Who said you cannot save some more bucks from a great deal? My prepaid cell phone company Virgin Mobile is providing a new option that may allow me to save another $50 or more a year.
I have a minimalist's need for cell phone: most of the time I call from company or home (often using hand-free); I only put cell phones in the cars as emergency communication tool, and, in the rare case, calling my wife when I pick her up. My monthly cell phone usage is typically less than 20 minutes.
Earlier this year, I reported I dumped Verizon Wirelss and picked up Virgin Mobile as my cell phone service provider. Virgin Mobile offers a very low-cost pay-as-you-go plan: you only pay 25 cents per minute for the first ten minutes of the day and 10 cents per minute thereafter. the minimal spending requirement is $20 every 90 days. Such a deal is a good match for my usage pattern, and I am still very happy about my choice. As a matter of fact, soon after we bought the second car, I bought another Virgin Mobile phone. (BTW, Virgin Mobile uses Sprint PCS's network, which has nationwide coverage. I don't remember a single reception problem in the past 10 month.)
In the last few months it seems that $20 every 90 days is still more than what I need: I often have $15-25 balance in each phone when I need to add another $20 to meet the 90-day requirement. To my delight, Virgin Mobile just announced the new Annual Guarantee option:
Since you are a Virgin Mobile customer, we are emailing to let you know we have a new service option for your Top-Up needs. As you know, you need to add at least $20 to your account every 90 days - even if you have a balance.
As we are always trying to make life easier for you, Virgin Mobile would like to announce Annual Guarantee. If you add at least $60 to your account by 5/31/05, Virgin Mobile will extend your service for a full year - that's 365 days. The day you reach $60, your account will remain active and you'll keep your phone number for a whole year after that. That means you don't need to Top-Up every 90 days like everyone else. Nice! Remember, you'll still need money in your account to make and receive calls.
Woo! What it means is if I can keep my minimalist's usage, I only need to pay out $60 per phone to enjoy continued service until May 2006 (18 months), which represents 50% savings compared to $20 per 90-day filling or $120 per 18 months. I guess I will use a bit more than $60 (around 240 minutes) in 1.5 years' time, but overall, I expect to save at least $50 a year.
I don't have a referral deal for you to sign up for Virgin Mobile. Nevertheless, if you are in the same boat as me in terms of cell phone usage, I highly recommend you to try it out. Virgin Mobile's tag line is "Live Without A Plan" and this company really fills the bill.