Prepaid Cell Phone Plans: Ratings of Sources
Total of 17 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Prepaid Cell Phone Service Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentFor this article, ConsumerReports.org polls more than 66,000 cell phone users, asking prepaid wireless users to rate their services for voice quality and value. Editors then rank services -- including prepaid wireless providers -- from best to worst.
2012 Wireless Customer Care Service - Non-Contract
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentIn this J.D. Power and Associates survey, non-contract wireless subscribers give 5 out of 5 stars to Virgin Mobile's customer service. Boost Mobile and MetroPCS are the runners-up, but both receive only 3 out of 5 stars.
2011 Wireless Non-Contract Customer Satisfaction Index Study
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentThis study focuses solely on pay-as-you-go wireless plans. J.D. Power and Associates surveys about 6,400 wireless subscribers, who rate services on cost, customer service and other key indicators. Boost Mobile wins J.D. Power's award this year, beating prepaid services from AT&T GoPhone, Cricket, MetroPCS, Net10, T-Mobile, TracFone, Verizon and Virgin Mobile.
Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Smartphones and Mobile Carriers
by Ben Gottesman
Our AssessmentThis article addresses overall satisfaction with cell phones and cell phone service as reported by PCMag.com readers in 2012. T-Mobile gets the Reader's Choice award for prepaid carriers. A chart shows how each service stacks up in a dozen categories, such as price and handset choices.
The 10 Best Cheap Prepaid Phone Plans You've Never Heard Of
by Alex Colon
Our AssessmentAside from well-known prepaid plans from big carriers TracFone, MetroPCS and Cricket, PCMag.com identifies 10 little-known prepaid carriers you might want to consider. Alex Colon doesn't pick a favorite, but he briefly describes each plan and its pros and cons. Consumer Cellular, H2O Wireless, Kajeet, Net10, Page Plus Cellular, PlatinumTel Prepaid, Ready Mobile PCS, Red Pocket Mobile, Simple Mobile and Total Call Mobile are all discussed here.
2013 Prepaid Cell Phones Comparisons
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentAlthough this website doesn't conduct its own tests or ask owners for their opinions, it provides one of the very few comparisons of prepaid cell phone plans. It ranks 16 popular wireless service providers based on features, including coverage and fees. Intangibles like customer satisfaction are not considered. Boost Mobile, Cricket and Virgin Mobile all receive an overall rating of Excellent or Good.
Small Carrier Showdown: Switch and Save Up to $1,500
by Brian Oliver Bennett
Our AssessmentSmaller wireless carriers can save you money, Laptop Magazine says. Without picking a favorite, Brian Oliver Bennett pinpoints the pros and cons of five smaller carriers with prepaid or contract plans -- CellularSouth, Cricket, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular and Virgin Mobile. The total cost for two years is calculated for each. A chart shows how the small carriers compare with the big four (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless).
Quick Guide to Top Cell Phone Carriers: Prepaid and Specialty Carriers
by Kent German, Jessica Dolcourt
Our AssessmentCNET compares three of the most popular prepaid wireless carriers: TracFone, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Although CNET doesn't pick a favorite, the website is a great starting point for shoppers, with concise "things you should know" listed for each service.
Talk Is Cheap. Really Cheap.
by Roy Furchgott
Our AssessmentWith prices still valid at the time of this report, this 2009 article shows that, even cheaper than the new $50-per-month unlimited prepaid plans, TracFone's Straight Talk plan offers 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of data for $30 a month. Despite a couple of drawbacks -- including unfancy phones -- this review pronounces the deal "a bargain."
Prepaid Cell Plans May Be Your Best Bet
by Herb Weisbaum
Our AssessmentPrepaid wireless is no longer considered a second-rate choice, reviewer Herb Weisbaum says. This article names prepaid plans from TracFone, Virgin Mobile and Net10 as good choices, backing up the picks with research from 2008 and 2009 by ConsumerReports.org, the Telecommunications Research and Action Center and others.
Best Rated Pay As You Go Phone Plans
by Editors of and Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com
Our AssessmentThis website rates 28 prepaid wireless providers. The highly detailed write-ups are based on an evaluation of features and prices rather than on testing, but the information seems accurate and helpful. Three carriers earn 4.5 stars out of 5 -- Net10, PlatinumTel Prepaid and T-Mobile Prepaid -- with scores ranging down to 1.5 stars for the last-place carrier. Each write-up includes details about roaming charges, 411 calls, data plans and much more, making this an excellent place to begin researching plans. There are also loads of user reviews, which are extremely revealing.
Best Cell Phone Options for Seldom Calling Seniors
by Jim Miller
Our AssessmentSyndicated columnist Jim Miller outlines the best cell phones and prepaid plans specifically designed for seniors who only want to make emergency or occasional calls. He finds the cheapest plans at T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and TracFone.
Cell Phone Providers Reviews
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentUsers rate most major wireless carriers, both prepaid and contract, at Viewpoints.com.Verizon Wireless narrowly beats out TracFone in the features and customer service categories, with over 700 and 150 reviews respectively. TracFone scores slightly higher for plan options.
4 Tricks to Buying the Best Cell Phone for Grandma
by Kathy Kristof
Our AssessmentKathy Kristof points out some useful strategies for finding the lowest-cost cell phone for seniors -- those who want one to keep in the car for emergencies, for example. She names a few good deals to consider, including a low monthly plan from TracFone's Senior Value Cell and even cheaper options from T-Mobile and AT&T.
Is Prepaid Wireless or a Monthly Contract Cheaper?
by Adam Fendelman
Our AssessmentIn this older review, Adam Fendelman, former About.com cell phones guide, analyzes seven popular prepaid wireless carriers, comparing their costs for 200, 400 and 1,000 minutes. Virgin Mobile has the strongest prepaid plans across all categories, the review concludes. However, Fendelman bases his article on data from 2009. Virgin Mobile's prices have dropped since this article's last update, and Boost Mobile has dropped its $20-per-month plan. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
For Prepaid Customers, Phones That Won't Give You Away Anymore
by Bob Tedeschi
Our AssessmentThis article from 2009 looks at new prepaid offers that include unlimited access and nice handsets. Boost Mobile's $50-per-month offering has its flaws, but it's cheaper than a similar Virgin Mobile plan; while prices have changed for both, this still holds true. It's also far less confusing than prepaid plans from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.
Cellular Phone Service
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentEpinions.com has a pretty good idea -- separate ratings into major urban areas and let people rate their wireless carriers. The trouble is that very few people offer opinions, even in New York City; Verizon gets the highest ratings there, but only a handful of people voted. Big cities such as Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas have even fewer cell phone service reviews, and only a few reviews overall specifically address prepaid plans.