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Thread: Cheapest GSM (T-Mo/ATT) prepaid for low/no usage?

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    Cheapest GSM (T-Mo/ATT) prepaid for low/no usage?

    If I need a backup line for emergency and otherwise would not use it at all or very rarely, what's the cheapest GSM-based (T-Mo or AT&T) prepaid that one can get right now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndroAsc View Post
    If I need a backup line for emergency and otherwise would not use it at all or very rarely, what's the cheapest GSM-based (T-Mo or AT&T) prepaid that one can get right now?
    H2O paygo - $10/90 days. Usage draws from the deposit.

    Truphone uses AT&T in the US. It is $30 to start. $15 of that is paygo deposit. There are no recurring charges. The balance does not expire with some use over 180 days. Sending a 9 cent text counts as use. It requires a carrier unlocked phone.

    Any phone should be used at least once a quarter. Pretty much all phone services have an inactivity suspension or termination.

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    Ebay Red Pocket $2.50/month.

    Sent from my SM-F916U1 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by munkala View Post
    Ebay Red Pocket $2.50/month.

    Sent from my SM-F916U1 using HoFo mobile app
    ^This. Get the T-mo sim with the $30 yearly Ebay plan.

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    truephone, the sim costs $30 but you get $15 credit on the count, that never expires if you use it (I believe) once every 180 days. Outgoing calls and texts are 9c, incoming calls and texts are free https://www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/
    In theory this could last you for many years

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    FreedomPop. Not much is free anymore but you can add a hundred minutes for $2 or it'll add it after 10 minutes is used.
    Check all the fine print but it's probably the cheapest option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
    truephone, the sim costs $30 but you get $15 credit on the count, that never expires if you use it (I believe) once every 180 days. Outgoing calls and texts are 9c, incoming calls and texts are free https://www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/
    In theory this could last you for many years
    In practice it has lasted me seven years. Still going strong with ~$12 balance remaining. I check it about once a month.

    It was my first smartphone service. After a while I decided that I wanted to use cell data. Truphone is 9 cents a MB ($90/GB) so it was not good for cell data use.

    The SIM is now in a cheapo unlocked AT&T Prepaid phone in the car as a backup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    In practice it has lasted me seven years. Still going strong with ~$12 balance remaining. I check it about once a month.

    It was my first smartphone service. After a while I decided that I wanted to use cell data. Truphone is 9 cents a MB ($90/GB) so it was not good for cell data use.

    The SIM is now in a cheapo unlocked AT&T Prepaid phone in the car as a backup.

    Does receiving an incoming text count as usage? I was always curious if the usage had to be and outgoing call/text or if incoming also counted (since incoming was free)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
    Does receiving an incoming text count as usage? I was always curious if the usage had to be and outgoing call/text or if incoming also counted (since incoming was free)
    No it has to be billable use. Free incoming calls and texts don't count. IIRC, they do bill fractional data MB. If you can do something that just uses a few KB they will charge less than 9 cents.

    That said, I have seen several people report that they don't enforce the 180 day use policy as long as your balance is not zero.

    I keep mine for emergency use so I want to have confidence that it will work rather than just hope they haven't suspended or terminated my service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    "The plan you've selected is not available" This is the message I get.

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    I'm seeing that too. Either they are dropping the plan for new customers, or there is an issue with their web site since if I follow the link up, I'm in the postpaid plan area.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current primary phone. Not yet signed up for 5G.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    I'm seeing that too. Either they are dropping the plan for new customers, or there is an issue with their web site since if I follow the link up, I'm in the postpaid plan area.
    according to this - https://www.att.com/support/article/wireless/KM1251744/ they still have the $2 daily plan.

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    you might have to call in to get that $2 plan. I remember a few years back if I tried online with a smart phone it would say I couldn't get it. It was only after I put in the imei of a dumb phone that it allowed me to get it

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