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* MoneySavingPro compares plans, deals, and devices across all major US cell phone carriers. The prices listed are meant to be estimates based off the information we gather and we do our best to keep everything as accurate as possible but there may some discrepancies on the actual price you pay. We provide this free service to make it easier for you to switch and save on the best value deal based on your individual usage.

Bring Your Own Phone Plans

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The best bring your own phone plans are often a good cost-saving option. After all, part of what inflates the cost of a contract is the phone that you pay for throughout the length of your agreement.

In my research, I made sure that cost, network quality, and compatibility were at the top of my list. Many of the monthly plans I found appealed to people with different personal device habits. Check out which plan best suits your needs.

Our Top Picks

1st
  • Monthly Price: $45-60
  • SIM Card: $Free
  • Activation Fee: Free
  • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  • Data: 5-10GB

Straight Talk Bring Your Own Phone

  • Pros
  • Keep your number and network
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Available at any Walmart
  • Free SIM shipping
  • Compatible with most modern smartphones
  • Cons
  • Slightly more expensive than other options

Straight Talk is one of the most popular alternatives to the big companies and expensive contracts. Its slogan, "the world needs more straight talk" exemplifies its mission to provide access to the best networks without contracts or hidden fees. The Straight Talk BYOP service gives you access to the growing trend of buying service for the phone you already own instead of paying for new mobile devices over the length of a contract.

The Straight Talk service uses multiple networks to provide excellent service, and in their BYOD program, you're able to carry over your existing phone number and network. So call quality and coverage should be just as good as it is with your big network contract plan.

Its 24/7 customer service allows you to shop, purchase and communicate with Straight Talk via the web or its phone number. You can also purchase plans at any Walmart location. Straight Talk service's BYOP program is definitely a good alternative to high-cost contract plans and is a leader in the newly emerging BYOP industry.

2nd
  • Monthly Price: $70-85
  • SIM Card: $20
  • Activation Fee: Free
  • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  • Data: Unlimited

T-Mobile Bring Your Own Phone

  • Pros
  • Nationwide LTE coverage with no commitment
  • No overage fees
  • No annual service contract
  • Keep your current phone number
  • Unused data rolls over to the next month
  • Cons
  • Rural coverage is less-than-desirable
  • Anything other free shipping is expensive
  • SIM Card is extremely expensive without a promo code

The T-Mobile network is perfectly suitable for a BYOD program.

One of the most attractive plans happens to be the T-Mobile One unlimited plan, which offers unlimited talk, text, 4G LTE data, streaming video and music, as well as travel abroad and GOGO - all for a reasonable price.

Then again, you can always go with a simple prepaid unlimited talk and text plan which is a little cheaper. This isn't including the $5 discount you'll receive if you sign up for the provider's auto-pay service.

Compared to services like Verizon, T-Mobile offers plans at very good deals (even the T-Mobile unlimited plan is enticing), but it needs to stay competitive in order to overcome its main downfall - little rural support.

In rural areas, T-Mobile network's service is downright abysmal. T-Mobile coverage, while constantly improving, focalizes on urban areas. So while the T-Mobile coverage is lacking rural areas, the service offers very good plans at very reasonable prices for those interested in bringing in their own phones.

3rd
  • Monthly Price: $55-110
  • SIM Card: $20
  • Activation Fee: Free
  • Talk & Text: Unlimited
  • Data: 2-18GB

Verizon Bring Your Own Phone

  • Pros
  • Free SIM card if you currently have service with Verizon
  • Carry over data (only available on the new Verizon plan)
  • Limited-time incentives
  • Strong customer service
  • You can keep your phone number
  • Cons
  • You're paying for quality (though you may be able to receive an employee or organization discount)
  • No unlimited data plan

To utilize Verizon's BYOD service, you'll first need a device (either unlocked or not unlocked) that is eligible with Verizon Wireless. If the device is compatible with the service, then it will be able to be equipped with a prepay plan or a post-pay plan (with the exception of Windows Mobile and most Push to Talk devices).

Like T-Mobile, you may also transfer your current mobile number to Verizon. But to fully activate an eligible Verizon Wireless phone, you need to either visit VerizonWireless.com/activate or dial *22898 from the phone you want to activate.

Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to use Verizon's SIM card on another provider's device. You'll more than likely have to obtain a new SIM card with that particular carrier.

Beyond the BYOP options, Verizon's coverage is quite broad and, for the most part, particularly strong, featuring high LTE speeds. For all the bells and whistles, as well as the extensive coverage, Verizon offers, the monthly charges are pretty costly. A phone bill could run high, even with an employee or school discount, but when it comes to Verizon, you're certainly paying for quality.