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We Help You Decide: You Talk A Lot

We Help You Decide: You Talk A Lot There's an existing stereotype of prepaid users: They only use such a service because of a poor credit rating, or because they don't use a cell phone very much. And while that's true in some instances, there are certainly other types of prepaid users. There are people who don't want to be locked down to a burdensome contract, for example. And then there are people who don't want a rate plan because they know that if they go over their limit they pay more, and if they stay under they're paying for minutes that they don't use.

Some cell users have their phones because they're chatterboxes. This is no insult; we're not the silent type ourself. However, it might be difficult for someone to cut through all the prepaid offerings to find the very best ones that supply the most minutes for the least amount of money. That's why we're here. Let's have a walk through the Canadian prepaid landscape and see what's up.

Read the Full Virgin Mobile Review
What's the difference between 1,000 minutes and unlimited minutes to you? Probably not $10. So we can start off by recommending Virgin's $30 plan, which offers 1,000 night and weekend minutes, plus 100 anytime minutes. Extra minutes are billed at 30 cents per minute, and with only 100 peak minutes, going over is a real possibility. Still, that's their best rate plan. As far as their pay-as-you-go plan offers, the 40 cents per day plus 10 cents per minute is definitely the best way to go, though that can run expensive. For instance, if you were to use all of the 1,000 night and weekend minutes, it would run you $112. So yeah, if you talk a lot, stick with the $30 rate plan. To get to that $112, you'd have to go 273 minutes over your peak allotment.


Read the Full Telus Pay and Talk Review
It's tough to configure a Telus Pay and Talk plan for someone who talks a lot, without paying over $100 per month. Their pay-as-you-go rates simply won't do -- 25 cents per minute. There are a number of add-ons, including unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited early nights and weekends (starting at 7 p.m. rather than 9), and unlimited incoming calls, but they cost a pretty penny: $2 per day for all of them. Then again, that could cover most of your plan.

They also have Spark plans, which, for $40, allow for unlimited incoming calls and early nights and weekends, plus include 100 text messages and unlimited browsing. Of course, you'll still spend the 25 cents per minute for your calls, but you can limit the cost there, since it only covers outgoing calls during peak hours.


Read the Full SaskTel Review
There are very few options with SaskTel; two to be specific. Either you pay 25 cents per minute for the first two minutes of each call, at which time the fee reverts to 15 cents per minute. Or you reduce your evening and weekend calls to 5 cents per minute, with peak calls being charged at 38 cents per minute. Either way, you're going to be paying plenty if you talk a lot. Take a comparison with Virgin Mobile for example. They give you 1,000 evening and weekend minutes in a plan for $30. To use 1,000 evening and weekend minutes with SaskTel, even at the 5 cents rate, would be $50. So if you're a big talker, you probably want to avoid SaskTel prepaid.


Read the Full NorthernTel Review
Like SaskTel, you have two options with NorthernTel. Either go with their basic plan, which is 30 cents for the first two minutes of a call, and five cents per minute thereafer. Or you purchase an unlimited package: unlimited weekends for $15, unlimited nights for $15, or both for $25. However, this sets your daytime rate to 35 cents per minute, no matter how long the call is. As we've seen, straight pay-as-you-go rates normally don't give you the best offerings. We're not sure you could manage to keep a NorthernTel prepaid account at a reasonable level if you're talking a lot. Even if you get both of the unlimited plans, even 100 peak minutes would cost you $35. So then you're at $60, double what you'd pay for the same essential deal with Virgin.


Read the Full Rogers Wireless Review
Of Rogers' four prepaid offerings, we can automatically cross off the Anytime Plan, which charges 40 cents per minute all day, every day, and the All Day Plan, which charges 25 cents for the first five minutes used each day, and 15 cents per minute thereafter. If you're a big talker, you're going to rack up enormous bills with those two. So we'll focus on the other two.


Any time you're racking up charges of 39 cents per minute, even for peak hour calls, you're not doing well for yourself -- that is, unless you can easily avoid talking during those hours. But if you're a big talker, we're assuming that you can't avoid conversations during those times. So even if night and weekend calls are a penny a minute, the 39 cents per minute is kind of deterring. On the other hand, playing a $1 per day access fee is never pleasant, especially when the peak rate is still high, at 30 cents per minute. Night and weekends are unlimited, though, and start at 6 p.m. So if you're a big talker who is stuck in the office all day, that could work. Just realize that you're out $30 per month no matter what.


Read the Full MTS Evolve Review
There are plenty of options within MTS, but we'll focus on the Canada-wide plans -- we assume that if you talk a lot, you have a lot of friends and family, and those friends and family members aren't necessarily all in Manitoba. This is a concern with the other plans, since many of them charge extra for long distance. Such calls are 25 cents per minute, no matter what your plan. Otherwise, they have a number of plans to accommodate all types of talkers. However, the rate never drops below 15 cents per minute, and that's with the Evenings and Weekends plan. The next highest rate is 25 cents per minute, which is available by purchasing a $60 airtime voucher. This covers all minutes, and is probably their best plan. Ick. If you're staying local but talk a lot, their Evening and Weekends local plan gives you those minutes for 2 cents each, though daytime calls are up at 35 cents.


Read the Full Fido Review
From what we see, only three of Fido's five pay-as-you-go offerings could possibly fit the bill of a big talker. First is their nights and weekends plan, which offers those calls at 5 cents per minute and 40 cents per minute otherwise. We've seen similar plans elsewhere, and it can still end up being costly. The other plan that could fit charges a $1 per day access fee, something we never like. You can choose from two options: unlimited night and weekends, or unlimited incoming calls. All other calls are 30 cents each. While you can play that to your advantage, it's still tough to manage that on a reasonable budget. Unless, as we've said, you're in an office during your peak hours (Fido's night and weekends start at 7).


Read the Full Bell Mobility Review
What we like about Bell: consistency. You only have one offering, which is 30 cents per minute for the first two minutes of each call, and five cents per minute thereafter. This you could probably make work -- that is, if you tend to talk longer to one person, rather than making a ton of shorter calls. We'd imagine, though, that as a big talker, your connection times are often long. Having every minute from three onward billed at 5 cents is a blessing, really. Once again, it depends on your calling habits, but this ranks as one of the better rates for high-volume calling.


Read the Full Cityfone Review
All along, we thought Virgin provided the best plan for big talkers. But then we found Cityfone. Thing is, they're both MVNOs, making it harder for them to offer cheap minutes packages -- at least harder than the carriers from which they buy the minutes. Anyway, they offer unlimited nights and weekends plans ranging from $25 to $63, which include from 100 to 600 anytime minutes in addition to your nights and weekends. Of course, this doesn't include long distance, so that's another consideration. But for high volume local calling, you can't beat Cityfone.