Republic Wireless Review: You Need To Run The Numbers

Republic Wireless Review: You Need To Run The Numbers

About a year ago, a Republic Wireless rep. reached out to me to see if I had ever heard of them. At first, I thought it was some sort of scheme for ads, so I ignored. But I eventually found my way over to their site, and realized that they had created something awesome, at a price point NO ONE could ignore.

The Little Guy With A Big Idea

They kindly sent me a demo phone with which to try out, which I didn’t like much. It was old Android, and I owned a newer Windows Phone (don’t hate) from work. But I tried out the phone for what is was good at, and it performed well. They used your home WiFi to place and receive calls and text messages, and this phone did a fine job. Not to mention, the plan was only $19 a month! I was impressed, but stayed with my discounted family plan for the time being.

Republic Wireless had a compelling product at an AMAZING price point, enough to get the big carriers a bit nervous, me thinks. And over the past year, I noticed something amazing happening.

All over the radio and internet, the BIG FOUR (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) started popping up with these “no-contract” phone plans and phones. There were TONS of ads everywhere, like they didn’t even want you to worry about their contract plans. They would offer things like “$50 per month unlimited plans and “Friends and family plans.” They started promoting “bring your own phone” and “we’ll pay you to switch” plans, and dropping their rates more and more.

And I credit Republic Wireless for blowing up the “no contract, unlimited plan” for the increased competition.

New Phones and Plans

Their $19 per month plan was still around, but they realized people absolutely LOVE their phones. So they came out with the Moto X phone for $299, and subsequent 3G & 4G phone plans to come with it:

  1. $5 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi
  2. $10 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data with unlimited talk and text on the cell network
  3. $25 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi with unlimited talk, text and 3G data on the cell network
  4. $40 per month unlimited Talk, Text and Data on WiFi with unlimited talk, text and 4G data on the cell network

These plans were pretty awesome, especially the $10 per month plan. If you can avoid data usage OFF of WiFi, then you can save a RIDICULOUS amount of money!

But for me, the entry price was too much. Two phone was $600, and we’d also have to pay cancellation fees on our current plan, which would have been another $400+. I decided to wait again, but still recommend this plan to people dropping $80+ per phone per month for their iPlan.

The Newcomer

Republic Wireless recently announced their new phone, and it piqued my interest more than any of the other ones. The downsides of 3G only and a 5MP camera (vs. the Moto X’s 10MP) were outweighed by the fact that it was HALF PRICE compared to the Moto X. It also has plans 1, 2 and 3 (above), which could make for an interesting cost comparison, even if you had to pay a contract cancellation fee.

The new phone is called the Moto G, and it looks pretty good.

But I Had To Run The Numbers

Like any good budgeter, I couldn’t jump at the new shiny thing on the internet. No, I needed to do a full ROI cost comparison with several scenarios and real world usage. Basically, I needed to see if it was worth it for MY PERSONAL SITUATION and see if I would save money. So here are the numbers.

Current Phone Plan: AT&T Family Mobile Share Plan

  • $260 per month after taxes – shared with 3 other family members (5 total lines).
  • $90 per month – our portion of the bill (cheaper because I don’t have a data plan)
  • Free or heavily discounted phones every 18 months

New Phone Plan: Equivalent Republic Wireless Plan

  • $298 for phones (2 Moto G phones)
  • $35 per month + taxes (One $25 per month and one $10 per month plan) = $40 per month
  • $400 cancellation fee, hopefully offset by selling AT&T phone

Based on the above, the up-front cost to get into Republic Wireless would be about $700. ICK! But let’s look at the savings:

From $90 per month down to $40 per month. With a $50 per month savings, it would take about 14 months to break even. But then the next few years we would be saving about $600 per year, which is awesome.

So Which Plan Did I Pick?

Well, the Republic Wireless option was starting to look pretty good. Yes, pay $700 up front would hurt, but I would make that money back in just over a year, and would be hitting cruise control on savings from there on out. WOOHOO!

But I didn’t pick Republic Wireless. I picked AT&T.

I had heard a few commercials about the “Mobile Share” plan, but ignored as I usually do from monopoly, money sucking large corporations that are designed to rip off the consumer and limit choice. But finally I logged into my AT&T account, and the numbers were presented directly to me. It showed my old plan with 5 lines, and my new plan with 5 lines. And the prices were crazy good!

For 5 lines, we were paying $260 per month (including a discount of 23%!), and with the new plan, the shared bill would be $135 per month + taxes. Even at 10% taxes, that’s only $150 per month for 5 lines! That works out to $40 per line for 4 lines, and $15 per line for my line (because no data). With taxes, our bill is now only $60 per month! Add in free phones every 2 years, and I’m sold!

Now, if we didn’t have the family share thing going, it’d be $130 for two phones. Even with a discount, that’s $100 per month, which makes the Republic Wireless option even more attractive!

Run The Numbers

It really is cut and dry. All you need to do is run the numbers to see if you can save a load of cash, or if there are other, better options out there. I still recommend Republic Wireless for couples and individuals looking to save a load of cash and get their smart phone fix. But make sure you get creative and see if there is an option to save even more money for YOUR SITUATION.

The key here is doing some research, getting creative and running the numbers. This goes for EVERY LINE ITEM IN YOUR BUDGET! There is always some way to save money on ANYTHING. But you need to run the numbers for you individual circumstances and weigh the pros/cons before making the choice. Anyone can save money, they just need to actually TRY!

If you want to check out the Moto G deal for yourself, you can check it out HERE and compare plans. Run the numbers and decide. If you can save money, why not?! 🙂

Comments: Have you run the numbers yet? What are you waiting for?

photo credit: TheodoreWLee via photopin cc

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, and I do receive a small commission if you use my links to connect with these products and services. You’re support means a TON, and helps this lil’ blog keep on chuggin’! I promise I will NOT recommend something I don’t believe in, and will do my best to explain HOW to use these recommendations to their best potential. Don’t feel the need to spend any money on something unless it will truly help you meet your financial and life goals.

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Comments

  1. I have Republic Wireless and LOVE IT! But I agree- everyone should run the numbers and decide for themselves.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Car Payments SuckMy Profile

  2. Thank you for running the numbers Jacob! I think everyone needs to do that, but so many people don’t. You ran them and found out AT&T was still a good deal. They are also working harder to keep their customers are more and more people are going to a lower cost carrier.
    Grayson @ Sprout Wealth recently posted..Successful Entrepreneurs Know When to Walk AwayMy Profile

    • Yup. I think Republic and some other no-contract carriers have finally brought the BIG FOUR to their knees, and they have no choice but to compete 🙂

  3. I think the new ATT plan only gives you that discounted price right now because they grandfathered your contracts in. Next time you go to upgrade you have to pay an extra $25/mo per smartphone which wipes out the savings. I thought ATT had lowered their prices but in reality they just rearranged how they charge you I think.
    Lance Cothern recently posted..What We’ve Accomplished Since Paying Off $80,000 Of Student LoansMy Profile

  4. I honestly didn’t know that AT&T would end up being that cheap for you. Way to go running the numbers instead of just blindly choosing Republic Wireless. We are big fans of RW, but in your situation, AT&T definitely looks like the better option!
    Retired by 40 recently posted..Find Money in a Too Tight Budget!My Profile

    • I hate blanket solutions. There isn’t a single solution that works for everyone. That’s why I offer specific financial coaching too. My whole blog is a big guideline, but you life is unique to only you, and your financial plans should be tailored specifically to your goals, priorities, etc.

  5. Nice work on the savings with AT&T at least! I was lucky in that my contract expired with Verizon right around the time people were reviewing Republic Wireless. My coworker actually got the Moto X first, and he said everything was running fine, so I was prompted to switch. The savings have been worth it for me.
    E.M. recently posted..Can You Stand the Heat?My Profile

    • Nice work. I think for a majority, RW will save BUNDLES of cash, it’s why I still recommend them. But it’s foolish to blindly jump into any deal before running the numbers 🙂

  6. Have you looked at Ting? I personally think they have a pretty compelling pricing model… too bad they use Sprint as their network. I can’t stand sprint.

    • Rates look good, but we are HEAVY users (minutes and text especially), so we’d pay more for this service. But for light users, I like the look of their setup.

  7. My cousin owned a Moto X Phone. It was really valuable! It has many important features on it.

  8. We just signed up for Republic, because I was running numbers (I do this all the time…even in my head), and Republic finally beats our cheapo landline.

    We don’t (well, DIDN’T) have a cell phone, so any kind of “super-cheap cell phone” plan had to compete with our landline, which was $13.50/mo (only $25.50 after taxes/fees)– and nothing came close. The original Republic deal (which I’m sure was great) was still going to be MORE expensive than our landline. But not with the new plans.

    CenturyLink landline: $27.70 ish per month. Yes, rates just went up $1.50. 🙁

    Republic: $7.10/month (the $5 plan), since we really only need a home phone anyway; $205 (16GB Moto G plus tax/shipping) depreciated over a year is $17.08/month. Total actual cost per month: $24.18. Monthly savings of $3.50.

    Even nicer, though, is the fact that we will actually reduce our monthly cash flow by $20! That’s money that can go directly into savings. And after a year….Well, it’s all gravy.

    And now, if we want a cell phone to take on a road trip with us, we can switch to the $10 plan for only a few days.
    Mr. Fund recently posted..Making A Budget Is Hard.My Profile

  9. I use the Moto X with Republic Wireless and it’s a good phone for a decent price at $299. The price is a lot better than elsewhere for over $500. Republic also has access to Sprint’s roaming partners so the coverage is much better than other MVNOs from Sprint. All in all, great service at an awesome price.

  10. All this talk about phones stresses me out. I just got rid of my iPhone for a dumb phone and I think everything in my life has benefited. I truly think people have become addicted to their phones. Even if you can get them cheaper- how much do we really NEED them?? We’re paying money to walk around and stare at a little screen. I know that some people can use technology responsibly but most of us can’t.

  11. Valeria says:

    I have been using Republic for about a month now and I have to say it has been smooth sailing so far. I have the Moto G and the operating system seems thus far to work flawlessly. The handoff between wifi and cell service works great. I have started calls on cell, then arrived home and I didn’t even notice until later that the service switched over to wifi. My first bill arrived and with tax, it was only $29. Less than $30 a month for unlimited phone, text and data. Gotta love it! If you need a referral code to save $20 on signup, feel free to use my link below. Cheers!

    http://rwshar.es/Q4Po

  12. It’s up to them if they choose the Republic Wireless or run the number. But for me, I choose to run a number Jacob. We need this and truly valuable. Anyone can save money. They should try this one.
    Alexis recently posted..How to Improve Emotional IntelligenceMy Profile

  13. I have both a Moto G and a Moto X on Republic Wireless and I can’t recommend them strongly enough.

    I also think it is really interesting how you figured out it is still a good deal even if you have to break your old contract. I did the same calculation and came up with the same conclusion you did. I also created a free online calculator where people can run the calculation for themselves here:

    http://artofbeingcheap.com/republic-wireless-savings-calculator/
    Andy@artofbeingcheap recently posted..Save Money on a Trip to Yellowstone National ParkMy Profile

  14. Valeria says:

    I have been using Republic wireless for about 1 month now with the Moto G and I really cannot complain about anything. The handshake between wifi and cell service has been flawless. My total bill with tax is $29/mo. Gotta Love it.

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