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Glove Box Phone Lost - Jolt Mobile PAYGO Expiration Slashed to 30 Days

Although unlimited monthly plans and smartphones are the hot tickets in today's prepaid scene, I believe there are still a sizable number of people who want an inexpensive prepaid phone and plan for for very light usage, just a few calls a month. Perhaps as an emergency phone for an elderly parent or a backup phone to keep in their car's glove compartment for emergency use or when traveling in areas where their primary carrier doesn't have coverage.

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:

Best "Glove Box Phone" Prepaid Plans
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
PlatinumTel Real PAYGO Sprint CDMA 3.33** 0.05 0.02 $0.10/MB
Boost Mobile Pay As You Go Sprint CDMA or iDen 3.33 0.20 0.20 0.50/day unlimited
Airvoice $10 Plan AT&T GSM 10.00 0.04 0.02 33¢/MB
Airvoice Pay As You Go AT&T GSM 3.33*** 0.10 0.10 33¢/MB
* After purchasing $100 in T-Mobile refills users are enrolled in the "Gold Rewards" plan where all refills last one year, making the monthly cost as low as $0.83 when purchasing one $10 refill per year.
** 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.


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  1. >Airvoice $10 Plan 10.00/MO

    Also, they offer a true PAYG 10cents/min and .33/mb


    10.00 lasts 90 days

    1. Thanks for reminding me. I've added Air Voice Pay As You Go to the table. Data on that plan is $2/MB not 33¢/MB . The rate is shown on the "How to Use My Features" tab and I've confirmed it with Airvoice customer service.

    2. Others have confirmed it is .33/mb and the site gas not been changed
      Data 33 cents per MB

      Who knows? The site discrepencies are another thing that bothers me.

    3. To reiterate, BOTH of those plans say $2.00/MB in their TOS. So, something is wrong, and I believe it is an error on their site.
      Airvoice $10 Plan Terms Of Service

      Data is measured and billed per KB, at $0.002/KB. There are 1024 KB in one MB of data. So, using one full MB of data will result in a $2.00 data charge
      Airvoice Pay as You Go Terms Of Service

      Data is measured and billed per KB, at $0.002/KB. There are 1024 KB in one MB of data. So, using one full MB of data will result in a $2.00 data charge.

  2. EDIT:

    The only reason I balked is the .33/mb. That could add up very quickly, but it is a lot less that the .99/mb from page plus.

  3. http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1756667-Air-Voice-Wireless-New-10-monthly-plan?p=14747744#post14747744

    I'm thinking about switching my wife's iPhone to this plan since she's a light user. So I called customer service to ask about this discrepancy. The very cute sounding rep acknowledged it was mistake and it actually is 33 cents/MB and not $2. She said that it used to be $2 and that she would tell "them" to correct it.

  4. Just FYI, the $10 plan also says $2.00 in the TOS, and it supposedly an error.


    Data is measured and billed per KB, at $0.002/KB. There are 1024 KB in one MB of data. So, using one full MB of data will result in a $2.00 data charge. A data session consists from the time you access the internet via the mobile device until you terminate the session. Multiple sessions can be initiated within a 24 hour period; each will be charged per KB you use, and billed as separate events.

    1. When I called and asked about the discrepancy I was told that it was 33¢/MB on the $10/month plan and $2/MB on the Pay As You Go ($10 lasts 90 days) plan. If anyone has some actual experiences with either Airvoice plan I'd love to hear about it.

    2. Still trying to get this sorted out. This conversation suggests it is .33/mb on the 10 cent PAYG.
      I had to call again and ask AirVoice customer service to add the data option to the Pay As You Go plan I bought, and when I was adding money to the new account I mistakenly picked the $10/month plan instead of just refilling the account with one of the GSM Nationwide amounts ($10, $20, $30, $50, or $100). The verification call to PrePaid Wireless found my error and a few minutes of fiddling by the customer service rep was enough to get me on the correct prepaid plan. Other than that, everything was done and I was calling and surfing on AirVoice within 30 minutes.
      Did they say if the data is .33/MB, or $2.00/MB. Both prices are on their site and prepaidphonenews.com said today they were told $2.00/MB while members here have called and they were told .33/MB. Both pretty high, $2.00/MB is unconscionable.
      When I called Customer Service to have the data option turned on, the representative told me the data was 33¢/MB. I didn't have to ask, she volunteered that information

  5. Anyone have experience with Fuzion Mobile?


    Their "Flex 100" plan offers what looks like PAYGO GoPhone coverage for as low as $10 for 90 days for 100 Minutes/SMS/MMS/Data. Note that for each day used a daily access fee of "2 Minutes" is deducted (equivalent to $0.40 per day, no?). Note that SMS are equivalent to "1 Minute" each, MMS are "2 Minutes" each, and Data is $2.00 per MB used (equivalent to "20 Minutes" per MB, right?).

    1. Can you imagine? $20 for 10 MB?

    2. That's a crazy price for sure but by no means the highest. Red Pocket and Jolt charge 1¢/KB ($10.24/MB).

      Based on their coverage map Fuzion is another AT&T MVNO. Not really competitive in my book.

      Very little data on the unlimited plans. Also no international calls or call forwarding on any plan. In their TOS they say they will terminate your unlimited service if use more than 5000 minutes in a month. I think that's the unwritten rule on most of the AT&T MVNOs. At least Fuzion is up front about it.

      The 20¢ daily charge on pay as you go is only charged on days when you have a billable even (text, call or data) so it's tolerable for very light usage.

  6. I mean unlimited data at TMO is $30 with unlimited texting a 100 Minutes talk.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Indeed, AT&T MVNO's are paying the carrier $20 a month for 5000 minutes, and unlimited domestic texts a month. Every overage minute is charged at .004 cents a minute, so if you use over 9000 minutes a month its a loser for them. if you are a truly heavy user, and send lots of intl texts, AT&T will be much, much cheaper, for a flat $50 a month, they do not have any restrictions on usage, and you also get free International texts.

  9. So Jolt's the latest to fall? Expect Red Pocket to be affected too. Jolt runs off of them for their monthly plans. Att's apparently been fiddling with their paygo side for both Gophone and mvnos. Sucks.

  10. FYI regarding Airvoice one cirmation of .33/MB


    Yes, I'm on the 10¢ per minute, Pay As You Go plan and I'm paying 33¢ per MB for data.

    I also want to mention the very good customer service at AirVoice. Today I switched my mother's phone to the same plan and we accidentally gave the customer service representative the wrong SIM card number. We didn't catch the error until after we had finished the porting request phone call, so we called back and they happily changed the SIM card number on the order. Never did I wait more than a few seconds to talk to an actual person.

    We then went to the website and bought $100 worth of airtime and within ten minutes everything was working as advertised. The hardest part of the whole process was getting her account number from AT&T—two failed phone calls and fifteen minutes of voice-assisted menu navigation just to get an account number. I couldn't find any way to get this information on the AT&T website, and I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't be there.

    One more thing: Apparently, if you use the correct airtime purchase option on the AirVoice/Prepaid Wireless website (unlike what I tried to do the first time), there is no need for the verification phone call. We added the $100 Airtime option and it took effect almost instantly. (If you buy $100 worth, you get an extra $20 for free and her balance was $120 when it took effect.)

    The $100 purchase also lasts for 365 days and you can use data from that balance without having to recharge a separate data portion monthly as you would on AT&T's PAYG plan.

    1. Thanks, based on this information I've updated the post to show a data price of 33¢/MB on the AV Pay As Yo Go Plan.

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