepaid and to me they are more secure and I can relax knowing that I am not being charge for things I do not need. I have Virgin Mobile, I am using a Blackberry, and I do not have to pay extra for the data plan because it is included as to having to pay an extra $20 to $30 every month with the contract phones.
@GardenGerty (100344)
• United States
4 Mar 12
For my usage, prepaid is great. I get Tracfone, where you have to buy time occasionally and minutes whenever you run out. I got a phone that gives double minutes for life. now they have triple minutes for life. I mostly have it for when I travel or when I need to communicate with my family and it works really well. It has continued to improve over the years. You buy your phone outright, then add time and minutes as you need to.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Thats what I have Garden and I love it. I'm not one to chat on the phone and the tracfone with double for life minutes is just perfect. I pay very little for it. It's used only when I need to. I usually text which only takes half a minute off. I have a landline at home so it works well for me.
• Canada
4 Mar 12
I don't really like prepaids. You get more for your money if you get a monthly plan. Unless you're planning on making 1 or 2 calls a day, and minimal texts then you will definitely pay more if you go with prepaid. I knew someone with a prepaid that got charged 25 cents for incoming texts. If you have a lot of people phoning you up or texting then I would not recommend prepaid as it will drain your cash pretty quick. That's pretty much all there is to it.
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Thank you, PumpkinThePIE.
• Canada
3 Mar 12
I woudn't recommend them! Why? Most provider don't allow minutes being carry over next month! For example: You purchase 1000 txt message to be receive for $10 and if you don't uses this then unused messages doesn't get carried over next month! It best being under a plan than prepaid!
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
4 Mar 12
Thanks so much. I'll keep that in mind!
• Philippines
3 Mar 12
Hi Amanda, I havent tried the prepared one. But I do think it's good since I won't have a hard time dealing with buying loads every month with my postpaid phone. I have postpaid and I tend to always buy load once a month which is a different case way back that I tend to buy load many times every month. So, it's kinda hassle. But with prepaid, we also need to have that control as not to exceed the limit...or within our budget. ^^ Happy Mylotting....
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
3 Mar 12
Hi Smurfysmurf, Yes, prepaid phones are great for people trying to stay within a budget.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
3 Mar 12
Yes I would recommend them for occasional use. $20 lasts me 6 months! But I'm not a big talker.
@MandaLee (3738)
• United States
3 Mar 12
p1ke, Thank you. Wow, $20 for that long is a great deal! I am not a big talker either.
@syoti20 (5295)
• Philippines
18 Mar 12
I am using Prepaid Cellphone too. The only advantage I can see in this matter is that I can load credit to my phone anytime I want. I don't have monthly bills to think about. Meaning no pressure in my case. The only incovience in prepaid subscribers is that you have to look for convenient store to credit your phone in terms of emergency. In order to prevent this problem. I always have a prepaid card with me. So just in case in that point of time came up I don't have to worry to hunt for convenient store.
• United States
7 Mar 12
I have been through three cell phone providers over the course of maybe five years. I don't see anything wrong with them but you do have to make sure that you are getting the most for your money when you decide on which provider will be the best fit for your pocket. I have used TracFone, Verizon Wireless and now have MetroPCS. If I could, I would go with Verizon again because it offers the best service for my area and it has never failed me.
@wolveren (1569)
• Cebu, Philippines
6 Mar 12
Well it depends on how you want to use it. You can use a prepaid cell phone for a brief period, and being pre-paid, you don't have to worry about bills. The only disadvantage to it is when you run out of pre-paid load. You would have to go out and try to get some load out there, which isn't very convenient. You can use pre-paid phones when you travel. You don't have to worry about bills and you don't even need to load it with too much. A lot of my american friends visit my country and get a pre-paid phone to use when they are here rather than using their regular cell phones rigged with international access and other stuff. That can be very expensive. I have two cell phones. One which is a regular subscription with a network provider and the other one is a pre-paid phone. The pre-phone I use more when I travel around the country. Easy to carry and if I lose it I don't worry too much about it as not all of my important stuff are in it. :)
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
6 Mar 12
Never had one. We've always had our cell service from the same phone company as our land line and internet service. Nice bundle pricing. No contract. Can add or subtract services any time.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
4 Mar 12
That is the only kind of cell phone I have had...and I love it. I buy minutes once a year and no monthly bill...I can do most things on mine other can....and I have not encountered any difficulties with getting caught without a zone so it has to search....I travel quite a bit and have not had any problems.
@MizzLadyB08 (1175)
• United States
4 Mar 12
I am currently using prepaid from Virgin Mobile and I love it. No worries about going over or being on a two year contract. I pay $55/month for unlimited minutes, text, data and web. I am using the Blackberry Curve 8530 and have had no problems with it. If I was you I will do some research to see what prepaid coverage is best where you live. You don't want to be stuck and get a phone that do not have good coverage (signal) in your area. I do know for a fact that Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile runs off of Sprint Network. Then you have T-Mobile, AT&T, US Cellular, Verizon, and Cricket that have prepaid services. I can say the only downfall about prepaid is that you have to pay full price for their phones if you want a smartphone. But my opinion is for you to do your research to whats best for you.
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
4 Mar 12
The biggest problem we've had with the roomie's prepaid phone is the deadbeat who had the number before and the bill collectors who called for over a year before she managed to let them know the deadbeat didn't have the number anymore.
@choybel (5059)
• Philippines
4 Mar 12
In the country where I live right now, prepaid is the most used. In fact, in the years of my owning a cellular phone, it was just last month that I got to have a postpaid one. I guess it will really depend on your service providers, on what their services are regarding prepaid. If you feel that you could live with it or can be satisfied then try it out. You can always change your mind without having too much trouble afterwards.