Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

If you are shopping for a prepaid us mobile phone plan, the enormous variety of plans can be absolutely confusing. Prepaid cell phones offer some clear advantages over traditional contract plans.

  • Prepaid cell phone plans don’t require credit checks
  • You don’t have to sign a contract
  • They can be significantly cheaper than traditional cell phone plans.

Unfortunately, since every prepaid cell phone provider structures their pricing differently, comparing prepaid cell phone plans can be overwhelming.

There are small companies that offer the best prepaid plans with unlimited talk, text and nice amount of data. There’s actually something for any budget-and you’ll save over a postpaid plan.

Below are the best prepaid cell phone plans with nationwide network coverage assuming light usage. The advantages of prepaid are that you have no long-term contract, no credit checks, and most handset taxes besides sales tax are already thrown into the price instead of extra $5 monthly per line. They may still work with Smartphones for those who are ok with web data usage only where you can find wireless coverage.

The Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans in 2017

Note: Almost all prices are susceptible to change so please check the service plan website for current information details.

Republic Wireless cell phone plans

With Republic Wireless, you can make calls, send texts, and surf the web anywhere in the world where there is WiFi - Bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

- Data

$15/mo

(+ $5 Upfront)

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile offers a 30-day risk free trial for new customers - Bring your own device.

500 Minutes

Unlimited text

- Data

$15/mo

(+ $3.99 Upfront)

tpo mobile cell phone plans

Get Free GSM SIM cards from TPO when you sign up for service.  Also,  you can bring your own phone using any T-Mobile or unlocked GSM device.

1000 Minutes

Unlimited text

500 MB Data

$16/mo

($21/mo without AutoPay)

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile offers a 30-day risk free trial for new customers - Bring your own device.

1000 Minutes

Unlimited text

- Data

$17/mo

(+ $3.99 Upfront)

red pocket cell phone plans

This plan includes free unlimited international calling to 72 countries plus unlimited MMS - Keep your own phone and existing number

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

100 MB Data

$19/mo

($20/mo without AutoPay)

Republic Wireless cell phone plans

With Republic Wireless, you can make calls, send texts, and surf the web anywhere in the world where there is WiFi - Bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$20/mo

(+ $5 Upfront)

tpo mobile cell phone plans

Get Free GSM SIM cards from TPO when you sign up for service.  Also,  you can bring your own phone using any T-Mobile or unlocked GSM device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$21/mo

($26/mo without AutoPay)

red pocket cell phone plans

This plan includes free unlimited international calling to 72 countries plus unlimited MMS - Keep your own phone and existing number

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

500 MB Data

$25/mo

($30/mo without AutoPay)

tpo mobile cell phone plans

Get Free GSM SIM cards from TPO when you sign up for service.  Also,  you can bring your own phone using any T-Mobile or unlocked GSM device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

2 GB Data

$25/mo

($30/mo without AutoPay)

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile offers a 30-day risk free trial for new customers - Bring your own device.

1000 Minutes

Unlimited text

500 MB Data

$26/mo

(+ $3.99 Upfront)

page plus cell phone plans

This Plan ncludes $10 international calling credit plus unlimited international text & picture messages - Keep your own phone.

1500 Minutes

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$27/mo

(+ $4.95 Upfront)

($29.95/mo without AutoPay)

Republic Wireless cell phone plans

With Republic Wireless, you can make calls, send texts, and surf the web anywhere in the world where there is WiFi - Bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

2 GB Data

$30/mo

(+ $5 Upfront)

cricket wireless cell phone plans

With Cricket Wireless you are able to change plan up and back for free and keep your device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$30/mo

(+ $9.99 Upfront)

verizon cell phone plans

Strong nationwide network - carryover data - mobile hotspot - unlimited text to over 200 international destinations - Bring your own device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

3 GB Data

$40/mo

metropcs cell phone plans

This plan includes streaming music from the top music services & Data Maximizer (video streaming at high speed with no extra chargers)

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$30/mo

(+ $10 Upfront)

Republic Wireless cell phone plans

With Republic Wireless, you can make calls, send texts, and surf the web anywhere in the world where there is WiFi - Bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

4 GB Data

$45/mo

(+ $5 Upfront)

red pocket cell phone plans

This plan includes free unlimited international calling to 72 countries plus unlimited MMS - Keep your own phone and existing number

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

2.5 GB Data

$30/mo

($35/mo without Autopay)

metropcs cell phone plans

This plan includes streaming music from the top music services & Data Maximizer (video streaming at high speed with no extra chargers)

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

6 GB Data

$40/mo

(+ $10 Upfront)

red pocket cell phone plans

This plan includes free unlimited international calling to 72 countries plus unlimited MMS - Keep your own phone and existing number

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

5 GB Data

$45/mo

($50/mo without Autopay)

project fi cell phone plans

This plan includes international texts and coverage in 135+ countries - Bring Your Own phone (must be a Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6)

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$30/mo

Boost Mobile cell phone plans

This plan includes unlimited music streaming and mobile hotspot - Bring your own phone

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

3 GB Data

$30/mo

($35/mo without AutoPay)

us cellular cell phone plans

AT&T prepaid plan international text messaging - international dialing - bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

5 GB Data

$45/mo

project fi cell phone plans

This plan includes international texts and coverage in 135+ countries - Bring Your Own phone (must be a Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6)

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

2 GB Data

$40/mo

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile offers a 30-day risk free trial for new customers - Bring your own device.

1000 Minutes

Unlimited text

1GB Data

$31/mo

(+ $3.99 Upfront)

at&t cell phone plans

AT&T prepaid plan includes unlimited text to over 100 countries - Bring your own phone

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$30/mo

($35/mo without AutoPay)

(+ $0.99 Upfront)

tpo mobile cell phone plans

Get Free GSM SIM cards from TPO when you sign up for service.  Also,  you can bring your own phone using any T-Mobile or unlocked GSM device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

3 GB Data

$35/mo

($40/mo without AutoPay)

cricket wireless cell phone plans

With Cricket Wireless you are able to change plan up and back for free and keep your device.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

4 GB Data

$35/mo

(+ $9.99 Upfront)

($40/mo without AutoPay)

Boost Mobile cell phone plans

This plan includes unlimited music streaming and mobile hotspot - Bring your own phone

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

4 GB Data

$35/mo

($40/mo without AutoPay)

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile offers a 30-day risk free trial for new customers - Bring your own device.

2000 Minutes

Unlimited text

3GB Data

$39/mo

(+ $3.99 Upfront)

page plus cell phone plans

This Plan ncludes $10 international calling credit plus unlimited international text & picture messages - Keep your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

3 GB Data

$36/mo

(+ $4.95 Upfront)

($39.95/mo without AutoPay)

us cellular cell phone plans

AT&T prepaid plan international text messaging - international dialing - bring your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

1 GB Data

$35/mo

sprint cell phone plans

This Plan ncludes Mobile hotspot - Unlimited international texting - Keep your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

4 GB Data

$40/mo

($45/mo without AutoPay)

t-mobile cell phone plans

This Plan ncludes WI-FI calling - Mobile hotspot - unlimited music - Data maximizer - Keep your own phone.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

4 GB Data

$45/mo

(+ $10 Upfront)

H2O wireless cell phone plans

This plan includes unlimited international talk and text to 50+ countries plus $10 international talk credit.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

3 GB Data

$30/mo

at&t cell phone plans

AT&T prepaid plan charges $2 per day instead of per minute, that means you’ll be charged even if you only send a single text.

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

- Data

$2/Day Recharge

(+ $0.99 Upfront)

Boost Mobile cell phone plans

This plan includes unlimited music streaming and mobile hotspot - Bring your own phone

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

5 GB Data

$40/mo

($45/mo without AutoPay)

at&t cell phone plans

AT&T prepaid plan includes unlimited text to over 100 countries - Roaming in Mexico & Canada -Talk, Text & Data - Unlimited talk & text within & between the U.S., Mexico & Canada  - Bring your own phone

Unlimited Talk

Unlimited text

6 GB Data

$40/mo

($45/mo without AutoPay)

(+ $0.99 Upfront)

How To Compare Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

Cell phones with their ability to make and receive calls from virtually anywhere have become a staple of modern life. Cell phones add an element of mobility, allowing users to talk, text, and even surf the Internet on a whim, wireless, no physical connections and as is increasingly common no monthly bills. Explore various aspects of prepaid cell phone plans, including the history of prepaid phones, types of plans and some of the benefits and considerations for their use.

History

Although prepaid cell phones may seem like a byproduct of a booming industry of mobility, the prepaid plan dates back almost as far as services billed (traditionally) post-paid. The first recorded American patent for prepaid service was delivered to a small carrier, Banana Cellular in 1993. This plan allowed customers to pay for a predetermined amount of usage in advance, but they were allowed to connect to other cellular Banana clients. Prepaid wireless has become closer to normal postpaid in 1994 as Houston Cellular Telephone Company based in Houston has started offering prepaid option for customers with enough to open an account post-paid credit. This service, known as Call Track, stimulated the proliferation of prepaid cell phone service as it turned out several more cost effective than more traditional postpaid times.

Function

When a customer buys and activates a new-prepaid cell phone, the new line is deployed by the carrier, in the same way, as accounts of traditional post-paid. Basic information taken from the customer; the electronic serial number of the mobile communication device (ESN) recorded, and telephone number is assigned to the set. Rather than subject the cell phone plan monthly billing, however, a charge is collected in advance by the customer and putdown. Proprietary software monitors the use of the phone, net of expenses (as defined in the agreement of the prepaid cell phone user) on the account that the phone used. When the account reaches a low balance, the software notifies the client. When the balance reaches zero, the software disables the cell phone. In some cases where the customer agrees in advance, the software can also try to run automatically replenish the account using a credit or debit card provided to avoid service interruptions.

Features Photos

Prepaid cell phone plans have traditionally offered their users little sparse services, allowing voice calls only and often at a much higher cost services billed. The popularity of prepaid cell phones, however, has prompted carriers to offer more services in the prepaid cell phone plans, and many carriers now offer text messaging (SMS) and data services to prepaid customers. Many plans prepaid debit the account for every minute of time voice conversation or data use, and debits the account of an independent fees for incoming and outgoing text messages usually lower. Some carriers also offer unlimited use of certain services for a fee paid extra advance, such as the use of unlimited data or peak time voice chat for about $ 1 per day unlimited prepaid.

Benefits

Prepaid cell phones offer mobility to customers who are not eligible for traditional postal services billed due to lack of credit, low income or homelessness. They are often inexpensive and easy to obtain, and many do not require a credit check or detailed information to enable it. Once activated, prepaid cell phones allow users to control spending, but rather than accumulating huge bills (and sometimes unexpected), prepaid cell phones simply stop working when a customer reaches the preset spending limit. At the other end of the spectrum, customers who rarely use their phones as customers who maintain a mobile account for emergency use only may use prepaid accounts to avoid high recurring bills for phones that rarely used. Finally, the nature of prepaid cell phone plans means that there is no contractual obligation to keep the phone for any length of time, and prepaid customers are not subject to early termination fees that haunt the customers paid.

Considerations

While there are many advantages to a prepaid cell phone plan, these plans are not suitable for all mobile phone users. Prepaid customers often faced with a very limited choice of phones, with most phones or cold trendy reserved for holders of postpaid accounts. Prepaid phones are often more expensive, too, that carriers of profits derived from post-billed accounts help fund the initial purchase of the device cell phone prices. Finally, prepaid cell phone plans can be considerably more expensive for heavy users, as per minute and per message fees are higher for prepaid users and consumers post charged.


US Mobile

us mobile cell phone plans

US Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network and has more than 300 different plans to choose from. Simply pick the talk, text, and data you need and enjoy an average phone bill of less than $20/month. All customers also get a free VPN service, which enables you to be online in privacy.

US Mobile offers a personal dashboard where you get a full overview of your usage, which makes it easy to customize your plan to your actual needs. You can upgrade and downgrade your base plan every month and top up talk, text, and data during a month without surcharges. The top up also rolls over to the next month if it’s unused. US Mobile is contract-free and allows you to snooze your phone plan while still getting to keep your number. You can bring your phone or buy a new one in US Mobile’s shop. US Mobile doesn’t have activation fees.

  • $17/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 100 MB of Data
  • $24/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 500 MB of Data
  • $29/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 1GB of Data
  • $35/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 4GB of Data
  • $40/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 6GB of Data
  • $45/Month Plan – Unlimited Text, 500 Min Talk and 10GB of Data

Check Out US Mobile For More Details

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless cell phone plans

Republic Wireless released in 2011 as a project to mix cellular calling and Wi-Fi, and it has been improving its Hybrid calling system. All phone calls made from a Republic Wireless cell phone are automatically routed over Wi-Fi first, in case no Wi-Fi network is available, it is going to default cellular service. The idea is that utilizing less cellular service and web data must lead to lower bills for the user and lower rates for the company, and Republic Wireless plans are clearly affordable

For $40 every month on Republic Wireless , you will get unlimited voice talk, text and up to 5GB of web data at 4G speed. It’s a little less expensive compared to other plans, and the Sprint service as well allows you to change your plan two times each billing cycle for absolutely no extra cost. If you end up using less or more than you expected, you are able to go to your own account online, or via the Republic Wireless app on your cell phone, and also change the plan for the month when you like.
The downside with Republic Wireless is the limited phone collection. Recently, you can utilize only 3 phones on the service: the first generations Moto X , Moto G as well as the Moto E. which are completely great android Smartphones, you don’t need the luxury of selecting another handset, or bringing a cell phone you own to the service.

Check Out Republic Wireless For More Details

Red Pocket

red pocket cell phone plans

Red Pocket Mobile is an MVNO supports both CDMA and GSM networks via Sprint and AT&T and is one of the few MVNO to support both networks. For CDMA, you will get $29.99 a month for unlimited talk, text and 500MB of data. For $49.99 you will get unlimited talk, text and 2GB high speed web data. For GSM, you will find 3 plans available. For $29.99 you will get unlimited talk, text and 500MB also free worldwide calling. $39.99 per month you get unlimited everything with 1GB high speed data plan and free worldwide calling and texting. At last, the $59.99 plan includes unlimited talk, text with 3GB of web data. By the way, data is unlimited but it reduces the speed after the limit of your monthly amounts of web data.

Red Pocket is among the very few companies that offer a data only option. $10 per month gives you 1GB. $30 gives you unlimited data but lowering after 3GB. $50 gives you unlimited but lowering after 5GB.

Check Out Red Pocket For More Details

Cricket Wireless

cricket wireless cell phone plans

Cricket Wireless was previously known as AIO and it’s an MVNO that operates off of AT&T network. It’s one of the latest network services on this list. Cricket Wireless offer a $30 a month plan which includes unlimited voice talk and text and 1GB of data. Cricket Wireless offers some very simple plans. All plans contain unlimited text and talk as well as unlimited throttled web data. If you are using the auto-pay credit, all of the charges are reduced by $5 monthly.

Check Out Cricket Wireless For More Details

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile cell phone plans

Boost Mobile runs Sprint nationwide network, it works with Sprint cell phones and devices designed for its own network. Boost Mobile possesses the cheapest monthly plan, charging $35 monthly for unlimited voice talk, text and up to 1GB of web data at 3G and 4G speeds. It is possible to upgrade to 5GB a month at high speed for $45, or even go further and have 10GB for $55 a month.

There are some extra features you will get for your Boost Mobile device. The carrier provides international service for Mexico and Canada for an extra $5 a month, or perhaps you may go worldwide for an extra $10 a month. For Wi-Fi lovers, it is possible to transform your cell phone into a hotspot for $5 daily, so you’ll never be without internet.

Check Out Boost Mobile For More Details

MetroPCS

metropcs cell phone plans

MetroPCS is definitely owned by T-Mobile and you would believe that means they run on T-Mobile network. Wrong!, MetroPCS runs its own CDMA network completely private of the largest four companies which is possible why T-Mobile bought them to start with.

MetroPCS has four plans and they all contain unlimited voice talk, text and web data but it’s throttled. For $40 per month you receive 3GB of high speeds network web data. For $50 per month gives you 5GB and $60 per month is unlimited. Currently we didn’t find any evidence of their unlimited being throttled.

Check Out MetroPCS For More Details

Net10 Wireless

net10 wireless cell phone plans

Net10 Wireless is a prepaid cell phone service that runs all four major networks. The carrier has the same set of plans that work on all networks. Net10 offers plans for every need: monthly plans, family options, pay as you go, upgrade phone plans and more, which is a positive thing.

Check Out Net10 Wireless For More Details

Airvoice Wireless

airvoice wireless cell phone plans

Airvoice Wireless is another prepaid cell phone service that operates on AT&T network. The carrier operates since 1999. Since recently, it offers LTE connectivity. Also, their plans include data allotments with first half of data being at high speed and the second half throttled.

Check Out Airvoice Wireless For More Details

Ting Mobile

ting cell phone plans

Ting Mobile coming on the prepaid world in 2012, Ting Mobile runs on Sprint network and just changes you for the voice talk, text message and web data you use. You may either bring your Sprint cell phone over to thing, or perhaps order a new one from Ting. Ting offers different prices for different usage amounts and by the end of each month, the carrier charges you only for what you use.

So if you don’t utilize any to call someone, you won’t be changed anything for talk minutes. The only charge you’ll pay is $6 per line on your Ting service, based on the company, that’s a surcharge to hold your number active on Sprint network. Ting Mobile also offered hot spotting and tethering features for free.

Ting offers useful account control capabilities that allow you to monitor your usage all the time. Sign in to your account anytime to check how much text, talk and data you’ve used so far, and you could set usage limits that alert you in case you’re getting close to high numbers. If you wish to use only 500 minutes each month, you could set an alert on your Ting account so you’ll receive a message whenever you’re getting close to that limit. For parents trying to monitor their kid’s phone use, or perhaps students on a budget, Ting Mobile offers cheap phone plans that keep you on budget.

You can still bring over your Sprint phone if you choose to change to Ting, as well as used Sprint phones bought from shops like Amazon an eBay. Ting Mobile also has a shop where you can purchase compatible cell phones such as Nexus 5, the iPhone 5S and the HTC One.

Check Out Ting For More Details

 

 

Contract VS Prepaid Plans

Just like any wireless service provider, you need to understand some certain factors like web data speed, coverage areas and phone options. Users must look closely at LTE data speed the carrier is capable of. Most prepaid companies are already providing unlimited talk and text on their monthly price plans, Henderek says, but the prepaid company may say that a specific plan has unlimited web data access, however the truth is data speeds could be throttled greatly after a consumer reaches a particular limit.

On MetroPCS, for example, just the very first 1GB of web data for its $40 monthly plan is up to 4G LTE speed. On Virgin Mobile, you will get a pretty strong 2.5GB of data on high speeds for $35, but it’s detailed as 4G/3G, and for the cost only 300 talk minutes are included, that might not be a big deal when you text more than you talk.

If you’re changing from a monthly plan to a Prepaid plan, it’s important to understand how much data you’re really using every month. Verify your latest bill or go to your account online to verify the amount of data you use regularly before you decide to switch over, so that you can avoid spending a lot more for data than needed.

Another variance between big company plans and prepaid no contract plans is your phone price. Companies like AT&T and Verizon cell phones at a reduced price simply because they will ultimately make up the difference by locking in customers with 2 year agreements and early termination fees. On Prepaid plans, usually you’ll be paying the phone’s complete price. That’s why a Samsung Galaxy S5 will cost $199 with a 2 year contract from Verizon, but the same smartphone will cost $649 from MetroPCS.

Just remember that prepaid carriers don’t usually share the recent and best phones. For example, Virgin Mobile doesn’t yet provide the iPhone 6, offering the iPhone 5s instead. Boost Mobile has the iPhone 6 and 6 plus but not the Galaxy Note 4. However, many prepaid service providers allow you to bring your own personal phone, such as TracFone and Straight Talk Wireless

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