Prepaid Cellular, Per Minute Cost

by : Christine Peppler

Cellular plans that come laden with a one, two or even three year contract can provide all the bells and whistles as well as a low per minute charge. For individuals and families who are well acquainted with their phone usage and eat up a great deal of talk time, these standard cellular plans can be economical and smart. In addition to good rates, these more binding types of cellular plans also provide free cell phones in many instances. However, not every consumer has the same situation and can benefit from the same type of plan; prepaid plans are the wiser choice in a number of instances.

What are the primary characteristics of a prepaid cellular plan?

A prepaid cellular plan offers buyers the ability to avoid signing any contract or committing to a service over time. These plans also allow the buyer to avoid any deposits, credit checks, set monthly fees, or hidden charges. The buyer pays for a set number of minutes, and is unable to use more minutes until they are purchased.

Who could benefit most from a prepaid cellular plan?

New cellular customers are one group of people who could potentially benefit from a prepaid plan. With only a rough estimate as to how much they will be using their new cell phone, it is probably wise for these individuals to take a prepaid cellular plan for a short period of time, perhaps a few months, to get a more concrete idea of their usage and how well they like the services of a particular provider before making a long term commitment.

Another group who could benefit from a prepaid cellular plan would be users who only want a cell phone for emergency purposes or whose use of a cell phone varies widely from month to month. By using the prepaid option these users can eliminate the set monthly fee. For these individuals, there is little logic in paying for 300 minutes of talk time every month if they only use 50 or 60 minutes nine months out of the year.

Other people who can benefit from a prepaid cellular plan are those who have no credit history; or a poor credit history. Getting prepaid cellular is simple as there are no credit checks. In addition many who are on a tight budget also use prepaid plans as a way of controlling the cost; they can't use more minutes than they have paid for and the act of acquiring more minutes usually serves as a great reminder of their budget. Tracking minutes can be difficult, particularly with family plans where multiple people are using the allotted minutes. A prepaid plan cuts them off if they exceed the limit; the minutes simply are not there which provides some serious budget control.

The final group of people who can wisely opt for a prepaid cellular plan are travelers. Many international travelers have successfully used these plans which allow them needed accessibility while they are gone and no long term commitment in a country where they will be staying for only a matter of days or weeks.

Are there other things to consider regarding prepaid cellular plans?

Consumers need to understand that any unused minutes in a prepaid cellular plan are lost if they are not used within a specified period of time; each provider has different rules regarding this. Reading the details about the specific prepaid plan is important so that buyers are careful to make accurate estimates as to their usage and purchase only what they need for a given period of time.

Buyers will also want to become acquainted with how usage can be tracked, the charge per minute, and other details related to the plan. Being armed with this information will not only help determine if a prepaid cellular plan can actually save them money but can help the user take control of assuring they get their money's worth of talk time. But of course, this then brings up one of the best aspects of prepaid cellular: if the buyer misses a detail in how the plan functions and is not satisfied, they have the option of dropping the plan at any time making the pain of the mistake short lived.