March 13, 2008, 7:00 am

Frugal Tip: A Blackberry For Less Than 50 Bucks

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Frugal
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Frugal Tip: A Blackberry For Less Than 50 Bucks

Over my last MBA weekend, I asked one of my team mates how much his Blackberry cost him. He was probably the first guy I met with a Black that is not paid by his employer! As a financial planner, mine would not be paid by my employer either but I think it would be very efficient to have one.

black berry

The main feature I am looking for is to have access to my agenda everywhere I go.

He said that his Black cost him about $20 and that he pays $30 a month to use it. Impossible. That is nonsense I replied. It can’t be that cheap; it is what I paid for my regular cell phone with a 3 years contract.

He smiled back at me and said: “me too”. Huh? So here how he did it:

#1: He add a regular cell phone with Rogers but wanted to have a Black so he can manage his heavy schedule and have a cell phone at the same time. He called Rogers and asked them if his existing SIM card would work in a Blackberry. They answered that it would and that the phone would be perfectly functional.

#2: So he went on E Bay to buy an old and used version of this type of phone for $15 plus shipping. I would say that it is probably part of the first generation; black and white, no Bluetooth. However, it works perfectly find.

#3: He took his SIM card from his existing cell phone and plugged it in new (old) Blackberry. A few seconds later he got his signal and everything was working perfectly.

Can this work with every cell phone provider? I don’t know. However, we decided to use my SIM card into his phone to see what would happen. The phone reopened and was showing my phone number under my Videotron network.

So you can almost have a full Blackberry operational for less than $40 a month and the phone itself cost almost nothing.

Where is the catch?

If you noticed, I used the expression “almost have a full Blackberry”. Obviously, if you use your existing SIM card that is link to a normal cell phone plan, you will not get access to internet or your emails. So for those who are looking to communicate with their little tool on the road, it won’t work.

However, there is nothing stopping you using your Black for schedule management and take notes wherever you are. I still have to try it (I didn’t buy mine yet), but my friend is able to link it to his outlook and transfer his agenda back and forth. So I can technically update my agenda in my phone every time I log on my laptop.

I definitely try it as I have not much too loose. In fact, I have a big $30-$40 (the price of the phone) on the line. I’ll definitely try it and advise if it works well for me 😀


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I think Blackberry’s, especially the older ones from before Moblie Internet got big, have the funcionality to write as many emails as you like on the device and then when you sync with outlook to download your agenda you can send them from your PC. I would do some more investigating before doing this, but I believe it is possible.

Not sure about the excitement in this thread, what’s good about this? sorry if I don’t get it

You can put a Rogers SIM card into any Rogers-phone or Unlocked GSM phone, and it’ll work.

For schedules you may need to sync with your computer, but many phones can do it, not necessarily a BlackBerry. Treo, SE P900, Nokia N-series, etc…

I personally wouldn’t pay to get my own BB & Data plan (Rogers has $15/month unlimited data plan now if you’re interested)
I do have a work BB, and it’s quite handy I must say.

Sucks that I can’t check Hotmail on it 🙁 and BB interface really isn’t THAT great
I understand why some are addicted to it, swear by it, but it’s only because they haven’t seen the alternative IMO

Hi ,

About the blackberry phone i just want to say one word ” awesome “. I too have the new blackberry with GPS and it really works fine for me. All the features are excellent and user friendly.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 13th, 2008 (8:37 pm)

Hey Jerry,
it is just that I never realized that my SIM card would work and I thought I would have to pay a good $75/month in order to get a Black Berry.

I’m always excited when I can save money and it doesn’t hurt ;-0

That’s what I do with my Treo 650. I bought 2 years ago and I’m using Rogers as a carrier in Toronto. I’m not using the wireless plan, only the cellphone. I just canceled my call display feature. Cost me $7/month 🙂


Jerry Hung: I used to work for RIM as technical support and to my knowledge you should be able to add Hotmail to your BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) 2.0 account. Give Rogers a call and they should be able to help you out.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 14th, 2008 (5:06 am)

Toan, is it the same thing with gmail?

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