Best Prepaid Phone Carriers in 2023

Which is the best prepaid cell phone carrier?

Cheapest plan
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1GB 4G/5G data
$10/mo
Best prepaid plan
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4GB 4G/5G data
$10/mo*$20/mo

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* $10 Off for 3 Months
Best 5G plan
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5GB 4G/5G data
$15/mo

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* FREE 10-Day Trial
Best family plan
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10GB 4G/5G data
$20/mo
Best unlimited plan
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Unltd 4G/5G data
$30/mo
Cheap cell phone plans starting at $10/mo -Compare Now
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By Rob Webber - Last updated on

Prepaid carriers allow you to find the best prepaid phone plan that fits your needs.

Switching to an MVNO - Mobile Virtual Network Operator, who offer low price prepaid plans that are powered by the main US networks, could save you up to $600 a year. Without forfeiting your coverage.

Growing in popularity, these low-cost carriers offer a range of options from basic to unlimited data plans and we've picked some of the best for you below.

Prepaid cell phone carriers

Best Prepaid Phone Carriers
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Best cheap prepaid phone carrier

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Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB planTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1GB
Price
$10/mo
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Tello 1GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $10 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

Tello 1GB

1GB

$10

Tello 2GB

2GB

$14

Tello 5GB

5GB

$19

Tello 10GB

10GB

$24

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$29

Review
5

Pros

  • No contract. No bulk buying.

  • 24/7 friendly customer support

  • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

  • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

  • Free international calls to 60+ countries

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Read Tello review

Best prepaid phone carrier for families

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Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB planMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
4GB
Price
$15/mo
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Mint Mobile 4GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 4GB data for only $15 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB

4GB

$15

Mint Mobile 10GB

10GB

$20

Mint Mobile 15GB

15GB

$25

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$30

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Read Mint Mobile review

Best prepaid phone carrier for 5G coverage

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US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 15GB planUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 15GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
15GB
Price
$20/mo* FREE 10-Day Trial
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US Mobile 15GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 15GB data for only $20 per month. US Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

US Mobile 500MB

500MB

$5

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

US Mobile 2GB

2GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB

5GB

$15

US Mobile 15GB

15GB

$20

US Mobile 25GB

25GB

$25

US Mobile Unlimited Data Basic

Unlimited

$35

US Mobile Unlimited Data Premium

Unlimited

$45

* FREE 10-Day Trial

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Read US Mobile review

Best prepaid phone carrier for unlimited

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Tello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited planTello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$29/mo
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Tello Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $29 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

Tello 1GB

1GB

$10

Tello 2GB

2GB

$14

Tello 5GB

5GB

$19

Tello 10GB

10GB

$24

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$29

Review
5

Pros

  • No contract. No bulk buying.

  • 24/7 friendly customer support

  • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

  • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

  • Free international calls to 60+ countries

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Read Tello review

Best prepaid phone carrier for one person

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Boost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB planBoost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5GB
Price
$5/mo** 66% Off for 3 Months
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Boost Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $5 per month. Boost Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Boost Mobile 5GB

5GB

$5*

* 66% Off for 3 Months

Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths

1GB

$8*

* $100 for 1 year service

Boost Mobile 15GB

15GB

$20*

* $240 for 1 year service

Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$25

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage on AT&T & T-Mobile

  • 5G & 4G LTE data speeds

  • Buy online and no credit checks

  • Bring your own phone

  • Cheapest unlimited data plan

Cons

  • No data only plans

Read Boost Mobile review

Prepaid phone carrier benefits

Low-cost carriers, also known as MVNOs, are a great way to save with a network you already trust. But at half the price.

Jumping on the networks of the four big guys - Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile - you can expect good coverage. But it doesn't come with the hefty price tag. With these low-cost carriers, there is no contract, which means no commitment and the flexibility to leave if you're unhappy.

Here's why we think it's a no-brainer:

  • Nationwide coverage from the four major networks
  • No expensive monthly bills
  • No contracts
  • Tailor the plan to your needs - no more paying for what you don't use
  • Hassle-free to switch - bring your phone and keep your number
  • Fast 4G LTE and 5G data speeds

Best prepaid carrier on T-Mobile

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo

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T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Compare: T-Mobile prepaid plans


Best prepaid carrier on Verizon

US Mobile 5GB plan* FREE 10-Day Trial

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $780 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$65/mo$780/yr

Compare: Verizon prepaid plans


Best prepaid carrier on AT&T

Good2Go Mobile 3GB plan* 6GB Data in First Month

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3GB

4G/5G data

$25/mo*

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $600 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G & 5G3GB$25/mo$300/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$600/yr

Compare: AT&T prepaid plans


Cheapest prepaid carriers

CarrierDataNetworkPrice
Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10/mo
Mint Mobile 4GB plan4GBT-Mobile$15/mo
Lycamobile 12GB plan12GBT-Mobile$5/mo** Only $5 for First 3 Months
US Mobile 15GB plan15GBVerizon & T-Mobile$20/mo* FREE 10-Day Trial
Mint Mobile Unlimited planUnltdT-Mobile$30/mo

Carrier network coverage

NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
Verizon Coverage9596949694
AT&T Coverage9494959692
T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

Source: Rootmetrics

Best prepaid phone carriers in my area

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

Prepaid carrier customer service

Concerned that low-cost carriers won't have good customer service? Don't be, on average MVNOs score much higher customer ratings than the big networks as you'll see in the comparison chart below:

CARRIERTRUSTPILOT USER RATINGMONTHLY PRICECOVERAGE
US Mobile4.7$10-35Verizon 5G & 4G LTE
Tello4.4$10-29T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE
Red Pocket Mobile4.2$10-50AT&T 5G & 4G LTE
T-Mobile1.5$70-90T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE
AT&T1.3$75-90AT&T 5G & 4G LTE
Verizon1.2$80-90Verizon 5G & 4G LTE

How to switch to a prepaid phone carrier

It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.

  1. Customize your plan. Whether you're looking for a truly unlimited plan, or in the market for something more basic, choose a plan to suit your cell phone needs.
  2. Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bills are paid up and your phone is unlocked. If you're getting a new device, transferring data from one to another is simple. Even if you're going from an iPhone to Android, and vice versa.
  3. Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel your old account. If you've got a new device with your Tello plan, it should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own phone then you'll need to follow the instructions with the new SIM card kit that Tello will send to you in the post.

Prepaid carriers list

AT&T MVNOsVerizon MVNOsT-Mobile MVNOs
Red PocketUS MobileBoost Mobile
PureTalkRed PocketUS Mobile
Good2Go MobileTwigbyUltra Mobile
H2O WirelessAffinity CellularTello
Straight TalkReach MobileRed Pocket
TracfoneSpectrum MobileMint Mobile
Black WirelessPage Plus CellularLycamobile
Kroger WirelessTotal by VerizonConsumer Cellular
easyGO WirelessLivelyGoSmart Mobile
Unreal MobileWalmart Family MobileRepublic Wireless
Optimum MobileTingSimple Mobile
FreedompopGen Mobile
Wing
easyGO Wireless
Speedtalk Mobile

Prepaid cell phone carriers FAQs

What prepaid phone carrier is the best?

Low-cost carriers provide the best value for money with a prepaid cell phone plan.

Which prepaid phone carrier has the cheapest plans?

The cheapest low-cost carrier is Tello with basic plans starting from $8.


Recap

There's some great deals to be had with prepaid cell phone carriers, with customizable plans and a selection of features to suit you.

With access to the same quality coverage, if you love your current network you can choose a plan with their MVNO or check out the best cell phone coverage in your area with your ZIP code.

Prepaid cell phone carriers encourage you to bring your own phone, which can save you even more money. But if you're in the market for a new handset most carriers offer a selection with 0% finance over two years.

CarrierBest for...MinsTextsDataPrice
Tello SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid phone carrierTelloCheap prepaid carrierUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best prepaid phone carrier for familiesMint MobilePrepaid family carrierUnlimitedUnlimited4GB$15/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Best prepaid phone carrier for 5G coverageUS MobilePrepaid 5G carrierUnlimitedUnlimited15GB$20/mo
Tello SIM Card - Best prepaid phone carrier for unlimitedTelloPrepaid unlimited carrierUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$29/mo
Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best prepaid phone carrier for one personBoost MobilePrepaid individual carrierUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

Powered by
4G/5G data
mins
texts
/mo
Same coverage - massive savings!YOU SAVE:
T-Mobile
Magenta - $70/mo
$840/yr
AT&T
Unlimited Extra - $75/mo
$900/yr
Verizon
Play More Unlimited - $80/mo
$960/yr
$0$17.5$35$52.5$70
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
Benefits