Many people want a cell phone for occasional use but most prepaid plans, although the per-minute charges are low, make you recharge every 30 or 60 days otherwise you lose your service and/or your phone number. In the end, this means you’re often paying at least $10/month even if you don’t use the phone.
I just ran across these guys – STi Mobile, who piggy-back onto Sprint PCS’s network, like Virgin Mobile. The offer a flat rate of 10-12 cents per minute, and you only need to make 1 call every 60 days to keep your service. That means you only need to spend 5 cents a month to have a cell phone around! My parent use Virgin Mobile right now and waste a lot of minutes, I’m definitely telling them about this. I mean, just keep one of these charged in the car, it’s that cheap.
» Sprint PCS Nationwide Network, good in most metro areas.
» Only 10c/min Nights and Weekends
» Only 12c/min Peak
» Only need to make one call every 60 days.
» No credit check
» No monthly fees
» No roaming or long-distance charges
» Taxes included in the per-minute charge
» Sprint PCS Nationwide Network, poor coverage in rural areas
» Looks like you only get to pick from 3 phones. At least they aren’t bricks.
» The phones are reasonably priced in my opinion, but the free one requires a rebate, which are a pain.
» The may raise rates or something, I’ve never really heard of them.
But, if they do raise rates, you can just eBay the phone or something and walk away. I’m seriously considering switching to this once my current contract runs out. We spend $80/month now, that’s about 700-800 minutes on this pre-paid plan, which we rarely reach. Anyone use these guys?
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 11/14/05, 12:56pm