1 - Plans & Phones
Boost Mobile fits the bill if you're looking for an affordable unlimited everything plan that costs less the longer you're on it. . They also have pay-as-you-go and daily plans but their main attraction is the bill that shrinks.
Coverage is provided by Sprint, so their coverage should be the same. To check out yours, go to the Coverage Map and enter your zip code to see the coverage in your area.
When you first go to their plans page, it seems as though they only have unlimited plans, but when you select "All Plans" you see a tab for their Pay as You Go prepaid plan.
So you have a choice between the PayGo plans, daily unlimited plans, and monthly unlimited plans.
The PayGo plan is actually pretty expensive.
All domestic calls cost 20 cents per minute all the time, i.e. on days, nights and weekends. They had dropped this rate down to 10 cents per minute, but they've raised it back up again. Text messages also cost 20 cents each (!) to send and receive.
The one good thing about this plan is that web usage costs just 50 cents per day which does limit the damage if you do a lot of web-surfing on your phone.
Other parts of this plan are unlimited walkie-talkie usage for $1.00 a day on the days that you use it. If you never use it, you can have this deactivated.
MMS (picture and audio) messages are 25 cents to send and receive.
There's a $5 International Connect package for unlimited texting to international numbers plus unlimited calling to Mexico. There's also a $10 International package for unlimited calling to over 30 countries (check which ones first before you sign up).
If you don't use the web or walkie-talkie service, then 1000 minutes or messages a year would cost you $200.
If you want the web, then add about $180 to that or at least $380 for the year.
For $2 a day, you get unlimited everything (except international stuff) on all phones except for Blackberry phones. So it's $2 per day for unlimited talk, text, web, walkie talkie etc.
For Blackberry phones, the same unlimited features cost $3 per day.
Note: The daily charge is deducted every day whether you use the phone or not.
Therefore, this plan is NOT like the $2 a day plans from Verizon or AT&T.
$2 a day works out to $730 a year.
$3 a day works out to $1095 a year.
So this plan is not really worth it compared to the monthly unlimited plans unless you plan to switch back and forth between the daily and pay as you go plans.
For $50 a month, you get unlimited everything - talk, text, and web on regular phones. For Android phones, the cost is $55 per month, and for Blackberry phones, it's $60 per month.
Your bill goes down steadily with on-time payments. You can reduce your cost to about $40 per month on the $50 and $55 per month plan to about $45 per month on your Blackberry plan.
At $50 per month, you pay $600 per year. At $55 per month, it costs $660 per year and $720 at $60 per month.
With "Shrinkage", you'll actually pay a lot less. If you stay on the plan until your bill is $40 - $45 per month, then you'll save up to $180 off your annual cost.
If you want to start out at a lower but constant rate, you can go for their newer unlimited select plans which start at $40 per month for unlimited talk, text and 500 MB of high speed data. The $50 and $60 per month select plans then offer higher amounts of high-speed data. These particular plans are very similar to the Net10 unlimited plans.
You have to recharge or "re-Boost" your account at least once every 90 days to keep your minutes from expiring. If your account balance goes to zero you have 60 days to add money to keep using your number and the service.
Airtime cards come in denominations of $20, $30, and $50. You can buy them in retail stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target.
There are lots of other ways to add money to your account.
You can use your debit/credit card or bank account to add money to your account online. You can recharge automatically with Auto-ReBoost or only when you want to such as when you're low on minutes or your minutes are expiring.
The phones available range from handsets like the HTC One SV for $299.99 down to a 29.99 for basic Samsung Factor. Overall the lineup is very similar to the one offered by Virgin Mobile.
These handsets are currently (3/2015) available:
To maintain its image Boost sponsors many athletes from "extreme" sports such as snowboarding.
Their Facebook page started out slowly with only 162 fans in May 2008. Your friend's local rock band probably had more fans. However, things have picked up. They have (as of March 2014) about one million likes.
You can purchase a Boost Mobile prepaid cell phone and refill cards from pharmacies, convenience stores like The Pantry, and superstores like Target and, of course, online.
This is a great plan if you want to gradually reduce what you pay. They also have some pretty good phones making it a good choice if you use your phone a lot. You can get Unlimited Talk, Text, Web, E-mail & 411 starting at $50/month and shrinking down to as low as $40 per month.
Here are some other plans and phones that rely on the Sprint network and also have unlimited options.
The Kyocera Kona from Virgin Mobile is compatible with the PayLo plans which have both pay as you go and unlimited text and voice options. Virgin also has BeyondTalk plans with unlimited data designed for their smartphones
Kajeet also offers Android phones with unlimited texting plans though you have to pay for data packages separately.
More smart phones on the Sprint network are available from Straight Talk. They also offer devices on the other networks: Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T.