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Prepaid Wireless Reviews
About Our Reviews: These reviews are based on data from the Prepaid carriers themselves and our wireless experts, listed alphabetically. This list features our 20 most popular Prepaids. We include a certain amount of opinion from our experts to further distinguish among prepaid services, for which we receive no compensation. If you use links on our web site, we may earn a fee.
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile is operated by Dish Wireless and gives you a unique choice of plans and good nationwide coverage. Old Boost phones use the T-Mobile network. Customers with newer devices will use either the T-Mobile or AT&T networks and will operate on Dish's own 5G network, where available, but only with a compatible 5G phone. Their Unlimited plan is a great alternative to those from the other carriers at a good price.
We rated Boost Mobile as the BEST PREPAID FOR THE AVERAGE (10GB) USER, and appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular provides good phones, plans and excellent customer service. Coverage uses the AT&T network and some roaming partners. Plan prices are reasonable and are available for Talk, Text and Data. Unlike other carriers, if you use up your data allotment, instead of slowing your download speed, they will automatically upgrade you to the next higher plan, which could be a big jump. You can bring your own AT&T or Unlocked GSM phone. International Roaming is available at a per Call/Text/Mb charge. If you wanted to start service with them today, you can buy a SIM from any retailer and Consumer Cellular will credit that SIM purchase on your first month's bill. While Consumer Cellular is considered "Prepaid", not all charges are in advance and a credit check is usually required. Customer Service is much better than average, perfect for those of us who don't want to figure it all out, although not available 24/7. AARP and AAA members get 5% discounts. Their cheapest plan with Data starts at $20/month for Unlimited Talk and Text, with 1Gb of Data (+ Taxes & Fees).
Get Cheaper Consumer Cellular Phones at Amazon.

Cricket Wireless
Cricket offers a competitive prepaid service on the AT&T network with Unlimited Voice, Text & Picture Messaging, Long Distance and Data. Plans start at $15 with a discount for Auto-Pay, but not much discount for multiple users. Taxes and fees are included. Cricket offers a selection of GSM phones and allows you to bring your own. Cricket phones can roam in Mexico for Talk, Text and Data but not in Canada and there is no off-network roaming available in the US. Cricket has the advantage of using the AT&T Mexico network with roaming available in their higher-priced plans. You can switch up to the higher plan for your trip and switch back when you return, but Auto-Pay won't automatically pay for it. You'll need to pay the difference before the phone works. Cricket is owned by AT&T.

Gen Mobile
Gen Mobile offers a low-priced alternative to Boost Mobile, one of our preferred prepaids, however Gen Mobile charges a $39 activation fee on all plans, which so far, has been waived. Gen Mobile is owned by Dish Wireless and plans start at $10 for Unlimited Talk & Text with 1 Gb of Data with additional savings for 3-month refills. There are additional promotions that offer more FREE features and activation. Like Boost, Gen Mobile uses one of several wireless networks, AT&T, T-Mobile, and, with a compatible device, Boost's own 5G network.
Mobile appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Google Fi
Google Fi offers a different approach to wireless service. Your phone will determine the best connection to make a call or access the Internet, starting with an available Wi-Fi signal. Their plan involves a $20 monthly fee and another charge for broadband access. You are then credited each month for unused data. In addition to Unlimited Calls and Text as well as low-cost international calls, you have access to use your phone in over 120 foreign countries. The service works with only a limited number of phone models. Establishing a Google Fi account also automatically replaces your Google Voice account.
Get Cheaper Google Fi Pixel Phones at Amazon.

H2O Wireless
H2O has been a price leader with plans starting as low as $18 which gives you 2Gb of Data and Unlimited Talk & Text with Auto-Refill. Your speed is reduced after your Data limited and not capped. You normally get a choice of the AT&T or Verizon networks. They support eSIM and International Talk & Text options. H2O will let you bring your own phone but they also have a small number of new phones available.
Get Cheaper Phones for H2O Wireless at Amazon.

Metro by T-Moble
Metro by T-Mobile, formerly MetroPCS, is an alternative to T-Mobile's own prepaid. Metro's coverage includes Voice, Text and Data Roaming in Mexico and Canada, however, there is no off-network roaming in the US. The Metro network offers both 4G LTE and 5G. Plans start at a low price point and Family plans are cheaper than average. They have no activation fees and don't charge extra taxes and fees. All plans include Unlimited Web access with different thresholds for "throttling" data speeds. Metro offers a "Bring Your Own Phone" plan that includes certain iPhone models. They have a good selection of phones. We have never dealt with MetroPCS customer service but it should on the same above-average level as T-Mobile. Metro has their own stores which adds some benefit when you need help with returns and adjustments. Occasionally, Metro stores have promotional deals that are not available online, and vice versa.
Get Cheaper Phones for Metro by T-Mobile at Amazon.

Mint Mobile
Lyca Mobile specializes in low-cost plans that include limited and unlimited calling to over 100 countries. 5G coverage is available and Lyca uses the T-Mobile network in the US. Plans start as low as $15 per month with additional savings with longer-term refills, and look for substantial promotional prices. Roaming is Free in Canada and Mexico on $19 and higher plans, and Talk & Text roaming (no Data) in over 100 countries is available for a per-minute/Text charge.

Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile saves you money by offering longer spans between refills. You can sign up for a little as $15 per month for Talk, Text and as much as Unlimited Data with a 3-month plan, then after 3 months, you can keep the 3 month plan at a higher price or save by choosing a longer plan, the longer the cheaper, up to one year. 
They have other plans and promotions, just know what happens after the first 3 months. Mint uses the T-Mobile network who now also owns Mint. This will broaden the phone availability and may change the plans.
appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Red Pocket
Red Pocket offers you a choice of the big 3 wireless networks. Some network choices get you more features for your money. Their low prices include plans for singles, families, businesses and data-only, with both monthly and annual plans. Also included are FREE international calls, Mexico and Canada roaming, and live customer service. Plans start at $10 that include Unlimited Talk, Text and 1 Gb Data with slowed downloads when you reach your monthly limit.
We rated Red Pocket as the BEST LOW-PRICE PREPAID (WITH 1GB DATA),
and appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Simple Mobile
Simple Mobile plans allow FREE calling to 69 other countries and a credit of $10 or $20 per month to call 100 more. FREE international roaming is included in 16 Latin America countries including Mexico. The name "SIM-PLE" originated as a "SIM-only" service, but now they offer Simple Mobile-branded phones. You are still invited to bring your own phone and they'll send you a SIM card to start service. SIM's are also available at many retailers for as little as $1. Data is indeed "Unlimited" but it is slowed to 2G speeds after your monthly allotment is depleted. All plans have Unlimited Calls and Texts. Watch for substantial promotional prices especially for Auto-Refill. Simple Mobile is owned by Verizon.

Straight Talk
Originally offered as an exclusive product sold at Wal-Mart, Straight Talk now offers their phones and service online. Their phones use the Verizon network. Straight Talk is priced a bit above average among Prepaids but they also offer Hot Spots and Wireless Home Phone Systems. Straight Talk is owned by Verizon.

Tello has risen among the prepaid carriers as a low-price leader. Their plans start at $5 and plans with data start at $9.  You can bring your own phone, but there is a limit of the type of phones that are compatible. They now use the entire T-Mobile network including their 5G Coverage with a compatible phone. They offer Pay As You Go rates, 
Wi-Fi Calling, and calls to Canada and Mexico are included.
appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Total Wireless
Total Wireless has evolved into a brand that tries to give you all of the benefits and data speed of a postpaid plan but with prepaid prices and features. Coverage is supplied on the Verizon network and not their roaming partners. You get Unlimited Talk, Text & Data plans starting at $40, which is locked in for 5 years, and taxes and fees are included. Total is operated by Verizon and if you live and travel within Verizon's wireless network, Total Wireless can be a good value for you.  

TracFone has been one of the most popular prepaids in the country and offers a wide variety of payment options. They offer the option of having the charges deducted from your credit card or checking account automatically, eliminating the need to renew on an exact expiration date. TracFone offers Free international calls to about 60 countries by calling a special access number, and with their International Neighbors features, they can provide a local number in Mexico or Canada for incoming calls from those countries at local rates for both callers. Tracfone's customer service is fairly easy to access, however, their agents have a wide variety of experience. It may take multiple calls to solve a problem. New TracFone devices use the Verizon network. Tracfone is owned by Verizon.

Twigby offers a great bargain with total access to the Verizon network. Plans start at $5 per month plan with Unlimited Talk & Text and 2Gb of data, for the first 3 months. Then the price goes up to a still-reasonable $15. Other low-priced plans with more Data area available. Twigby offers a modest selection of phone models, and you can bring your own. Twigby supports "Wi-Fi Calling" and Wi-Fi Texting which gives you coverage in poor locations as well as available in foreign locations. Since Twigby does not charge an "activation" fee, they seek additional profit by charging you to get your initial FREE SIM faster. Pay the extra one-time shipping charge so your SIM arrives quickly and your old plan doesn't go into a new charged period. Twigby is one of the lowest-priced ways to access the Verizon network with a prepaid that isn't owned by Verizon.
appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Ultra Mobile has recently improved their price plans and now offers a generous 10% discount for using Auto-Pay and also has multi-line discounts. Ultra uses the T-Mobile network in the US and roams in Mexico on plans 3GB and higher. You can also Call and Text to over 90 foreign countries. You can add International Roaming Credit that carries over from month to month and never expire. Ultra is owned by T-Mobile.

US Mobile
US Mobile has been one of our favorite Prepaids due to their low prices and responsive customer service. Prices start at $10, and you can get 'Unlimited' Talk, Text and Data for only $25. They also offer shared data plans. US Mobile's prices have been fluctuating lately as they experiment with longer term plans. US Mobile uses one of 3 nationwide US wireless networks, and offers Wi-Fi Calling  International Roaming in over 100 countries, and International Texting are available as an add-on. They now support eSIMs.
and appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Visible Wireless
Visible gives you access to the entire Verizon wireless network. Visible has two plans that both include Unlimited Talk, Text and Data. Their new $25 plan gets you Unlimited Talk, Text, Data and Hotspot. Their Visible Plus $45 plan gets you FREE roaming in Canada and Mexico, International Calling and Text and something they call, "Premium Network Experience," which includes 5G Ultra Wideband. Taxes and fees are included in each plan and they even give you few weeks to try it out for FREE. Visible uses the Verizon network and is a partial owner of Visible.

We rated Visible Mobile as the BEST PREPAID WITH UNLIMITED DATA,
and appears on our PREPAID PRICE CHART.

Prepaids Directly from the Major Carriers:

AT&T Prepaid is a good choice for current AT&T customers who want to get away from the cycle of various plans that are hard to understand and negotiate. If you want more flexibility and save a larger amount of money, consider AT&T-owned prepaid Cricket Wireless.

T-Mobile Prepaid looks more like T-Mobile's regular plans. If you want a better-priced service, consider Metro by T-Mobile, or one of the many independent wireless providers that use the T-Mobile network.

Verizon Prepaid offers big-network advantages, especially for current Verizon customers who trust the Verizon brand, and want to switch to a more flexible plan. However, Verizon owns a large number of Prepaid products that will save you money or offer you plans and coverage that may better fit your lifestyle.

Prepaids That Have Changed Status:
► GOOGLE FI: Different from Prepaids, Fi credits back your unused data, reducing what you owe in the future.
► GOSMART MOBILE: Phones are limited to 3G and may be discontinued in the near future
► NET10: NET10 has been discontinued. Customers are being referred to Simple Mobile.
► PAGE PLUS: No 5G Coverage and may be discontinued in the near future.
► WALMART FAMILY MOBILE: Acquired by Verizon and their future is uncertain.

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