The Best Pay As You Go Phone Plans

Compare the best PAYG cell phone plans & prices

Best Sprint Plan
4GB LTE Data
$19 per month
Best T-Mobile Plan
8GB LTE Data
$20 per month
Best AT&T Plan
5GB LTE Data
$30 per month
Best Verizon Plan
5GB LTE Data
$45 per month
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What are the Best PAYG phone plans?

Rob Webber

By Rob Webber

Founder

Last Updated:

You may not have considered a pay as you go phone plan before but the truth is that no-contract phones and plans are now a great choice for anyone.

There are now many cheap cell phone carriers that allow you to add more minutes, texts, or data. The best part is you can save as much as 50% off your cell phone bill by choosing either of these options.

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

The competition is fierce in the wireless industry right now so we've sorted out some of the best deals for you.

The Best Pay As You Go Phone Plans of February 2020

The Best Pay As You Go Phone Plans
Switch Carriers & Save $600 per year - Calculate Your Savings

Pay As You Go Phone Plan Comparison Chart

CarrierNationwide Coverage4G LTE DataPrice
TelloSprint 4G LTE4GB$19
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G LTE8GB$20
PureTalk USAAT&T 4G LTE5GB$30
Reach MobileVerizon 4G LTE5GB$45

Best Sprint Pay As You Go Plan: Tello

Pros

  • Flexible plans up to 10 GB of high-speed data
  • Free texting with all plans
  • Change your plan any time
  • Unlimited 2G data

Cons

  • Only CDMA or global phones compatible
  • No unlimited data plan

Best Value Pay As You Go Plan: Tello 4GB

Tello
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:4 GB4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

Best Cheap Pay As You Go Plan: Tello 1GB

Tello
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:1 GB4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

Sprint National 4G LTE Coverage Without Sprint Prices

Sprint Coverage Map

Sprint vs Tello Price Comparison

Keep your Sprint phone, number & coverage: Save $492 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
SprintSprint 4G LTEUnltd*$60/mo$720/yr
TelloSprint 4G LTE4GB$19/mo$228/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$41/mo$492/yr

Best T-Mobile Pay As You Go Plan: Mint Mobile

Pros

  • Simple, affordable plans
  • Free text and talk with all plans
  • Unlimited 2G data
  • Free SIM card kit

Cons

  • Only GSM or global phones compatible
  • Only sold in lots of 3, 6, or 12 months
  • No unlimited data plan

Best Value Pay As You Go Plan: Mint Mobile 8GB

Mint Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:8 GB4G data
Mint Mobile is powered by:T-Mobile
* $60 for 3 months service
Mint Mobile SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - 3 mths prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 7 days

Best Cheap Pay As You Go Plan: Mint Mobile 3GB

Mint Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:3 GB4G data
Mint Mobile is powered by:T-Mobile
* $45 for 3 months service
Mint Mobile SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - 3 mths prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 7 days

T-Mobile National 4G LTE Coverage Without T-Mobile Prices

T-Mobile Coverage Map

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Price Comparison

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

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G LTEUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G LTE8GB$20/mo$240/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$600/yr

Best AT&T Pay As You Go Plan: PureTalk USA

Pros

  • Good plan selection
  • Unlimited talk and text with all plans
  • Unlimited 2G data
  • Clean, user-friendly website

Cons

  • No unlimited data plan
  • International calling requires add-on calling card

Best Value Pay As You Go Plan: PureTalk USA 5GB

PureTalk USA - 5GB Data PlanMSP Exclusive: 25% off the first 3 months
PureTalk USA
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:5 GB4G data
PureTalk USA is powered by:AT&T
* 25% off the first 3 months
PureTalk USA SIM Card
NetworkAT&T
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile Hotspotn/a
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International Callsn/a
Money Back Guaranteen/a

Best Cheap Pay As You Go Plan: PureTalk USA 1GB

PureTalk USA - 1GB Data PlanMSP Exclusive: 25% off the first 3 months
PureTalk USA
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:1 GB4G data
PureTalk USA is powered by:AT&T
* 25% off the first 3 months
PureTalk USA SIM Card
NetworkAT&T
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile Hotspotn/a
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International Callsn/a
Money Back Guaranteen/a

AT&T National 4G LTE Coverage Without AT&T Prices

AT&T Coverage Map

AT&T vs PureTalk USA Price Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $562 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G LTEUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
PureTalk USAAT&T 4G LTE5GB$30/mo$338/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$45/mo$562/yr

Best Verizon Pay As You Go Plan: Reach Mobile

Pros

  • Good pricing for lower data users
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited data plan available
  • User-friendly website and app

Cons

  • No international service
  • Does not sell devices
  • Expensive for heavy data users

Best Value Pay As You Go Plan: Reach Mobile 5GB

Reach Mobile - 5GB Data Plan$15 Discount with Code: MSP153
Reach Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:5 GB4G data
Reach Mobile is powered by:Verizon
* $15 discount for first 3 months with promo code: msp153
Reach Mobile SIM Card
NetworkAT&T, Verizon
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM & CDMA
Mobile Hotspotn/a
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International Callsn/a
Money Back Guaranteen/a

Best Cheap Pay As You Go Plan: Reach Mobile 3GB

Reach Mobile - 3GB Data Plan$15 Discount with Code: MSP153
Reach Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:3 GB4G data
Reach Mobile is powered by:Verizon
* $15 discount for first 3 months with promo code: msp153
Reach Mobile SIM Card
NetworkAT&T, Verizon
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM & CDMA
Mobile Hotspotn/a
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International Callsn/a
Money Back Guaranteen/a

Verizon National 4G LTE Coverage Without Verizon Prices

Verizon Coverage Map

Verizon vs Reach Mobile Price Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $465 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
VerizonVerizon 4G LTEUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
Reach MobileVerizon 4G LTE5GB$45/mo$495/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$35/mo$465/yr

Best Overall Pay As You Go Plan: Mint Mobile

Best Value Pay As You Go Plan: Mint Mobile 8GB

Mint Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:8 GB4G data
Mint Mobile is powered by:T-Mobile
* $60 for 3 months service
Mint Mobile SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - 3 mths prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 7 days

Key Considerations When Choosing a Pay As You Go Plan

  1. Coverage: Wireless providers all cover most of the U.S., but there are subtle differences. Check out our cell phone coverage maps to find the best one for your area.
  2. Budget: As with anything else, you can spend a little or a lot. Shop around to make sure you're getting the best deal for your needs.
  3. Plans: Are you a heavy data user or do you just want a couple hundred minutes in case of an emergency?
  4. The number of lines: Some pay as you go family plans include perks like access to all of your lines from one account or parental control tools.
  5. Features: If you need things like international coverage or mobile hotspot data, you'll want to make sure your new carrier offers those features.
  6. GSM or CDMA: You can save even more money by bringing your own device. T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM technology, Verizon and Sprint use CDMA. Check with your carrier to ensure your phone is compatible.

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Starting at:$10/mo
TelloSprint

MVNOs Always Offer the Biggest Savings

MVNOs - Mobile Virtual Network Operators - provide the best cheap cell phone plans. These alternative carriers give you better rates on mobile service on the big four networks.

Benefits of MVNOs:

  • Service on the same 4G LTE networks as the big four providers
  • Cheaper cell phone rates thanks to lower operating costs
  • Customized plans so you can buy only what you need
  • Great customer support, often 24/7
  • No contracts or credit checks
  • Easy online signup by ordering a SIM card and swapping it out with yours

Best Unlimited Talk & Text Only Plan: Tello

Tello
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:0 GB4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

With Tello, you get Sprint network coverage and a ton of customization options. Pair unlimited talk and text with the right amount of data for you - from Wi-Fi only all the way up to 10 GB.

You also get:

  • Tethering
  • Calling to Canada, China, and Mexico
  • Optional international add-on service to over 140 countries
  • Freedom to switch plans at any time

Best Unlimited Data Plan: Tello

Tello
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:Unlimited4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

US Mobile is our pick for its pay as you go unlimited plans using the Verizon network. There are nine different options. Pair your choice of minutes and texts with the data speed you want.

US Mobile lets you manage all of your lines through one online account. You can add more of anything any time you want.

Best Family Phone Plan: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:8 GB4G data
Mint Mobile is powered by:T-Mobile
* $60 for 3 months service
Mint Mobile SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - 3 mths prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 7 days

Mint Mobile (formerly Mint SIM) runs on the T-Mobile network. This MVNO operates on the basis of saving money by buying in bulk. You pay for three, six, or 12 months of service at a time. Save more by paying for more at once.

  • Choose from 2 GB, 5GB, or 10 GB of data.
  • Get free talk and text with any plan.
  • Add more data or international service at any time.

Buy as many lines as you need. Even though it's not a traditional family plan, Mint save you more than half of the average cell phone bill.

Best Phone Plan for Kids: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:3 GB4G data
Mint Mobile is powered by:T-Mobile
* $45 for 3 months service
Mint Mobile SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkGSM
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - 3 mths prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico & Canada
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 7 days

Mint is also our favorite as the best kids cell phone plan. Pay as you go options are great for tweens and teens alike because you won't get hit with overage charges. If you do want to buy more data you can add it on at any time.

Best Phone Plan for Seniors: Twigby

Twigby - 500 Mins & 1GB DataPromo Code: MONEYSIM
Twigby
Mins:500minutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:1 GB4G data
Twigby is powered by:VerizonSprint
* 25% off for the first 6 mths
Twigby SIM Card
NetworkVerizon & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 30 days

Twigby has insanely affordable basic service which makes them an ideal choice for a senior cell phone plan. This carrier uses the Sprint and Verizon networks.

Choose from 200 up to unlimited minutes. Data comes in buckets of 150 MB or 300 MB of data for basic phones, and up to 4 GB for smartphones.

Twigby also includes unlimited free international texting to over 180 countries with every plan.

Best Cheap Phone Plan: Tello

Tello
Mins:Unlimitedminutes
Texts:Unlimitedtexts
Data:1 GB4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

Tello has mastered the art of the cheap phone plan. You select talk, text, and data amounts separately, which means you only pay for what you need.

Calling to Canada, China, and Mexico is included in your plan minutes and you can add more of anything as needed.

Best Tablet/Hotspot Data Only Plans: Tello

Tello
Mins:0minutes
Texts:0texts
Data:4 GB4G data
Tello is powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

Looking for a data only plan? Tello has the most affordable options in bucket sizes up to 10 GB. Plus you can tether your other devices.

Great Ways to Save on Your Next Smartphone

If you're going to go with a pay as you go plan then you're going to need a phone. Here are your two ideal options:

  • Bring your own phone: Technology has reached a point where it's ridiculously easy to bring your own smartphone to another network. You may need to have your current carrier unlock it but that's not a big deal.
  • Buy a used smartphone: Sites like Swappa and Decluttr make it easy to find both iPhones and Androids for up to 50% off retail.

Don't forget to compare offers when you sell your old device so you can get the most cash out of it.

Recap

Pay as you go plans have become contenders in an extremely competitive industry.

That means better plans and lower prices for you. Don't pay more than you have to anymore!

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Starting at:$10/mo
TelloSprint

Cell Phone Plans FAQs

How do I switch to a cell phone plan with another carrier?

Switching to an MVNO is smart, quick and simple. You don't have to buy a new device, since you can bring your own phone to the new carrier and you can keep your old number. All you need to do is order a prepaid SIM card and once you have that, you can switch your phone service in as little as 2-3 minutes.

Do these cell phone plans have network coverage in my area?

All MVNO's are powered by at least one of the big 4's networks. In our comparison list of cell phone plan we display the network options available with each plan. For example, if the plan says 'powered by Verizon', it means the carrier operates on the Verizon network and you'll receive exactly the same nationwide 4G LTE coverage that you would if you bought a plan from Verizon directly.

Can I keep my phone number when I switch to a new cell phone plan?

Yes! It's easy to port your existing phone number to another carrier during the activation process.

Will a cell phone plan with any carrier work with my phone?

Yes! Most unlocked smartphones that have a SIM card slot will work with your new cell phone plan. If your phone is locked to a carrier you will need to contact your existing carrier to get it unlocked.

How do I check if my device is compatible with the cell phone plan I want?

You can check your devices compatibility on the carriers website before you signup for a new cell phone plan.

Is there a contract or credit check?

No. MVNO's work on a prepaid month-to-month basis, meaning there is no credit check or commitment, so you can switch to a new cell phone plan whenever you like.

How does billing work these cell phone plans?

All plans are prepaid with no contract. This means that you pay for 30 days when your plan starts, not afterwards. Most MVNO's allow AutoPay which ensures you'll automatically renew your plan every 30 days.

Can I share my cell phone plan across multiple devices?

No. Each cell phone plan is for one line and every device needs it's own line.

Do cell phone plans allow tethering?

Yes, most cell phone plan allow tethering but it will depend on the carrier and plan you select. Check the carrier site before signing up.

Do cell phone plans offer international calling?

Yes, most MVNO's include calls to international countries. Be sure to check the carriers website for more details before you sign up.

Do MVNO's have a refund policy?

Most MVNO's offer a refund within 7 days if you are not satisfied with the cell phone plan you selected. Check the carriers website for full details before you sign up.

Who should switch to a cell phone plan?

MVNO's are perfect for anyone that is looking to save money on a cell phone plan, without compromising on coverage, there's a customized plan suitable for everyone.

The Best Prices on the Best Networks

All low-cost carriers are powered by the major US networks

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