T-Mobile logo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Sprint merger may not have catapulted T-Mobile to the top of the prepaid podium, but there’s no doubt the Uncarrier is happy with its choice. It boasts nearly 90 million subscribers, and the Magenta network is equipped with some of the largest 5G access in the land. If you’re curious about what T-Mobile can offer you, here’s everything to know about T-Mobile prepaid plans.

See also: The best T-Mobile deals

On this page, we’ll run through your prepaid service options as well as which phones the Uncarrier supports. If you’re thinking of switching carriers, we’ve also compared T-Mobile prepaid to the other main carriers as well as a few MVNOs. Ready to learn more about the Un-Carrier’s prepaid service? Let’s dig in.

T-Mobile at a glance

t-mobile prepaid plans 5g map
T-Mobile

T-Mobile USA first launched in July 1998 but arguably didn’t come into its own until 2013 with the launch of its Uncarrier movement. During this time, T-Mobile introduced many changes to the mobile industry, ending long-term contracts and subsidized phones in favor of upgradeable installment plans. T-Mobile also became known for its not-so-typical CEO, John Legere — a man best known for jabbing at the competition and for his regular use of profanity.

See also: T-Mobile buyer’s guide

Its changes run much deeper than colorful marketing. The carrier is very committed to investing in IoT, 5G, AI, and expanding its network across every corner of the United States. Most recently, T-Mobile completed its merger with Sprint. This newly combined network helps close the gap between T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. The new T-mobile also opens up a new chapter for the company’s leadership, as John Legere is no longer the CEO.

T-Mobile has a reputation for doing things differently. And it's paid off!

T-Mobile’s coverage extends into all 50 states, and the carrier boasts the largest 5G network. It is currently reforming Sprint’s 5G network to serve 99% of all Americans within the next six years. In the meantime, its powerful 4G LTE network already reaches 99% of the United States (including Puerto Rico.) Check out T-Mobile’s product map for more details. 

If you are looking for a carrier with a history of going against the grain, T-Mobile is a great choice. It doesn’t hurt that the carrier has some of the most aggressive pricing in the industry. However, no carrier is perfect. According to the Better Business Bureau, T-Mobile has an A-plus rating but averages just over one star out of five in 529 customer reviews. The company has closed 14,828 customer complaints in the last three years, with 5,071 of those coming in the past 12 months.

Pre-paid T-Mobile plans

T-Mobile ConnectSimply PrepaidSimply Prepaid UnlimitedSimply Prepaid Unlimited Plus
Maximum connected lines
T-Mobile Connect:
5
Simply Prepaid:
5
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
5
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
5
Cost
T-Mobile Connect:
2GB for $15
5GB for $25
Simply Prepaid:
$40 for one line
$70 for two lines
$100 for three lines
$130 for four lines
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
$50 for one line
$80 for two lines
$110 for three lines
$140 for four lines
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$150 for four lines
Domestic Talk & Text
T-Mobile Connect:
Unlimited
Simply Prepaid:
Unlimited
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
Unlimited
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
Unlimited
Domestic Data
T-Mobile Connect:
2GB or 5GB
Simply Prepaid:
10GB
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
Unlimited
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
Unlimited
Hotspot
T-Mobile Connect:
Full speeds up to data cap
Simply Prepaid:
Full speeds up to data cap
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
Unlimited 3G
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
Up to 10GB 4G LTE
Coverage in Canada and Mexico
T-Mobile Connect:
Not available
Simply Prepaid:
Available for $5 per month
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
Available for $5 per month
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
Available for $5 per month
Music Unlimited
T-Mobile Connect:
Not available
Simply Prepaid:
Included
Simply Prepaid Unlimited:
Included
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus:
Included

T-Mobile has four options that should meet your needs. The relatively limited Connect plan is your best bet to save some cash, but the Simply Prepaid plans are good if you want to get close to post-paid perks. Learn more about each one below:

T-Mobile Connect

The T-Mobile Connect plan is the most affordable option around. It keeps things simple with just two options — a $15 plan with 2GB of 4G LTE data or a $25 plan with 5GB of 4G LTE data. Both plans offer unlimited talk and text, a common theme among T-Mobile’s offerings.

If 2GB of data doesn’t seem like much, T-Mobile will boost your cap by 500MB per year for the first five years you stay on the Connect plan. In theory, you can get 4.5GB per month for just $15 or 7.5GB for $25 per month just for sticking around.

Connect highlights:

  • 2GB or 5GB 4G LTE data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot available at full 4G LTE speeds up to your data cap

Best for:

  • Low data users who talk and text often
  • Users who expect to use more data over time

Simply Prepaid

T-Mobile’s feature-rich prepaid plans with higher data caps fall under the Simply Prepaid umbrella, and the most affordable tier offers 10GB of 4G LTE data. The plan costs $40 for one line, $35 for two lines, and just $30 per month for each line after that.

Domestic talk and text are unlimited, and you get mobile hotspot access at full speeds up to your data cap. If you reach your 10GB limit in a single billing cycle, you’ll be throttled down to 2G speeds for the rest of the month. You can add 5GB of 4G data and talk and text in Canada and Mexico for another $5 per month.

Simply Prepaid highlights:

  • 10GB of 4G LTE data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Up to 10GB of mobile hotspot data
  • Starts at $40 per month

Best for:

  • Users who want plenty of data at a low cost
  • Users who plan to use limited hotspot

Simply Prepaid Unlimited

The Simply Prepaid Unlimited plan is similar to the basic Simply Prepaid plan in many ways. Domestic talk and text remain included, and for $10 more per month, you get unlimited 4G LTE data. Each line after the first line of service costs an additional $30 per month, and you can access unlimited mobile hotspot at 3G speeds.

If you use 50GB of 4G LTE data in a single billing cycle, you may be deprioritized, but you can add the same international options as offered in the Simply Prepaid plan.

Simply Prepaid Unlimited highlights:

  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 3G mobile hotspot included
  • $50 per month for the first line, $30 for each additional line

Best for:

  • Users who plan to add multiple lines to their plan
  • Users who want to get the most from their data, talk, and text

Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus

Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus, the final prepaid option, is the one to pick if you’re a heavy-duty data user with a serious need for a mobile hotspot. You get unlimited talk, text, and data, as you’d expect, as well as up to 10GB of 4G LTE hotspot data and unlimited 3G speeds thereafter. T-Mobile’s Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus plan costs $60 per month for one line and $30 per month for each additional line.

Just like the previous options, international talk, text, and data are available for additional fees. Thanks to Music Unlimited, you can stream licensed songs to your heart’s content without counting against your data usage.

Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus highlights:

  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 10GB of 4G LTE hotspot followed by unlimited 3G
  • $60 per month for one line, $30 for each additional line

Best for:

  • Users who want a fast hotspot with no limits
  • Users who rely on data to stay productive

Which of T-Mobile’s prepaid plans is right for you?

T-Mobile prepaid plans

Which T-Mobile Prepaid plan is right for you comes down to how much hotspot data you want. The Connect plan and Simply Prepaid plan offer limited hotspot access, though both are available at full speeds. If you jump to Simply Unlimited or Simply Unlimited Plus, you’ll get unlimited hotspot at varying speeds.

If you need the fastest plan around, then you’ll want Simply Unlimited Plus for its 10GB of 4G LTE. Simply Unlimited is better for occasional use, though — an unlimited 3G hotspot is plenty enough for most people. All three of the Simply Prepaid options also offer the same international access, and every plan has unlimited talk and text.

T-Mobile Prepaid vs the competition

Sprint Verizon T Mobile and Verizon carriers stock photo 4

The easiest way to pick the right carrier is to talk about your best options in a head-to-head challenge. We’ve stacked the Simply Prepaid heavyweights against your best bets from AT&T and Verizon. You’ll notice that Metro by T-Mobile is here too, as its unique place as a T-Mobile division is a bit different than your average MVNO. Our plans come from the Best prepaid and no-contract plans in the US if you want to do more research.

Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile)Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T)Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon)Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile)
Cost
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$150 for four lines
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
$75 per line
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
$65 per line
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Talk and Text
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Unlimited
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
Unlimited
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Unlimited
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
Unlimited
Data
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Unlimited
5G Access
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
Unlimited up to 22GB 4G LTE
5G Access
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Unlimited
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
Unlimited up to 35GB 4G LTE
5G Access
Hotspot
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Up to 10GB 4G LTE
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
Up to 10GB 4G LTE
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Up to 10GB 4G LTE for $5 per month
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
Up to 15GB 4G LTE
Streaming
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Standard Definition (480p)
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
High Definition (1080p)
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Standard Definition (480p)
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
Standard Definition (480p)
International
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Available for $5 to $15 per month
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
Unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada
Roaming in Mexico and Canada
Unlimited text to over 100 countries
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada
Calls, texts, and data in Canada and Mexico
Unlimited texts to over 200 countries
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
International access available
Extras
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus (T-Mobile):
Music Unlimited
Prepaid Unlimited Plus (AT&T):
Save $25 with autopay
Prepaid Unlimited (Verizon):
Save with a loyalty discount
Unlimited (Metro by T-Mobile):
100GB Google One storage
Amazon Prime membership

Verizon prepaid

As the largest US-based carrier, Verizon can give T-Mobile a run for its money. Its prepaid unlimited plan starts at just $65 per month, and you’ll hack $5 off your bill every few months you stay with Big Red. As usual, unlimited talk, text, and data are included. However, you’ll pay more for hotspot access if you need it.

Verizon’s prepaid plans offer solid international access — talk and text to Canada and Mexico and texting to hundreds of countries. Big Red also includes Nationwide 5G with its prepaid plans, and you can always spring for mmWave access while you’re at it.

Highlights:

  • Ample international access
  • Loyalty discounts
  • Hotspot access

AT&T prepaid

Not to be outdone, America’s second-largest carrier has solid prepaid service of its own. It’s expensive at $75 per month, but autopay drops that bill down to $50. AT&T’s Unlimited Plus plan offers unlimited 4G LTE data and 5G access where available.

It’s the plan to beat when it comes to streaming — 10GB of hotspot access and HD streaming are both included. Unlimited Plus even adds talk, text, roaming in Canada and Mexico, and texting to 100 countries.

Highlights:

  • Save $25 per month with autopay
  • Unlimited data and 5G access included
  • International texting to 100 countries

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro is a horse of a different color when it comes to T-Mobile alternatives. It’s technically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Un-Carrier, but it does things its own way. Unlike most prepaid plans which are slim on perks, Metro’s best-unlimited option offers 15GB of a hotspot, 100GB of Google One storage, and even an Amazon Prime membership.

While international access will cost you extra, each added line of service costs just $30. The Prime membership is actually cheaper through Metro than it would be if you bought it straight from Amazon.

Highlights:

  • 15GB hotspot included
  • 100GB Google One storage
  • Amazon Prime membership

Looking for other MVNOs that use T-Mobile’s network?

Several MVNOs rely on the Un-Carrier for service. For true MVNOs, look no further than the likes of Mint Mobile and Google Fi. Metro by T-Mobile is a slightly different prepaid option, but it should do the trick too.

Check out more research here:

Google FiMetro by T-MobileMint MobileStraight TalkUS Mobile
Cost
Google Fi:
Flexible plan starts at $20 for one line and $10 per GB of data
Unlimited starts at $70 per line
Metro by T-Mobile:
$60 for one line
$90 for two lines
$120 for three lines
$120 for four lines
Mint Mobile:
Plans start at $25 per month after intro promo
Straight Talk:
Basic plans start at $30 per month
Unlimited plans start at $35 per month
US Mobile:
Build your own plan for as little as $5 per month
Unlimited starts at $40 per month
Talk & Text
Google Fi:
Unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile:
Unlimited
Mint Mobile:
Unlimited
Straight Talk:
Basic plan includes 1,500 minutes
Unlimited on other plans
US Mobile:
As little as 75 minutes and 50 texts
Up to unlimited
Data
Google Fi:
Pay per GB on the Flexible plan
Unlimited up to 22GB on the Unlimited plan
Metro by T-Mobile:
Unlimited up to 35GB
Mint Mobile:
3GB for $25
8GB for $35
12GB for $45
Unlimited for $40
Straight Talk:
Basic plan includes 100MB
Other plans range from 5GB to unlimited
US Mobile:
As little as 50MB
Up to unlimited
Hotspot
Google Fi:
Full-speed available at per GB rate
Full speed available with unlimited
Metro by T-Mobile:
15GB included
Mint Mobile:
Included with your data cap
Straight Talk:
10GB hotspot included with unlimited (Not available with AT&T SIMs)
US Mobile:
Included with custom plans
Add-ons available
International
Google Fi:
Flexible includes unlimited texts, low rate for calls, $10 per GB
Unlimited includes data and texts, low rate for calls outside of included list
Metro by T-Mobile:
Available as an add-on
Mint Mobile:
Calling to Mexico and Canada
Straight Talk:
Global calling cards available
US Mobile:
Up to 10GB free
Traveller and Jetsetter add-ons available
Extras
Google Fi:
Flexible plan has a monthly cost cap
Unlimited includes a Google One membership
Metro by T-Mobile:
Google One membership
Amazon Prime membership
Mint Mobile:
Free SIM Card
Straight Talk:
None
US Mobile:
Pick your perks with multi-line unlimited plans

Google Fi

The carrier made by Google is a great fit if you plan to pay per gig or you expect to go abroad often. With monthly bill limits, you’ll never pay past a certain point even if you use mountains of data. However, Google Fi doesn’t just give you T-Mobile’s network, it also adds a dash of US Cellular for good measure. Thanks to Fi’s reliance on multiple networks, you can always get the best signal available — even abroad. You can also choose from two unlimited plans — Simply Unlimited and Unlimited Plus, depending on your needs.

Metro by T-Mobile

We’ve already mentioned Metro as a T-Mobile prepaid alternative, but its perks and plans make the MVNO a solid choice no matter your needs. If you opt for unlimited service, you’ll be rewarded with 15GB of hotspot included as well as Google One and Amazon Prime memberships. Unfortunately, you’ll have to head into a Metro store to sign up for most services.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile, the carrier owned by Ryan Reynolds, is an affordable alternative for service if you want to save some cash. Plans range from 4GB to unlimited data, and you’ll never pay more than $35 per month for one line of service. You may not get much by way of extra perks, but if you sign up for multi-month plans, you’ll save even more money.

Straight Talk

One of the easiest MVNOs to sign up for, Straight Talk, is available at most Walmart locations and actually supports most of the main carriers. You can go for a limited talk option with just a little bit of data or spend more for unlimited service. Affordability is key, so you’ll pay a bit extra for bonus features like international access, but Straight Talk is an easy way to grab the basics.

US Mobile

If you want a plan that’s perfectly tailored to your needs, US Mobile is the way to go. You can choose your ideal level of talk, text, and data for as little as $5 per month or go unlimited for $40. 5G access now comes with all plans, so it’s nice to know that you no longer have to spend extra for speed. When you add multiple lines of unlimited, you’ll get the chance to add subscription services like Disney Plus, Spotify, and Playstation Plus.

What phones can you use on T-Mobile Prepaid?

OnePlus 9 Pro showing back
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Like many prepaid carriers and MVNOs, T-Mobile emphasizes midrange phones to pair with its service. You can grab the OnePlus 9 Pro or the Galaxy S21, but the real value comes from devices like the LG K51 or the Galaxy A21. Both will run you less than $300, or you can opt for the iPhone SE for $400. Our list of the Best T-Mobile phones may help to provide a better picture of your options.

It’s easy to bring your phone to T-Mobile Prepaid as well, especially if you love your device or you recently grabbed a new one. The rules are pretty much the same as normal T-Mobile service — make sure you’re bringing a GSM-capable device such as one from AT&T. Verizon and Sprint phones rely on CDMA, so you’ll face a challenge bringing either one.

See also: The best phone deals

Of course, the end-all-be-all for bringing your own device is band support. If your phone doesn’t support the correct list, then you won’t be able to take advantage of the full network, simple as that. Check out the table below for all of the bands used by T-Mobile Prepaid.

FrequencyBandNetwork Supported
Frequency:
39GHz
Band:
N260
Network Supported:
5G mmWave
Frequency:
28GHz
Band:
N261
Network Supported:
5G mmWave
Frequency:
1900MHz
Band:
2
Network Supported:
2G
3G
4G LTE
Frequency:
1700/2100MHz
Band:
4
66
Network Supported:
3G and 4G LTE
4G LTE
Frequency:
850MHz
Band:
5
Network Supported:
4G LTE
Frequency:
700MHz
Band:
12
Network Supported:
4G LTE
Frequency:
600MHz
Band:
71
Network Supported:
4G LTE
5G

See also: Here are the best T-Mobile prepaid Android phones

Frequently asked questions

Q: Did T-Mobile buy Sprint, and what does this mean for customers new and old?
A:
Yes, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger is now complete, with the new brand simply keeping the T-Mobile name.

Q: What does the Sprint and T-Mobile merger mean for its customers?
A: Existing T-Mobile customers won’t see too many immediate changes, though they can expect better service coverage. Sprint users will note a few changes, including the ability to roam into T-Mobile’s network with no extra charges. T-Mobile has also shut down the Sprint 5G network, though Sprint users will have access via T-Mobile’s 5G network in supported areas. For now, the Sprint name will continue to be used for legacy customers, but eventually, T-Mobile will phase out the Sprint brand completely.

Q: Who owns T-Mobile?
A:
This question used to be a lot easier to answer before the Sprint and T-Mobile merger. Deutsche Telekom is still the majority owner of the new T-Mobile, controlling around 43%. Softbank is the second-largest controlling part, with around a 24% cut. The rest of the shares are held by outside shareholders.  

Q: How do you unlock a T-Mobile phone?
A: You can unlock your T-Mobile phone for use with another network as long as you meet certain requirements, including an account in good standing, a fully paid device active on the network for at least 40 days for postpaid accounts, and a few other hoops for prepaid. For more specific instructions, head over to T-Mobile.

Q: Is T-Mobile GSM or CDMA?
A: Technically, T-Mobile supports GSM alongside its LTE and 5G standards. That said, former Sprint customers will have CDMA-based phones. That means T-Mobile runs on all standards for now, though the CDMA network will be phased out in time.