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Compare T-Mobile TracFone and Virgin Prepaid Cell Phones and Services

October 2nd 2005

Compare T-Mobile TracFone and Virgin Prepaid Cell Phones and Services

Our choice in Cell Phones

I finally broke down and bought a couple pre-paid cell phones.  This type of service is great for someone like me that does not use the cell phone much. It is also a great alternative for parents that worry about their kids running up a huge bill. 

Parents can give their children an allotted of minutes / money to make calls.  After the allotment is used upthe parent can choose to recharge the phone either with a credit card or over the Internet.

Personally, I wanted a safety net just in case one of our cars broke down and I needed a tow, or for some other emergency.  We were paying about $75 per month for two phones with taxes and everything included.  I didnít use it much and I might have been able to save a few bucks with a different plan, but not much.

 
Prepaid Cell Phones

In an earlier article my wife compared a few plans including TracFone and Virgin.  Target offers a selection of prepaid phones including TracFone and Virgin phones.  The phones started at about $30 for a black and white display model.  The car charger adapter was another $15. 

But what about the minutes?  TracFone offered a $20 plan where the minutes would last 60 days.  The $20 would get you 40 minutes.  Their best priced plan will last a year and would set you back about $130.  You will get 300 minutes with that plan.  This works out to about 43 cents a minute. 

The Virgin phones cost slightly more.  The starting plans were about 25 cents a minute. You could save money by purchased minutes in bulk.  Virgin offers a monthly plan for $30 that includes 300 minutes (or 10 cents a minute).  On their website, Virgin claims they can get your cost down to 4.3 cents a minute, if additional minutes are purchased.

We were looking for something cheap.  We wanted to get the price down to $5 - $10 per month per phone.  Since we hardly ever use the phones, it was possible.  The other day we stopped by the T-Mobile booth at Costco. 

The T-Mobile phones start at $60 for the actual phone, but they offered a rebate that brought the cost down to $30.  Unlike the low end TracFone this was a color display phone. 

I know most of you are leery of rebates.  I lost hundreds of dollars when Best Buy refused to pay a rebate to me once.  Clark Howard has mentioned on his radio show that he does not always get reimbursed on his rebates.  I will let you know if T-Mobile fails to pay me.

So now we were comparing T-mobile to TracFone and Virgin.  T-Mobileís plan blew the other two out of the water.  For $100 we got 1000 minutes.  That works out to 10 cents a minute, but the minutes will last you the whole year. 

 

That works out to $8.33 per month (not including the initial cost of the phone - $30).  We also got a free car charger at Costco.  We would have had to pay an additional $15 at Target for that.

Multiply by two and we have $16.33 per month.  Compare that to the $75 we are paying now for two phones, and we will save about $700 this year alone.  If for some unforeseen reason we use over 1000 minutes in a year (per phone), we can always recharge the phone with no monthly fee.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

  Prepaid Cell Phones

T-Mobile Prepaid Service  - Best Deal

Virgin Prepaid Service

TracFone Prepaid Service

Keywords and misspellings:  TracFone T-Mobiel Trackfone Tracphone Trackphone Track-phone Track-Fone Trac-Fone Trac-Phone Tmobile cell phone cellphone cellphones


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:45 PM