No Contract Monthly Plans
plans have also been known as Bucket or Hybrid prepaid
plans were originally introduced to offer greater value to prepaid
customers in comparison to classic Pay
As You Go plans. The term "hybrid" is often used
because this plan type is a
between monthly postpaid plans and prepaid plans. If you're
prepay a larger amount each month (for example $30 to $50 minimum),
wireless carriers are prepared to give you a better value for your
if you simply pay per minute in the pay as you go model.
certain number of included minutes per month, and some other included
The degree and type of these included "other" services changes over
time as the market becomes more competitive, and the cost of delivering
services changes. Interestingly, once the market fell in love
Wireless plans, Monthly
plans pretty much fell out of
popularity, with many carriers dropping them altogether.
However, as the cost for prepaid carriers to support
unlimited plans increased, and they started increasing the monthly
cost, they started to re-introduced this type of monthly hybrid plan.
Why? Because it allows carriers to offer a lower
monthly cost than their unlimited plans, and without the risk
associated with the unlimited model, hybrid wireless plans are actually
more favorable to carriers. That said, keep in mind that most
plans now included unlimited minutes, so Monthly plans are largely a
relic of the past, and is usually used synonymously with Unlimited Wireless
are some common features of these plans
look out for should you come across one of these plans:
of monthly minutes included. Note that
minutes typically do NOT rollover to
month, but look out for that feature just in case.
- After you
run out of your included minutes, you'll be charged a per minute rate.
If you think that you may go over your minutes, be sure to
how much it will cost you after that. Some carriers offer add
ons that you can purchase in the form of an additional bucket of
minutes, though most tend to simply charge a per minute overage fee in
the range of $0.10 to $0.20. Or they require that you
purchase an additional full month of service to reset your service
- Mobile-to-mobile is
sometimes included, which means that you won't use up your bucket of
minutes when calling people that are on the same network.
- Richer plans will also include unlimited services such as:
- Unlimited nights and weekends
- Unlimited text messaging
- Unlimited wireless Web (Though not usually unlimited
data, which is different from Web usage.)
- Unlimited 411
- Unlimited navigation (Not that this is very interesting
if you have a smartphone, as Google Maps is a great free app.)
typically get shut off (i.e. you won't be able to use your phone) if
you miss your monthly payment. So make sure you understand
around what happens when you miss your payment date so you're not
surprised by paying extra fees, or having your service
cancelled resulting in losing your phone number.
Generally speaking, Monthly plans can offer great value if you have a
good understanding of your usage needs, and specifically what's
included in your plan. They are, however, much more
complicated in terms of what's included versus what's not, and what
will cost you extra and when. In the spirit of trying to
offer customers more options and greater flexibility,
carriers ultimately ended up with arguably too much
It's for this reason that people are drawn to unlimited
plans, which aren't always the best value at the end of the day.
So do your homework, pay attention to the details, and you
can find that Monthly plans can save you money in the end.