Ting Review: Bring Your Existing Phone, Referral Discount, Now Cheaper Data

tinglogTing provides mobile phone service with a “pay-only-for-what-you-use” and “bring your own phone” structure. I recently switched my parents over to Ting from Republic Wireless so that they could use our older iPhones (easier for them, easier for us to do tech support). Ting recently updated their pricing structure to include cheaper data, so I am updating my review.

Who can save money? Ting works best for overall moderate usage, especially spread across multiple users. Why pay for unlimited minutes and texts when you don’t need them? Why pay for 5 GB every month if you often use less? Sample rates:

  • $12.00 per line ($26 total) per month for 2 lines sharing 500 minutes, 100 texts, and no data. (This is the typical bill amount with my parents.)
  • $27.50 per line ($55 total) per month for 2 lines sharing 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 2 GB data.
  • $9.50 per line ($38 total) per month for 4 lines sharing 500 minutes, 1,000 texts, and no data.
  • $16.75 per line ($67 total) per month for 4 lines sharing 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 2 GB data.

Put your own numbers into the Ting interactive rate calculator to see if you can save money. Each line is a flat $6 and all lines share a bucket of either minutes, text, and data.

Here’s a screenshot of their NEW rate breakdown:

tingnewdata

Here’s a screenshot of their OLD rate breakdown. You can see that their data used to be much more expensive, working out to $19 for the first GB, $29 for 2GB, and then $15 per extra GB of data (billed pretty much down to the penny). As of 8/5/2016, the numbers are $16 for the first GB, $20 for 2 GB, and now $10 per extra GB of data (billed in $10 increments). The price drop applies to everyone and pretty much no matter what, the new data plan is cheaper than the old data plan.

Ting realized that they were being known as “good if you don’t use a lot of data”.

Ting uses both Sprint CDMA and T-Mobile GSM networks, so you can bring over any used Sprint phone, used T-Mobile phone, or any unlocked GSM phone. Use their Ting phone compatibility checker tool. If you bring your own GSM phone, you’ll need a SIM card. Prices change with time and promotions, but they currently cost $9 + free shipping via USPS Priority Mail.

Bring Your Own Phone. You can buy a refurbished iPhone 5 directly from Ting for about $200, but you can also buy a used iPhone 5 for about $109 from Swappa. A used Samsung Galaxy S4 from Ting costs about $180, but they are about $100 on Swappa.

Being able to bring over the same phone you’ve already been using is the best way to save money. We had an old Verizon iPhone 5, which is also GSM unlocked. We just bought a SIM card, popped it in, and starting using the service immediately.

Refer-a-friend discount. New Ting customers get a $25 credit with a referral link (that’s mine). Thanks in advance if you use it, you’ll be saving my parents some money on their next bill.

Bottom line. Ting’s strengths are transparent, metered monthly plans and a flexible bring-your-own-phone policy. They recently dropped their data prices. “Pay for what you use” means that you don’t need to pay for 3 GB tier every month if most months you only use 1 or 2 GB. The math works out best for shared plans. You can bring over any used Sprint, used T-Mobile, or unlocked GSM phone. Not everyone will save money, so use their rate calculator to compare your own situation.

Comments

  1. The Frugal Millionaire says:

    My wife and I are “light” cell phone users and we have been very well pleased with the service and value provided by TracFone. I bought my phone, an Alcatel One Touch through them for $19.99. For $99.99, you get a 12 month plan that provides 400 minutes of airtime, but this is doubled or tripled depending on the phone you own; and there are promo codes online. So, for instance, I found my 12 month 400 minute card on sale for $85.99 (not uncommon), got triple minutes = 1200 minutes, AND had a promo code for 200 bonus minutes. 12 month service, 1400 minutes talk, 1400 texts, and I forget how much data, all for roughly $7.09 per month.

  2. I recommend RingPlus for everyone. I have 3 phones on a 3,500 texts, SMS, MB per month FOR FREE!!! They have these flash promotions pretty regularly.

  3. ron manuel says:

    I fully agree with Jonathan’s review. My wife and I have been on Ting for about a year. Our bottom line was that we wanted to use Apple iPhones without paying Verizon rates. It doesn’t even have to be an older iPhone. I have a 6Plus and my wife has a 6. Our total cost is usually under $50 ($25 a month for each of us on the shared plan).

  4. Ting’s great. I just changed phones to a Blu R1 available on Amazon Prime for $59. Pleased with the phone and how quickly Ting got the new SIM card to me. Switchover from my old phone was less than an hour. Combine Ting with Ooma and I’m good.

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