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AT&T GoPhone PrePaid Phones : Is ATT 'Pay As You Go' Cell Phone Right For You?

Updated on January 16, 2012

AT&T GoPhone – The Right “Pay As You Go” Phone For You?

Until 2 years ago, I was a typical cell phone customer: I had a moderately priced cell phone with all the usual features – camera, email, text messaging, voice dialing, and so on – and I used a major cell phone provider to get my monthly service.

I mostly used my cell phone for work – I was on-call one or two weekends a month, and my employer needed to be able to contact me at all times when I was on-call. I had a land-line for my home phone, and that’s where I made the great majority of my phone calls.

I typically used 60 minutes or less of airtime each month, plus a few dozen text messages. And I was paying over $50 a month for my Verizon plan – the cheapest plan they had at the time. That means I was paying close to a dollar a minute for my cell phone, and so I decided to look into prepaid cell phone plans.

Pay As You Go Cell Phone Plans

After I started seeing prepaid, or “pay as you go”, cell phone ads on TV, I decided to do some research online. Turns out there are lots of prepaid cell phone plans out there, and each company has their own spin on the concept.

The basic idea is that instead of paying a fixed monthly amount for a pre-set number of minutes, you only pay for the minutes that you actually use. So for someone like me, who paid Verizon $50 a month for 300 minutes when I was only using 60 minutes or less, a prepaid cell phone sounded like a great idea!

Verizon was the first company I researched, and their plan seemed pretty good. Low cost per minute, and low cost per text message – the two things I would be using this phone for. Then I saw the daily surcharge! The minutes were cheap, but for each day when I used the phone, Verizon would charge me $1.00! So if I sent one text message, or talked on the phone for 5 minutes, I would have to pay the message/minute fees plus an additional $1.00!

That turned me right off, so I looked around and saw several other companies with the same scheme. Discouraged, I looked into the AT&T GoPhone PrePaid Cell Phone Plan. The minutes seemed really expensive compared to the others - $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per text message – and just as I was getting ready to give up, I noticed there they don’t charge a daily fee! Plus, the prepaid airtime rolls over if you don’t use it all in the allotted time!

GoPhone is one of the best prepaid cell phone plans!

No more expensive bills!
No more expensive bills!

For a user like me, AT&T GoPhone is the perfect prepaid cell phone plan! I often go for days at a time without using my cell phone – I have a land line for everyday use – so I actually have a hard time using up all of my airtime before it expires!

If you are looking for a cell phone for your child to use for emergencies, or one that you can keep in the car for those “you never know” occasions, then AT&T GoPhone may be the perfect fit for you, too!

Plus there’s no credit check and no long-term commitment to an expensive contract! Just pay for the minutes you use, and if you don’t use all of your airtime in the allotted time span, you can refill the GoPhone and the airtime you already have will roll over and be added to your new balance!

PrePaid Cell Phones Available From

One of the most convenient ways to buy an AT&T GoPhone is from! You can transfer your existing number to the new prepaid cell phone as soon as you receive it in the mail, and the phones for sale at Amazon all include free airtime!

GoPhone Refills

AT&T GoPhone refills couldn’t be easier!

  • You can refill by calling a special phone number from the cell phone
  • You can buy GoPhone refill cards at many grocery and convenience stores
  • You can also use a credit card to refill your GoPhone over the Internet!

As of August 2011, these are the prices and durations for AT&T GoPhone refills:

30 days
90 days
90 days
90 days
365 days
* visit the AT&T website for current rates!

Other places to get an AT&T GoPhone

And Amazon isn’t the only place to get an AT&T GoPhone! You can buy one at Wal-mart, Radio Shack and many other home electronics retailers! The store staff can activate your new AT&T GoPhone right there on the spot, and most of the phones come with pre-charged batteries, so you’re ready to go right away!

You can also buy a GoPhone from AT&T’s website. This is probably the most versatile option – they offer a wide range of phones not available at other retailers, including refurbished phones if, like me, you are “careful with money” (that’s a nice way of saying “cheap”!)

Take the poll !

Will you buy an AT&T GoPhone?

See results

All Content Copyright by The Author © 2010, All Rights Reserved

All Images in the Public Domain


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I can really understand why prepaid is growing. It's by far the best idea to maintain a budget while not spending so much money a month on outrageous phone bills. I like to pay for what I use and prepaid has done that for me. I choose to use Net10 because I think the service is great, coverage is great, and there are NO hidden fees that I don't know about it.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Edwieido, Thanks for the information on cell phones.

  • profile image

    Lucy G 

    8 years ago

    Pre Paid as you pointed out is great for your children. The only problem is they don't see it as important wasting their credit talking to parents rather then there friends

  • samsons1 profile image


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    rated up! very good article & advice Edweirdo, under this administration we ALL need to save money...

  • jobister profile image


    8 years ago from Anaheim, California

    Very good hub. As soon as my contract is over I am going to switch to prepaid.


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