I have researched and written over 400 articles about the Prepaid cell phone industry. Here are my conclusions. I hope they are helpful. Rick C. Kern
There are several different ways of Rating Net10 Wireless is Number One or two in all the categories.
- Just a basic 100 to 300 minutes a month.
- Talking a lot.
- Texting a lot.
- Emergency use only.
- Having a cool phone.
- Spending as little as possible.
- Traveling around the country a lot with a little bit of use.
- Emergency use all around the US.
Lets take them one at a time because different Prepaid phone plans will work better in different situations.
T-mobile and Tracfone are a close second.
Net10 costs 10 cents a minute, you can get them as cheap as 7.5 cents. You need to add at least $30 every two months and your unused minutes and service time roll over. The phones start at $30 and go up to $90. No awesome phones but some fairly nice camera phones. Roaming is Free. This is a major plus because most Prepaid phones do not roam onto other networks and if they do they are very expensive --like 59 cents a minute. Check out the Net.com website.
T-mobile and Tracfone tie for second in this category.
The T-mobile rates are really close to Tracfone rates except if you put $100 on the phone right away you get Gold level pricing on all your minutes. This makes it a better per minute deal than Tracfone.
At the Tracfone.com website you can often get a free phone with the purchase of the one year card or the One Year and doubler card. Buy an LG 225 at TracFone and get double minutes for the life of the phone! This deal is available from the Tracfone website. With the value of the doubler card figured in this makes this one of the best Tracfone deals.
This category is tough because it has a lot to do with who you talk a lot to and where you live. If you live in an area where Cricket works Cricket is a hands down number one. $35 a month for unlimited calling and unlimited texting is the best. The problem is if you travel much Cricket has only a few areas that it works.
If you talk a lot to one person or one phone number then it is hard to beat the Alltel pay per Day plan. If all your talk is to Alltel customers then Alltel U has a good plan. If you talk a lot and it is to Verizon customers then the Verizon plan would probably be the best. This would be true with AT&T Go phones also, the only time their plan works well is if you talk a lot to AT&T customers.
You can buy 7.5 Cents per NET10 Minute all the time if you use a lot of minutes.
This category is easy if you live in Cricket territory, Cricket has unlimited texting with all of their plans starting as low as $35 a month. If not the T-Mobile Sidekick is an outstanding deal for text and email. Alltel U Prepaid also has a really good plan for unlimited texting with their Pay per Day plan.
Moto Razr (T-Mobile), Motorola W370 (Tracfone), Lg cg 225 (Tracfone)
Tracfone is the top of the list for a local Emergency phone. My definition would be you only make calls when you absolutely have to. You can purchase a Tracfone $15 and a $20 card. $35 will give you six months of service time. It is easy to buy 4 $20 cards and install them and you will have a years activity.
Another reason to choose either Tracfone or Net10 as an emergency Prepaid Phone is because they have the best roaming coverage for a prepaid. Most prepaid phones will not roam off their primary cell network.
Tracfone wins this category also. If I was traveling around the country I would have two phones. There are mainly two types of cell phone networks. The CDMA system which is used by Verizon, Alltel, US Cellular and some others. The other is the GSM system used by AT&T (formerly Cingular), T-mobile and others. I would have a Roaming Prepaid GSM phone and a roaming CDMA phone. I would go with the most basic phones because they will often hold their charge for over a week. The phones with high quality screens are lucky to hold a charge for over 3 days.
My choice for these phones is the Tracfone or Net10 Kyocera k126c or the Lg 200c the C following the number indicates a CDMA phone. Both of these phones have very good battery stamina. My choice for the GSM phone would be either the Tracfone or NET10 Motorola C139, Nokia 1600. The Motorola W370 is a cooler phone but the battery will need to be charged more if you leave it on. Both Net10 and Tracfone will roam better than any other prepaid cell phone. The Net10 phones have a higher monthly minimum but the minutes cost less.
If you have a national contract plan with roaming, it would be a good idea to get a second phone that works on the other networks in case your phone does not work in an area. For example if you have a Verizon CDMA contract phone get a GSM Tracfone to cover where Verizon and their roaming partners do not have coverage.
The big names in Contract phones usually offer the best Prepaid Phones also. Having a cool phone in prepaid will cost you in a couple of ways. More expensive phone to purchase and more expensive Prepaid service. Verizon, T-Mobile, At&t, Virgin Mobil, Cricket, and Alltel offer the hottest phones.
- The ability to get 7.5 cents a minute from Net10 for heavy users.
- 10 cents a minute without a daily charge or a large purchase required.
- No charge roaming.
- Availability in every zip code in the US.
- Simple $30 300 minute 60 day cards that both minutes and time rolling over.
is the Best Prepaid Cell phone deal if available where you live. Unlimited calling and unlimited texting as low as $25 a month.
Check out these other web pages for more information.