If you pay a little attention to your wireless phone bills, you should notice that they are getting more and more expensive year by year (if not month by month). Say Verizon Wireless, to get a unlimited talk, it is $69.99/month. To get unlimited text, it is another $20; to get 2G data, it is $30 extra. Who needs unlimited text and 2G data? But they are most likely included in your plan before you knew it. Yes, this is my phone bill. I am paying $120 to Verizon every month!
There are plenty of other wireless provider to choose from at much lower cost. Net10, Straight Talk, Cricket, and PlatinumTel.com are the major players. You don’t need to sign any contract with these companies. All you need to do is select a plan (either monthly plan, or pay as you go plan), and select a phone you like. They provide different phones for you to choose from at different prices. But if all I need is a wireless phone, I wouldn’t care how it looks or if it can play music or surf internet or not. The monthly cost is what I care about.
Net10 is the oldest prepaid cell phone companies. But Net10′s pay as you plan isn’t cheap. For example, the $30 phone card will only give you 300 minutes, which is 10 cents per minutes. And it is only valid for 60 days. So I wouldn’t choose Net10′s pay as you plan. PlatinumTel.com offers much better rate. See below. But Net10′s $50/month unlimited plan is very attractive. At $50 per month, you get unlimited talk, text, and web. There are many smart phones to choose from at Net10. If you are really into internet using your smart phones, this the best choice. There is also a $25/month plan, with limited talk/text/web.
Straight Talk does not offer pay as you go plan. It has plans for 1-month/3-month/6-month/1-year. Let’s compare the 1 month plan only. You can pay $30 per month to get 1000 minutes, 1000 text, and 30MB web. Or you can pay $45 per month get all unlimited. Very attractive. Some have complained that Straight Talk’s signal coverage isn’t as good as Net10′s. But some claims that Straight Talk is better and is as good as Verizon. I can’t confirm if it is true or not. If someone tried both services, please let me know your experiences.
Cricket does not offer pay as you go plan. Only monthly plans available. All of their plans come with unlimited text and unlimited web at not extra cost. The best choice would be the $35 plan (1000 minutes + unlimited web&text), or the $25 plan (300 minutes + unlimited web&text). They are excellent plans for people who use their cell phones to surf a lot. The bad thing is that under these two plans there isn’t enough phones to choose from. To get better phones, you have to upgrade to $45 or $55 version. But to save money, I will be satisfied with the $25/$35 plan.
The best about PlatinumTel is their “Real Paygo” plan at the rate of $0.05 per minute. You can choose $10, $20, $30, $50 or $100 phone card. They also offer monthly plan at the rate of $55 or $65 per month for any android phone. Both offer unlimited talk and text. $55 includes 200 Megabytes data, while $65 includes 1Gb data per month. Apparently they are not price-competitive. The $30 phone card may be your best choice at PlatinumTel. It will give 600 minutes talk time. And it won’t expire until 180 days. Choose it if you don’t talk too much via cell phones. It is possible that you only spend $30 every half a year!
Conclusions:For those only need a cell phone to talk, PlatinumTel.com is your choice. For those who need to surf a lot, Net10 $50 unlimited plan or Straight Talk’s $45 unlimited plan is your choice. For those who need to save and also need to surf, Cricket’s $25 or $35 plan is your choice.