Do you talk a lot on your cell phone? If so, this article is not for you. However, for me and a few million others who talk for less than 200 or 300 minutes per month, the Cult of Mac web site shows how to save at least $1,000 on your cell phone bill over the next two years. If you keep your (new) cell phone even longer, the savings will increase even further.
This is a great plan for any RV owners who only need a cell phone for a few weeks of the year or only for weekend camping trips.
Don't worry about the word "Mac" in the web site's name: this information applies to everyone, not just to Mac owners.
In short, to save money, you first must pay full price for a new cell phone. To be sure, that's expensive. However, you then sign up for a prepaid plan at Virgin Mobile or Cricket. The prepaid monthly plans are much, much cheaper than the monthly charges you pay on the one or two-year commitments you normally sign with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint. Even though the purchase of the phone is expensive, you get all that money back and a lot more in the savings provided by the prepaid (or pay-as-you-go) plan over the next two years.
You can learn more at http://www.cultofmac.com/172046/why-your-next-iphone-should-be-prepaid-chart/.
One caveat: the cell phone coverage provided by Cricket is rather poor. For instance, Cricket doesn't provide cell phone signals where I live. Cricket also doesn't cover rural areas very well and guess where most RV campgrounds are located? That's right: in rural areas.
Virgin Mobile runs on Sprint’s network, so Virgin's coverage is identical to Sprint's. In other words, it is almost as good as Verizon and perhaps even better than AT&T. However, coverage will vary from one area to another with all cell phone providers, depending upon where the cell towers are located. I'd suggest you check out the coverage maps to see if your choice of cell phone provider will meet your needs or not.
Note #1: The examples shown on the Cult of Mac are for 450 minutes of talk time per month. For many people, 100 or 200 minutes is sufficient and, in most cases, will produce even bigger savings.
Note #2: Another way to get more minutes is to use Skype or some other VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider to supplement your cell phone calls. Use the cell phone only when you need to be truly mobile. Skype calls are free to other Skype users and Skype also offers an optional service to call regular telephones from Skype for only a few dollars per month, much cheaper than any cell phone company. iPhone and Android phones can even have a Skype application installed in the phone to make Skype calls over the cellular data networks or over wi-fi. I've had great luck with Skype over wi-fi from my iPhone, completely bypassing the cell phone company's network and charges.
Note #3: The examples on the Cult of Mac site show the prices for using an Apple iPhone on Virgin Mobile or Cricket networks. However, loosely similar savings are available on all sorts of cell phones, including Android smartphones. You might want to create your own spreadsheet for the phone you want in order to to determine the exact savings, but I suspect the prepaid plan will always save you a significant amount of money, regardless of the cell phone you choose.
If you can afford to pay $100 to $650 up front to purchase the phone, either Cricket or Virgin Mobile's prepaid plans can save you a lot of money. The price of the phone will vary widely, depending upon which phone you choose. Android phones usually are available for a less money than the iPhone.
"You can pay me (the cell phone company) now or you can pay me later."