Prepaid cells phones can be wonderful for the person that doesn't want to be in a long-term contract. They are ideal if you don't use your phone much and it is easy to track your minutes. Also called pay as you go cell phones, there are no contracts to sign, no monthly bills, no commitments, no credit checks, no age limit and no hidden fees. You should take the time to compare cell phone plans before you buy or you may not end up with the options you need.
Whatever the reason you have for being drawn to a prepaid phone, it can be difficult to know which carrier and what plan is best for you. Each carrier has good and some bad features. In the end it comes down to your particular situation and requirements. Here are some things to consider that will make the comparison process a bit easier:
- Price per minute - First consider the range of prices per minute; prepaid cell phones minutes cost between 10 cents and 60 cents. That's a huge range. With some prepaid providers you buy a bucket of minutes, and the more you buy at one time, the smaller the per-minute cost. With others you put dollar amounts on your phone. With more money you pay in advance, your number of minutes per dollar will increase. Long story short, the more you spend, the cheaper each individual minute will be.
- Expiring minutes -This is really important when comparing cheap cell phone plans. Once your prepaid phone minutes expire, you will lose them. If you use your cell phone often, this probably won't be an issue. But, if you are buying a phone for emergency purposes or to use infrequently, you might want to spend more per minute for a later expiration date. Some carriers also make you add a certain amount of minutes or money per month in order to keep your account active.
- Daily Fees -When considering different prepaid mobile phones and their plans, realize that some carriers charge a fee for each day your phone is used. This can be as high as $1.00 a day, but will come with lower per minute fees. If you use your phone infrequently this might be a good deal for you. If you use your phone for many days a month, you will be paying too much, especially if it's for short call.
- Nights and weekends/ mobile to mobile -Some prepaid cell phone plans offer free nights and weekends and some offer free calls to others with the same carrier. Again, you might want to pay more per minute if you will be able to take advantage of these features in prepaid phones.
- Roaming charges - Some carriers have roaming charges and other have none. It is important to find out if there will be times that you will be roaming. If you will be roaming frequently, you will want to avoid a carrier that has roaming fees. Some are up to 70 cents per minute.
- International calling -If you need international calling capabilities you will want to be sure that the carrier you select offers this service. Finding the best plan can be a daunting task. Be sure to sit down and write what your needs will be before you purchase. If you know what your usage requirements are for the above topics, you will be able to make an educated comparison of prepaid plans.