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Thread: Cheapest data-only paygo for light usage?

  1. #16
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here or There View Post
    FreedomPop and buy the data rollover plan for $3.99 a month.
    I'd suggest this as well as long as you don't mind jumping through the FreedomPop hoops.

    Once you get yourself on the free plan with 10 Freedom Friends (there are forums for finding friends), you'll get 700MB per month. Turn on data rollover at $3.99 a month, and you can bank 500MB of that each month assuming you have it leftover (up to 20GB max in your bank). This would put you in a nice situation where you have 200MB each month for your light data needs (most months), but after 6 months for example, you'd have banked an additional 3GB to draw on for a heavy-use month, or 6GB after a year (assuming you can keep usage under 200MB each month to bank the maximum 500MB allowed). Total cost per year would be is $48 (not including start-up fees). The catch of course if that you'd have to wait those months to bank up the data.

    With that catch in mind, it may be worth pursuing both the FreedomPop option and the Tracfone option where you can buy 1GB for $10 as you need it. One thing you don't want to do with FP is go over your data.

    Edit: Given the additional monthly cost of Tracfone people are mentioning, doesn't seem like a good choice. Maybe you'd be better off with a couple additional FP LTE SIMs for the short term, only paying for data rollover on the first one.
    Last edited by djphilosophy; 06-13-2018 at 11:20 AM.

  2. #17
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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.
    Hotspotting is a grey area with Tracfone. Tracfone will tell you that it is not allowed, yet people do it. Also be aware that it will cost a minimum of $50 a year for the Tracfone service time in addition to the data units. I wonder if a Tracfone SIM will activate and work in a hotspot device.

    One of the Red Pocket plans looks better to me.

  3. #18
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    If lowest cost is your top priority, nothing can beat FreedomPop. But there are lots of hoops to jump through.

    Tello has a PAYGO plan that might fit your needs

    It’s not clear from Tello's "Plans" page, but you can open an account that is strictly PAY AS YOU GO with no specific minutes or data.

    The Help Center says:

    Pay As You Go is prepaid credit for your national and international calls, texts and data at affordable rates. Open a free account, buy credit, bring your own phone or buy one from us and you’re ready to go.

    You add paygo credit in amounts of $10, 15, 25, or 50.

    Paygo data is 2 cents /MB (= $20 per GB)

    —————————

    TELLO COST:

    For the 9 months when data use is < 100 MB, use is assumed to be 100 MB x 2 cents = $2

    9 mo < 100mb 9 * $2 == $18
    2 mo 1gb 2 * $20 == $40
    1 mo 3gb 3 * 20 == $60
    12 mo total == $118 + taxes & fees


    US MOBILE COST

    current plan = $103 /year

    Service fee is increasing from $2 to 4 per month.
    So current plan will increase by $24 / year.
    New annual cost = 103 + 24 = $127.

    —————————

    TELLO uses Sprint network.

    The PAYGO plan provides more flexibility than most other plans mentioned here.

    You’re not locked into a data limit. You pay for each MB of LTE data as you need it from your credit balance.

    When needed, you can use credit balance to make calls at PAYGO rate of 3 cents /min in USA, and reasonable rates to other countries.

    To avoid having credit balance expire, must have chargeable event (talk or data use) at least once every 3 months, as explained on Help Center page:

    Does my Pay As You Go credit expire?
    If you don’t use the service for 3 months, the credit will expire and the Tello service will be disconnected. Otherwise, the balance and your number have unlimited validity as long as you call, text or surf the web.
    Last edited by garlandk77; 06-13-2018 at 01:39 PM.

  4. #19
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    RE: Tracfone. If you purchase an HSN bundled phone @ $70 - 120 with 1200 or 1500 min/text/data & 1 year of service, then sell the phone for $30 - 60, the yearly cost is pretty low. Then you can add more non expiring data for $10/GB. Repeat the next year.
    Of course I use the minutes & text, as well as data, so it is a great deal for me. Only using the data portion makes it less of a deal for sure.

  5. #20
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    Freedompop hoops -- yes, that's a good term for it. Getting too old for that much jumping, maybe. I'm looking for low cost, who isn't, but my time and concentration are worth something too.

    I feel much the same about Tracfone. I've read descriptions of how to take best advantage of TF, here and elsewhere. Just thinking about it makes me crazy. Maybe it's not really that complicated, but to me, it reads like it is.

    Both of these are good examples of why I mostly detest the whole mobile business. Getting deals is kind of like playing a video game. Grab a discount code from Ebay or Amazon or some coupon website, buy a phone then sell it, line up 10 friends, type some uncopyable 6-line URL into the Vivaldi browser at 6:22am on the first Tuesday of the month but only on odd months, on even months it's the third Friday at 11:46pm..... OK, I made that last one up, but that's the kind of twists and turns people go through to get mobile deals.

    Don't get me wrong, if you're OK with that, more power to you! I admire your persistence. Part of it is no doubt the excitement of the hunt and taking down the quarry (the big company's big prices).

    It's not for me, though. Too lazy, I guess. But then I did say "cheapest," didn't I? :-)

  6. #21
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    The $49.99/year (regular price) FP 1GB plan + 10 Freedom Friends should be easy.

    Getting a FP account downgraded to free and then signing up for the $3.99/mo rollover plan might be a little more difficult, but might be the better solution after building up the rollover data balance.

    Either of those seem easier than the TF option, but that's just me.

    Besides your current US Mobile plan, which apparently isn't working properly, besides FP, it seems like the next cheapest plan might be RP's $10/mo 1GB AT&T data only plan that I provided a link to above, with an upgrade to a higher plan or using add-ons when needed.

  7. #22
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    The Tello Pay As You Go plan I described above is particularly useful for a secondary phone you keep as a backup.

    I use the Tello plan for an older phone I keep in the glovebox of my car for emergencies.

    To keep the account active, I must use the phone at least once every 3 months.

    Every 3 months I make a call on it and hang up after a few seconds. The PAYGO cost is 3 cents.

    So the total cost of maintaining an active account on my emergency phone is just 1 cent per month.

  8. #23
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    The Tello Pay As You Go plan I described above is particularly useful for a secondary phone you keep as a backup.
    This is for a hotspot, so it's a different situation.

    Sounds like Tello would probably be good for a glove box phone, if I had any Sprint phones. Since all of our old phones are GSM, we use Lycamobile for that purpose. It requires a 6 cent (IIRC) SMS every 3 months or so.

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