July 13, 2011

AT&T Prepaid Plans

AT&T has recently revamped their prepaid plans again! They've gotten simpler and more competetive. The $60 plan and the $75 plan have both been replaced by the $50 plan (unlimited talk, text, and web)! Below is the offering of current rate plans...

  1. The new simple prepaid AT&T plan
  2. The $2 per day unlimited talk and text AT&T prepaid plan
  3. The $50 per month unlimited talk, text, and web AT&T prepaid plan

The New Simple AT&T Prepaid Plan

This pre-paid plan is incredibly easy to explain; that's why it's called the simple plan. How does it work? Every call cost you 10¢ per minute. So, let's say you start off with a balance of $0 and then add $15 to your prepaid account using a AT&T prepaid refill card or your debit card or credit card. You now have a balance of $15. Now, let's say that you make one call lasting one minute or less. That call will cost you 10¢, and you will now have a balance of $14.90. Like all of AT&T's prepaid plans, it is a national plan, which means that you are charged the same rate for long-distance and local calls as well as for calls in your home area or calls you make while traveling across the country.

Who is it best for? AT&T's simple prepaid plan is best for people who don't use the phone very much or for people who use their phone more for messaging rather than for calling as you can add one of three different messaging packages to this rate plan. I hardly ever use my phone, and this is the rate plan that I am on.

The old simple rate plan The old AT&T simple prepaid plan cost 25¢ per minute. So, it's definitely worth your while if you're on the old simple rate plan to call in and get switched to the new simple rate plan.


The $2 per Day Unlimited Talk and Text AT&T Prepaid Plan

With this AT&T prepaid plan, the first call or message of the day will initiate a two dollar charge off of your prepaid account balance.

Who is this plan best for? If used every day, this plan costs $60 to $62 per month. So, people who use their phone every day are better off on the $50 plan. In fact, you would need to use the phone 24 days or less per month on average for this plan to make sense. In other words, if you, on average, don't use your phone more than 3 weeks out of the month, then this is a good plan for you.

There's another group of people that this plan is good for, and that's people who either can't or don't want to lay out $50 for their phone service all at once.

What counts as the first call or message of the day? If you call someone, that will count as the first call of the day. If someone calls you, and you answer the call, that will count as the first call of the day. If someone calls you and you do not answer the call, that will NOT count as the first call of the day. However, if that person leaves you a voicemail message and you call voice mail to check that message, your call to voicemail WOULD count as the first call of the day.

If you SEND a text message or a multimedia message to someone, then that would count as the first message of the day. However, if you RECEIVE a text message or a multimedia message from someone, that will NOT count as the first message of the day.

You only get charged the $2 daily fee once per day and only on days that you either make a call, receive a call which you answer, or send a text message or multimedia message. So, if you play your cards right you may not be charged the $2 daily fee every single day.

The fee buys service till midnight, not 24 hrs of service. Okay, technically, it buys service until 11:59:59 PM. Midnight starts the next day. Anyways, once the $2 daily fee has been charged off of your account for the day, all calls and messages are free for the rest of that day. So, if you get charged the $2 daily fee at midnight, then you will enjoy a full 24 hours of unlimited calling and messaging. However, if you get charged the $2 daily fee at 10 PM, then you will enjoy only two hours of unlimited calling and messaging.

How much does it cost per month? On a monthly basis, if you're the sort of person who calls or messages every single day, this plan will end up costing you $60 to $62 per month (depending on whether the month has 30 or 31 days). For people who don't use the phone every single day, then obviously it will cost them even less per month.

Other stuff. You can refill the $2 per day plan with any available refill amount. For example, you can add a $15 refill card, and it will buy you 14 days of unlimited talk and messaging (provided that you don't access the Internet, purchase a ring tone or wallpaper, or have any other charges that reduce your balance).


The $50 per Month Unlimited Talk, Text and Web AT&T Prepaid Plan

This rate plan gives you unlimited calling, messaging (sms and mms) and data usage for $50 per month. This is AT&T's best prepaid plan so far.

Smartphones need a data package on this plan. If you have a smartphone, you cannot access the internet on this plan and must purchase one of the 3 data packages they offer. But, please, note that iPhones and 4G phones will NOT be able to access the internet even with a data package. Blackberries usually cannot, but some can. iPhones, 4G devices, and Blackberries all require special data packages only available to contract customers...they are not available on prepaid.

Some snags. For most people, this rate plan runs quite smoothly, but there are a few things that can cause a snag. The most common problem is any unexpected charges that could cause your balance to fall below $50 when the plan tries to renew itself—like 911 fees, subscription charges, purchases of ring tones, games or graphics, etc.

Low coverage / service outages. This may be the biggest drawback (to any monthly prepaid plan). You've prepaid for your service, but if there is, say, an outage that lasts a week in your area, then you're out roughly $12 to $13 worth of service that you've already paid for.

Also, if you're in a low-coverage area such that you have to drive away from your house to get service, then you may not like this plan as you pay for service every day whether you use it or not.


The $60 per Month Unlimited Talk and Text AT&T Prepaid Plan

This rate plan offered unlimited talk and messaging for $60 per month. It has been discontinued and has been replaced with the $50 unlimited talk, text, and web plan.


The $75 per Month Unlimited Talk and Text + 200 MB AT&T Prepaid Plan (DISCONTINUED!)

This rate plan offered unlimited calling, messaging, and 200 MB of data for $75 per month. It has been discontinued and has been replaced with the $50 unlimited talk, text, and web plan.

6 comments:

  1. I recommend Straight Talk instead of the above. They have cool phones, and great prices. I only pay $45 a month for unlimited data, texts, and minutes. I am giving my parents one for the holidays too. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI40Fqglgys

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  2. I Need some clarification about $2 plan. What I heard is if I receive a text message (first time a day), then that text messege is a candidate of $2. But you can turn off that feature else you end up lot of ads messages.

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  3. From at&t's website (scroll down and click on the "Plan Terms" tab and then scroll down to the heading "Daily Unlimited Talk & Text Plan.", I've got the quote below...

    The rate plan charge for the Unlimited Daily Talk & Text plan is assessed each day you use your phone to make or receive voice calls, including a call to voice mailbox, use IM or send a text or picture/video/sound message.

    I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that sending a message can initiate the daily fee, but receiving one cannot.

    Hope that helps.

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  4. How can you stop from accidently connecting to the web and using up your money I am considering buying the 2 dollar a day phone for my daughter and do not want her on the web. just want her to be able to call and receive calls.
    Thanks Jan

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  5. @Jan,

    The only thing I can think of is to use a smartphone as smartphones cannot access the internet on AT&T's prepaid service w/o a data pkg. The LG Thrive would be about the cheapest NEW smartphone you can get for AT&T service right now.

    For non-smartphones, the best bet is either to go with AT&T's $50 plan, which includes unlimited internet for non-smartphones, OR just really monitor data usage carefully OR buy data packages.

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  6. I am trying to find the best office telephone system for my small business.Please suggest me something.

    ReplyDelete

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