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Thread: Lowest per-month light usage service?

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    Lowest per-month light usage service?

    Had my mom on Tello for years. She's a senior who doesn't really understand cellular - still uses landline most of the time for voice calls, has a cell phone but turns it off when not using it. I was enjoying spending only $5-7/year on Tello since they have great PayGo rates, but now that's come to an end with the min $20 refill every 90-days, it's now $6.67/month, which means time to switch. She is very light usage, so low rates don't matter.

    Her usage for the past month: 27 SMS, 2 MMS, 0.4MB/data.

    Lowest per-month-cost is what I'm after.

    I'd prefer something where I'm not billed a huge amount if she accidentally uses more than the limit (I'd rather just a hard cutoff).

    PagePlus PayGo is min $2.50/month. Red Pocket has $2.50/month ($30/360 days) through eBay which seems to be a better value than PagePlus. Looks like no charge for overages with mid-month add-on option, so that's good. She barely uses any data, maybe she could live without it. TextNow has free ad-supported service on Sprint, but is app required? Might be a bit too complicated if it's VOIP. Anything else out there that I may have missed?
    Last edited by GnatGoSplat; 10-13-2020 at 12:35 PM. Reason: correction
    Shawn

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    Go to this website, enter your requirements, get a list of MVNOs to research further.
    https://prepaidcompare.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    Had my mom on Tello for years. She's a senior who doesn't really understand cellular - still uses landline most of the time for voice calls, has a cell phone but turns it off when not using it. I was enjoying spending only $5-7/year on Tello since they have great PayGo rates, but now that's come to an end with the min $20 refill every 90-days, it's now $6.67/month, which means time to switch. She is very light usage, so low rates don't matter.

    Her usage for the past month: 27 SMS, 2 MMS, 0.4MB/data.

    Lowest per-month-cost is what I'm after.

    I'd prefer something where I'm not billed a huge amount if she accidentally uses more than the limit (I'd rather just a hard cutoff).

    PagePlus PayGo is min $5/month, but the per minute rate isn't very good. Red Pocket $5/month will would work, but Hello Mobile's $5/month seems to be the best value at 500-mins, 500MB, unlimited text. TextNow free service is compelling as well, but I don't know too much how the ads work or if it requires an app (requiring an app may confuse her). Anything else out there that I may have missed?
    PagePlus PayGo is $10 per 120 days - $2.50 a month. That would get you 50 texts a month. You can deposit more money if you need more or as a reserve. It uses the Verizon network. A Sprint phone for Tello might not work depending on the model.

    Sprint is a dead end anyway. T-Mobile bought Sprint and is dismantling the Sprint network.

    Page Plus, as a Tracfone brand, faces an uncertain future with Verizon considering buying them. My guess is that Verizon will not continue very low revenue plans like the PP paygo.

    H2O has a similar $10 per 90 day plan. They use AT&T.

    prepaidcompare.net is a good site to search for prepaid plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    PagePlus PayGo is $10 per 120 days - $2.50 a month. That would get you 50 texts a month. You can deposit more money if you need more or as a reserve. It uses the Verizon network. A Sprint phone for Tello might not work depending on the model.
    Thanks, I got confused on PagePlus. I saw 120-days, brain processed it as 60-days.

    Looks like Red Pocket (eBay) on Sprint, $30 for 360-days would be the easiest switch and best value and won't require a new phone, assuming it's still available in 90-days since I've already begrudgingly purchased a Tello refill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    Had my mom on Tello for years. She's a senior who doesn't really understand cellular - still uses landline most of the time for voice calls, has a cell phone but turns it off when not using it. I was enjoying spending only $5-7/year on Tello since they have great PayGo rates, but now that's come to an end with the min $20 refill every 90-days, it's now $6.67/month, which means time to switch. She is very light usage, so low rates don't matter.

    Her usage for the past month: 27 SMS, 2 MMS, 0.4MB/data.

    Lowest per-month-cost is what I'm after.

    I'd prefer something where I'm not billed a huge amount if she accidentally uses more than the limit (I'd rather just a hard cutoff).

    PagePlus PayGo is min $5/month, but the per minute rate isn't very good. Red Pocket $5/month will would work, but Hello Mobile's $5/month seems to be the best value at 500-mins, 500MB, unlimited text. TextNow free service is compelling as well, but I don't know too much how the ads work or if it requires an app (requiring an app may confuse her). Anything else out there that I may have missed?
    How did you calculate "PagePlus PayGo is min $5/month"?

    The lowest PPC cost is actually $2.50/30 days, paid $10/120 days.

    27 SMS, 2 MMS, 0.4MB/data would cost $1.47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    How did you calculate "PagePlus PayGo is min $5/month"?

    The lowest PPC cost is actually $2.50/30 days, paid $10/120 days.

    27 SMS, 2 MMS, 0.4MB/data would cost $1.47.
    Yeah, I got confused on PagePlus. I saw 120-days, brain processed it as 60-days.

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    Ultra Mobile Paygo, $3/month. 100 minutes/text/data. 3 cent per min overage, 1 cent per text overage. Trick is finding the Ultra Paygo SIM card. Tmobile stores never seem to stock them. They are $40+ each on Amazon or eBay. They can port numbers in now.

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    I agree the Red Pocket (eBay) on Sprint, $30 for 360-days would be best for OP's situation. No muss no fuss just refill every 360 days & no cc on file or even ever seen by RP.
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    Doesn't Truphone pay as you go never expire as long as a call is made once every six months? Can someone familiar with Truphone chime in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionsDivine View Post
    Doesn't Truphone pay as you go never expire as long as a call is made once every six months? Can someone familiar with Truphone chime in?
    That is basically correct. Truphone was my first smartphone service. I started in 2013 and still have it on my glovebox phone. I have not made a deposit in more years than I can remember and it still works when I check it monthly.

    Historically, they have not enforced the 180 day activity requirement as long as you don't allow your balance to go to zero.

    It does have some limitations. It does not do MMS at all. It requires an AT&T compatible, but carrier unlocked phone. The killer is that data is 9 cents a MB ($90/GB).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    That is basically correct. Truphone was my first smartphone service. I started in 2013 and still have it on my glovebox phone. I have not made a deposit in more years than I can remember and it still works when I check it monthly.

    Historically, they have not enforced the 180 day activity requirement as long as you don't allow your balance to go to zero.

    It does have some limitations. It does not do MMS at all. It requires an AT&T compatible, but carrier unlocked phone. The killer is that data is 9 cents a MB ($90/GB).
    Maybe this would be the best solution for the OP since I'm assuming the relative in question likely just uses a flip phone for occasional calls. The OP could get an unlocked flip phone and get a SIM through Truphone. If I'm not mistaken, incoming calls and texts are free on Truphone too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionsDivine View Post
    Maybe this would be the best solution for the OP since I'm assuming the relative in question likely just uses a flip phone for occasional calls. The OP could get an unlocked flip phone and get a SIM through Truphone. If I'm not mistaken, incoming calls and texts are free on Truphone too.
    Yes, incoming calls and texts are free. The service costs $30 to start. Of the $30, $15 is put in your usage balance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionsDivine View Post
    Maybe this would be the best solution for the OP since I'm assuming the relative in question likely just uses a flip phone for occasional calls. The OP could get an unlocked flip phone and get a SIM through Truphone. If I'm not mistaken, incoming calls and texts are free on Truphone too.
    She actually has an LG G2. She wanted a smartphone because she likes to stay current (even though she doesn't really use one the way most people do). She does use it to communicates with friends and relatives through the LINE app, though she mostly does that at home where she can use Wifi. Unfortunately, she does need MMS as my sister likes to send her pics of the grandkids that way.

    Right now I'm thinking Red Pocket (eBay) through Sprint is the best bet, though I saw someone mention Lifeline in another thread. As a single retiree with no retirement income, she might actually qualify for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat View Post
    ...I saw someone mention Lifeline in another thread. As a single retiree with no retirement income, she might actually qualify for that.
    National clearing house for Lifeline:
    https://www.lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchuck View Post
    National clearing house for Lifeline:
    https://www.lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/
    Thanks. I'll have to talk to my mom about her income situation and see what relevant paperwork she has, but I'm almost sure she should qualify. My wife is ahead of me in applying her mother, and she has already qualified so I'm sure mine will too.

    Is there a prepaid.net type site for Lifeline supporting companies? Right now QLink is looking like the best, followed by Life Wireless, but I don't know if there is better.
    Last edited by GnatGoSplat; 10-21-2020 at 11:47 AM.

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