T-Mobile Offers New Prepaid Options

T-Mobile seems to be on a roll with the announcements this month, and the Un-carrier is trying to shake things up in the prepaid market yet again. Their new pay as you go pricing (which will go into effect on Aug. 17) seems a little easier to understand than most, which definitely gets them points, and for the first time you can now purchase data at an as-you-go rate. They also have introduced a new Gold Reward Status, which rewards customers with more minutes that last longer once they have invested $100 in prepaid minutes on their phones. I spent several minutes on the phone with a representative talking about the different options. Here’s what I found out:

Pay-As-You-Go Voice

T-Mobile has restructured their pay-as-you-go rate plans revolving around a new Gold Status perk. The Gold Status is achieved by spending a total of $100 on refills either all at once or over the course of time. Once you receive Gold Status, you get an additional 15% more minutes with each refill and the refills will last for one year instead of the usual 90 days. Here’s a breakdown:
Refill Amount Minutes Cost/minute Gold Status Minutes
$10 30 $0.33 35
$30 160 $0.19 184
$50 400 $0.13 460
$100 1000 $0.10 1000
  T-Mobile has been advertising “lowest rates” of $0.10/minute/text but after speaking with a representative, I believe you will really only get that rate if you purchase a $100 refill card. However, once you do that you will be billed at 0.10/minute until the year is up. It is a little complex, but nothing on other plans. Even if you don’t have $100 to drop on a phone plan, the other plans still get pretty good rates. The press release that T-Mobile published on their website mentioned that customers could keep their account active with as little as $3/month which would purchase 30 minutes of voice and 30 texts. However, the representative I spoke with didn’t know anything about that, so either T-Mobile is jumping the gun and it hasn’t been implemented just yet, or the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Not exactly comforting. I’ll keep my eyes peeled and update this when it gets closer to the 17th.

Pay-as-you-go Text

Their new plan allows for texting at the rate of $0.10/text (both sending and receiving) and $0.25/picture or video message (both sending and receiving). They don’t seem to have any specific cards or anything for texting, so you would just use the same funds as voice minutes.

Pay-As-You-Go Data

T-Mobile is also offering what they are calling ‘on-the-go’ 4G LTE data passes, which is something relatively new to the prepaid world. The representative said passes can be purchased by phone the same way you would for voice minutes.
Price Time Data
$1 1 hour 10 MB
$5 1 day 500 MB
$10 1 week 1 GB
$30 1 month 3 GB
$35 60 days 3.5 GB
$50 60 days 5 GB