The Best Prepaid Phone Plans

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If you’re shopping for a new cell phone plan, opting for a prepaid plan may be the best way for you 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. 

Cheapest Overall Prepaid Phone Plan
Boost 2GB
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$15/month (taxes & fees included); $9/month for the first 6 months
Highlights
  • At $15/month, one of the cheapest phone plans available
  • Unlimited talk, text and 2GB of high-speed data
  • Doesn’t require credit check
Cheapest Unlimited Prepaid Phone Plan
Mint Unlimited
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$30/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • 35GB data cap before reduced speeds
  • Prepay three months in advance when you sign up
  • Although the contract changes, the plan price stays the same after three months.
Best Unlimited Prepaid Plan from a Major Carrier
T-Mobile Simply Prepaid
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$50
Highlights
  • Speeds may be reduced after 50GB when the network is congested
  • Unlimited domestic mobile hotspot at 3G speeds

Choosing The Best Prepaid 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 post-paid 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 $9 per month. For this price, you can get 2GB of data monthly with Boost Mobile for the first six months. For $15 per month, you can get twice the amount of high-speed data with Mint Mobile. On Verizon’s network, Twigby is another great option with 3GB of high-speed data (before reduced speeds) for $15 per month for the first six months.

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

  • Cheapest Overall Prepaid Phone Plan: Boost 2GB
  • Best Value for a Prepaid Phone Plan: Mint Mobile
  • Best Limited-Time Cheap Prepaid Phone Plan: Twigby

Boost 2GB

Boost Mobile (best prepaid phone plan)

Cheapest Overall Prepaid Phone Plan

Boost Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, offers a variety of prepaid phone plans beginning as low as $9 per month for the first six months. For that price, you can get 2GB of high-speed data in addition to unlimited talk and text. After the first six months, the bill increases to $15 per month. This plan is available only to new customers who bring their own devices; you can check your phone’s compatibility online before switching.

Other prepaid plans available from Boost Mobile include 5GB of data for $25 per month, 10GB of data for $35 per month and unlimited plans starting at $50 per month. To learn more about Boost Mobile before switching, be sure to check out our full review


Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile prepaid phone plans

Best Value for a Prepaid Phone Plan

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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 4GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. 

Other plans from Mint Mobile include 10GB for $20 per month, 15GB for $25 per month and 35GB 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

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 3GB of high-speed data (before reduced speeds) as well as unlimited talk and text for $15 per month for the first six months. After six months, the bill increases to $20 per month.

Other pre-made plans from Twigby include 5GB of high-speed data for $18.75 per month for the first six months ($25 per month after six months) and 10GB for $26.25 per month for the first six months ($35 per month after six 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, Mint Unlimited is available for $30 per month with 35GB of high-speed data before unlimited data at reduced speeds. T-Mobile Prepaid includes unlimited talk, text and 50GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds for $50 per month. T-Mobile Prepaid includes unlimited hotspot at 3G speeds, but if you need high-speed hotspot data, Boost Mobile’s $60 Unlimited plan includes 30GB of mobile hotspot in addition to unlimited talk, text and data.

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


Mint Unlimited

Cheapest Unlimited Prepaid Phone Plan

Mint Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO, offers an unlimited data plan for $30 monthly plus taxes and fees. It includes unlimited talk, text and data as well as 5GB of hotspot data. After 35GB of mobile data, speeds reduce, but you can still continue using unlimited data. Like all Mint Mobile plans, you will have to prepay for three months at a time, which makes this plan $90 total at the time of purchase. 

If you want to bring your own phone to Mint Mobile for even more savings, check your device’s compatibility online before switching. To learn more about Mint Mobile, read our full review here.

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T-Mobile 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 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.


Boost Unlimited

Best Unlimited Prepaid Plan for Mobile Hotspot

If you’re looking for an unlimited prepaid phone plan with high-speed mobile hotspot data, Boost Mobile’s $60 unlimited plan is a great option. For $60 per month for one line, you’ll get unlimited talk, text and 35GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. This plan also includes 30GB of mobile hotspot and HD video streaming. You can add an additional line for $40 per month. 

Boost also offers a $50 unlimited plan that includes 35GB of high-speed mobile data, unlimited talk and text and 12GB of mobile hotspot data. To see if your phone is eligible to bring with you to Boost Mobile, check its phone’s compatibility online before switching. To learn more about Boost Mobile before switching, be sure to check out our full review


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) is a T-Mobile MVNO that offers several great, affordable plans. This earned Mint a spot as our winner for the cheapest unlimited phone plan as well as second place for cheapest cell phone plans in our Best Cell Phone Plans and Deals guide. Plans begin at $15 monthly, but you’ll have to prepay three months in advance to get this price. 
  • 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 $9 per month for the first six months for 2GB of data as well as unlimited talk and text. Unlimited plans begin at $50 per month. 
  • Republic Wireless (Review) offers prepaid plans beginning at $15 per month for unlimited talk and text as a T-Mobile MVNO. You can also get 1GB of data per month for $200 annually.
  • Metro by T-Mobile (Review) plans begin at $40 monthly for unlimited talk, text and 10GB 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: 

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  • T-Mobile Connect offers two different Prepaid Connect Plans beginning at $15 per month. For this price, you can get unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB of high-speed data (capped). You can also pay $25 per month for 5.5GB of high-speed data (capped plus unlimited talk and text. 
  • T-Mobile Simply Prepaid 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 3GB of high-speed data for $15 per month for the first six months ($20 per month afterward), 5GB of high-speed data for $18.75 per month for the first six months ($25 per month afterward) and 10GB of high-speed data for $26.25 per month for the first six months ($35 per month afterward.)
  • Total Wireless (Review) offers a variety of prepaid single-line and family phone plans. For one line, you can get 1GB of monthly data for $25, 5GB for $35 or 25GB for $50. Unlimited family plans can be as low as $25 per month per line for four lines. Also, save 5% on your monthly bill by enrolling in autopay.

Best Prepaid Verizon Plans

  • Verizon Prepaid is a great option for a prepaid phone plan directly from Verizon. With these plans, your bill will reduce after three months of service and again after nine months. Initial prices (including a $5 autopay discount) include $35 per month for talk & text, $40 per month for 5GB of data and $50 per month for 15GB of data. Unlimited plans begin at $65 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:

  • 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. Cricket Wireless earned third place in the best multiline phone plans on our site. Single-line plans begin as low as $30 per month for 2GB of high-speed data.
  • H2O Wireless offers several different prepaid phone plans that are worth considering. In our guide on the Best Cell Phone Plans and Deals, it earned an honorable mention for the best multiline phone plan with its price of $100 per month for four lines and unlimited data. Cheaper single-line plans begin at $18 per month for 2GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. 

Best Prepaid AT&T Plans

  • AT&T Prepaid is a great way to save with a major carrier like AT&T. There are several plans to choose from including 8GB 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 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), Unlimited ($50 for the first line) or Unlimited Plus ($60 for the first line) for each line on your plan. There’s a $10 multiline discount and an autopay discount that ranges up to $30 per month 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 Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile and Twigby. 

Mint and Boost also offer great unlimited data prepaid phone plans as does T-Mobile itself. (All three of these companies run on the same network.) If you need a prepaid phone service from a different network, check out Total Wireless and 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.

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