If you're reading this, then you're probably considering a prepaid cell phone plan. Growth of the prepaid cell phone industry is one the rise, as The Prepaid Press reported prepaid users are expected to number almost 94 million by 2019.
There are many benefits that are associated with a prepaid service. You won't have to deal with any type of contract, you can save on fees and mobile devices, and you can (most of the time) bring your own device.
Sprint Wireless Prepaid Plans
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly one in five Americans see their smartphone as a financial burden. Before even browsing the plans available, 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 plans prepaid plans include unlimited (non-high-speed) data, talk and text, HD voice, and a free mobile hotspot.
There are three available data plans: 1GB, 3GB, and 6GB. However, for what you are receiving, the prices are more expensive compared to the other carriers. However, you can top off your data with a 500MB or 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.
3. International Calling
Unfortunately, there are no specific plans for International Calling to help you save. 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.
4. Premium Caller ID
For just $3 per month, 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.
Sprint Prepaid Phones
There are very few Sprint prepaid cell phones to choose from. 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 is a Sprint prepaid iPhone available that you can select. 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. According to the Bring Your Own Phone FAQ on Sprint's main site:
"Can I bring my own device and select a Sprint Prepaid plan?
No. Bring your own device is only compatible with the postpaid plans we currently sell for consumers and business."
If you're looking for a plan that allows you to bring your own phone, you might want to look elsewhere.
Sprint Prepaid Coverage
Sprint coverage 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.
Sprint Prepaid Activation Kit
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.
Sprint Prepaid Cards
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.
Sprint Prepaid Customer Service
Sprint wireless prepaid 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
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. However, if you're looking for a lot of data, then Sprint may not be the service for you.
If you're seeking a service with a broader range of phone offerings or hoping to bring your own phone to the service, then Sprint will not be the 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.