8 Months After Switching to a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

by Evan

Approximately 8 months ago I decided to switch to a prepaid cell phone plan. I knew there had to be a better, or at the very least a more efficient way to handle this monthly bill.  At the time The Wife and I were paying approximately $147/mo so for Sprint service. I was out of my contract but due to upgrades she was not out of hers.  For approximation purposes lets say we were both paying $75 separately.

First step in moving towards a prepaid plan was finding a phone.  At the time of the original post I highlighted a few mid-range phones.  I ended up purchasing an off contract Motorola X (first generation – as there was no second yet) for approximately $350 after taxes.  Interestingly, it seems that when the companies that created the next generation of the two options (google nexus and motorola x) they were priced much higher (around $600ish).  Since it was off contract I could bring it to any GSM provider (T-Mobile or ATT) or any of the companies that resell their service (StraightTalk, H20, etc.).  These companies are often referred to as MVNOs.

I tried H20 Wireless first, and it was a terrible experience.  After about two months I was done with H20Wireless and discovered BrightSpot Mobile.  BrightSpot is “Target’s MNVO” running on the T-Mobile network. I had to buy a $10 sim card for the phone.BrightSpot costs me $48.33 after all taxes and fees.  To boot every 6 months (i.e. in the next week or so I’ll get a $25 gift certificate for Target).

If I had stayed with Sprint  I would have paid $75*8 – $600.  Alternatively, those first two months I paid $42/mo with H20 and the next 6 months I paid $48 plus for a total of $372.  In addition I had to pay for two sim cards and the difference between the $350 MotoX and $200 subsidized phone – $372 + $170 = $522.

Originally, I estimated my cross over point at 9 months but I actually crossed over in about 8 months.  Am I saving a ton of money? No, but I strongly believe that saving any money on recurring monthly nut type expenses is a win.  To boot I don’t get nailed with varying and increasing taxes, surcharges and fees.

You may also like

2 comments

EL @ Moneywatch101 December 16, 2014 - 12:13 pm

So I assume the service has been good enough to stay with them over 6 months. How is the breakdown of data usage, and minutes working for you? I’m looking to make a change in Feb. and I am hoping to reduce my monthly exposure as well to the big 4 cell companies. Thanks

Reply
Evan December 16, 2014 - 2:16 pm

The service is actually re-branded T-Mobile which is fine in my area. You can get almost anything rebranded, for example Straight Talk is either Tmobile or ATT, while Ting is Sprint. Check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators

For a list of available MNVO companies and whose network they are using.

Reply

Leave a Comment