Prepaid cell phone service allows users to avoid contracts, regular monthly charges and a credit check. But is it right for you? The following tips will help you determine if this sort of service is the right choice for you.
If you have poor credit or no credit history and are thus unable to secure a cell phone contract, prepaid offers an excellent way to obtain service, since no credit check is required.
The most important consideration is determining how you will use your phone. If you are a very light cell phone user or plan on using the phone only for emergencies, prepaid usage can be cost effective. But since the cost-per-minute is usually a good bit higher than with contract plans (generally 10-25 cents per minute), try to estimate the number of minutes you might use monthly. If it’s high, you’re probably better off with a contract.
If you’ve decided that prepaid is the way to go, make sure to check with potential providers to see a coverage map to make sure the area you’ll be calling from is covered.
It’s also important to understand exactly how the service works. Many providers require “reloading,” or purchasing additional minutes within a particular time frame.
Phones are readily available on the Internet and at different types of stores, including drug stores, electronics or office supply stores, and mass merchandisers. It’s also easy to buy prepaid cards that provide your minutes of usage. Generally, the more minutes you buy at one time, the lower the cost per minute.
Ultimately, prepaid might be a good way to avoid monthly bills and contracts – but only for certain types of users.