Forum Thread

Cheapest emergency phone?

CharlieSummers 2,240 397 August 4, 2015 at 03:30 PM
Used to use T-Mobile...since I hit gold status, it cost $10/year to keep the line active. But now with the changes, $3/month seems excessive so I want to move away from these guys. I'm looking for the cheapest way to keep a phone active solely for emergencies...don't want to park the number, want to have it active while spending as little as possible.

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#2
Cheap, no control over the number, and ZERO activation fees. I think I found what you are looking for:

http://www.payphone-directory.org/
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#3
Freedom pop is the cheapest I've found. Purchase a $40 phone with unlimited talk and text, then downgrade the plan right away, or after the first (free) month expires. The downgraded plan is all free, that includes 200 minutes and 500 texts. But all phones are smartphones.
Got this for my grandma and she had trouble getting use to it.
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#4
You can call 911 on any cell phone, active or not. Is that what you mean by emergency? You can spend $10 every 120 days with Page Plus cellular (Verizon's network). This gives you 100 minutes of calling.
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#5
Not sure if you want cell or home, I use Magicjack. $40 or so a year.
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#6
Thank you all for the replies. Apparently I explained this badly...

Quote from EduardoG9049 View Post :
Freedom pop is the cheapest I've found. Purchase a $40 phone with unlimited talk and text, then downgrade the plan right away, or after the first (free) month expires.
Will look into it; any problems porting-in numbers? (I have a bunch of smartphones sitting around here, but will buy another if necessary.)

Quote from Jabbit View Post :
You can call 911 on any cell phone, active or not. Is that what you mean by emergency?
No...in my house, leaving the house without one's cell phone constitutes an emergency. ;)

Seriously, I put a hundred bucks on a number on T-Mobile PAYGO years ago ($25/quarter, so I got two years for the initial hundred) to hit gold status, then spent $10/year to keep the number active. After all that, I still have better than $85 on the phone, so probably used it what...maybe $15/year, at $0.10/minute? We like to keep an active phone in the car trunk just-in-case. But now that T-Mobile has changed the plan so radically (and made "Gold Rewards" effectively useless), I'm looking for the cheapest alternative. (And, frankly, I'm moving all my phones away from T-Mo because I'm annoyed with them.)

And no, I have no idea how I'm going to blow-off the bucks I still have on the phone.
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#7
Quote from CharlieSummers View Post :
Will look into it; any problems porting-in numbers? (I have a bunch of smartphones sitting around here, but will buy another if necessary.)
Some sprint phones work, such as the HTC Evo 4g and the 4g lte, iphones from sprint, etc.
http://www.freedompop.com/products
This is the list of phones, but porting numbers cost $10, which isn't bad.
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#8
For truely free plans, check out https://ringplus.net/

You need a sprint phone.

I know 3 ppl who have this, and it works fine.
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#9
PagePlus using PAYGO can be done pretty inexpensively, and it uses the Verizon network.

Minimum refill that you can add is $10, which must be refilled every 120 days to retain the minutes. There's also a 50 cent per month surcharge. The refills can be had for a 6% discount from PrepayRefill.com, so $9.40 each. That works out to $34.20 per year.
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