Money Mensch: Texting for free

By Martin Lewis, September 1, 2011

Many packages include free texts but for those that don't, costs can soon add up - some providers charge 10p a go. Think about this for a second: this is a massive charge for just 160 characters of data – a fragment of an email.

So why pay, when you can do it for nowt?

If you've got an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, special apps including PingChat and WhatsApp let you message friends with the same apps worldwide for no charge – even if they've got a different handset. These will pop up on your phone just like a text message – great for using with kids, or close friends who you text a lot.

But it's worth noting that these instant messaging services work via mobile internet, so if you don't have a data allowance, there can be a cost.

Yet it's usually a tiny amount compared to texting – even 4,000 'push notifications' (or texts) would only cost most people around £3 if you don't have inclusive data (although it's worth testing it for a few days and then checking the bill if you're not sure).

If you don't have a smartphone there are lots of other ways to grab free texts, for more information see:

Last updated: 10:42am, September 1 2011