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Old 12-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #21
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Thanks guys. I need to get serious about changing over. Does anyone have a certain type of Tracfone that they really like? I would like one that keeps a good charge. My DH will probably want one that looks good, has camera, caller id, etc. Neither of us text or do anything other than talk. Our first cell phones were Nokia and we liked them. We now have Motorola and our phones do not hold the charge for near as long as the Nokia. I would like to get a phone that has the double minutes for life.
I have a couple of Motorola's....and they don't hold a charge near as long as my old Nokia's did...so I'm just in the habit of plugging them in every 2 or 3 days to charge up....usually at bedtime to recharge while I recharge.

There are different brands and models available...check at WalMart, Walgreens, Radio Shack, or one somewhere similar to see what's available or check 'em out at Tracfone.com. You buy the phone, and you buy the minutes separately....you can also buy a "double minutes for life" card, which will, um, double your minutes for the life of the phone.

My first Tracfone cost me $18 at WalMart...it's a Motorola flip-phone. I also bought a 450 minute card, and a double minutes for life card....efectively giving me 900 minutes plus the 10 minutes included on the phone. After your up and running they'll send you snail mail and email sale offers for more minutes at discount prices.

Back in February I was in a Radio Shack near Orlando, and they had a Tracfone Motorola camera phone on sale for cheap (around $12), so I bought it, but didn't have it activated. I figure when my current flip phone dies, I'll just "upgrade" to it, and transfer my number and minutes.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:05 AM   #22
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I just got a very basic Motorola flip-phone tracfone (model W260g) which on a full charge lasts about a week on idle. All I use on the phone is as a talking device (it rings, I answer it, or I call out from it ), also the alarm clock.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:34 AM   #23
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.....All I use on the phone is as a talking device (it rings, I answer it, or I call out from it ), also the alarm clock.
Ditto!

I only use the alarm clock feature when we travel, or once in a blue-moon if I wanted to take a very short nap.....or as a timer for baking Christmas cookies!
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:48 PM   #24
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My brother gets 10% off at Wal-Mart, wonder if it applies to refill cards?
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #25
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We converted to this earlier this year and haven't looked back. I hear that you can also find discounts for the $100 pre-paid cards, but I haven't had luck with that one yet.
Try callingmart.com -- currently they have t-mobile 1000 minute refills for $88 if you use the coupon code -- hpyhldys-12
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:24 PM   #26
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Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #27
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In answer to the question, I signed up at Walmart for Straight Talk. I never use my phone for the web so I got the 1000 minute/1000 text deal which is fine for me. In fact, it's more than I use, but I figured I'd get it to be on the safe side. An unforeseen emergency can chew up your minutes in no time.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:18 PM   #28
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In answer to the question, I signed up at Walmart for Straight Talk. I never use my phone for the web so I got the 1000 minute/1000 text deal which is fine for me. In fact, it's more than I use, but I figured I'd get it to be on the safe side. An unforeseen emergency can chew up your minutes in no time.
Have you had a chance to test drive the service or did you recently sign up?
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #29
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Straight Talk

I just signed up, around Thanksgiving. So far I've had no problems. Don't know how it would work out for Alaska or somewhere like that, but the reception in Florida is good. I suppose that's because it runs on the Verizon network.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #30
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T-Mobile Pre-Paid Plan

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OP:

For us the best plan was "T-Mobile Pre-Pay", $ 100 for 1000min. Good for a year. Do not lose unused minutes.
We agree! My wife and I have two T-Mobile Phones on the 1000Min Plans & love it. The most important feature of the plan is if you do not use your 1000Min for the whole year and used lets say only 200Min...when you renew for the next year (365 days) all you have to add is 200Min or $20, just enough to get you to the 1000min level...And best of all, T-Mobile then adds addional minutes as a bonus because you qualified at the 1000min "Gold" level...Sweet!

Remember this plan is great for people that don't have the phone dangling from their ear 24 hours a day...We use these phones only as emergency or fast checkins etc...For the past 3 years, for both phones we averaged less than $5 per month total. We also use MagicJack for local & long distance as well as Google Voice for local & long distance. We used to pay close to $1300/yr for cell phone plans & home phone. We have cut our total communication costs to less than $10 month and don't really feel anything has changed.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:51 PM   #31
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Any of these systems include using an iphone (including a hacked model)? DW loves her iphone and internet access, not just texting. I don't need one because she has one. Younger son has a Blackberry and texts a lot.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:52 PM   #32
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I have a straight talk phone because i am trying to retire early lol probably like everyone else here. Straight talk is just better than the other guys because the phone company is cheaper... Im not about crazy spending these days. Im trying to have a long retirement!
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:04 AM   #33
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I have a straight talk phone because i am trying to retire early lol probably like everyone else here. Straight talk is just better than the other guys because the phone company is cheaper... Im not about crazy spending these days. Im trying to have a long retirement!
Interesting first post.

I think one can find pre-paid plans that are less expensive than monthly pay plans. Although these plans look good if you feel you use enough minutes to justify a monthly payment.

-- Rita
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:42 AM   #34
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I still like my STi Mobile plan -- 10 cents per day plus 10 cents per minute.

At my current rate of usage, and the fact that I've gotten refill cards at 3% off, I've been at roughtly $5-6/month.
Do you have the old STIMobile plan. The current plan is 8.9 cents per day and 8.9 cents per minute. I used to have the old plan at the rates you posted. But I called them up and they dropped their rates to the lower ones. And when you buy the minutes you can usually find a discount code of 3-8% by doing a search for stimobile discount codes.

It's a great, basic plan. I pay less than $3 a month to have the phone and maybe anothe 1-2$ a month for the small amount of minutes I use.

Where else can you get cell phone service for less than $5 a month.

My one complaint is that their phones are starting to look pretty dated. People comment on the dinosaur when I get it out. But who cares, it's really cheap.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:46 AM   #35
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Interesting first post.

I think one can find pre-paid plans that are less expensive than monthly pay plans. Although these plans look good if you feel you use enough minutes to justify a monthly payment.

-- Rita
I have a prepaid plan $30/mo for unlimited web, 1500 minutes of combined text and voice. (It is prepay, in the sense that I pay upfront monthly, but have no contract and no opportunity to get overage charges. If I use 1500 before month end, my phone would just stop working except for 911) If I want to go unlimited, it costs $50/mo. Better coverage and fewer dropped calls, and cheaper than my previous ATT monthly bill plan.

I hate being locked into contracts, and it would be worth it to me to even pay a little more just to avoid this.

Ha
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:02 PM   #36
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We use cell phones for emergencies only. Have 2 phones using Virgin Mobile, .18/min voice, .15/min txt. Now voice is .20/min. You buy $20 ($15 with credit card) every 90 days to top up, money rolls forward. If you add $60 within 30 days of activiation this gets you 1 yr of service extension, $90 otherwise. I was told by a rep that if you add $60 in a 72 hour period, this also extends service for 1 yr. They have something that's hard to find/identify, called Service Preserver (not sure it's still available if you don't have it already), we opted in on this about 2 years ago. I found with a $5 top up, it extends service for 1 yr, just did this in the last 2 weeks.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:00 PM   #37
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I use the Net 10 750 min 30 day card. Advertised price is 25 but you can get them for about 18 thru fatwallet and taking one of their refurb phone deals. I just put the phone in a box and load my regular net 10 phone. Works like a charm.

Tomcat98
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:01 PM   #38
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I use the Net 10 750 min 30 day card. Advertised price is 25 but you can get them for about 18 thru fatwallet and taking one of their refurb phone deals. I just put the phone in a box and load my regular net 10 phone. Works like a charm.

Tomcat98
Tomcat98,

I'm not familiar with Net 10, but as my Sprint contract is up in a few weeks, I'm in 'shop around mode'. I've had their 450 minutes/month plan and usually run pretty close to that (plus I've been using MANY more minutes on nights and weekends, when they are 'free').

How has your service been with Net 10 (coverage areas, dropped calls, static-y lines, etc)?

omni
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:34 PM   #39
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Where else can you get cell phone service for less than $5 a month.
T-Mobile pre-pay. Once you get through the first year ( ~ $130, including the phone), you can extend the service for another year for just $10, minutes rollover. That's 83 cents a month. That's less than $5.

Of course it only works for low minute users, but that's me.

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I have a prepaid plan $30/mo for unlimited web, 1500 minutes of combined text and voice.

I hate being locked into contracts, and it would be worth it to me to even pay a little more just to avoid this.

Ha
That sounds good for that many minutes and the web. I wish more carriers would go with a 'bare' (bring your own phone) plan. They load the cost of replacing your phone every two years into your monthly bill, and it still costs you something to get it updated, and if you don't want a/need a new phone after two years, you continue to pay. I'd rather have the charges separate and transparent. Pay for service, pay for phone - no mix/match shell game.

-ERD50
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:22 AM   #40
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THis thread is really interesting.

We have an old flip phone from Motorola that doesn't keep a charge for more than a few minutes anymore so we really need to get a new phone. Right now we only really use the phone once in a while (strictly talking) but are paying almost $35 from ATT (the actual fee is about $25/month... the rest is taxes, etc.!)

We want to start traveling soon and hope to relocate so we would plan to use the phone more.

I find researching and getting a new phone just not "fun" so I keep putting it off. Anyone have a good website where the choices are summarized and/or reviewed? I find even all the choices listed in these messages here confusing.

I guess I am really in the FIRE mode and don't want to "think" too hard.
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