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4G/5G data
mins
texts
/mo
Same coverage - massive savings!YOU SAVE:
T-Mobile
Magenta - $70/mo
$840/yr
AT&T
Unlimited Extra - $75/mo
$900/yr
Verizon
Play More Unlimited - $80/mo
$960/yr
$0$20$40$60$80
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
Benefits

    Best Pay As You Go Phone Plans in 2022

    What is the best pay as you go phone service?

    Cheap prepaid plan
    1GB 4G/5G data
    $10/mo
    Powered by:

    See Deal

    Prepaid 5G plan
    5GB 4G/5G data
    $5/mo*$15/mo
    Powered by:

    See Deal

    * 66% Off for 3 Months
    Prepaid family plan
    10GB 4G/5G data
    $20/mo*
    Powered by:

    See Deal

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    Prepaid unlimited plan
    Unltd 4G/5G data
    $30/mo
    Powered by:

    See Deal

    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.

    Cheapest pay as you go phone plan

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/moTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    1GB
    Price
    $10/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    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 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    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 plan for 5G

    See Deal
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/moBoost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    5GB
    Price
    $5/mo** 66% Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Boost Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $5 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 5GB

    5GB

    $5*

    * 66% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths

    1GB

    $8*

    * $100 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $20*

    * $240 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $25

    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Nationwide coverage on AT&T & T-Mobile

    • 5G & 4G LTE data speeds

    • Buy online and no credit checks

    • Bring your own phone

    • Cheapest unlimited data plan

    Cons

    • No data only plans

    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 families

    See Deal
    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** Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    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*

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $20*

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $25*

    * Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    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 plan for unlimited data

    See Deal
    Visible SIM Card - Visible Unlimited $30/moVisible SIM Card - Visible Unlimited $30/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    Unlimited
    Price
    $30/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Visible Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $30 per month. Visible 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 Visible review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Visible Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30

    View Plan

    Visible Unlimited Data+

    Unlimited

    $45

    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Great pricing

    • Unlimited talk, text, and data

    • Taxes and fees included in price

    • Simple plan

    • User-friendly website

    Cons

    • Only one plan

    • Data speed is capped at 5 Mbps

    • Limited phone compatibility

    • App-based service

    Benefits

    • Coverage provided by its parent company, Verizon Wireless

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

    • Bring your own compatible device or buy a Visible phone

    • Keep your phone number

    • Mobile hotspot/tethering supported

    • No international use supported

    • Customer support available by chat 7am to 12am EST weekdays and 10am to 10pm weekends, and by phone by request

    Best pay as you go plan for one

    See Deal
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB $15/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB $15/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    4GB
    Price
    $15/mo** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Mint Mobile 4GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 4GB data for only $15 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*

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $20*

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $25*

    * Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    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 plan for two

    See Deal
    US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 12GB $20/moUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 12GB $20/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    12GB
    Price
    $20/mo* Free 10 Day Trial
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    US Mobile 12GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 12GB data for only $20 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 Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $35

    View Plan

    * Free 10 Day Trial

    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 seniors

    See Deal
    Twigby SIM Card - Twigby 1GB $5/moTwigby SIM Card - Twigby 1GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    1GB
    Price
    $5/mo** $10 Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Twigby 1GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $5 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 1GB Data

    1GB

    $5*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $5*

    * $5 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 4GB Data

    4GB

    $10*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 7GB Data

    7GB

    $15*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 10GB Data

    10GB

    $20*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • 5G & 4G LTE coverage on Verizon network

    • No hotspot charges

    • International calling and texting

    • 30 day money back guarantee

    • Great new customer discounts

    Cons

    • Limited cell phone selection

    Benefits

    • Runs on the Verizon 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 plan for kids

    See Deal
    Lycamobile SIM Card - Lycamobile 2GB $5/moLycamobile SIM Card - Lycamobile 2GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    2GB
    Price
    $5/mo** Only $5 for up to 6 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Lycamobile 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $5 per month. Lycamobile 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 Lycamobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Lycamobile 2GB

    2GB

    $5*

    * Only $5 for up to 6 Months
    View Plan

    Lycamobile 12GB

    12GB

    $10*

    * Only $30 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Lycamobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29.50*

    * 50% Off for 12 Months
    View Plan
    Review
    4

    Pros

    • Wide range of data buckets

    • Unlimited talk and text

    • Unlimited data option

    • Strong international offerings

    • Great prices on family plan

    • Roaming coverage in the US

    • International roaming

    Cons

    • No mobile hotspot permitted

    • Confusing website

    Benefits

    • Coverage on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • Prepaid service - no contract or credit check

    • Free SIM card with plan purchase

    • Bring your own phone

    • Keep your phone number

    • International calling is included with all plans

    • International roaming rates available on carrier website

    • Multilingual customer service via phone from 11am - 8pm EST Monday - Saturday

    Best pay as you go plan for students

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited $29/moTello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited $29/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    Unlimited
    Price
    $29/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Tello Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $29 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 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    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 plan for talk & text

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello 0GB $8/moTello SIM Card - Tello 0GB $8/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    0GB
    Price
    $8/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Tello 0GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for only $8 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 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    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

    Pay as you go cell phone plans

    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 pay as you go plan on T-Mobile

    Mint Mobile10GB plan* Only $60 for 3 Months Service

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    10GB

    4G/5G data

    $20/mo*

    Powered by: T-Mobile

    T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

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

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
    Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G10GB$20/mo$240/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$600/yr

    Best pay as you go plan on Verizon

    US Mobile12GB plan* Free 10 Day Trial

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    12GB

    4G/5G data

    $20/mo

    Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

    Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

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

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
    US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G12GB$20/mo$240/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$60/mo$720/yr

    Best pay as you go plan on AT&T

    Boost Mobile5GB plan* 66% Off for 3 Months

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    5GB

    4G/5G data

    $5/mo*

    $15/mo

    Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

    AT&T vs Boost Mobile comparison

    Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $750 per year

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
    Boost MobileAT&T 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$150/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$60/mo$750/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

    CarrierDataNetworkPrice
    Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10
    Boost Mobile 5GB plan5GBAT&T & T-Mobile$5** 66% Off for 3 Months
    Twigby 7GB data plan7GBVerizon$15** $10 Off for 3 Months
    Mint Mobile 10GB plan10GBT-Mobile$20** Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    Visible unlimited data planUnltdVerizon$30

    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. Typically MVNOs score 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
    Good2Go MobileTwigbyUltra Mobile
    H2O WirelessVisibleTello
    Straight TalkReach MobileRed Pocket
    TracfoneSpectrum MobileMint Mobile
    Boom! MobilePage Plus CellularLycamobile
    Kroger WirelessXfinity MobileConsumer Cellular
    easyGO WirelessCREDO MobileGoSmart Mobile
    Unreal MobileAffinity CellularRepublic Wireless
    Optimum MobileLivelySimple Mobile
    FreedompopWalmart Family MobileSelectel Wireless
    TingGen Mobile
    Wing
    easyGO Wireless
    Speedtalk Mobile

    Best pay as you go phones

    PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
    Apple iPhone 11 Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$17/mo for 24 mths$399
    Apple iPhone SE VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
    Apple iPhone 12 mini Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$20/mo for 24 mths$479
    Apple iPhone 12 VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
    Apple iPhone 13 mini VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
    Apple iPhone 13 VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$29/mo for 24 mths$699
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$31/mo for 36 mths$1,099
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$33/mo for 24 mths$799
    Apple iPhone 14 Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$884
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$41/mo for 24 mths$980
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$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 - Cheapest pay as you go phone planTelloCheap prepaid planUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for 5GBoost MobilePrepaid 5G planUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for familiesMint MobilePrepaid family plan0010GB$20/mo
    Visible SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for unlimited dataVisiblePrepaid unlimited planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for oneMint MobilePrepaid 1 line planUnlimitedUnlimited4GB$15/mo
    US Mobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for twoUS MobilePrepaid 2 line planUnlimitedUnlimited12GB$20/mo
    Twigby SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for seniorsTwigbyPrepaid senior planUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$15/mo
    Lycamobile SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for kidsLycamobilePrepaid kids planUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$19/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for studentsTelloPrepaid student planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$29/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Best pay as you go plan for talk & textTelloPrepaid talk & text planUnlimitedUnlimited0GB$8/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.

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