Boost Mobile users are posting on Facebook and Howard Forums that they received text messages saying that the Boost Mobile Pay As You Go plan is being discontinued.
Effective September 26, 2013 users will not be able to switch to Pay As You Go from another plan or activate a new account on Pay As You Go.
Anyone on Pay As You Go before Sept 26 is grandfathered and will be able to keep their plan and rates as long as they keep their account active and don't change plans. Grandfathered users will still be able to change phones to a different Pay As You Go approved feature phone without losing their grandfathered plan.
Pay As you Go was Boost's first product when the service launched in 2001 and for many years it was the only plan offered. Sprint has been moving away from pay as you go for a long time, first by making the plan hard to find on the Boost Web Site, and than doubling rates to 20¢/minute or text in October, 2011.
Although Boost Pay As You Go wasn't a very good value after the price hike I'm still sorry to see it go. With a minimum payment of only $10 every 90 days and thousands of convenient stores across the country accepting cash payments I'm sure it was a communications lifeline for many unbanked poor.
Pay as you go is the purest form of prepaid and is a good choice for anyone who uses less than about 300 minutes and texts month and doesn't like paying for more service than they need. Fortunately their are sill a number of good pay as you go options still available. Here's a table comparing my favorites.
|Operator||Plan or Package||Network||Phones||Minimum Monthly Cost||Voice min.||SMS||Data|
|T-Mobile||Pay As You Go||T-Mobile||T-Mobile or Unlocked GSM||83¢-$3.33 1||10-33¢||10¢||none|
|Lycamobile||Pay As YouGo||T-Mobile||Unlocked GSM||0.7¢ 4||2¢||4¢||6¢/MB|
|Page Plus||Pay As You Go||Verizon||Most CDMA||$2.50 2||4-10¢||5¢||99¢/MB|
|Airvoice||Pay As You Go||AT&T||AT&T or unlocked GSM||$3.33 3||8-10¢||10¢||6¢/MB|
|PTel||Real PayGo||T-Mobile||T-Mobile or unlocked GSM||$5.00||5¢||2¢||10¢/MB|
|Tracfone||TracFone||T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T||Tracfone||$6.67||4.4¢ - 33¢||1.5-11¢||6.6-50¢/KB|
|AT&T||Pay As You Go||AT&T||AT&T or unlocked GSM||$8.33||10¢||20¢||1¢/per 5KB (non-smart phones only|
|Airvoice||$10 Plan||AT&T||AT&T or unlocked GSM||$10.00||4¢||2¢||6¢/MB|
|EcoMobile||Pay As You Go||Sprint||Most CDMA||$10.00||5¢||2¢||10¢/MB|
|Verizon||Pay As You Go||Verizon||Verizon non-smartphones||$10.00||25¢||20¢||99¢/day|
2 Page Plus deducts a 50¢ maintenance fee from your balance each month.
3 Airvoice deducts a $1 maintenance/e911 fee from your balance each month.
4 Lyca's minimum top-up is $10. Funds do not expire but you must make a voice call, or send a message or use data or purchase a top-up at least every 90 days to retain service. The 0.7¢ minimum monthly cost is based on a one minute, 2¢ call every 90 days.
Updated Aug 24: 2:15 PM with confirmation that pay as you go availability ends Sept. 26 and that current users are grandfathered as long as they don't change plans.
Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: Boost Mobile