MetroPCS Support and FAQ's
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Frequently Asked Questions: By The Minute

Which phones can I use with By the Minute service?

All MetroPCS feature phones support By the Minute service. Smartphones, including, BlackBerry, Android and 4GLTE phones are not compatible with By the Minute service.

How much will I be charged for using data?

Data has a cost of 4 cents per 100KB when using the $20 By the Minute card and a cost of 3 cents per 100KB when using the $30 By the Minute card. Web and data services are billed in full kilobyte (KB) increments and rounded to the next full KB increment.

Can I send Short Codes while using By the Minute service?

No. Short Codes are only available for use through our Unlimited Plans.

Which Features can I use with By the Minute service?

  • Unlimited Domestic Texting
  • Local Calling
  • Long Distance Calling
  • Picture Messaging
  • Web Access
  • Voice Mail
  • Caller ID
  • Where can I purchase a By the Minute prepaid phone card?

    By the Minute cards are available at select MetroPCS stores, Wal-Mart, walmart.com and BestBuy.com.

    How does By the Minute service work?

    First, go to Walmart and select a phone. Then, select a $20 or $30 By the Minute card. Finally, dial *228 from your new MetroPCS cell phone and follow the instructions to activate your new phone and account. It's that easy.

    What denominations of By the Minute cards are available?

    By the Minute cards are available in $10, $20 and $30 denominations. All three By the Minute cards may be used to refill an existing By the Minute account. Only the $20 and $30 cards may be used for first time activations and new devices.

    How can I track the number of minutes I have used and what I have left?

    You can track the amount of money remaining in your By the Minute account by dialing *611 from your MetroPCS cell phone, on your phone via your MyMetro app, or through Online Account Management.

    Can I call Puerto Rico with By the Minute service?

    Yes, you can use By the Minute funds to pay for calls to Puerto Rico.

    Can I call Alaska and Hawaii with By the Minute service?

    The 48 contiguous states and Puerto Rico are included. Calling cards ARE available for purchase at MetroPCS corporate stores that can be used to call Alaska and Hawaii. You will also be charged for your By the Minute usage fees from your By the Minute account when using calling cards.

    When does my time start for a By the Minute call?

    From the time you press the “send” button until the call terminates or you press the “end” button. Time is counted in one-minute increments and rounded up to the nearest whole minute.

    How much do I pay for Picture Messages?

    Picture messages have a cost of 4 cents per 100KB when using the $20 By the Minute card and a cost of 3 cents per 100KB when using the $30 By the Minute card.

    Will I pay more for Extended Home Roaming if I use By the Minute service?

    Yes. If you use the $20 By the Minute prepaid phone card, then you will pay 8 cents per minute. If you use the $30 By the Minute prepaid phone card, you will pay 6 cents per minute. Each rate is twice the Local Calling rate for the selected plan. You must download the most recent roaming information to your phone by dialing *228 and pressing “send” prior to leaving MetroPCS’ home service area in order to utilize MetroPCS Extended Home Roaming coverage areas.

    Can I use TravelTalk® if I'm using a By the Minute prepaid phone card?

    Yes, but only if you have funds in your MetroConnect account. The fees for TravelTalk will be paid via your MetroConnect account.

    What coverage areas are included in By the Minute service?

    By the Minute customers can use By the Minute service in home and extended home areas. Extended home areas have an additional cost. LTE is not included. Please see Terms of Service and coverage map.

    Is phone insurance available for By the Minute service?

    No, phone insurance is only available for phones on our Unlimited Plans.

    If I am a By the Minute customer, can I have a MetroConnect® account?

    Yes, you can have a MetroConnect account and you're welcome to use it for the purchase of Ringtones, games, TravelTalk®, Metro 411 Directory Assistance, and @metro Data Services.

    How can I make a payment for my MetroConnect® account?

    To add money to your MetroConnect account, By the Minute customers can buy a MetroConnect Payment Card or a MetroPCS monthly payment card at participating MetroPCS, Wal-Mart or Best Buy locations or on Wal-Mart.com or Best Buy.com. Or, you can make a cash or credit card payment at a MetroPCS store to add money to your MetroConnect account.

    Can I use my MetroConnect® account to pay for (refill) By the Minute service?

    No, you cannot refill your By the Minute account using MetroConnect.

    How much do I pay for text messages?

    Text messages are currently free on all By the Minute cards.

    How do I know when I need to replenish my By the Minute account?

    First, purchase any MetroPCS feature phone or use a previously activated MetroPCS feature phone. Note that By the Minute service is not available on smartphones, including Blackberry, Android and 4GLTE devices. Second, purchase either a $20 or $30 By the Minute card. Finally, dial *228 from your new or previously activated MetroPCS feature phone and follow the instructions to activate your phone and account. It's that easy.

    Can I add money to my By the Minute account online or pay cash at a store?

    No, currently the only method to add money (refill) a By the Minute account is to purchase and redeem a By the Minute card at a supporting retailer. To refill your By the Minute account using a By the Minute card, simply follow the instructions on the back of the card.

    I still had money on my card left why did I lose it after day 30?

    Per the Terms of Service, funds are valid for up to 30 days. Any funds not used within the 30 days will expire. To keep your service active, you will need to refill your account at least once every 30 days. If you do not refill within 30 days, you will lose any remaining balance. Your account will be disconnected and you will lose your phone number if you do not refill at least once every 60 days.

    I paid with a $30 card and then added a $20 card, why did my rate change?

    Your most recent refill determines the Terms of Service.

    Can I use a By the Minute prepaid phone card to replenish my MetroConnect® account?

    No, you cannot use a By the Minute card to add funds to your MetroConnect Account.

    Can I use By the Minute service if I'm already on an Unlimited Rate Plan?

    Yes, provided you’re using a compatible feature phone. Please visit a MetroPCS store or dial *611 to learn more about converting your Unlimited Rate Plan to By the Minute service.

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