If contracts are not for you, you can pay for a specific amount of data usage/minutes in advance with a prepaid cell phone. Sometimes also called pay-as-you-go phones or no-contract phones, these phones will end your service when you hit the amount of data usage or phone minutes you've paid for until you choose to buy more and refill your allotment.
How do prepaid phone cards work?
When you use a pay as you go phone, you may need to use a prepaid phone card. These are cards that you pay a flat fee for and get a determined amount of data usage or phone minutes. You can use these cards to either activate a new prepaid phone or add minutes to a phone you already have.
Why choose “pay as you go”?
When you opt for a prepaid phone, you won't need to commit to a long-term contract and can often avoid activation fees, overage charges, termination fees and fees for changing carriers. By buying a phone card, you can more easily manage your phone budget. For example, international calling cards are a great way to control costs when talking to friends and family abroad.
The flexibility to change carriers or only pay for what you use makes calling cards a natural choice as cell phones for seniors or children who may only use them in emergencies. Having a cache of prepaid minutes means you can get a hold of your loved ones when you need to without a high monthly bill. When you need more time, just purchase a top-up card and add it to the phone.
What are my phone and carrier choices?
There's a variety of carriers and phones that you can use with a pay as you go plan. You can even get a prepaid option with a newer phone, and from a wide range of manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, LG, Nokia, BLU and more.
There are a number of carriers you can explore for a variety of phones and plans. Popular picks include Cricket Wireless phones, Tracfone phones, GreatCall phones, AT&T Prepaid phones, Verizon Prepaid phones and more.