I need help finding the cheapest cell phone

My cell phone contract is over in a few days - the 18th - and I need to sign up for someone else.

I was paying about $29 a month.

I need something cheaper. I really only make calls to my husband and possibly a store or two. I possibly make 5 or 6 calls a month.

Isn’t there a buy your phone and pay as you go program? Friends of ours in England have something like this. You buy your phone off the shelf in a prefab kit. Call on a home/business phone to activate the number proscribed and ( I guess) put it on your credit card and you pay per call and not some montly access.

I am in Michigan, if that matters.

I think it does vary a lot by market, so my experience in South Florida will probably be no help. But here we have plenty of pre-pay plans, and there are plenty of plans that are about $16 a month with like 45 minutes a month. And nearly every plan I’ve seen offers a free phone with a 1-year contract.

I have a plan that costs $19 bucks a month, that gives me 75 “anytime” minutes and 500 weekend minutes. The best thing though, is that I have nation-wide service. No roaming charges anywhere in the continental US, and I can call anywhere in the continental US. I make all my long distance calls (which are in the US) from the cell, and I save money.

Our emergency backup phone (our daughter takes it with her in case the car breaks down) is a TracFone. You pay by the minute. A 10-minute card costs about $8.95 and is good for 30 days. Yeah, it’s hideously expensive on a per call basis, but if you REALLY only make a handful of calls each month and don’t talk long, it’s a good deal.

I think ATT and Sprint have similar pre-paid plans.

Otherwise, the lowest monthly plan I’ve seen is $19.95. Another option is to look at a “family plan” where you get a slightly more expensive plan, but also get a second phone. Both phones would work off the same pool of minutes.

I dumped my cell phone several months ago and never replaced it. I do want one for emergencies only (i.e., the car breaks down). So this weekend I’m getting a Tracfone. $80 at Target (I’m guessing Walmart and similiar stores would sell them). Like kunilou said, the phone card can be pricey, but if you are using it only for emergencies, then it’s a good deal. It’s a phone in a box. You dial an 800 number to activate it and get your phone number. The thing is, the phone card “de-activates” after 30 days and you have to replace it, even if you haven’t used it. But worth it for the peace of mind.

I’m in Canada, using the ATT-Rogers pay as you go. For me, it’s 33 cents a minute, no matter where and when I call, within Canada. Phone cards come in 10, 20 or 50$ rates. I think the 10$ times out after 30 days, the other two give you 60 (but I’m not sure)

They just switched the 50$ to 60 days, down from 180, which was absolutely FANTASTIC! 150 minutes for half a year? But even with only 60 days, its still an ok deal.

Im imagining that Michgan must have similar services.

I forgot to mention that my plan is from Voicestream.

I’m in an IMHO mood today!

It really would depend on your phone reception in the area you are in.

Also, remember that cheapo used phones in thrift shops (I work for a few of them) can call 911, free & no activation required. Be sure to check the phone first in the store to see if it needs a card or stupid code to turn it on. Do not call 911 to test it out. I would suggest taking it to the local police dept & asking them to do this for you., if they would.

I live in Michigan and used to work for a cell phone company (CenturyTel). You can definately get a cheaper rate, mine now is only $20 a month for 1200 minutes. This was purchased on a promotion, which is a good way to do it. If you only make a few calls a month look for a plan with 100 or so minutes (most won’t come with less) and just make sure the minutes are good when and where you need them.

$20 is about as cheap as plans go, unless you get a plan with no minutes, which I have seen from $10-15 a month. But beware of the per-minute cost, one call at 50 cents a minute can put you up there in price really fast. Also beware of plans that are advertised cheap but require a long contract that ups the price after a year.

Also keep in mind that if you switch phone companies you will most likely have to buy a different phone if it is not compatible (and this is usually the case in MI). Try to get a promotion with a free phone, although most of these will require a long contract or a more expensive plan.

Any good customer service person or sales person can find a plan that will fit you, and shouldn’t try to push you into more than you need. Tell them how many minutes you want and how much you want to spend and they will have an idea of what will work best. shop around and don’t buy from anyone who pressures you or is not clear about ALL the fees. Plan on adding about $3-5 dollars to the cost of your plan for fees and taxes.

In my experience, pre-paid plans are not a good way to go. We usually reserved them for people with bad credit who didn’t qualify for a regular plan (this may be different in other states). The price per minute is crazy and if you don’t use them, you lose them. Plus the added inconvenience of having to buy minutes every month. There are enough plans out there that you should be able to find one.

Sorry, this went on for a while, hope it helps.