(alternate title: I reeeeeally wanted an iPhone)
Two years ago, I switched from being on a Verizon family plan to Republic Wireless, aka the Cheapest Phone Plan Ever. I really liked Republic Wireless except for a few minor details- the main one being the fact that they don’t offer iPhones. And I REALLY, really missed having an iPhone.
Last month, I decided to finally make the switch back to my beloved iPhone! I knew it was time to replace my 2 year old MotoX, and then I got to thinking- if I’m going to spend $200+ on a phone, why not make it one I actually WANT?
I ended up going with service through Ting because I read some good reviews of the service and it seemed legit and still fairly cheap. And- most importantly- had iPhones :)
I paid $279 for my refurbished iPhone 5S through Ting's website. I might have been able to find one cheaper elsewhere, but I figured it would be easiest to order straight from Ting to ensure the phone worked with the service. And the phone looked BRAND-spankin-new when I pulled it out of the box. So refurbished = totally fine. Oh and by getting the 5S (which is not the most current generation but still is awesome) I saved a couple hundred dollars. I knew I didn't need an iPhone 6... the 5S was just fine for me.
Ting is kind of cool in that you just use your service and then you get billed at the end of the month for whatever you used. The usage falls into different tiers, as seen below:
My First Bill
My first bill ended up at $32- the medium level for calls, messaging, and data, plus the automatic $6 charge for having a device. This first month I didn’t really try to be frugal with my usage; I just used it however I wanted in order to find out how much my “maximum usage” bill would be.
Even with my "maximum usage"- I still think that bill is pretty awesomely low. $32 in these days for a smartphone bill? Nothing to complain about. Especially when it's a non-contract plan. Win!
Next month, I’m going to try to keep my data usage to the Small level*, which would put my bill at $23/mo. I'm fairly certain I'll be able to do that-- this month, I foolishly streamed a youtube video while not on Wifi which ate into 40+ MBs in one go… yikes. Without that I would have been safely in the Small level.
*I could also theoretically use NO data, by turning the data feature off on the phone, but since iMessaging between iPhones uses data, I wouldn’t be able to receive iMessages while not on Wifi. But sending and receiving iMessages on 3G uses like, less than 1MB per day, so it’s fine with me.
I’m also looking into other wifi calling services like Google Hangouts and Google Voice, so that when I am on wifi, I can use that instead of eating into my minutes and texts. That would allow me be in the smallest tier for calls, which would bring my bill down to $17/mo! I’ll report back on that when/if I figure it out :)
The bottom line?
Overall, I’m REALLY happy I switched to Ting. It is more expensive (my Republic Wireless bills were $12/mo!) but I am willing to pay a bit more because I finally LOVE my phone again. It was depressing to pay for service on a phone that I didn’t really even like. (I know, I know, woe is me, I don’t even like my $300 fancy-pants smartphone… cue the tiny violin)
However, I still think Republic Wireless is a really awesome option and I do miss some of their features (namely, the unlimited calling and texting). I absolutely still recommend them if you are willing to have one of their models of phones (the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E). In fact, Mike just got a new phone through them so he's definitely sticking with their service.
Full Disclosure: All links for RW and Ting in this post are affiliate links. I appreciate you supporting me and this blog! :) If you use my Ting link to sign up, you'll get $25 off a new phone from their store or $25 in Ting credit- woo!
What phone service do you have? How much do you pay per month?
(is that too nosy of a question to ask? haha)