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Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 12:08 PM   #1
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Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

This one is very slightly more risky than the last couple I found. I bought this one, so far so good. That brings me up to three emergency cells I've gotten in the last ~16 months; the at&t free2go phone that cost me $25 for ~300 minutes that lasted all 16 months (still have 45 to use up); the t-mobile togo phone that was $39 AR and 100 for 1000 minutes that wont expire for a year (900 to go), and this one that is free after rebate and minutes dont expire, so that'll cost me $25 for a year or so.

$189 for three cell phones for 1+ year emergency/"hey whadda ya want at the grocery store"/"I'm gonna be late" calls. And I still have about $90 worth of viable minutes to use out of that $189.

Go here:
http://www.cheapphonecards.com/cccar...ome.php?cat=77

This is a great place to get prepaid phone cards and prepaid mobile service. I bought my t-mobile $100 card here for ~$89 after coupons. They always have 3-4 coupon codes floating around, check fatwallet's hot deals forum for the latest.

Right now they've teamed up with STIMobile, a sprint reseller, to offer a nice prepaid package.

Whats prepaid? You buy a dollar or minute card for a phone that you usually have to buy and pay for yourself, and are charged a dollar/minute or flat minute rate as you use the phone. The trick is generally expiration of the minutes; most plans expire the minutes after 30-90 days unless you 'recharge' the phone with more minutes. It can be a hassle and can end up costing you close to the regular el cheapo $19/month basic cell phone plans.

Thats why I look for ones where the minutes last a year and/or minutes dont expire at all with some small caveats.

The original at&t deal had you buy a free after rebate phone (an excellent deal for a prepaid), put $25 on it, and they'd automatically add 20 minutes every month and keep rolling your unused minutes forward, for one year. It was too good to be true. I think it was to pump up subscriber numbers pending their purchase by cingular. It was actually 16 months that they kept adding 20 minutes and rolling the minutes.

If you have one of those at&t tdma type phones, or can buy a old 'free2go' phone from ebay, gobeyondwireless.com will resell you cingulars service for a cheap ~10c a minute rate with minutes that never expire as long as you make a call for one minute (in or out) every 60 days. Check this on their web site to make sure that hasnt changed to 45 or 90, these things are a little fluid. That means $25 can last you something like 3-5 years as long as all you make are 'ping' calls. Perfect for the glove compartment emergency car cell phone or one you carry in your bag in case all hell breaks loose.

t-mobiles service is a fine simple plan. You buy a phone for ~40. Target, walmart sell them at this price, and others try to sell them to you for $80 with a $40 rebate. Why bother. $100 'cards' can be bought for ~$90 at various places, and $100 cards make your minutes last a year. Even smaller amounts you buy subsequent to that which normally only last 90 days are granted the 1 year status once you've applied a $100 card. If you apply a second $100 card just before the year on the first card expires, all of your minutes are rolled over for a second year...but I think I recall that the fine print said that $100/1 year minutes can only be rolled over once.

On this STI mobile/cheapphonecards deal, they are reselling sprint minutes. Sprint (last time I checked) doesnt offer a prepaid deal, so they resell their network capacity to companies like stimobile and virgin mobile. The one downside to this is that sprints network is not as widespread as some others, so check their crappy and hard to read coverage map to make sure you have coverage, and/or check with your local sprint store to see if they cover your area. If you dont HAVE a sprint store, thats a tip off.

You buy an LG 5225 color flip phone (no camera) with leather case and car charger for $105 or the plain phone and wall charger for $89, and get $89 back in rebate. Its a BIG rebate, and you MUST submit it within 14 days of ordering the phone, you MUST activate it with stimobile, and you MUST keep it activated with them for at least several months. But in essence its a free phone, and thats the holy grail of prepaid cell phones. Use the coupon code "paymecell" or "payme20" or "payme25" to get 20% off the package, making the $105 package 2 free, or you might actually make a few dollars on the package 1 phone.

Minutes through stimobile are like beyondwireless minutes, they stay in effect as long as you make or receive at least one call every 60 days. Also a great deal.

They have two service plans. If you know anyone that lives in a foreign country, plan #2 is an incredible deal.

PLAN 1 - .10 Nights/Weekends & .12 Days with low direct dial international rates. Complete International rates:
http://www.stimobile.com/ServicePlans.aspx

PLAN 2 - .18 Domestic and FREE INTERNATIONAL CALLS to over 200 countries including Vietnam and India. You just pay the .18 airtime charge. International rate list for plan two: http://www.stimobile.com/plan2rates.aspx

The phone is allegedly a good one, only complaint so far is weak battery life of about 3 days standby on a full charge. I leave mine connected to the charger all the time so I dont care. If stimobile goes out of business, it shouldnt be rocket science to get virgin mobile or sprint to let you use it on their network instead.

Only risk is they go out of business before they pay your rebate. So far they're selling phones like hotcakes for some time now, and they've been paying the rebates in a timely manner.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 12:36 PM   #2
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

I switched from Sprint to tmobile to go last week, and couldn't be happier <$9/mo for service for ~100 minutes/month. The amazing thing was the number porting.... it took 15 seconds. They also canceled my sprint account for me. Sweet.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 12:50 PM   #3
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Oh yeah, one other thing. The one 'problem' with gobeyondwireless.com is that they only offer phone numbers in a handful of states...florida, minnesota, illinois and texas among them. This isnt a problem for outgoing calls as the 'minutes' include bundled long distance, but anyone calling YOU will have to pay a long distance fee if you dont live in the same state as the number you get. You can ask for any area code they support. Although I live in CA, my # on that phone is for Ft Lauderdale. I'm on spring break!

Not an issue for me, as I never give anyone my emergency cell #, and a deterrent to call for someone who does snag the # off of caller ID.

See here for states/area code coverage for them
http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ratecenter.html

Couple of old free2go phones that will work with beyond wireless:
http://tinyurl.com/blwec
http://tinyurl.com/dsukv

Yes, I know the URLs are long and are forcing you to employ the excruciably painful task of scrolling to the right. I dont care. :P

EDIT: Modified to shorten URL, something th is apparently too lazy to do.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I switched from Sprint to tmobile to go last week, and couldn't be happier <$9/mo for service for ~100 minutes/month. The amazing thing was the number porting.... it took 15 seconds. They also canceled my sprint account for me. Sweet.
What is the name of that plan? I didn't see it on their site.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
What is the name of that plan? I didn't see it on their site.
$100 prepaid card. You get 1000 minutes and 250 'bonus minutes' which are good for 1 year.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-05-2005, 07:49 PM   #6
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

http://www.tmobile.com/prepaid/overview.asp

Buy a phone, buy a $100 card from cheapphonecards with a discount and coupon, add it to the phone. Phone service for $9 a month and 1000+ minutes to use in that year.

Dang it REW...I wanted the long urls. I dont have to scroll with my widescreen monitor

If I werent lazy, i'd edit them back in...
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-07-2005, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Thanks, () I'll need this for my prior-Free2go phone.

http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/catalog/faq.php#15
Quote:
Q. What if I already own a phone, can I use it with Beyond Wireless?
A. To see if your phone is compatible with Beyond Wireless take it to a Beyond Wireless store, or authorized dealer. One of our agents will determine whether or not your phone is compatible. Also you can call us directly at 1-800-777-9773 and we can determine compatibility. We can even activate the phone for you. No hassle, no need to leave your home!
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-07-2005, 04:38 PM   #8
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

If its a former free2go phone that used the free2go TDMA system, it'll work with beyond wireless.

I think all of the free2go phones sold in at least the last 3-4 years were the tdma variety.

Look up the make and model number online and you should see some specs on the makers web site indicating the signal method...if its tdma, you're good to go.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-07-2005, 06:09 PM   #9
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

It oughta work, they sell my model on their website!
(and it is tdma)
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-08-2005, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Then you're good to go. Call cingular first (611) and tell them you're selling the phone, and ask them to release your ESN. Then beyondwireless can bond your phones ESN to their service almost immediately. Otherwise they'll have to request cingular to do it, and when cingular sees that you're going to a competitor they'll take days or weeks to release the ESN.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-08-2005, 07:50 PM   #11
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

But in the first post, you say they're reselling Cingular service?

Anyway, it may be a little while til I switch over. You can still buy minutes cheap on ebay for free2go which expire year end (at least when i last checked) which i plan to do to keep rollover minutes a few more months. My next refill is needed early october, so i'd only waste a week of service.

When I switch over (probably very early in the year) I'll try to remember to post my findings here. I'm wondering if some of the cingular/att resellers will raise their prices after jan 1, since that's when the old cheap minutes expire far as i can tell. Another reason for me to wait... i'd hate to switch now and then have to swithc again around January. (I'm skeptical about the never expiring minutes with gobeyond and tmobile, but will be great if it lasts)

Thanks again for the post. I was going to try airvoicewireless.com but gobeyondwireless looks better.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-09-2005, 09:20 AM   #12
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Beyond does resell time on the old at&t tdma network that cingular acquired, but cingular will shut that network down in a few years (most likely)...the main cingular network has its own pay as you go plan, but it stunk when I last looked at it.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-11-2005, 07:18 PM   #13
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

According to http://cellguru.net/prepaid_compare.htm

Quote:
Beyond Wireless: Free activation and free (35 minutes) initial airtime if you bring your own phone. $10 (80 minutes) initial airtime if you buy a phone from Beyond Wireless.
If that really works, and plan never changes, would be totally free for 70 months if you use every 60 days for 1 minute.

Also see the above website's chart of plans, which shows beyondwireless as the cheapest.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-11-2005, 07:26 PM   #14
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyday
If that really works, and plan never changes, would be totally free for 70 months if you use every 60 days for 1 minute.
And then on that last month, with two minutes left, you need to make an emergency call.... better speak quickly!
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-12-2005, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

You don't even have to have service to call 911.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-18-2005, 11:53 AM   #16
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

That is correct...even long unsubscribed phones will dial 911, as long as the network the phone was originally bonded to still exists you should be good. To test an old phone, dial 611 or *611 (customer service) and see if you get any sort of message or an actual customer service rep. If that happens, you still have an active (but unauthorized) connection to the cell network.

We keep an old nokia phone that hasnt been subscribed in years plugged into a charger, sitting in the office, specifically for emergency use in the case of cut lines or mass power outages.

Many roadside problems are not worthy of a 911 call though. Ten bucks to STI mobile or Beyond Wireless and a quick call every month or so to keep the balance rolling is a small price to pay if you find yourself with a dead car or a flat tire on a country road somewhere...
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-18-2005, 12:34 PM   #17
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

I have yet to need or buy a cell phone but when I begin to do more travelling by car, I certainly will get one.

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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 09-18-2005, 04:45 PM   #18
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

I can't find any cheaper that $95 for the 100 card anywhere. What is the $15 off code?

SWR
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 10-05-2005, 09:47 PM   #19
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
http://www.tmobile.com/prepaid/overview.asp

Buy a phone, buy a $100 card from cheapphonecards with a discount and coupon, add it to the phone.* Phone service for $9 a month and 1000+ minutes to use in that year.

Thanks for the tip. I bought one of these a couple of weeks ago and so far so good. I drove across the state today and coverage was good. I bought the phone online from tmobile(too lazy to go to walmart) and the online service showed you get 2 months with 60 minutes as a starter package. I have made 3 calls and just checked my minutes remaining and I have 251 minutes with 3 months of usage. They must have goofed when they set me up but don't tell them about it.* * This will be a perfect low cost emergency phone.

Dumb question. The prepaid minutes are nationwide minutes. I know this means I can call anywhere in the states from my home state but if I am out of state and call home, will I be charged a higher rate? I assumed so but can't find any info on this.*
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 10-06-2005, 09:06 AM   #20
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG51
The prepaid minutes are nationwide minutes. I know this means I can call anywhere in the states from my home state but if I am out of state and call home, will I be charged a higher rate? I assumed so but can't find any info on this.
No they are anywhere minutes, just do not work in Canada.

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