Cheap extra phone

I was thinking of getting an inexpensive extra phone to keep at home to use if my primary phone is lost or broken, and also to use for any verifications (banks, etc).
So I would only need the most basic of plans, with the option of adding GB of data should I need it.
I’m currently on My Choice, and Republic doesn’t have a plan that would work for this situation. I can’t move my current phone to the 5.0 plan, so I’m staying put with My Choice for now, and I’ve been satisfied with my phone service.
I found Ting’s Flex plan, $10/month unlimited talk/text, no data, can add data at $5/GB if needed.
That sounds good to me, but I thought I’d run it by people on this community, since many of you have experience with other phones/carriers.
Any thoughts?

Ting can be a fine choice. Just know that if you use more than 1 MB (that’s not a typo), Ting will automatically charge $5 for 1 GB of added cell data. Unlike Republic, Ting doesn’t ask first. You would want to be certain to turn cell data off in the phone’s settings as even simply restarting a phone with cell data enabled might use 1 MB.


That’s interesting…I didn’t see that anywhere in the Flex description on the Ting website.
I would have thought that if I didn’t order data, any apps requiring data wouldn’t work.
Thanks for the info!
Happy New Year (we hope!)


You can turn off cellular data in the Ting user portal, and you can disable cellular data on the phone. You can also set data limits and warnings in the user portal. I use Ting and appreciate that my family can use all the data they want, up to a limit that I set, without my constant interaction. We have 3 phones on the flex plan and have only went above 10GB total twice in two years (I set that as a limit, with warnings set at 5, 7, and 9GB). It’s very economical for our usage. Disabling data completely will have some negative effects (MMS and chat features may fail on cellular connections). On most months we use less than 2GB. Of course now that it’s a Dish Mobile entity, I worry.

I find this post on Reddit useful for identifying least cost mobile plans (of course cost is only one consideration).

Thank you. I forgot about turning data off on the Ting site/app too.

So I’m still doing some research on an emergency phone.

I then started thinking about just getting a burner/prepaid phone. Initially it sounded ideal, but then many of them are 2G or 3G, which won’t work next year. But I see some 4g’s.

Then it looks like some of the plans are cards that I would have to load up and are good for ~30 days. Not something I’d like to be doing for an emergency/extra phone that I only plan to use when absolutely needed.

Do most prepaid phone plans have an expiration date on their minutes/texts?

Otherwise, I’m looking at Tello $8 or $10 plan, bring my own pre-purchased phone – it would be more $$ for the phone, but ready to go, and no worries.

I guess you pay either way – keeping tabs on a pre-paid, or just get a cheap monthly plan…!
(Thanks Rolandh for mentioning Tello! {in a different post})

Anyone have experience with the prepaid/burner phones?


Thinking about these as an extra/emergency phone.
The phones available will probably have changed now that 2G and 3G are gone…I still see a lot of 3G phones for sale!

So after doing the research, I got a second/extra/emergency phone. My primary phone is still on RW 4.0.

I gave up on burner-type phones, and I went with Tello – I got their 300 mins/unlimited text/no data at $6/month. If I need to use the phone for more, I can easily and quickly change to add data, and change back if needed.

I got an unlocked Moto g power (2021) at Best Buy on sale — if I keep it for 4 years, it will be about $3/month (my recent phones have been about 4+ years).

I’m happy with the Tello plan and Moto phone. I’ll use it if my primary (RW) phone gets lost/stolen/broken, or if I’m going somewhere that I don’t want to take my primary phone.

After doing all of this, I have to laugh at myself – because it was only a few years ago that I had my land line, no frills, and it was $27/month! :phone: Remember those days?!?

I think I worked out a good deal, and peace of mind if I need a backup phone.