Stop Paying for Text Messages by Using Apps

By on

Most SMS text messages aren’t free.

Service providers like Verizon and AT&T usually charge a per-message fee or a monthly subscription for a fixed number of them. We’ve written before that texts are a product with a 6,000 percent markup.

You don’t have to pay that much or anything at all, says MercuryNews.com. The article highlights a number of cheap or free texting apps that use Wi-Fi or your phone’s data plan and bypass the extra fees.

The most popular among them is called WhatsApp. (The name brings to mind a certain Abbott and Costello routine.)

The company behind it was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo executives, who said, “We are in the middle of the smartphone revolution, and it is just beginning.” The company claims to have 200 million daily users worldwide, sending 20 billion messages a day. It costs iPhone users $1, and for Android users is free for the first year and then $1 per year afterward.

Another option, Pinger, is free for everyone — but has ads. Viber is both free and ad-free. Both of these also offer free calling, if you’re on a limited-minutes package.

So why might you consider forking over $1 for an app that doesn’t include calls and has free alternatives that do? WhatsApp’s founders told MercuryNews.com they don’t share their data with outside marketers.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,109 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.