Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bargain cellular phone update

Since my favorite cellular phone company has changed its rates (a couple months ago), I figured it was time to post an update.

Why is Virgin Mobile (USA) my favorite? Because it's cheap! I don't make a lot of phone calls (I didn't even have a phone before the impending birth of my daughter), so the idea of adding a $40 (or more) monthly bill was a bit unappealing. If you make 27 minutes of calls a month (or less), your bill can be $5/month. And your minutes roll over, so if you make 0 calls one month, you can make almost 54 minutes of calls the next.

The basic per-minute plan is 18 cents/minute. No extra fees, surcharges or taxes. No roaming or long distance charges. (You can look at my previous post to see what the rates used to be, if you're curious. The new rates are a little cheaper for me.)

If you end up using more than 87 minutes in a month, it ends up being cheaper to go with the $6.99/month (+ surcharges + 10 cents/minute). Above that, Virgin has typical monthly plans that give you a certain number of minutes, with expensive overage dings and what-not. At that point, other vendor plans might be more competitive.

But at the low end I haven't found anything that approaches Virgin. If you know different, please let me know via a comment!


Anonymous said...

Found T-Mobile prepaid, comparing plans on the Web (see and have had it for 6 months.
T-Mobile To Go is 10 cents a minute any time. Cheaper than Virgin. Have been using around 100 minutes a month ($10), just for emergencies + grocery talk ("what else should I buy honey?"). Recommended. (the Samsung x495 phone rocks, was $80 only with the $100 T-Mobile phone card)

Bruce Geerdes said...

I took the test ( and Virgin was listed #1 for me, T-Mobile #2. And to get the T-Mobile rate, I'd have to pay $100 up front for the year so my minutes wouldn't expire in 30 or 90 days.

What plan are you using? Is it publicly listed? (

Anonymous said...

So you took the test, great! When I took it, T-Mobile was my #1 choice.
Have the 1 year / $100 T-Mobile prepaid plan and there was something about becoming a gold member after the first $100 card purchase and getting bonus minutes on subsequent purchases, I'll have to see. Take care!

Anonymous said...

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