For a person that has a low cell phone usage, or needs a cell phone for a short time, pay as you go plans may be the way to go. There is no requirement to give social security number, submit to a credit check or sign for a yearly commitment. The price per minute is higher than contract phones, but these phones are intended for emergency use, people unable to get contract phones, or low use applications. The phones can be cheap, or one can get a touch screen, android or smart phone with all the applications. These phones offer services such as texting, voicemail, and international capabilities.

Add time by entering a code over the phone or internet. Most major phone providers have a version of the prepaid plan. When the purchased minutes are used up, there is no obligation to continue the service. Most require time added every three months to keep the phone active. Most have a no contract plan to add minutes.

Boost Mobile

Boost i855 Motorola walkie talkie cell phone.Credit: Motorola and Booset.

Boost's basic pay-as-you go plan is .10 cents a minute. Boost Mobil also has a no contract, flat 50 dollar fee for unlimited voice, text, wireless web surfing and multimedia messages. It also uses the push to talk feature of Sprint/Nextel to use the phone as a walkie talkie between other Sprint/Nextel users. The five phones available to Boost customers are all Motorola. They feature a choice of basic, android and Blackberry phones.

TracFone

LG800G cell phoneCredit: LG and TracFone

Tracfone offers phones made by Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Nokia. Prices for the phones range from Ten dollars to under two hundred depending on the features. Time is sold in unit blocks. One unit is equal to one minute. Price ranges from 13 cents a minute up. TracFone rents network space from other providers which gives it full coverage. TracFone also offers a no contract to automatically add minutes. TracFone is a subsidiary of Mexican América Móvil.

Net 10

Net 10 LG 500 GCredit: LG and Net 10

Net 10 offers phones by Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Nokia. Net 10 also offers business plans in addition to a flat rate for voice of 10 cents a minute. It also has a automatic plan to add minutes.


With no contract phones, extras are expensive. For people that don't use cell phones much, children and teenagers, they may be the perfect phone for them. If the time isn't used up in three months, the company will discontinue the service. If additional time is purchased, the minutes are added to the unused minutes.

No contract pay-as-you go phones aren't for everybody, but they can be cheap, disposable, and able to fill the cell phone needs for some people.