Att prepaid all the way.
First of all (in my case) we can only use providers that are in Verizon or AT&T coverage area.
No Tmobile coverage and only fringe Sprint coverage in the area.
So that leaves AT&T Go phone, Verizon prepaid and Net10 correct?
I'm also looking for a qwerty phone <$100 and monthly service of $10-$15
AT&T has some nice (refurb) gophones on their website with qwerty starting at $35-40.
Some of the higher priced and/or new models come with free starter account balance.
You have to add a $15 airtime card every 30 days or $25 every 90 days.
They might deduct a E911 fee once a month from your balance.
The simple plan is calls at 10c a min and you can buy text bundles $5/mo for 200txt and $10 for 1,000 txt, they roll over if you renew your bundle before the 30 days are up. I don't think they charge a fee for activating phone online and you get free shipping.
Verizon prepaid has a LG Cosmos prepaid phone for $99.99 with $10 starter airtime. They charge a $25 activation fee and SH is free.
The Basic daily plan is 25c a min for calls and you can get a text package for $10 where you can text VZ customers for free and others up to 250 txt a month.
Refill amounts are $15 minimum and expires after 30 days.
Net 10 has a Samsung t401g qwerty gsm phone, in my area that should run on AT&T. It sells new for $80, less with coupon code and fatwallet cashback.
Cheapest monthly plan is $15/mo for 200 easy pay minutes which should give me 400 texts.
Att prepaid all the way.
How many texts is your kid going to send? If it is more than 400 and your kid absolutely has to have the fancy Net10 phone, I would go with the $25 (750 texts/minutes over 30 days) or unlimited $50 Net10 plan. If he won't make many calls but lots of texting, maybe the 1000 text plan on AT&T would work best, AT&T has a good selection of phones on their site and if you go to a dealer you can buy any phone they offer (at the no contract price) except the iPhone for prepaid service. Verizon is very expensive for what they offer, I would not even consider them for your kid. Too bad Sprint MVNOs won't work, there are better deals using that service provider's towers, especially if your kid talks a lot.
I agree with you and fonezfonz, mharris127! AT&T is a really good deal for texting.
I sometimes wished Tmobile or Sprint worked (better) in my area. They have some good plans also.
Yeah for a heavy texter Net10 would not be the best deal.
Verizon prepaid has free texting to VZ customers for $10 a month so that might keep the cost down if most of the friends have Verizon
Your child is not going to get a ton of talk/text on any of the mentioned plans for $15/month. Of the ones you mentioned I would look at ATT because even if the kid is only getting 50 minutes of calls per month, he or she is getting 1000 texts.
If you go with them, I'd take a look at the LG Prime if a physical keyboard isn't a deal breaker, as you can get it for $110 and they waive the activation fee and you get $75 in airtime cards/credits.
It really comes down to how much and what type of use your kids is going to be doing. If the kid is a heavy texter, even the Net10 750 minute plan doesn't stack up to the ATT plan. If a heavy talker, none of the 10 cent plans are a very good deal at $15/month.
I know it doesn't change anything, but it is too bad Sprint doesn't have good service near you, as there are several more attractive options on the Sprint network.
Unless you are trying to put a strict limit on how much your child can use the phone I would go with a brand that he or she can buy cards for in stores nearby. That way, you give the kid a certain amount each month and anything more is on him or her to fund.