I need to save money this year, as I just completed some certifications and planning to do more in the near future. Money problems is no stranger for me; therefore, this year my New Year's resolution is to save and have no money problems. I am planning to take the Comptia Server+ and maybe another test. The exams vouchers are in the range from $199 to $400. That's why I have ditched paying $30 a month for wireless service to a $60 dollar a year. A YEAR!
I did some research and here are some plans that offer the cheapest plans that I could find. Keep in mind these plans are for people who don't talk, text, or download tons of data. For me, I don't call too much and I believe I use 50 minutes a month and text like 15 messages a month.
So how is possible to offer plans that is under $5 dollars a month? Well these plans are from a mobile virtual network operator. Meaning, these companies buys bulk minutes and data from the four U.S. national network carriers and resell the plans to consumers. So, it possible you can have a second phone and pay for both phones like $100-$160 a year.
Now if you want a backup phone or want to separate your work from your personal life then having a second phone is good choice. In my opinion, choosing these plans for your work is not wise.
Now here are some that I tried or where I almost purchase the prepaid wireless plan.
The cheapest one of these lists can be found in eBay. Just $50 dollars can get you 1200 minutes, 1200 text, and 3GB a YEAR, not month! So, you can ration these like 100 minutes, 100 text and 256 megabytes a month. I wanted a plan that had 500 MB a month, so I had to scrap this plan. Keep in mind that some Black Friday specials can be as low as $40. However, if you want to renew, you may want to buy a renewal plan at eBay as the Tracfone's official web site shows the renewal plan can cost 2x or three times as much.
Support can be found at https://www.tracfone.com/techsupport and I have to say the web site navigation and aesthetics looks good on the eyes. Afterall, it’s been AudioEye Trusted Certificatified.
H2O wireless was my first plan that I tried and I thought it good at the beginning. It’s simple: just deposit some money, buy the sim card, and you can immediately call someone. However, you must add cash to your account every 90 days (or one full year if you deposit $100) just so your funds won’t disappear.
So how was it for me? It was a long time ago, but I thought this was a great plan at first, but $40 a year ($10 deposit every 90 days) gives me like only 1000 minutes/text per year. It not enough for me and I moved on. Support can be found at the web site, email, or phone. I recommend the FAQ web page as this is the quickest way to find your problem and fix it quickly.
It’s been a while, but I did try the free version and it was okay. Then there was a Black Friday special for like "unlimited minutes and text" and 1 GB of data/month for like $40. Of course, I took it, but somehow everything changed for the company and its service. For example, I got an email that said that if I link my PayPal account to Freedompop, I get 2GB of data. I thought it was cool, but it was for one month only and I got auto-renewal enable. I should have read the fine print. There are some bad customer reviews in forums that dislike the service.
I still have Freedompop as my backup phone and it’s been used for my other professional accounts. The thing about Freedompop is that some other services won’t accept the phone number. Such as a Microsoft account: they won’t accept the freedom phone number as a 2-step verification. Weird. Another thing, Freedompop just got bough up by Red Pocket and lately its's been silent on promotions. Even its twitter account is dead. So be wary of this one as I don’t think Freedompop won’t last long.
Speaking of Red Pocket...
As of today, my primary phone uses Red Pocket's basic plan of 100 minutes and text and only 500MB of data/month. It’s like $64 a year (taxes and fee's included). If you want a good discount, then on the holidays they have the $53 special/year for 100 minutes/txt and 500MB plan. This company has good support as they have English, Spanish, Chinese and Filipino customer service. I like how you can get quick support from liveChat, but sometimes like on the weekend you have to use email as there are no agents working on the weekends.
So, there you have it, my research for the cheapest prepaid plans that let you have a sim card and let you call people or download data in LTE speeds. I wanted a wireless plan that let me use a sim card and not a free/cheap WI-FI calling app from the Android store. So that’s my experience of using MVNO.