Thread Number: 84166  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Prepaid plans
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Post# 1085264   8/16/2020 at 13:11 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Does anyone here that uses a smartphone, have a prepaid carrier and phone they can recommend?

Currently I have AT&T. I'm getting ripped off (IMO) at $80/month for what I'm getting. I'm long out of contract, and just considering going prepaid for maybe $35 or $40 a month. I don't use that much data since at home I'm on Wi-Fi.

I've had my Samsung Galaxy S3 for 7 years now and it still works, but it won't work with a lot of the newer websites and such, and the battery is getting unreliable. Sometimes it will say it's charged but I unplug it and it goes dead suddenly. Other times it will go all day and not deplete much. It's also rather slow at times. Not sure if that's due to the connection or outdated hardware.

I don't use a lot of apps, mostly just Pandora and some games. Overall, I'd like to have something with a good camera that can take night pictures well. That's important to me.

I've been thinking of going for an iPhone 7 or SE, which would be around $200 from the prepaid carriers. Just switching would cover the difference by the money I'd save vs AT&T. My father has Cricket wireless and a cheapie smartphone I'd never heard of before (I think ZTE or something) but he seems to like it just fine. So maybe I should just get one of their free phones?

Any suggestions on a plan - and new phone?

Post# 1085290 , Reply# 1   8/16/2020 at 16:42 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Mint Mobile...

Post# 1085300 , Reply# 2   8/16/2020 at 18:09 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Only issue with the carriers' prepaid offerings is that they don't offer roaming--home only use. Less of a problem with Verizon and AT&T; if you travel, though, be aware.

Post# 1085301 , Reply# 3   8/16/2020 at 18:18 by Vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Samsung Phone

vacbear58's profile picture
I replaced my Samsung Galaxy Note (that is V1) back in February with a Note 10 Lite which I am very pleased with, it was less than half the price of the “regular” Note 10. I see they have just announced new models so you might get a good price on the 10s being last year’s models. I purchase my phone rather than include it in my plan which is about $20 per month in the UK. That includes free call and data and I never go near the limits on either. I had my old phone 8 or 9 years, I replace it because of problems saving data on it, the phone itself still worked

Post# 1085302 , Reply# 4   8/16/2020 at 18:18 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Mint Mobile has roaming in Canada and Mexico included at no cost. $15/mo unlimited Talk and Text and 3g of data, more data it goes up to $20 or 25/mo.  Best deal is if you pay for the year.


If I was changing carriers that is who I"d go with.




Post# 1085308 , Reply# 5   8/16/2020 at 18:29 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
Consumer Cellular.....

check out their website for pricing.....and phone options/warranties...

no contract ever....

no overages.....

for me it ended being 1/3 the cost of Verizon for the exact plan that I had....

30 day free trial, no cost....

the warranty has upgraded my phone several times, has not cost me a dime since I bought the first phone around 2005

Post# 1085327 , Reply# 6   8/16/2020 at 21:53 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I heard of Mint, but never looked into it. I'm amazed how cheap they are. Unfortunately it seems their coverage may be a little weak in my area, but not sure on that.

Verizon works best in my area but they are also more $. Sprint's coverage is awful, or at least used to be, but they are a lot cheaper. AT&T seemed the best compromise for coverage and price, so that's who I went with back then. But no point in paying $80 a month. I don't even need unlimited talk and text, and I'd be getting that with most prepaid plans if I got one anyway.

I'll look into the Galaxy Note. I've been pleased with my Samsung phone up to this point, it's just getting too old to handle a lot of the new forums and such. After 7 years I guess that's bound to happen in the tech world.

It's amazing to me that my phone seems so small compared to the new ones. When I got mine I had the choice between this S3 for $30 or an iPhone 4S for free with contract. Back then that iPhone 4S seemed TINY! Now my S3 doesn't seem all that big either, even compared to my dad's phone it's small.

Post# 1085334 , Reply# 7   8/16/2020 at 23:50 by littlegreeny (Milwaukee, WI)        

littlegreeny's profile picture
I had Mint mobile and hated it. Service was terrible and the internet was slow. I switched over to AT&T prepaid and have been very happy. Best deal I found was paying for a 12 month plan in advance. For $300/year ($25/month), you get unlimited talk and text and 8 gb of data a month. I'd had my current plan for nearly a year and plan to renew again as the service is excellent.

Post# 1085348 , Reply# 8   8/17/2020 at 01:40 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Mint buys space from T mobile, so if TM i good in your area Mint will be good. I have relatives that use Mint and they are quite happy.  I'm on a group rate with T Mobile @ $20/m so I'm happy.

Post# 1085379 , Reply# 9   8/17/2020 at 08:33 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

Does Aldi offer mobile phone plans in the USA?

I have Aldi mobile in Australia.

$15 a month. Unlimited national calls and texts. I think 3 Gb data a month? unused data rolls over to your next month - I have over 30 gb up my sleeve... they have more expensive plans with more data and overseas calls included. Roaming is not available at all, which suits me.

They resell Telstra which is Australia's biggest network, so coverage anywhere. Way cheaper than Telstra.

Post# 1085380 , Reply# 10   8/17/2020 at 08:41 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

ozzie908's profile picture
its a couple of years old now but works fine for me.

I am now with Tesco mobile its never more than $15 a month its a sim only deal and rolls over each month so I always know what I am being charged. it has limited text and data but I have never used it up.

Has great coverage too.


Post# 1085385 , Reply# 11   8/17/2020 at 09:21 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
Total Wireless from Walmart

We've had them for about 5 years now- $62 for both lines, unlimited talk/text and 5Gb shared data. I think it's $30 or 35 for one line. We've never gone over the data, AND they use the Verizon towers! Even traveling we've had no issues with coverage except for the usual spots where no one has coverage.

I'm still using an iPhone 5SE that i need to replace (antenna isn't what it used to be) and Rich has a Samsung. My phone was $50 and his was $100.

Good luck!!


Post# 1085421 , Reply# 12   8/17/2020 at 14:32 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
First off cellular carriers are regional on both availability and coverage so take recommendations with a grain of that salt.

I have been with the carrier that is now T-Mobile since 1998 (originally it was Aerial then Voicestream). They were always strong here in Minneapolis so I've always been pleased with coverage. Never once have I had any issue with billing or customer service.

I have been paying ~$50 a month for unlimited voice/text and 4Gb data. This is a contract-less plan so there are no games. I just saw they are offering 55+ plans now that start at $35 & 45 dollars supposedly with taxes and fees INCLUDED. The $45 plan goes to 20Gb data for those that wish to maybe do away with a permanent home connection.

Post# 1085528 , Reply# 13   8/18/2020 at 17:36 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

I'll be looking over my own cell plan as well. Now that I'm working mostly from home with wifi I don't use nearly the data I used to.

With T-Mobile taking over Sprint, that leaves 3 physical nationwide cell networks in the US: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. *ALL* cell phone service providers use one of these 3. There're also regional carriers that roam onto one of the three when a user is outside his home carrier's network.

Mint, like Cricket, Simple, etc. are MVNO's, meaning they don't have their own networks at all but rent space on one or more of these 3 networks (or possibly regional ones as well). The only downside I'm aware of with MVNO's is when capacity is an issue. Generally this happens only when towers are knocked out of service. The big 3 prioritize. Last I read the order was (Verizon as an example):

Verizon post paid (old fashioned billing)
Verizon pre-paid
Verizon owned MVNO
non-Verizon MVNO

If you're an officially designated First Responder or Essential Personnel (phone number registered by your job with the cell service provider) you jump to the top the list in the event service reduction. To be fair, I can't recall anybody I know with an MVNO having a problem with service during/after a storm when a person who had service directly with the network owner DID have service.

Mint operates on T-Mobile's network. If you don't know anyone who uses Mint, ask people how their T-Mobile coverage is in the areas you visit.

Phones: I don't know about the iPhone 7, but iPhone 8 and newer (like the SE) have a processor that uses very little power when it's on standby (i.e. in your pocket). So I'd suggest the SE over the 7. I also suggest you buy the phone directly from Mint so you'll get a phone that'll work on all the frequencies that Mint rents space on. If you bring your own phone there are all sorts of compatibility issues* you need to take into consideration.

I've attached a review of Mint from one of the more well-regarded cell phone aficionado web sites.

If Mint seems to meet your needs, I'd go with it.

*It's become way more complicated than it was even a few years ago. My head starts spinning and I'm into this stuff.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO warmsecondrinse's LINK

Post# 1085620 , Reply# 14   8/19/2020 at 11:52 by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

volsboy1's profile picture
Visible Wireless is 40 bucks a month unlimited Data,and everything . No data caps and its Verizon network ... And the 40 bill really is 40 bucks ... UP here in the mountains Verizon works the best , I never drop calls ..

Post# 1085632 , Reply# 15   8/19/2020 at 12:58 by sfh074 ( )        
T-Mob, 55+ plan ......

is what we have been using for the past 1.5 years, that is at this plans inception. (2) lines, unlimited everything and between the wife and I we NEVER use up all the data that is allocated on 4G ..... and we watch a ton of Youtube each month. $70 and no fees or taxes. Every bill has been exactly $70. The coverage is excellent. Can't remember last time we didn't have coverage in some spot. Went to Israel for 10 days and all calls and texts, along with minimum of 3G data were covered under this plan as well. They advertise 160+ countries are included for free. So $35 per person and no tacked on BS in my book is awesome. Oh, and all this with NO contract!! I hate contracts

Bud - Atlanta

Post# 1085755 , Reply# 16   8/20/2020 at 08:19 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Concur about the T-Mobile 55+ plan---has been a good choice for the 1 1/2 years we've had it. We're not quite as happy with the rural coverage as you are, but it's acceptable to us; and the ability to use it in Canada is the big counterpoint for us (obviously not now)...we took a trip throughout NS and PEI last fall without a care in the world.

Post# 1085841 , Reply# 17   8/20/2020 at 22:28 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Well this is absolutely ridiculous. I ordered the phone I wanted and it was supposed to be overnighted UPS... I get home today and nothing. I tried to track it with the tracking number - it showed it was out for delivery this morning but supposedly I requested it to be held at the UPS Access Point at Michael's Arts and Craft Store which I did NOT request.

It still didn't even deliver there today, says it will be delivered tomorrow. It also shows now that the address is incorrect. I tried to change it to my address, which is exactly what it was SUPPOSED to be, but it won't let me change anything!

If it doesn't show up I guess I'm going to have to cancel the order and hope I can get my money back, because I have no idea where it's going now.

Why do I have to make things so difficult??

Post# 1086363 , Reply# 18   8/24/2020 at 18:11 by washabear (Maryland)        

I have been using TracFone for a number of years and am pleased with it. $20 every 90 days, so it's about the least expensive out there. I just buy a top off card at any store when the time comes and input the PIN to add time. Minutes double with flip phones and triple with some smartphones. I only use my cellphone for texting and emergency calls, so this plan works for me. Can't give recommendations for phones themselves, as I just have a little flip phone and don't need anything else.

Post# 1086639 , Reply# 19   8/26/2020 at 08:47 by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

dermacie's profile picture
I am with At&t prepaid 40.00 a month with auto debit. I use an Iphone that I purchased from Apple and I get great service.

Post# 1087540 , Reply# 20   9/1/2020 at 17:35 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I'm a bit late to respond but right now AT&T prepaid is the best prepaid offering out there. Their top plan - Unlimited Plus is $50 with autopay discount. As for phones the 2020 iPhone SE is a really good value at $400. 

Post# 1093614 , Reply# 21   10/18/2020 at 11:44 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I just wanted to update. Initially I ordered an iPhone 7 through Cricket, paid up front for the phone, but UPS messed up and it never delivered, so what was supposed to come over night ended up never coming and getting returned to the sender. In the mean time, my old phone completely stopped working so I had to make a decision fast.

Instead I decided to go with Mint Mobile, even though I don't know anyone who uses it around here. I got the new 2020 iPhone SE, and two years of service for $35 a month with no upfront costs.

I think this is a really good price! The phone and the Sim card came in the mail from Orlando, and I just had to pop the card in and it was good to go. The number transferred over without any problems despite my old phone being dead.

So far can't comment on service, so we'll see how that goes. Seems to receive calls fine from my house and the WiFi setup works. Haven't taken it anywhere to see how good coverage is, but from their map it should be fine. Hopefully I won't have to return it but I'll test it out this week just to be sure. They offer 7 day returns.

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