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Pay As You Go Plans - Getting the Most from Your Pay As You Go Cell Phone Plan

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Choosing a pay as you go cell phone can be a major headache. There are many companies to choose from, and each has its own set of plans they claim are perfect for you. Reading customer reviews does not help very much as each individual has their own usage patterns, and what is fantastic for some will not do at all for others. There is the emotional excitement and feeling of need to get a pay as you go mobile phone. The only way to get your very best deal is to thoroughly research the options before making a decision. Answer these questions before you talk to any salesperson: Who? What? Where? Why? How? When?

Who will be using the phone? Is the cell phone being purchased as a gift or for yourself? Cell phones that are pay as you go do not require a credit check or a contract, so a low credit score or lack of a steady job will not stand in the way. This flexibility also makes them wonderful gifts. However, some phones only offer service with certain providers. You will have to purchase the phone itself, and then purchase the airtime, and this is where things get tricky.

What kind of phone do you need? Purchasing an expensive phone with a full keyboard for someone who does not text is a waste of money. Similarly, giving a texter a basic dial keypad will drive him or her nuts. Do you require voice mail, call waiting, caller id, or 3-way calling? These features are offered and available on many pay as you go plans, but may cost extra. What are you going to use the phone for? Some people prefer to text rather than talk, while others use their phone for web surfing or social networking and email. Does the phone have sufficient memory for the applications you want? Talk, text, and web are separated in the pay as you go plan world, so have a good idea of your needs before reaching into your wallet.

Where are you going to use the mobile phone? There is nothing quite as frustrating as your cell phone having no signal when you want to use it. Be sure you know the coverage area of your pay as you go plan. Ask to see a coverage map from the dealer if you can’t find one online. You also want to make sure you are not going to be charged roaming fees a mile from home. Roaming fees are charged when your cell phone is too far from the home cell tower, or from the provider’s network. Make sure you have a good idea where that boundary is, or you’ll be paying extra. Where can you purchase additional pay as you go airtime for your mobile phone? Some pay as you go companies have cards that can be bought at local stores, whereas others require online access to purchase more time.

How many minutes do you need? Most people have no idea of how many minutes they talk on the phone, or how many texts they send in a day. It can cost as much as 50 cents per minute or text or more if you go over your allotment, so you need to be careful. Your pay as you go mobile plan may allow you the flexibility to change your options, so keep track of how much you use the phone.

When will the phone be used the most? Many schools and workplaces now require that cell phones be turned off during working hours. You can save money by purchasing a pay as you go plan that fits around your usage schedule.

By doing some research and knowing how your mobile phone will be used, you can make an informed decision for your pay as you go purchase. Do you want to purchase a $10 airtime card once a week ($520/year) or $60 unlimited talk/text per month ($720/year)? Is your cell phone going to have signal when you need it, or will you be charged roaming fees? Taking a little bit of time and putting in a little bit of thought can save you serious cash.

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