I have been using Page Plus cellular for a few years. This is a prepaid program that allows calls to anywhere in the US for 7 to 12 cents per minute fee. (Canada is 2 or 3 times that rate.) The cards come in $10, $25, and $50 denominations and last up to three months before a new card is needed. Old balances roll over as long as you apply a new card before the old one expires.
To get started you need to buy a phone with $10 of talk time for $25. This includes activation of the non-PDA/non-smart phone that comes with the plan. If you have a different phone like the ones mentioned below, have them activate it from the start.
My wife and I just bought Internet capable phones that are Verizon compatible. I bought a Treo 750wx, and she bought a Samsung SCH-i760. She also tried a Dare for a while. We paid our local Wireless Giant $10 to activate the phone from our old and another $5 to transfer our contacts for each phone.
I used to worry about the costs of each call, but with the amount of time I use the phone each month, it is minimal. When I am working on the road I can go through a $50 every three months. Right now I have over a $40 balance on my account. My card expires in a week, and I will probably buy just a $10 card to keep the phone line and my $40 balance active.
The most difficult part of the plan for us is remembering to order a new card before our 90 days are up. I now set up reminders in all kinds of places.
Check out www.pagepluscellular.com if you can't find a dealer locally. As long as Verizon works in the area, Page Plus should work, too.
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