Cost per minute costs for phone, text use?

jrdwyerMay 8, 2009

There was an article recently about cell phone users paying anywhere from $.25/minute (realistic average) to $3/minute (average) for use of their plan cell phones. This study looked at all costs including taxes. The point of the article was better disclosure by carriers concerning per minute costs and also the idea that pre-paid is cheaper for many than post-paid plans.

So I got out our recent bill and looked at how many minutes we used and how much we paid. The results:

Voice- Cost $101.34, minutes 3600, unit cost $.028/min

Text- Cost $16.05, texts 1216, unit cost $.013/text

Anyone else know what they pay per minute talked or per text message sent? Those with unlimited landline plans will have to estimate the usage. Don't forget to include all the taxes and extra fees to make comparisons fair.

With this frugal group, I'm pretty sure it is less than what the article states.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCAN Phone Study

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like you could use an unlimited sms plan ... about $7 month is what I've seen here. Maybe a land line too.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So I guess you don't know the answer to my question, or don't care, or don't want to share?

This is probably why groups like UCAN and Consumer's Union do such studies and the result are representative of the whole.

That being the case, many people could save money with pre-paid plans instead of post-paid.

We're fine with our post-paid plan and telephone services. I am the type who likes to probe for answers, verify information, and gauge pricing trends going on.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a prepay and pay $100. a year for a thousand minutes. It's just like anything else, it's how you use it that counts. I never go over the minutes I pay for. if I wanted to talk to someone for an hour I would wait until I get home. I never use all of my minutes and they roll them over. If I had a family member or friend that lived near by I would let them use some of my minutes. I got it to see if I could do without my land line. I only use the prepay for long distance.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Most of the texting I do through Yahoo Instant Messenger for free. I just added some time and minutes to my prepaid phone. I used a little over 700 minutes in the past year as I recall. With this, I look more at the per month cost and in the last 5 years it varies from $2/mo to just short of $10/mo depending on the service I use.

I often buy the 60 min cards for about $10, double the minutes, add 30 and use a promo code for another 30-60 min. Let's see I added two and added 360 min good for 6 months. So that made it about $3.50/mo and about 6¢/min unless I factor in that I carried over 700 min. (One month of cell service for the OP would last me what, 5+ years? LOL) Which is why I look at the time in addition to the minute rate.

I can't imagine talking 2 hrs a day on a cell phone, but I know people who do. A couple I know use the cell as their primary business phone and of course I know people who have to have that thing sticking out of their ear! lol I guess I just don't talk that much.

But I also know people who talk on there because they have the minutes. One couple will call each other on the phone AT HOME if they're in a different room!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, the 3600 minutes per month are for 3 cell phones and one of those (mine) also serves dual purpose for my consulting business line (no landline).

I don't text, but my son and his friends use it a lot.

In case your wondering how the per minute rate is so low compared to plan minutes or even pre-paid minutes, it's called Wi-Fi calling (UMA) with a cell phone through a broadband cable connection and it adds an additional $10/month (included in the above total).

The broadband cost, at $30/month, is not included as part of the per minute calculation because we would have this service regardless of what phone system we chose. To be totally fair, I guess I would have to break down the bandwidth used per month by category (phone or internet) and assign a percentage value.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 11:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How to Retire 35 Years Early
Wall Street Journal's Market Watch did a feature on...
Need Ideas-Extra Space/Supplemental Income
My wife and I recently had twins which upped our kid...
Saving money on water
Unfortunately, in this case you may have to spend to...
What about saving money when renovating?
Does anyone have any tips for that?
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
credit card question
I have a large amount of credit card debt from various...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™