Very disappointed. Better comparison and/or suggestions, please?

We've really been very happy with the way that Red Pocket just works & requires zero attention...'till now.
It will very soon be time for us to choose which AT&T/GSM provider to use going forward.

This would have been a total no-brainer if RP had done a BF special on our desired 'Essentials' plan as they've done before;
But no dice this time around.
(A slight discount was offered for a very short time - but as I was away at a job site, I missed getting that.)

Since we need to keep our 2 GSM phones going for coverage in areas that Twigby does not reach here in Vermont, this is an important choice.

ATM, my GSM phone is using FreeUp, which is only just OK as long as I ignore its annoyances & barely use it at all.

My partner's phone will soon have this as an absolute need though, and the other available choices ain't really impressing me - so I'm hoping someone who has 'done the numbers' has figured out something better than what I am seeing...?

Right now it seems that the only valid choices are paying the $100 for the RP annual deal via fleabay, vs. getting the Truphone SIM for $30 & sort of praying that she doesn't go on a texting binge !!

The $30 & $15 credit is OK for TP, but at .09 per outgoing unit of voice or text (or MB of data) - that initial credit buys just 166 units, and doing the long term comparison to the cost of RP, that $100 would buy 11,111 units - which may just be OK as long as I can actively track usage somehow & then add $$ as needed.

Any better suggestions for AT&T based GSM (or how to get a super deal on RP...) will be greatly appreciated !?!


Redpocket is as cheap as it gets. I know you wanted a deal but frankly there isn't much lower they can go. See and key in what you need. You'll see redpocket is well ahead of the competition.

If you can watch usage someone like H20 does paygo for 5 cents a minute/texts.

The only real alternative is an annual plan for tracfone but I know your dislike for them!

(I cheated and used the excellent 'plan finder' at

From that cheatsheet, no one else beats Red Pocket price for 500/500/100mb (or better) price on a monthly plan.
The same holds true even if I drop talk/text to 250/250.

Black Wireless has $7.50/mo for an annual plan of 500/500/100, or $8/mo for a 6-month plan. Black Wireless is owned by Red Pocket.

I recall that you're in the never-again camp for Tracfone, which might otherwise merit consideration, and could potentially save money for intermittent use. (Start with a $40 annual plan, and add minutes-only or text-only cards as needed.)

(EDIT: sorry for repeating mmfacemm's advice-- I was still typing while he was posting.)

Actually just called FU (888-316-0686 / 469-281-2080) and got a very helpful rep to explain overages via their 'free' plan - and this is VERY good news for us, actually.

Their free plan allotment of 250 minutes/texts is now a viable option.

This is because there is a way to economically deal with the overages every now & then like a PAYG sort of thing via their add-ons.
The minimum is $5 for 100 units or $10 for 250 units - which I will now consider.
(Their $20/month deal is more than 2x the cost of the RP - so that is not economical for us.)

Since needing to get 500 units total for $10 will be a rare enough thing, the only remaining annoyance with FU is now their horrid 'low balance' auto message, which I also asked about;
They claim to be working to make that stop happening on EVERY call.

So, it looks like the better option does exist & that RP will be losing us as customers to FU.

Too bad - if they had merely repeated the same deal as in prior years on our desired plan, we would stay with RP.

Just to note that with Truphone incoming calls and texts are free, so if a person used an equal amount of minutes for incoming and outgoing calls, the price then would be about 4 1/2 cents a minute. And if one had certain friends they regularly conversed with who had unlimited calling plans from their end and could call the Truphone user back, an additional reduction in costs could be had. Also, if one adds some wifi calling into the mix, all the better. But, yeah, definitely keep the mobile data toggled off, save for brief needs.

Thanks as always Isamorph !!
Just came from replying to the thread about the 'great deals' RP is (not) offering.

Your suggestion has merit, but with regards to my dear partner - she mostly avoids voice & instead sends many, many very small texts - such that the 9 cents for every little 3 word thingy she sends out is definitely less economical than the once in a while need for an add-on to FP when the aforementioned may happen.

Even if we have to add-on a total of $60 in a year (unlikely ??), that still puts us right near the prior cost of the best RP BF deal when it happened.

Too bad for RP that they simply cannot manage to reproduce an actual 'great deal' on that offering as they are aimed at losing 2 sales from us now & for as long as FU remains viable.

Yes if you can make freeup work it is a great choice. Shame you missed the 1000 min/texts plan they had at one point or the earlier one with 500.

My account shows a $5 top up for 250 mins/texts available. I have an older plan though so not sure if it is the same for newer ones.

Hi Mmfacemm.
I should have mentioned that the rep told me right now they have a special with the $5 top up for 250 mins/texts rather than 100.
(I didn't think of it simply because I don't need to get any ATM...)

Is the fu top up or paygo balance good for as long as your account is in good standing otherwise? Or does it expire (when?)

Apparently the add-ons do expire whereas the top-ups don't ??
This is the impression I got from the phone rep - but you may wish to use the number I posted to call and ask them also.

I thought I knew the answer to this, but on checking before posting, you may have pointed me towards something I wasn't aware of.....

FreeUP uses the term 'PayGO' differently than we usually think about it. FreeUP's Paygo ILD applies only to International Long Distance calling. This desposit/add-on doesn't expire, but remains available as long as your line is active.

The normal add-ons for calls/text or data expire when your current month expires. They don't roll over past your monthly renewal date.

But, I noticed when looking just now that the United States does appear as a destination in the International rates list, at $0.02/minute. So, in theory at least, you could make a non-expiring $5 PayGo ILD desposit, and still having calling available should you exceed your monthly allotment. This appears to be a great idea!

Caveats: I don't see sms mentioned as available through PayGo ILD. (Really nice if it was also covered.) And if you're counting on being able to use this for US calling, I'd ask CS for confirmation.

Well, as I see it - once (and if...) they keep to their words to ditch that horrid/annoying default recording, I will spare that account a $5 top-up to see how it goes as time passes.
Given that the old RP ate loads more than that when it was killed off, and after having 2+ months of totally free backup AT&T services from FU, I'm OK if that $5 just sits there forever - especially if it keeps their system from making any more annoyances that I am forced to hear !!

I discovered the other day (mostly by accident) that despite being on the free plan with no data, I was able to use data...which I subsequently ascertained was being charged at some rate I estimate to be around 5-7 cents per megabyte from the sub-$2 balance I accumulated before the rewards program ended.

I was confused by that one at first. Now I'm curious whether that balance would automatically top-up from my payment method on file if I exhausted it or what - like Kent, I'd be far more likely to want to charge that balance than to get an add-on, even if there were any add-ons listed as available to me.

But - I'm dual-sim with Freedompop for data, I have plenty of top-up with them already, and 250 minutes+texts is around ten times my typical monthly usage even without considering using Freedompop for some it would still probably only make sense for me as a way to get rid of that recording, too.

Uh oh, E_Z... looks like you might need another option after all: