The Atlanta-based company was founded in 1999 and bought by AT&T in 2013. That means Cricket offers cell phone service that runs on the nationwide AT&T wireless network.
Cricket Wireless prepaid cell phone plans range from a basic plan with unlimited talk and texting and no data all the way up to unlimited high-speed data with unlimited texting to 37 countries. The higher-tier plans also come with the ability to use your calling minutes, text messages, and data while roaming in Canada and Mexico.
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While Cricket isn't the cheapest wireless carrier out there they do offer some features that are rare among MVNOs. These include add-ons like international calling, mobile hotspot (with Cricket unlimited plans), additional data, and phone insurance (if you've purchased a Cricket device).
Another difference with this carrier is that they offer a family plan called Group Save. The more lines you activate, the cheaper your per-line rate.
Ready to learn more? Great - read on for our full Cricket Wireless review.
Table of Contents
Cricket Wireless Highlights
- Service provided on its parent company AT&T's nationwide network
- Prepaid - no contract or credit check
- Bring your own compatible GSM device or buy a Cricket Wireless phone (at retail or with a discount if you're bringing your phone number from another carrier)
- Mobile hotspot data is available with unlimited data plans as an add-on feature, for an extra fee
- Free talk and text to and from Canada and Mexico with an unlimited data plan
- Use of your plan while traveling in Canada or Mexico with unlimited data plan
- Two tiers of international calling add-ons for 35 more countries
- Customer service available by phone and chat from 7am to midnight Monday - Saturday, 10am to 10pm Sunday
Cricket Wireless Cell Phone Plans
As with all carriers, Cricket Wireless pricing can be competitive depending upon what you're looking for. If you're a very light user, for example, someone shopping for a senior citizen plan, Cricket may not be the right fit cost-wise. The plans are limited to no data, 2 GB, 5 GB, and unlimited.
If you need multiple lines with unlimited data then you'll definitely find the rates more affordable than the big four wireless providers.
As far as unlimited data plans for a single line, Cricket offers two options - regular Unlimited, which gives you download speeds up to 3 Mbps, and Unlimited Extra, which provides their fastest data speeds at 8 Mbps. Beyond that, if you're a heavy user who prefers unbridled download speeds you're better off checking out a different MVNO, like US Mobile.
Cricket Wireless Pricing: Is It Competitive?
|Carrier||Network Coverage||Data Limit||Monthly Price||Annual Price|
|AT&T||AT&T 4G LTE||Unlimited*||$75||$900|
|Cricket Wireless||AT&T 4G LTE||5GB||$40||$480|
|*Avg AT&T user on unlimited plan uses 4GB data|
Cricket Wireless Coverage
As a Cricket Wireless customer, you'll get nationwide coverage on the AT&T network. In order to get this coverage on your current phone you'll choose a plan and then order a Cricket SIM card, which is a bit pricier than most at $9.99.
OpenSignal, which analyzes mobile network performance, puts AT&T in third place for coverage, with customers receiving a 4G signal about 87% of the time. LTE coverage is strongest throughout the East, South, Midwest, and on the west coast.
Cricket Wireless Cell Phone Deals
Cricket Wireless Phone Options
You'll have several options if you decide on purchasing a phone compatible with Cricket Wireless:
- Bring your own phone. Obviously, this is the most affordable option, but it will only work if you have a GSM-compatible device. You can check whether your phone will work by visiting the carrier website.
- Buy a new phone. Cricket sells a wide range of devices, from basic flip phones to the latest smartphone models. They do not offer to finance so you'd have to pay upfront.
- Choose a free Cricket phone. This carrier is one of the few who still offer a free cell phone when you sign up for service (you cannot be porting from AT&T service). The choices are limited, of course, to lower-end smartphones but still, free is free!
- Buy a refurbished Cricket phone. Our cell phone comparison tool makes it easy and fast to see the best prices and compare features on popular devices. This option lets you upgrade to a great device at about a 50% savings over retail.
Keeping your own phone? Make sure you know how to switch to Cricket Wireless APN settings.
Key Considerations When Choosing Cricket Wireless
Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding on this carrier:
- Do I need at least 2 GB of data (the smallest data plan available)?
- How many lines do I need?
- Does Cricket Wireless have good coverage in my area?
- Do I need international service?
- Will I bring my own phone or buy one?
Cricket is a great deal for families with heavy data usage and those who need coverage in Canada and Mexico.
You'll get service on the same network at AT&T customers but at a better price.
Not sure yet? See what real people say about this carrier in our Cricket Wireless customer reviews.
Before making a decision, be sure to compare their deals with cheap cell phone plans from other carriers.
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