Saving money is important to a lot of people. There’s no point in paying more for something if you can get a service equally as good for less money. Luckily, if you know where to look, there are plenty of ways to shave money off common essential services.
The same is true for your cell service. With big companies raising costs, chances are you’re way overpaying on your cell phone bill. Cell service can easily get up close to $100 a month or more. That’s why it’s worth looking at budget services to see how those services matchup to the big brands and to see how much you can save.
One of those services is Straight Talk Wireless, a no-contract phone service that could save you hundreds of dollars each year. So, is this the cheap cell phone service for you? Find out all about plans, cost, and features in our Straight Talk review.
Straight Talk Wireless Plans
Price is king, so there’s no sense in getting too far into this Straight Talk review without looking at the plans and prices. There are five main Straight Talk wireless plans available on the Straight Talk website.
These plans include the following:
- The Basic Plan: $30 per month with 1500 minutes, 100 MB of data, and unlimited texting
- Unlimited Nationwide: $35 per month with unlimited talk/text, and data (after 3GB of data, the speed drops to 2G)
- Unlimited Nationwide Upgrade: $45 per month w/ unlimited talk/text and data (speed drops after 25 GB of data usage)
- Ultimate Unlimited: $55 per month for unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data
- Unlimited International: $60 per month unlimited international talk/text and data (speed dips after the first 25GB of data usage)
With these Straight Talk plans, chances are you could save hundreds of dollars on your cell service each year.
Some things to keep in mind about Straight Talk wireless plans:
- Each plan offers some benefit when you pay by auto-refill including a price discount or a bigger data allowance
- There are no contracts with any plan. It’s all pay-by-month making it a great option for any situation
- If you decide to auto-refill your Straight Talk wireless plan you can stop at any time
- Many plans will lower your data speeds after a certain amount of usage, though this information is readily available prior to your signing up.
As you can see the Straight Talk wireless cost for most plans is cheaper than many of the popular services out there. The main benefit is that there’s no contract to sign. Unlike some of the larger services, the individual Straight Talk plans start out at fair prices, so you don’t have to bundle your plan to get to a reasonable per-phone fee.
Get Access to All of the Major Cell Networks
Another important aspect when choosing a cell phone provider is the positioning of the cell towers they own. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than dropped phone calls and poor service.
In the case of Straight Talk, they are a mobile virtual network operator. In short, Straight Talk doesn’t own its own cellphone towers. Instead, they partner with other providers and use their towers to provide your service.
It’s a huge selling point that Straight Talk partners with all of the Big 4 cell companies. Depending on your location and your phone, you’ll get access to towers owned by Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and/or Sprint.
In other words, you’ll get the exact same level of service you’d get with a major cell company at a fraction of the price.
Setting Up Your Straight Talk Plans
Whether you plan to get a new phone, a new number, or you just want to change your service and keep the things you currently have, you can sign up for your service one of two ways. You can go to your local Walmart and sign up or you can point your browser to StraightTalk.com and get signed up through their website.
If you want to keep your phone you can get a SIM card that will allow you to do so. You can also keep your number if you don’t want to go through the hassle of switching. Keep in mind when ordering through the website, your package will come via FedEx. This requires a signature, so if someone isn’t home you could miss your package delivery.
Step-by-step directions come with your activation kit, so as long as you follow the instructions you should be set up after a short time. Part of this includes actually activating your phone. When you do this, you’ll get a message that explains that your service should work within 5 minutes but could take up to an hour. If it’s not set up and an hour has passed, you can call the number they give to determine the problem.
In terms of calling and texting, most Straight Talk users report having solid service with very few, if any, dropped calls. If you’re a big data user, the data caps could be a concern for you. Ultimately, Straight Talk offers good speeds, but if you use data constantly, you might find your speeds slowing down throughout the month. Of course, as discussed earlier in this Straight Talk review, they do offer plans with no data caps. While many people wouldn’t require that specific plan, it’s available for those that could benefit from it.
Straight Talk Review: Pros and Cons
I don’t know about you, but sometimes getting a new cell phone service can be a scary thing. Hopefully reading the details about Straight Talk has helped make that decision easier for you. In closing, here are some pros and cons that we found when reviewing Straight Talk.
- Cheaper prices than bigger cell phone providers
- The ability to keep your current phone (based on compatibility)
- Free or lower priced phones are available if you want a change
- The chance to keep your own number
- Easy signup online or nationwide at most Walmart stores
- Cell towers are owned and maintained by the big 4 cell companies
- Audio quality is good with very few, if any, dropped calls
- Many plans come with a data cap to slow your data after a certain point
- If you choose to buy a new phone, financing costs can add up
While no service is perfect, if you’re looking for a way to save money, Straight Talk wireless plans might be for you!