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Well, here I go again comparing costs to use the Square vs. my old machine.   Does anyone have info for the cheapest phone to use with the Square?  I see that I only need 2GB to use the Square but I'm having a problem with $80 a month for data and internet access ($30 + $39.95 + 15% taxes, etc.).  Can't find anything much cheaper.  Anyone have an idea?

Thanks so much. 

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Hi Melanie,

Who is your cell provider?  I use t-mobile, and they've got some pretty good all-in-one plans.  Also, if you go the non-contract route (and buy your own phone), you can get better pricing.  They've also got business plans with unlimited everything for $50.  I'm not sure about the details of those, since I'm in the middle of a contract, and it wouldn't make sense to break it and pay the penalty.  Square will work with any android phone that's running version 2.1 or newer (that means pretty much ANY android phone out there these days)

You could call your provider and tell then what you're trying to do.  Maybe they could give you a better rate.  I just got a $10 discount per month for 24 months for renewing my contract, so I know there are deals out there.

Hope some of this rambling helps.

I would take it that you do not already have a smart phone with a data plan. The upside to using one is that you also get to use it to check email, web surf, keep an eye on weather reports etc when you are not running the square on it. My IPad data plan is $30 per month with AT&T, I find it easier to carry around than my laptop for the functions mentioned above and have no contract for the service just pay month to month when I want it, also like the larger screen for using Square.

I had the same idea, get an ipad and I'd only have to pay for data service when I needed it. But then I got to handle one. My problem with using an ipad would be they're big. I think it would be hard to keep track of and I'd be afraid it would be swiped when I'm not looking. Unfortunately square doesn't support android tablets and apple doesn't make a smaller one. So I'm on the fence too. I need a new phone anyway but I don't currently have a smart phone. What to do...

The woman next to me at my last show had her iPAD locked to her 'desk'.


Hi, Dow and Steve:

Thank you so much for your response.  Yes, Steve, you are right - we do not have a smart phone with data plan.  We just use Tracfones and they works well for us (they are low cost - less than $250/year for both - we use them only when necessary and use the computers at the hotels for email, etc. - well, we actually do have internet with Tracfone but have yet to use it) with the exception of being able to use the Square.  My March statement with NAB will include the dreaded $129 PCI payment so I guess I will just go through another year and see if something cheaper comes up.  

Again, thank you for your responses.


PS:  By the way, when I mentioned Square to NAB they said they could set me up with the same thing but at a lower rate - 2.69 swiped and 3.49 keyed - didn't mention any transaction fee for keyed.   No monthly charges, etc. 


It's actually cheaper in the long run to buy an iPad than to buy an iPhone if you're looking to use it primarily for Square.  The iPad is a little bit more than an iPhone (depending on the type you get) but the monthly service plan is significantly cheaper since it isn't a phone.  Over time, $30 per month (a charge you don't have to pay every month as it is month-to month) is significantly cheaper than $80 a month, especially if you're not looking to use it as a phone.  

Corey, that's interesting...I could easily do without my fancy-expensive phone. Never occurred to me that an iPad would be that much less expensive to run. I may seriously consider going the iPad route when my current cel phone contract expires.

That's another thing, Lynda--no contracts.  You buy it outright and it's done.  You pay month-to-month for Wi-Fi/G4 (depending on the kind of iPad you buy) and that's it.  If there's a month you don't need it, you don't have to pay for it, and you can always add it mid-month if you discover you need it after all.

Plus there are apps that allow you to use the iPad as a phone, but you have to have it on all the time (and that runs the battery life down) to hear when someone calls you, and the quality is somewhat less than optimum.  But it's possible.

I am SO ready to reduce any and all expenses I can while making my life easier.  Honestly, using an iPad to conduct credit card transactions would make my life easier...gettin' old and that smaller screen is just plain tough to see outside in the bright sunlight-even back inside the booth, it's just hard to see and hard for clients to see too. I CAN see (even without my glasses) an iPad in my future along with a far less expensive phone with month to month minutes and NO plan. Thanks for the ideas and information Corey.

Hi, Guys:

Well, Corey, that's just fantastic that you mention only the ipad!  Can't believe I didn't think of it either.  I just was so focused on the fancy phones.  I checked and I found ipad2 for $398 at Sams, Best Buy has it on sale for $399, Amazon $420.  $30/month internet with Verizon which is, from what I gather from the chatter, is the better provider.  Do I only need 2 GB?  2GB is $30/month, 5 GB $50.  How many GB do you use?

I did talk to NAB again and the percentages are correct but the women failed to mention a $.19 per transaction fee. 

Thanks for your input and if you could let me know about the GB's I would greatly appreciate it.  SquareUp website doesn't answer that question.  They only mention a 5.0 iOS which I have discovered all ipads have.

Kind regards,


Unless you intend to stream a lot of video while on 3G (and not WiFi), then you won't need more than 2GB.  I have had my iPad for several months and find it to be an essential part of taking road trips! And I have never come close to my 2GB limit. I set up alerts so that my cell phone will get a text message when I use 50% and 75% of my data. I've never even received a text!


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