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Looking for Cell phone with no monthly bill. Tracfone=limited coverage anything else?

boyblue

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We live in the Bahamas and we're looking for a Cell phone that has no monthly billing but can be used when we travel to the US & Canada for a total of about 6 weeks a year. Tracfone's nationalplan in theory is what we are looking for but we are looking for something with wider coverage. I guess we could go with the local Tracfone plan but we would have to change phone numbers as frequently as we change locations.

Are there any other options?
 

Chemee

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Sprint, Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile, & Virgin Mobile all have such plans. Virgin uses the Sprint network. Since these are larger carriers, the coverage should be wider.
 

philemer

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I use T-Mobile To Go. You buy a phone and then buy minutes as you need them. Not sure if it is available outside the 50 states or not. I like it. I buy a 1000 min. for $100-no monthly fees. I'm not sure if it will work from/in Canada. http://t-mobile.com/plans/default.asp?tab=payasyougo

Phil
 

Moosie

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I was thinking of doing Tracphone changing from Verison Wireless. However, Tracphone seems to have a very limeted area.

As I have it now I can call anywhere in the US, I have 400 minutes but now only use less than 60, plus i have unlimeted "IN" plan, but again don't need to utilize like I did before.

If I get Tracphone it seems like I can only call within my state (MA) and maybe NH before it goes to roaming.

Is T-mobile better?

Not trying to hijack this thread!

Now to the original OP - will you be using your phone here in one area or will you be traveling from state to state?
 

isisdave

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I used to use Boost Mobile and that was good. You're going to have to research all these, because they all differ in how long the minutes are good for, whether they're extended if and when you buy more, etc.

In other words, it will make a big difference if you come for one 6-week period, two 3-week periods (and if they're a month or 6 months apart), or six 1-week periods.
 

boyblue

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Moosie said:
I was thinking of doing Tracphone changing from Verison Wireless. However, Tracphone seems to have a very limeted area.

As I have it now I can call anywhere in the US, I have 400 minutes but now only use less than 60, plus i have unlimeted "IN" plan, but again don't need to utilize like I did before.

If I get Tracphone it seems like I can only call within my state (MA) and maybe NH before it goes to roaming.

Is T-mobile better?

Not trying to hijack this thread!

Now to the original OP - will you be using your phone here in one area or will you be traveling from state to state?

State to state, throughout the northern states and southern privinces. Each trip we explore a different state or province.
 

boyblue

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isisdave said:
I used to use Boost Mobile and that was good. You're going to have to research all these, because they all differ in how long the minutes are good for, whether they're extended if and when you buy more, etc.

In other words, it will make a big difference if you come for one 6-week period, two 3-week periods (and if they're a month or 6 months apart), or six 1-week periods.

3 weeks in March & 3 weeks in December. Do all the pat as you go deals have nationwide local calling like the Tracfone GSM phones?
 

KHolleger

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Moosie said:
I was thinking of doing Tracphone changing from Verison Wireless. However, Tracphone seems to have a very limeted area.

As I have it now I can call anywhere in the US, I have 400 minutes but now only use less than 60, plus i have unlimeted "IN" plan, but again don't need to utilize like I did before.

If I get Tracphone it seems like I can only call within my state (MA) and maybe NH before it goes to roaming.

Is T-mobile better?


Not trying to hijack this thread!

Now to the original OP - will you be using your phone here in one area or will you be traveling from state to state?

I have Tracfone and roaming and long distance are not extra. I just used it in Chicago last week and I live in Philadelphia. Text messaging works great too. I bought at Walmart and took it home to set it up. I got the Motorola C155 model.
 

#1 Cowboys Fan

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KHolleger said:
I have Tracfone and roaming and long distance are not extra. I just used it in Chicago last week and I live in Philadelphia. Text messaging works great too. I bought at Walmart and took it home to set it up. I got the Motorola C155 model.

The previous posters on this thread had me worried-----but
if I understand your post correctly, you have made me glad my wife got me a Tracfone for Valentine's Day.

I had my Tracfone set up in Maine---and was worried by the posts here that I wouldn't be able to use it a bit in Florida. (they were implying roaming/long distance charges, etc.)

BUT, you're implying I CAN, without extra fees, right?

Thanks,
Pat
 
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cerralee

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Cell phone beyond wireless

I got my husband a cell phone from beyond wireless. He has had it for five months and he is still on the original 80 minutes that came with the free phone. You just have to use one minute every sixty or so days to keep it activated. No monthly, no daily usage fee, very reasonable. I paid $15 for a free used nokia and 80 minutes worth of talk time. It seems to go on the cingular network. The phone number I choose is out of Kalamzoo but who cares? He only uses it for short check ins, not for long catch up conversations. I'll try a link:

http://www.gobeyondwireless.com


You can't beat it for an occasional use phone.
 

JudyS

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I have a prepaid plan from Cingular -- it used to be ATT's Free2GO, but Cingular bought it. For $100 a year, you get 1000 minutes to use; no roaming or long distance charges.

At least, I think those are the terms; they have changed (a little) several times in the past few years. You can get a new phone cheaply if you sign up, or at least I did. I've been happy with this plan.
 

tashamen

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#1 Cowboys Fan said:
I had my Tracfone set up in Maine---and was worried by the posts here that I wouldn't be able to use it a bit in Florida. (they were implying roaming/long distance charges, etc.)

BUT, you're implying I CAN, without extra fees, right?

I have Tracfone, and my understanding is that whether you're charegd one unit per minute or two units per minute depends on where the phone number is. For example, I live in Vermont but got a Massachusetts number for my Tracfone, because that's where I work and where I make most of my calls on it from. When I bought it, I could have requested a phone number anywhere in the US. Their website shows what locations will be considered non-roaming (and thus use up one unit per minute), or roaming (using two units). The Massachusetts non-roaming coverage area includes much of the country, whereas the Vermont coverage area only includes a few states. (And to be honest it doesn't work half the time in Vermont anyway, but I haven't had problems in other parts of the country.) The phone will show an "R" in an area where you'll be charged the two unites per minute for roaming.
 

Moosie

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Here's a site I just found helpful:

Pay as you go wireless

I need to do this in the next day or so, if I find out anything that hasn't been mentioned yet I'll report back.

Plus, I want to find a service that dosen't make you buy a phone card every 30 - 60 - 90 days.

Here's the info from Tracfone:

Purchase a TracFone Wireless Phone available at over 60,000 retailers nationwide. TracFone comes with everything you need to get started. The TracFone box includes a wireless phone, battery and charger. It also includes 60 days of active wireless service and 10 minutes of starter airtime. Your TracFone can be activated online or by calling 1-800-867-7183.


The service plan is what is confusing me - dosen't take much most days!

Buy more TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime cards as you need them. If you run low on minutes, purchase and add more cards. To keep your TracFone service active, you must purchase and add a TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime every 60 or 365 days depending on the card denomination. Add airtime before your due date and your remaining minutes and service days will carryover and be added to your phone, to a maximum of 120 days with any combination of regular airtime cards or 730 days with any combination of annual plan cards. TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime cards are available online or at over 60,000 retailers nationwide.

There are a few deals on their website.
 

Mel

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Tracfone's home area and roaming areas depend greatly on where you register it as your "home area." It also depends which phone you have. From what I understand many of the newer GSM phones offer nationwide coverage, so charge 1 unit per minute all the time.

For non-GSM, check the coverage maps, and pick the one that works best for you. Tracfone contracts out to different carriers, which is why I am not roaming in VT, but someone from Vt might be roaming here (in RI). RI and MA are serviced by cingular - when DH calls me from his cigular phone it's considered in-network, and he isn't charged. I could have switched over ad added a phone on his plan, but I have over 1000 minutes built up on my phone from various promotions. (If you are referred by a current member, you both get 100 free minutes).

If you look at coverage for Burlington VT (05402), you see local coverage as most of VT, but that's it, and only phone with "national coverage" are available.

If you look at Portland ME (04123) the National Coverage phones have a small home area, and the Single Rates have spotty but broad coverage over the entire country.

Then look at Boston (02123) or Providence (02901) and you have good coverage for most of the eastern US. This is almost identical to the coverage map you would see for a Cingular GoPhone. If you use it less than 4 minutes per day (counting only the days you use it), the gophone will be 25c per minute. Or you can choose the other rateplan that's $1 per day of use plus 10c per minute. Tracfone will either be a bit more or less depending on how many minutes you'll be using over the course of the year. (you can activate it for each trip with a "local" number for that trip, and let any unused minutes expire after 60 days, or you could keep it activated to keep your minutes (In which case, I suggest an annual plan). If you have someone stateside who would be calling you, I would consider a number that is local for them so they aren't paying long distance charges.
 

KHolleger

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#1 Cowboys Fan said:
The previous posters on this thread had me worried-----but
if I understand your post correctly, you have made me glad my wife got me a Tracfone for Valentine's Day.

I had my Tracfone set up in Maine---and was worried by the posts here that I wouldn't be able to use it a bit in Florida. (they were implying roaming/long distance charges, etc.)

BUT, you're implying I CAN, without extra fees, right?

Thanks,
Pat

It depends on the kind of phone you have. Some, like mine, charge one unit whether roaming or not. To receive text messages is zero. To send is point.3. A FEW, but not many, charge two units for roaming. Read up on it online on Tracfone's web site.
 

Mel

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#1 Cowboys Fan said:
I had my Tracfone set up in Maine---and was worried by the posts here that I wouldn't be able to use it a bit in Florida. (they were implying roaming/long distance charges, etc.)
Pat,

do you use your phone mostly for making calls, or to be reachable? Do you need to have a local phone number on your cell? If not, you might consider switching to a different local area. What model phone do you have?

You can go to the tracfone website and check the coverage areas for other areas. Make sure to click on the proper phone - the phones with roaming will show at the top, the single rate phones on the bottom; those are the ones that always cost 1 unit. The next time you are going to add minutes, see what promos they have on the website if you don't already have a single rate phone - right now if you buy an annual card, you can get a reconditioned Nokia 1100 phone free. Even better, when you do it, you can use your old phone to refer your new phone and get 100 more free minutes.
 

boyblue

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We have a GSM Tracfone which has national coverage (1 unit per minute) but we couldn't get service on our last trip (Vermont & New Hampshire). I posted last week because DW went to Orlando for a few days & there was no service there as well.

It turns out that because we made a call to The Bahamas the number was terminated. They're sending us a new SIM card now. I understand why it was done - Bahamas is outside the calling area; but it's just that we didn't know. So I guess I'm not as down on Tracfone.

We actually have another Tracfone. We bought it first but we didn't like it because we would’ve had to activate it every time we traveled (twice or three times depending on where all we went) so we would’ve to be changing phone numbers a lot. We haven't used it but I guess we could activate it in areas where the GSM won't work.
 

#1 Cowboys Fan

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Thanks for the reply(s).

WOW---this seems to be a bit more complicated than I had thought.

I guess I'll look into some of these issues---I suspect I'll have to call Tracfone to get some of the answers.

Pat
 

Moosie

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Here's a plan I have never heard of - OpexWireless I think they use Cingular network.

Opex Wireless Plans

They have a plan called Opex -On the fly, you have to buy a phone of course $64 - $150

9.9 cents a minute
.25 cents per day for network access
no termination fee
no contract
no prepaid cards
Don't what the gov taxes and fees will be, but I'll check that out.

They have a bunch of plans $14.99 on up.

For now I think I'll go with them, and just make sure I get a phone that will go with their other plans if I want to upgrade.

Anyhow, right now for someone using only at most 30 minutes it looks decent.
 
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