The best prepaid and no contract plans in the US (April 2016)

by: Joe HindyApril 18, 2016
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When we first started this list in 2012, things were starting to get exciting. We were seeing processors with more cores, screens in true HD, and things were starting to get really exciting for Android. It’s now 2015 and the mobile industry has undergone a striking revolution. Carriers are becoming less aggressive, off-contract phones are getting better and cheaper, and things don’t look anything like they did in 2012. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the value of a good no contract plan or a prepaid plan so let’s take a look at the best ones of 2015. Please note, this list is in alphabetical order.

Top 10 Cheapest Prepaid Plans


T-Mobile best prepaid plans in the US

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has done away with contracts entirely. That means that, technically, every plan on their service is no-contract. Believe it or not, they still have a prepaid service as well. There are a ton of options and most plans get all of the perks, including T-Mobile’s JUMP program, Music Freedom, Binge On, and whatever else they happen to cook up. You can bring your own phone assuming it can use T-Mobile’s service. The only downside is the plan structures have gotten a lot more complicated.

See: Best Android T-Mobile prepaid phones

Plan details:

  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data. Technically, it’s unlimited data but you’ll be throttled to 2G speeds after hitting your limit.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. Again, unlimited data but throttled after 5GB.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10GB of data. Throttled to 2G speeds after 10GB.
  • $50-$335/month – Family plans come in a ridiculous number of combinations. Far too many to list here. You can get as low as one line for $50 to as high as five lines with unlimited everything for $335/month. Click here to see T-Mobile’s family plan tool to see all the combinations.
  • $3/month – Any combination of 30 minutes and 30 texts.
  • $5/day – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of data per day.
  • $10/week – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB of data per week.
  • $10/month add-on – You can get unlimited calls to and from Mexico and Canada for $10/month.
  • $15/month add-on – Unlimited calls to and from Mexico, Canada, and 30+ countries.
  • $5/month add-on – This is T-Mobile’s “Score!” promotion that gives you better pricing on new devices. It doesn’t apply to all new devices and really, we don’t recommend it. Especially if you have JUMP.

Hilariously, T-Mobile went from being one of the most simple carriers in the industry to being one of the most complex. Either way, there are some good deals here. Do note that to get all the extra perks, you’ll need at least the $60/month plan or better.

T-Mobile prepaid plans & phones


AT&T best prepaid plans in the US

AT&T

Like Verizon, AT&T has spent the better part of the last few years simplifying their offerings. They are now much easier to understand for the average consumer. Also, like Verizon, you can bring your own device to AT&T’s prepaid plans (currently called GoPhone plans) as long as they support AT&T’s network.

Plan Details:

  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, no data. Users can buy 100MB of data for $5 if needed. Much like Verizon’s lowest tier, AT&T recommends customers use WiFi Hotspots for personal data useage.
  • $45/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of data. This plan also includes AT&T’s Rollover Data where any data you don’t use gets added to your next month. For instance, if you end the month with 500MB left on your plan, that 500MB will be added to next month’s allotment.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. This plan also includes Rollover Data, unlimited calls and texts to Canada and Mexico. It also supports data roaming to Canada and Mexico.
  • $2/day – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, no data. You can purchase data at $0.01 per 5KB of data. This is likely for folks who are traveling into the US and need a temporary SIM card.
  • $0.10/minute – AT&T also supports the old school “per minute” pay structure. You pay $0.10 per minute, $0.20 per message, and $0.01 per 5KB of data. Frankly, this is a rip-off.

AT&T isn’t too dissimilar from Verizon. The plans are reasonably priced although the data allotments are a little small, though thankfully they’ve increased at least a tiny bit in recent times.  There’s also a $5 auto-pay discount offered here, at least for the $45 and $60 plans, which bring them down to $40 and $55 respectively.


Boost Mobile best prepaid plans in the US

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile is an MVNO that uses Sprint’s network. It’s one of the more popular MVNOs out there and most people have probably heard the name somewhere before. They have a decent selections of phones and, like T-Mobile, they don’t use contracts at all on their network. You can bring your own Sprint device assuming it’s somewhere on this list.

Plan details:

  • $35/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of data.
  • $45/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited data.
  • Data boost – Boost Mobile is offering a promotion where every three months of on-time payments gives you a (permanent) 500MB of additional data. Thus, after 18 months, each plan listed above has the capacity to earn an extra 3GB of data (that’s the max). Obviously, the unlimited plan doesn’t have this.
  • Add-ons – Boost Mobile offers a ton of add-ons including data packs, International phone services, phone insurance, and mobile hotspot services.

Boost Mobile provides a lot of bang for your buck. Even more so than Sprint at this point, which is kind of funny considering that Boost Mobile not only uses Sprint’s network, it is owned by the Now Network as well. We especially liked the low cost of entry for unlimited data and the ability to earn more through on-time payments. There’s some other cool perks here including unlimited music streaming without data charges, free hotspot functionality, and free incoming calls and texts even for a plan that hasn’t been paid on for up to 60 days.

A common feature with all these prepaid plans is a $5 autopay discount, and Boost is no exception here.

Boost mobile Prepaid plans & phones


Cricket Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

Cricket Wireless

Fun fact: Cricket Wireless used to be called AIO and it’s an MVNO that runs off of AT&T’s network. In fact, Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T. You can bring your own device, assuming it’s on their compatibility list. Hint: if it’s a GSM phone and is designed with support for all the necessary US bands, it’ll work without a hitch.

Plan details:

  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2.5GB of data. You get unlimited 2G after the data cap.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. You get unlimited 2G after the data cap. This plan also includes unlimited Int’l texting to 38 countries and free data roaming in Canada and Mexico.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10GB of data. You get unlimited 2G after the data cap. This plan also includes unlimited Int’l texting to 38 countries and free data roaming in Canada and Mexico.
  • $70/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited high-speed data. This plan also includes unlimited Int’l texting to 38 countries and free data roaming in Canada and Mexico.
  • Auto-pay discount – Cricket Wireless offers a deal where you can get $5 off any plan if you use their auto-pay system effectively cutting the rates to $35, $45, and $55/month, respectively.

Hilariously, Cricket Wireless has better rate plans than AT&T does, despite being owned by AT&T. We would recommend looking into Cricket if you already own your device and are just looking for AT&T service. Like other plans, you get a $5 discount for autopay, but even better, there’s a group pay option. For every line you add, you’ll get an increasing amount of savings, to the point that you could end up with4 lines of basic service for just $100 — or what comes to about $25 per line. Cricket is also promises “no hidden fees”, and so the price advertised is the price you pay.

Cricket Wireless Prepaid plans & Phones


H2O Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless prepaid is next on the list and it is another prepaid service that uses AT&T’s towers. That means you can bring pretty much any GSM smartphone to the service and it should work. They also have a ton of plan options.

Plan details:

  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of data. This plan does not include unlimited data.
  • $35/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of data. After the data cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G speeds.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB of data. After the data cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G speeds.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of data. After the data cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G speeds.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data. After the data cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G speeds.
  • International calling – All plans (except the $60/month one) includes unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to Mexico. You can add International calling for $10-$20/month.
  • Pay-as-you-go – H2O Wireless offers pay as you go options for $0.05 per minute, $0.05 per text, and $0.10 per MB of data.

These are surprisingly reasonable prices, especially compared to what they were offering a couple of years ago. It’s also a good way to get AT&T’s service without worrying about their pricing strategies.

H20 Wireless Prepaid plans & phones


MetroPCS best prepaid plans in the US

MetroPCS

MetroPCS was purchased by T-Mobile a few years ago and has since seen some changes. Its original CDMA network has been decommissioned and MetroPCS officially operates as an MVNO on T-Mobile’s network. That means most GSM devices and T-Mobile-compatible devices should work as well but you should double check before committing.

Plan details:

  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds after the data cap.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds after the data cap.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds after the data cap.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited data.

It’s worth noting that each plan comes with mobile hotspot so you can use your data on other devices as well. It also includes many of T-Mobile’s perks, including Music Unlimited (their version of T-Mobile’s Music Freedom) and Data Maximizer (their version of Binge On).

Metro PCS Prepaid Plans & phones


Net10 Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

Net10 Wireless

Net10 is a subsidiary of TracFone, and for most users, a considerably better option. That means that Net10 is an MVNO that piggybacks off of all four major US carriers. They allow you to bring your own phone as well so you can use virtually any device on this network (as long as it has a SIM card slot) which is actually pretty awesome.

Recently, Net10 has revamped its offerings quite a bit, offering two different routes. Starting with the regular route, below.

Plan details:

  • $35/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of 4G data. After the data cap, you get unlimited 2G data.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1.5GB of 4G data. After the cap, you get unlimited 2G data.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of 4G data. After the cap, you get unlimited 2G data.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 7GB of 4G data. After the cap, you get unlimited 2G data.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10GB of 4G data. After the cap, you get unlimited 2G data.

That’s the regular option, but Net10 also offers something it calls “upgrade plans”. There are three upgrade plans, each of which offer just 5GB data and the same unlimited talk and text as the plans above. Additionally, you get unlimited 2GB data after the cap and an added bonus of 100, 200, or 300 international calling minutes depending if you opt for the $60, $70, or $80 plan. The international calling isn’t the only difference here, however.

The big appeal to “upgrade plans” are that you earn points. The $60 plan earns 1 point a month, the $70 plan earns 1.5 points a month, and the $80 plan gets 3 points a month. Once you’ve accumulated 18 points, you’ll be eligible for a $300 discount on a phone upgrade. In the prepaid world, customers are usually stuck paying the full price for phones, meaning higher-end products like the Galaxy S7 Edge are offered for the full price of $799. With this upgrade option, this brings flagship phones down to prices of around $499, and means that many mid-rangers could be yours for free, making it a pretty cool offer.

Net 10 prepaid plans & phones


Page Plus best prepaid plans in the US

Page Plus

Page Plus is an MVNO that is powered by the Verizon network. To date, it is literally the only way to get unlimited data on Verizon’s network which is something pretty special. You can bring your own Verizon device to the network if you so choose or buy one directly from Page Plus.

Plan details:

  • $12/month – 250 minutes, 250 texts, 10MB of data.
  • $29.95/month – 1500 minutes, unlimited text, 1GB data. This plan does not offer unlimited data.
  • $39.95/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1.5GB data. After high speed data, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $55/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB data. After the high speed data, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $69.95/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 7GB data. After the high speed data, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $10 – This pay-as-you-go price includes 100 minutes with each additional minute at $0.10.
  • $25 – This pay-as-you-go price includes 416 minutes (?) with each additional minute at $0.06.
  • $50 – This pay-as-you-go price includes 1000 minutes with each additional minute at $0.05.
  • $80 – This pay-as-you-go price includes 2000 minutes with each additional minute at $0.04.

Simply put, if Verizon offered these services at these prices on their own network, it would probably put everyone else out of business. This is a great deal for Verizon customers looking for more flexibility with data (which is virtually every Verizon customer). Their pay-as-you-go options aren’t great, though, and we recommend avoiding those unless absolutely necessary.

Page Plus prepaid plans & phones


Project Fi best prepaid plans in the US

Project Fi

Project Fi is Google’s attempt at being a mobile carrier. It uses T-Mobile along with Sprint to provide a pretty decent coverage map. Currently, the service is only compatible with Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, or Nexus 6 devices which you’ll have to purchase off-contract on your own. For now.

Plan details:

  • $20/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, no data.
  • $10/month – 1GB of data. Additional data is calculated at $1 per 100MB.
  • Data buyback – Much like Ting, Project Fi revolves around a “pay for what you use” philosophy. If you use 2GB, then your bill will be $40/month. If you use 1GB, your bill will be $30/month. If you use 1.3GB, your bill will be $33. Project Fi recommends you use WiFi hotspots whenever possible to keep your bill low and, unless we’re mistaken, will actually help you find WiFi hotspots to use when you’re out and about.

Project Fi is a unique and fun little experiment. It’s not easy to get into and the device list isn’t great, but if you can stick to WiFi networks and happen to own a Nexus device, you can get good service for cheap. To learn more, check out Project Fi’s FAQ page.


PTel best prepaid plans in the US

PTel Mobile

PTel (formerly PlatinumTel) has undergone a lot of identity changes over the last two years. Aside from the name change, PTel also adopted T-Mobile’s network as its main source over AT&T. You can bring your own GSM phone as long as it supports T-Mobile bands.

Plan details:

  • $20/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 250MB of data. This plan does not give you unlimited data.
  • $25/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited data. Data is all 2G, no 4G data is included.
  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB data. After data cap, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB data. After data cap, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB data. After data cap, you get unlimited 2G.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10GB data. After data cap, you get unlimited 2G.
  • Real PayGo – This pay-as-you-go service offers $0.05 per minute, $0.02 per text, $0.10 per MB.

These are all surprisingly good deals. The unlimited 2G may not be great for some, but $25/month for unlimited 2G data is a better deal than you would think it is, especially if you spend most of your time around WiFi. Their pay-as-you-go solution is among the more reasonable options as well. To learn more, check out their plans page.


Red Pocket Mobile best prepaid plans in the US

Red Pocket Mobile

Next on our list is Red Pocket Mobile. This MVNO uses three of the country’s top four service providers, including Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. That means you can bring virtually any device to the service as long as it has a SIM card and supports those networks.

Plan details:

  • $29.99/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of data. This plan doesn’t appear to have unlimited data and CDMA devices are limited to 3000 minutes.
  • $39.99/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB of data. After the data cap, you get unlimited 2G speeds.
  • $49.99/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of data. After the data cap, you get unlimited 2G speeds.
  • $59.99/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data. After the data cap, you get unlimited 2G speeds.

Red Pocket Mobile isn’t the strongest options in this price range when it comes to features, but it’s not a bad option given its high compatibility with other carriers. If you want to learn more, check out their plans page.


Republic Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless used to be one of the most simple companies on this list, and while things are a bit more complicated now, their plans are all relatively straightforward.

Plan details:

  • $10/month – This is the base price for unlimited talk and text. No data included here.
  • $17.50/month – In addition to unlimited talk and text, this plan includes .5GB data.
  • $40/month – In addition to unlimited talk and text, this plan includes 2GB data.
  • $55/month – In addition to unlimited talk and text, this plan includes 3GB data.
  • $70/month – In addition to unlimited talk and text, this plan includes 4GB data.
  • $85/month – In addition to unlimited talk and text, this plan includes 5GB data.
  • Data buyback – Republic Wireless will refund any GB of data that you don’t use. So if you get 2GB and only use 1GB, your next bill will be credited with the difference.

While they aren’t quite as simple as they used to be, Republic Wireless is still among the most simple and economic solutions on the list. As usual, you’ll want to stick to WiFi whenever possible and you should be able to make use of this service.

Republic Wirless prepaid plans & phones


simple mobile best prepaid plans in the US

SIMPLE Mobile

SIMPLE Mobile hasn’t change a whole lot over the last couple of years. They’re still on T-Mobile’s network and you can still bring your own T-Mobile-capable GSM device if you so choose. Their rates also haven’t changed much.

Plan details:

  • $25/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, no data. This plan also includes unlimited International texting.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 4GB of data. You get unlimited 2G data after the data cap.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. You get unlimited 2G data after the data cap.
  • $55/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10 GB of data. You get unlimited 2G data after the data cap. This also includes unlimited talk and text to supported International countries.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data. This also includes unlimited talk and text to supported International countries.

There are a lot of plans available, including wireless hotspot plans, and the International plans are pretty good. Don’t forget to read the fine print so you can see the restrictions and such.

Simple Mobile prepaid plans & phones


Sprint best prepaid plans in the US

Sprint

At one point, Sprint had only two prepaid plans, one with unlimited data and one without data at all. Since those days, Sprint has been rethinking their plans and now they’re more in line with the competition. One downside is that you have to buy a Sprint pre-paid phone and you cannot bring your own. That’s lame. You can find the selection of prepaid phones by clicking here.

Plan details:

  • $35/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 1GB of data. Data is technically unlimited. After you use your 1GB of LTE data, you’ll be dropped down to 2G speeds.
  • $45/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 3GB of data. Again, data is unlimited, just throttled after 3GB.
  • $55/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 6GB of data. Yes, still unlimited, but throttled after 6GB.

Sprint prepaid plans & phones


Straight Talk best prepaid plans in the US

Straight Talk Wireless

Straight Talk made headlines a few years ago with their bold, no-contract plans and their “bring your own phone” philosophy. Most carriers now mirror this ideology but you can still bring pretty much any GSM smartphone with you to the service.

Plan details:

  • $30/month – 1500 minutes, unlimited text, 100MB of data. All plans, including this one, include unlimited calls to 411 as well.
  • $45/month – unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. Once your data allotment is up, you’ll have unlimited data at 2G speeds.
  • $55/month – unlimited talk, unlimited text, 10GB of data (unlimited 2G speeds).
  • $60/month – unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data. This plan includes unlimited International calling to Mexico, India, Canada, and “select International landline destinations”.

While StraightTalk isn’t perfect, recent changes have greatly increased the amount of data available, making this a solid option.

Straight Talk prepaid plans & phones


Ting Prepaid

Ting Mobile

Ting is perhaps one of the most interesting prepaid carriers on the list. They’re a dual GSM/CDMA carrier that use’s Sprint’s network and an undisclosed (literally) GSM network. However, you should be able to bring most GSM phones to this service along with Sprint phones, which is great news.

Plan details:

  • For plans, Ting uses a “only pay for what you use” philosophy which makes listing out plan rates literally impossible. You can find their rates here.
  • We also recommend you use their savings calculator. It allows you to get a good idea of what you’d pay based on your usage.
  • $6/month – no talk, no text, no data. This is the lowest possible plan that is literally just a device connected to their service.
  • $81/month – 2100 minutes, 4800 texts, 2GB of data. This is the max price for a plan as listed by the Ting website. If you go above those numbers, you’ll be subject to overages at $0.02 per minute, $0.0025 (1/4 of a cent) per text, and $0.015 (1.5 cents) per MB.

It’s a fun idea, especially for those who like to micromanage their use. If you stick to WiFi as often as possible and mitigate text and calling to services like Hangouts, Skype, etc, you can get away with getting decent phone service for a very low cost. If you’re not interested in managing your own services all the time, we recommend you probably look elsewhere.

Ting prepaid plans & phones


US Cellular best prepaid plans in the US

US Cellular

US Cellular is a lesser-known carrier that operates its own wireless network independent of the major four carriers in the US. It’s a CDMA carrier with LTE coverage. You can bring your own device, but the compatibility list is not very large.

See: Best US Cellular phones

Plan details:

  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text. This is for basic phones, not for smartphones.
  • $35/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 500MB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds once you hit the data cap.
  • $45/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds once you hit the data cap.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data. You get unlimited 2G speeds once you hit the data cap.

US Cellular keeps their prepaid plans simple which we like. The only issue is that this service isn’t available everywhere so you’ll have to check and make sure you can even get the service before signing up.

US Cellular Prepaid plans & phones


Verizon Wireless best prepaid plans in the US

Verizon Wireless

Next on our list is Verizon Wireless. Over the last few years, they’ve been slower to adapt than their smaller counterparts but don’t let that chase you away. They still have a rock solid network and good LTE speeds. Since our last update, Verizon has further simplified their prepaid and no contract plans. You can bring your own device as long as it supports Verizon’s network.

verizon logoSee also: Best Verizon prepaid Android phones (November 2015)6

Plan Details:

  • $30/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, no data. Users are encouraged to use WiFi for their personal data needs.
  • $45/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2GB of LTE data.
  • $60/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 5GB of data.
  • $5, $10, $20 data add-ons – You can get an extra 500MB, 1GB, or 3GB of data for $5, $10, or $20 respectively. These are not part of monthly plans and the data expires after 30-90 days.

In classic Verizon fashion, you get rock solid service but you don’t get to use a lot of service. These plans are great for those who need calls and texting but not so great for those who consume a lot of data. Thankfully, things are at least a little better than they used to be, with Verizon recently doubling the allotments on its plans — though they still aren’t exactly massive.

Verizon plans & phones


virgin mobile best prepaid plans in the US

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile is a CDMA prepaid service that runs on the Sprint network. It promotes itself to the younger crowd and indeed, a lot of young people use this service.

Plan details:

  • $30/month – 500 minutes, unlimited text, 500MB data. This plan recommends that you use WiFi most of the time for your device as it comes with very little data.
  • $40/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 4GB of data. After the cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G data.
  • $50/month – Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 6GB of data. After the cap, you’ll have unlimited 2G data.
  • $5-$10/month – You can get data add-ons for 1GB and 2GB ($5 and $10, respectively). This gets added to your existing plan.

While it’s true you can find better value in other places, we love that Virgin Mobile keeps it simple. Their phone selection isn’t too great, though, and we yearn for the day that we can bring our own Sprint devices to the network.

Virgin Mobile prepaid plans & phones


Which prepaid and no contract plans are the best?

Unforunately, there is no way to determine that for sure because everyone’s use case is different. Some people need a lot of data while others don’t. In order to get the best value, you’ll have to know your usage habits and what you’re willing to change to fit into one of these plans (if anything). That said, we can list a few guidelines for you.

  • Best for data – Boost Mobile, MetroPCS, Cricket, and T-Mobile are the only carriers that offer unlimited, high-speed data.
  • Second best for data – Net10 Wireless, Page Plus, PTel, SIMPLE Mobile, Sprint, Straight Talk, and Virgin Mobile offer larger than average data caps and they all offer unlimited 2G after you hit the cap.
  • Best for talk and text – Most plans offer unlimited but if you’re a real talker or texter, you may want to avoid the cheapest deal on Page Plus, Straight Talk’s cheapest plan, Ting, and Virgin Mobile’s cheapest plan.
  • Best perks – Most plans keep it pretty simple but some other things to the plans that add value. AT&T, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, and T-Mobile all have extra features on their plan that can add value to your experience.
  • Best bang for your buck – Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Net10 Wireless, Page Plus, Project Fi, PTel, Republic Wireless, SIMPLE Mobile, Sprint, Straight Talk, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile.

Wrap up

We would love to hear about your experiences with these carriers and, of course, recommend any great prepaid and no contract plans that we might have missed! If you’re looking for some epic smartphones to use on your new service of choice, check out our review section, our list of the best cheap Android smartphones, and our list of the best Android smartphones! Have a specific prepaid carrier in mind? Be sure to check these lists out as well:

Next: Compare all cell phone plans