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Why Prepaid Cell Phones Are Making a Comeback for Business and Pleasure

Think you have to pay a lot for a cell phone and put up with bad service? Think you have to wait a year or two before upgrading your device? Think you have no option but to use one of the few major cell phone companies? Think again!

We have so many more choices in today’s cell phone market than we did even five years ago. And believe it or not, one of the best options to take advantage of is a prepaid cell phone plan. Using a prepaid cell can give you more flexibility and control, plus you can save a ton of money each year, too! This option is making a comeback and impacting the future of the cellular telephone industry.

Prepaid cell phones have become more popular in the past few years because people are getting fed up with the surprise fees, bad customer service, and high monthly costs associated with a traditional cell phone (and I can completely understand their frustration). I have had two regular contract cell plans and three prepaid plans throughout the years, and I can tell you—prepaid is better! I know exactly what my bill will be each and every month (not to mention, it’s super affordable!), I can easily afford a new phone anytime I want one (my current one cost me only $10), my service is always excellent, and I get to use it a ton. No minute counting here!

So how can you save money and get a great deal on your cell phone plan, you ask? It’s really easy these days. All you need to do is a little research to find the plan that’s right for you, and switch. You’d be surprised how much it can cut down on costs!

Here are two of the most popular prepaid plans right now:

Boost Mobile $50 Unlimited Plan

  • Stop crying when you go over your minutes!

    Looks like someone just received their monthly phone bill…

    $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, web, 411, IM, email, and walkie talkie service just like Nextel used to have. Think about it—I know some people who are paying $100+ every month for the same thing Boost is offering here. And why? Beats me! Look at it this way: $50 savings over 12 months is $600. I’d much rather spend $600 on something else—or save it!

  • New and updated devices for today’s modern cell phone user—including Blackberry and Android options.
  • Plans now have “shrinkage”! Every six months you pay your bill, your monthly cost goes down by $5. So after a year and a half (less than a contract term with most other cell providers) your bill is only $35 for unlimited usage. I know, so awesome!
  • Boost Mobile is owned and operated by Sprint, so not only will you get their great reception and service, but you can also use an old Nextel or Sprint phone with Boost—so you don’t even have to spend money on a new one.

Straight Talk All You Need Plan

This is the plan I currently have, and I love it! They offer two simple plans: The Unlimited Plan or All you Need Plan. They are both excellent options, but Boost’s unlimited plan is a better option since they have the Shrinkage included. So, for Straight Talk, I’d recommend using the All you Need Plan.

  • Kiss those high fees goodbye.

    It may be time to toss your contract cell phone!

    $30 per month for 1,000 talk minutes, 1,000 text or picture messages, 30MB of web usage, and included 411 calls.

  • Nice phones available for very reasonable rates. They have refurbished options as well.
  • When you compare this plan at $30 per month, and similar plans from one of the giant companies at $80 per month, you can easily save $50 per month or $600 per year!
  • Straight Talk is owned and operated by Tracfone, the #1 Prepaid wireless carrier, so you’re going to get great coverage and service, too.

Prepaid cell phones aren’t a thing of the past…they may be the future! There is a ton of money to be saved, contracts to be shredded, and your happiness to regain from ditching your old, expensive cell phone company. I made the switch three years ago and would never go back. Plus, on top of all the perks I mentioned, prepaid cells are expanding their coverage and becoming more modern with advanced phone options. They’re more affordable now than they’ve ever been.

What is your current cell phone situation like? Are you happy with the service and price you’re receiving? Would you ever consider a prepaid cell plan?


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  1. Bret Bonnet

    Can you hear me now?

  2. Jana Quinn

    I can’t believe I get to say this, but I’ve looked through their phone options in the past and…

    They don’t have the Droids I’m looking for.

  3. JPorretto

    I CAN’T WAIT to switch to Boost mobile! Now that they have an Android, I can keep the same functionality and save $720 a year. SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS!!! That’s a frickin vacation!

    But until my ATT contract is up, the cancellation fees will make it pointless =(

    Thanks Amanda! Great Post!

    • Amanda

      Good choice Jeff. It’s seriously huge savings! We have been super happy since switching to prepaid. We just don’t have the need or desire for a super fancy phone with internet–it’s not worth the cost.

  4. Jenna

    Great post, Amanda! I had no idea that you could save upwards of $600 with a prepaid phone! My dad will be paying my phone bill until I graduate, but once I’m on my own a prepaid phone sounds like the way to go! 🙂

    • Amanda

      Yep–a prepaid phone can save you a ton of money! But not as much as having a free phone–that’s a super nice dad you have! =)

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    If they get the iPhone, I’ll be interested. Until then, I will continue to pay out the nose and line Steve Jobs’ pocket. I have accepted this.

  6. Kyle

    Just signed a two year contract with Verizon… Thanks for telling me this now Amanda! >:(

    Just kidding! 😀 I’m still on my parent’s plan so it worked out to be cheaper just having a secondary line on their plan, but I’ll be sure to keep this in mind in a few years when I’m looking for my own plan. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Jen

    Very informative post Amanda. I think I will be having a serious conversation with my fiance tonight about switching to a prepaid cell phone plan. I didn’t realize how much we could be saving!


    • Amanda

      No problem! It’s a great way to go if you don’t mind not having the best, most up to date phones. =)

  8. Mary Jo

    Great article, Amanda! This is exactly why we used to talk about why we liked our phones! 🙂

    • Amanda

      Thank you for the comment Mary Jo. Have you used Straight Talk or Boost Mobile before? I’m always so glad to hear when others have been pleased using prepaid phone options.

      My husband and I are extremely happy with our prepaid phones and service–I think it’s a great option to consider.

      Thanks again for stopping by the QLP Blog. =)

  9. amy

    Holy moly!! That’s a lot of money to save per year!! I’m also still on my parents’ family plan to save some bucks, but once that river runs dry I’ll be coming back to this blog for a refresher on where to go 🙂

    Excellent post Amanda! Thank you!!

    • Amanda

      Man, you, Kyle, and Jenna are so fortunate to have parents that help out! I’ve had to pay my own phone bill forever–I guess that’s why I’m so passionate about saving money and using prepaid phones, lol.

      And thanks–it’s really a great option to consider once you’re shopping around on your own.

  10. Jill Tooley

    Yikes, that’s some extreme savings! If I wasn’t so attached to the iPhone, I’d definitely go the prepaid route. I looked into it a few years ago but they didn’t have nearly this many options then (and they had crappy phones). Thanks for the info, it may come in handy if I give contract cell phones the boot someday! 😉

    • Amanda

      Yeah, I can see how once you’ve had a smartphone you might not want to go back to a regular cell phone. But the good news is that the prepaid phones are getting better and better. =)

  11. Joseph Giorgi

    I’m certainly not as satisfied with Verizon as I thought I would be when I signed up. They’re a little too pricey! I was thinking about switching back to Sprint, but perhaps prepaid is the way to go.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Amanda! Very informative post! 🙂

    • Amanda

      Thanks Joe! Yeah, Verizon is very pricey! But they do have excellent reception and service! Straight Talk uses Verizon towers for service, so they have the same great stuff like no dropped calls and super reception in almost all areas. Something to think about…..

      • Josh P

        I’d just like to say with straight talk, you can use your own phone you just have to buy this kit which they sell at Wal-Mart or online. I’m currently using my HTC one I had for sprint and I’m saving like $60 a month it’s incredible! Also my service is 10 times better with straight talk it’s kinda funny how much sprint sucks.

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