Does sending and/or receiving text messages always cost extra?

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Does sending and/or receiving text messages always cost extra?

Comparing text messaging plans

Cell phones are not just for making phone calls anymore. With your cell phone you can send and receive text messages and photos, download ringtones, browse the Internet, play video games and much more.

The most commonly used data feature of cellular phones is messaging. When comparing wireless deals, make sure to compare the messaging packages as well as the rate plans for voice calls.

Several cell phone carriers charge a per message rate that can add up quickly. Below is an overview of the different types of messaging services available and how they may affect your cell phone bill.

Text Messaging

Text messaging allows you to use your phone to send short messages to other cell phones. Oftentimes there is a charge per message for both sending and receiving. Some carriers offer a bundled package that can include 100 or more messages for a specific flat rate per month.

Look for cell phone plans that have the best text messaging rate for your needs. If you use messaging regularly, expect to pay $5 to $20 a month just for this feature.

Picture and Video Messaging

Picture messaging allows you to upload a photo or video taken with your camera cell phone and send it to a computer or another cell phone. Usually there is a monthly charge for sending photos and videos. However, some companies do bundle this service with text messaging, which can reduce your overall cost.

Instant Messaging

Several cell phone carriers offer compatibility with instant messaging programs such as Yahoo, AOL, MSN and others. You instantly message friends and family if you have this service available on your plan.

Check with your cell phone provider to see if instant messages count toward your text messaging limit or if they are unlimited with your service.

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