Prepaid cell phones - any advice or recommendations?

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,856
Location
SW Virginia
My better half and I have survived without a wireless phone for 60+ years, but for an upcoming drive across country, we've decided maybe we should consider it (it's hard to find a pay phone these days).

Since we will use it so little I'm sure a prepaid plan is the best way to go. The companies that seem to offer the best coverage in the areas we will be traveling in (Virginia to New Mexico along I-40 and Northern NM) are T-Mobile and Tracfone.

Does anyone have experience with any of these? Are there some others I should consider?

Thanks in advance.
 
J

jaymc

Guest
I use T-mobile, mainly because they were the same company that was used while I was stationed in Iceland a few years back.
Their cheapest is a $100 + tax for 1000 minutes (or about 10¢/minute) – good for 1 year. Also suggest getting a phone with Bluetooth, due to some states requiring hands-free while driving.

http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/Phones/Prepaid.aspx

- Jay
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
I bought one from 7-11 for free and it had 50 dollars of calls... ( yes I paid 50 dollars)
I got it for emergency only.
Cell phones are to expensive for poor folks like me. So 50 for a year was the best I could do.
I still don't even know how to use it. But if I need help I have it
It is to dangerous to be with out some kind of help quick these days for an older woman alone.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,856
Location
SW Virginia
I use T-mobile, mainly because they were the same company that was used while I was stationed in Iceland a few years back.
Their cheapest is a $100 + tax for 1000 minutes (or about 10¢/minute) – good for 1 year. Also suggest getting a phone with Bluetooth, due to some states requiring hands-free while driving.

http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/Phones/Prepaid.aspx

- Jay
I assure you that neither of us would ever consider talking on one of those things while driving :rolleyes:.

I bought one from 7-11 for free and it had 50 dollars of calls... ( yes I paid 50 dollars)
I got it for emergency only.
Cell phones are to expensive for poor folks like me. So 50 for a year was the best I could do.
I still don't even know how to use it. But if I need help I have it
It is to dangerous to be with out some kind of help quick these days for an older woman alone.
Pardon me, Gale, but if you don't know how to use it, how would it be of any help in an emergency?
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
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Viera Fl
I know 911
I just don't know all the bells and whistles Pa:>))
Sorry should have been more specific
I know how to dial the numbers:>)))
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,020
Go to www.clarkhoward.com He has a cool web site that warns of ripoffs, scams, and such. He also tells you info on things like cell phones, airplane tickets, investing and so on. His site has saved me thousands of bucks. He is the consumer voice for WSB RADIO in Atlanta Ga. Every single person reading this should go and look at his web site and put it in your "favorites" list. Its that good.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
561
Location
Northern Colorado
I have a T-Mobile pre-paid plan and my phone works great as long as I'm in an area that can access a T-Mobile tower. I was told when I purchased this plan that the plan isn't very reliable for traveling long distances between cities/towns.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
1,544
Location
Peoria, AZ
I don't know if this will be of any help to you or not, but do you have children that have cell phones?

The reason I ask is this. My dad... who is techology challenged and refused to get a cell phone, was moving after his retirement from Tacoma, Wa, to here in Phoenix. He was packing up what stuff he didn't sell and throwing it in a U-Haul and then driving his truck pulling his trailer. I was horrified! He was going to do this without a cell phone.

Well being panicky as I am, I added another line to my cell phone account and all it costs is 9.99 per month and he just uses my minutes. We never go over our minutes, so it wasnt a big deal. This way, he has cellular service when he goes out exploring in the desert :eek: and I can always get ahold of him.

Oh yeah, I should add... he doesn't know how to use his phone either. I finally showed him how to use the speed dial, but forget it if he gets a voice mail. He comes to my house so I can show him how to do it. :tongue::rolleyes:
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,856
Location
SW Virginia
I don't know if this will be of any help to you or not, but do you have children that have cell phones?
Well both of my grown children have cell phones, but they live 100 and 150 miles from us, respectively, so I don't think that would help. And as a recently retired engineering professor I don't consider myself "technology challenged"; we've just never had any use for a cell phone (and still may not).
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
2,192
Location
SW Florida
I have a Virgin Mobile, very basic and cheap, flip phone was $19, all you have to do is top-up with $20 every 3 months. I think they stil use Sprint PCS network. I have no complaints. You can get minute cards at Wal-mart or target, etc. Cheap way to try one.
If you do this have a younger member of the family set it up or be sure to have a magnifing glass handy, cell phones are not made for old eyes.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
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Location
Peoria, AZ
Well both of my grown children have cell phones, but they live 100 and 150 miles from us, respectively, so I don't think that would help. And as a recently retired engineering professor I don't consider myself "technology challenged"; we've just never had any use for a cell phone (and still may not).
I didn't mean that you are technology challenged, so I sure hope you didn't think that. Just meant that my dad thought he never needed one either, but he is glad he has it now.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
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Location
SW Virginia
I have a Virgin Mobile, very basic and cheap, flip phone was $19, all you have to do is top-up with $20 every 3 months. I think they stil use Sprint PCS network. I have no complaints. You can get minute cards at Wal-mart or target, etc. Cheap way to try one.
If you do this have a younger member of the family set it up or be sure to have a magnifing glass handy, cell phones are not made for old eyes.
Thanks, John. I was seriously considering Virgin, but they apparently have no coverage in the area of New Mexico where we will be traveling (nor here where I live, for that matter).
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
1,106
Location
Michigan
Thanks, Lisa. Do you know if she has used it in other areas of the country?
She's in New Jersey, and she used it when we were in West Virginia back in March.....she had service when the rest of us did, and vice versa...we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
2,296
Location
Ohio & Florida
Hi Jim,

I think ATT/Cingular offers their prepaid wireless in your area.
http://www.cingular.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-plans/pyg-cell-phone-plans.jsp?source=IC9301j13RWn3800&WT.mc_id=IC9301j13RWn3800

We recently needed to replace the phone that Nan carries when she walks. They had a basic one for $20 (Motorola C139). I bought a years service for $100 that is consumed at $.25 per minute (400 minutes). Unused minutes roll over to the next year. She does not use it much and has about 2000 minutes built up. Alternate is 30 days for $15 (60 minutes) or $25 for 90 days.

Just a thought,
Bob & Nan
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,856
Location
SW Virginia
Hi Jim,

I think ATT/Cingular offers their prepaid wireless in your area.
http://www.cingular.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-plans/pyg-cell-phone-plans.jsp?source=IC9301j13RWn3800&WT.mc_id=IC9301j13RWn3800

We recently needed to replace the phone that Nan carries when she walks. They had a basic one for $20 (Motorola C139). I bought a years service for $100 that is consumed at $.25 per minute (400 minutes). Unused minutes roll over to the next year. She does not use it much and has about 2000 minutes built up. Alternate is 30 days for $15 (60 minutes) or $25 for 90 days.

Just a thought,
Bob & Nan
Thanks Bob. T-mobile and Net10 are $0.10/minute with no daily access fee.
Cingular's $0.10/min plan has a $1.00/day access fee.
 
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