Net10, a division of America Movil's Tracfone, launched as a simple pay-as-you go service in 2005. It has since evolved to offer various plan options.
Pros: There are many different options, including family plans, that can meet nearly any user's needs.
Cons: Net10 has yet to offer high-end phones. They also charge the same 10 cents on nights and weekends, while many other carriers offer free minutes during those hours.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.066 to $0.10
Net10 offers three tiers of service. Their 30-day monthly plans provide various options. The 200-minute plan costs 15 dollars, the 500 minute plan costs 30 dollars, and the 750 minute plan costs 25 dollars. They also offer two unlimited talk, text, and data plans. The basic one costs 50 dollars per month, or 45 dollars per month for customers who choose auto-refill. The plan that includes unlimited international calls costs 65 dollars per month, or 60 for auto-refill customers. The pay-as-you-go rates depend on the refill card you choose. The 20 dollar card has 200 minutes, the 30 dollar card has 300 minutes, the 45 dollar card has 600 minutes, the 60 dollar card has 900 minutes, and the 100 dollar card has 1500 minutes. Finally, Net10 offers family plans that include unlimited talk, text, and data. Two people cost 90 dollars per month, three people cost 130 dollars, and four people cost 170 dollars. Each plan costs 5 dollars less per month if auto-refill is enabled.
Read more about Net10 plans
Customer Service: Customer service is available from Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET via a toll free number or via an email contact form on the official Net10 website.
Free Nights: No
Credit Check: No
Free Weekends: No
Daily Access Fee: No
Payment Options: You can pay for your Net10 airtime by phone, online or via any authorized retailer.
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messaging is available for 5 cents per message sent or received, which is deducted from your minutes account. MMS counts as data
Data Plans: Mobile Web can be accessed through Net10 for 1 minute per minute of time spent browsing.
Downloads: Net10 does offer a variety of downloadables such as ringtones, graphics, news, weather and sports. However, note that not all phones are capable of utilizing these features.
International Calling: International calling is available, but requires a special International service to be activated by calling customer service. See their website or call customer service for rates to specific countries.
Text Messaging Available: Yes
Roaming Charges: There is no additional charge for roaming with Net10.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: Yes
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: No
Activation Fee: There is no fee to activate your Net10 phone.
Nationwide Long Distance: Net10 prepaid wireless includes nationwide long distance in all of their calling plans. Calls made within the United States are charged regular airtime rates.
Unlimited Plan Available: Yes
411 Calls: Directory assistance is available and you are only charged normal airtime to make 411 calls.
Earliest Minute Expiration: Net 10 minutes expire at various times, depending on which card you activate. The 20 dollar card lasts for 30 days. The 30 dollar card last for 60 days. The 45 dollar card lasts for 60 days. The 60 dollar card lasts for 90 days. The 100 dollar card lasts for 180 days. Each time you add minutes to your phone, The new expiration date is added to the old and all minutes expire at the later date.
911 Calls: Yes
Phones: All phones offered by Net10 have color screens and starts as low as $19.99. Many phones include free minutes. Flip phones, phones that play games and camera phones are available. The phones offered by Net10 lean very heavily towards the Motorola brands, and generally are not very expensive.
Standard Calling Features: All plans include voicemail, call waiting and caller ID at no extra charge.
Some Available Cell Models: LG 900G (shown)
Cheapest Phone Model: $19.99