can i just buy minutes for an iphone 4s instead of a buying a contract?

I saw on the website where I could buy an iphone 4s 16gb for $99; this is just the phone, no contract or anything. So I was wondering if I could just buy minutes for it, instead of having to pick a plan, where even if it's a company where u don't have a contract (like T-Mobile)--you'd still have to make monthly payments. So I just thought that it would be cheaper to buy a certain amount of minutes whenever I need them; vs. the cellphone company each month.

iPhone

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