Omni Prepaid -- a Former Low-Cost Option

Omni Prepaid used to offers a single prepaid plan at a cost of 14 cents per minute. Thus a $10 refill card good for 90 days got you 71 minutes.

Update

Omni is out of the consumer prepaid cell phone business. They now offer their mobile payment technology for gift cards etc. to other companies. The review below has been left up for reference.

Coverage

They use the “nation’s leading cellular providers network” which mean coverage should be okay. They don’t mention what network that is because they don’t want you calling them if you have any problems with your phone service.

Phones

They have handsets ranging from $15.99 for the most basic handsets to about $90 for their high-end. Omni not being one of the major prepaid cell phone companies, you may have to do some searching to find a retail location that stocks their phones.

The phones have been rebranded as Omni 500, Omni 600 etc.

I would recommend you do NOT get the Omni 100, as that phone cannot be reset remotely. If it gets stuck you have to mail it in to their service center.

Airtime

Airtime refill cards are available in denominations of $10, $25 and $40. The airtime is good for 90 days. You can order their refill cards online through their partner. Airtime is deducted at a rate of 14 cents per minute.

Roaming

This is a little complicated. Within their network there are no roaming charges, but the calling procedure gets a little complicated with a "two stage" dialing process.

Roaming outside their network you will be asked to use your credit card or a calling card or make it a collect call. Either way, these calls cost $1.95 plus tax per minute.

Text Messages

5 cents to send and receive

Voice Mail

To activate Omni Prepaid voice mail

you have to call their Customer Center.

They have one non-standard feature: not only is airtime deducted when you activate and check your voice mail, but also when someone is leaving you a voice mail message.

This is a little strange, as you don’t really have control over someone leaving you a voice mail. Luckily there is a two minute limit on the length of a voice mail message.

Why go with Omni Prepaid?

Mainly, if you want to be able to get an inexpensive phone and to be able to buy airtime in increments of just $10. All airtime purchases are good for 90 days. So, though the per-minute rate is more expensive than Net 10 but cheaper than Tracfone. However, your minimum cost to maintain service is a lot less – just $10 every three months.

So if you just need an emergency number, you can have one for a little more than 40 bucks a year plus the cost of the phone.

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The Process