The Chicago-based U.S. Cellular is considered to be the fifth biggest cellular phone service in the United States, trailing Verizon...
U.S. Cellular Prepaid Plans Review
Its rise to national prominence happened, in part, to the acquisition of the naming rights of the baseball stadium formerly known as Comiskey Park, the home of the Chicago White Sox.
Apart from that bit of shrewd marketing, U.S. Cellular builds its name primarily on its contract service. However, they do allocate some of their resources to compete with other telecoms that provide prepaid wireless service.
While the company does offer plentiful choices in terms of phone selection, some consumers may find their prepaid services to be a bit lacking in comparison to the competition.
U.S. Cellular offers three monthly plans to customers:
- $45 Monthly Plan – This plan provides the customer 350 anytime calling minutes, which breaks out to $.129 a minute. Any airtime that exceeds 350 minutes costs an extra $.15 per minute.
- $60 Monthly Plan – This plan offers the customer 600 anytime calling minutes for $60, which translates to $.15 a minute. Any airtime that exceeds 600 minutes costs an extra $.10 per minute.
- $80 Monthly Plan – This plan provides the customer with 1,000 anytime calling minutes at $80, which breaks out to $.08 a minute. Like the $60 plan, any time that exceeds this package’s minutes costs an extra $.10 per minute.
On all of these three plans, calls after 9:00 PM are free, and weekend calls are free on the $60 and $80 plans. It should also be noted that all incoming calls are free on the services. Text and multimedia messages are also available on all three plans. The cost is $.25 per outgoing message regardless of package, and there are no charges for incoming messages.
Usage Based Plans
U.S. Cellular has a pair of simple usage based plans. The first plan charges $6 per month and $.15 per minute. The second plan charges $10 per month and $.10 per minute. Text and multimedia messages are both available on these plans at the same rate as the monthly plans.
U.S. Cellular offers three tiers of monthly text messaging packages. The bottom tier allows for 250 messages for $4.95 per month, the middle tier allows for 750 messages for $9.95 per month, and the top tier allows for unlimited messages for $14.95 per month. Additionally U.S. Cellular offers 411 directory assistance calls at $1.50 each.
U.S. Cellular’s network is regional and relatively limited in comparison to other telecoms that provide prepaid wireless service. In essence, customers that aren’t in the Midwest, northern New England, the mid-Atlantic region, and the Pacific Northwest may struggle to find coverage. Some customers may find this to be a problem, primarily due to U.S. Cellular’s expensive $.69 per minute charge for roaming.
U.S. Cellular has a pretty solid selection of phones available for their various prepaid cellular phone services.
Help & Support
U.S. Cellular offers e-mail and phone support for their prepaid cellular phone users. Their website also contains a solid amount of product information as well as a relatively extensive FAQ section.
Whether customers heard of U.S. Cellular through their own cell phone shopping or by tuning into a Chicago White Sox home game, there is no denying that this company is a known commodity within the cellular telecommunications world. And while their services are not suited for everyone around the country, the company may prove to be a viable option for prepaid cellular service for those that are currently living within their regional network.