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What's the best Verizon MVNO (and device) for my scenario?

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I want to get an emergency cellphone to keep in our car. We're going to some fairly remote places at times over the coming years, so we want service that uses Verizon's towers. Our regular cellphone plan is with T-Mobile which we'll be keeping due to the cost and free data streaming for Spotify.

We therefore don't want an expensive plan for the emergency phone and are happy to go with an MVNO so long as it uses Verizon's network. We'd only use it for emergencies, so ideally want a plan that only charges us for when it's actually used. That'd mean we could load it initially with ~$10-$20 and would last us for years.

I'd also like it to be on a relatively cheap device, but want it to be a smartphone with good enough storage (or the option to add extra storage) so we can download Spotify playlists for offline use.

I don't know much about MVNOs or cheap smartphones, so any suggestions will be gratefully received.

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I won't call this the "best" but it might be the best for you. The actual phone is not too bad. SD slot is available and battery is removable. Service is through Tracfone on Verizon towers. $50 will get you the phone and service for a year. 1200 MIN/1200 Text/1200MB for the year. It usually runs $100 for just the service.
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1572320?
anonguy said:   The LG Rebel deal is back with a year of service (the real FW deal here). I believe this is the CDMA Verizon version. Use Ebates for a little cashback. Link Stay connected with the TracFone LG Rebel L44C 4G LTE Android Prepaid Smartphone. Capture memories with the 5MP camera/2MP front-facing camera/video recorder and bring them to life on the 4.5-inch touchscreen display. This prepaid smartphone's wide dimension ensures it fits well in your palms for better handling. Running Lollipop, the Android smartphone features a 1.1GHz quad-core processor, leading to better performance and quicker in-device communication. The Bluetooth v4.1 ensures your device is compatible with a broad range of devices while providing faster data transfer. With a powerful battery, the TracFone LG Rebel Premier L44C Smartphone ensures long talk hours and standby time. The proximity sensor reduces accidental touches, making the phone easier to use. When you're looking for new fun, you'll find something out of the 1,000,000+ apps available on Google Play Specification 4G LTE 4.5" touchscreen display Android 5.1 (Lollipop) 1.1GHz quad-core processor 5MP camera/2MP front facing camera/video recorder WiFi capable Bluetooth v4.1 wireless technology Access to over 1,000,000 apps and more on Google Play MP3 player Proximity sensor A-GPS/GPS capabilities Talk Time: up to 9 h Standby Time: up to 9 days

 

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Thanks for that. Do you know if Tracfone regularly offer deals as good as this on eBay? We won't need the phone until the end of the year, so it didn't seem worth buying right now as it wouldn't needed for 6 months.

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peps2004 said:   Thanks for that. Do you know if Tracfone regularly offer deals as good as this on eBay? We won't need the phone until the end of the year, so it didn't seem worth buying right now as it wouldn't needed for 6 months.
  I'm not sure but the year doesn't start until you activate it.  You could ask Tracfone support if you must activate it right away or if their is a time limit.  Additionally I think this deal is a month old now(maybe more).  It might be there in a few months still or it may be gone.

EDIT:  I see there are other Tracfone phones available with similar deals.  Some phones are more expensive you might want to look at those as well.  Be cautious when buying.  Tracfone works on different networks depending on the phone you buy.  The one in the initial link is a Verizon capable phone on the VZW network..  I haven't researched the other phones.

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