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.
The 10 Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans 2021
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 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). Sign up is easy with no contracts or credit checks and Tello gives you the ability to upgrade or downgrade your plan whenever you like, even in the middle of the month with no extra 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 of 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 is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that launched in 2015 offering prepaid cell phone plans at budget rates via Sprint and Verizon’s 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 of Twigby’s website.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee: If a customer isn’t not completely satisfied within 30 days after activating service, Twigby will refund the cost of your phone (if one was purchased), your plan, and any taxes/fees (excludes the cost of shipping if applicable).
- $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 – Best Prepaid for Families
Cricket wireless is one of the most affordable mobile carriers around. Plans are cheaper than those of bigger providers like Verizon Wireless and don’t come with the hassle of an annual contract. The carrier offers competitive pricing, with $5 per month discounts when you set up auto-pay and an even better deal for groups.
Cricket Wireless prepaid cell phone plans range from a basic plan with unlimited talk and texting and no data all the way up to unlimited high-speed data with unlimited texting to 37 countries. The higher-tier plans also come with the ability to use your calling minutes, text messages, and data while roaming in Canada and Mexico.
Plans begin at $30/month for 2GB of LTE data and unlimited talk and text. $40/month gives you 5GB of LTE data or unlimited high-speed data with the unlimited BYOD plan. Finally, there are two standard unlimited plans for $55/month and $60/month, with the last offering faster download speeds as well as 15GB of mobile hotspot.
Also, Cricket Wireless allows you to bring your own phone (Check your phone’s compatibility with Cricket here) or purchase one from them.
Cricket uses the AT&T network to provide service. So, one thing to remember is that the coverage you experience with Cricket Wireless could vary depending on where you’re located.
Cricket Wireless is an affordable way to get unlimited talk, text, and data on a good network with wide coverage and reliable stability. Thanks to the AT&T network supporting this MVNO you don’t need to sacrifice quality to save money and to get out of a credit check 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 – Best for Heavy Data Users
Total Wireless is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates on the Verizon network. Total Wireless customers can benefit from the same coverage and plan options of the larger cell service providers without a commitment to a lengthy contract.
Total Wireless has both single line plans or a family plan with prices between $25-$100 per month. All plans include unlimited Talk and text with different data options. Both types of plans include various options in terms of data allotment. If you desire more data, you can add more, 5 GB at a time. Most plans are monthly, so they reset every 30 days, but Total Wireless does offer one extended plan that is good for 90 days.
If you want to save some money, you can set up the auto-refill service, which will give you a 5% discount on every monthly payment. 5% doesn’t seem like too much, but it’s still a nice bonus that will result in a good savings program if you plan to use Total Wireless regularly and for a long period of time.
Total Wireless makes it easy for you to bring your own phone to their network. You can get SIM kits and easily switch over. All you do is enter your device IMEI number on their websites, and it will check if our 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 is an MVNO prepaid cell phone company that allows you to customize everything about the plan. It offers nearly any combination of minutes, texts, and data including an unlimited plan at $40 per month.
Mobile offers a variety of plans that you can pretty much customize to your heart’s content. You can mix and match these all day long to find something that’s just right for your needs. With prices starting as low as $2.50 for 40 minutes, $1.50 for 40 texts, and $2 for 100MB of data, it’s easy to see right off the bat just how flexible and inexpensive US Mobile can be. Alternatively, prices can go as high as $9 for 4,000 minutes and $20 for 3GB of LTE data that piggybacks off T-Mobile’s LTE network.
US Mobile plans now include a revamped unlimited plan, with 4G LTE support, for just $40 a month. That gets you at least 50GB of high-speed data a month, with downloads of up to 5Mbps. If for some reason you go over that 50GB data before your monthly billing period ends, you might get some slower speeds.
You can upgrade and downgrade your base plan every month and top up talk, text, and data during a month without surcharges. You can also bring your phone or buy a new one in the US Mobile shop. US Mobile doesn’t have activation fees.
To help make things easier, US Mobile offers a 30-day risk- free trial to make sure you’re on the right plan and with the right provider with the promise of a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied.
- $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 is a prepaid MVNO that operates on all 4 major networks (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) and it can hook you up with whatever carrier gets you the strongest signal. Instead of being on one network, you are on all the networks which mean reliable coverage.
Net10 offers a variety of unlimited monthly, pay-as-you-go, flexible monthly plans, and international calling plans depending on what you need. They have several plans that offer discounts if you sign up for auto-refill as well.
Net10’s monthly plans come with unlimited text, calls, and different amounts of data, although the data is not all high-speed. Once you use up your allotted gigabytes, your data will run at 2G speeds until the following month, which can be excruciatingly slow when you’re used to 4G speeds.
Selecting the “pay-as-you-go” option means your non-smartphone plan will expire after 30, 60, 90, or 180 days. Net10 plans include a combination of text messages and minutes, with every text message using up one minute. Most plans include carryover benefits when it’s time to renew your plan so you won’t lose unused minutes. With carryover, your unused minutes will be added into the next month in addition to the new month’s allotment. The exception is the 30-day, 1,000-minute plan that doesn’t include carryover.
You have an easy out of Net10 Wireless if you ever decide to move on. Even if you sign up for the prepaid autopay discount, you can still cancel your plan at any time without incurring extra fees.
Net10 Wireless has an excellent bring your own phone program. If you already have a cell phone from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, or an unlocked GSM phone, you can use it with your new Net10 Wireless plan. All you’ll need to do is purchase a new SIM card 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 is a relatively new MVNO that offers prepaid cell phone plans on both Sprint and AT&T’s LTE networks. Wing offers cell phone plans ranging from essentially no data (Flip Phone Plan) to unlimited with a risk-free 30-day trial.
Wing’s plans start at just $15/month for a relatively paltry 500 megabits of data and go up to $55 for unlimited LTE service. In addition to unlimited talk and text on all plans, along with hotspot access. Wing unlimited data plan is $55/month includes 22GB of priority data along with 15GB of hotspot data.
Wing allows you to customize your family cell phone plan to fit each member’s needs. You can add as many lines as you want, and each line can be on any one of Wing’s plan options. Wing also offers a super clean application for managing your account. At a glance, you can see your data plan, how much data you’ve used, when your plan renews, and your total bill.
Since Wing uses both Sprint and AT&T Network, you’ll want to determine which network your phone will be running on before you decide to make the switch to Wing. You can buy or lease phones from Wing, or you can bring your own. Wing states that “most” phones are compatible with their plans, and you check your phone’s compatibility 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 best prepaid cell phone plans you can get in the US. We’ll update this list with new options once they launch.