If you’re a cellphone user living in the United States, you most likely have given your soul to one of the big four cellphone service providers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. For the most part, when people get a new cellphone, they sign up for a new two year contract. That’s all nice and good if you can afford to pay the same amount every month for the next two years, but for those of us that are very poor (read: me), you need something off-contract.
Having an off-contract plan is a bit different compared to the normal contract. You can quit whenever you want, there’s no fees for doing it either. Most of the time, the only downfall is that you pay full price for the phones that you want.
Now, where do you even start? First of all, most carriers (including the big four) provide a pay-per-month plan where you aren’t in a contract, but they are still somewhat expensive when compared to other smaller service providers.
I’ll talk about three mobile service providers who offer no-contract plans that are cheap for even the stingiest of folk.
The first is Ting. Ting, like most of the carriers on this list, offer a mix between buying phones on their site or bringing your own device. Ting is different in that it offers its customers the option to mix and match its minutes, messages, and data plans. With Ting, you use what you need and just pay for what your used at the end of the month.
Next up, is Republic Wireless. Republic offers only two phones, the Moto X and Moto G. Both are great phones, especially the Moto X, which allows a great amount of customization to the hardware before you buy! As far as plans go, they’re not bad. From the bare bones $5/month plan to the 4G Data plan for $40/month. What’s nice about Republic is that you there are no roaming charges and for those of us that may use more than the normal amount included in regular plans, they offer the ability to change your plan twice a month.
FreedomPop, the last on our list, is probably the most interesting of the bunch. Offering “100% free mobile phone and high speed internet service,” FreedomPop is the cheap carrier for the people. The carrier offers a base plan of $0/month with 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages, and 500MB of data. Even the pay plans offer probably the cheapest price around for a cellphone.
The coverage on most of these carriers is similar, but make sure you check each individual site to see if you can get that sweet off-contract connection.
There are countless other carriers out there that can offer you a price, this list is definitely not a complete one, just the most interesting (in my opinion). Make sure you look around before deciding!