Video #131 Purchasing a Prepaid Smartphone for under $150 | Smartphone / Tablet Forum | Forums: Ask the Geeks!

Please ask your questions here (not in email) – we promise to respond here, no such promise with email. This is a benefit of membership. Here’s info  on how to post to this Q&A Forum.

You must be logged in as a Premium Member to Ask the Geeks a question. All are welcome to freely browse the Forums.

Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Video #131 Purchasing a Prepaid Smartphone for under $150
December 30, 2017
12:32 pm

Hi Chris,

I was so excited after watching this video that I had to go out and purchase a prepaid smartphone (which I returned) for the purpose of having a backup phone (and GPS) while traveling in the RV.  The purpose of this phone is for use when we don’t have TMobile service on our Iphones in a camping area which we have encountered once or twice. We knew that Verizon has the best overall service. When you shared information about using Verizon on a Straighttalk card purchased from Walmart for $40/10GB of data I was even more excited because my husband’s main purpose would be to use this smartphone as a hot spot so he can get on the internet with his computer.  He was just as excited as I was.  

I just wanted to share with you some of my findings as I ended up returning the prepaid Straighttalk phone (Samsung J3 Luna Pro) to Walmart and purchasing a better phone for $140 out the door at Best Buy which was on sale (saved $30).  It has 16GB memory and a faster processor, along with a better camera which doesn’t bother me because I won’t be using it to take pictures.  I purchased a Samsung Galaxy J7 prepaid smartphone 16GB 4G LTE 2.2 processor bigger battery and 7.0.1 OS with 8MP/5MP camera.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you cannot use a Straighttalk prepaid phone and card and be able to get on the internet by tethering.  Straighttalk does not allow it. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to risk taking a new phone out of the box and using it because I might decide to return it and they wouldn’t take it back because it was used.

So, I decided to research using a Verizon prepaid card to see if it can be used on a prepaid phone and get me on the internet.  I went to Verizon Wireless and had them show me what prepaid phones they sold that would work with Verizon prepaid cards and allow me to get on the internet.  Needless to say, it was not 10GB for $40 but that doesn’t matter to me because I probably won’t use anywhere near that amount in one month.  This phone may sit for 3 or 4 months before we travel.  We just need to be able to turn on our phone for service when traveling and use phone as hot spot to get on internet with computer when TMobile isn’t working in the area. I don’t believe you can use the Verizon $30 prepaid card with this particular phone to save even a little more money monthly.

So please share any tips/comments you may have in regards to my findings as I am not very geeky and may be overlooking something.  Any thoughts?


January 1, 2018
2:32 pm
Forum Posts: 3096
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello Maggie,

Thanks for sharing your experience. 

So, are you able to use the Verizon / Best Buy / Samsung phone as a hotspot? 

I have heard that Straight Talk cannot be used as a hotspot, but the one I got from Walmart – a $59 LG Rebel 2 on Straight Talk – is indeed able to be used as a hotspot. It works great. It must be an anomaly with the LG phone. 

Here is the place in episode #127, where I demonstrate Straight Talk being turned into a hotspot. Watch for about 2 minutes and you’ll see me turn on tethering.

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 301
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 12
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
Roxie Marston: 118
Barbara Dalderis: 108
Bob Brown: 96
David Cross: 89
guppy1: 81
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 402
Members: 1255
Moderators: 1
Admins: 4
Forum Stats:
Groups: 3
Forums: 19
Topics: 2260
Posts: 7471
Newest Members:
Michal Parker, Karen Mann, Lanny Book, Keith Murphy, Cecilia Phillips, Robin Therrien
Moderators: Jim: 0
Administrators: MrGeek: 445, MrsGeek: 3096, Craig Biles: 0, David Carr: 1