The best prepaid cell phone plans in 2023: the 6 best ones

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5G logo connected nan Motorola Edge (2022).Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There was erstwhile a clip erstwhile prepaid compartment telephone plans meant getting only basal calling features and constricted data. Thankfully, that’s changed. Many of today’s prepaid plans connection galore of nan aforesaid halfway features of nan champion compartment postpaid telephone plans, including high-speed 5G data, unlimited calling and texting, and moreover world roaming — each without nan request to perpetrate to a contract.

Not only that, but you tin often find prepaid plans astatine acold little prices, moreover if you’re only mounting up a azygous line. While accepted bearer plans springiness their champion discounts for families and different groups, galore prepaid plans lead pinch their champion value correct retired of nan gate.

Plus, since today’s prepaid plans tally connected nan large 3 bearer networks, you’ll bask nan aforesaid awesome sum and reliability arsenic if you signed up straight pinch T-Mobile, Verizon, aliases AT&T. The only drawback is that your speeds whitethorn sometimes beryllium throttled to springiness right-to-way to those carriers’ ain customers. However, pinch nan capacity offered by modern 5G networks, that happens a batch little often than you mightiness deliberation successful astir places.

Nevertheless, pinch truthful galore prepaid plans retired there, it tin beryllium a situation to fig retired which is nan champion for your needs. We’ve rounded up a fewer of nan champion choices and highlighted what each offers to thief you decide. Let’s dive in.

Best worth prepaid telephone plan

Mint Mobile Unlimited

A Mint Mobile sim paper placed astatine an angle.Mint Mobile

Since it runs connected T-Mobile’s 5G Ultra Capacity network, Mint Mobile is 1 of nan fastest and astir reliable prepaid 5G plans available. However, it’s besides 1 of those ironic situations wherever you’ll only get nan champion woody by making a longer-term commitment.

Unlike astir prepaid plans, Mint Mobile doesn’t tally month-to-month; instead, you prepay for a three-, six-, aliases 12-month package, and nan longer nan subscription, nan greater nan savings.

While you’ll request to ammunition retired $360 for a twelvemonth of work to get nan champion monthly value of $30/month for its Unlimited plan, caller customers tin besides motion up for a three-month proceedings astatine that rate, paying only $90/month up-front. If you don’t want to perpetrate to a full twelvemonth aft that, you tin motion up for 3 months for $120 ($40/month) aliases six months for $210 ($35/month). Mint Mobile besides often has promos wherever you tin fastener successful a fewer months astatine moreover little rates — sometimes arsenic debased arsenic $15/month.

Mint Mobile besides makes it really easy to get up and moving if you’re sporting a smartphone that uses an eSIM, specified arsenic a Samsung Galaxy S23, iPhone 15, aliases Google Pixel 8, arsenic you tin motion up wholly online and person your scheme progressive connected your telephone wrong minutes. However, moreover if you request a accepted SIM, Mint Mobile will nonstop you 1 astatine nary other complaint — you’ll conscionable request to hold for it to arrive.

The Mint Mobile Unlimited scheme still has a 40GB information cap, which intends you’ll acquisition slower speeds if you usage much than that successful a month. The aforesaid is existent for its 5GB, 15GB, aliases 20GB plans, truthful you tin prevention a spot much money if you cognize you won’t request arsenic overmuch high-speed information connected a regular basis. Mobile hotspot entree is besides included connected each plans, though nan Unlimited scheme caps that astatine 10GB, which is overseas considering that nan 15GB and 20GB plans don’t person a abstracted mobile hotspot limit, truthful you whitethorn want to see opting for 1 of those if you scheme to tether a lot.

Best fund prepaid telephone plan


Visible wireless phones and plans featuredVisible

One of nan awesome things astir Visible is its attraction connected providing simple, no-nonsense plans to get you online pinch nary hidden fees and a minimum of fuss. Choosing a scheme connected Visible is easy, arsenic nan prepaid bearer only offers 2 options: Visible and Visible+, some of which tally connected Verizon’s 5G network.

If you’re connected a budget, Visible is nan 1 to get. You’ll salary only $25 per period for 5G access, genuinely unlimited data, and nary semipermanent commitment. It moreover includes ray mobile hotspot capabilities and unlimited talking and texting to nan U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

However, it’s worthy noting that nan modular Visible scheme will only springiness you entree to Verizon’s slower 5G Nationwide network, truthful you won’t get nan fastest 5G speeds available. Don’t beryllium frightened distant by that, though, arsenic you should still beryllium capable to get up to 56Mbps — which is much than capable for surfing, streaming, and hanging retired connected societal media.

Unlike astir carriers, Visible doesn’t person a circumstantial period wherever it will slow down your information speeds. Although mobile hotspot speeds are capped astatine 5Mbps and only let for a azygous connected device, surfing from your smartphone will ever run astatine nan fastest 5G speeds disposable connected Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network. However, you whitethorn sometimes acquisition slowdowns during busier times of nan time to make measurement for Verizon customers.

If you do want faster speeds, nan $45/month Visible+ scheme will springiness you entree to Verizon’s faster 5G Ultra Wideband network, pinch 50GB of “premium” information astatine nan fastest imaginable speeds each month, positive unlimited talk, text, and information roaming successful Canada and Mexico.

Best prepaid telephone scheme for perks

Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited

Metro by T-Mobile announcement.T-Mobile

As you tin astir apt conjecture from nan name, Metro by T-Mobile is nan prepaid branch of nan well-known “uncarrier.” This intends you’re operating connected T-Mobile’s expansive and accelerated 5G network, truthful you tin remainder assured that sum won’t beryllium a problem; T-Mobile recently announced that its 5G Ultra Capacity web now covers complete 300 cardinal people — that’s 90% of nan U.S. population.

However, Metro isn’t nan only prepaid bearer that uses nan T-Mobile network, truthful what you’re really getting present complete competing options is galore of nan aforesaid perks that T-Mobile postpaid customers tin enjoy. For $50/month (with AutoPay discount), you get unlimited high-speed 5G data, 8GB of lower-priority mobile hotspot data, a 100GB Google One membership, and a one-year subscription to Vix Premium. Unlike astir prepaid carriers, this value besides drops if you motion up for aggregate lines.

Metro by T-Mobile besides still offers immoderate “Heritage” plans that whitethorn beryllium worthy checking retired if you’re looking for different perks, including 1 that includes an Amazon Prime membership. However, you’ll person to interaction customer work aliases sojourn a shop to motion up for these.

While Metro prepaid customers will person to make measurement for T-Mobile users, which could consequence successful slowdowns during highest periods, that’s improbable to beryllium a problem successful astir places; there’s a logic why T-Mobile calls its fastest 5G web Ultra Capacity.

Best prepaid telephone scheme for families

Cricket Unlimited

Cricket Wireless LogoCricket

Much for illustration Visible is to Verizon and Metro is to T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless is AT&T’s prepaid subsidiary, and while it’s traditionally been a spot down nan curve pinch its information caps, it’s been catching up pinch nan others. Its plans are peculiarly charismatic for those who want bully 5G speeds for nan full family.

At $50 pinch an AutoPay discount, nan single-line unlimited scheme isn’t thing to constitute location about. However, this drops to $80 for 2 lines ($40/line) aliases $100 for 4 ($25/line). You besides get unlimited information connected AT&T’s 5G+ web pinch nary throttling different than nan accustomed web prioritization for existent AT&T customers, positive free texting and calling to and roaming successful Canada and Mexico.

As Cricket says, this is simply a “no-frills” plan, truthful you won’t get a mobile hotspot without paying for an other add-on, but it does see unlimited texting to 37 countries and 2GB of unreality retention for your photos. You tin besides measurement up to nan adjacent tier for an other $5/month for a azygous statement aliases $30/month much for 4 lines to get 15GB of mobile hotspot data, 150GB of unreality storage, and a bundled Max pinch Ads subscription.

The biggest downside to Cricket Wireless is that you’re moving connected AT&T’s network, wherever you’ll get expansive but slow low-band 5G coverage but are overmuch little apt to find yourself taking advantage of its fastest 5G+ service. This could make throttling a bigger problem, depending connected wherever you unrecorded and really galore AT&T customers are online astatine immoderate fixed time.

Best prepaid telephone scheme for ray users


Tello x Digital Trends featured image pinch prepaid cards.Tello

Tello tin prevention you a bundle if you’re looking for a very affordable scheme and only request basal connectivity for calls and ray information usage. For only $10/month, you tin get a basal scheme that provides 1GB of information and unlimited calling and texting to complete 60 countries.

While that’s not a batch of data, it’s capable to guarantee you tin person emails and messages while you’re retired and astir and moreover prosecute successful immoderate ray euphony streaming, and you won’t request overmuch much than that if you walk astir of your clip connected Wi-Fi. Like astir carriers, you won’t get trim disconnected aliases charged much if you spell complete your allotment; things conscionable slow down to “2G” speeds, which is capable to support you connected to email and messaging services.

Since Tello’s plans are customizable and location are nary contracts, you tin besides easy move things up from period to period arsenic your needs change. $14/month will get you 2GB of data, while you tin spell unlimited for $29/month. That higher tier isn’t needfully competitory pinch nan different options connected our list, but it has nan advantage that you tin move up to that for a azygous period if you cognize you’re going to beryllium retired and astir a batch successful nan summertime and past measurement backmost down to nan $10/month scheme erstwhile you’re hunkering down astatine location guidelines for nan winter.

Tello besides uses T-Mobile’s network, truthful you’ll get awesome 5G sum astir everyplace successful nan county. However, it goes without saying that you’ll beryllium playing second-fiddle to T-Mobile’s higher-priority customers, truthful don’t expect nan aforesaid mind-blowing speeds.

Best prepaid telephone scheme for travelers

Google Fi Wireless Unlimited

Google Fi Unlimited Plus banner showing female talking connected Pixel phone.Google

One of nan champion prepaid plans retired location comes from an improbable corner. Google, nan institution champion known for things for illustration hunt and Gmail, sewage into nan mobile bearer business a fewer years ago, and it offers 1 of nan champion plans you tin get if you’re a superior world traveler.

Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus scheme runs connected T-Mobile’s network successful nan U.S., which intends you’ll get nan champion 5G speeds and sum disposable connected conscionable astir immoderate different prepaid carrier. However, wherever it really distinguishes itself is successful its roaming arrangements. Unlike astir carriers, which will complaint you much if you stray extracurricular of North American coverage, Google Fi offers unlimited information successful complete 200 countries and regions astir nan world.

That intends you’ll beryllium capable to get online almost anyplace you onshore without nan hassle of switching retired your SIM aliases adding a caller eSIM. The unlimited information allotment is besides nan aforesaid crossed nan board; you’ll simply beryllium throttled to slower speeds aft you’ve utilized 50GB successful a fixed month, whether you’re utilizing that information astatine location aliases abroad.

You besides get unlimited modular cellular calls and texts successful nan U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Wi-Fi calling backmost to North America while traveling, 100GB of Google Drive retention and VPN work pinch Google One, and a twelvemonth of YouTube Premium thrown in.

In summation to mobile hotspot information that allows for up to 10 Wi-Fi devices to subordinate in, there’s afloat connectivity for your Google aliases Samsung smartwatch, specified arsenic nan Google Pixel Watch 2 aliases Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (as agelong arsenic you’re utilizing it pinch an Android device, of course), and nan expertise to stock your information bucket pinch up to 4 tablets aliases different devices that usage data-only SIMs astatine nary other charge.

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