Thrift Tip: Unlimited Minute Cell Phone Hack

(I’ve decided to start a brief series on money saving ‘Thrift Tips’. It’s practical and I love learning these types of things from others so I figured I’d share mine too)

168108824_8022e0b076 The last thrift tip was a general overview of how we do phones in our house, but I mentioned a great cell phone tip I wanted to share today. Unfortunately, this only applies to T-Mobile MyFaves, Verizon Friends & Family or Alltel’s My Circle, sorry everyone else.

So, here’s the trick.

I mentioned yesterday that we use Grandcentral Google Voice as the number I generally give out to others, and that Google Voice calls are forwarded to our cell phones. Well, this is how I’ve managed to make the incoming calls free using Google Voice and MyFaves.

  • You can set incoming calls on Google Voice to display the callers number in the caller ID or Google Voice’s number, I choose Google Voices (there is still a call screening after you answer so you’ll still know who it is before you actually connect the call).
  • Then, you set one of your MyFaves numbers to be your Google Voice number. And “viola!” any call coming through that number counts as a MyFaves call and is unlimited!
  • In addition, when checking voicemail messages on Google Voice (also free since your calling one of your MyFaves numbers), you can press ‘2’ to connect the call to whomever left the message. I simply keep as new one message from each of the people that I call frequently and I’m able to make an outgoing call to them for free also! (you can even automate this by saving the number with necessary pauses and numbers to go through the voicemail menu).

Now, this might simply be a terrible teaser post, since it turns out Google Voice is not open to new sign-ups yet. They just switched from Grandcentral (bought by Google 2 years ago) to being branded as a Google product. So, my guess is I’ll be getting invites from Google to pass on soon. If you want to be on my list, leave a comment. There are some competitors out there, but I’m not sure that any of them do the same thing. That’s it for the phone related thrift tips. If you have tricks you’ve used let me know!

[photo credit]

15 thoughts on “Thrift Tip: Unlimited Minute Cell Phone Hack”

  1. Actually, no. I hadn’t seen this GV/Grand Central tip before – and I think it’s great. I’ve had T-Mobile since college but recently switched to AT&T. Wife has T-Mobile though and loves it.

  2. Ariah, I’ve been using grand central forever, but I am trying to figure out how your method does not use up cell phone minutes.

    Are you saying that in Google Voice, under Settings/Phones, you add the actual grand central number provided by Google?

    1. Virgil, glad to find a fellow GCer out there. The trick is this only applies to T-mobile MyFaves and Verizon’s new Friends and Family, because they allow you to pick a number (like my GC number) and make as many incoming and outgoing calls to that number for free. If I remember correctly you have an iphone right? Which is AT&T and I don’t think they have a similar plan.
      What I do is add GC to my list of unlimited calls on my phone plan and then I set GC to show the GC number in the caller ID rather then the callers number. Make sense?

      By the way, I’m gonna take a guess you commented and viewed this post on your iphone right? How did it look? I added a mobile theme plugin so the site looks good on iphones and others, let me know if that’s the case. Peace.

  3. Awesome. What a great post. I've been dying to try this product for some time. Please add me to your list.

  4. That's really smart. If you get any extra invites let me know. I've thought about dumping our landlines and getting a cell phone plan like that instead of the pay as you go we're using now. This would make it worth it.

  5. Did you see my post about MagicJack on Monday? If you already have high speed internet at home (which if you don't is another big money saver, but many of us bloggers do), then that might be a big moneysaver. Just a thought.

  6. Nice novel application for Google Voice! Because we primarily use prepaid SIM cards when visiting the US, its so nice to only have to give people one phone number, even when my mobile number is constantly changing! I wish they would allow you to forward to international numbers though!

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