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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
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Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
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    Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans in 2022

    What is the cheapest prepaid cell phone plan?

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

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

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    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    Cheap 5G plan
    12GB 4G/5G data
    $20/mo
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    * Free 10 Day Trial
    Cheap unlimited plan
    Unltd 4G/5G data
    $29/mo
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    Find the cheapest phone plans in your area

    In these uncertain times, the last thing you need is to be stung by your cell phone. Money savers and bargain hunters, welcome. You're in the right place. Find your next cheap prepaid cell phone plan from a low-cost carrier here.

    With prepaid plans, you choose a package with set features and pay at the beginning of the month. You can pick from a range of plans including set data plus unlimited talk and text, or get unlimited data if you need it.

    We've analyzed the best, cheap prepaid cell phone plans out there for you to choose from.

    Best cheap prepaid cell 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

    Cheapest prepaid plan for families

    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

    Cheapest prepaid plan for 5G coverage

    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

    Cheapest prepaid plan for unlimited data

    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

    Cheapest prepaid phone plan for one

    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

    $8.33*

    * $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
    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

    Cheapest prepaid phone plan for two

    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
    Review
    4

    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

    Cheapest prepaid phone plan for kids

    See Deal
    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:
    See Deal

    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

    Cheapest prepaid phone plan for students

    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

    Cheapest prepaid talk & text plan

    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

    Cheap prepaid cell phone service

    By Rob Webber - Last updated on
    Check Carrier Coverage

    Cheap prepaid phone plan benefits

    We love Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs. If you're on the lookout for cheap cell phone plans, they're the best route to go down.

    Want to stay on the same network, keep your phone and number, plus get greater flexibility?

    Yep. You've got it. Forget the major carriers. Plans include everything you need, but come at a much better price with an MVNO.

    • Save money: With carriers like Boost Mobile and Red Pocket, you'll get a choice of the best prepaid phones plans. Mobile Virtual Network Operators can help you save hundreds of dollars on your monthly cell phone bill.
    • National wireless coverage: Powered by the same major US networks, there's a choice of AT&T prepaid SIM card, Verizon prepaid SIM card, or T-Mobile prepaid SIM card deals with great coverage. If you're not sure which network has good coverage in your area you can check our coverage map.
    • No contracts: With no more long-term 24 or 12-month contracts you can take control of your cell phone bill with the best cheap prepaid cell phone plans from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator.
    • Phone upgrades: If you're looking for a new phone with your plan, you can bundle it with the cheapest prepaid phone plans. Choose to purchase an unlocked phone upfront, or choose a phone with an affordable monthly cost. There's a variety of phones including the latest smartphones.
    • Fast data speeds: Operating on the same US networks, means you'll receive their 4G LTE speeds and 5G access, where it's available. Ideal for your streaming and gaming needs.
    • Buy online: Being online-based, it's easy to choose and purchase the cheapest prepaid SIM card to suit your needs. You'll be up and running within a few days.
    • Multiline discounts: Looking for two, three, four, or more lines? No matter how many lines you need you'll find the best prepaid family phone plans with MVNOs. Most offer additional discounts when you add multiple lines with discounts per line added.
    • Unlimited plans: Depending on the amount of data you want, if unlimited is a priority you can get the best prepaid unlimited data plans that include unlimited calls and unlimited texting, with prices starting as low as $30 per month.
    • Mobile hotspot: Get high-speed hotspot data from the best prepaid hotspot plans with low-cost carriers. Giving you peace of mind you can stay connected if there's no Wi-Fi when you're away from home.
    • International calls: Some MVNOs offer international options, including calls to Mexico and Canada.

    Cheapest prepaid phone plan on T-Mobile

    Mint Mobile4GB plan* Only $45 for 3 Months Service

    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

    Compare: T-Mobile prepaid plans


    Cheapest prepaid phone plan on Verizon

    US Mobile5GB plan* Free 10 Day Trial

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    5GB

    4G/5G data

    $15/mo

    $3 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

    Compare: Verizon prepaid plans


    Cheapest prepaid phone plan on AT&T

    Boost Mobile5GB plan* 66% Off for 3 Months

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    5GB

    4G/5G data

    $5/mo*

    $15/mo

    $3 per GB

    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

    Compare: AT&T prepaid plans


    Cheap prepaid phone plan features

    • 4G LTE & 5G data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big three cellular networks you'll pay less without sacrificing speed. More and more are adding 5G coverage all the time so you can expect high-speed data.
    • Unlimited talk and text messaging: Finding a new unlimited plan has never been easier. Virtually all small carriers include unlimited text and calls in their plan options. Compare cheap talk and text plans with or without data.
    • International calls to Canada and Mexico: International calling is a must for many people. Luckily MVNOs offer some of the best international phone plans, with free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on others.
    • Wi-Fi calling: This feature is handy when you're out of your service area, allowing you to make calls over the internet instead of on your cellular connection.
    • Tethering/hotspot data: Many low-cost carriers allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. Pick an MVNO with the best mobile hotspot plans so you can share your mobile hotspot data with other devices.
    • HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming and some don't. Read the fine print to find the option you want.

    Best cheap prepaid phone plans

    CarrierDataPrice
    Tello 1GB plan1GB$10
    Mint Mobile 4GB plan4GB$15** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    US Mobile 12GB plan12GB$20* Free 10 Day Trial
    Mint Mobile 15GB plan15GB$25** Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    Tello unlimited data planUnltd$29

    Prepaid carrier coverage

    NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
    Verizon Coverage9596949694
    AT&T Coverage9494959692
    T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

    Source: Rootmetrics

    Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

    Prepaid carrier customer service

    Concerned that low-cost carriers won't have good customer service? Don't be, on average MVNOs score much higher customer ratings than the big networks as you'll see in the comparison chart below:

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

    Prepaid phone plan types

    • Unlimited plans: Looking for unlimited talk text and data? Alternative carriers have got you covered. Data hungry users looking for unlimited plus plans can save serious money by switching to one of the cheapest unlimited data plans. Not sure how much data you need? Check out our data usage calculator.
    • Basic plans: If you (or a loved one) only use a cell phone to make a few calls, send a couple of messages and rarely go online then you can opt for a simply prepaid plan. You get basic cell phone functions, an allowance for minutes of talk, and usually around 2GB of data at a great price. Once you run out of your data allotment, speeds slow, but it's usually very easy to add on more.
    • Family plans: Need four lines or more? Many MVNOs offer group plans. Compare the cheapest family phone plans so you can pick and choose what each family member needs.
    • Bring your own phone plans: BYOP plans are the norm with smaller carriers. Compare cell phone prices and get a great deal to go with your cheap cell phone plan!
    • Single line plans: Stop paying a premium rate just because you only need one line. Find the best phone plans for individuals.
    • Talk and text only plans: Don't need data? No problem - compare cheap talk and text plans. Bonus, you'll save a ton of money if you're not paying for data!
    • Tablet plans: Find the cheapest data plan for your tablet or iPad.
    • Kids plans: MVNOs offer the best phone plans for kids because you can tailor them to exactly what you want your child to have.
    • Senior plans: Senior citizens often have different cell phone needs. Compare cheap cell phone plans for seniors for the perfect fit.

    Comparing prepaid phone plans

    Of all the prepaid plans we've covered, only a handful will be a perfect fit. There's a ton of features to compare, and so much choice can be overwhelming.

    That's where we come in.

    We break down the most up-to-date industry knowledge and built tools to give you a clearer idea how you're using your phone. Knowing which features you really need will help narrow your search. Here are some things to consider when comparing plans.

    Coverage

    It's a complete myth that coverage is worse with a smaller carrier. Alternative carriers use the exact same network infrastructure as the big guys. They piggyback off same towers, which power the same coverage. Switching won't mean you get poorer quality service.

    Coverage is personal. Perhaps you love the coverage you get from your current provider. Whether you're with T-Mobile or Sprint, AT&T or Verizon, there are lots of low-cost alternatives operating on the same network.

    If you're not happy with your coverage, put your ZIP code into our coverage checker to see which carrier will give you the best service.

    Data allowance

    Figuring out how much data you need will also help you narrow down the search for the perfect plan. Once you've worked out how much you need, you'll know whether to pay more for unlimited, or save big with a set data plan.

    If you plan on using your cell phone for high-data activities, streaming HD video or as a mobile hotspot home internet for example, opting for a larger data allowance makes sense. Many low-cost alternatives have unlimited plans. Mint Mobile, Tello, US Mobile, and Red Pocket to name a few. Data speeds with these carriers are the same as you'd expect from the big networks.

    However, we're not fans of unlimited data plans. Why pay a premium for something you don't need? Use our data calculator to see how much you need. If, like most people, you only really need around 3 to 5GB, opting for a set-data amount will save you even more.

    Perks and add ons

    It's not just the big guys offering additional perks. Many carriers come with different bonuses and features as standard. Unlimited talk and text comes with most, some carriers will offer sign-up bonuses, or multi-month discounts when you opt for three months, and cashback guarantees. Others have additional international features like unlimited international minutes, but there'll be a small additional cost.

    Number of lines

    Many alternative carriers offer multi-line plans, but not all of them. Whether you're looking to switch a single line, or multiple lines will help you to narrow down your comparison search.

    Some, like Mint Mobile, come with an intuitive app for you to manage all of these accounts. Switching multiple lines from your current carrier to a low-cost alternative is seamless.


    Switch to a cheap prepaid phone 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. Make sure your old bills are paid up 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 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 own phone then you'll need to follow the instructions with the new SIM card kit that Tello will send to you in the post.

    Bring your own phone & save

    You need simple in your life. The great thing about MVNOs is that switching carriers is easy.

    You need an unlocked phone (meaning your carrier has released it for use on another network). Once you've checked with your new provider about phone compatibility the rest is a breeze.

    Most low-cost carriers simply provide you with a prepaid SIM card. You pop it into your mobile phone and follow the provider's instructions. Just make sure you don't cancel your current phone plan until you've ported your phone number over to the new carrier.


    Cheapest prepaid cell phones

    PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
    Apple iPhone SE Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
    Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$432
    Apple iPhone 11 Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$21/mo for 24 mths$499
    Apple iPhone 12 mini VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
    Apple iPhone 13 mini Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 24 mths$729
    Apple iPhone 12 Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 24 mths$729
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 36 mths$1,080
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 36 mths$1,080
    Apple iPhone 13 VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$31/mo for 36 mths$1,099
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999

    Cheap prepaid plans FAQs

    Who has the cheapest prepaid unlimited plan?

    The Tello unlimited data plan costs just $29 per month and runs on the T-Mobile 4G LTE & 5G network. Compare the best unlimited data plans.

    What is the cheapest prepaid cell phone plan?

    Low-cost carriers, such as Mint Mobile, US Mobile, Tello, and Boost Mobile offer cheap prepaid phone plans between $5-$30 per month.


    Recap

    Phew! So there you have it, a run-through of all the best prepaid plans out there. By switching to one of these, you can dodge rising costs of cell phone plans from the big carriers. For every $80 per month plan from the big carriers, there's one from an alternative carrier for around half that.

    Check out our MVNO list which includes all the wireless carriers emerging within the industry. Offering cheap cell phone plans, they'll help you save hundreds of dollars each year.

    With so many plans on offer from low-cost carriers, you can find one which is tailored toward specific needs. Need to make regular calls to Mexico and Canada? Not a problem. Don't want to pay big each month for unlimited talk? These MVNOs have got you covered.

    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 prepaid cell phone planTelloCheap prepaid planUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid plan for familiesMint MobileCheap family planUnlimitedUnlimited4GB$15/mo
    US Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid plan for 5G coverageUS MobileCheap 5G planUnlimitedUnlimited12GB$20/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid plan for unlimited dataTelloCheap unlimited planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$29/mo
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan for oneBoost MobileCheap individual planUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
    Visible SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan for twoVisibleCheap 2 line planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
    Reach Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan for kidsReach MobileCheap kids planUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$20/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan for studentsMint MobileCheap student plan0010GB$20/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid talk & text planTelloCheap 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.