Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Featured Articles: Panasonic Plasma Televisions - Panasonic Plasma Televisions Earn Several "Best Of" Ratings to Key West Homes For Sale - Searching for Key West Homes for Sale - Old Town

Prepaid Wireless Card - Prepaid Wireless Card Or Long-term Contract

overcharges long-term contracts daily fees emergency use

In this day and age where distance communication is not only vital for emergencies but also for business and social networking, it is important to have a clear idea on which wireless phone company gives you the best service for what they charge. Unfortunately, most cell phone providers charge hidden fees and overage charges that make the monthly bill a dreaded arrival.

The decision to buy a phone with a contract or a phone with a prepaid wireless card probably seems simple: just go with the contract. However, this can prove to be a mistake for people who expect more from the service they have signed up for.


The overage charge is the big killer in post-paid wireless plans; this is when the company gives you a certain amount of minutes to use during the month. Once you go over this amount, the company charges you a higher amount per minute. For example, ordinary minutes for AT&T wireless may only cost .10 cents per minute, but the overcharge price is .45 cents per minute. So if your monthly contract only gives you 400 minutes and you use 600, your bill can grow exponentially.

With a prepaid phone, there are no hidden fees or overage charges. The prepaid wireless card comes with a set amount of minutes available, usually in the form of a dollar amount. If you buy a card with $25, you only get $25 worth of minutes. Most companies charge .10 per minute and once you’ve reached that $25 amount, the phone can no longer be used. This means there are no overage charges because you can only use what you’ve bought ahead of time.

Long-term Contracts

Almost every major wireless phone company requires the buyer to sign a long-term contract, which usually lasts for two years. During this time, you may not break your contract without paying a hefty charge; this can include the current month’s bill, plus an additional two-hundred dollars or more depending on the service provider. Traditional companies will often deny you access to service if your credit is bad, or they may charge a large deposit in order to sign a contract.

With prepaid wireless, the card is your “contract.” You are bound to the minutes you buy, not a contract. There is also no credit check when it comes to purchasing a prepaid phone. Some prepaid providers will offer a plan based on the amount of minutes you purchase per month, including unlimited usage depending on the amount you decide to spend. For example, if you purchase a $99 prepaid wireless card, they may give you unlimited minutes for the month, which also includes unlimited text. Otherwise, text messaging can cost as much as .25 cents per text.

Daily Fees

Traditional wireless phone service does not charge you a fee just for using your phone every day; you are only charged for the amount of minutes you use. With a prepaid phone, some companies will charge you between one and two dollars just for using your phone that day.

Example: If you have just purchased a $25 prepaid wireless card and it costs .10 per minute, you may be charged an extra dollar just for using it. So, if on day two you use the phone for the first time and talk for ten minutes, you will be charged two dollars for that one call. This is where most people get confused with prepaid wireless; fortunately, this is not a hidden fee and is clearly stated on the prepaid wireless card or the website from which you purchased minutes.

Emergency Use

The minutes you purchase on a prepaid wireless card are not charged for emergency calls to 911. This is because federal law requires every cell phone provider to include 911 emergency calls at no additional charge. Even if you run out of minutes, you can call for help. Also, keep in mind that most prepaid companies will cancel the phone if no new prepaid wireless cards are bought for a certain length of time; usually this is a three-month duration of non-usage.

Prepaid Wireless Plan - Why Choose a Prepaid Wireless Plan [next] [back] Pre Fab Buildings - How To Choose Pre Fab Buildings

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or