Q:

What are some pay-as-you-go cell phone providers?

A:

Quick Answer

TracFone, T-Mobile, Verizon and Virgin Mobile offer pay-as-you-go plans for cellphone services. Most pay-as-you-go plans require the purchase of a specified number of service days, and then users put money on the phone's account which is then charged for calls, texts and data usage.

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Full Answer

Typically customers can use conventional cellphones or smartphones as long as they are compatible with the provider's network. All pay-as-you-go phones require a service plan that makes the phone and phone number active for a period of time and then the purchase of minutes or data to be used.

Tracfone has service day plans from 30 days to a year. The service day purchase usually comes with a limited number of airtime minutes. Additional airtime can be purchased in a variety of increments and can be used for talk or text messaging. Text messaging and data only refill cards are also available.

T-mobile operates in much the same way but allows those who foresee heavy usage periods to purchase unlimited talk and text services for seven days or unlimited data in one-day or one-week parcels. Verizon does not require a service period but instead lets users purchase service only on the days they want to use the phone.

Virgin Mobile sells basic service day plans with a few usage minutes included designed to fit usage needs. They have additional top-off cards that allow users to add to their service in small increments to fill out usage needs for the month.

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