Researching cell phone plans

We have been very fortunate to have been able to get by with prepaid cell phone plans for the past 7 years in my family.  We are grandfathered into the Virgin Mobile Pay as You Go plan at 18 cents a minute (no longer available).  At the minimum, we needed to add $20 into our accounts every three months in order to keep our accounts active which amounts to $80 for our cell phone bills per year.  Of course, there were times we needed to add money because our accounts were low but we’ve been able to keep our cell phone bills to perhaps less than $200year with our pay as you go plans.  Of course, if you sent us a text message we may have not responded over the last 7 years.  The funny story I have about my cheap prepaid cell phone is from a little over 3 years ago.  I was in the hospital and had given birth to our second child and I could not access the internet from the hospital room.  I wanted to send out a text messsage announcing that our second child was born, but I was unable to do so because we have the type of flip phone with numbers only and it was taking too long to text out a message.

 We are in search of  one new cell phone and a new cell phone plan, which includes data and texting.  I have been trying to do research to find out what the best deals out there are, but also trying to find out what kind of coverage is available in central Indianapolis.   What type of cell phone do you have and what type of plan?  What tips do you have for saving money on cell phones and plans?  I’ll be researching the best deals and of course share them here.  We are leaning towards keeping Virgin Mobile because their data plans with no contract are so reasonably priced.  For example, there is a plan for $35 a month with unlimited data and 300 minutes of talk time.  They have a plan specifically with their IPhone and if you provide a credit card to automatically be billed every month, it reduces your bill to $30/month.  There is no contract required, but their phones are more expensive upfront.  They do use the Sprint Towers and I do worry about coverage as it seems Verizon has a more reliable network.  What cell phone plan do you have, what do you pay for your monthly service, and which cell phone plans have you been unhappy with? 

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