Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If you’re not obsessed with smartphones, there are some new cheaper options for unlimited talk and text service that could lower your cell phone bill by a substantial amount.
We’re at a stage in the wireless industry where the price points are spreading out by huge amounts. AT&T and Verizon, for example, are imposing high costs on data plans for their smartphone customers. It’s not uncommon for someone to spend $2,000 a year on their cell plan with these carriers.
At the other extreme, folks who just want simple feature phones that don’t do web surfing are finding some real deals in the marketplace.
Metro PCS has a new no-contract plan that’s $25/month for unlimited calling and unlimited texting. That’s $300 annually, including all taxes and regulatory fees.
There are only three phones you can use on the plan, priced at $39, $49 and $59 (plus a $10 activation fee). This offer is only available through June 30, though you can remain on the plan as long as you abide by the terms. Visit MetroPCS.com for more details.
Why such a deal? The Metro PCS network is strained for data but has capacity for calling and texting.
Boost Mobile has lowered prices on its unlimited talk and text plans. You start out paying $45/month, but your bill drops $5 for every six months you’re a customer. The lowest bill you can have from Boost is $30. Visit Boost Mobile.com for more details.
Then there are players like StraightTalk.com and PagePlusCellular.com, which both offer fairly generous amounts of calling and texting minutes (with some data) for $30/month. Between $25 and $30 is the new sweet spot if you don’t want an Android or iPhone and you just want simple calling and texting.
-by Clark Howard, Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs
Find more answers to your consumer questions at ClarkHoward.com. Listen to his radio show live 1-3 p.m. Monday through Friday on WSB 750 AM and 95.5 FM.