Prepaid cellular service is becoming an increasingly popular mobile communication option for many people. Some people don’t use a cell phone often enough to justify paying upwards of $50 per month for the span of a contract that can last up to two years. Others might not want to commit to a contract due to financial constraints.
Whatever the case, the prepaid market has something for everyone. With so many options out there, it’s important to do some research beforehand to know which prepaid service is best for you. After researching several phone companies, I decided to go with T-Mobile’s prepaid Pay As You Go plan, mostly for the pay-per-minute policy and the good coverage in my area.
Paying Per Minute
T-Mobile’s Pay As You Go Plan works with refill cards that you can buy at a T-Mobile retailer or on the T-Mobile website. Under the Pay As You Go plan, rates start at $0.33 per minute on a $10 refill card, and the rate goes down to $0.10 per minute on a $100 refill card. The more you spend on minutes, the better the value. Once you’ve used your Pay As You Go plan to buy $100 in refills, you achieve “Rewards Status,” which saves you 15% on minutes.
Over the last year, I’ve used about $100 in minutes; on the other hand, my previous plan with Sprint cost $55 per month after taxes, fees, and surcharges were tacked on. I saved about 85 percent switching to a prepaid plan, and I only pay for the minutes I use. Of course, on a monthly plan, you pay the same amount each time regardless of how little or how much you use, provided you stay within your allotted minutes.
When I first got my T-Mobile phone, I lived in a major city with a population of over 1 million, so it was no surprise that the coverage was good. I was pleasantly surprised when I left the city; now I live in a small, rural town with a population of 11,000 people, and I’ve never had a coverage issue here. To determine whether your area has T-Mobile coverage, the T-Mobile website has a coverage map that can show signal strength in your area.
When my T-Mobile phone broke recently, I went searching for other prepaid phones to see if any other carriers could provide a better deal on service. I suppose I was asking for too much, considering that with T-Mobile I was averaging $8.33 per month on services.
If you’re thinking about buying a prepaid phone, I definitely recommend T-Mobile’s Pay As You Go plan. The minutes are inexpensive, and the coverage is decent – I really couldn’t ask for more in a phone that I use so rarely.