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Thread: Cheapest data-only paygo for light usage?

  1. #1
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    Cheapest data-only paygo for light usage?

    My mobile data needs are just a few dozen MB in most months, but a few times a year, I use as much as 2-4 GB.

    This is for an unlocked Huawei UMG587 (T-Mobile branded) "3G/4G UMTS/HSPA+ 850/900/1700/1900/2100" WiFi hotspot.

    US Mobile has been a pretty good solution for me until recently. I buy their "custom" plan. I've been paying $2/mo for 100MB of data, plus a $2/mo "service fee," and an additional checkout-surprise fee that's varied from nothing to 95 cents.

    I bought data add-ons when I needed them.

    However, their website is now rejecting my next monthly payment. When I try to renew my plan, I get an error message, no matter what computer or browser I use.

    It also won't allow me to buy additional data.

    Their support person (I've only gotten email from one) is pleasant, but hasn't really helped.

    I considered asking for a new US Mobile SIM to try opening a new account, but when I looked at their website, I saw that they've increased their service fee to $4/month.

    So before I do that, I'd like to consider other providers.

    I'm not having much luck with simple web searches for "data only paygo" -- I get mostly hits for the UK, not the US.

    Again, I'm looking for the cheapest possible basic minimum plan, expandable in months when I need more data.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Red Pocket eBay annual plan. $60 a year for 500 MB per month. T-Mobile or AT&T network.

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    FreedomPop and buy the data rollover plan for $3.99 a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    I considered asking for a new US Mobile SIM to try opening a new account, but when I looked at their website, I saw that they've increased their service fee to $4/month.
    I believe that is for the Super LTE plan (Verizon network). The standard GSM plans still have only a $2 month service fee.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

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    The standard GSM plans still have only a $2 month service fee.
    Thanks, I hadn't noticed that.

    What are Red Pocket's data add-on rates? I can't seem to find them on their website.

    I swore I'd never go near Red Pocket again after a few years ago, when they got into some kind of playground fistfight with T-Mobile and abruptly, with no warning, nuked thousands of GSMT accounts (including mine). I might have to rethink that. Still not sure I want to lock down a full year of RP.

    Anybody have experience with Speedtalk Mobile? They seem to be have a $5/mo 250mb base package, but it appears that extra data is the same price (flat 2 cents per MB with no deals on larger amounts). Hard to tell for sure, though, as their website is a little vague.

    Maybe it's just where I've looked, but it seems as if all the mobile carriers are reluctant to divulge too many details on their websites. It feels like they're trying to play sneaky little "trust us" games. I'd pay something extra for directness and transparency.

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    RP add-ons are no good. They are too expensive because unused balances expire at the end of each cycle.
    https://help.goredpocket.com/hc/en-u...dd-ons-expire-

    However, RP does have some good GSMA data only plans, although I don't know if they would economically fit your usage pattern.
    https://www.redpocket.com/broadband

    But the 100/100/500 eBay plan might do just as well in your case.

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    SuperLTE is the reason they have $4. If you use GSM LTE its $2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post

    What are Red Pocket's data add-on rates? I can't seem to find them on their website.
    $10.00 - 1000 Messages
    $10.00 - 1000 Minutes
    $10.00 - 1GB 4G LTE Data
    $5.00 - 250 Messages
    $5.00 - 250 Minutes
    $5.00 - 250MB 4G LTE Data
    $2.00 - 100 Messages
    $2.00 - 100 Minutes
    $2.00 - 100MB 4G LTE Data
    $10.00 - ILD Add-On Credits
    $5.00 - ILD Add-On Credits

  9. #9
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    The current Ebay listing (132288143818) for the Red Pocket $60 360 day package seems to be saying that you can only buy extra data in 100mb ($2) or 250mb ($5) increments. I see no mention of a $10 1gb option.

    The ad says "Run out of minutes, text or data mid-cycle? We got you covered with mid-cycle add-ons with six different options. ADD $2: 100 MINS Talk or 100 Texts or 100 MB of 4G LTE Data (per 30 days) -- ADD $5: 250 MINS Talk or 500 Texts or 250 MB of 4G LTE Data (per 30 days)."

    So that sounds like those 6 are your only choices.

    That could get pricey for those months when I use 2-4gb. I've been paying US Mobile $20 for 3gb. RP's price for that same 3gb would be $60.

    Love these little mobile carrier cat and mouse games.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    The current Ebay listing (132288143818) for the Red Pocket $60 360 day package seems to be saying that you can only buy extra data in 100mb ($2) or 250mb ($5) increments. I see no mention of a $10 1gb option.

    The ad says "Run out of minutes, text or data mid-cycle? We got you covered with mid-cycle add-ons with six different options. ADD $2: 100 MINS Talk or 100 Texts or 100 MB of 4G LTE Data (per 30 days) -- ADD $5: 250 MINS Talk or 500 Texts or 250 MB of 4G LTE Data (per 30 days)."

    So that sounds like those 6 are your only choices.

    That could get pricey for those months when I use 2-4gb. I've been paying US Mobile $20 for 3gb. RP's price for that same 3gb would be $60.

    Love these little mobile carrier cat and mouse games.
    I have the 100/100/500 yearly plan and within the account it shows the 1GB/$10 LTE option for purchase.

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    Since you are using a hotspot, Redpocket offers a set of AT&T mobile broadband plans

    1GB = $10/month
    2GB = $15/month
    5GB = $25/month

    I don't know about the add-ons, but $15/month for 2GB of mobile broadband sounds quite reasonable to me.

    https://www.redpocket.com/broadband

  12. #12
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    within the account it shows the 1GB/$10 LTE option for purchase.
    Great, thanks!

    $15/month for 2GB of mobile broadband sounds quite reasonable to me.
    Agreed, that's a pretty good deal for most people -- but not so much for me. About 9 months of the year I only use a few dozen MB/mo. With that package, I'd be paying for a lot that I'd never use.

    Based on a typical year's use:

    US Mobile a la carte plan (current):
    9mo < 100mb 9 * $5 == $45
    2mo 1gb 2 * $5 + $14 == $38
    1mo 3gb 1 * $5 + $20 == $20
    12mo total == $103

    RP 2gb plan:
    9mo < 100mb 9 * $15 == $135
    2mo 1gb 2 * $15 == $30
    1mo 3gb 1 * $15 + $10(?) == $25
    12mo total == $190

    RP 500mb plan:
    9mo < 100mb 9 * $5 == $45
    2mo 1gb 2 * $5 + $10 == $30
    1mo 3gb 1 * $5 + $30 == $35
    12mo total == $110

    Speedtalk 30 day 250unit plan:
    9mo < 100mb 9 * $5 == $45
    2mo 1gb 2 * $20 == $40
    1mo 3gb 1 * $60 == $60
    12mo total == $140

    I think all of these just quit working when you hit your monthly allotment -- there's no 2g extension (not that it's fast enough to be usable anyway). Extra data you buy from US Mobile expires 30 days from date of purchase, while the RP extra data expires at your next 30 day renewal (even if that's only 1 day away).

    It sure would be nice if I could drop my $10 in the slot and have 1gb of data that never expires, to use at my own pace. I'd pay a $2/mo or so maintenance fee for a deal like that. It seems reasonable, but AFAIK no one offers such. Well, Truphone sort of does, but at $90 for 1gb, eh, no thanks.

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    https://www.freedompop.com/offer/sim...252&utm_medium gives 1,500MB/mo with 10+ Freedom Friends and is $49.99/year with free delivery (~$4.17/mo). Sometimes it's on sale, too. I was REALLY tempted when it was on sale for $34.99/year (~$2.92/mo). But I decided just to keep rotating through my plethora of free FP AT&T LTE SIMs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by allears View Post
    ...It sure would be nice if I could drop my $10 in the slot and have 1gb of data that never expires, to use at my own pace. I'd pay a $2/mo or so maintenance fee for a deal like that. It seems reasonable, but AFAIK no one offers such. Well, Truphone sort of does, but at $90 for 1gb, eh, no thanks.
    Tracfone buckets for T/T/D never expire as long as you keep your service active. Data is $10/GB and you can use it at your own pace. My issue with TF is their customer service can be dreadful at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathfaster View Post
    Tracfone buckets for T/T/D never expire as long as you keep your service active. Data is $10/GB and you can use it at your own pace. My issue with TF is their customer service can be dreadful at times.
    To provide complete information, it would cost a minimum of $4.17/mo PLUS data usage to use TF as you describe. That's if the $49.99 for a year of TF service time (without any T/T/D allowances) remains available for purchase.

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