Do you use your smartphone to make a few phone calls per month, surf the web occasionally and almost never send or receive text messages? Then you might be wondering why most major US wireless carriers want to charge you $70 or more per month for services you aren’t really using.
Zact is a new carrier that lets you build your own plan by paying only for the talk, text, or data you expect to use. While plans can climb higher than $100 per month depending on how you configure your plan, you can get a plan with limited talk, text and data for just $3.49 per month.
The cheapest plan you can get is just $0.71 per month for up to 25 text messages.
Zact is an MVNO, which means the company doesn’t actually have its own network of cell towers. Instead, Zact uses Sprint’s mobile network to provide talk, text, 3G, and 4G LTE service.
So anywhere that Sprint is available, Zact is also available.
There are a few catches. First, the company only offers a few phones, and you’ll have to pay full price for your phone. An LG Optimus Elite will run you $199, while an LG Viber 4G LTE runs $399.
Second, Zact plans can add up — 2GB of data will cost you nearly $45 per month, and 5GB runs $104. Add a reasonably large bucket of voice minutes and text messages to the account, and your bill could climb even higher.
On the other hand, if you choose a plan with more minutes, texts, or data than you actually use, Zact will actually add a credit to your next month’s bill for the unused amount so you don’t end up paying for services you’re not using.
The good news is that Zact’s plans are contract-free, so you can cancel at any time. And if you think you need to adjust your allotment of talk, text and data during the course of the month, you can do that. Once you’ve prepaid, you can always switch how much of that money should pay for each service.
Zact isn’t the first MVNO to offer a la carte pricing. Ting offers a similar build-your-own-plan model, but Ting’s cheapest plans still cost a bit more, and the company doesn’t offer quite as many options as Zact.