The Rising Popularity of Prepaid Cell Phone Use

by : Reggie Andersen

As cell phones become more than just a convenience, People who had not considered getting one before are now seriously looking at the various options open to them. Though contract cell phones are still the most common, prepaid cell phones are gaining popularity.

Many people looking at getting their first cell phone are hesitant about getting locked into a two year contract when they are not sure just how much they will actually use the phone. Even people who have had contract plans are looking to go with prepaid when they find they either don’t use the cell phone enough or just want to get away from the monthly bills.Prepaid cell phones are cell phones that don’t have a contract that requires paying a monthly bill even if you don’t use the phone. There are basically two types of prepaid phones – prepaid with monthly plans and prepaid with redeemable airtime cards.

The prepaid cell phones with monthly plans are like month to month subscriptions that can be ended at any time. These plans often have many of the same advantages that contract cell phone plans have, such as free night and weekend minutes and free mobile to mobile. Several of the major carriers have such plans but the most notable is AT&T, formerly Cingular.

With their Go Phones, you would have several plan options to choose from. These are based on the number of anytime minutes, options such as free nights and weekends and free mobile to mobile. If you run short of minutes before it is time to pay the subscription again, you can add more minutes by calling in and paying an additional amount. You can also just wait and pay at the regular time and simply do without the phone until then.

Prepaid cell phones with redeemable airtime cards are perhaps the fastest growing of the prepaid cell phones. These work by redeeming an airtime card with a certain number of minutes. The number of minutes available on these cards ranges from 20 on up. Some have as many as 500 minutes.

Some, like Tracfone, have cards that keep your phone activated for one full year, even if you run out of minutes. If you don’t get the one year activation card, you need to redeem a new card at least every sixty days to keep your phone active. If it goes inactive, it can be reactivated but you will most likely have a new phone number. Many companies besides Tracfone offer this kind of prepaid phone. Among them are Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, and AT&T.

With prepaid cell phone plans, you most often buy the phone outright but there are often specials that include a free phone with the purchase of a high minute plan or airtime card. Prepaid cell phones are often preferred by people who need a cell phone but are watching their budgets and don’t want to have a monthly bill they have to pay. Prepaid gives the option of not having to pay a penalty for ending a contract before it is up. Just simply not buy more minutes or end the subscription. These are ideal for keeping the use of cell phones by teenagers and pre-teens from getting out of hand. When the minutes are goneHealth Fitness Articles, they are gone.