T-Mobile FlexPay Vs. AT&T Go Phone

by Mark Applegate

With credit scores challenged in the economic slowdown, prepaid cellular phone plans have been a solid arrangement for many customers. T-Mobile's FlexPay and AT&T's Go Phone are two popular options in pay-as-you-go cellular phone service. Both have options suitable for many customers, at a price most can afford.

Rate Plans

FlexPay is a prepaid version of the regular T-Mobile postpaid phones. Simply signup to pay your bill in advance and your rate is the same as a postpaid phone. You can purchase Whenever Minutes at a rate of 20 cents per minute in advance -- in bundles of $10, $25, $50 or $100. Rate plans start at $39.99 for 500 Whenever minutes and unlimited talk-time on nights and weekends. Unlimited calling and text is only $20 more. AT&T Go Phone offers a $50 per month plan that covers unlimited talk, text, Internet access and email; although data plans for Smartphones require data plans of $25 per month for 500 MB of use. You can also pay a $2 fee per day pay-as-you-go fee for unlimited talk and text minutes on days you use your phone. You can also use the phone sporadically at a 10 cents per minute, 20 cents per text rate -- with no daily fee.

Purchasing Phones

The T-Mobile's Flex Pay Even More option allows you to buy a phone at a discounted price with no activation fee or deposit; but with a two year contract. T-Mobile's Flex Pay Even More Plus allows for you to have no contract, but requires you to purchase your phone at the regular retail price. AT&T Go Phones are sold to everyone at a discount price. The AT&T website also sells refurbished equipment at an even larger discount. Both services offer a variety of phones, but T-Mobile allows any phone they offer to be used as a FlexPay phone.

Coverage Areas

While T-Mobile boasts a strong coverage area, AT&T, through mergers and acquisitions, has the largest coverage area. The coverage area for 3G Go Phones -- if you are on a pay-as-you-go plan instead of the prepaid plan -- is substantially smaller than T-Mobile, which makes signing up to prepaid plans much more important. Both companies also offer international calling at a higher rate per minute.

Other Considerations

AT&T Go Phones allow you to roll over unused minutes monthly and add the excess minutes to the next month's account. This can be a useful feature, especially since you prepay in dollar increments with AT&T. T-Mobile rate plans do not include this feature, therefore Flex-Pay arrangements do not either. Both services offer unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling and free domestic long distance.

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