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Best Pay As You Go Phone Plans

What is the best pay as you go phone service?

Tello Best cheap plan
1GB 4G/5G data
$10/mo*
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See Deal

US Mobile Best family plan
5GB 4G/5G data
$15/mo*
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See Deal

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Mint Mobile Best unlimited plan
Unltd 4G/5G data
$30/mo*
Powered by:

See Deal

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
Boost Mobile Best 5G plan
15GB 4G/5G data
$20/mo*
Powered by:

See Deal

* $240 for 1 year service
Find the cheapest phone plans in your area

Looking for the best pay as you go plans? You've come to the right place.

With no-contract and flexibility to cancel at any time, this plan can save you hundreds of dollars a year. We've analyzed some great low-cost carrier plans.

Find out how you could save around 50% a month on your cell phone bill, without losing the same coverage and service you've grown to trust.

Best cheap pay as you go phone plan

Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/moTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1GB
Price
$10/mo
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Tello 1GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $10 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Tello review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

View Plan

Tello 1GB

1GB

$10

View Plan

Tello 2GB

2GB

$14

View Plan

Tello 4GB

4GB

$19

View Plan

Tello 6GB

6GB

$24

View Plan

Tello 8GB

8GB

$29

View Plan

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$39

View Plan
Review
5

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support

  • No contracts

  • Budget friendly family plans

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Benefits

  • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

  • Keep your current phone number

  • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

  • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

  • 24/7 customer service

Best pay as you go phone plan for families

US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB $15/moUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB $15/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5GB
Price
$15/moFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Powered by:

US Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $15 per month. US Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's US Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

View Plan

US Mobile 1GB

1GB

$12

View Plan

US Mobile 5GB

5GB

$15

View Plan

US Mobile 12GB

12GB

$20

View Plan

US Mobile 18GB

18GB

$25

View Plan

US Mobile 30GB

30GB

$30

View Plan

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$45

View Plan

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

Best pay as you go plan for unlimited data

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited $30/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited $30/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo** Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
Powered by:

Mint Mobile Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $30 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Mint Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Mint Mobile 4GB

4GB

$15*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile 10GB

10GB

$20*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile 15GB

15GB

$25*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$30*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan
Review
4.5

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Benefits

  • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

  • Keep your phone number

  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

  • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

  • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

  • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

Best pay as you go phone plan for 5G

Boost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 15GB $20/moBoost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 15GB $20/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
15GB
Price
$20/mo** $240 for 1 year service
Powered by:

Boost Mobile 15GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 15GB data for only $20 per month. Boost Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Boost Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths

1GB

$8.33*

* $100 for 1 year service
View Plan

Boost Mobile 2GB

2GB

$15

View Plan

Boost Mobile 15GB

15GB

$20*

* $240 for 1 year service
View Plan

Boost Mobile 5GB

5GB

$25*

* $0.99 for 1st Month
View Plan

Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$50

View Plan
Review
3.5

Pros

  • New customers & Online only

  • No annual contract

  • Free SIM Kit ($9.99 value)

  • Free Shipping ($4.99 value)

  • Works w/ most Unlocked GSM Phones

Cons

  • Coverage in rural areas

Benefits

  • Owned by Dish and runs on T-Mobile's nationwide network

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or extra fees

  • Bring your own phone (GSM compatible) or choose from a wide selection of new phones

  • Mobile hotspot allowance with all plans

  • International service and roaming available as add-on packs

  • Customer support available by phone - 4am - 8pm PST Monday to Friday, 4am - 7pm weekends

Best pay as you go plan for talk & text

Twigby SIM Card - Twigby 0GB $6.50/moTwigby SIM Card - Twigby 0GB $6.50/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0GB
Price
$6.50/mo** 50% Off for 6 Months
Powered by:

Twigby 0GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for only $6.50 per month. Twigby plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Twigby review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Twigby Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$6.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
View Plan

Twigby 3GB Data

3GB

$10*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
View Plan

Twigby 1GB Data

1GB

$9.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
View Plan

Twigby 5GB Data

5GB

$12.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
View Plan

Twigby 10GB Data

10GB

$17.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
View Plan
Review
4.5

Pros

  • No hotspot/tethering charges

  • International calling and texting

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • Exclusive deals and discounts as a Twigby customer

Cons

  • Limited handset selection

  • Not for the data hungry

Benefits

  • Runs on both the Verizon and Sprint networks

  • 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee on phones and plans (under 300 minutes, 300 texts, or 300 MB of data used)

  • Prepaid - no contracts, credit checks, or activation fees

  • Bring your CDMA device or choose from a modest selection of Twigby phones

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Use your phone and plan data as a mobile hotspot

  • Use your plan minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Free international texting to over 180 countries

  • US-based chat support available weekdays 7am to 9pm CST and 10am to 6pm on weekends

Best pay as you go phone plan for seniors

Reach Mobile SIM Card - Reach Mobile 2GB $10/moReach Mobile SIM Card - Reach Mobile 2GB $10/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
2GB
Price
$10/mo** $10 Off First 3 Months
Powered by:

Reach Mobile 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $10 per month. Reach Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Reach Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Reach Mobile 2GB

2GB

$10*

* $10 Off First 3 Months
View Plan

Reach Mobile 5GB

5GB

$20*

* $10 Off First 3 Months
View Plan

Reach Mobile 10GB

10GB

$25*

* $10 Off First 3 Months
View Plan

Reach Mobile 15GB

15GB

$30*

* $10 Off First 3 Months
View Plan

Reach Mobile 25GB

25GB

$35*

* $10 Off First 3 Months
View Plan
Review
4

Pros

  • 5G coverage available

  • 24/7 live customer support with helpful humans

  • No contract, no bulk-order commitment

  • Hotspot enabled

  • A socially conscious provider who gives back

Cons

  • Small selection of handsets

Benefits

  • Powered by the Verizon network

  • Service is postpaid with no credit check

  • Only upfront payment is shipping for SIM card

  • Bring your own compatible phone

  • Keep your phone number

  • Hotspot enabled on all plans

  • 24/7 customer support by phone or chat

Best pay as you go phone plan for kids

PureTalk SIM Card - PureTalk 2GB $15/moPureTalk SIM Card - PureTalk 2GB $15/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
2GB
Price
$15/mo** 25% Off for 3 Months
Powered by:

PureTalk 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $15 per month. PureTalk plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's PureTalk review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

PureTalk 2GB

2GB

$15*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

PureTalk 4GB

4GB

$18.75*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

PureTalk 6GB

6GB

$22.50*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

PureTalk 10GB

10GB

$26.50*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

PureTalk 20GB

20GB

$33.75*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

PureTalk Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$41.25*

* 25% Off for 3 Months
View Plan
Review
3.5

Pros

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • Multi-month discounts

  • US based customer service

Cons

  • No 0% finance plans for new phones

  • May slow speeds at busy times

Benefits

  • Service provided on the AT&T network

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • 30-day risk-free guarantee on plans- cancel within your first 30 days or 500 minutes/500 MB of data to receive a refund for your plan charges

  • Bring your own compatible GSM phone or buy a PureTalk USA phone

  • Keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering permitted

  • International calling available as an add-on calling card

  • Customer support available by phone 9am - 10pm EST weekdays and 12pm - 9pm weekends

Best pay as you go phone plan for one

Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB $12.50/moGood2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB $12.50/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
3GB
Price
$12.50/mo** 50% Off for 3 Months
Powered by:

Good2Go Mobile 3GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 3GB data for only $12.50 per month. Good2Go Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Good2Go Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Good2Go Mobile 1GB

1GB

$10*

* 50% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

Good2Go Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$10

View Plan

Good2Go Mobile 3GB

3GB

$12.50*

* 50% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

Good2Go Mobile 6GB

6GB

$17.50*

* 50% Off for 3 Months
View Plan

Good2Go Mobile 10GB

10GB

$40

View Plan

Good2Go Mobile 20GB

20GB

$50

View Plan
Review
4

Pros

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • No contract

  • No credit checks

Cons

  • No unlimited data options

  • No app interface

Benefits

  • Coverage on the nationwide AT&T & T-Mobile networks

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or buy a Good2Go Mobile phone

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering not supported

  • International calling to over 60 countries available as affordable plan add-on; calling to other countries via add-on calling card

  • Customer service available by phone 7am - 1am EST every day

Best pay as you go SIM card

Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB $14/moUltra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB $14/mo
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
2GB
Price
$14/mo** $168 for 12 Months Service
Powered by:

Ultra Mobile 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $14 per month. Ultra Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Ultra Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Ultra Mobile 250MB - 12 Mths

0.25GB

$10*

* $120 for 12 Months Service
View Plan

Ultra Mobile 2GB - 12 Mths

2GB

$14*

* $168 for 12 Months Service
View Plan

Ultra Mobile 3GB - 12 Mths

3GB

$20*

* $240 for 12 Months Service
View Plan

Ultra Mobile 6GB - 12 Mths

6GB

$25*

* $300 for 12 Months Service
View Plan

Ultra Mobile 15GB - 12 Mths

15GB

$30*

* $360 for 12 Months Service
View Plan

Ultra Mobile Unlimited Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

$40*

* $480 for 12 Months Service
View Plan
Review
3.5

Pros

  • Simple account dashboard

  • Unlimited international talk and text

  • Nationwide coverage

Cons

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Coverage provided on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own compatible GSM phone or buy one from Ultra Mobile

  • Mobile hotspot use supported

  • Unlimited global texting and unlimited calling to 80+ countries

  • International roaming credits available in $5, $10, or $20 denominations

  • International plan tier comes with uTalk - a feature that gives you up to 1250 bonus minutes to your choice of 39 additional destinations

  • Customer service available by phone, email, and chat from 6am to 6pm every day

Best pay as you go plan for hotspots

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 10GB $20/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 10GB $20/mo
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
10GB
Price
$20/mo** Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
Powered by:

Mint Mobile 10GB plan includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 10GB data for only $20 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Mint Mobile review

Plans
PlanDataPriceView plan

Mint Mobile 4GB

4GB

$15*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile 10GB

10GB

$20*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile 15GB

15GB

$25*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$30*

* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
View Plan
Review
4.5

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Benefits

  • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

  • Keep your phone number

  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

  • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

  • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

  • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

Pay as you go cell phone plans in 2022

By Rob Webber - Last updated on
Check Carrier Coverage

Pay as you go phone plan benefits

Take back control of your cell phone bill with a pay as you go plan. Only pay for what you use, not a cent more.

You'll find a great choice of pay as you go plans from Mobile Virtual Network Operators, (MVNOs for short). Choose which features to pay for each month, get more flexibility and control, and save a ton of money while you're at it. It's one of the many reasons we love smaller carriers.

If you're on the lookout for a cheap pay as you go plan an alternative carrier is the best route to go down.

Let's take a look at the benefits.

  • Same great nationwide coverage: Pay as you go carriers operate on the very same networks as the big guys.
  • Much lower prices: You could save up to $600 per year on your cell phone plan. How are MVNOs so much cheaper? They don't have the huge overhead costs that come with running retail stores or maintaining the network. Plus, they don't spend so heavily on advertising campaigns.
  • No contracts: Don't get trapped in a long-term commitment. Switch when you decide the time's right.
  • Same cell phone service: Paying less doesn't mean scrimping on features. Plans with unlimited everything are easy to find. Plus, you'll usually get unlimited talk and text as standard, high-speed 4G LTE data, and even mobile hotspot features.
  • Keep your phone and number: Save more by taking advantage of the bring your own phone feature. Your old number will be ported over to your new plan, no problem.
  • Control over your plan: With a pay as you go plan you customize everything to suit your needs. Decide how much data you need, go unlimited, or opt for no data. Tailor your message and call allowance, and get minimal minutes or unlimited talk text and data. With alternative carriers, you build a plan to fit.
  • Great customer support: Smaller providers pay attention to their customers. You're more than a number to them. Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.

Best T-Mobile pay as you go plan

Mint Mobile 4GB plan* Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo*

$3.75 per GB

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Best Verizon pay as you go plan

US Mobile 5GB planFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo

$3.00 per GB

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $780 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$65/mo$780/yr

Best AT&T pay as you go plan

Good2Go Mobile 3GB plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3GB

4G/5G data

$12.50/mo*

$25/mo

$8.33 per GB

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $637 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G & 5G3GB$25/mo$263/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$637/yr

Pay as you go phone plan features

  • 4G LTE & 5G data speeds: MVNOs operate on the big cellular networks, so you don't sacrifice speed. As 5G coverage is rolled out, more low-cost alternatives are adding this to their offering too, so you can expect high-speed data with your next carrier.
  • Unlimited talk and text messaging: It has never been easier to find a new unlimited plan. Pretty much every plan from a small carrier includes unlimited text and calls. Compare cheap talk and text plans and opt for, or go without data.
  • International calls to Canada and Mexico: You shouldn't have to pay more to keep in touch with loved ones abroad. Alternative carriers offer the best international phone plans. Many come with free calling to Canada and Mexico, and offer affordable add-ons for more countries.
  • Multiline discounts: If you're looking to switch multiple lines over to a new plan, low-cost carriers offer the cheapest family cell phone plans out there. With most of these plans the more lines you add, the less you pay.
  • Wi-Fi calling: This feature is super handy if you find yourself in a signal shadow with no cellular connection, but do have WiFi. Simply make calls over the internet instead.
  • Tethering/hotspot data: Use your set data allowance to get more devices online. Most low-cost carriers will allow you to use your phone as a hotspot as no additional cost. Browse some of the best mobile hotspot plans.
  • HD video streaming: Fancy features like high-definition video streaming come with plans from MVNOs. As it is with the big networks, some smaller carriers offer this feature, others don't. Check with their customer support people if you're not sure.

Cheapest pay as you go phone plans

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
Reach MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd2GB$10** $10 Off First 3 Months
TwigbyVerizonUnltdUnltd5GB$12.50** 50% Off for 6 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd10GB$20** Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free
US MobileVerizon & T-MobileUnltdUnltd18GB$25Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltdUnltd$30** Buy 3 Months Get 1 Free

Carrier network coverage

NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
Verizon Coverage9596949694
AT&T Coverage9494959692
T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

Source: Rootmetrics

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

Carrier customer service comparison

It's a myth that customer care is worse with a cheaper prepaid carrier. On average MVNOs score much, much higher for customer satisfaction than big networks. Take a look at the comparison chart here to see what we're getting at.

CARRIERTRUSTPILOT USER RATING
Reach Mobile4.9
Tello4.6
US Mobile4.6
T-Mobile1.5
Verizon1.3
AT&T1.2

Pay as you go phone plan types

  • Unlimited plans: It's super easy to find unlimited talk text and data plans from alternative carriers. Their unlimited data plans come at a much better price. It's worth checking whether you even need to go unlimited though, as you can save a heap more by opting for a set-data plan. Use our data usage calculator to see how much you need each month.
  • Basic plans: Only use a cell phone to make a few calls, send a couple of messages and rarely go online? Go for a simply prepaid plan. You'll get basic cell phone functions, a set amount of minutes of talk, and around 2GB of data. If your data allotment runs out adding more is simple.
  • Family plans: You'll find a great number of MVNOs will offer group plans. So if you need four lines or more, compare the cheapest family phone plans and tailor the plan to your family.
  • Bring your own phone plans: Smaller carriers make it easy for you to bring your own device. In fact, BYOP plans are the norm. Porting your number and data to a new plan is seamless.
  • Single line plans: You no longer need to pay a premium for a single line plan. Here are some of the best phone plans for individuals.
  • Talk and text only plans: You or a loved one rarely use data? Get a cheap talk and text plan instead. You'll save a ton of money by opting for no data.
  • Tablet plans: Alternative carriers aren't just for cell phone plans. You can find cheap data plans for your tablet or iPad too.
  • Kids plans: Pay as you go plans are perfect for kids because you can customize them. We think smaller carriers have the best phone plans for kids. You have control over the features your child has access to.
  • Senior plans: Older folk may have different cell phone needs, and there are plans to suit. Find cheap cell phone plans for seniors and discover the perfect fit.

Comparing pay as you go phone plans

  • Coverage: low-cost carriers we recommend are powered by the major networks; Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.
  • Budget: prices vary, but one thing is for sure, pay as you go plans are super budget-friendly.
  • Plans: only pay for what you need. Whether you're a heavy data user, or you just want a couple of hundred minutes in case of an emergency, there's a plan to suit you.
  • Mulitple lines: family cell phone plans include multiple lines, and many come with intuitive apps to help you manage your account.
  • Features: international coverage and mobile hotspot data are useful features for those often on the move. You can usually find these come as standard, or as a low-cost add-on, with alternative carrier plans.
  • Bring your own phone: save more by bringing your own device. You'll need to check whether your phone is compatible. Use our IMEI checker to figure this out fast.

Switch to a cheap pay as you go phone carrier

Switching has never been simpler. It's easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Customize your plan. Find a plan to suit your cell phone needs.
  2. Prepare to make the switch. Pay old bills and get your phone unlocked.
  3. Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has been ported over. A new device should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own device you'll need to follow the instructions that come with the new SIM card kit.

Pay as you go carriers list

AT&T MVNOsVerizon MVNOsT-Mobile MVNOs
Red PocketUS MobileBoost Mobile
PureTalkRed PocketUS Mobile
Unreal MobileTwigbyUltra Mobile
Good2Go MobileReach MobileTello
H2O WirelessSpectrum MobileRed Pocket
Straight TalkPage Plus CellularMint Mobile
TracfoneTotal WirelessConsumer Cellular
Kroger WirelessXfinity MobileGoSmart Mobile
easyGO WirelessAffinity CellularRepublic Wireless
Optimum MobileLivelySimple Mobile
FreedompopWalmart Family MobileLycamobile
TingSelectel Wireless
Gen Mobile
Wing
easyGO Wireless
Speedtalk Mobile

Best pay as you go phones

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone SE64GBAT&TNew$329
Apple iPhone 1164GBT-MobileNew$499
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBAT&TNew$629
Apple iPhone 1264GBAT&TNew$629
Apple iPhone 12 mini64GBT-MobileNew$629
Apple iPhone 13128GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 12 Pro256GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$999

Pay as you go phone plans FAQ

How do pay as you go phone plans work?

With pay as you go you purchase your talk, text, and data upfront. So there are no surprising bills at the end of the month. When you reach your limit, you top up with what you need.

What is the cheapest pay as you go SIM card?

Powered by T-Mobile, Tello offers one of the cheapest pay as you go SIM cards. With a low starting cost you can customize the plan to your needs.


Recap

Pay as you go plans are the perfect fit for anyone wanting to take back control of their cell phone bill.

Build a plan to suit you, not the one your carrier tells you to pick. You can choose your data allowance, pick the features you really need, and pay less.

No more horrible bill-shaped surprises at the end of the month. Finding your next pay as you go cell phone plan from a low-cost alternative has never been easier.

MoneySavingPro methodology

We're here to bring transparency to telecoms, putting power back in your hands. This guides everything we do.

  • We've got high standards. We use our industry expertise to find carriers that reach these standards. We all deserve the best value for money, choice, and customer experience.
  • We care about accuracy. MoneySavingPro is run by cell phone geeks and money saving obsessives. Our content team researches everything thoroughly so that information you read here will give you the whole picture. Everything we do is backed up by the data.
  • We keep things simple. It's our job to break down what you need to know, so you can make informed choices.
CarrierBest for...MinsTextsDataPrice
Tello SIM Card - Best cheap pay as you go phone planTelloBest cheap planUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go phone plan for familiesUS MobileBest family planUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for unlimited dataMint MobileBest unlimited planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go phone plan for 5GBoost MobileBest 5G planUnlimitedUnlimited15GB$20/mo
Twigby SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for talk & textTwigbyBest talk & text planUnlimitedUnlimited0GB$13/mo
Reach Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go phone plan for seniorsReach MobileBest senior planUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$20/mo
PureTalk SIM Card - Best pay as you go phone plan for kidsPureTalkBest kids planUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$20/mo
Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go phone plan for oneGood2Go MobileBest individual planUnlimitedUnlimited3GB$25/mo
Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go SIM cardUltra MobileBest SIM cardUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$14/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for hotspotsMint MobileBest hotspot plan0010GB$20/mo
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.