Home - , , - Virgin Mobile Inner Circle Ends Year of Service For $1 Promo, Cuts iPhone Prices

Virgin Mobile Inner Circle Ends Year of Service For $1 Promo, Cuts iPhone Prices

Sprint's Virgin Mobile announced in June that it was becoming an iPhone-only operator with a single unlimited (almost) everything plan called Inner Circle.  To jump start the transition, Virgin offered a year of Inner Circle service for one dollar to anyone willing to buy a new iPhone from Virgin or the Apple Store.  In July, Virgin made the one dollar , one year promotion to anyone who brought their own iPhone and ported a number to Inner Circle. The year for a dollar promotion was originally supposed to end July 31 but was extended twice, first to August 31 and then to September 29. Although many were expecting another extension, it didn't happen and a year for a dollar is no longer available to new customers.

In place of a year for a dollar, there's now a six months for a dollar a month offer that's only available to customers who either:

  • Port their number from a non-Sprint based operator to Virgin and bring their own iPhone, or; 
  • Buy a full-priced Virgin Mobile iPhone from the Apple Store.

For everyone else, Inner Circle now costs $50/month plus taxes, with auto pay required. The plan includes unlimited on-network voice, messaging and high speed data plus unlimited voice, text and data on some of Sprint's roaming partners (labeled as Extended Coverage on Virgin's coverage map) and 800 roaming minutes and 100 MB of roaming data on other Sprint roaming partners. Inner Circle also includes a Member Benefits reward program that gives customers discounts on purchases from a selection of retailers and travel partners.

The limits on the "unlimited" service include video streaming throttled to force it to 480p quality, audio streams throttled to 500 kbps and gaming to 2 mbps. Customers using more than 23 GB of data in a month are subject to data de-prioritization. Using your phone as a hotspot costs an extra $10/month.

With the end of the dollar a year promotion, Virgin has lowered some of its iPhone prices:

  • The  iPhone SE is now $159.99 for the 32 GB model and $259.99 for the 128 GB version. During the promo the prices were $279.99 and $379.99 respectively.
  • The iPhone 6 32 GB is now $199.99 instead of  $319.99.
  • The pre-owned iPhone 6s prices dropped to $199.99 from $249.99 for the 16 GB and to $249.99 from $279.99 for the 64 GB.
  • There are also $100 price reductions on the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Even with the discounts, you are better off buying a new iPhone SE, 7 and 7 Plus at the Apple Store and getting six months service for $6, a $300 dollar value,  rather than getting a mere $100 (7 and 7+) or $240 (SE) phone discount for Virgin.

In other Inner Circle news, it looks like it will be at least another year before Virgin Mobile is truly iPhone-only.  Virgin is still selling Android phones and feature phones to current customers online, and anyone can buy a new Virgin Mobile Android phone at Target, Best Buy, Amazon or Walmart and activate it online on Virgin's legacy $35 5 GB, $45 10 GB or $60 unlimited Data Love (formerly known as Beyond Talk) plans.

Virgin had originally announced that sales of Android phones would end at national retailers at the end of 2017 and online by mid-2018. But that deadline has apparently been extended. According to a post by the Community Manager of the Virgin Mobile user forum "...we will continue to sell Android phones on our website, through the fall of 2018. We'll support new Android phone purchases for new customers, and upgrades for existing customers, in national retail locations such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target, through the fall of 2018. However, after the fall of 2018, Virgin Mobile will stop selling new Android phones."

Source: Virgin Mobile

27 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Hey.. 6 months for a dollar is still pretty darn good. If I were an iPhone user, I'd jump on this. And, for anyone who is wondering if the optimization on video and gaming make a difference.. In my opinion, when I changed from Boost's $60 completely unoptimized unlimited plan to the $50 optimized one, I never noticed a difference at all. But, that's me. Others may be different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be, if Sprint's network actually covered anything. It doesn't, and thus it isn't. A dollar is still a dollar too much to pay for nothing.

      Delete
    2. @anonymous 1:55, I can feel your optimism flowing..

      Delete
    3. On the bright side, it is expected that the merger with T-Mobile will cause an influx of capital to Sprint so they can buy more string to connect the tin cans that make up their network.

      And they will institute a program to make sure that the Boost storefronts are staffed with ninth grade dropouts instead of the usual sixth and seventh grade dropouts.

      Delete
    4. In my area, Sprint was slowed the least of the four with the onset of unlimited. T-mobile, which had been the only 4K capable carrier, dropped the most. No more 4K for me. Maybe the tin cans are next.

      Delete
    5. I can't imagine Sprint going much slower than the max 3G that I ever saw with it.

      Delete
    6. I'm in a 4G Sprint area, best to avoid the 3G areas.

      Delete
  2. My 19-year old nephew is loving Virgin Mobile. He hit 14 GB of mobile data today, and still has a week left. This pace is 10X more than he was using with his previous carrier. His SE is a LOT faster and takes much better pictures than his old 5S. The free service will pay for his new SE in about 6 months after the sale of the 5S, and then it's all savings until the end of his free year in 9/18.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So buying an iPhone from Virgin doesn't qualify you for 6 month promo anymore?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Autopay with any prepaid carrier is a high risk so register for autopay with a prepaid debit card. The best part of being a virgin mobile customer is that their prepaid cards are available in most places and can be paid with cash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must live in a very sheltered world if that's high risk.

      Delete
    2. "The best part of being a virgin mobile customer is that their prepaid cards are available in most places"

      The bad thing about being a virgin mobile customer is that their network isn't available in most places.

      Delete
  5. Autopay is required for Inner Circle so hard cards won't work.

    I don't consider auto pay using a credit card with a reputable mobile carrier like Sprint/Virgin to be any riskier than using your card at a supermarket or Best Buy, Walmart etc.

    The real risk for credit card fraud is at restaurants and bars where they take the card out of your sight. In 30+ years of using cards for most purchases there have been only three unauthorized charges on my cards, all of which occurred when after a waiter took my card and all three were handled by my bank with no financial loss to me. You are safer using a credit card than using cash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prepaid customers in high density populated areas usually take mass transit to an area where there are check cashing services on the same block as prepaid phone services storefronts. These customers do not have credit or debit cards they only have cash to pay and can not take advantage of autopay. Many of Virgin Mobile customers were not able to buy iphones or use autopay and they will merge with Boost Mobile next year and continue to cash their checks and pay with cash

      Delete
    2. @Anon 10:08
      Proof? Or is that just coming out of your ass

      Delete
    3. Proof? Anonymous at 11:32pm are you a prosecuter?. Go to any area as described earlier and stand in line behind prepaid customers paying their upcoming month of service after you stand in line at the check cashing stores there is your proof next witness

      Delete
    4. All across the USA non english speaking day laborers are paid in cash and buy only prepaid phones and service with cash

      Delete
    5. Lots of English speaking workers are paid in cash too. Millions of them. Cash is King.

      Delete
  6. Still too much for a 4" display...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Didn't bite for $600 worth of service, but definitely not interested in only $300 worth of service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If one were to purchase a iPhone SE from Virgin (I happen to like the $259.99 price on the 128 GB version), how long would one have to wait to be able to unlock?
    I was able to find the following and it appears 3 months?

    http://www.virginmobile.ca/en/support/faq.html?q=unlocking-your-phone&province=ON&geoResult=failed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your link is to Virgin Mobile Canada. It looks like Virgin Mobile USA will unlock Inner Circle iPhones with no waiting period. See Solved: Unlock iPhone - Inner Circle - Virgin Mobile Community

      Delete
    2. IDK about this, Dennis. their official policy requires 12 months: https://www.virginmobileusa.com/legal#unlocking (search page for General Eligibility for Unlocking)

      Delete
    3. That's the policy for Virgin's legacy Data Love plans. Inner Circle is different, phones can be unlocked. See Solved: Re: Inner Circle iPhone 7 Plus locked or unlocked?... - Page 5 - Virgin Mobile Community;

      "we can unlock your phone if you are an Inner Circle member, anytime after your first 14 days of service. Simply reach out to us via FB or Twitter."

      Delete
  9. Thank you for the assistance. Enjoy browsing the site while patiently shopping for a prepaid phone.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Too bad they keep saying my unlocked but Sprint compatible model iPhone is ineligible! It's probably FreedomPop's fault though as they probably still haven't released my ESN.

    ReplyDelete
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