If you're reading this, then you're probably considering one of the available Sprint prepaid plans. However, there's an issue when it comes to researching prepay plans - they're often shoved aside to make way for the postpaid smartphone plans, at least when it comes to any of the four major service providers.
For instance, T-Mobile's prepay wireless plans listings are pretty hard to locate - you have to really pay attention to find them. Nevertheless, finding information on these particular no-contract plans can be a bit of a doozy. Sometimes important information is hidden in the fine print, and the plans may appear to be unorganized, making it complicated to choose a plan, never mind a wireless carrier.
Fortunately, we understand your plight and have done the research for you. We've even gone so far as to compile information on Sprint's prepaid plans into an easier-to-read format, just to help you out. After all, a prepay plan has its benefits, including no commitments and no credit checks.
In this guide, you'll find information regarding Sprint network's no-contract plans, including prepay phones, coverage, the Sprint customer service, prepay cards, and more. Finally, you'll find our cell phone plan comparison tool, which should help you make a quick, informed decision as to whether or not the Sprint network's wireless service is right for you.
Sprint Wireless Prepaid Plans
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly one in five Americans see their smartphone as a financial burden. Before becoming a Sprint customer - or a Sprint prepaid customer - you should determine the amount you can afford to spend based on your overall budget.
Sprint prepaid plans aren't exactly robust, but they are simple and to the point. Unlike AT&T or T-Mobile, you cannot purchase minute or daily passes. However, these prepay wireless plans include unlimited (non-high-speed and high LTE speed) data, talk and text, HD voice, and a free mobile hotspot.
Read More: Sprint also offers a plethora of other cell phone plans. You can see them here.
There are three available data month plans: 3GB, 5GB, and Unlimited. A bit about the plans before we delve into the additional services:
With these cellular service monthly plans, you'll be able to take advantage of unlimited talk and text, as well as data. Furthermore, on select devices, you'll have 50 domestic roaming voice minutes. Unfortunately, international services will cost extra.
These smartphone plans also include an AutoPay discount.
In regards to the unlimited plan, you'll receive mobile optimized video - in other words, standard definition video streaming - gaming, and music streaming. However, if you're craving high definition streaming services, you may want to add the HD Buyup monthly plan to your unlimited plan. Furthermore, 5GB of your unlimited data can be used for mobile hotspot access. After 5GB is reached, your mobile hotspot usage will be limited to 2G speeds.
And in reference to the 3GB and 5GB plans, you'll be able to take advantage of unlimited talk and text and high-speed data. However, once your high-speed data allotment is reached, the LTE speeds will become 2G speeds.
You can turn your prepaid cellular service into postpaid as well, but only if you make 12 consecutive on-time payments to be eligible to upgrade to Sprint postpaid wireless service, complete with the best pricing and with no credit check whatsoever. That's a pretty good deal if you're interested in postpaid service.
However, you can top off your data with a 1GB Data Pack.
Fortunately, there are other add-ons beyond the high-speed data packs that you can tack onto your plan.
You can install CallWatch for an incredibly small fee per month, though you will receive a free 7-day trial to help you decide whether or not to opt into the service. CallWatch is a service that monitors scam calls. You'll have access to scam call alerts as well as assistance on identity theft prevention. You'll also be able to set up call blocking preferences and look up unknown numbers.
In actuality, there are two types of CallWatch services: the free version and the monthly paid version. In total, the benefits included with the free version are:
- Identification of all known scam and robo-callers
- Identity theft prevention assistance from ITRC if you've been contacted
As for the paid version? You'll receive:
- The benefits of the free CallWatch version
- The ability to block unwanted callers
- The ability to set up call blocking preferences to avoid calls from telemarketers
- Reverse-Look-Up to look up unknown numbers
2. Mobile Hotspot
If you have the data, you'll be able to turn your phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and connect up to five wireless devices to the hotspot. As an added benefit, Mobile Hotspot is preloaded on most Sprint Prepaid phones.
Related: To learn more about hotspots, consult our buyer's guide to mobile hotspot plans.
3. International Calling
Unfortunately, there are no specific prepay wireless plans for International Calling to help you save. With that being said, Sprint does offer international cell phone plans for the U.S. You can find the rates by country via the Prepaid site.
There are a couple of international monthly plan add-ons, however, that you can take advantage of:
- International Connect: You can make unlimited calls to Mexico (both landline and mobile) and Canada, though unlimited calls to Canada feature excludes the Northern Territories. You'll also be able to rely on unlimited worldwide text messaging.
- International Connect Plus: You'll have all the benefits of International Connect, plus unlimited calls to landlines in over 70 countries including the Dominican Republic, 200 minutes to select mobile phones in over 50 countries including the Dominican Republic, Peru, and more, and reduced per minute rates to over 200 international locations.
4. Premium Caller ID
With this month plan, which is just a few dollars, you'll be able to view who is calling by their name, even if the name isn't in your contacts list. You'll be able to screen calls from unknown callers and ensure that you don't miss any important calls.
5. Phone Insurance
With Sprint Prepaid services, you'll be able to purchase phone insurance for just a few bucks per month. You'll be covered in the event that your phone is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged, or has an out-of-warranty mechanical or electrical breakdown. However, you'll have to determine, either with or without this phone insurance guide, if phone insurance is worth it or not.
Sprint Prepaid Phones
There are very few Sprint prepay phones to choose from online, though you may be luckier if you search in a Sprint store. In fact, at the time of this writing, there are only six available, with three of them out of stock. Not a grand selection, if you ask me. Brands consist of Alcatel, Samsung, LG, and Apple. Yes, there sometimes may be a Sprint prepaid Apple iPhone available that you can select. However, if you're looking for a Samsung Galaxy phone, you may be out of luck.
Fortunately, promotional discounts with Sprint can be heavy. For instance, you can save $150 off the retail price of a $179.99 phone, meaning you only have to pay $29.99.
However, what is considered a disadvantage is that you're only limited to the devices Sprint Prepaid offers. Even worse is that you cannot bring your own phone, even though Sprint's bring your own phone program is included in postpaid plans.
If you're looking for a plan that allows you to bring your own phone, you might want to look elsewhere.
Read More: You can use our smartphone comparison tool to the specs and features of devices Sprint offers.
You can also sell your phone back to Sprint thanks to the Sprint Buyback program. With the Sprint Buyback program, you can determine the worth of your phone before selling it back to Sprint. You can contact support via phone or e-mail.
The Sprint LTE network is not available everywhere. The Nationwide Sprint and Sprint 3G networks for both voice and 3G data happen to reach more than 281 million people, whereas the Sprint 4G LTE network reaches more than 280 million people.
Sprint claims to be within 1 percent of Verizon in terms of reliability, but when it comes to coverage and speed, it lags behind both Verizon and AT&T. For more information, you can compare coverage maps with "Who Has the Best Cell Phone Coverage?"
Looking for a Sprint prepaid SIM card? As emphasized in an earlier section, you cannot bring your own phone to Sprint's Prepaid service. With that being said, you can bring your own phone to Sprint's standard service. With the postpaid service, you can bring your own phone, but you will need to purchase a SIM card.
Fortunately, the SIM card packs you can buy are compatible with most phones as you can change the sizes of the card. For example, if you need a micro-SIM card, you can always cut out the micro-SIM card out of the kit and use it.
Sprint doesn't exactly offer prepaid cards, but you can add funds to your or someone else's Sprint account using the Guest Replenish page.
You can purchase prepaid cards from other retailers, but despite these cards saying "Sprint," they only appear to be compatible with Sprint's subsidiary, Boost Mobile.
Read More: If you're curious about the prepaid plans outside of Sprint, we do have a guide available for you to review.
Sprint Customer Service
Sprint wireless customer service is quite good. Not the greatest, but not the worst either. You can first rely on the Sprint Prepaid support website, but if you cannot find a solution that fits your needs, then you can contact the Sprint Prepaid Customer Service number at 855-639-4644. The hours of operation are the following:
- Monday through Friday, between 6 AM and 10 PM CST
- Saturday and Sunday, between 6 AM and 9 PM CST
You can also receive support by visiting a Sprint Store in-person.
How Does The Sprint Prepaid Plan Compare to Other Plans?
Just how does the Sprint Prepay service compare to other wireless networks? Well, for one, it's a little more expensive than - say - Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile USA, and Cricket Wireless. Cricket Wireless's and Virgin Mobile USA's unlimited plans are just a few dollars cheaper by comparison, and Straight Talk's 10GB plan is far less and more than enough for most people.
What about comparing Sprint with major prepaid carriers such as the T-Mobile network and Verizon Wireless? Well, fortunately, Sprint is cheaper than both T-Mobile network and Verizon Wireless, so if you're looking for affordability between the major prepaid providers, then you should definitely consider Sprint.
Are Sprint Prepaid Plans Right for You?
If you love simplicity, then yes. The plans are competitive and straightforward, and the phone selection is highly limited, so you know what you'll be receiving. If you need a lot of data then you can always rely on Sprint Unlimited's prepaid plan.
Because of these benefits, the prepaid cell phone industry is on the rise, as the number of prepaid users is expected to increase to almost 94 million by 2019.
However, if you're seeking a service with a broader range of phone offerings or hoping to bring your own phone to the network, then Sprint will not be the service provider for you.
Not only that, but the coverage and speed of Sprint's network fall behind Verizon and AT&T. In any case, you're probably better off choosing one of Sprint's prepaid subsidiaries, such as Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile.
You can consult our buyer's guide to prepaid cell phone plans to see in greater detail how Sprint compares to the other providers.