AARP Cell Phones

Milwaukee, WI

Can anyone give me some info on the cell phones
that are offered in the AARP magazine. One of the
phones is free and only has a $10.00 month fee.
Any info from someone who is currently enrolled in
any of these phans would be greatly appreciate.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I don't have an AARP cell phone, but I do have a Tracfone. It costs me about $100 a year, which usually includes 800-1000 minutes as well as the phone and usually free shipping too. I got a phone just for emergencies and rarely use it. My minutes roll over. And I pay no roaming charges (does anyone these days?) and, for the same "airtime cost" as local calls, I can make long distance in the US as well as many countries overseas (like Iraq), which can be handy for people with family in the military.

Recently, when my year's service was expiring, they were running a special for 1000 minutes plus a flip phone with a camera, double minutes for life when I add airtime, another year's service, and free shipping for $100. So I jumped on it. Around Christmas, they usually have some awesome deals.

I've also found that my tracfone works in places that other people's phones don't. Don't know why, but it comes in handy when travelling.

I don't know much about cell phones. Tracfone was the first and only service I've ever used. But for my purposes, it's so much cheaper than the phones friends and family use. I don't like talking on the phone, I don't text, and I don't need a phone for internet use, so I just wanted something cheap I could use in emergencies or when travelling. So the tracfone plan suits all my needs.

Also, I think they have a $10/mo plan as well. But I found it was cheaper to get the $100 deal.

Hope you find what you're looking for.

NancyAnn

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I'm on my second Tracfone. Price was right, averages about $8 a month, I got 800 minutes and still have over 600 left, as I don't use the phone much but like to have it at hand for emergencies, or quick calls while I'm out and about. I've never had a dropped call, and generally have service even inside big box stores. The phone was a reconditioned Motorola, maybe $29, and the minutes are good for a year. Don't know if they will roll over and don't much care. Camera would be handy but is it worth the extra $$$? IDK IDC

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Meezer, your minutes should roll over. Mine do. I have about 2000 minutes on my phone currently.

If you'll watch their specials, you can get the camera phone AND your 800 minutes for the same price as just the 800 minutes. That's when I add my next year--when they run a good special. You can then call them to transfer your phone number and minutes from your old phone to your new phone. They can do it in mere minutes. I "upgrade" annually as they have their specials. Often around Christmas they run the special I'm talking about. My service expired in Aug. But in July they ran the same special, so I was able to upgrade to the snazzy camera phone. It's really come in handy.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Are you talking 800 minutes a month or a year I have roll over with att and I use very little of those so if its a month I'm IN.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

No, it's 800 a year. I usually get their special annually--800 minutes, plus double minutes when I add new airtime, a year's service, and the latest phone, plus free shipping, all for $100. I seldom use my phone and may only use 100 minutes a year. I use the phone only on my morning walks and when I travel. I really don't want to be "on a leash" where people can get in touch with me all the time for any little thing. I have things to do and don't have time to be tied to the phone. So very few people have my cell phone number. I bought it only for MY use, my security. So for less than $10 a month, I have that security.

Tracfone is really great for someone who doesn't use the phone much. But if you're going to use lots of minutes monthly, ATT or someone else would probably have a better plan for you. If you call the same people over and over, some plans let you call those few people for free. I don't remember which companies have that kind of plan but they're out there.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Thank you I checked a while ago and we used 84 minutes last month from Oct 15 to nov 15 and this is probably our highest month because when I am hunting I call and check in with my wife almost everyday because there are only a few places on my deer lease where the phone works so she can't call me if she has a problem. I am currently paying $100 a month for 800 minutes a month for 2 phones and I have 8645 rollover minute unused so I think the tracfone will work for us I can save $1000 a year. I still will need two phones because my wife runs all over Houston taking her mother to doctors as I do also with my father. I'll have to finish out my contract with att ....or maybe it still would be worth my while to pay the end early penalty I would still save money in the long run. Thank you very much I am recently retired and looking for ways to save money..................we also walk 2 to 3 miles every morning all up and down hill got to keep the ticker working :- )

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Are any of you considering a prepaid phone? I probably pay no more than $ 100-150 a year on mine and no contract to worry about.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

I think the tracfone is prepaid.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Mine is tracfone and prepaid. I can add time at many stores, online or by phone. I use mine much in the same manner as ButterflyChaser. Few have my number and it is rarely turned on. It is primarily for traveling or emergency. It doesn't work where I live so use is not an issue. I need to go 4 miles down the road for a signal. I consider myself blessed! LOL

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I tried the AARP setup (Consumer Cellular) for almost a year and finally gave it up. The phone was so small I had trouble using it (I have a bit of hearing loss).. I wanted a means for emergency contact if needed and dIdn't use it much for incidental calls. System is okay I guess - just didn't help me much.

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

Just saw this forum and the discussion. We have no reception in our home, but use the land line anyway. The cells come in handy for travel and for the family to contact each other in the event of emergency. I leave mine on when at work, but receive few calls primarily because I do NOT give out my number. Anyway, we are wondering how many entries you can sore in your phone's directory (hubby wants to know).

Manassas, VA(Zone 7b)

I would like to get a phone for my wife, she is not a big fan of talking on the phone and driving at the same time. She needs a phone in case of emergency only. I would need the cheapest package if this possible. She does not want her kids calling her. It probley would not be turned on untill she needed it.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

The AARP setup greenwood mentioned is probably the most economical to be found. Didn't work for me but since there's no contract it's not too risky to try it.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Has anyone else noticed how many people have a cell phone stuck in their ear all the time. I seen a lady the oyher day talking on her cell when she entered walmart at the same time I did, I ran into her several times in the store ..still talkng ...got to the registers ...still talking ....her kid asking her for something....still talking.....I had to wait for her to try to manuver the cell her purse her debit card and the poor ignored crying kid and then all the way to her car again and out the parking lot. What are they talking about if they told the other person on the other end everything they knew it should only take 5 minutes. Some Doctor is going to make a fortune introducing a new procedure to surgically remove cell phones from peoples faces.
Sorry about the rant this is probably not the place sorry......rucky

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Rucky ~ I feel the same. We may have 3 or 4 customers holding cell conversations in our small store at once ~ talk about confusing. A rare one with say excuse me and step outside when their phone rings, then apologize when they come back in. I always thank them for that courtesy.

On that same note... we would all be wise to know how distracted we are when on the phone. Oblivious to crying children, traffic in parking lots, purse snatchers, pickpockets, etc. Totally unsafe and that has been proven.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I too always wondered how people can have so much to say. I had a friend once who complained about her high cell phone bill, yet she wouldn't put the phone down. Anytime I was with her, she was on the phone. RUDE! Her daughter and parents lived in her immediate neighborhood, yet she talked to them on the phone about 20 times a day! I think a lot of people just want everyone else to see how important and popular they are. I don't guess they realize we think they're rude idiots. LOL

Tracfone does have some $10/mo plans with no contract. But if you can catch their $100/yr deal, that's even better. They should be offering that deal soon. They send me emails with their specials, so when they run some good ones, I'll try to remember to come back here and let you know. This time of year is about the best for the bargains.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Please do come back and let us know. I try to watch their site but get distracted by DG. My tracfone is due to expire. Minutes are not important for me, simply the service.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

I have a cotract with ATT right now and I need to see how much they are going to charge me for breaking my contract because if its not too bad then it would pay me to drop them to pick up a tracfone. I pay $100 a month for one for me and my wife for the ocassional useage. I'll probably wait until next year now because we will be traveling to visit grandkids for Christmas so I don't want to mess with it right now. But I am going to change soon. Oh yea we will visit their parents also LOL just realized what I wrote.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Currently, tracfone offers a 9.99/mo deal that automatically gives you 50 minutes monthly. Rucky, for you and your wife, they have the 9.99/mo for 50 minutes for the first phone and an additional 5.99/mo for 30 minutes on the 2nd phone. It's called a Family Value Plan. You should be able to look it up on their site if this link doesn't work:

https://www.tracfone.com/direct/ValuePlans?app=TRACFONE&lang=en

They also have this 19.99 deal--a phone, plus 60 minute card, plus 60 bonus minutes, and they were running free shipping on any phone of 19.99 or more. With that plan, you'd have to renew your service (add airtime) within 45 or 60 days (can't remember since I do the annual plan). To get your 60 bonus minutes, you must add the promotion code when you add your 60 minute card.

If anyone has tracfone and is going to be adding minutes soon, let me know. I have a card here somewhere for promotional (bonus) minutes when you add cards. So just let me know how many minutes you're adding and I can find the promotional code that will get you a few free minutes too.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

Tracfone does not own any cell towers itself and so uses AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint for service for its phones.

I have 2 Tracfone DMFL (double minues for life) phones so every minute I buy, I get another minute free. Tracfones also have promo codes that give you free minutes when you buy minutes (the free minutes do NOT double).

I have a Tracfone that is on AT&T and one that is on Verizon. The AT&T phone is a GSM phone and the Verizon phone is a CDMA phone. (just the technology that the phone systems use)

One advantage to using Tracfone rather than using prepaid phones from the actual providers, aside from being less expensive, is that the prepaid coverage areas for the provider-issued prepaid phones is not as broad as the coverage areas for their contract phones.

I think AT&T charges .25/minute for its prepaid phones, but I pay about 9 cents a minute through Tracfone - quite a savings - and I am still using AT&T.

There is a lot of info on Tracfones out on the web that includes blogs, etc., as well as a couple of Yahoo groups with lots of help and info.

Milwaukee, WI

I've been waiting for the $100.00 a year deal from Trac but so
far nothing on their web site. Can anyone answer this question
for me..... If I sign up for a yearly plan with Trac and then within
the year I move from one state to another, can I change my
phone number to that of one in the state I moved to so that
my incoming calls won't have to pay long distance.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

gw,
I believe you will need to let your time/minutes run out and then just get a new phone or a new sim card (if on AT&T) to get a new phone number for the phone you have currently.

There are some folks (organized crime?) that have been messing with the programming on Tracfones and getting minutes added that have not been paid for so any minutes transferred from one phone to another usually ends up with the phone the minutes were transferred to being disabled until you can prove you purchased the minutes. Most folks cannot do this so they are out the cost of the minutes. It is just better to let your current phone run out of time and minutes and then purchase a new Tracfone in your new city. Tracfones are not very expensive, especially if purchased on sale, so that is one saving grace.

If you think you're going to end up moving before the year of time is out, I would not buy a years worth of time and minutes now. Just buy the 3 month cards until you move and once in your new area, then buy the year card and minutes.
My .02

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I've transferred minutes with Tracfone with no problem. I haven't moved but I bought a new phone with a different phone number and transferred my minutes and phone number from my old phone to the new one. I did it a couple of times. Once they just talked me thru some codes to enter. And the 2nd time, they sent me a new sim card for free.

When my brother lost his phone, we transferred his number and minutes to a new phone with only a phone call. He later found his old phone in a coat pocket!

But neither of us moved out of the area, but I imagine Tracfone would transfer for you when the time comes. When you set up your phone, if you have to select a pass code or pin number, just be sure to keep up with it. When you transfer your number, you may have to give them the code.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

BC,
Have you made the minutes transfer with Tracfone recently (6 to 8 months or so)?

I purchased a phone with accessories, for the accessories, since it was cheaper to buy this way than by buying the accessories alone. I wanted the accessories to give to my folks for their Tracfone.

Since I had the phone, I added minutes and time, but I hated the phone. I bought a new phone and got a new phone number for the new phone, but transferred the minutes from the first phone. Tracfone cut off my service and if I had not printed the page that showed the minutes/time I purchased from Tracfone I would have been out the cost of the minutes and the cost of the new phone (Tracfone disabled the phone completely). There have been lots of discussions on this recent development with Tracfone online in the Tracfone Yahoo group. There are also a few blogs that talk about it, too.
Mike

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Mike, I did it about a year ago. Whoever I talked to each time asked no questions. I rarely use minutes, so I had over 1000 on my last phone when I transferred them and my phone number to this new camera phone. I guess that was in June or July of last year, so less than a year ago. They were very nice and easily transferred my minutes. Maybe it depends on the customer service person you get. I always get cooperative people. I've used tracfone for years, so perhaps they don't want to lose a long-term customer.

Olympia, WA

I would echo the nice service and pleasant people I have encountered w/ Tracfone.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Yesterday I caught just the end of a TV commercial about the Jitterbug phone. Price seemed to be similar to the AARP plan.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Yesterday I caught just the end of a TV commercial about the Jitterbug phone. Price seemed to be similar to the AARP plan.

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

I have a question for anyone who says they want a cell phone "just for emergencies." Do you really mean that? All cell phones are required by law to be able to call 911 even if they are not on a cell phone service provider's plan. You would have to keep the phone battery charged, of course, but in a real emergency it is there for you.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

An emergency isn't just to call 911, at least not for me. My car may break down on the way to Memphis on the side of the highway, miles away from a pay phone. In THAT emergency, I'd want to call my brother who has a friend with a tow truck. Or if I'm travelling and get lost in a friend's city, I might need to call that friend and get directions to wherever I'm going. That's really all I use my cell phone for. It's turned off 95% of the time. I turn it on only when I'm travelling or if I have a small emergency or when I take my morning walks.

A friend of mine recently gave her little grandson an old cell phone to play with and in pushing buttons, he had called 911 and got an answer, much to my friend's surprise. She didn't even realize the battery still worked. LOL

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, "emergencies" like getting to a town where you are to meet someone to look at an item that they have for sale. You are to call for directions only to find there are no pay phones anywhere, any more!

The emergencies like should I have trouble on the road, I would not dial 911 but rather dial my DH or the mechanic or the wrecker.

Emergencies are not just for 911 anymore. Yep! I really mean that!

Now all I want is service everywhere...

Olympia, WA

and another use for emergency stuff is being able to call AAA and get yourself out of the mess you are in!!!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, as we age, I have considered an AAA membership but haven't joined yet.

How many of you that carry that "emergency' cell phone with you have the emergency numbers programed in? Or a current phone directory in your vehicle?

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

That was my point. Our personal emergencies don't usually require 911 so getting cell phone service of some sort is usually required, though not just for true emergencies.

Does everyone have "ICE" programmed into their phone's contact numbers? This stands for "In Case of Emergency" and would help first responders contact your relative or other emergency person in case they find you and your phone. Just having people listed by name would usually be meaningless to strangers. ICE could save time and life.

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