Now that all major post-paid contract plans offer prepaid versions of their service to customers, they are all continuing to...
The Best Deals on Prepaid Cell Phones
Now that all major post-paid contract plans offer prepaid versions of their service to customers, they are all continuing to compete on both markets. As such, all the plans offer some value, but some plans are better than others. Let’s take a look at the cheapest prepaid phone plans, to help you determine which carrier provides the best value for your needs.
T-Mobile offers the same service to their prepaid and post-paid customers. Their cheapest plan comes in at $50/month for unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB of data.
Straight Talk® Wireless
You can find Straight Talk cell phone plans exclusively at Wal-Mart. Essentially, they are an offshoot of Verizon, as they use those towers to provide service, They provide the one of the cheapest prepaid phone plans on the market. Their basic $30/month plan includes:
- 1000 voice minutes
- 1000 text messages
- 30 MB data
If you need to go unlimited, Straight Talk offers the cheapest prepaid phone plan with unlimited talk, text, and data at just $45/month.
This prepaid provider uses Sprint® towers to provide their service. It is one of two companies that use Sprint. Boost® Mobile also provides prepaid cell phone service using Sprint. Sprint itself does not advertise prepaid service like AT&T®, Verizon®, and T-Mobile do.
Virgin Mobile’s cheapest plan is $35/month and includes 300 anytime minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data.
AT&T offers the cheapest prepaid phone plan on the market, but cheap doesn’t mean best in this case. While it may be the cheapest in terms of monetary value, because of the limitations on the plan, it is best used for emergencies only.
The $25/month plan includes 250 voice minutes, unlimited text. If you need to add data, it costs $5/50 MB. More expensive monthly plans include more minutes, with unlimited texting and varying amounts of data. The higher your monthly plan, the more affordable your data becomes. While this is cheaper than the Virgin Mobile plan, if you need unlimited data, it is worth the $10 more a month to use this carrier.
The unlimited talk and text plan through AT&T is $60/month, and includes 2GB of data, with additional data available at a rate of $10/GB.
Verizon has two types of plans: one for basic phones, and one for smartphones. The cheapest basic plan is $35/month and includes 500 talk minutes, unlimited text, and mobile web. Compared to the Virgin Mobile plan, this is the better deal for the price. The cheapest smartphone plan is $60/month and includes unlimited talk and text, with 2 GB of data.
Cheapest Prepaid Phones
Overall, the cheapest plan on the market is $25/month from AT&T, but this is only the cheapest if you do not need data. The cheapest plan that includes talk, text, and data comes from either Straight Talk or Virgin Mobile at $35/month. The carrier you choose at this price point should be based on whether you need more talk time or more data. Virgin mobile offers more data, while Straight Talk offers the talk time. Straight Talk wins the cheapest unlimited everything plan at $45 a month. For the $60/month unlimited you would pay to Verizon or AT&T (with data limitations) you could upgrade to Straight Talk’s unlimited everything International plan.
Really what’s cheapest all comes down to what you need. If you don’t need the international talk and text, then why bother paying $60 to Straight Talk? Why bother paying more than $45/month for unlimited everything? It comes down to your preference of phone selection, as well as the coverage available in your area.