Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Looking to save money on your monthly cellphone bill? Don’t pay big bucks to a contract wireless carrier. I want to let you know about a few of your other low-cost, no-contract options.
A deal I first told you about back in April from Metro PCS has been extended. It’s a $25 per month offer for unlimited calling and unlimited texting. That works out to be $300 annually — including all taxes and regulatory fees —making it among the lowest price points of this type in the country.
There are only a handful of phones you can use on the plan: the Kyocera Presto, Huawei Pinnacle, Samsung Contour, LG Select, Huawei M735 Blue, LG Beacon or Samsung Freeform III. All phones are priced $49-$69 (plus a $10 activation fee.)
This offer works best in Metro’s home markets — which includes most of metro Atlanta. Though when you travel, they buy coverage for you from other cellphone carriers. But it’s really based on your home market. Visit MetroPCS.com to see what kind of coverage you can get.
The $25 offer is active through Aug. 31, but you can remain on the plan as long as you like if you abide by its terms.
Meanwhile, there’s a more experimental deal from a company called Republic Wireless.
For $19 per month, Republic Wireless customers get unlimited calling, texting, email and web on a Motorola DEFY XT — all with no contract. Of course, the no-contract part means you pay the full retail price of $249 for the phone (plus a $29 activation fee.)
This is an invitation-only service, so visit Republic Wireless.com to sign up as a beta tester. With junk fees, the Republic offer works out to be about $21 a month, making it the absolute cheapest plan for this kind of service.
-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.