T-Mobile introduces new value Pay-as-you-go plans, $0.10 per text/min flat rate


On August 17th, T-Mobile will be launching a brand new Pay-as-You-Go plan, making it simple and more affordable and – in the process – the lowest offer amongst the major nationwide carries .

Under the new plan, texts and calls cost a simple flat rate amount. Each text will cost $0.10, as will each minute during any phone call you place. There’s a monthly minimum of $3, which will give customers 30 minutes of talk, or 30 texts, or a combination of the two up to the value of three bucks. Of course, you can spend more than $3 per month if you wish, and there’s no credit check, no deposit and no contract.

T-Mobile is also introducing a new set of on-the-go daily and weekly 4G LTE data passes. It’s $5 for a 1-day, 500MB pass or $10 for a 7-day, 1GB pass. So now, Pay-as-you-go customers will get access to LTE!

With these new plans, it should mean T-Mobile customers don’t have to guess how much a call or text is going to cost, or try figuring it out based on how much they’ve preloaded. Under the newer, simpler plans, it won’t matter if you’ve preloaded $3 or $3 billion, it’s still 10 cents per text and 10 cents per minute. Of course, if you’re spending $3B in prepaid top-ups each month, you should probably consider one of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans. You’d save a fortune.

This all comes a few days after T-Mobile became the most popular prepaid carrier, and I can’t help but feel it’ll become even more popular after these deals go live.

Via: T-Mobile


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  • Matt

    I guess this will work for the occasional user.

    • better rates and plans out there if you comparison shop

  • TheVorlon

    So it is the same as the old “pay-as-you-go” except now they are forcing you to spend $3 per month.

    • commonsense

      No its not the same…if you put $10 in (the old minimum) the charge per minute was higher. The only way to get 10c/minute was to load on $100 at once.

      The $3 minimum, c’mon, if you can’t spend $3/month on keeping a phone number active AND getting minutes to use it then you need to work out some priorities in life.

      • TheVorlon

        I use these in phones that primarily use wifi.

        So I barely use $10 PER YEAR.

        And yes, the original account was set up with the $100 buy in for the 10¢ rate 1yr expiration.

        • Bob Archer

          So, $8 per month is better than $3 per month?

        • TheVorlon

          You never passed basic math.

          Let me help you.

          $10/12 = 83¢

          Or perhaps you seem to think that the entire balance on the account has to be used up in the year… Which is no.

        • jj

          I in fact never passed math — so don’t make fun of me ;) but why is it your minutes don’t expire? Website says that if you put $100 the duration is only for a year. So intuitively it would seem to me that the way you’ve been doing it you’d have to keep feeding $$ so your minutes didn’t expire after a year, unless you were grandfathered in to a prior system.

        • TheVorlon

          “Website says that if you put $100 the duration is only for a year. ”

          And if you keep reading, you’ll find the information that says adding any amount to the balance renews it for another year.

        • jj

          Okay, I see, pretty smart. (Actually, I didn’t attempt to decipher the fine print but I’ll take your word for it) Thanks! Maybe they’ll grandfather you in and you can keep what you have otherwise for you, relatively speaking, its a big hit since you’ll now spend in 3 months what you used to pay in a year.

        • your math still doesn’t make sense…

        • Hi Vorlon, can you confirm David’s statement that we have to now refill with a min of $36 instead of $10 to “roll over” our minutes to the next year?

          I’m grandfathered in as a Prepaid-Legacy Golds Reward member

        • TheVorlon

          I own 2 accounts that pre date this change and they both still operate the same. No monthly charges, I just need to add $10 per year to the balance to keep the account active.

        • The per minute charge changes dramatically though! No minimum monthly fee is confirmed for legacy accounts

          To keep it at the 10 cent per minute rate, I can only refill at $100 denominations anything less and the rates increase!

          Sure, you can refill with less, but watch your rates as you call or text someone. As a gold member the expiration date will bump or rollover your unused minutes for another year

        • DavidW

          With the old plan, once you had paid $100, you could refill with as little as $10 and those minutes would last for an entire year. So the minimum amount required for a year was $10. Now it is $36 minimum per year.

      • UncleFan

        ” The only way to get 10c/minute was to load on $100 at once…”

        Yeah, but that $100 lasted a WHOLE YEAR if you didn’t use it. Now they’re going to CHEAT you out of $3 every month.

        This goes against the whole concept of PAYGO.

        • you’re not grandfathered as a Prepaid-Legacy Gold Reward member?

      • STW

        Yea. My PRIORITY right now is to GET RID OF T-MOBILE from my life!

    • TheAnswerer

      Pretty sure that tmobile almost always allows people who are grandfathered in to keep their current plans. Just keep yours then.

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      It has always costed a minimum of $3.33/month ($10/90 days). The difference is that now you get 30 minutes for that $10, instead of 10 like before. In order to get 10 cents a minute you had to buy the $100 1000 minute year card, which costs about $8 a month. It is by far a better deal than what was offered before.

      If you are referring to the 1 year expiration you get after enrolled in gold rewards, with that you still have to load $100 refills to get the same rate any customer gets now. If that works out better for you, then just keep it. Plans are always grandfathered. No need to complain

      • DavidW

        With the old plan, once you had paid $100, you could refill with as little as $10 and those minutes would last for a year. So the minimum amount required for a year was $10. Now it is $36 minimum per year. For very light users, this change is much worse as it now costs almost four times as much for an emergency phone.

        • Dave’s info is incorrect… once you’re locked in / grandfathered in as a LEGACY Gold Rewards Member, you can refill with the $10, $25, $50 or $100 denominations or talk to a customer service rep & pay w/ a credit card. your unused minutes will “roll over” to the next year

  • Good to at least have options, good job TMO

  • Aaron Peromsik

    The per-minute rate is mostly lower than before, still higher than some TMO-based MVNOs, (such as PTel 5c/min 2c/text) but the minimum monthly spend is lower (PTel is $5). OTOH on the Verizon MVNO side, PagePlus has a lower minimum monthly spend at $2.50. But phone choice is an issue there.

  • Guest

    The data aspect is pretty lame. Why not have an option for 1GB LTE with no expiration, good until you use it up?

  • TD

    Or, you know, use an MVNO that uses Tmobile’s network (UltraMobile is $19 for unlimited talk/text and 100mb LTE, and several others have lower pay-as-you-go rates). But I guess if you use less than 50 minutes/texts per month sure.

  • Jeff

    Total fail on the data passes. The Uncarrier move would be to offer pay-as-you go data at a fixed cost per MB, coming out of the same non-expiring balance as minutes and text messages. You shouldn’t have to pay $5 just to check some e-mails.

    • UMA_Fan

      And the better option for just email checking that exists right now would be???

      • Jeff

        A number of MVNOs have pay-as-you-go data. To give just one example on each network: PagePlus (Verizon), Airvoice (AT&T), PTel (T-Mobile), EcoMobile (Sprint).

    • monkeybutts

      You could always connect to wifi not everyone needs data all the time.

    • magenta

      Coming from a rep that works in the #1 prepaid store in the nation, trust me: a fixed mb cost would be a NIGHTMARE if we have people that complain that all their balance is gone for “no reason”

      Should be a good plan.

  • I think we might be mis-understanding the data passes. Unless I’m mistaken (which has been known to happen) pre-paid customers currently have access to 4G LTE data the same as post-paid customers. I suspect these passes are for those that run out of their allotted 4G LTE bucket and become throttled….

    I think we could use some clarification.

    • Nick

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

    • Jeff

      T-Mobile has three prepaid options: monthly plans (which include data), pay-by-the-day (which also includes data), and pay-as-you-go (which doesn’t). The data passes being discussed here are a new option for pay-as-you-go. Unfortunately they suck because they expire after 1 or 7 days instead of rolling over like the minutes do on that plan.

    • Yes, it means that Pay as You Go customers now have access to 4G.

      • ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! That makes MUCH more sense…

        But out of all of my pre-paid customers? Only about 1 in 100 have the “pay as you go” plans… It’s nice the option will exist though…

      • STW

        They DID with the old arrangements. For $3/day you get 200MB of 4G speed.

  • S. Ali

    These prices are competitive against Ting or Virgin Custom (at least for data)

  • PHL

    This is a decent deal for the VERY LIGHT user, but there are better deals out there for most people. For example, you can set up a TracFone that gives you 180 min + 180 texts + 180 MB of data for $20 every three months with rollover. Works out to less than $7 / month, but gives you a lot more. Let’s face it, if $4 a month is that big a deal, you probably shouldn’t have a cell phone.

    • UncleFan

      “This is a decent deal for the VERY LIGHT user…”

      No it isn’t, unless you have a very different of “very light” than I do. In the past I was able to fill up a spare T-Mo paygo phone with minutes once a YEAR with Gold Status and I didn’t have to worry about it until a year later. Now they’re going to drain $3 out of my account every month? No thanks!

      • SB

        I am not getting a simple math. With $100 refill, you can get 1000 minutes which is valid for ONE YEAR ONLY. That turns out to to 10c/minute, and irrespective of how light your usage may be, you will still lose out if you don’t use up all the minutes within ONE YEAR. Assuming you use 30 mins/month, under the new plan, you will pay $3 x 12 mons = $36/year, which is WAY LESS than $100/year. If you want more, you can still get it at 10c/min. Of course you lose out if you use less than 30 mins/month, but then you lose out anyway even for a $100/year plan. Can someone please explain if I am wrong in my understanding?

        • DavidW

          With the old plan, once you had paid $100, you could refill with as little as $10 and those minutes would last for a year. So the minimum amount required for a year was $10. Now it is $36 minimum per year.

        • i didn’t know it was $36 min per year now… where did you read/hear that? i definitely got to contact customer service about this since i made another comment above about just “rolling over” your existing min to the next year w/ a $10 refill card

        • Joe

          The $36 per year is $3 per month x 12 months. If you use the daily or weekly data plan you go off the legacy when switching back to the PAYG. If you don’t need data then keep on the legacy plan. Also if you do use minutes every so often then a $50 refill to rollover is the better deal as they are 11 cents per minute.

          I just switched to the $3 per day for a weekend and when switching back to PAYG I am now on the $3 per month minimum. since I use $3 per month it isn’t a big deal. I do wish texting was cheaper. seems to be a ripoff when you pay 10 cents per text compared to a full minute of talking.

        • Joe

          Exactly. If you use at least $3 per month then this new plan is better because you have more options for the days you need data. Going on vacation for a week then it will only cost $10 for data that week. One day then $3 for 4G.

      • UncleFan, Moby said with the Legacy Gold Members that were grandfathered in, you won’t pay the $3 monthly charge. Hope you can confirm that

        you do have to refill $100 at a time to lock-in the 10 cent-per-min rate though

        expiration rollover to the next year still stands though

    • Dakota

      The shopping channels like QVC and HSN often have tracfone specials where they offer triple everything for life. You might want to look at that next time they offer it.

  • colonelcasey

    What about gold rewards? What happens to that?

    • ChitChatCat

      Existing users grandfathered, new users none, just like with most new offerings I imagine.

      • STW

        YEAH RIGHT! The moment you have to refill, that’s when they get you to switch. They ALWAYS get their customers by the BALLS. THEY ALWAYS DO.

        • don’t switch! simple as that… stay as a golds rewards member LEGACY status is what is on my account & i verified it tonight to find out that Dave’s statement is also false on this site

        • Joe

          The refill has always been at the higher rate. Been that way for the past 5 years since I began as a gold member. Start at the $100 for 10 cents then the $10 refill at end of year as like 30 cents a minute but only for the $10. When i finally ran out I bought $50 at a time to get to 11 cents per minute. Now I use the phone enough where I spend about $60 a year so it isn’t a big deal.

  • Terry

    So how does this new plan work? Do you just load up with say $30 and they just deduct 10 cents for every minute/text you use and if you don’t use $3 in a month they just deduct the difference at the end of the month? And I guess they repeat this every month till your balance is gone? I’m glad they’re adding the data passes back though I wish it was at the old level of $2.49 for 250 MB.

    • ronl2k

      Each month you get 30 minutes of calling time for your $3 deduction, whether you use them or not. You’ll be charged 10¢/minute for each minute over 30 minutes.

  • guest

    i’m assuming that the money will stay active for 90 days just like all t-mobile pre-paid plans. so you can reload anytime you’ll like. the data is a plus for those customers. i’m also assuming the gold rewards will stay the same. t-mobile will probably grandfather all pay as you go customers to this rate plan.

    • you got the grandfathering thing backwards

      previous members are now LEGACY Gold Reward Members until you change your plan to include data streaming.

      nope, i’d keep this status and just use a separate tablet with WiFi to access the internet

      • Joe

        You can also use wifi if you have a wifi phone. I have the iPhone 6 and my wife bought the nokia 365 for $99 on Amazon. Works great and is a nice smart phone. She has wifi at work and at home so rarely uses minutes but can still use the phone for talking and texting. same with the iPhone if you want to spend the big money.

  • Hector F.

    No plan can defeat the $0.04 min & $0.02 text from AirVoice Wireless (At&T MVNO) at just $10 every 30 days with rollover!

    • Dakota

      What about LTE data?

      • Hector F.

        It has LTE data but I don’t know the rates per use, check the AirVoice page.

    • i went to their website hector & all i see is 10 cents a min talk or text charges

  • UncleFan

    So in other words… T-Mobile is KILLING PAYGO. Draining $3 out of my account every month is NOT Pay-as-you-go!

    I will definitely be CANCELLING the account my unlocked backup phone on Aug 17 and switching it to a true PAYGO provider.

    • PHL

      Don’t go!!! What in the world will TMO do without your less-than-$3/month business? Bankruptcy is sure to follow! Woe is us!

      • UncleFan

        “What in the world will TMO do without your less-than-$3/month business?”

        Go back to being smaller than Sprint? You obviously don’t understand what PAYGO is all about. I already HAVE a postpaid account with a recurring monthly payment, thank you very much. But for a spare phone, an emergency phone, a phone you might loan to a kid… you don’t want a recurring monthly fee draining out your money for nothing, simply because the phone won’t have any minutes left on the day you actually need it.

        • Moby

          Your current PayGo plan is grandfathered in. As long as you don’t switch away from it, you can keep it as long as you want. No $3 charge.

        • hope you’re right Moby as i was pondering this extra minimum usage fee

    • Moses JC

      Bye bye

  • Dakota

    If data, were cheaper on this, I’d give Tmobile a try again.. Many don’t need unlimited texts and calls but guess for now sticking my 3gb LTE & 45$. Does Tmobile still offer that $30 plan if you don’t buy a phone from Walmart and just bring your own. (is that also. 10 cents for every minute or text over 100

  • jdubtrey

    So, it appears that you are charged $3 when you sign up for the new PAYGO, which really negates the benefit of the old pay-by-the-day plans (unless the new PAYGO prorates that $3 when you jump and and out of the plan). Kinda sux if you liked the old scheme. Was the old plan structure REALLY that confusing that they had to do this?

    • nope! once i hit Gold Rewards status, any unused minutes gets “rolled over” to the next year when i refill it w/ a prepaid refill card

  • Tmobile Customer

    Tmobile is pretty much useless for me. I called Customer Service and they said they cant grandfather the rate plan for me. I guess its time to shop for a new cell provider.

    • strange, i just confirmed this today with a customer service rep at 10PM EST Jan 9, 2015 & looked it up online as well that i’m a Legacy Gold Rewards member!

  • m.a.

    This new thing does not help me at all. I don’t use my minutes that much and if I expect to have a heavy use for a day, I switch to the pay by the day. This apparently charges you the $3 when you switch to the PAYO, which defeats the whole purpose of having PAYG. Tmobile already didn’t care about the prepaid, I guess this is their way of killing the prepaid service.

    • you weren’t grandfathered in?

      • Joe

        You should be unless you switch plans. I just found out about this today when I switched back to PAYG from the $3 per day. Wish they would have sent an email saying they rolled out the new plan.

  • sara

    If you guys only knew how much minutes and text messages actually cost the company compared to what is coming out of your pocket every month you would really be p.o.

  • davidwal

    This is going to be good for some pay as you go customers. Just not the elderly that come in once every couple of years and top up with their old Nokia’s.

    • older prepaid plan is way better than this

  • Unhappy T-Mobile User

    The old plan was better. If I didn’t use the phone, I wasn’t charged. This was great for an emergency phone in my car. I would put $10 per year on the phone, and unless I used it I was not charged. Now my account will be drained quickly with the $3 mo charge even though I didn’t use the phone.

    My regular phone suffers as well. I don’t use my cell when I am in town, so I do not want to pay a minimum, When I go out of town, I could switch to a daily plan ($2 or $3 per day) and get internet access. Now, again, I am paying when I do not use my phone.

    The old pay as you go plan was great. You put in $100, for the cheapest rate, and when you use the phone, you pay. When you do not use the phone, you do not pay. Now you have to pay if you use the phone or not.

    I now looking at other carriers. Bad move T-Mobile.

    • STW

      Same here. I put in $100 5 years ago on a prepaid number just for exactly the same scenarios you described here. I still have $20+ on that number at this time. With the new plan, it would have cost me $180 for 5 years instead of the $80 it cost me with the old plan. F* YOU T-MOBILE. F* ALL OF YOU!

      • SB

        How do you have validity after5 years?! The maximum validity – even if you are a Gold Rewards customer – is 1 year!

        • $100 for entering the Gold Status where it’s confirmed that those minutes added will expire in 1 year.

          that’s when you buy a $10 refill card and “roll over” those unused minutes to the next year! i’ve been doing that since 2008

          I still have the Pre-paid Legacy Plan… but something’s amiss & i’ll have to contact customer service soon.

          i enter #999# and it shows me i have $20.06 and / or 85 minutes left!?!? if i crunch the #s correctly, that means it’s ~24 cents per minute?!?!

        • Joe

          It’s always been that way. If you buy $10 to roll over the minutes the $10 minutes are at the higher rate. Your other minutes are still at the lower rate. I just switched to a $3 per day for the weekend and it changed me to the new plan. You won’t be on the legacy anymore after switching. For me not a big deal since I use $3 per month already. Plus my new iPhone has wifi calling so I rarely use cell minutes. Still the best deal out there that I can see because of the ability to buy data only when you need it. The new $10 for 7 days is a great feature.

          If you truly only use it for emergencies like 911 then the calls have always been free.

      • STW, call customer service rep & check if you are grandfathered in; i just did and still have that plan “LEGACY Gold Rewards Member”

    • ” Now my account will be drained quickly with the $3 mo charge even though I didn’t use the phone”

      can you confirm this monthly minimum charge? the 2 customer service reps weren’t clear about this & i don’t feel like re-dialing 611 again

  • Can you explain it a little more clearly? So I checked my tmobile account and it says Legacy, I only use my phone to call family once in a while and only text using my mins when I’m out and don’t have access to wifi.

    Can I just refill my prepaid with $100 or would it be cheaper to switch to the $3 a month charge? Would I still be a legacy? If not what’s the importance of legacy? Thanks.