Contract cell phone plans have been considered the norm for years, but prepaid cell phones have recently been growing in popularity thanks to their lower prices and the flexibility they offer. While contract cell phone plans involve a contract that typically lasts two years, you’re not forced to make any kind of commitment with a prepaid cell phone plan. Therefore, there are plenty of other advantages in choosing a prepaid phone over a contract.
Learn more about prepaid plans below. Plus, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best prepaid cell phone providers.
Benefits of a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan
No Commitment Involved
Traditional cell phone plans require you to commit to a contract that usually lasts two years. With a prepaid cell phone plan, you’re able to keep your options open and switch carriers without any repercussions.
No Need for a Credit Check
This is great news for those who don’t have good credit. Luckily, prepaid cell phones are available to anyone, regardless of their credit score.
Only Pay for What You Need
Prepaid cell phone plans allow you to pay upfront for the number of minutes, texts, and data you want for the month. With most plans, any extra rolls over into the next month.
No Overage Fees
With a prepaid cell phone plan, once you run out of minutes, texts, or data, your service stops. At this point, you can either wait until your next payment to regain services or purchase additional usage.
Best Prepaid Cell Phone Providers
Mint Mobile is a carrier that is focused on offering quality wireless with great savings. Mint Mobile is an online-only company that doesn’t offer any cell phone contracts. Instead, it offers three-month, six-month, and 12-month plans. Plans range between $15 to $30 a month.
Some of the plans offered by Mint Mobile include:
This plan is valid for three months and costs $45 upfront. The $45 covers four gigabytes of 5G data per month, plus unlimited nationwide talk and text. You also get a free mobile hotspot, free international calls to Canada and Mexico, and Wi-Fi calling and text.
If you’re looking for a bit more data, the 10GB plan might be a good match for you. It costs $60 for three months of service, which breaks down to $20 per month. Included in the plan are:
- 10GB of 5G data;
- 4G LTE;
- Unlimited nationwide talk and text;
- A free mobile hotspot;
- Free calls to Canada and Mexico, and;
- Wi-Fi calling and text.
In search of unlimited talk, text, and data?
Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan provides that, as well as all of the features listed in the 4GB and 10GB plans. The Unlimited plan comes out to $90 for the first three months, which equals out to $30 per month.
As Google explains it: “Phones designed for Fi give you better coverage by intelligently shifting between networks. If you already have a phone you love, you can bring it to Fi.”
Google Fi offers three plans that range in price depending on the number of people on the plan. There are no contracts or activation fees involved. The three plans are as follows:
The Google Fi Flexible plan starts at $20 for one person plus $10 per gigabyte of data used. The price decreases slightly as you add more people to the plan, with a six-person Google Fi Flexible plan costing $16 per person plus $10 per gigabyte of data used. This plan is recommended for those who don’t use a lot of data or are usually connected to Wi-Fi.
On top of the data, this plan comes with:
- Unlimited texts and calls;
- Privacy and security features;
- Family features, and;
- 24/7 customer support.
This plan from Google Fi is advertised as the most affordable plan for those who use a lot of data. For one person, the Simply Unlimited plan costs $60. For two people, it costs $45 per person. And for four or more people, the price drops to $30 per person.
Other than the unlimited data, the Simply Unlimited plans includes everything found in the Flexible plan.
Google Fi recommends the Unlimited Plus plan for people who tether (use their phones as a Wi-Fi hotspot), travel frequently, or use quite a bit of data. Unlimited Plus ranges from $70 for one person to $45 each for six people.
Like the Simply Unlimited plan, Unlimited Plus includes all the features that come with the Flexible plan. However, it adds 100GB of cloud storage with Google One.
Metro by T-Mobile
Metro by T-Mobile allows you to pick the prepaid plan that works for you. All plans from Metro by T-Mobile include access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, while some plans even include subscriptions to Amazon Prime or Google One.
Starting at $40, this plan includes 10GB of high-speed data, plus access to T-Mobile’s 5G network and Music Unlimited.
As you increase the number of lines on the plan, the price per person drops. For instance, five lines cost $160, which comes out to $32 per person.
$50 Unlimited Plan
This plan comes with unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, 5GB of hotspot data, and 100GB Google One membership.
Similar to the 10GB Plan, the $50 Unlimited Plan decreases in price as more lines are added to the plan. The cost for five lines is $150, or $30 per person.
$60 Unlimited Plan
With the $60 Unlimited Plan, you get unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, 15GB of hotspot data, 100GB Google One membership, and an Amazon Prime membership. This plan also offers five lines for $150, or $30 per person.
The Bottom Line
Prepaid cell phone plans are a great choice for those who are looking to save money and avoid getting locked into long-term cell phone contracts. Prepaid plans come with other advantages as well, such as being able to pay for what you need or not worrying about overage fees.
Mint Mobile, Google Fi, and Metro by T-Mobile are three great choices when looking for a reliable prepaid cell phone provider. Each of these providers has several plans, so be sure to compare their features and figure out which best fits your needs and your budget.