Prepaid Cell Phones

Prepaid Cell Phones

Are your monthly cell phone bills taking your breath away? Cell phone providers lock customers into one and two year contracts and charge steep monthly rates that are usually much higher than initially suspected. If this is the case with your cell phone provider, it might be time to consider making a switch once that contract has run up. Many people are switching to prepaid cell phones, or pay as you go models. Carriers such as Virgin Mobile and Verizon Wireless currently offer prepaid cell phones, allowing customers to be charged for what they use, instead of a flat monthly rate.

Surprisingly enough, you might find that prepaid cell phones are actually a competitive deal when compared with many contract plans. Take for instance the Virgin Mobile service. Virgin Mobile offers a 200 anytime minute pay as you go plan for $20, whereas their contract plan for the same amount of minutes costs $24.99. The only real difference between the prepaid cell phones and contract plans is data transfer, which happens to be more inclusive under the contract plan. In general, if you can limit the amount of data transfer that occurs, you will find that prepaid cell phones tend to be cheaper overall. Data transfer, such as text messaging or web browsing, tends to be covered better under contract plans rather than prepaid cell phones.

Verizon Wireless offers a slightly different structure for their pay as you go services. With Verizon Wireless, you can pay 99 cents per day for 10 cents a minute and per text. For $1.99 a day, Verizon Wireless offers unlimited night minutes and 5 cents per daytime minute. There is also a $2.99 per day plan with unlimited night minutes and 2 cents per minute during the day. This is a great option for those that plan on using the phone more frequently.

The freedom that comes with using prepaid cell phones is very attractive for many cell phone users. Having to sign a two year commitment is a big deal, and breaking out of that commitment will cost you in the form of a heavy fee. The prepaid cell phones model means your options are open, and you can walk away at anytime. Best of all, if you only need 100 minutes that month, just buy 100 minutes worth of airtime.

If you want 1000 minutes next month, it's no big deal. Under a contract plan, you would end up either paying too much for the basic plan, or having to pay for large overage fees. The pay as you go model allows the consumer to pay a fair price for whatever their needs are that month, instead of being stuck with a plan that might not always fit their current needs.

Are prepaid cell phones right for everyone? Definitely not. Prepaid cell phones will tend to always charge slightly higher rates for minutes than you would find under a contract plan. This is not much of a problem

unless you talk a great deal on the phone every month. If your cell phone use is fairly consistent and constant, then a contract plan might be a better deal for you. Another reason to think twice about the prepaid cell phones model is the limited availability of phones. Prepaid cell phones are typically lower end, with the high end phones limited to contract plans. There are a few exceptions, but the high end and smart phone lines are generally limited to contract plans.