Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans – 2017

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Cheapest prepaid phone plans

Looking for the cheapest prepaid phone plans for the year 2017?

A lot of people are overpaying for their phones plans but you shouldn’t have to pay more for the same plan another provider has for a cheaper price!

A handful of prepaid phone plans from numerous service providers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS were compared and only the cheapest ones were picked out for this post. The plans are organized in the following way:

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Three of the Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans

Data
  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • 8 GB hotspot
$50
Talk & Text
  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • 50MB 4G LTE
$10.99
  • Unlimited Talk & text
$15
Free
  • 200 Talk
  • 500 Text
  • 500 MB 4G LTE
Free

Who Has The Cheapest Data Plan

How to spot a cheap data plan? The obvious answer is by comparing the prices on similar plans.

Are these plans cheap because the coverage is trash? No! Some providers are willing to lower their prices to grow their network.

Often times, the cheapest data plans can be obtained through special promotions, such as Sprint’s and Metro’s $50 plans. Despite that almost every provider offers an unlimited data plan, only a few stood out from the rest.

Note: Almost all the unlimited prepaid phone plans have slower speeds once the a certain amount of data is used in each billing cycle — typicall 22 -30 GB. However, speed will only slower (deprioritized) during peak hours or when the network you are on is constrained.

For unlimited everything, these are the cheapest prepaid data plans

  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • 8 GB hotspot
$50
  • Unlimited Talk & Text
  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
$50
  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • 8 GB hotspot
$60
  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • Unlimmited 4G LTE data
  • Int’l text
$55
  • Talk & text
  • 4G LTE data
$50
  • Talk & text
  • 4G LTE data
  • +International services
$60
  • Talk & text
  • 4G LTE data
  • Data free music
$60
  • Talk & text
  • 4G LTE data
  • 5 GB hotspot
$60

Boost Mobile Unlimited Gigs: Let’s just put it this way, if you’re looking for the cheapest prepaid phone plan that includes unlimited talk, text, 8 GB MHS, and 4G LTE data, this is the plan.

Boost Mobile runs on the Sprint network, and data speed gets reduced when exceeding 23 GB in a billing cycle and only when the Sprint network is constrained.

MetroPCS $50 data plan: This plan is only available for a Limited time.

Initially, it only included 5 GB of high-speed data. Now the plan is revamped to include unlimited 4G LTE data.

Since MetroPCS uses the T-Mobile network, Users who use more than 30 GB of high-speed data in a billing cycle may notice reduced speeds during congestion. On the positive side, data used for streaming music is not factored into the 30 GB limit.

Music Unlimited: Listen to music all day without using your 4G LTE data. This feature is built-in on the $40, $50, and $60 plans with over 40 premium streaming services, including iHeartRadio, Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora.

Additional lines: The price on this plan for unlimited data already appeals to a lot of people but it gets even cheaper if you need to add more lines. Currently, the price for 2 lines is $80; a 10% discount applies to each additional line up to 5 lines.

Cricket $60: Set up autopay and the plan becomes $5 cheaper.

Additionally, you can get a 10% discount on each additional line — 10% off the second line, 20% off the third line, 30% off the fourth line, and 40% off the fifth line.

The unlimited data, talk, and text on this plan can be used from either the US, Mexico or Canada with a restriction that 50% of the usage must originate from the US.

MetroPCS $60: This plan has the same services as the Metro’s $50. The difference is $10 more for 8 GB of hotspot.

Hotspot: The 8 GB for mobile hotspot on MetroPCS’s $60 plan applies to the 30 GB high-speed data limit.

Music Unlimited: With Music Unlimited streaming, you can listen to music from up to 40+ premium streaming services including Pandora, iHeartRadio, Apple Music, and Spotify without having to use your 4G LTE data allowance.

Additional Lines: Furthermore, you can open 2 lines for $100 a month plus $10 discount per additional line up to five lines.

Simple Mobile $60: So far, all the plans that have been mentioned have a data cap, but, according to Simple Mobile, their $60 data plan doesn’t — making it a truly unlimited data plan.

Hotspot: Just recently added, this plan now includes 8GB for mobile hotspot.

International: equipped with more than just talk and text in the U.S., Simple Mobile’s $60 also includes

  • Unlimited international text
  • Unlimited international calling to landlines in 64 countries
  • Unlimited international calling to cell phones in Mexico, Canada, India, China, and 16 more countries
  • restrictions apply

Furthermore, the price is reduced to $57 with Auto ReUp.

Simple Mobile $50 data plan: Similar to Simple Mobile’s $60 plan, this plan includes unlimited talk, text, and truly unlimited 4G LTE data for a cheap price of $47.50 with Auto Reup.

Unlike Simple Mobile’s $60 plans, the $50 plan does not include hotspot and international add-ons.

Virgin Mobile $60: This is another $60 data plan, but while the data cap is set to 23 GB every billing cycle, you enjoy unlimited music streaming from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker Radio, Napster, and 8tracks.

Major Carrier Prepaid Phone Plans are Too Expensive

Looking at the major carrier’s prepaid data plans, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, it becomes apparent that they are just too expensive compared to the little guy’s. Sprint Prepaid is the exception, though.

Sprint Prepaid: This plan cost $65, $60 with auto pay. It includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data plus 5 GB for mobile hotspot, 2GB speed thereafter. It’s also worth noting that you can upgrade to a Sprint postpaid account when you make 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments.

T-Mobile Prepaid: Plan costs $75 and includes unlimited talk, text, 4G LTE data, and 3G speed for MHS plus international add-ons.

GoPhone: This plan is the worst. The $65 price might seem good but the data speed is only 4G!

Verizon Prepaid: Costs $80 and includes unlimited 4G LTE data, unlimited U.S. talk and text, unlimited talk to Mexico and Canada, and unlimited text to over 200 international destinations.

Cheapest Unlimited Talk and Text Plans

This is a list of the cheapest talk and text only plans.

  • Unlimited Talk & text
  • 50MB 4G LTE
$10.99
  • Talk & text
$10.99
  • Unlimmited Talk & Text
  • Gloabl text
  • $1.25 credit
  • Talk 60+ countries
  • 100MB LTE data
$19
  • Unlimited Talk & text
$25
  • Unlimited Talk & text
$19

FreedomPop $10.99

FreedomPop’s Premium 500 plan costs $10.99 and includes

  • 50 MB Data
  • Unlimited talk & text

Drawbacks: A disadvantage to this plan is that it uses the included data to place calls and send text messages. Consequently, when the 50MB of data depletes, the credit card on file will be charged to add more data.

Free phone: When you open a new line, you’ll get the first month of service for free and a free refurbished B stock phone ($29.99 activation fee applies).

The free plan includes 2GB 4G LTE data and unlimited talk and text (The tag price on this plan is $24.99). When your free first month of service is over, you can then downgrade to the $10.99 talk & text plan.

What I specifically like about FreedomPop is that they have a free monthly plan that includes 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 50 MB of data. So whenever you feel like you don’t need an unlimited talk and text plan, you can always downgrade to the free plan.

Compatible Phones: FreedomPop’s cell phone catalog includes mostly refurbished devices such as the iPhone 6, Note 4, and Galaxy S7.

Republic Wireless $15

For unlimited talk and text, this is one of the cheapest prepaid phone plans on the list. Republic Wireless received the Laptop Magazine Editor’s Choice Award and was cited “one of the best bargains in wireless.”

Pros: Unlike FreedomPop, this plan does not require data to place calls and send text messages.

Compatible phones: Republic Wireless has a limited number of supported phones including some high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7. The list is constantly changing as more phones are being added.

Ultra Mobile $19

Ultra Mobile’s $19 plan is another cheap talk and text plan that I have come across. It includes unlimited talk and text and 100 MB of data for $14 plus $5 for the international add-ons which boost the price to $19 a month.

Ultra’s $19 plan add-ons include unlimited global text and unlimited talk to the USA plus 60+ other destinations. Additionally, a $1.25 credit to call anywhere in the world is available on this plan. This small credit can come in handy if the international destinations you are trying to call is not listed withing the 60+ predefined locations.

Recap

  • 100 MB data
  • Unlimited talk in the US plus 60+ destinations
  • Unlimited global text
  • $1.25 int’l credit

Other Talk and Text Plans

T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s standard plan costs $25 for just talk and text. A better alternative to this plan is Ultra’s $19 talk & text plan which is cheaper in price and add-ons — not to mention that they are both on T-Mobile’s network.

GoPhone: GoPhone’s talk and text only plan cost $30, $5 more than T-Mobile’s talk and text plan, but the price drops to $25 if you enroll in autopay. Another unattractive aspect of this plan is that you’d have to pay $5 per 250MB if you happen to need data.

GreatCall: GreatCall’s talk & text plan is priced at $19, which is the same as Ultra Mobile’s basic plan. The only difference is that Ultra Mobile’s plan includes other add-ons that GreatCall’s doesn’t. Furthermore, Ultra Mobile is a more established prepaid provider than GreatCall.

Cheapest Pay As You Go Plans

For the cheapest pay as you go plans, H20 is the best option.

H20 pay-as-yo-go: For minutes and text message, the price is 5ȼ (2.5ȼ for the $25 card) — sending or recieving.

The $25 pay as you go card might seem like a good deal at first, but don’t be fooled by the 2.5ȼ per minuted because the card expires in 30 days. There are plenty of unlimited talk and text plans that are priced cheaper than that.

T-mobile: This plan is priced at $3 a month and includes 30 combinations of text or talk. Additional talk and text can be added for 10ȼ per minute/text (sending or receiving).

500MB of data can be added for $5 a day or 1GB for $10 a week (that’s not very good).

GoPhone: Pay-as-you-go minutes are priced at 25ȼ, text messages at 20ȼ (receiving or sending), and picture and video messages are priced at 25ȼ per messages sent or received.

Additionally, GoPhone has a daily plan that cost $2 which includes unlimited text, picture, and video messaging within the U.S. and from the U.S. to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 counties. For data, the rate is 1ȼ per 5KB applies.

TracPhone: Their cheapest pay-as-you-go plan cost $19 for 90d ays of service and includes 180 minutes, 180 text messages, and 180MB of data. Furthermore, you can save 10% off when you enroll in autopay.

Cheap Alternatives to Pay As You Go Plans

The fact of the matter is, sometimes pay as you go plans are not cheap.

How?

Let’s take T-Mobile for example, for a pay as you go plan, you pay 10ȼ per minute or text message sending or receiving. That’s $1 for 10 minutes or 10 text messages, $5 for 50 minutes/texts , and $10 100 minutes/ texts.

It even gets worst when you’re doing the math on AT&T’s pay as you go plan since the cost per text message or minute is 25ȼ sending or receiving.

Now, if your willing to pay $10 for 100 minutes or 100 text messages, why not get RepublicWireless’ unlimited talk and text plan for $15.

I know what you’re thinking, “AT&T has better coverage!” Probably. But you’ll never know till you try the alternatives.

Why Pay When You Can Get a Talk, Text, and Data For Free

FreedomPop Free

  • 500 MB data
  • 200 talk
  • 500 text

Why pay $0.10 or $0.25 per minute or text message when you can get 200 minutes, 500 text messages, and half a gigabyte of 4G LTE data for free.

However, if you feel like 200 minutes of talk time is not enough, you can upgrade your Basic Plan for $10.99 a month and get unlimited talk, text, and 500MB of data.

FreedomPop uses Sprint’s network and their data speed is 4G LTE. Take a look at their coverage map and see if they have coverage in your area.

References

The phone plans in this post have been compiled from the prepaid providers listed above. Only the cheapest prepaid phone plans were included, though.

4 Comments

Mary

great stuff! Definantly going to look into freedom pops free basic plan

Reply

Mary, I’m glad that I was able to help you. I just recently bought a FreedomPop SIM for the sole purpose of trying out their Free Basic plan. IT came activated but it was still kinda confusing getting their service to work on my AT&T Note 5, but then, later on, I figured out that I had to download their app in order for the service to work.

Overall, the service is great.

Reply
13alex

Note that although Net10 resells all four carriers, it will put you on the network it thinks will work best for you, as Prepaid Phone News editor Dennis Bournique explains in a helpful post .

Reply

Thanks for sharing that! I believe Dennis Knows what he’s talking about.

Reply

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