As a prepaid cellular company, H2O Wireless offers no-contract plans, but how do the H2O Wireless cell phone plans compare to the wireless services of other MVNOs out there?
Well, that's an issue a lot of consumers can agree upon. Unfortunately, there are dozens upon dozens of MVNOs existent in the United States. Even worse is that - in the case of H2O Wireless anyway - the information regarding important plans and their features are scattered and overwhelming.
So how would you know immediately about the customer service without clicking on a page? Do you want to know more about the plans, which are backed by the largest GSM network? What is there to know about the phone selection of H2O Wireless?
This is why this guide exists. We've taken the time and energy to compile and compose an article that details the available H2O Wireless cell phone plans, the phone selection, customer support, and more.
In This Guide
Compare H2O Plans
H2O breaks its prepay plans down into two categories: monthly unlimited talk and text message and pay as you go. The monthly unlimited plans allow you to talk and text as much as you want without fear of overages.
Furthermore, depending on the monthly plan you choose you'll have access to a specific amount of 4G LTE data, ranging from 3GB to 12GB. Once you reach your data allotment, H2O will slow your LTE speeds to 2G, which is a bit of a bummer, but most wireless services, like Straight Talk, Republic Wireless, Consumer Cellular, Ultra Mobile, Total Wireless, and Cricket Wireless to name a few, will also slow your LTE speeds once your allotted data has been exceeded.
Another unique feature of these monthly plans is their international capabilities. To demonstrate, you receive unlimited international calling and unlimited international texting to more than 50 countries. This makes H2O a cheap international calling and texting option; this a feature other prepaid carriers charge you more for.
If you don't feel you'll text, talk or access enough data to warrant the cost, you can choose the pay as you go no-contract plans instead. With these plans, you won't have unlimited talk or text, but you make payments in denominations of $10, $20, $25, $30 or $100. Once you add this to your account, your balance deducts only when you use the cell phone services. Here is a look at what each service cost:
- Talk= 5 cents per minute
- Text= 5 cents per messages
- MMS= 10 cents per MMS
- Data= 10 cents per MB of usage
The only limitation with these plans is all but the $100 option comes with a 90-day expiration. This means every three months you'll have to top-up your account to continue to receive service. Meanwhile, with the $100 option, you have an expiration date of one year.
You can also buy a Feature Card. Feature Cards come in $5 and $10 denominations. You use these cards to supplement your unlimited plan such as gaining more access to 4G LTE data after exceeding your usage allotment.
When it's time to re-charge your plan, you have multiple options to achieve this. You can use the PIN number from a service card or your credit/debit card. The best recommendation is to set up auto recharge that way you don't forget to make a payment and the service becomes inactive.
H2O also has a family plan where you can connect up to four lines. If all four lines are new to the provider, you receive a $10 discount off monthly service for lines two through four, similar to the way major carrier price family plans.
Read More: You can compare H2O Wireless' prepaid options against the other major prepaid cell phone carriers here.
What Cell Phones Can I Get With H2O Wireless?
H2O Wireless' cell phone selection is diverse in order to appeal to varied needs and budget types. You can find a good inventory of smartphones for under $50. In addition, if you want the latest models like the Google Pixel, you can lease it through SmartPay.
With SmartPay, you fill out its quick application and if approved, pay off the phone in monthly installments. Of course, you also have the option to pay for the phone in full.
Because H2O uses the GSM network (you can learn more about the differences between the GSM LTE network and CDMA LTE network here), it's simple to switch services to them. If you have an unlocked GSM phone (like a T-Mobile phone, as T-Mobile phones are GSM phones), you need to switch SIM cards to receive service. This can save you the hassle and expense of shopping for a new phone.
Read More: You have the option to compare smartphones with our smartphone comparison tool.
H2O does not sell insurance protection for cell phones, unlike the major carriers. This means if you want coverage you'll need to go to a provider like Asurion. You can learn more about phone insure with our guide, "Is Cell Phone Insurance Worth It?"
How to Activate Your Device
To activate your phone, you can do it online or by phone. When you call, follow the automated prompts. On its website, H2O estimates the activation process takes only a few minutes. Additionally, it doesn't charge activation fees.
As noted above, since H2O operates on the GSM network, it requires a SIM card for cell phone service. If you plan to bring your own phone you can buy a SIM starter kit through H2O's website. Not only can you transfer your phone to the H2O Wireless service thanks to the SIM starter kit, but you can also port your phone number to the provider via pin number.
However, you will need to call 1-800-643-4926 to receive your pin number. When you buy a phone with H2O, the SIM card comes included. In both instances, you'll want to insert the SIM card into your phone after you activate service.
Compare: Find cheap H2O Wireless' SIM Cards
Deals, Promotions & Discounts
H2O Wireless offers various limited time promotions such as a free phone when you switch to it. Along with a free phone, you receive free standard shipping or a discount on express shipping.
You can also find promotions on plans where you can receive more data for the same price. Again, the deals are a limited time, so the best tip is to check its website often to see which promotions it has available to you.
H2O Wireless leases coverage from the largest GSM network (AT&T). You can view H2O Wireless' coverage map here. This means in many parts of the country you'll have access to 4G LTE connection speeds when using data. Along with fast connection speeds, you have good service reliability for talk and sending text messages.
If you want to learn about how AT&T fares against Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, then you should refer to our coverage maps.
How to Change Your APN Settings
Customer Service Score
Many customers don't recommend H2O to others due to the inconsistent service quality. Another problem many encountered was when they tried to port in their numbers from other carriers, they found the process to be confusing and poorly set up.
To demonstrate, if you do the process online it asks you to choose your old carrier and not all options, like Total Wireless are on there. Therefore, it makes a confusing process even more confounding. If you do need assistance, you can contact H2O via its customer service phone number, conduct a live chat with a representative or fill out the form under the contact us section for a member of its staff to email you back.
H2O delivers a wide range of plans, complete with unlimited talk and text, at affordable prices. Speaking on the affordability end, if you have an unlocked GSM phone you should be able to bring it with you, eliminating the need to buy another phone. H2O is also among the most competitive in regards to the discounts and promotions it offers.
Still, its customer service is a headache. And if you run into issues, like many of its customers have, then it's going to be frustrating to have your problem addressed. If you're not a fan of the idea of the customer service, you may want to choose another MVNO, such as Straight Talk, Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, Ultra Mobile, or Consumer Cellular (depending on where you fall in demographic).
Remember, when choosing a cheap cell phone plan, it's always best to compare deals from multiple low-cost carriers.