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Old 12-09-2022, 10:23 PM   #1
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Cheapest flip phone for emergencies only

I have a Verizon Samsung S8 cell phone that I use for calls, texts, and pictures. But for an emergency only any time wife and I are in different locations (she broke her arm about 3 years ago and being 81 I must keep in touch with her anytime I leave the house) I have a Verizon flip phone been using for years.

It is a 3G and going out of service 1/1/23. For years the flip phone was on a service costing $10/month for about 40 minutes per month which was plenty. Then couple years ago they went to $5/month for 20 minutes per month. Now they say the best will be $40/month, and higher if I make it a second line with my Samsung, which is now $67/mo.

Any suggestions on what would be the cheapest way to have an emergency phone, which I don't think Verizon is intersted in, that probably doesn't be used more than 5-10 minutes per month for conversation only, sometimes 2-3 months without being used at all?
Would prefer to keep Verizon Samsung as it's always been very workable whenever we are traveling, which lately the last couple of years has amounted to only 2-3,000 miles/year to populated towns in Colorado and Arkansas.

Not sure who or where to start looking.
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:37 PM   #2
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Look at TracFone (owned by Verizon), you can buy one of their basic no frills phones at almost any major retail chain for as low as $10. For $20 you get a couple hundred minutes & texts for 90 days. I think they'll give you a small discount with credit card auto pay. Sometimes they sell the phone and the first 90 days as a package deal.
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Old 12-09-2022, 10:42 PM   #3
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AFAIK, any phone, even with no paid service will allow a 911 call, but will not send location data or allow a 911 operator to initiate a call back to the phone if disconnected.
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Old 12-10-2022, 04:25 AM   #4
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Trac phone is one option, Consumer Cellular is another. You can get a no frills phone for under $20 for calls only.
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:33 AM   #5
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I tried several plans and this is the best for me to have an extra line:

I bought an old Iphone 6s from eBay and use Red Pocket for the service on AT&T towers. A flip phone may work, but I haven't tried one to see.

The service is $5 a month or $60 a year for 100 minutes each month.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/13305847640...0AAOSwv7ZfxfcH

$2.50 each month on T-Mobile towers:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/13319683182...sAAOSww2Zfu-Xf
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:43 AM   #6
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I had the same Samsung flip phone that i got way back when i first set up DW and kids on a Verizon family plan. I have a company issued Verizon iPhone that i use as my main phone for 3 more years until I retire. The flip phone number is what i provide to any and all that i DO NOT want calling me !

Verizon sent me (free) a Kazuna eTalk flip phone 3-4 months ago. It sits on my dresser and i check it every week or so to see what slimey spambags have called. The phone does have a “block” feature and i go thru and block them all. The phone is fine for my needs. Battery seems to be weak. I did not shop and compare phones - i called Verizon to inquire about free phones for the end of 3G, and they sent me this one free even though i did not ask for it. I was glad it had a BLOCK feature.
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Old 12-10-2022, 07:17 AM   #7
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If you're willing to consider T-Mobile, Tello have some very cheap plans.

Build you own plan: https://tello.com/buy/custom_plans

100 minutes of talk, free texts and no data is $5 per month.

They have a NUU F4L flip phone (whatever that is) for $79.
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Old 12-10-2022, 07:59 AM   #8
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Are you stuck on a flip phone? The cost for Verizon to add an additional flip phone line sounds high. I wonder how much it would cost to add a line for a simple, inexpensive smartphone. You don't need to buy the phone from Verizon as long as it's certified as working with the Verizon system. I'm using older, refurbished smartphones that I've purchased via Amazon and have never had a problem.
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Old 12-10-2022, 12:14 PM   #9
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Twigby is an MVNO prepaid service using Verizon Towers.

They have a $10 per month plan for Talk and Text.

I just switched to them from Verizon Post Paid.

In my location, the reception and clarity is on a par with the old Verizon service.

The phone will need to work on 4g networks and if purchased used likely needs to work on the CDMA frequencies.

They provide a pre testing site if you have the specific phone IMEI numbers.

https://www.twigby.com/page/byod
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Old 12-10-2022, 03:54 PM   #10
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For about 10 years I've had a Tracfone for my very infrequent cell phone use. Every year, I'd buy a new phone that comes with 1200 talk/text/data for a year. It was cheaper than just buying minutes.

I started with QVC (it never occurred to me to buy from a home shopping network website), and a few years later tried HSN, and HSN has generally been even cheaper. Right now, you can get a flip phone plus 1200 talk/text/data for 365 days for $29.99 at hsn.com.

When the year expires, you can do the same thing again and buy a new phone with included service, and transfer the number, or you can add service time to the phone you have via the Tracfone website. In both cases, the minutes/texts you have roll over. I once forgot to order the phone and because we travel fulltime, I couldn't have a new one sent when my year expired. So I just added a month of time and some small amount of talk/text/data for $9.99.

But when I was checking out, there were special offers, and one was a year of service (with no text/talk/data) for $49.99. So I got 90 talk/text/data for $59.98 for 13 months. That works out to $4.60/month, although with only a little bit of talk/text/data, but I have plenty already.

The pricing on these things is crazy. It would be cheaper if I bought a new phone on QVC or HSN, but having stuff sent while I travel can be a hassle. Not to mention the psychic damage from buying a new phone when I don't need one.

In the beginning, I was getting a smart phone plus 1200 talk/text/data for between $80 and $100/year, but a few years ago I switched to a flip phone because I like it better. And it's cheaper. I now have I think 4 smart phones sitting around not being used.

In the earlier days, you had to be careful about which Tracfone you got if you wanted to be on Verizon, but that changed a while back and now all Tracfones are on Verizon. (You no longer have to look for the V at the end of the model number.)

My only issue is that on Tracfone, you can't block numbers. Or I can't anyway. However, maybe because I never give this number to anyone, it flies under the radar and I get maybe one spam call a year. I was getting text messages in Spanish about once a month for a long time, and I was trying various Spanish words to text back as "stop," all unsuccessfully. Then I texted "stop" and they stopped. Duh.
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Old 12-10-2022, 09:42 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the great information. Willl save me lots of leg work and time.
Not necessarily tied to a flip phone but so far from Verizon it seems to be the cheapest way to go. Think I originally got it from Wal Mart so thought maybe they would have all the ones listed above at a good price.
Thanks again fellows. Or gals if applies.
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Old 01-12-2023, 10:59 PM   #12
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I kept reading where Verizon was replacing customer's current 3G flip phones free but when I checked it was for post-payeers not pre-payers (which my program is). But I had kept getting a message on my 3G flip phone that I was eligible for a $100 coupon toward a replacement.But most phones were $150.

After making a couple of phone calls I reached a person who would accept that $100 coupon and mail me a new 4G flip phone and allow me to keep my current program of $5/month with very limited minutes, which has worked for me for several years since it is only for emergencies when wife and I are in different locations.
Took the new phone to the local store and they activated the new phone and transferred what few pictures and contacts was on the old phone over to the new phone.

Everything seemed to work out great, just waiting for the other shoe to hit the floor.

Appreciate all the help I got from the Forum.
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