Consumer Reports rates prepaid cell phone services
Some prepaid carriers offer smart phones
We pay big bucks for all that connectivity on our smart phones.
The average household spent $1500 on phones and servicees this year, according to Consumer Reports.
One way to save money is a prepaid phone plan.
"Two thirds of our subscribers who switched to prepaid service knocked $20 or more off their monthly costs," said Rosalind Tordesillas of Consumer Reports.
Prepaid services are offered from companies like Tracfone and Straight Talk. The big guys, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T also offer prepaid plans.
"Prepaid plans are either pay-as-you-go or have a montly allocation of minutes," Tordesillas said. "Some even have unlimited plans. You may pay more up front for the phones, but you can save in the long run."
The phones used to be just basics. But, some prepaid carriers now offer smart phones. The Galaxy S III is available from Metro PCS and the iPhone 5 from Cricket.
If you don't need the latest smart phone, Consumer Reports recommends Straight Talk's prepaid plans available through Walmart.
Straight Talk has several plans, including $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data. That's half the price of Verizon's cheapest unlimited plan.
Verizon was the top-rated cell phone service in Consumer Reports survey, along with two smaller companies: U.S. Cellular and Consumer Cellular.
To view recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.
Copyright 2012 by Consumer Reports. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.