Score a $10 Cellphone Plan

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Got a ten-spot? It’s worth more than you may think. You can pay as little as $10 a month for your cell phone service. Switch to one of the low-cost MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and expect great prices and service, since they piggyback on the four major networks and use the same cellphone towers.

Benefits of choosing an MVNO:

  • Straight-forward prepaid plans: You pay for services upfront; there are no hidden costs. With most prepaid plans, there are also no contracts, activation charges or early termination fees. What you see is what you get.
  • Excellent customer service: Many of the smaller MVNOs, like US Mobile, for example, use real people 24/7 to answer your questions. Call and you’ll get a live person within 5 seconds.
  • Flexible, build-your-own plans: Need more talk minutes or less text and data? No problem. You can easily alter your plan month-to-month with just a click.

These plans are great for:

  • Parents who want talk and text-only plans for their kids, or limited data amounts for mobile internet browsing.
  • Teenagers who are learning to budget. They’ll pay for exactly what they use and skip the bill shocks at the end of the month.
  • Seniors who prefer small prices with big customer service.
  • Cellphone users with smaller data appetites or who often use their home or office Wi-Fi networks.

Will these plans give you enough data?

To help you gauge how much data you need, here are five things you can do with 100 MB of data:

  • Send/receive over 100 emails with attachments
  • Visit more than 556 webpages
  • Stream 100 minutes of music
  • Post 40 images on social media

Not sure how much data you need? Here’s a data usage guide that can help.

Now, here’s a look at some specific plans.

Pix Wireless

What you get: 100 text and talk minutes, plus 250 MB for $9.99. Since Pix Wireless runs off Sprint’s network, compatible CDMA Sprint-devices are welcome. There are no data overage fees — once you run out of data, your service stops but you can easily add data or talk minutes or text.

Bonus: Taxes and surcharges are included in pricing.

Tello

What you get: 200 text and 100 talk minutes (including calls to Canada and Mexico), plus 200 MB for $9.00. Tello also runs off Sprint’s network, so it’s compatible with CDMA Sprint devices. No data overages fees, but speed is slowed to a crawling 64 kbps once your data allotment has been used. Unused balances roll over for the next 30 days, but note that all incoming text and calls go toward your balance.

Bonus: All data can be shared free via the tethering/mobile hotspot feature. Sharing is caring!

US Mobile

What you get: 100 text and 100 talk minutes plus 100 MB for $9.00. This carrier runs off GSM network. With US Mobile, you can take an a la carte approach with 392 possible plan combinations, allowing for data-only, text-only and talk-only plans from $4-$5 a month.

Bonus: University students get free SIM card on its site, and you also the option to snooze a plan and keep your number for $2 a month without purchasing a plan.

All prices are accurate at time of this article’s publish date.

Are you prepared to jettison your current cellphone plan? Share your experiences with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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