Friday, February 5, 2010

Switching from Verizon to Virgin Mobile

Saving money for travel often means saving money in general, so I'm always on the lookout for how to cut my bills.  One recent way I've done that is to stop using Verizon and go to a prepay plan.

Why? The StraightTalk deal is just too good.

Firstly, I am out of the country several months a year. When I turned off my Verizon account during these times, they charged me $15 to do so each time. With a prepay plan, I only pay for the time I want and not get charged to not use my phone for the large chunks of time I'm out of the country.

Secondly,  it's just so damn cheap!

I had one lowest available plans from Verizon, one that wasn't even posted on its site but which I had to ask for over the phone: 100 Anytime minutes for $25. But with a text message plan, taxes and fees, I was still paying almost $50 a month and was constantly at risk of going over my minutes.

The StraightTalk plan? $30 for 1000 minutes, 1000 text message and 30MB of data usage every 30 days. In other words, I am now getting a lot more for less money and since it uses Verizon's network, I get the same level of coverage.

The trick was that I had to buy a StraightTalk phone. I bought one of the cheapest from (and even got a discount by going through's cashback store), which came to $40. The phone is a severe step down from my LG Dare, but I found I wasn't using most of the Dare's features, making it an expensive toy not worth having and one that I was constantly worried about having stolen (I live in the South Bronx).  I should be able to sell the LG Dare on eBay for about $160 and pocket the difference.

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