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Old 03-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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Cheapest Pay-as-you go phone plan

My wife and I are about to retire and hit the road full-time in our AS 30' Flying Cloud. She has an iPhone 5 with Verizon and I have a cell phone through my job which I will be giving up. I'd like to buy a cheap cell phone as a backup and for calling my wife on the rare occasions when we're separated. The cheapest deal I've found so far is from PagePlus which is a pre-paid plan of $10 for 100 minutes and lasts 120 days. If I don't go over 100 minutes in 120 days (which I probably never will), this comes out to $2.50/month plus a $0.50/month service charge. Has anyone found a cheaper deal for someone who rarely, if ever, uses their phone? Also, if you have service with PagePlus, I'd like to know what you think about their service. It's my understanding they're a reseller of Verizon. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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We have Family Mobile from Walmart. The two smartphones are $80 a month for both, with unlimited talk, text, and internet. You buy your phone and pay for the service. Family Mobile runs off TMobile.
My wife's phone is a Nokia Windows phone, and she loves it. It was less than a hundred bucks. Mine is a used iPhone I got at a flea market for $200, and have never had an issue with it, either.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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We just Did this- we were out of contract with AT&T with our 3GS iPhones and paying $160/ mo for unlimited everything... But we weren't using unlimited anything, and going into retirement as well, we were talking ourselves into having to downgrade to a flip phone to save money-YIKES! NO IPHONES??? My husband's iPhone was giving him issues, so we went to a store in Gainesville, Fl that fixes, buys and sells out of contract phones, and hooks you up with prepaid plans. Since my phone was fine, I kept my phone and went with H2O wireless, on the AT&T network- unlimited talk, unlimited text ( I think- could be 3000, but that is like unlimited to me:-)and 500 mb of Data for $30/mo- no tax added, no surchages, just $30/ mo.
My husband decided to get a refurbished Iphone4s for a couple hundred bucks and went with the Page Plus cellular plan on the Verizon network. He gets 1200 minutes, 3000 texts and 500 mb of data/ mo for 29.99/ mo. Again, no taxes, surcharges- just 29.99. If he wants unlimited talk, he can increase to the next plan up for 39.99/mo. This way, we are covered by Verizon and AT&T for $100/mo LESS than we were paying before. $1200/year can buy a lot of diesel to take us to more places :-)
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
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I like the idea of have AT&T as a backup to Verizon. I'll have to check out H20. Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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The only difference I have noticed on H2O is that we can't merge phone calls- that is a nice feature, but I can live without it for the savings. Data is a bit slower, but we have the Verizon iPad as a backup- the Verizon iPad allows you to activate service when you are traveling, and not activate when you are home using Wifi- AND it allows you to use it as a hotspot without extra charge, unlike AT&T.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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We are using pay as you go from Verizon. $35 a month per phone includes 400 minutes of voice on each, unlimited text and Internet on some lower end Samsung phones. Phones were bought for about $60 each. We also have a separate plan for a WiFi 4G hotspot from Verizon at $50 a month and 5 gig of data per month. The hotspot drives our iPads and laptop when we travel. Works out pretty good for us. Another advantage of pay as you go service is that your only taxes are sales tax. No federal, or other governmental fees that typically get added on to cell phone service.

With the iPads I couldn't really justify having smart phones also.

Jack
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:35 PM   #7
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With the iPads I couldn't really justify having smart phones also.

Jack
The iPad is just like a really big iPhone without the phone part, and vice-versa. Some plans allow you to make your own wifi hotspot with your cell phone. You can set up the wifi. and use the iPad through the phone.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Travel phone and iPad mini

We have two Verizon prepaid phones - basic phones. The cost is $100 a year per phone. We use the phones when we travel for the most part. I bought an iPad mini 32GB with 4 G Verizon service for travel. I turn the 4 G service on when we travel - you buy a month at a time. 2 GB is plenty unless you want to watch a lot of movies. I bought this, so I could use it in a car or where there isn't wifi. You just want to turn the 4g service off when you don't need it, or it will continue to download and use up your GB. It's easy to do. AS others have said, the iPad works as a hotspot and that mean you can also use your laptop.

At one point we had a prepaid ATT phone and a Prepaid Verizon phone. WE found there were enough places in New England where the ATT phone did not work and it didn't work in Canada, but the Verizon does in most areas, unless they have changed things. So the cost for the year will be about $300 - about 5 months worth of data service at $20 a month for the IPad.

Evaluate your needs, review what people have said, and then shop around. Read the fine print!
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:00 PM   #9
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Another option is to do what I did on my plans. It may not be exactly what you want but may be something to consider.

My cell phone plan is with Straight Talk Wireless. I wanted a smart phone (iPhone) so that was one reason to go this route. It is unlimited talk, text and data on an LTE network. They will throttle after 2gb or so a month;however, I have not hit that point. It is around $48/mth for that unlimited service. I am not sure but you might be able to get an iPad on this service and have that option.Straight Talk uses Verizon or ATT depending on the phone you have. I purchased my iPhone 5C unlocked from the Apple Store to be able to use it where I want without a contract. If you get the iPhone from Straight Talk it is a CDMA Verizon model. The phone will pay for itself after 15 months of non contract usage. I was paying $79/mth for 450 min talk/1500 text and 2gb data with ATT and my 32gb phone was $199 with 2 year plan so the math confirms my savings with the same coverage and better plan.

For my camping, I use Internet on the Go (walmart) using the Sprint 3G network. I know it is not the newest out there but so far it has worked well on my trips. The initial cost for the mifi unit is about $80 but the service is a true pay-as-you-go ONLY WHEN YOU USE IT with no loss of minutes or expirations as long as you use it at least once a year. This is great for someone who uses a data service infrequently. The whenever plan is $10 for 500mb/$25 for 1.5GB/$45 for 3GB. It is not too bad considering the never expires aspect. I am still on my first "fill-up" after almost two years! Note, the MB used to be really cheap but they increased to this amount.

I use a Wilson sleek universal with a 10dB antenna with the cell or the mifi unit. The data unit is not too fast but it has worked in two places I had no Internet and in one park with WiFi out.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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OK, I finally made it through the latest data/info on the pay as you go plans on a website that tracks that info. Here is the cheapest overall as of Feb 2014:

Freedom Pop which uses Sprint network. Primarily their data included is the least expensive.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:12 PM   #11
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OK, I finally made it through the latest data/info on the pay as you go plans on a website that tracks that info. Here is the cheapest overall as of Feb 2014:

Freedom Pop which uses Sprint network. Primarily their data included is the least expensive.
I always research before I commit to anything. I did a little research on Freedom Pop and you might want to look further into it before you sign on this data plan.
In one article I read you must watch out for hidden and gotcha fees. You might also take a look at Amazon for more reviews.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:18 AM   #12
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H20 Works Best for Us

Thanks for everyone's input. H20's plan works best for us. It rides on AT&T's network and since our primary phone is on Verizon's, this gives us wider coverage. I was also able to use my wife's old iPhone so no cost there other than a new SIM card ($10). I had to get the phone unlocked through AT&T which is free if you go directly to their site. H20 has a $10 pay-as-go plan which covers voice, text and data and lasts 90 days. The only time this phone will be used is when we can't get a Verizon signal or when my wife and I are separated (should be rare since we'll be full-time RV'ing). All-in-all, $3.33/month and no contract is a pretty good deal for fully functioning iPhone.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:59 AM   #13
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You know, if the purpose is just to make an occasional call and nothing else, you might go our route. Picked up an inexpensive T-Mobile flip phone from Amazon ($29, a one-time cost) and bought a thousand minutes of time for $100 via the T-Mobile site, good for a year. (They have smaller denominations of time available for less money, too, but price per minute is best at $100.)

It works for us, but, again, our needs are very limited. If your needs are more extensive, then a plan of some sort would probably be better.


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Old 03-24-2014, 09:16 AM   #14
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Good point StreamnTime fees are an issue too.
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