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Best Prepaid Cell Phones of 2021

Compare prepaid cell phone deals & prices

Cheap prepaid phones in April

Prepaid phones are great way to avoid commitment, overage costs, and early termination fees.

The plans are affordable and widely available - but how do you go about getting a good quality phone to use with your prepaid plan?

We'll help you find the best prepaid phone for your budget and how to save up to $600 per year on your cell phone bill!

Best prepaid iPhones

iPhone 12

Best iPhone 12 Deals

Apple iPhone 12

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$579*
MSRP: $829*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

2532 x 1170 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A14 Bionic Chip pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 14

Back Camera

Dual 12MP

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

HDR

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 20 hours

Dimensions

146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm

Weight

164g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Attractive design

  • Fantastic audio quality

  • 5G compatible

  • Amazing OLED display

Cons

  • No charger or headphones included

  • Battery life

  • Not much camera upgrade

iPhone 12 Pro

Best iPhone 12 Pro Deals

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
128GB
Condition
New
Price
$749*
MSRP: $999*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

2532 x 1170 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A14 Bionic Chip pixels

Internal Memory

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Operating System

iOS 14

Back Camera

12MP (Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto)

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

HDR

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm

Weight

189g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Bright and colorful OLED display

  • Good photo quality

  • 5G compatible

  • Good quality speakers

  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Shorter battery life than iPhone 11

  • No charger or headphones included

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Best iPhone 12 Pro Max Deals

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
128GB
Condition
New
Price
$849*
MSRP: $1,099*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.7"

Screen Resolution

2778 x 1284 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A14 Bionic Chip pixels

Internal Memory

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Operating System

iOS 14

Back Camera

12MP (Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto)

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

HDR

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm

Weight

228g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable and water resistant

  • Large OLED screen

  • 5G compatible

  • Great battery life and fast charging

  • Photo and video quality

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • No charger or headphones

Best cheap prepaid iPhones

iPhone SE

Best iPhone SE Deals

Apple iPhone SE

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$149*
MSRP: $399*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution

1334 x 750 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A13 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 13

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

7MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 14 hours

Dimensions

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm

Weight

148g

Splash Proof

IP67

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Water-resistant

  • Amazing A13 chip performance

  • Affordable price

  • Touch ID

Cons

  • Battery capacity

  • Night mode is missed

  • Only a 5W charger

iPhone 12 mini

Best iPhone 12 Mini Deals

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$479*
MSRP: $729*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.4"

Screen Resolution

2340 x 1080 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

A14 Bionic Chip pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 14

Back Camera

Dual 12MP

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

HDR

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm

Weight

135g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

nano

eSIM

Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great compact size

  • Excellent camera

  • 5G compatible

  • Brilliant OLED display

Cons

  • Battery life

  • No tele lens

iPhone 11

Best iPhone 11 Deals

Apple iPhone 11

Powered by:
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
New
Price
$349*
MSRP: $599*$250 off with 20GB data plan
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution

1792 x 828 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

A13 Bionic pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

iOS 13

Back Camera

12MP (Dual)

Front Camera

12MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

4K, FHD, HD

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 17 hours (video playback)

Dimensions

150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm

Weight

194g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

Yes

Model Number

A2111

User Manual

Apple iPhone 11 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tougher and water resistant design

  • Great quality speakers

  • Good photos from main camera

  • Excellent selfie photo and video quality

  • Powerful A13 processor

Cons

  • No screen update

  • Storage starts at 64GB

  • Only a 5W charger included


Prepaid iPhone price comparison

Phone

AT&T

Verizon

T-Mobile

Unlocked

iPhone 11

$349

$599

$599

$349

iPhone 11 Pro

$649

$899

$899

$649

iPhone 11 Pro Max

$999

$999

$999

$999

iPhone 12

$579

$829

$829

$579

iPhone 12 Mini

$479

$729

$729

$479

iPhone 12 Pro

$749

$999

$999

$749

iPhone 12 Pro Max

$849

$1,099

$1,099

$849

iPhone SE

$149

$349

$349

$149

iPhone XR

-

$409

$409

$409


Best prepaid Samsung phones

Galaxy A71

Galaxy S20

Galaxy Note 20

Best cheap prepaid Samsung phones

Galaxy A11

Best Galaxy A11 Deals

Samsung Galaxy A11

Powered by:
Network
Verizon
Storage
32GB
Condition
New
Price
$169*
MSRP: $179* $10 off
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

720 x 1560 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

13MP, 5MP, 2MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

FHD

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

161.4 x 76.3 x 8mm

Weight

177g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-A115UZKAVZW

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Android 10.0 OS

  • Triple rear camera

  • 3.5mm headphone jack

  • MicroSD slot

Cons

  • Not waterproof

  • No LED flash on front camera

  • No wireless charging

Galaxy A21

Best Galaxy A21 Deals

Samsung Galaxy A21

Powered by:
Network
Verizon
Storage
32GB
Condition
New
Price
$249*
MSRP: $249* $20 off
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.5"

Screen Resolution

720 x 1600 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

48MP, 8MP, 2MP, 2MP

Front Camera

13MP

HDR for Photos

No

Video Resolution

FHD

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9mm

Weight

192g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-A215UZKAVZW

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large 6.5" screen

  • Amazing quad camera

  • Powerful battery

  • Excellent front camera

Cons

  • No Gorilla glass protection

  • No wireless charging

  • Plastic body

Galaxy A51

Best Galaxy A51 Deals

Samsung Galaxy A51

Powered by:
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
128GB
Condition
New
Price
$379
MSRP: $379
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

1080 x 2400 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Exynos 9611 pixels

Internal Memory

128GB

Operating System

Android 10

Back Camera

48MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP

Front Camera

32MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

UHD 4K

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 28 hours

Dimensions

158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm

Weight

172g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact and light

  • Excellent camera

  • Super AMOLED display

  • Dedicated microSD slot

Cons

  • Camera performance in low light

  • No video stabilization in 4K

  • Average battery life


Prepaid Samsung Galaxy price comparison

Phone

AT&T

Verizon

T-Mobile

Unlocked

Galaxy A11

-

$169

$169

$169

Galaxy A21

-

$249

$249

$249

Galaxy A51

-

$399

$379

$379

Galaxy S21

$549.99

-

-

$549.99

Galaxy S21+

$749.99

-

-

$749.99


Best cheap refurbished phones

Best Galaxy A10e Deals

Samsung Galaxy A10e

Powered by:
Network
Unlocked
Storage
32GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$101
MSRP: $179
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

720 x 1560 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Exynos 7884 pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Back Camera

8MP

Front Camera

5MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

FHD

Wireless Charging

No

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 23 hours

Dimensions

147.3 x 69.6 x 8.4mm

Weight

141g

Splash Proof

No

Water Resistant

No

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-A102UZKAXAA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great battery life

  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Lacks good performance

  • Poor sound quality

  • No fingerprint sensor

  • Not water-resistant

Best Galaxy S7 edge Deals

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Powered by:
Network
Verizon
Storage
32GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$119
MSRP: $780
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.5"

Screen Resolution

2560 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 820 pixels

Internal Memory

32GB

Operating System

Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

5MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

No

Talk Time

Up to 27 hours

Dimensions

150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm

Weight

157g

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G935V

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good battery life

  • Improved camera

  • Water resistant

  • MicroSD support up to 200GB expandable memory

  • Fast focusing camera

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Glass design makes it fragile

  • Glass back is a fingerprint magnet

  • Touchwiz is not fully optimized

Best Galaxy S8 Deals

Samsung Galaxy S8

Powered by:
Network
Unlocked
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$161
MSRP: $725
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 835 pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

Android 7.0 (Nougat)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 20 hours

Dimensions

148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm

Weight

155g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G950U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S8 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent camera

  • Large and amazing display

  • Headphone jack

  • MicroSD Support

Cons

  • Poor Battery life

  • Badly placed fingerprint sensor

  • Fragile

Best Galaxy Note8 Deals

Samsung Galaxy Note8

Powered by:
Network
Verizon
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$272
MSRP: $930
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

No pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 835 pixels

Internal Memory

64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Operating System

Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Talk Time

Up to 22 hours

Dimensions

162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm

Weight

195g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-N950U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy Note8 User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Two cameras take fantastic pictures

  • MicroSD expansion

  • 6GB of RAM

  • Amazing design and build

Cons

  • Badly placed fingerprint reader

  • Quite big and heavy

  • Speaker is weak

Best Galaxy S9+ Deals

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Powered by:
Network
Unlocked
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$230
MSRP: $839
Best Deals
Device Specs

Screen Size

6.2"

Screen Resolution

2960 x 1440 pixels

HDR Screen

Yes pixels

Processor

Snapdragon 845 pixels

Internal Memory

128GB

Operating System

Android 8.0 (Oreo)

Back Camera

12MP

Front Camera

8MP

HDR for Photos

Yes

Video Resolution

HD, 4K

Wireless Charging

Yes

Voice Commands

Yes

Dimensions

158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm

Weight

189g

Splash Proof

IP68

Water Resistant

Yes

WiFi & 4G Calling

Yes

GPS

Yes

SIM Card

Nano

eSIM

No

Model Number

SM-G965U

User Manual

Samsung Galaxy S9+ User Manual

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Long battery life

  • Great display

  • Camera performance

  • High-end build

  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Fragile all glass design

  • No major upgrades

Prepaid phone benefits

  • Save money: Get your next mobile phone upgrade for less than half the retail price.

  • Get huge value: Since there are only a few minor changes to each new smartphone or iPhone version, you'll get way more bang for your buck when you buy refurbished or used.

  • Own your phone - and your freedom: Buying your phone outright and using it on a prepaid phone plan means you're in control of everything. You can switch carriers any time if you find a better deal.

  • Compatibility: You can choose a phone compatible with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or even unlocked (so it can be used with any network).

Key considerations when buying a prepaid phone

There are a few things you need to know in order to get the best deal and ensure that you're getting a gently used phone in great working condition.

Keep the following in mind as you compare prices on used (sold as-is) and refurbished (tested, cleaned, and repaired) prepaid phones:

  1. Warranty: Reputable sites offer warranties with their used smartphones. Depending on which seller you buy from you might get 30 days, which is what Gazelle give you, or even a full year like Decluttr offers.

  2. Return period: This is another layer of protection for your peace of mind. Most sellers give you the chance to return your phone if it doesn't meet your expectations. Check the website you buy from for details.

  3. Certified pre-owned: A certified phone has been thoroughly inspected and tested to make sure everything functions properly.

  4. Compatibility: You need an unlocked cell phone in order to activate it on your own carrier. Make sure the model you're buying will work with your network (you can usually check on your carrier's website).

  5. Timing: Get the best cell phone deals when a new model of your desired phone comes out.

  6. Payment options: It is possible to buy a used phone with installment payments, just watch the interest rates (you will undergo a credit check). It's typically much better to just pay in full at the time of purchase.

Cheap prepaid phone plans

Buying a prepaid phone is a great start to saving money on your wireless expenses. We're not done yet, though - there's more you can do to free up room in your budget for other things.

Switch to a prepaid phone carrier

You don't have to go with a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan in order to save huge and avoid a contract. Instead, you can take your prepaid phone to an MVNO=.

An MVNO is a smaller mobile service provider that rents space on one or more of the big four wireless networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint - and resells it to you at a cheaper price. They can do this because most of them operate online selling prepaid plans, thus their overhead is much lower than the major carriers'.

Prepaid carrier benefits

  • Cheaper by up to 50%

  • Cell phone service on the same reliable high-speed network you're used to

  • No-contract plans

  • Custom plans - pay only for what you need, similar to pay-as-you-go plans

  • Great customer service

  • Bring your own phone and keep your number

In short, you can put together a monthly plan that fits your needs, at a lower cost than the big four carriers charge. Whether that means an unlimited data plan with unlimited talk and text, or the cheapest cell phone plan you can find, the options are out there.

COMPARE NOW: Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

Sell your old phone online for cash

Sell your old phone online if you want to make more than you would trading it in at a store. It's as simple as that. Buyback sites make it easy and you get cash, not trade-in credit.

Recap

Prepaid phones are a whole different ballgame than they were in the past. Now, you don't have to sacrifice anything in terms of your smartphone and wireless service:

Following these tips can put an extra $1,000 more per year in your pocket!

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.