Being locked into a cellphone plan is one of the worst things about owning a cellphone. If you're unhappy with the service, you have to either put up with it or be willing to fork over hefty fees for breaking a contract. Additionally, your needs might change, and you find yourself trapped in a plan that doesn't work for you anymore. That's why prepaid cellphone plans are so popular. If you're ready to break free from cellphone contracts, check out these top prepaid cellphone plans.
Best Overall: Verizon Wireless
Although Verizon Wireless prepaid plans are not usually the cheapest, they consistently rate as the best in terms of service. Users find that they get the best coverage with Verizon service and don't deal with dropped calls or loss of signal often. Unlimited plans are available so that you don't have to worry about additional charges for going over a set amount of talk minutes, texts, or data.
Best Value: Visible
Visible prepaid cellphone plans offer incredible value for the price. Plan options are simple since everything is unlimited. Visible uses the Verizon network, so you get reliable service at a lower cost. There aren't any Visible stores, so you won't be able to talk to customer representatives in person, but this helps bring the costs down for additional savings.
Best for Your Budget: Tracfone
Tracfone is the top option for those looking for a prepaid cellphone plan at the lowest possible price. You have several options for services, ranging from prepaid services for 30 days to prepaid services for an entire year. The a la carte options mean you choose what services you need and can skip the rest. There are no monthly bills, and you can adjust your services at any time.
Best Unlimited: Boost Mobile
Boost prepaid cellphone plans offer the best prices and service for those who want unlimited everything — including unlimited music streaming. You get low prices without having to sign a service contract. Customers love that there are no hidden fees. The advertised price is the price you pay because all taxes and fees are already included.
Greatest Flexibility: Republic Wireless
When it comes to flexibility, Republic Wireless gives you the most freedom. Reviewers claim to save thousands of dollars by not having to pay for services they don't use. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, and then prices increase based on how much data they need. Since data needs can vary monthly, you can increase the amount of data you need in small increments as needed.
Best for Social Media: Go Smart Mobile
If you find that you're using your cellphone data up on social media, then you'll save a bundle with Go Smart Mobile. All plans include unlimited 4G LTE Facebook access to posting and messaging, so you can invest in a smaller data package each month. Prepaid plans start at just $15 per month, making it an affordable option as well.
Best for Families: AT&T Prepaid
AT&T Prepaid service offers deep discounts for multiple lines as well as auto-pay, making it a good option for families or accounts with multiple lines. The account owner can choose different plans and services for each line for additional flexibility and savings. You also have a large selection of premium phones to choose from without having to sign a two-year agreement.
Best for Talk and Text Only: Ultra Mobile PayGo
For just $3 per month, Ultra Mobile PayGo gives you access to talk and text. Prices are low if you go over, and you only pay for what you use. Customers can purchase daily or weekly data passes too. This makes it the best option for people who don't use cellphones often but still need access to it from time to time.
Best Phone Selection: Virgin Mobile
Many prepaid cellphone services only have budget phone models. Virgin Mobile offers the latest phones, including premium models of Samsung and iPhone. Prepaid plans come with top service using Sprint's Nationwide Network and include talk, text, and data. Choose from additional options like mobile hotspot, phone insurance, and international calling for a small fee when you need them.
Best for International: Tello
If you're making a lot of international calls, Tello is the best option. Monthly minutes can be used on calls to and from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China starting at just $5 per month. Minutes for other international countries are available on a pay-as-you-go model with rates listed on the company's website. Users love that they can upgrade and downgrade their prepaid cellphone plans at any time.