Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
The Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans in 2021
If you have ever been caught out by a huge monthly cell phone bill and you want to make sure it will never happen again, then the prepaid cell phone plan is the perfect solution for you. A prepaid phone plan is the only way to control your monthly cell phone bill.
A prepaid cell phone plan is an excellent choice for kids, teaching them how to control the amount of cell phone plans they use without being scared if they pass the limit of cell phone plans because they get a limited number of calls, texts, and data.
Many people also find prepaid cell phone plans are a great choice for seniors who may not use a cell phone often. there is a pay as you go plan which includes a long expiry period. We’ve examined the prepaid plans in the USA to make your search a bit easier. Here is our list of the best prepaid cell phone plans for 2021.
Almost all prices are susceptible to change so please check the service plan website for current information details.
Visible – Best Overall
Visible is one of the newest mobile networks on the block, and if you’re a heavy user of data, they may be just what you were looking for. For $40 per month, customers get unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. The price also includes fees and taxes, it’s a flat $40 a month.
With Visible’s Party Pay feature, groups of two, three, and four can reduce their bill to as low as $25/month per line. Each member of the party gets their own account and is billed separately.
Unlike most multi-line discount programs, members don’t share the bill. Each person has their own Visible account and is responsible for paying their portion.
Visible’s plan data is deprioritized in times of congestion. This is inconvenient depending on where you live and how many people use the Verizon network near you.
Visible allows you to bring your own phone or purchase one directly from Visible. Visible has a compatibility checker on its website or App. Just type in the IMEI of your phone (that unique 15-digit code every phone comes with), and once submitted, Visible will let you know whether or not it’ll work.
For anyone living in an area that’s well-served by Verizon’s extensive cellular network, Visible’s a great way to save money on your monthly cellular service.
- $40 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data.
Tello Mobile – Most Affordable Prepaid Plans
If you’re looking to save money on your phone bill, you’ve probably noticed Tello’s prepaid phone service. Tello provides nationwide 4G LTE coverage at an unbelievably affordable price with no contracts or commitments.
Tello’s prepaid plans can be customized to your needs. For example, you can choose the amount of data and talk time you want and build your own phone plan. Tello’s plans range from $5/month to $39/month, all with a side-dish of savings. Competitive pricing, no strings attached and flexible service is a perfect combo that sets Tello apart.
Tello uses Sprint’s wireless network to provide service. That means that if you already have Sprint and are satisfied with the coverage in your area, switching to Tello should make no difference. See if you have Sprint 4G LTE coverage in your area.
Tello allows you to bring your own device, but first, you’ll want to check the Bring Your Own Phone Page to see if you can enroll your current phone in the Tello Mobile network. Enter your ESN/IMEI/MEID code and the system will lead you through an easy process to see if the phone is compatible.
Tello also provides you the ability to manage your account from their app or website, without having to call their customer service department (although you could if you want to). You can sign up quickly with no credit checks or contracts. Tello also allows you to change or upgrade your plan at any time, even during the middle of the month without additional fees.
If you change your mind and decide you don’t want to keep your Tello plan anymore (or you decide to upgrade or downgrade to a different Tello plan) there are no costs associated with changing or canceling.
- $8 per month: Unlimited Talk and Text.
- $10 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data.
- $14 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB of LTE Data.
- $19 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 4GB of LTE Data.
- $24 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 6GB of LTE Data.
- $29 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 8GB of LTE Data.
- $39 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data.
Republic Wireless – Best Value for Money
Republic Wireless combines the best WiFi broadband internet and cellular coverage. The service is unique because it actually defaults all phone usage to available Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, it uses the Sprint and T-Mobile networks as backups.
Making calls over WiFi is much more affordable for the wireless communications provider, so what Republic Wireless has created is a more affordable way to have cell service.
Republic Wireless customers pay a base rate of $15 per month for unlimited minutes and text messages. Data is an additional $5 per gigabyte, on top of the $15 monthly base rate. Data can be added or removed at any time via the carrier’s mobile app, and customers can use their phone as a mobile hot spot if they have a cellular data plan.
With Republic Wireless, you can either buy one of their phones to use with their plans or use your own phone. To bring your own phone to the Republic, just check if it’s compatible with the Bring Your Own Device page.
You get nationwide coverage with Republic Wireless through T-Mobile and Sprint. To determine which service is best for you, when you order your phone, you will enter your zip code into the Republic Wireless Coverage Checker.
Republic Wireless also has a risk-free, 14-day money-back guarantee, and with no contracts, there is really nothing to lose if you want to check them out and save money on your mobile plan.
There are no overage fees for hitting the data allotment and the Republic does not throttle speeds for the rest of the month. Instead, data simply stops until you purchase more. Subscribers can purchase up to 15GB of data per month.
- $15 per month: Unlimited Talk and Text.
- $20 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data.
- $25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB of LTE Data.
- $30 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB of LTE Data. ($5 per additional GB)
Twigby – Most Flexible Prepaid Plans
Twigby, a mobile virtual operator (MVNO), was launched in 2015. It offers prepaid cell phones at affordable rates through T-Mobile cellular network.
Twigby gives its customers the ability to build their own phone plans. Subscribers first choose how many minutes they want their plan to have, then if desired, they can choose to add a data package to their plan.
They can mix and match the options to their heart’s content. And without worrying too much about getting it right, because Twigby doesn’t have overage charges on its plans. Twigby’s running a pretty cool deal right now. It will give you 25% off your first six months of service.
There are no activation fees or contracts with Twigby. You simply choose the number of minutes and data you want. With free data overage protection, your speeds will be throttled to 2G once you use all your data.
Twigby uses a combination of the Sprint and Verizon networks. The primary coverage is from the Sprint network, with the Verizon network serving as a backup if you ever find yourself in an area without Sprint coverage. If you’re not sure what coverage is like in your area their coverage page will tell you how coverage is at a specific location.
Twigby lets you bring your own phone to their service if it’s compatible, you can check its compatibility with Twigby’s website.
Twigby guarantees 100% satisfaction. Twigby will return your phone, plan, and all taxes/fees if the customer is not satisfied within 30 days of activating the service.
- $9.75 per month: Unlimited and Text
- $14.25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data.
- $17.25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB of LTE Data.
- $21.00 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB of LTE Data.
- $24.75 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 5GB of LTE Data.
- $32.25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 10GB of LTE Data.
Ting Mobile – Pay for What You Use
Ting takes a different approach to the wireless business model, offering a pay-as-you-go, month-by-month rate service with no contract or start-up fees, prepaid plans, or strings attached.
Ting phone plans are flexible and only charge customers for what they use. Ting charges a base rate of $6 per line and additional fees based on the total texts, minutes, and data used each month.
Ting multi-line plans have the same select minute, text, and data packages offered for individual lines, but they’re shared between the group.
Ting offers international calling and international roaming. Ting says there’s no extra cost on calls to 60-plus countries, though some of those free calls are only to landlines and not mobile numbers.
Ting’s service uses Sprint‘s and Verizon’s network for CDMA coverage and T-Mobile for GSM, but it operates with its own plans and features. (click here to check if your phone is compatible).
Ting allows you to bring your own phone or purchase a new one from them. Don’t know if your phone is compatible? Use the Ting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) tool to find out if your phone can be used with Ting.
Ting’s website is easily one of the stress-free to navigate, and the granularity of control over each device on my account is something I really appreciate.
- Talk plans begin at $3 a month for 100 talk minutes and go up to $35 a month for 2,100 talk minutes
- Text plans begin at 100 text messages for $3/month and increase to 4,800 text messages for $11 a month.
- Data plans begin at 100MB for $3 a month and go up to 2GB for $20 a month then $10 per additional GB.
Cricket Wireless – The Best Prepaid For Families
One of the most affordable mobile operators is Cricket Wireless. Plans are less expensive than plans from larger providers such as Verizon Wireless, and they don’t require an annual contract. You can get $5 off your monthly bill when you sign up for auto-pay and a better deal for groups.
Cricket Wireless offers a variety of prepaid cell phone plans, starting with a basic plan that includes unlimited texting and talk but no data and going up to unlimited high-speed data with unlimited texting to 37 different countries. You can also use your calling minutes and text messages while roaming within Canada and Mexico with higher-tier plans.
Plans start at $30 per month for 2GB LTE data, unlimited talk, and text, and cost only $30 per month. $40/month gets you 5GB LTE data and unlimited high-speed data with unlimited BYOD. There are two unlimited plans available for $55/month or $60/month. The first offers faster download speeds and 15GB of mobile hotspot.
Cricket Wireless also allows you to bring your phone (check your phone’s compatibility for Cricket here) or buy one from them.
Cricket relies on the AT&T network for service. Remember that Cricket Wireless coverage can vary depending on where you are located.
Cricket Wireless offers unlimited talk, text, and data over a reliable network that has good coverage and stability. You don’t have to compromise quality in order to save money or get out of a credit contract.
- $30 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB of LTE Data.
- $40 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 5GB of LTE Data.
- $55 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data.
- $60 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data with 15GB Mobile Hotspot.
Total Wireless – The Best For Heavy Data Users
Total Wireless operates on the Verizon network as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Total Wireless customers have the opportunity to enjoy the same coverage options and plan options as larger mobile service providers without having to sign a long-term contract.
Total Wireless offers single-line plans and family plans at prices between $25-$100 per month. All plans include unlimited Talk, text, and a variety of data options. Both plans offer different data allotment options. If you desire more data, you can add more, 5 GB at a time. The majority of plans are monthly and reset every 30 calendar days. However, Total Wireless offers a 90-day extended plan.
You can save money by setting up auto-refill, which gives you a 5% discount for every month. Although 5% may not seem like much, it is a great bonus and will allow you to save if Total Wireless is used regularly over a long time.
Total Wireless makes it simple to add your phone to their network. SIM kits can be purchased and you can easily switch between networks. Simply enter your phone IMEI number and it will verify if your phone is compatible.
- $25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data.
- $35 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 10GB of LTE Data.
- $50 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 25GB of LTE Data.
US Mobile – Highly Customizable
US Mobile, an MVNO prepaid mobile phone company, allows you to customize every aspect of the plan. You can choose from a variety of minutes, texts, and data, with an unlimited plan starting at $40 per month.
Mobile has a wide range of plans you can customize to your liking. These plans can be mixed and matched to create the perfect plan for you. It’s easy for you to see how affordable and flexible US Mobile is. Prices start at $2.50 per 40 minutes, $1.50 per 40 texts and $2 for 100MB data. Prices can also go up to $9 for 4,000 minutes or $20 for 3GB LTE data, which piggybacks on T-Mobile’s LTE network.
For only $40 per month, US Mobile plans now offer an unlimited plan with 4G LTE support. This plan provides at least 50GB of high-speed data per month with download speeds of up to 5Mbps. You might experience slower speeds if you exceed 50GB of data within your monthly billing period.
There are no surcharges for upgrading or downgrading your base plan and topping up data, talk, and text during the month. You can also bring your device to the US Mobile Shop and purchase a new phone. US Mobile does not charge activation fees. US Mobile offers a 30-day free trial that will help you make an informed decision.
- $10 per month: Unlimited Talk and Text.
- $20 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1.5GB of LTE Data.
- $25 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2.5GB of LTE Data.
- $30 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 5GB of LTE Data.
- $36 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 8GB of LTE Data.
- $40 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data.
Net10 Wireless – Best Prepaid for Light Users
NET10 Wireless, a prepaid MVNO, operates on all four major networks (Verizon AT&T Sprint, and T-Mobile). It can connect you with any carrier that has the strongest signal. Instead of only being connected to one network, you can be on all networks. This ensures reliable coverage.
Net10 offers unlimited monthly, pay as you go, flexible monthly plans, and international calling plans. It all depends on your needs. You can also get discounts when you sign up to auto-refill.
The Net10 monthly plans include unlimited text, calls, and data. However, the data speed is not always high-speed. Your data will be limited to 2G speeds after you exhaust your allocated gigabytes. This can make it difficult to use 4G speeds.
Your non-smartphone plans will expire after 60, 90, and 180 days if you select the “pay-as-you-go” option. The Net10 plan includes both text messages and minutes. Each text message takes up to 1 minute. Carryover benefits are included in most plans so that you don’t lose any minutes. Carryover allows you to add your unutilized minutes into the next month, in addition to the month’s allotment. The 30-day, the 1,000-minute plan does not include carryover.
If you decide to leave Net10 Wireless, you can get your money back. You can cancel your plan anytime, even if you have signed up for the prepaid discount autopay.
Net10 Wireless offers a great bring your own smartphone program. You can bring your existing cell phone to Net10 Wireless, whether it is an AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile phone or an unlocked GSM smartphone. You will need to purchase a new SIM kit from Net10 Wireless.
- $20 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data.
- $35 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 4GB of LTE Data.
- $40 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 8GB of LTE Data.
- $50 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 10GB of LTE Data.
- $60 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 12GB of LTE Data.
- $65 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 10GB of LTE Data with International Calling.
Wing – A Remarkable Budget Service
Wing, a relatively new MVNO, offers prepaid cell phone plans on both AT&T and Sprint’s LTE networks. Wing offers cell phone plans that range from virtually no data (Flip Phone Plan), to unlimited with a risk-free 30-day trial.
Wing’s plans start from $15 per month for 500 megabits of data and go up to $55 per month for unlimited LTE service. All plans include unlimited text and talk, as well as hotspot access. Wing unlimited data plan costs $55 per month and includes 22GB priority data, 15GB hotspot data, and more.
Wing service lets you customize your family’s cell phone plan to meet each member’s individual needs. Wing allows you to add as many lines and each line can be on any of the plan options. Wing offers an easy-to-use application to manage your account. You can view your data plan, your usage, the date your plan was renewed, your total bill, and how much data you have used.
Wing works with both AT&T Network and Sprint, so you will need to know which network your phone is running on before making the switch to Wing. Wing offers both lease and purchase options. You also have the option to bring your own phone. Wing claims that most phones work with their plans. You can check the compatibility of your phone here.
- $12 per month: Unlimited Talk and Text
- $15 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 500MB of LTE Data
- $20 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 1GB of LTE Data
- $27 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB of LTE Data
- $34 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB of LTE Data
- $55 per month: Unlimited Talk, Text, and Unlimited LTE Data
These are the top prepaid phone plans available in the US. Once new options are available, we’ll add them to this list.