The Happy Rockette and I got our first cell phone a little under two years ago. We held out for a long time, because we didn’t want a monthly bill for something that wasn’t a necessity. Yes, I did say it wasn’t a necessity, and it still isn’t for most people. We all survived without cell phones ten years ago, but that is another story.
We got only one phone and the cheapest plan, 300 minutes for $33 a month through Verizon. Recently our battery died on our phone and that got me looking over our usage and contract. I wanted to see through we had made a wise choice, and in hindsight we hadn’t.
We use on average about 80 minutes a month, which with our current plan works out to about 47 cents a minute. Ouch! Even the expensive pre paid plans are cheaper than that.
With our usage being so low I researched prepaid plans, and was quite encouraged. Last time I briefly looked into getting a pre paid cell phone for myself it was ludicrously expensive. It was obvious that the major companies wanted you to buy a month to month plan with a long contract.
My research now reveals that the cheapest and best players in the prepaid cell market were T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile. The rest of the plans had crazy rules or exorbitant prices. Upon closer inspection, Virgin Mobile was getting great reviews and had the best prices.
They have two main minute plans: 18 cent a minute or $6.99 a month and 10 cent a minute. I ran the numbers to see which plan would be the best for monthly minute times of 25 – 300:
The break even point between the two plans was 87 minutes. Anyone who uses over 250 minutes a month is better off with a monthly plan. The takeaway should be clear enough; low minute cell phone users can save a ton of money with pre-paid cell phone plans.