questionscan you help me help my grandma?

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tracfone of course! cost less than 10$ a month, especially if you buy a 1 year card, plus sometimes you can score double minutes for life when you buy a new phone. they have a wide range of phones, some basic smart phones, to the classic candybar phone or even a old school flip phone.

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@drsilentg beat me to the answer. I bought my mom a flip tracfone--a basic, easy to use phone. She has the double minute phone. It costs about $7.00 a month to add minutes (60 x 2 in 90 day increments) where I live. The minutes carry over from month to month and they have very good customer service, if needed.

I love cinnamon rolls!

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I've heard good things about Virgin Mobile. I'm pretty sure that you don't have to prove your virginity, which would help a lot in her case.

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@barnabee @drsilentg: Do either of you know if Tracfone uses a certain carrier's towers? The reason is that they live in an area where Verizon is one of the only companies with good coverage.

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The pay as you go plans tend to be pretty rockstar for just that. Tracfone is great, Virgin Mobile does a great job too. Stick with tracfone, those tend to be simpler feature phones (Which I'm guessing is more suitable to this situation) rather than smart phones, which Virgin Mobile is better for.

vote-for8vote-against

I was actually looking at this phone today for my grandmother

http://www.amazon.com/T190-Unlocked-Quad-Band-Battery-Bluetooth/dp/B008LR0TYG

It's GSM and looks really simple. Her request to me was a phone where the number buttons to do not touch each other.

also, Net10 has a 200 minute plan for $15 so it sounds like it is right in the price range you want.

Hope this helps!

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@oo7slice: Maybe this will help you: http://www.preprepaid.com/whichtracfonecarrier.php

Edit: Looks like Verizon is unavailable for tracphone GSM.

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::Blink, Blink:: I use Virgin Mobile. Pay $20 every 3 months. It accrues. Have well over $300 just sitting there. Don't use it, as you might guess. Bought it to take in the car w/me. Often forget to take it. <---Could be my age. Might also be my lack of interest in cells.

Also, I'm a grand mother. <---half a word?? Use my land line. Oh! and I'm a born again virgin. (Don't ask)

Edit: I went to check my balance - phone dead. Currently charging. I suspect I have over $500 in my account. Had this cell for years. sigh

vote-for4vote-against

AT&T G-Phone. The plan we use costs $.10/minute and $1/day each day that it's actually used. We usually buy $100 worth once a year, which is simple for us to keep track of. Time can be bought in smaller increments, and as long as you renew before the time period expires whatever's left rolls over; I'm currently carrying over $200 in rolled-over time. Our phones are seldom turned on unless one of us is out of the house. My spouse (who does nearly all the errands) uses maybe $20 every three months; I use maybe $15 every three months.

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Check out this new company called Ting. It was featured on the TWiT network.

https://ting.com/plans

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Ditto again for tracfone.

The newest ones have triple minutes, and there are websites with coupon codes. Get a 200 minute card, put in the bonus numbers, and get another 60 minutes or so. That gives you 660 minutes for $30, for youse guys.

And I'm another low level user. Every so often I need to transfer a couple thousand minutes to my wife's fone. That only takes a five minute fone call.

I just got a new one, so I'm going to leave the old one with maybe 50 minutes and a $20 (120 minutes, x2 for double for life fone) card in the car, for any emergency.

I have a dil that routinely eats up over 1500 minutes per month. She needs another kind of plan. %:9 Tracfone is overkill for me, but still not wasted.

YMMV, of course. We are weaning ourselves off the land line, so that'll save us on the cable bill. Just keep track of the minutes you are using NOW, and that'll help you figure out which plan will work for you.
I don't do data or text, so simple cheap phones work for me.

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i just checked Ting. $20 to $30 per month.
I pay $20 to $30 for three months worth of tracfone.
Nottso good for me, but maybe for someone else.

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@amdigitaltechnologies: I use Ting. I pay about $20 a month for an Android phone. (I use texts and data pretty lightly) My old carrier wanted $30 a month for data alone.

If you just neeed a phone for 100 minutes or less a month you can pay as little as $9 a month + taxes.

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Consumer Cellular is senior friendly as far as phones and their plans start around $10 a month. They are tied in with Sears so you can go to a Sears store to look at or buy a phone and also see a local coverage map.

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PagePlus uses the Verizon network and they offer pay as you go plans. Been using them for years and have had no problems.

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I think net 10 is the way to go. 10 cents a minute and I think you can add as little as $10 a month. Minutes roll over as well.

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I recommend T Mobile. It has the same $.10/minute rate as others and almost unlimited phone options (I'm using an iphone with mine right now). There are limited data options but once you buy $100 of minutes, you get the $.10/min rate and as long as you buy minutes once per year, they don't expire. But, this sounds pretty similar to the other versions people have mentioned so it is probably depends on phone choices and cell coverage.

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Check out Jitterbug phones. They're designed for seniors and are extremely friendly and helpful with their customers.

http://www.greatcall.com/jitterbug/

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I don't know how it compares to other plans but I know Verizon does pay as you go also if you are worried about towers.

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Looks like I'm going to need to eat a lot of cinnamon rolls. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I think we're going to go with Tracfone since it seems so universal and easy for grandparents to buy minutes. Ultimately, I'll leave it up to them...thanks, once again!

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Late to answer, but we use Safelink for my mom-in-law. Free. They send you a decent phone. The only qualifiers are be on Medicaid or SSI. Give it a look. safelinkwireless.com