If you’re hunting for a new phone, you may want to consider a prepaid carrier. You won’t be starved for choice, and you can usually save some money over the Big Three. Don’t worry about your phone selections either — most prepaid carriers offer a solid mix of devices. Here are the best prepaid phones you can buy on some of America’s most affordable carriers.
There are a few ways to go when you’re deciding on a prepaid carrier — the Big Three, a wholly-owned subsidiary, or an independent carrier. We’ll do our best to cover all of your options right here, but Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless are three of our favorites. They offer solid plans and low rates, as well as access to nationwide coverage. Ready to learn more about each carrier’s choices? Let’s hop to it.
The best prepaid phones:
Editor’s note: We’ll update our list of the best prepaid plans for each carrier as we find new options.
Ryan Reynolds’s carrier recently launched its first-ever unlimited plan and raised the rest of its data caps, and you can pair it with just about any phone you can think of. Here are some of our favorites, including a chance to bundle an iPhone SE with your Mint service:
- Budget-friendly bundle: Apple iPhone SE and 3GB of data per month — $30 per month
- Affordable flagship: Apple iPhone 12 Mini and premium wireless — $60 per month
- Premium pick: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra — $1,299
If you’re ready to get foxy and give Mint Mobile a try, be sure to check out our guide to the best plans on the T-Mobile MVNO. You can also check out our full list of the best Mint Mobile prepaid phones while you’re at it.
Boost Mobile is now owned by Dish Network, but you can still expect the same great selection as when it was a Sprint subsidiary. Here are our favorites in the budget, midrange, and flagship categories:
- Budget: Motorola Moto G Power — $99.99
- Midrange: LG Stylo 6 — $149.99
- Flagship: Apple iPhone 12 — $829.99
Check out our review: Apple iPhone 12
Cricket Wireless calls AT&T’s network home, and it has an impressive selection of free devices to choose from. You can choose to spend money on a more premium device, but don’t overlook the freebies. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Free options: Alcatel Apprise and LG Fortune 3
- Midrange: LG K92 5G — $159.99
- Premium flagship: Apple iPhone 12 Pro — $999.99
If you’re looking for an affordable plan to pair with your phone, don’t forget to check out our helpful guide. Cricket has some of the best family discounts around, so you can even get the little ones connected. Also, dig into our full guide of the best Cricket Wireless prepaid phones.
Check out our review: Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Metro by T-Mobile
It’s starting to feel like T-Mobile runs the MVNO game, and it’s somewhat true. Many carriers rely on the Un-carrier for service, but none enjoy the same close relationship as Metro by T-Mobile. Here are some of your choices if you’re ready to go magenta:
- Budget-friendly: T-Mobile Revvl 5G — $179.99
- Midrange 5G connectivity: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE —$439.99
- High-end pick: Apple iPhone 12 Pro — $799.99
Visible is similar to Metro and Cricket Wireless, though it holds a special relationship with Verizon instead. It only offers one plan, but a solid selection of phones to go with it. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Entry-level: Visible ZTE Blade A7 — $79
- Midrange: ZTE Blade X1 5G — $360
- Premium: Motorola Edge — $624
Check out our review: Motorola Edge
US Mobile is unlike the last few carriers in that its prepaid phones are available on either Verizon’s or T-Mobile’s network. You’ll make your choice when you sign up, but don’t expect to buy an Android phone when you switch. US Mobile only offers iPhones, and here are your options:
If you’re looking for a customizable plan, US Mobile has you covered. Take a quick look at our buyer’s guide before you start building your plan.
Dipping back into the T-Mobile umbrella, Simple Mobile is one of many carriers in the Tracfone family. While not all of Tracfone’s carriers rely on T-Mobile, it’s an excellent reason to side with Simple Mobile, and there are plenty of phones to consider. Try these on for size:
- Budget: LG K31 Rebel — $39.99
- Midrange: Samsung Galaxy A50 — $179.99
- Premium: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 — $999.99
Check out our review: Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Google Fi is a great prepaid option thanks to its multi-network structure. You can switch between T-Mobile and US Cellular connections, and you can bring almost any current phone to the network. While you can’t buy as many phones from the carrier, it’s a great pick if you want a Pixel. Here are our picks:
- Budget-friendly: Motorola Moto G Power — $49
- Basic Pixel: Google Pixel 4a — $15 per month
- Pixel Flagship: Google Pixel 5 — $699
Check out our review: Google Pixel 4a
There may be more MVNOs than you can count, but the Big Three have solid prepaid programs of their own. Better yet, you’re not relying on an outside carrier for service. Some of AT&T’s prepaid phones even include 5G access, so here are a few phones to think about:
- Entry-level: AT&T Radiant Max — $65
- Midrange: Motorola One 5G Ace — $129.99
- Expensive midrange: Samsung Galaxy A51 — $499.99
Just like AT&T, T-Mobile’s prepaid offerings are a small slice of the overall carrier. You’re still getting an impressive list of phones and first-party service, though you won’t find too many perks. Here are three of our top picks to dig into:
Check out our reviews: OnePlus 9
The last major carrier, Verizon, has a truly impressive list of 45 prepaid phones to choose from. It’s one of the more expensive options, but you’ll get access to one of the fastest nationwide networks. If you’re ready for Big Red, here are a few of our favorite phones to try:
- Entry-level: TCL Signa — $79.99
- Midrange: Samsung Galaxy A42 — $399.99
- Flagship: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 — $999.99
Red Pocket is one of the most affordable carriers around, but it’s a bit limited in terms of your options. You can bring plenty of phones, but you can only buy five devices from the carrier itself. There are no Android devices to go for, but here are your best options:
Red Pocket has one of the more unique carrier structures — you can choose from the Big Three as well as the remnants of Sprint’s network. Check out our guide to the best plans if you’re ready to make the switch.