Who has the Best Prepaid Cellular Plan in the US?
Great Question…Lots of conflicting answers. With so many cellular companies out there, it is really difficult for consumers to establish which is the best prepaid cellular plan for them! That said, when it comes to the best prepaid cellular plan for you, I would recommend focusing on the best value overall centered on the following:
1. Coverage – Verizon and AT&T have endless commercials focused on coverage all over, all the time. That’s simply not reality. Every cellular carrier has good coverage, almost everywhere. Focus on where you live, where you travel most frequently, and don’t sweat the 1 occasion a year you travel into the boonies! Is it worth $500 a year to be concerned about coverage in Podunk, Iowa? If people live there, there will be coverage is the rule.
2. Data Plan – One of the main advantages of prepaid cellular plans is that they have a set fee for talk, text, and data. But how much data and how fast? Nearly all prepaid cellular carriers limit you on data transfer, and speed. It may well be “Unlimited” data, but at 2G speeds. If you’re used to 4G and live in a Metro market, there is no comparison for speed. Choose a company with higher limits of Data transfer, and one that allows you to use 4G the largest part of the time. Most set a limit of 1-2.5 GB transfer at 4G then slow you down to 2G after the limits. See the comparison down below or watch the video on what your best choices are.
3. Price – If you don’t use your cellular phone much, you may not need an Unlimited plan. My Mom uses a $30 plan and it works fine for her. However, I use 7-8K Minutes per month, 3-4 GB of Data, 1000′s of texts, and pay $49 a month! Depending on your needs, how much Data you use, read the fine print to make sure you’re actually getting the most you can for your money. For $49 you could be getting a plan that includes 4 GB monthly data transfer at 4G/LTE Data speeds.
4. Customer Service – Prepaid Cellular carriers don’t have a lot of customer service issues at all. Presently prepaid cellular users generally purchase phones on Craigslist or Ebay, swap SIM cards out, and keep on truckin. Cellular Phone service is a commodity nowadays and it shouldn’t be a hassle. These users pay their bill, their cell phones work without issues 99% of the time so customer service isn’t actually a huge deal for prepaid carriers.
Here’s my list of the Top 10 Prepaid Cellular Companies in the US with a Focus on their Unlimited Plans, Data Speeds, and Monthly Cost:
1. Solavei Wireless – For $49 a Month you get Unlimited Talk, Text messaging, and 4 GB Per month of 4G Data with zero overage charges. If you go over 4GB, you simply slow down to 3G speeds. They also pay you for referrals to other subscribers, and provide you a free income generating business simply by being a customer. I’m personally earning enough to pay my mortgage in just 4 months time. Solavei uses the T-Mobile Nationwide Network so the coverage is great for me. They only have one Unlimited Everything plan, but the ability to eliminate your phone bill or make extra income, it’s the best overall value in the marketplace in my opinion.
2. Straight Talk – Walmart sells Straight Talk and they typically utilize the T-Mobile Network when possible. It’s only $45 a month for Unlimited Talk, Text and Data though it isn’t clear on how much 4G transfer you get monthly. I believe it’s 1 GB monthly of 4G, then it goes to 3G or 2G speeds. They also have a $30 Plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 Texts, and 250 MB of Data. Very good price and value, but they don’t pay referrals like Solavei for the exact same thing.
3. H2O Wireless – H2O Wireless utilizes the AT&T Network consequently their coverage is extremely good for both voice and data. They also have a good variety of rate plans for all types of subscribers all the way down to $10! Their prepaid unlimited rate plan has 2 GB of Data for $60 per month, which is pretty solid for the coverage they offer. One of my favorite prepaid companies, and who I would use other than Solavei Wireless. It’s a great value.
4. Virgin Mobile – The Virgin Mobile prepaid plans are some of the most diverse in the industry. They use the Sprint Network so coverage is pretty good Nationally. They concentrate on Unlimited Data on their main plans, but also have great plans for teenagers that text a lot, and emergency type plans as well. Their $55 Unlimited Plan has 2.5 GB of Transfer at 3/4G Speeds per month, and many other plans from $30-45 a month depending on what you need.
5. Simple Mobile – Simple Mobile has 3 “Simple” Prepaid cellular plans that use the T-Mobile network as well. Their best plan is $50 for Unlimited Talk, Text, and 4G Data. Simple Mobile is one of the best prepaid cellular plans for value you will find.
6. Metro PCS – I’m not a huge fan of their Coverage, but in their Metro markets they offer a decent value. Their $40 Unlimited Talk & Text Plan has 500 MB of data (not a lot), $50 Plan has 2.5 GB of Data, and $60 is Unlimited Data.
7. Boost Mobile – Boost uses the Sprint and Nextel wireless network so coverage is good. Their rate plans are reasonable, and they offer lower priced plans and shrinking payments when you pay on time. Their Android Unlimited plan includes 2.5 GB of Full-Speed Data transfer (very limited 4G coverage area) and is $55 per month. Shrinking payments aren’t that big a deal. It’s a very small savings imo. Their sweet spot is calls to Mexico and International dialing.
8. Cricket Wireless – Cricket Wireless uses the Sprint Network and their own for coverage in most cases though I’m not a huge fan. They have two Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data Plans for $50 with 1 GB of Full Speed Data, and $60 for 2.5 GB Full Speed. Frankly I’ve never been a big supporter of this carrier for coverage, and gimicky pricing.
9. Page Plus – Page Plus uses the Verizon Network so coverage is outstanding in rural markets. On the other hand, Verizon is penny-pinching with their prepaid products and the speeds are only 2G. Their $55 Unlimited Plan includes 2 GB of Data, which is “ok” but I wouldn’t recommend them at all in most metro markets. There are a lot better values and much faster data speeds available. Verizon is the most affected by prepaid carriers, so don’t expect them to change their opinion towards economical pricing. They will get hammered in the next couple of years in my opinion due to overpricing.
10. Net 10 – Net 10 uses both AT&T & T-Mobile for GSM, and Verizon, Alltel, and US Cellular for CDMA coverage so that is a plus. The draw back is figuring out their rates. Very confusing, and too many choices in my opinion. The Unlimited charge is $50 but for what? Website is the worst in the prepaid cellular industry. Is it 4G, 3G or no G?? Come on guys!
So that’s my take on the best prepaid cellular rate plans in the US. There are many good prepaid companies out there, and more to come. Verizon and AT&T will suffer more than anyone because they have the most to lose by lowering prices. The world is shifting to prepaid folks. 80% of all wireless subscribers OUTSIDE the US use prepaid cellular plans. The fastest growing sector in the US cellular industry is in prepaid. T-Mobile and Sprint, not surprisingly, are the most aggressive carriers as they have the most to gain. It’s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out in the next couple of years.
If you’re open to saving money, getting a free phone bill, or even paying for your mortgage from your phone company (I am), contact me today for more information