Sometimes called pre paid or prepay cell phone plans, Pay as You Go Cell Phones are usually used in specific types of mobile phone calling plans. Unlike standard mobile phone calling plans that charge a set monthly fee for a specific amount of calls, pay as you go cell phone calling plans only require the consumer to purchase calling minutes when they would like to make a call.
Getting Started with a Pay As You Go Cell Phone Calling Plan
It is important to note that in order to join a pay as you go cell phone calling plan, you will need two things; calling credit and a compatible phone. Only certain phones work with specific types of calling credit. Possibly the most important decision you can make is to choose the company in which you will join the pay as you go cell phone calling plan. You will need both calling credit and the phone from the same company.
There are several companies that offer pay as you go plans, many of them are already mobile phone providers such as T-mobile and Verizon in the United States and Telefonica and Vodafone in Europe. It is important to determine which is the best company to purchase both the phone and the calling credit from. You should think about your calling habits and how often you plan on using your phone. You should also think about how many calls per month you plan on making and where those calls will originate from and their destination. These factors can help you choose the pay as you go plan that is most economical or convenient for you.
Once you know which company you would like to purchase both your phone and calling credit from, make your purchase and activate your phone.
Activating Your Phone and Plan
Most pay as you go cell phones are either available for purchase at the service provider's store location or sometimes at local discount stores, electronics stores and department stores. Unlike standard cell phone plans, you do not need to undergo a credit card check, give your full name and address or show your ID. You also do not need to be over the age of 18. Buying and activating a pay as you go cell phone is totally anonymous.
It is easy to activate your pay as you go cell phone, just open up your new phone and follow the instructions. Usually you will be required to first charge up the phone and make a call to a specific number where you can activate your phone. Your phone will usually come with a few minutes of phone calling credit to make sure you can make an outgoing phone call.
Adding Phone Calling Credit to Your Phone
Once you activate your phone, you can then call a special number and add phone calling credit to your phone. When you purchase phone calling credit, it will most likely come in the form of a calling card. Just rub off the back to view a special code. All the instructions on how to add calling credit to your phone will be on this calling card. You will only need to call a special number and enter the special code on the back of the card.
Advantages of Purchasing a Pay As You Go Cell Phone
There are many advantages of purchasing a pay as you go cell phone, they include:
- No Contracts- Most standard mobile phone plans require the consumer to purchase a 1 or 2 year contract. If you cancel the service before this time period ends, you are required to pay a cancellation fee.
- No Credit Card Required: Since you pay in advance and only for the calls you intend to make, there is no need for a credit card
- No Credit Check- There is no credit check necessary. Whether you have bad credit or no credit, you can easily purchase and use a pay as you go cell phone.
- No Age Restrictions- Since most standard mobile phone plans require a credit card and credit check, you must be 18 years or older to have a mobile phone. Pay as you go cell phones have no age restrictions which makes it perfect for teens.
- Full Featured Phones- Most pay as you go cell phone companies offer high tech, fully featured phones.
- Be Anonymous- You do not have o give your name or show identification to buy or use a pay as you go cell phone.
Disadvantages of Purchasing a Pay As You Go Cell Phone
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages of using a pay as you go cell phone; here are a few of them:
- More Expensive than a Standard Phone Plan- pay as you go cell phones usually are more expensive to use on a per minute basis than a regular standard mobile phone plan. For instance, where it can cost $.10 per minute for a call on a standard mobile phone plan, expect to spend $.25 or more per minute. In addition, you will not receive any perks with pay as you cell phones. For instance, there are usually no free nights and weekend programs with these types of phones.
- You must pay up front for both the phone and minutes that you use- most standard mobile phone plans give you a free phone or greatly reduced price phone and an allotment of minutes to use each month. With pay as you go cell phones, you must pay for the phone (usually $25 to $150) and purchase calling credit in advance.
- Calling Credit is Only Available for a Limited Time- most pay as you go cell phone plans require you to use the calling credit you purchased in a set period of time (this can range from 30 days to 1 year, the average being around 90 days). If you don't use your calling credit within this period of time, you forfeit the credit.