You can't go wrong with a prepaid plan. According to The Prepaid Press, prepaid users are expected to number almost 94 million by 2019. This is up from 77 million in 2015.
There are no contracts or activation fees to worry about, as well as no age limits. The AT&T cell phone plan has its own prepaid service, otherwise known as GoPhone, but are the plans sufficient for your needs?
AT&T Wireless Prepaid Plans
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly one in five Americans see their smartphone as a financial burden. Before browsing the plans available, determine the amount you can afford to spend based on your overall budget.
There are three main AT&T wireless GoPhone plans to choose from, which are all compatible with the AutoPay discount. GoPhone rate plans also include the following calling features:
- Basic Voicemail
- Three-way Calling
- Call Forwarding
- Call Waiting
- Caller Number ID
The first plan, which is quite affordable - especially with the AutoPay discount - doesn't grant you with a set amount of high-speed data, but you can purchase a data package at a fee per 250MB. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with unlimited 128kps data speeds. This plan includes Stream Saver, which allows you to stream more video on the go at 480p, unlimited talk and text in the United States, and unlimited messaging to over 100 countries. However, you will not be eligible for a multi-line discount or receive the rollover data feature.
The second plan features the first 4GB of high-speed data. This plan includes Stream Saver, unlimited talk and text in the United States, unlimited messaging to over 100 countries, eligibility for multi-line discount, and rollover data, meaning that any unused high-speed data will carry over through the next month.
Finally, there is the plan that offers 8GB of high-speed data. This plan features Stream Saver, unlimited talk and text in the United States, unlimited messaging to over 100 countries, eligibility for the multi-line discount, rollover data, unlimited talk and text from the United States to Mexico and Canada, as well as talk, text, and data usage in Mexico and Canada. If you run out of data on either the 4GB or 8GB plans, you should be made aware that you can always purchase more data.
As far as international calling goes, you can make phone calls from the U.S. to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Mariana Islands free of charge. You can also call from the U.S. to over 225 countries worldwide at pay-per-minute rates. That being said, you can add an international calling package to receive reduced per-minute rates.
Customers on the 4GB and 8GB plans will be able to add the following international packages:
- Latin America/Caribbean
- East Asia/India
- International Plus - With this plan, you'll receive 1,000 minutes of calling per month from the U.S. to Mexico, plus calls to landlines in over 50 countries. However, you're limited to two packages within a 30-day period
- Dominican Republic
On any phone plan, however, customers can opt for the International add-on, which grants you 250 minutes of calling per month of landlines in over 50 countries.
Finally, you can save up to $600 per year with the multi-line discount. With the multi-line discount, all you need to do is add friends and family to your account. However, the discount requires a minimum of the 4GB plan and enrollment into the multi-line account. You'll receive a discount for the second line, which only increases the more lines you add. If you plan to add multiple lines, you might receive better savings and neat bonuses with an AT&T family cell phone plan.
AT&T Prepaid Phones
Of course, you can't select a prepaid plan without having a prepaid phone. You can either bring your own phone to AT&T or purchase AT&T prepaid cell phones directly from the provider. Unlike its competitor Verizon, AT&T, alongside Sprint and T-Mobile, tend to feature some pretty nifty prepaid deals. For instance, you might be able to switch to AT&T GoPhone and get your second month free. Pretty enticing, isn't it?
There are several different prepaid phones to choose from with AT&T's GoPhone service. The phones offered by AT&T isn't as extensive in amount as Verizon, but that doesn't mean they aren't bad. You'll be able to choose between the following AT&T prepaid smartphones:
- XPAL Power
So if you're craving an AT&T prepaid iPhone, you'll be able to buy one from the carrier.
AT&T Prepaid Coverage
Comparing between the Voice and GoPhone service coverage maps, you'll find the GoPhone service is lacking in HD Voice. That being said, Verizon has already offered its first HD Voice prepaid phone.
Some patches in the GoPhone network also require a 3G, 4G or 4G LTE handset. Fortunately, you'll be receiving the same amount of coverage via GoPhone as with the standard plan.
AT&T Prepaid Activation Kit
AT&T offers a GoPhone kit that is completely free of charge. However, if you have a tablet, you'll have to purchase a kit at an AT&T store.
Nevertheless, you'll be able to (more than likely) transfer your number with this service and receive the GoPhone benefits, including 4G LTE speeds on the AT&T network, no annual contract, no credit check, easy activation, and great plan choices.
This kit is compatible with not only feature phones, the iPhone, select Android and Windows smartphones, and the Blackberry Z10 and Q10, but also the Standard, Micro, and nano SIM devices.
You'll be receiving your SIM card via mail. All you need to do, once you receive the card, is to insert it into your phone and activate the service utilizing AT&T's GoPhone site.
AT&T Prepaid Cards
Prices on the AT&T wireless prepaid cards, which is a convenient way to refill your account, range from $20 to $100. These cards expire after 90 days. Unfortunately, you will struggle with finding the exact details of the cards on the official site.
AT&T Prepaid Customer Service
AT&T GoPhone has a separate customer service page dedicated to its service. The AT&T prepaid customer service number is 800-901-9878. AT&T Wireless prepaid customer service is available from Monday through Friday between 7 AM and 10 PM, as well as Saturday and Sunday between 9 AM and 7 PM.
You can also access star services all day, every day using your phone. You'll be able to make payments, check your usage and balance, or even upgrade your devices for free.
And finally, if you're in need of more breathing support, you can always refer to the wireless Support page, which includes contact information, FAQs, and forums.
Are AT&T Prepaid Plans right for you?
AT&T GoPhone plans are incredibly affordable, especially compared to more expensive prepaid services like Verizon and T-Mobile. Not only does the provider issue plans for all types of lifestyles, but it offers phones with enticing deals slapped onto them. However, while you do gain excellent plan variation, you also lose a little with coverage. The coverage, while excellent and topples over T-Mobile and Sprint, does fall behind Verizon, but not by too much.
If you're wondering about how the providers compare with their prepaid plans, then be sure to read our review of the best prepaid cell phone plans.