If you want to use prepaid cell phone service, there is a prepaid cell phone plan out there for you. There are plans which allow you to pay for only the airtime you use, and there are plans with unlimited airtime for a fixed monthly rate.
There are also plans for which you can pay a daily and/or minute access fee only for the days you use the phone. Three of the main benefits of a prepaid cell phone plan are no contracts, no credit checks (in all instances we have researched) and predictable monthly costs.
If at any time you do not have the need for cellular service, you can end it. You can end it for short or long periods of time, and even reactivate the same phone later. You may not be able to keep the same phone number if you deactivate your prepaid service.
If you plan to use a cell phone only in case of emergencies, we hope you never use your cell phone. If this is your plan for using prepaid service, check for expiration dates on the dollar amounts you load onto your phone.
Typically, the smaller the amount paid the quicker it expires so if you do not use it so you will lose the money paid. If you purchase an average $50.00 - $75.00, that can last you a few months, and you may find you like to be able to be connected when you are out and about.
If you have a cell phone that is not connected to any cell provider with a phone number, you can still call 911 as long as it is powered on and manufactured after 2003. Keep an old cell phone charged and in your glove box for this purpose even if you have an active cell phone.
The youth of today do begin to need cell phones on occasion when around 12 years old. Prepaid is a good way for them to learn the responsibilities of having a cell phone. We have talked with parents who are relieved knowing their tween has the security of a phone when out with friends.
Parents can contact children and vice versa for those times when the kids start going off to school functions, shopping or movies without their parents. Consider prepaid services for this situation before entering into a long-term contract when they use the phone on a more regular basis.