A decade ago, I got a $50/month Sprint SERO plan. At the time, this unlimited talk, text and data plan was unheard of. Taxes and fees brought it to $58/month. It also came with low cost high end phone upgrades every two years – which I promptly sold on eBay for a $200 profit! I looked like a genius.
When the clock struck 2017, my phone upgrades went away. Wireless prices continued to plummet. It was time to look for a better deal.
Many of the name brand wireless providers own less expensive companies that use the same towers as the big-boy company. These “mobile virtual network operators” (MVNOs) piggyback on the major carrier’s networks. For example: AT&T (Cricket), Sprint (Boost) and T-Mobile (Metro PCS). See large list of MNVOs here.
These junior companies can save you a lot of money! I had to decide which lower cost, dare I say “generic” wireless company to choose.
It wasn’t going to be Boost because Sprint’s reception in my home has been spotty at best. I still have a landline because of that.
Cricket got my attention with $35/month for unlimited talk, text and 4 GB of data. No taxes. No fees. No contract. The deal is actually $40/month but they take off $5/month with Auto Pay.
How is Cricket’s reception?
Cricket uses AT&T’s towers. I emailed my neighbors asking if they used Cricket or AT&T and if so, how was the reception. Turns out that Gladys Kravitz across the street loved her AT&T. She said she always got good reception not only at home but around town as well.
Mrs. Kravitz came over to help me test the reception in my house. She called my landline from her AT&T iPhone. We moved our conversation around from room to room, inside and outside. Then we switched phones so I could hear how our conversation sounded on her AT&T iPhone.
I was amazed at how great the reception was! It was like being on a landline.
How Much Data Was I Using?
I signed in to my account at Sprint.com to find out I had been using less than 500MB (or ½ of 1GB) per month. Cricket’s 4GB plan was plenty.
Great reception and 8 times as much data as I had been using… time to sprint from Sprint.
Next… I Needed A Phone
Cricket offers free phones. You can also buy a better phone from them. Cricket has a promotion now that they will give you $50 bill credit if you bring your own phone.
I would need a phone that worked on the AT&T network. I liked my Samsung Galaxy S4 and a buddy really likes his Samsung Galaxy S7. The hunt was on. I could get it for about $300 less on eBay than from Cricket. I purchased an unlocked Samsung Galaxy 7 on eBay. I was sure to buy from a seller who had good ratings and accepted returns. If his phone didn’t work, I could return it. Or he’d go to eBay jail.
How to Know If Your Phone Will Work With Cricket
To make sure your phone will work on Cricket’s network, dial *#06# and you will get an IMEI number. Do it on your own phone right now to see what I’m talking about. Then go here and plug in that IMEI. I asked the eBay phone seller to plug in the IMEI number here to make sure it’d work and save us both hassle if it did not. It worked. All systems go!
Only $420 Per Year
$35 x 12 months = $420. My phone costs will max out at $420 per year. I am a saving $23/month off my formerly rock bottom Sprint plan. That’s a savings of $276/year.
Now that I have great reception in my house, I may jettison the landline which will save me another chunk ‘o change. I can still use my existing landline phones that I have scattered around the house. My landline phones are the kind that you can “easily pair up to two smartphones to make and receive cell calls with Link2Cell Bluetooth system”. Check them out.
$25 Credit If You Use My Referral Link
If you end up switching to Cricket Wireless, use my Refer A Friend link and we will both get a $25 service credit!
They have various plans and multi-line discounts. You can even get 5 lines for $100/month. Unlimited Talk, Text and 4 GB Data on each line.
So… if you are paying more than $35/month for one line and if AT&T reception is good in your area – go for it!