New Republic Wireless Cell Phone Plans Include Data Refunds

On July 7th, Republic Wireless announced a new structure to their cell phone plans. This could be great money saving news for people that don’t use much cell network data.

Rather than paying for unlimited data every month on either a 3G or 4G LTE speed, Republic Wireless’s new plans charge you for a set amount of data each month.

The best part of the new plans happens on your very next bill when you will be refunded for any unused data from the prior month.

If you’re not familiar with Republic Wireless, I’ve recently updated my in depth Republic Wireless review to include information on their new plans. Check it out.

A Breakdown of the New Plans

The first two new Republic Wireless plans are exactly the same as their old plans. You can still get a $5 per month plan that allows you to make unlimited calls and texts over WiFi only. There is no cell phone service for calls, texts or data on this plan.

The other remaining plan is the $10 per month unlimited calls and texts over cell towers. On this plan you have no cell tower data available to you.

The exciting part of the new plans starts when you pay for data. In addition to the $10 per month plans, you can add 0.5 GB of data per month for $7.50 more ($17.50/mo), 1 GB of data for $15 more ($25/mo), 2 GB of data for $30 more ($40/mo) or 3 GB of data for $45 more ($55/mo).

Essentially that means you pay $15 per GB of data.

You no longer have to pick which speed of data you want to pay for on the Republic Wireless 2.0 plans. Instead, all plans that include data give you access to 4G LTE speeds if you have a capable device such as the Moto X 1st Gen or Moto X 2nd Gen.

According to Republic Wireless, their average user on their 2,000 member trial of their new plans only used 0.33 GB of data per month. This results in a monthly bill of approximately $15.

How Data Refunds Work

Even though you have to pay for data up front, you won’t pay for a single megabyte you don’t use. At the end of each billing period, Republic Wireless will take the amount of data you didn’t use and refund you for the exact amount.

Their formula takes the MB you didn’t use and divides it by 1024, the number of MB in a GB, and then multiply that by the $15 you pay per GB to get your refund.

Run Out of Data? Buy More A La Carte!

If you run out of data before you run out of days in your billing period, you can purchase more data in the Republic Wireless app. You can buy 0.5 GB of data for an additional $7.50 or 1 GB of data for an additional $15. They also allow you to buy higher increments of data at $15 per GB.

New Tools to Limit and Monitor Data Usage

The Republic Wireless app now includes a couple of really cool features. In addition to being able to turn cell data completely off, you can make it so certain apps cannot use cell data at all which will help you keep your phone bill low.

Just like you, Republic Wireless doesn’t like surprises when they open their bills. Thankfully, they have included data usage notifications in their app to let you know when you hit certain data usage thresholds so you won’t be surprised when you run out of data.

Heavy Data Users Will Pay More With New Plans

The Republic Wireless 2.0 plans may be expensive if you are a heavy cell data user, but Republic Wireless was never intended to be a company for the cell data hogs.

If you consistently use a lot of data, anything at 3 GB or more, you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere. However, if you normally use 1 to 2 GB or less, Republic Wireless has amazing prices.

In the past, you only had to pay an additional $15 for unlimited 3G data when now the additional $15 will only get you 1 GB of 4G LTE data. If you had 4G LTE data before, you now get 2 GB of data for the same price of $30 over the cell plan with no data.

If you’re a current member, you can keep your current plan until July 31, 2016. However, at that point you’ll have to switch to a new Republic Wireless 2.0 plan and start paying for your data.

Not Sure How Much Data You Use?

If you’re a current Republic Wireless customer, you can check on your past data usage in the Republic Wireless app.

If your monthly data usage averages 1 GB per month or less over time and you’re on the 3G plan or your monthly data usage averages 2 GB per month or less over time and you’re on the 4G LTE plan, then you should probably switch to the Republic Wireless 2.0 plans.

If you are not a current Republic Wireless customer, you can likely view your data usage on your monthly bills or in an app somewhere on your phone and quickly figure out how much your bill would be on Republic Wireless. If it would be cheaper, consider switching after reading my in depth Republic Wireless review.

What do you think about the new Republic Wireless 2.0 refundable data plans? Do you think you would save money on the new plans or do you wish the old plans would stay forever? If you aren’t a current member, would this new billing plan structure make you want to switch? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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