Prepaid cell phone in the US?
October 19, 2010 9:53 AM Subscribe
Looking for a prepaid phone in the US.
posted by reductiondesign to technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm friends with a foreign exchange student who's studying here in the US, and he doesn't have a phone. I'd like to get him one, but I don't know how prepaid phones work.
I'd like something cheap. A candybar phone with a monochrome screen is fine; he'll only have it until March or April. (If it supports Japanese characters, that's a plus, but I doubt that's likely.) If it's a GSM phone, I could get it back from him afterwards and keep it as a backup, which would be a neat bonus.
I want a setup where he can go to a Walmart, buy a card, and put minutes on the phone that way. No bills, no monthly payments, etc. Texting would be nice, but I'd want it to just pull money from the phone's balance each time.
If there's any way to do data on a pre-paid plan, I'd love to hear about it, but I don't exactly want to spring for a smartphone.
I'm on AT&T, so I'm wondering if their prepaid phones have free mobile-to-mobile minutes like monthly plans do.
Finally, this is in Phoenix, so coverage between carriers isn't that much of an issue, I don't think. (I'm wary of a carrier like Virgin Mobile for this reason, though.)