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Hey guys !

Well, after a couple of years without a cell phone, we are looking to get back in the game (!).

We are not the typical user: we need one phone with the least possible of minutes, this would be typically used for emergencies/when we really need to be contacted.

Any suggestion/insight might help ... thanks !
 

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I don't know if they're available in your area, but consider Virgin Mobile and PC Mobile or some other prepaid plan if possible. I use Virgin Mobile. The per-minute rates, especially long distance and roaming look horrendous, but I don't come anywhere near to using them up.

The unused balance rolls over if you top up on time. Auto-billing on my credit card guarantees that it's done. I have close to $400 balance accumulated over the years on my Nokia 6015i. What few long distance calls I make, I make on the cellphone. They're effectively free. I'm using "play money" that I can't otherwise withdraw from the "virtual piggy bank".
 

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It sounds like PAYGO pre-paid is your best option. Virgin Mobile are the pre-paid kings in Canada, but make sure to check out MNVOs like Petro Canada wireless or (if available in your area) 7/11 Speakout Wireless. There are existing threads about both here if you have questions.

For extremely limited use pre-paid will save you a lot of money over post-paid, as long as you're willing to cover the cost of the phone up front. Most pre-paid carriers offer some very low-priced handset options.
 

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Just FYI, if you mean emergencies as in 911, you can use any cell phone without paid service to make the call. Don't let them tell you otherwise, it's the law ;)

If you want just a few minutes a year, I believe 7/11 has yearly top-up expiry for the low amounts.
With virgin you need to add $100 to get yearly expiry.
 
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