Boost Mobile got its start as an MVNO of the Nextel network, where it gained notoriety for providing walkie talkie service. Nextel eventually bought Boost, and Sprint in turn bought Boost along with Nextel. Now Boost focuses more on Sprint's CDMA network.
Pros: Boost offers a unique promotion for its monthly unlimited customers. For every six consecutive on-time payments, customers pay 5 dollars less per month, for a maximum 15-dollar monthly discount. That can bring a 50 dollar unlimited plan to 35 dollars, or a 55 dollar Android plan to 40 dollars.
Cons: In an attempt to focus on its unlimited offerings, Boost has increased its pay-as-you-go rate to 20 cents per minute. The per-day plans are also expensive, particularly the BlackBerry and Android one, which costs 3 dollars per day.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.10
Boost Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan offers service at 20 cents per minute all day, every day. The pay as you go plan also offers unlimited push to talk for one dollar per day, and wireless web available for 50 cents per day of use. The Boost unlimited plan costs 50 dollars per month and comes with unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text messages, unlimited MMS, unlimited walkie-talkie, and unlimited mobile Web. Android service costs an extra 5 dollars per month, BlackBerry service costs an additional 10 dollars per month. Boost also offers daily unlimited plans, 2 dollars per day for unlimited, 3 dollars for Android and BlackBerry. For every six consecutive on-time payments, Boost reduces a customer's monthly bill by 5 dollars, for up to 15 dollars in total savings per month.
Read more about Boost Mobile plans
Customer Service: Customer service is available by phone (via a toll free number) or email (however, Boost states that email support may take up to 48 hours to respond to).
Free Nights: Available with unlimited plan
Credit Check: None
Free Weekends: Available with unlimited plan
Daily Access Fee: With daily unlimited plans
Payment Options: You can apply extra minutes to your phone via buying a refill card or charging your credit card and can be done by phone, online, at retail locations, certain supported ATMs, or automatically (based on scheduled charges).
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messaging is available on the pay-as-you-go plan at a cost of 20 cents per message to send and receive. Audio and picture messaging are both available for 25 cents, both to send and receive.
Data Plans: Web access is available with the pay-as-you-go plan for 50 cents per day. Mobile Web is included with the unlimited plan.
Downloads: Ringtones, wallpapers, games, applications, etc are available for Boost Mobile phones. Prices vary.
International Calling: Boost has two International Connect plans that allow customers to make overseas calls. The 5 dollar plan includes calls to landlines in over 150 cities in Mexico, unlimited calls to Canada, unlimited outgoing international text messages (CDMA phones only), and unlimited walkie talkie to many countries (iDEN only). The 10 dollar plan adds unlimited calls to landlines in Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru, plus calls to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and other Asian countries. For other countries, rates vary.
Text Messaging Available: Yes
Roaming Charges: There are no roaming charges with Boost Mobile phones.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: Yes
Calling Features: Voicemail, and caller ID are available with the pay-as-you-go and Premium Plus plans. Those features, plus 3-way calling and call waiting are available with Boost Unlimited.
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: Yes
Activation Fee: There is no initial activation fee for new Boost Mobile users. However, there is a 10 dollar re-activation fee if service is terminated (by either the user or Boost Mobile).
Nationwide Long Distance: Long distance calls are charged the same as regular calls.
Unlimited Plan Available: Yes
411 Calls: Yes, for $1.29 per call plus airtime.
Earliest Minute Expiration: You need to recharge your account every 90 days to stay active. If you go inactive you have 60 days to recharge or your account is terminated.
911 Calls: Yes.
Phones: Boost Mobile caters to the younger crowd who want feature-rich phones. As a result, all phones are color screen and have downloadable ringtones, PTT, and speakerphone. Most of the models they offer are also flip phones. In addition, camera, video, and MP3 phones are also available. The prices start at $29.99 and range up to $179.99.
Standard Calling Features: Voicemail, and caller ID are available with the pay-as-you-go and Premium Plus plans. Those features, plus 3-way calling and call waiting are available with Boost Unlimited.
Some Available Cell Models: Motorola i1 (shown)
Cheapest Phone Model: $39.99