With data plans beginning at $35 for 15GB and unlimited plans beginning at $50 with autopay, you’ll be able to save big compared to Verizon’s postpaid plans.
This article was updated in May 2023 and I review it every six months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.
What To Know Before Signing Up for Verizon Prepaid
Verizon Prepaid is a cheaper alternative to Verizon Wireless’s unlimited postpaid plans. Despite the cheaper prices, you can still use Verizon Prepaid to get unlimited access to the same network.
Plans (with autopay) begin as low as $30 per month for talk and text, $35 per month for 15GB of high-speed data and $50 per month for unlimited data.
You can easily switch to Verizon Prepaid for free online, or you can visit a Verizon store in person. However, know that if you sign up for Verizon Prepaid in-store, you’ll have to pay a $35 activation fee. For this reason, I recommend signing up online if you decide to make the switch.
I checked out the details of Verizon Prepaid plans, coverage and more. I’ve also compared Verizon Prepaid to different available phone plans and service providers to help you determine whether or not you should make the switch.
Table of Contents:
Below, you’ll find more information about Verizon Prepaid including what plans are available, how reliable the service is and whether or not you should consider it as your mobile carrier.
1. Plans and Pricing
Verizon Prepaid offers smartphone data plans with unlimited talk and text in the United States. No long-term contracts, activation fees or credit checks are required.
There are a couple of ways that you can get the best deal for your service with Verizon Prepaid: autopay discounts and loyalty discounts. If you sign up for autopay, you’ll start getting the lowest available price after one month. If you don’t sign up for autopay, you’ll start saving with loyalty discounts after three months.
Loyalty discounts work like this: If you don’t sign up for autopay, you’ll pay the full plan price for the first three months of service. After three months of service, your bill will drop by $5 monthly. After nine months of service, your bill will drop by another $5. However, if you sign up for autopay, you’ll save that $10 every month starting with your second month of service.
Here are the plans currently available from Verizon Prepaid.
|High-Speed Data||First Month Price||Price With Autopay*||Networks||Mobile Hotspot|
|15GB||$45||$35||4G/LTE||From Plan Allotment|
|5 GB of high-speed, then speeds reduce to 600 Kbps|
|Unlimited + 50GB of Premium Data||$70||$60||4G/LTE|
5G Ultra Wideband
|25 GB premium data, then unlimited lower-speed data.|
*Or after nine months with loyalty discounts
All of the above plans include unlimited talk and text. They each also come with call filter spam protection, international texting from the U.S. and talk, text and data in Mexico and Canada.
Verizon Prepaid also offers a “Talk & Text” plan that includes unlimited talk and text plus unlimited 2G-speed data. This plan costs $35 or $30 with autopay. It is not eligible for loyalty discounts.
There are no activation fees for Verizon Prepaid when you sign up online, and Verizon will ship you a SIM card at no cost.
2. Network Coverage
Verizon Prepaid provides access to Verizon Wireless’s 5G and 4G/LGE networks. Compared to AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon offers good coverage across the United States.
Below, you can see the Verizon Wireless coverage map.
You can visit the Verizon Wireless website to enter your address or ZIP code to see what kind of coverage you’ll have in your area before switching.
3. Activation Process
If you decide to try Verizon Prepaid, there are a couple of ways that you can activate your service. If you activate your service online, you’ll owe only the plan price. However, if you activate your service in-store, there is a $35 activation fee.
To activate your service in-store, find a store near you or schedule an appointment online to get started.
To activate your service online for free, visit Verizon’s website and choose which prepaid plan you’d like to purchase.
You can click “Compare plans” or “See plan details” to view more information. If you’re bringing your own phone to Verizon Prepaid, you can click “Bring your own” once you’ve decided on a plan. Then, you’ll be able to check your phone’s compatibility by entering your phone’s IMEI.
I went through this process and found that my phone was compatible with Verizon Prepaid. Then I was prompted to add a SIM card to my shopping cart or enter a SIM ID if I already had a Verizon SIM. I also had the option to check my phone’s eSIM compatibility for instant activation. Instead, I added a SIM card to my cart, and it didn’t change the total cost.
When you activate your Verizon Prepaid service online, there is no activation fee, the SIM card is free, and you’ll only owe the cost of the plan during checkout.
If you want to purchase a new phone from Verizon Prepaid, you can check out the selection of phones online. Once you decide on a phone, click “Continue,” and then you’ll be able to choose a plan for your line.
If you do activate your service online (without an eSIM), you’ll receive a SIM card with instructions in the mail within a few days. Then, you’ll be able to activate your service online yourself or call 866-893-7723 for automated assistance to activate a SIM card on Verizon Prepaid.
You can learn more about selecting and setting up your prepaid plan on Verizon’s website.
4. Phone Selection
Verizon Prepaid offers a selection of phones that you can purchase when activating your service. However, you can save the most money by bringing your existing cell phone to the carrier with you. To see if your phone is compatible with Verizon Prepaid, check its compatibility online here.
If you do want to purchase a new phone from Verizon Prepaid, there are several to choose from. As of May 2023, Verizon Prepaid offered a selection of 58 prepaid smartphones and 11 basic prepaid phones.
Available prepaid smartphones included iPhone 14 series and the Google Pixel 7 series as well as Samsung Galaxy devices, Motorola moto g devices and more. Prices for prepaid smartphones began at $49.99 and ranged up to $1,719.99. You can check out the full selection online.
Before you purchase a new phone from Verizon Prepaid, be sure to comparison shop. Check out this article on the best places to buy unlocked phones to find the best deals.
5. Data Speeds
One of the biggest concerns when switching to a prepaid carrier is that your data will be significantly slower.
According to Verizon’s website, 9-56 Mbps 5G Nationwide and 4G LTE wireless download speeds are typically provided. However, that range covers all of Verizon’s prepaid and postpaid plans, and prepaid plans are deprioritized first. So when Verizon’s network is heavily congested, you may experience slower speeds. You can learn more about how Verizon manages network congestion here.
Of course, a variety of factors affect the typical data speeds that you’ll actually see. According to Verizon’s website, “An individual user’s experience will vary depending upon many factors, including the plan they select, the network (5G Ultra Wideband, 5G Nationwide, 4G LTE, or 3G Ev-DO) the customer is using and the device in use.”
All of Verizon Wireless’ prepaid plans offer access to high-speed data, except for the $35 “Talk & Text” plan, which is limited to 2G data speeds only. With any other prepaid plan, you’ll get at least 15 GB of high-speed data on Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G Nationwide network (on 5G-capable devices.)
After you’ve reached your high-speed data allowance, download speeds will be limited to 128 kbps.
Verizon Prepaid Unlimited doesn’t have a high-speed data cap, which means you truly don’t have to worry about how much data you’re using before experiencing slower speeds. Of course, you may still experience deprioritization based on congestion. However, with Verizon Prepaid Unlimited Plus, you will get 50GB of premium network access as well as access to Verizon Wireless’ 5G Ultra Wideband network.
I reached out to a Verizon customer service representative to ask about the difference in speeds between premium data and regular high-speed data. You can see the response I got below.
6. Customer Service
Verizon Wireless has a few ways that you can contact customer service including online, in stores and by phone.
Here are the ways that you can contact Verizon Wireless for questions about Verizon Prepaid:
- Online Chat. Anywhere on Verizon Wireless’s website, you can click “Chat with us” in the bottom-right corner. There, you can type in your questions and get connected with a live agent. Online chat is available from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET.
- Call Verizon. You can call Verizon Wireless for help with Verizon Prepaid at (888) 294-6804. Representatives are available Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
- Schedule a Call. Visit Verizon Wireless’s contact page and click “Mobile,” then select the department that you need to be connected with. From there, you can schedule a call back to get assistance during regular business hours.
- Visit a Verizon Store. If you prefer in-person assistance, you can schedule an appointment online or find a nearby Verizon store online.
When I tested out Verizon’s customer service, I reached out via online chat. I was connected to a knowledgeable representative who was able to quickly answer my questions.
For more on how to contact Verizon Wireless, visit the company’s website.
If you’re thinking about switching to Verizon Prepaid, I recommend checking out the coverage in your area first. You can do this by visiting Verizon Wireless’ website and entering your address or ZIP code on the coverage map.
If Verizon has a strong signal in your area, then Verizon Prepaid could be a great way to get reliable service without having to pay full price for Verizon’s postpaid plans.
In addition to switching to a prepaid plan, there are a few more ways that you can save on your phone bill with Verizon Prepaid. Follow these tips to get the best deal:
- Bring your own phone. If you already have a working phone, you may be able to bring it with you to Verizon Prepaid. Then, you won’t have to pay for a new phone at all. You can check your device’s compatibility online before switching.
- Sign up for autopay. All of Verizon Prepaid’s plans are cheaper with autopay. For most of the plans, you’ll get $10 off each month, which is a savings of $120 each year! If you don’t sign up for autopay, Loyalty Discounts will still help you save after the first and ninth months of service. However, signing up for autopay will get you the same great savings after just the first month.
- Activate online instead of in-store. If you sign up for a Verizon Prepaid line in-store, there’s a one-time $35 activation fee. You can easily save $35 by signing up online instead. The process is intuitive, and I had a decent experience with customer support which can help if you have any questions during the activation process.
For 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.
- May 4, 2023: Updated the available selection of phones
- May 4, 2023: Removed streaming perks; Verizon Prepaid Unlimited plans no longer include six months of Disney+ for free.