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Choosing an AT&T Prepaid Wireless Plan

AT&T (formerly Cingular) offers two prepaid wireless cell phone plans. Known as the GoPhone plans, these plans allow cell phone users to purchase a cell phone and plan without the need for a credit check, no annual contract and best of all they can choose whether or not they want to be billed monthly.

If you’re thinking of using an AT&T prepaid wireless plan, first check to see if a service plan is offered in your area. Next, analyze your own cell phone use. You must decide what type of user you are and evaluate your cell phone-calling list. In other words, find out which wireless network your friends and family use. As with most wireless cell phone plans, you get the most bang for your buck if the people you call are on the same network as you are.

AT&T has two types of prepaid wireless plans; they offer the pay as you GoPhone plan that allows you to pre pay when ever you need to and a GoPhone pay once a month plan.

Let’s dive a little further into each of the plans.

GoPhone Pay as You Need Plan
AT&T Plans/Fees Unlimited Talk .25/ Minute Plan
Daily Usage Fee* $1 N/A
Rate Per minute .10 .25
Mobile to Mobile
Minutes (within the AT&T
wireless network)
Unlimited .25
Nationwide Long Distance Included Included

*Note: Daily usage fee applies only on the days when you use the phone.

Now that you see the details offered by AT&T’s pay as you need GoPhone option, see how well it fits in with your phone usage and your calling network.

TYPE OF USERAT&T Wireless User

Emergency Calls Only Cell Phone User: If you only use the phone for emergencies, then the .25 per minute plan should work well for you. The .25 applies whether you’re calling a landline or another mobile phone within the AT&T wireless network.

Moderate Cell Phone User: If you use the cell phone for more than just emergencies, but not quite a power user, you will do better using the Unlimited Talk plan. It works out especially well if the people you normally call are on the AT&T network.

Heavy Cell Phone User: If you’re a heavy cell phone user, the only option that makes sense between the two GoPhone plans listed above is the Unlimited Talk plan. However, you should make sure the people you spend your time on the phone with are also on the AT&T network; otherwise you could end up spending a fortune in calls. If you’re really a heavy cell phone user and want to stay within the AT&T wireless prepaid network, it’s time to look at the GoPhone Pick Your Plan option and pay by the month.

Next we’ll take a look at AT&T’s other prepaid plan…GoPhone Pick Your Plan option.

About the author: LaForey is a parent and a freelance writer who has done quite a bit of research on prepaid cell phones.