There used to be lots of prepaid carriers that catered to this "Glove box Phone" market with plans that you could keep active for a few dollars a month. But lately, several carriers have slashed their pay as you go airtime expiration, raising the minimum monthly cost for light users. The latest to do so is AT&T MVNO Jolt Mobile.
Jolt used to have a great glove box phone plan. A $10 refill every 90 days was all it took to keep the plan active. Voice minutes and texts were a reasonable 10¢ each. That has changed, the $10 refill now only lasts 30 days. The only way to get a lower monthly price is with a $100 top up which lasts a full year ($8.33/month). Minutes and texts are still 10¢. Jolt offers data but at 1¢/KB $10.24/MB you certainly don't want to use much of it.
Jolt does have some good things going for it including online call records, good international voice rates, very good support (when I called to confirm this change, a live representative picked up on the first ring and answered my questions immediately). Jolt's monthly unlimited plans at $40/month for voice and text only, $50 with 250 MB of data and $60 with 2 GB;are very competitive. But for light use pay as you go there are better choices. Here are my recommendations:
|Operator||Plan or Package||Network||Technology||Monthly Cost||Voice min.||SMS||Data|
|T-Mobile||Pay As You Go||T-Mobile||GSM||$0.83-3.33*||0.10-0.33||0.10||none|
|Page Plus||Standard Rate Plan||Verizon||CDMA||2.50**||0.04-0.10||0.05||$0.99/MB|
|Boost Mobile||Pay As You Go||Sprint||CDMA or iDen||3.33||0.20||0.20||0.50/day unlimited|
|Airvoice||Pay As You Go||AT&T||GSM||3.33***||0.10||0.10||33¢/MB|
** Page Plus and PlatinumTel deduct a 50¢ maintenance fee from your balance each month.
*** Airvoice deducts a $1 maintenance fee from your balance each month on the Pay As You Go Plan.