6 reasons to choose a prepaid cell phone plan

Maybe you are unwilling to commit to a lengthy cell phone contract because they require a credit check, or because you don’t want to remain stuck with a cell phone carrier for a long period of time. Prepaid phone plans allow you to bypass all this and can give you much more freedom. They offer many advantages, such as:

1. No commitment

When you opt into a prepaid plan, you are not bound by a contract. You can terminate your subscription at any time by simply stopping to add time to your cell phone. This is a big advantage for users who want to try a new service provider without getting a contract.

2. No credit issue

If your credit isn’t exactly commendable or if you prefer to keep that information personal, you can have a hard time getting into an extended cell phone contract with a major carrier. Prepaid plans can be good alternative since pay as you go plans do not require a credit check.

3. Carryover minutes

Most pay as you go plans allow you to keep your leftover minutes at the end of the month. This is a big advantage if you use your cell phone only once in a while as you can accumulate a large amount of minutes for when you really need them. Note that most providers will ask that you add a minimum amount of money to your phone each month in order for your minutes to carry over to the next month.

4. Help establish your needs

Getting into a contract is a delicate matter if you are buying your first cellular phone because you don’t really know how much time you will spend talking on your phone each month. A pay as you go plan can help you evaluate how many minutes you need each month before having to sign a contract. Once you have established your needs, you can always call your carrier and get the contract that will best suit you.

5. No monthly fees

There are no mandatory monthly fees with a prepaid phone plan. Some carriers will charge you a small amount every month such as a 911 fee, but if you leave your cell phone empty and don’t use it, you don’t have to pay it. Be aware that some carriers may deactivate your phone if you don’t use it for an extended period of time.

6. Teach children and teens how to manage their time

If your children or teenagers bust their time limits with a regular plan, the overtime minutes will be automatically charged to your cell phone bill. If however you give them pay as you go cell phones and a time card every month, they will learn how to manage their talk time effectively and be more aware of how much mobile phones cost to operate because the phone will simply stop working if they run out of time.

Since they don’t require a commitment on your part, pay as you go cell phone plans are perfect for that “emergency phone” you keep in the car. You can truly benefit from prepaid plans if you take the time to evaluate your needs correctly. Pick your carrier carefully, and if you are not satisfied, you are always free to switch to a new carrier at a later time.

If you are shopping for a new phone, have a look at these cheap prepaid cell phones:

 
Doctor TracFone September 4, 2009 at 11:15 am

This a great post, Phil!

Prepaid is the rule and not the exception outside the U.S. But it’s now the fastest-growing segment in the industry here for a variety of reasons, so people are obviously catching on.

All of your points are great and there’s no need to be repetitious, but one of my favorites is #6. I think it’s a fantastic way to teach children about money, responsibility, budgeting and more… while empowering and enabling them, and providing parents with the ability to communicate with kids and keep in touch.

And TracFone (ahem!) makes this all very easy, since it’s the least expensive way to own a cell phone.

Thanks and keep up the great job!

Phil Starn September 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for your comments Doctor TracFone! They are much appreciated :)

Nikki Brown September 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

Thank you for the thought provoking post. We have had a cell contract for years and it is aggravating to watch all the fees slowly rise over time. I may just have to check into these pre-paid plans.

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