The Best Prepaid Phone Plans Under $50/mo.

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If you’re shopping for a new cell phone plan, opting for a prepaid cell phone plan may be the best way to save money. In this article, I’ll share my top picks for the best and cheapest prepaid phone plans including options that run on each of the major carriers’ networks. 

I’ve researched more than 70 phone plans to find the absolute best prices and features available with prepaid phone plans. 

This article was updated in August 2023 and I review it every six months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.

Cheapest Monthly Prepaid Phone Plan
Tello Economy
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$9/month (plus taxes)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data
  • Cheapest monthly plan available with high-speed data
Cheapest Unlimited Prepaid Phone Plan
Visible
Network
Verizon
Price
$25/month (taxes & fees included)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and data with 5-12 Mbps speeds
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot with 5 Mbps speeds
  • The cheapest price for unlimited data
Best Unlimited Prepaid Plan from a Major Carrier
T-Mobile Simply Prepaid
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$50/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • Speeds may be reduced after 50GB when the network is congested
  • Unlimited domestic mobile hotspot at 3G speeds

Choosing the Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

When you sign up for a prepaid phone plan, you won’t have to go through a credit check as you usually do with postpaid plans. And there are so many plans out there that you have a wide range of choices for how much data you want. That doesn’t mean, though, that you have to choose a plan with a limited amount of data. You can choose an unlimited data plan from a prepaid MVNO or from a major carrier. 

Here, you’ll find my top picks for the cheapest prepaid phone plans as well as the best unlimited prepaid phone plans. You’ll also find a list of the best prepaid plans on each network including affordable MVNOs and plans directly from each major carrier:


The Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans

Choosing a prepaid phone plan is one of the best ways to save on your phone bill. Opting for an affordable MVNO that runs on a major network’s towers is another. Here, you’ll find my top picks for the absolute cheapest prepaid phone plans beginning as low as $10 per month. For this price, you can get 1GB of data monthly with Tello Mobile. For $15 per month, you can get 5GB of high-speed data with Mint Mobile, which has the fasted download speeds among MVNOs in my experience. On Verizon’s network, Twigby is another great option with 4GB of high-speed data (before reduced speeds) for $10 per month for the first three months.

Below, you’ll find more information on the three cheapest prepaid phone plans available as of May 2023:

  • Cheapest Monthly Prepaid Phone Plan: Tello Economy
  • Best Value for a Prepaid Phone Plan: Mint Mobile
  • Best Limited-Time Cheap Prepaid Phone Plan: Twigby

Tello Economy

Cheapest Monthly Prepaid Phone Plan

Tello Mobile offers plans beginning as low as $5 per month. Unfortunately, that price only includes 100 minutes and no data. However, for a more reasonable phone plan, Tello still offers incredibly low prices. For unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data per month, Tello offers the Economy plan for $10. Additional plans from Tello Mobile include the Value plan (2GB for $14), the Smart plan (5GB for $19) and the Data plan (25GB for $29).

For even more savings from Tello Mobile, check your phone’s compatibility online to see if you can bring your own device with you when you switch. To learn more about Tello Mobile before switching, be sure to check out our full review

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Mint Mobile

Best Value for a Prepaid Phone Plan

Mint Mobile is another T-Mobile MVNO that’s worth considering when you’re shopping for a cheap prepaid phone plan. You can get this service for as low as $15 per line per month. To get this price, you’ll initially have to pay three months in advance. That means you’ll owe $45 (plus taxes and fees) at the time of purchase for one line. For this price, you’ll get three months’ worth of unlimited talk and text as well as 5GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. 

Other plans from Mint Mobile include 15GB for $20 per month, 20GB for $25 per month and 40GB for $30 per line. If you’re thinking about switching to Mint Mobile, be sure to check your phone’s compatibility online first. You can also read our full review here


Twigby

Best Limited-Time Cheap Prepaid Phone Plan

Twigby is another cheap prepaid phone service provider to consider. It’s an MVNO that runs on Verizon’s towers. You can create your own plan with Twigby or choose from three pre-made smartphone value plans. The cheapest option includes 2GB of high-speed data (before reduced speeds) as well as unlimited talk and text for $5 per month for the first three months. After three months, the bill increases to $10 per month. However, you can also get a bit more high-speed data (5GB) for $10 for the first three months followed by $20 per month after that.

Twigby’s other premade plan includes 10GB of high-speed data for $15 per month for the first three months ($25 per month after three months). You may also be able to bring your own phone to Twigby to save even more; check your phone’s compatibility online. You can also read our full review here.


The Best Unlimited Prepaid Phone Plans

Traditionally, prepaid plans have been associated with very limited data and constantly having to reload minutes. Now, you can find prepaid phone plans on reliable networks with unlimited talk, text and data for an affordable monthly price. For example, Visible is available for $25 per month with unlimited talk, text, data and mobile hotspot (5Mbps speeds). T-Mobile Prepaid includes unlimited talk, text and 50GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds for $50 per month. The T-Mobile Prepaid plan also includes unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds.

Here, you’ll find more information on my top three picks for the best unlimited prepaid phone plans:


Visible

Cheapest Unlimited Prepaid Phone Plan

If you’re looking for a prepaid phone plan with unlimited mobile hotspot data, Visible’s $25 plan is a great option. For $25 per month for one line (new customers only), you’ll get unlimited talk, text and data, though speeds may slow when the network is congested. There’s no high-speed data cap that you’ll have to look out for, but that also means that deprioritization can happen at any time. Visible’s $25 plan includes unlimited mobile hotspot data, but hotpsot speeds are capped at 5Mbps.

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Visible also offers a $45 unlimited plan that includes 50GB of premium mobile data before slower speeds, unlimited talk, text and mobile hotspot data. To see if your phone is eligible to bring with you to Visible, check its phone’s compatibility online before switching. To learn more about Visible before switching, be sure to check out our full review


T-Mobile Simply Prepaid

Best Unlimited Prepaid Plan From a Major Carrier

If you’re looking for an unlimited prepaid plan from a major carrier, T-Mobile Simply Prepaid is a great option to consider. The cheapest unlimited plan is available for $50 per month for one line plus taxes and fees. Speeds slow after 50GB, but you can still continue using unlimited data. This plan also includes unlimited mobile hotspot data at 3G speeds, unlimited talk and text. 

Additional plans from T-Mobile Simply Prepaid include 10GB for $40 per month for one line and Unlimited Plus for $60 per month for one line. If you’re thinking about switching to a T-Mobile plan, be sure to check your device’s compatibility online first.


The Best Prepaid Phone Plans by Network

If you know that you have good coverage with a specific network in your area, you may want to stick with a prepaid phone plan that runs on that network’s towers. Still, that doesn’t mean that you have to pay the full price of a phone plan directly from that company. Instead, check out MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) that work with the same service. If you do want a phone plan directly from a major carrier, there are great prepaid options available from each as well. 

Here, you’ll find my top picks for each network including affordable MVNOs and prepaid plans directly from the service provider:


T-Mobile

Prepaid T-Mobile MVNOs

If you’re a fan of T-Mobile, consider a prepaid MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s towers. A few of our highlighted picks for prepaid phone plans came from these T-Mobile MVNOs:

  • Mint Mobile (Review) has always used T-Mobile’s towers, but now it’s officially owned by T-Mobile. Mint Mobile offers several great, affordable plans beginning at $15 monthly, but you’ll have to prepay three months in advance.
  • Tello Mobile (Review) offers access to T-Mobile’s network for a fraction of the price. Pre-built prepaid plans begin as low as $5 per month (for the first three months) for 1GB of data plus unlimited talk and text.
  • Boost Mobile (Review) offers several different great prepaid plans that all provide access to T-Mobile’s reliable network. You can get a cheap prepaid plan beginning at $15 per month for 5GB of data as well as unlimited talk and text. Unlimited plans begin at $25 per month. 
  • Republic Wireless (Review) offers prepaid plans exclusively to Dish customers beginning at $19.99 per month for unlimited talk and text. Unlimited plans begin at $29.99 per month.
  • Metro by T-Mobile (Review) plans begin at $40 monthly for unlimited talk, text and 35GB of high-speed data. Metro plans are prepaid and include access to T-Mobile’s 5G network.

Best Prepaid T-Mobile Plans

When it comes to major carriers, Clark is a fan of T-Mobile. If you’re looking for the best T-Mobile prepaid phone plans, here are a few to consider: 

  • Connect by T-Mobile (Review) offers two different Prepaid Connect Plans beginning at $10 per month. For this price, you can get unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data (capped). You can also pay $15 per month for 3.5GB of high-speed data (capped) plus unlimited talk and text. 
  • T-Mobile Simply Prepaid (Review) includes a few different plans to choose from including 10GB of high-speed data for $40 per month, unlimited data for $50 per month and an Unlimited Plus plan for $60 that includes 10GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data. Each plan includes multiline discounts up to five lines. 

Verizon

Prepaid Verizon MVNOs

If you’re a fan of Verizon, consider a prepaid MVNO that uses Verizon’s towers. A few of our highlighted picks for prepaid phone plans came from these Verizon MVNOs:

  • Twigby (Review) allows you to build your own prepaid plan with access to Verizon’s network. You can also choose from one of three pre-made smartphone value plans. These include 2GB of high-speed data for $5 per month for the first three months ($15 per month afterward), 5GB of high-speed data for $10 per month for the first three months ($20 per month afterward) and 8GB of high-speed data for $16 per month for the first six months ($26 per month afterward.)
  • Visible (Review) is another great Verizon MVNO to consider. Plans begin at $25 per month for unlimited talk, text and mobile data plus unlimited mobile hotspot (5Mbps max speeds). You can also pay $45 per month for Visible’s top-tier unlimited plan which includes 50GB of premium data before deprioritization.
  • Total by Verizon (Review) recently acquired Total Wireless. The new prepaid option offers plans beginning at $30 per month for 5GB of high-speed data followed by reduced speeds. Unlimited options begin at $50 for one line and include a subscription to Disney+. You can get the same unlimited plan for $25/line for four lines.

Best Prepaid Verizon Plans

  • Verizon Prepaid (Review) is a great option for a prepaid phone plan directly from Verizon. Initial prices (including a $5 autopay discount) include $35 per month for 15GB of high-speed data plus unlimited talk & text. Unlimited plans begin at $50 per month.

AT&T

Prepaid AT&T MVNOs

If you’re a fan of AT&T, consider a prepaid MVNO that uses AT&T’s towers. Here are a few of the best and most affordable options to choose from:

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  • Cricket Wireless (Review) is another great AT&T MVNO that offers several prepaid phone plans. You can get four lines with unlimited data for $100. Single-line plans begin as low as $30 per month for 5GB of high-speed data.
  • H2O Wireless (Review) offers several different prepaid phone plans that are worth considering, including its $100 per month plan for four lines and unlimited data. Cheaper single-line plans begin at $18 per month for 3GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. 

Best Prepaid AT&T Plans

  • AT&T Prepaid (Review) is a great way to save with a major carrier like AT&T. There are several plans to choose from including 16GB of data per month for $25 per month for one year when you prepay $300. There’s also a 5GB $30 monthly plan, a 15GB plan for $40 per month and an unlimited plan for $50 per month with autopay. 
  • AT&T Prepaid Family (Review) offers a customizable prepaid option. You can mix and match up to five lines and choose from 5GB ($30 for the first line), 15GB ($40 for the first line) or Unlimited ($50 for the first line) for each line on your plan. There’s a $10 multiline discount and an autopay discount that varies depending on your custom plan.

Team Clark’s Methodology

For the purposes of this review, Team Clark determined that the top three things customers care about when it comes to cell phone carriers are price, network reliability/coverage and overall satisfaction.

Various members of our staff tried out each of these popular cell phone providers to get a feel for their reliability and service. We have individual reviews of those providers available on the website.

I also researched more than 70 phone plans available at the time of writing and used analysis of the following characteristics when determining the “best” options for each category:

  • Price
  • Network reliability
  • Network coverage
  • Monthly data allotments
  • “Bring your own device” availability
  • Available deals and discounts (loyalty, autopay, additional lines, etc.)
  • Online reviews from real customers

Final Thoughts

Switching to a prepaid phone plan is a great way to reduce your monthly phone bill. Plus, you won’t have to deal with credit checks or pay for features that you don’t need. If saving money is your main motivation for choosing a prepaid phone plan, you’ll find some of the most affordable options with Tello Mobile, Mint Mobile and Twigby. 

Mint Mobile also offers great unlimited data prepaid phone plans as does T-Mobile itself. If you need a prepaid phone service from a different network, check out Visible, Verizon Prepaid or Twigby on Verizon’s network or Cricket Wireless and H2O Wireless on AT&T’s network. 

For even more options, be sure to read our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now. Once you’ve decided on a new phone plan and you’re ready to make the switch, check out this guide that we put together to take you step-by-step through the process.

Did we miss a plan on our list or did you find a better deal? Let us know in our Clark.com Community or check out the latest conversations around cell phones.

Article Updates
  • August 15, 2023: Replaced Mint Mobile with Visible for the cheapest unlimited prepaid phone plan (now $25/month for unlimited)
  • August 15, 2023: Updated H2O Wireless’ high-speed data caps
  • August 15, 2023: Updated Visible’s pricing (now $25 for the basic plan)
  • August 15, 2023: Updated Twigby’s plans (higher data caps and new plan pricing)
  • August 15, 2023: Added Total by Verizon’s new family plan
  • June 30, 2023: Boost Mobile’s unlimited plans now begin at $25 per month
  • May 30, 2023: Updated Mint Mobile’s plans to reflect the new higher data allotments
  • May 30, 2023: Boost Mobile’s $15 plan now includes 5GB of data (previously 2GB)
  • May 30, 2023: Cricket Wireless’ $30 plan now includes 5GB of data (previously (2GB)
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