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How Cricket PAYGo Cell Phone Charges Work

(This is the second of a two part overview of Cricket PAYGo prepaid cell phones. If you missed the first part, you can read it here: Cricket PAYGo Prepaid Cell Phone Plan )

Anytime you use your Cricket PAYGo phone for making/answering a call, sending a text message, checking voice mail, browsing mobile web or calling 411 you initiate your daily charge. Once the daily charge is initiated you have until 12:00 AM Pacific time to use the phone for the day. Once you go beyond 12:00 AM another day’s charge is initiated.

Therefore, if you get a lot of wrong numbers or solicitations, you should utilize the caller ID feature before answering the phone. Answering a wrong number will initiate your daily charge.

There’s no charge for calling Cricket Customer care or for adding time to your PAYGo plan.

Adding Air Time to Cricket PAYGoCricket MSGM8

Cricket uses the cute phrase “Top-up” to add airtime. As with most prepaid cell phone services, Cricket requires you to purchase time to extend your service. The one thing that is convenient with them is that the top-up increments are as small as any whole dollar amount you can afford and up. For example, if you are about to run out of airtime and you only have $5 to spare, you can top-up your account for $5. How long that $5 extends your service time depends on your current balance and how much service time you had remaining.

It’s convenient for folks who want to bridge the service between their expiration date and their next paycheck. After all, if service is about to expire on Wednesday and you get paid on Friday, adding $3 to your PAYGo will keep it going until payday. At that time you can add $15 or more if you wish.

If you add less than $15 your service is extended one day for each dollar so $3 will buy you three days of service. However, if you buy more time coverage is extended longer.

$15 to $29.99 will extend your PAYGo service by 30 days and $30 or more will extend it for 60 days. If you let your account expire you lose not only phone service but any funds you had on the account. If you don’t top-up within 60 days you’ll lose your phone number and your account will be canceled.

How to Top-Up

You can purchase a Cricket top-up card from participating locations. After purchasing the card you follow the instructions on the card to add additional time. Or, you can add time via your Cricket phone. Use *PAY (*729). Dial *PAY and follow the instructions.

You can also go to a PAYGo location and add time by using a credit/debit card or cash.  Unfortunately, as of this writing, Cricket doesn’t provide online top-up access for PAYGo accounts.

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