A study indicates prepaid service is growing in popularity as a way for us to save money on wireless bills, according to International Data Corp. Of 4.2 million new retail subscribers at top wireless carriers in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2009, 65 percent were prepaid users.
Big-name carriers often have costly plans that include long-term contracts and roaming fees. Prepaid plans, on the other hand, usually don't require contracts or credit checks.
Based on how much you use your cell phone, prepaid phones could be a great way to save money, particularly if you use the phone sparingly.
- Boost Mobile had the best offer I found for prepaid, unlimited service, with a $50 plan for nationwide unlimited talk, text messaging and access to mobile Web. Boost Mobile phones can be bought at Best Buy, Food Lion, Radio Shack, Target, Walmart, Kroger, Family Dollar and Walgreens.
- AT&T has an Unlimited Talk and Text Feature package for $60 a month. This includes anytime minutes at no additional cost, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes, and no roaming or long-distance fees.
For those who might not use their phone daily, AT&T has a $3 Unlimited Calling Plan, which includes anytime minutes at no additional cost, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes, and no roaming or long-distance charges. Customers pay $3 a day on days they use the phone.
The company has a $1 Mobile to Mobile Plan, which includes anytime minutes at 10 cents a minute, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes, and no roaming or long-distance charges. The fee is $1 a day on days that customers use the phone.
- Net10 has an Easy Minutes plan for 10 cents a minute. Net10 phones are available at Dollar General, Family Dollar, Target, Kmart, Sam's, Office Max and Walmart.
- Verizon Wireless has unlimited talk for $3.99 a day. Customers pay only for the days they use the phone. Text messaging is 1 cent per message. With the unlimited plan and cheaper plans such as Plus ($1.99 a day) and Core (99 cents a day), customers get unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling.
- T-Mobile has Pay by the Day, in which customers get unlimited nationwide calling from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to any T-Mobile number. All other domestic calls cost 10 cents a minute. There is a $1 daily charge on days when customers use the phone. Under its Pay as You Go plan, customers can refill their phone with 400 minutes for $50.
COUPON OF THE WEEK
Today's edition of The Augusta Chronicle has $338.10 in coupon savings. In the SmartSource book, you'll find a coupon for $10 off the Chuck My Talking Truck toy. It expires April 15.
Here are highlights from The Pinch blog:
Free kids' meals at Earth Fare: On Thursdays, kids eat free at Earth Fare with the purchase of an adult meal of $5 or more from 4 to 8 p.m. The meal includes any kids' sandwich or half-wrap, chips or a slice of pizza and a free pack of trading cards.
Free help with grant writing: The KARS Consulting Group Ltd. in Augusta provides a free service that includes information about grant writing, funding sources, business plans, community partnerships, volunteer recruitment, marketing and PR, sponsorships and donations. It is available to those starting a business or organization and to existing community organizations, churches, small businesses and nonprofits. Call (706) 715-3211 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
$1 off candy at Fred's: Through April 4, Fred's customers can help save the lives of children by buying $1 Miracle Balloons benefiting the Children's Miracle Network. Customers will get a coupon for $1 off the purchase of two bags of Hershey's candy. The coupon is valid until Easter Sunday.