Pre-paid/no-contract services are available from many independent providers and from the major carriers themselves. There are many reasons why some people will benefit from a pre-paid service - particularly if you need a temporary additional phone number, or foresee using the phone in spurts over the course of several months but not on a regular basis. Be aware, however, that you?re likely to pay a higher per-minute rate as compared to a contracted plan and you likely won't receive a discount on the purchase of a new phone with pre-paid service.
Cons of using Pre-paid services
- Higher per-minute rates
- Service and Coverage Area may not be as good as a post-paid plan
- Higher purchase price when purchasing the phone handset
- Need to re-charge your phone when your minutes are exhausted.
- Possible surcharges for inactivity, read the fine print.
When should I use a Pre-Paid service?
- Your credit is unsatisfactory and you don't qualify for a post-paid plan.
- You are uncomfortable committing to a term contract.
- You only use your phone for emergencies and you have no need to pay a significant fee every month.
- You are visiting the U.S. for a short period of time and you need a cell phone while you?re in the states.
- You are in the military and you may need to disconnect service while serving overseas
- TracFone (Largest pre-paid provider in the U.S.)
- PowerNet Mobile