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Best prepaid hotspot plans in 2024

The key to finding the best value prepaid hotspot plan is all about leveraging the competitive rates offered by low-cost carriers. You'll get the same coverage for a fraction of the cost without the worry of hidden fees and price hikes. Here are the best value providers to consider.

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Looking for a prepaid plan for your mobile hotspot? We're here to make it easy and help you find the best plan for you.

MVNOs offer low-cost cell phone plans, powered by the same US networks, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile but with data only plans starting from under $10 a month you could save yourself up to $600 a year.

With no contracts, prepaid data only plans give you the flexibility to make changes to your plan at any time and we've compared some of the best for you below to help you choose the best option.

Image of cell phone with Tello
Tello 2GB data plan
Best cheap hotspot plan
$6/mo
Image of cell phone with Ultra Mobile
Ultra Mobile 3GB data plan
Best prepaid hotspot plan
Image of cell phone with Tello
Tello 10GB data plan
Best data only plan
$15/mo
Image of cell phone with US Mobile
US Mobile unlimited data plan
Best unlimited hotspot plan
Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile 5GB data plan
Best BYOD plan for hotspots

Best cheap hotspot plan

Tello 2GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$6/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$828 in annual savings

Best prepaid hotspot plan

Ultra Mobile 3GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Ultra Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
3GB
data
$16/mo*
$19/mo
See at Ultra Mobile

*$48 for 3 Mths

3.4 Read our Ultra Mobile review
$681 in annual savings

Best data only plan

Tello 10GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$15/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$720 in annual savings

Best unlimited hotspot plan

US Mobile unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon & T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$15/mo*
$29/mo
See at US Mobile

*30 Day FREE Trial

5 Read our US Mobile review
$594 in annual savings

Best BYOD plan for hotspots

Mint Mobile 5GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
5GB
data
$15/mo*
See at Mint Mobile

*$45 for 3 Months

4.2 Read our Mint Mobile review
$720 in annual savings

Best AT&T hotspot plan

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$600 in annual savings

Best T-Mobile hotspot plan

Red Pocket 20GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Red Pocket
  • AT&T coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
20GB
data
$40/mo
4.1 Read our Red Pocket review
$420 in annual savings

Best Verizon hotspot plan

US Mobile 2GB data plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon & T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$10/mo*
See at US Mobile

*30 Day FREE Trial

5 Read our US Mobile review
$780 in annual savings

Best 5G data plan

Ultra Mobile 10GB data plan

Image of cell phone with Ultra Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$22/mo*
$29/mo
See at Ultra Mobile

*$66 for 3 Mths

3.4 Read our Ultra Mobile review
$573 in annual savings

How to choose the best prepaid hotspot data plan

What network coverage do you prefer?

Low-cost carriers operate on the same 5G & 4G LTE networks as major carriers. T-Mobile boasts the fastest 5G speeds, according to this Opensignal 5G experience report 2023. If there's a particular network you prefer, choose an MVNO that operates on that network. Use our coverage checker to find the best carrier coverage in your area.

How much data do you need?

Do you really need an unlimited data plan? The big wireless companies want you to believe so, but in reality, the average monthly cellular data consumption is around 10GB. However, if you spend most of your time at home or work on Wi-Fi, it's likely you won't use a lot of data for things like video streaming, and your usage will be much lower. You can choose a data plan tailored to your needs with cheap cell phone providers, meaning you can pay less if you use less data. But if you do choose an unlimited data plan, be aware that high-speed data is normally capped.

Is hotspot data included?

Most carriers allow mobile hotspot use but have a data cap on the amount of data that can be used via tethering. The limit depends on the carrier and plan you choose. Some carriers offer specific mobile hotspot plans.

What's the monthly price?

While big wireless unlimited plans cost around $75-90 per month, MVNOs offer the best prepaid data plans, ranging from $5-35 per month without sacrificing wireless coverage and data speeds. Watch out for hidden fees & taxes; some carriers include these in the price, whereas the major providers, such as Verizon and AT&T, don't.

How many lines do you need?

With big wireless, you only get the advertised price if you buy four lines. With MVNOs, the price you see is the price you pay, even for one line. Many low-cost carriers now offer additional discounts for multi-line plans.

Can I bring my own device or buy a new one?

While the big three love keeping their customers locked into a constant device upgrade cycle, MVNOs encourage you to bring your own device. This means you take back control and only change your device when it suits you.

Are there any promotions?

Big wireless promotions can seem good at a glance. But once you read the fine print, it often leads to buying things you don't need and committing to 3-year contracts. Many MVNOs offer short-term introductory discounts for new customers, and their pricing is much more transparent.

What perks are included?

Most big wireless plans include "free" TV subscriptions; however, these usually turn into a paid subscription that is automatically added to your bill a few months down the line. A few low-cost carriers, such as US Mobile, do offer plan options with free subscription services, but we generally recommend keeping these subscriptions separate so you don't end up paying for things you don't need.

How long is the contract?

Low-cost carriers have no contracts, offering more flexibility. However, some, like Mint Mobile, require you to sign up for a 3-month plan minimum, but their cheap data plans still offer better value for money than the big 3 wireless carriers.

Compare the best cheap data plans to ensure you find the best deal.


The best prepaid T-Mobile hotspot plan

Tello unlimited data plan
  • T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE network
  • No talk and text
  • Unlimited data
$25/mo
See at Tello

T-Mobile vs Tello comparison

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

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
T-Mobile T-Mobile 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
Tello T-Mobile 4G & 5G Unlimited $25/mo $300/yr
Savings $50/mo $600/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid T-Mobile hotspot plans


The best prepaid AT&T hotspot plan

Boost Mobile unlimited data plan
  • AT&T & T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE networks
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited data
$12.50/mo*
*50% Off 1st Mth
See at Boost Mobile

AT&T vs Boost Mobile comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $612 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
AT&T AT&T 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
Boost Mobile AT&T 4G & 5G Unlimited $25/mo $288/yr
Savings $50/mo $612/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid AT&T hotspot plans


The best prepaid Verizon hotspot plan

US Mobile 10GB data plan
  • Verizon & T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE networks
  • No talk and text
  • 10GB data
$15/mo*
*$180 for 12 Mths Service
See at US Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $720 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
Verizon Verizon 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
US Mobile Verizon 4G & 5G 10GB $15/mo $180/yr
Savings $60/mo $720/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid Verizon hotspot plans


Network coverage comparison

NETWORK OVERALL RELIABILITY SPEED DATA CALL
Verizon Coverage 95 96 94 96 94
AT&T Coverage 94 94 95 96 92
T-Mobile Coverage 86 88 82 89 82

Source: RootMetrics RootScore 2022 report

When it comes to 5G network coverage, T-Mobile scores the highest, according to the J.D. Power 2023 wireless network study.

Carrier customer service comparison


Comparing prepaid hotspot plans

The best way to be happy with your data plan, in the long run, is to make sure all your bases are covered.

  1. Network coverage: All three major networks have extensive nationwide 4G LTE coverage. Still, you'll want to check out coverage maps to be sure the carrier you choose has the strongest service. There are some variations in 5G network coverage too, so you'll want to consider if that's a major factor for you.
  2. Data speeds: You'll enjoy 4G LTE data speeds most of the time, regardless of network. Many smaller carrier plans include 5G at no extra cost, where available of course. In order to get 5G hotspot speeds, you will need a 5G compatible device.
  3. Data allowance: There's a plan to fit virtually everyone's needs. If you do need a truly unlimited data only plan bear in mind there's still usually a data cap. Once you reach this amount your internet connection will be throttled to 2G or 3G speeds. Be sure to read the fine print so you know how much high-speed data you actually get.
  4. Device compatibility: When you bring your own device to a new carrier you want to make sure it will work on the network. You can check MiFi and other compatible devices the same way you would with your device. Generally, that means entering the IMEI number into the carrier's website to be sure it'll work with your new plan.

Cheapest prepaid mobile hotspot plans

Carrier Network Data Price
Tello 5GB data plan T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage 5GB $10/mo
Mint Mobile 15GB data plan T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage 15GB $15/mo $20/mo
Boost Mobile unlimited data plan AT&T & T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage Unltd $40/mo
US Mobile unlimited data plan Verizon & T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage Unltd $15/mo $29/mo
Visible unlimited data plan Verizon 5G/4G Coverage Unltd $15/mo $25/mo

How to switch to a cheap hotspot plan

It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.

  1. Customize your plan. Whether you're looking for a truly unlimited plan or in the market for something more basic, choose a plan to suit your cell phone needs.
  2. Prepare to make the switch. Ensure your old bills are paid, and your phone is unlocked. If you're getting a new device, transferring data from one to another is simple, even if you're going from an iPhone to an Android and vice versa.
  3. Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel your old account. If you've got a new device with your Tello plan, it should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your phone, you'll need to follow the instructions with the new SIM card kit that Tello will send you in the post.

How we picked the best prepaid hotspot plans

MoneySavingPro reviewed the best value prepaid mobile hotspot plans available and ranked them based on various factors.

The most important factor we considered was the price of each plan in comparison to other similar plans available in the market. We also evaluated data limits, network coverage, perks, customer feedback, and overall service quality.

We regularly monitor the market to keep track of new products and plan changes offered by carriers. This list is updated at least once a month, or more frequently as necessary.


Prepaid hotspot plans FAQs


Recap: What is the best prepaid mobile hotspot plan?

With a range of data only plans from 1GB to unlimited, there's something for everyone.

MVNOs provide the same nationwide coverage by operating on the big three networks while saving you money on your cell phone bill. With prepaid hotspot plans, you'll have the flexibility to make any changes without the worry of additional fees.

Low-cost carriers like US Mobile make it easy for you to bring your own device with a quick and easy switchover.

With prepaid plans, there's no lengthy contract, so you can choose to amend or cancel your plan if your needs change.

Prepaid plan guides

How we choose the best providers and data plans

To select the best carriers and data plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

We regularly update our comparisons. Updating cell phone plans weekly and our content monthly to ensure we are showing the latest and most accurate information.

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