Although cell phones are common devices, there are still individuals who choose not to carry one. They may not want the disruption in their lives or perhaps they simply don’t want another monthly bill. However, even these people may find themselves in a situation where a temporary cell phone is desirable.
Perhaps an extended trip puts them in situation where calling home would be much easier with a cell phone in their pocket. Maybe an illness or other special circumstance within the family means that they need to be accessible 24/7 for a period of time. There of course a number of special situations that could generate the need for these always available phones, but not necessitate any type of long term committment. Luckily, there are temporary and affordable arrangements that can easily be made.
Pay-as-You-Go or Prepaid cell phones are readily available. They can be purchased online without even leaving your home. They can also be found at the store. Many drug stores, electronics stores, discount department stores and so forth carry them, often near the checkout.
Prepaid cellular providers allow users to purchase their own phone and then buy minutes to use. Once the minutes are gone, consumers can merely purchase more minutes. This can be done online with just a click or by purchasing a card at the store. There is no contract required, no credit check, or anything else. When you’re done with the phone, you simply don’t buy more minutes. Many of these prepaid companies also offer monthly plans for those who will be using more minutes. However, there is still no committment beyond that month in most instances. The monthly plans are simply more affordable for those who have a lot of calling to do.
Once a consumer decides they want a temporary cell phone, the real questions are simply which phones, which company, and which plan. Prepaid cell phones tend to be more basic, but certainly there are smart phones which also allow the user to text message and so forth if desired. Phones can be found for under $20 if the buyer has their budget as a primary consideration. Prepaid cell phone plans vary a bit in cost, but here are some of the more popular ones.
Net10 provides natiowide calling for 10 cents/minute and text messaging at 5 cents/message. The cost can be lowered by going with their monthly unlimited plan for $79.98.
Tracfone offers a number of plans that average out to about 20 cents/minute for calls. However, they also offer the StraightTalk option which provides unlimited calling and messaging for $45/month.
This company has several monthly plans. For instance, they have an unlimited calling/text messaging plan for $30/month.
Consumer cellular offers a variety of phones, from free to over $50. They have various plans, but as an example they have a 2000 minute plan for $60 and a 1,000 minute plan for $40.
The cell phones offered by Boost are a bit more expensive, beginning around $59.99 but they offer calls and text messaging for 10 cents/minute or message. They also have an unlimited plan for $50/month.
Cell phone plans at Virgin Mobile vary in price, but consumers can get calling for 5 to 10 cents per minute; this does not include any text messaging. Unlimited text messaging can be had for $19.99 per month.
There are several other prepaid cellular providers that can provide a temporary cell phone for an affordable price. Page Plus Cellular and Liberty Wireless are examples
In addition, consumers can consider the pay-as-you-go options provided by traditional cellular providers. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile all offer such plans. They tend to be just a bit more expensive, but should be investigated as well.
When choosing any temporary cell phone however, there is a very important question to consider before buying just as there is when buying a cell phone under contract. The primary question is the coverage. You need to be sure the coverage will be adequate for your location. Check the areas where you live, travel, and work to assure you’ll get the coverage and reception you need during the time you use the phone.