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Best Prepaid Data SIM Cards in 2024

The key to finding the most affordable prepaid data SIM card 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 5G internet providers to consider.

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You'll find the cheapest prepaid data SIM card deals from low-cost carriers like US Mobile and Mint Mobile.

These low-cost carriers, also known as MVNOs, are powered by the same major networks, but with prices starting as low as $5 a month, you could save up to $600 a year.

At MoneySavingPro, we like to make it as easy as possible to find your perfect prepaid data SIM card, so we've compared the deals available from all MVNOs for you below.

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
US Mobile 10GB SIM card
Best SIM card with free trial
Image of cell phone with Tello
Tello 2GB SIM card
Best data only SIM card
$6/mo
Image of cell phone with Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile 5GB SIM card
Best prepaid SIM card for tablets
Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile 20GB SIM card
Best prepaid SIM card for iPads

Best SIM card with free trial

US Mobile 10GB SIM card

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon & T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$15/mo*
See at US Mobile

*$180 for 12 Mths Service

5 Read our US Mobile review
$720 in annual savings

Best data only SIM card

Tello 2GB SIM card

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 SIM card for tablets

Boost Mobile 5GB SIM card

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

Best prepaid SIM card for iPads

Mint Mobile 20GB SIM card

Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • No talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
20GB
data
$15/mo*
$25/mo
See at Mint Mobile

*$45 for 3 Months

4.2 Read our Mint Mobile review
$630 in annual savings

How to choose the best value prepaid data SIM plan

  1. Network coverage: 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.
  2. Data allowance: 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.
  3. Hotspot data: 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Number of lines: With big wireless, you only get the advertised price if you buy 4 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.
  6. Bring your own device or buy new: 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.
  7. Deals & 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.
  8. Perks & add-ons: 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.
  9. No contracts: 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 data SIM card plans to ensure you find the best deal.


The cheapest prepaid data SIM on T-Mobile

Mint Mobile 15GB SIM card
  • T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE network
  • No talk and text
  • 15GB data
$15/mo*
*$45 for 3 Months
See at Mint Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $675 per year

Carrier Network Coverage 4G/5G Data Price Annual Cost
T-Mobile T-Mobile 4G & 5G Unlimited $75/mo $900/yr
Mint Mobile T-Mobile 4G & 5G 15GB $20/mo $225/yr
Savings $55/mo $675/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid T-Mobile data SIM card


The cheapest prepaid data SIM on Verizon

US Mobile 12GB SIM card
  • Verizon & T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE networks
  • No talk and text
  • 12GB data
$25/mo*
*30 Day FREE Trial
See at US Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $600 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 12GB $25/mo $300/yr
Savings $50/mo $600/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid Verizon data SIM card


The cheapest prepaid data SIM on AT&T

Boost Mobile Unlimited SIM card
  • AT&T & T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE networks
  • No talk and text
  • Unlimited data

AT&T vs Boost Mobile comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $420 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 $40/mo $480/yr
Savings $35/mo $420/yr

Check out our review of the best prepaid AT&T data SIM card


Comparing prepaid data SIM cards

There's a range of benefits to choosing a cheap data SIM card from a low-cost carrier, you'll find the cheapest price with an MVNO.

  • Lower price: MVNOs offer affordable plans when purchasing a SIM card with one of these low-cost carriers. With all the same options available but at half the price of going direct to one of the big three.
  • Same excellent coverage: Being powered by the main networks, you'll get access to the same good coverage.
  • No annual contracts: There are no 24 or 36 months commitments or hidden fees with prepaid data SIM cards.
  • 4G LTE data speeds: You'll have access to the nationwide 4G LTE data speeds operating on the same wireless networks.
  • 5G network: If your mobile device is compatible, you can find deals on 5G SIM cards with low-cost carriers, offering 5G at no extra cost on their data-only SIM cards.
  • Unlimited plans: If you use a lot of data for browsing the internet, video streaming, listening to music, or you're looking for a hotspot SIM card for tethering, the good news is you can get unlimited hotspot data for half the price.
  • Tablets & iPads: You'll find a range of iPad data SIM cards and tablet data SIM cards to help you stay connected.
  • Cellular devices: Whether you're looking for a cheap SIM card for alarm systems or a GPS tracker SIM card MVNOs offer the cheapest solution.
  • High-speed hotspot data: Ideal for travelers, you can stay connected on your laptop, even if there's no WiFi using cellular networks.

Data SIM cards for international travelers

In the quest for affordable and flexible communication, especially when traveling, prepaid SIM cards have become a pivotal part of helping to stay connected. For travelers jetting from the USA to Europe and other various countries, the GSM technology underlying most prepaid SIM cards ensures phone compatibility, catering to both iPhone, Android, and other smartphones.

Whether you're looking to buy a new SIM card on arrival or opt for a travel SIM card, either is a great option. Also, if your phone is compatible, an eSIM can make this process even easier.

However, your current carrier may offer international plans, but they usually come with a hefty price tag. The best option can be getting a local SIM card, which presents a cost-effective option, often providing a substantial GB of data, free mobile hotspot data, and local call minutes, which are invaluable for internet access to navigate via Google Maps or stay connected through WhatsApp and Skype.

A new SIM card can offer an ideal plan tailored for each destination and guarantee the best rates.


Compare cheap prepaid data SIM plans

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

Prepaid data SIM card FAQs


Recap: What is the best prepaid data SIM?

MVNOs like Ultra Mobile offer the cheapest prepaid data SIM card deals while still giving you access to the same quality coverage.

With these prepaid data SIM cards, there's no long-term contract, so you have the freedom to amend your plan or cancel and change carriers at any time.

Depending on how much data you're looking for, you could save hundreds of dollars on a data-only SIM card for your tablet or mobile device.

Data SIM card guides

How we choose the best carriers and plans

To select the best carriers and 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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