What every best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans has:
- Good selection of phones.
- Wide coverage.
- Responsive customer service.
Google's Project Fi has revolutionized what subscribers can expect from a prepaid cell phone plan -- or any cell phone plan for that matter. Instead of using one wireless network, it uses three plus Wi-Fi. In addition, while the data rates aren't particularly inexpensive, Project Fi only bills you for what you actually use. All of that and more has helped the service rocket to the top of the charts in large user satisfaction surveys. See our full review »
While nearly all prepaid carriers deliver good-to-great service in most cities, suburbs and major roadways, when you get further from the beaten path, signals can be hard to find. That's where Cricket starts to shine. Owned by AT&T and using its extensive nationwide network, Cricket has robust coverage in many rural areas -- and everywhere else, too. Individual plans that are attractively priced compared to what you can get direct from the carrier are another plus. See our full review »
If you are a data guzzler rather than a data sipper, MetroPCS offers a truly unlimited $60 per month plan that's cheaper than any other prepaid plan we spotted. It's different from data plans that bill themselves as "unlimited," but include a capped allotment of LTE data; go over that and speeds are slowed to a crawl -- good for checking email on occasion, but little else. With the MetroPCS unlimited plan, LTE speed are maintained for the entire billing cycle, no matter how much you use.
If you aren't much for talk, but text and use data extensively, T-Mobile's $30 per month plan could be ideal for you. You only get a paltry 100 minutes of talk time (but can add to that at a rate of 10 cents per minute), however, there's unlimited texting and data, with the first 5GB at LTE speeds. User feedback indicates high satisfaction with this prepaid plan, but keep in mind that T-Mobile service works best in metropolitan areas and along major roads.
For emergency phones or other cell phones that are only used occasionally, H2O offers a simple, cost-effective plan. Minutes and texts are relatively cheap, 5 cents each, and can be bought in blocks for as little as $10, good for 90 days, and they roll over as long as the account is refilled before time is up. Service is over the AT&T network, so coverage is reliable even in rural areas, and calls to more than 50 countries cost the same as domestic calls. See our full review »
Pay-as-you-go plans are usually a bad deal for data users, but T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan provides cheap calls, cheap texts, and on-demand data at a not-too-terrible price. Calls and texts are billed at 10 cents each, with a $3 per month minimum charge. Data, at LTE speeds, costs $5 per 500 MB for a day, or $10 for 1 GB, good for a week -- ideal for those who don't use data often, but occasionally need decent good for short periods of time.