What’s The Cheapest Cell Phone Option?

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The astronomical size of my cell phone bill got me thinking, what is the absolutely cheapest cell phone option? No cool phone, no internet access, no email – just the ability to make and receive phone calls. And texts. I mean, come on, it is 2012.

Given that my phone is my home, work, and mobile phone, and is on a shared plan with mu husband (who also uses his phone as the only number for his business) it’s probably no more than we would have paid back in the day for a home phone and two business lines – but still – it’s a LOT.

I did some searching around, and unless you only want a phone for emergencies and don’t actually plan on talking on it I didn’t uncover any crazy cheap option. But, there are certainly some cheaper (and interesting options) out there.

One I hadn’t heard of before was Boost Mobile (www.boostmobile.com) who lowers your payment over time as long as you keep paying on time. An individual plan starts at $50 a month (unlimited mins, text, and web, cost is higher for smartphones) but can get as low as $35 a month after making 18 on time payments. I don’t know anything about their level of service, but I didn’t find anything cheaper and I’m intrigued by the concept of rewarding customers for paying on time. Though it is a little strange – like paying on time is optional?

Consumer Cellular offers a plan for seniors only for $30 a month for 700 minutes. Add 100 texts for $2.50. Most of the major cell phone companies offer senior discounts so it might be possible to match this price with one of them on a basic plan.

Lowest Priced Major Carrier I Found

Of the major carriers T-Mobile (www.t-mobile.com) seems to have the cheapest cell phone option – $39.99 for 500 mins, unlimited text, and no data.

I’m not sure whether I’m encouraged or disheartened to know I’m not drastically overpaying for my cell service. We have so many more “necessities” these days when compared to a few generations ago, and they tend to increase our productivity, stress levels, and budgets! Still – I’m not at all ready to ditch my smartphone and internet access and head to some remote spot to live off the land.

Do you think that you are paying too much for your cell phone service? Would you be open to trying one of these lesser known companies? Do you know of any cheap cell phone options I missed?

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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