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Best Prepaid SIM Card in 2021

Compare the cheapest bring your own phone plans

Deal of the Month: Tello - 25% off for 6 months
2GB LTE Data
$10.50* per month
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See Deal * 25% Off for 6 Months
4GB LTE Data
$15* per month
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See Deal * $45 for 3 Months Service
5GB LTE Data
$18.75* per month
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See Deal * 25% Off for 6 Months
Unltd LTE Data
$25* per month
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See Deal * $20 Off for 3 Months
30GB LTE Data
$30 per month
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See Deal Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
1GB LTE Data
$7.50* per month
Powered by:
See Deal * 50% Off for 3 Months
2GB LTE Data
$11* per month
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See Deal * Extra 20% Off with code: MSP20
3GB LTE Data
$10* per month
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See Deal * 50% Off First Month
2GB LTE Data
$10* per month
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See Deal * $5 Off for 1 Month
10GB LTE Data
$20* per month
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See Deal * $60 for 3 Months Service
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Disclaimer: MoneySavingPro is a free price comparison service but we do not provide service directly. We do our best to keep all the information up to date but there may be some discrepancies between the price you pay.

Big savings, no compromises
Nationwide Coverage Powered by the major networks
Bring your own phone Keep your existing phone and number
4G LTE data speeds Same fast speeds as the big guys
No contracts Flexible and commitment-free
Customize your plan Only pay for what you use
Buy online No need to visit a store
Best Prepaid SIM Card Hero
Same coverage, massive savings!
Stop the Unlimited Data Plan Rip Off!
Carrier Network Data Price Annual
Verizon Verizon 4G & 5G Unlimited* $80/mo $960/yr
US Mobile Verizon 4G & 5G 5GB $15/mo $180/yr
*Avg. data usage only 3-5GB Savings $65/mo Savings $780/yr
Coverage Checker Find great value plans with the best coverage in your area
Find cheap plans in your area
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3 Simple Steps To Switch & Save
1
Choose a Custom Plan Don't pay for data you don't use
2
Bring Your Own Phone Keep your phone & number
3
Insert SIM & Activate Insert your new SIM card & activate

The best cheap SIM card in September

At MoneySavingPro we like to help you save money without the sacrifices, and that's exactly why prepaid SIMs are growing in popularity.

MVNOs - Mobile Virtual Network Operators, offer affordable prepaid plans, powered by the main US networks that give you access to the same nationwide coverage.

As there's such a choice of low cost carriers, we've simplified the offerings to help you find the best deals. Let's take a look below.

Check Carrier Coverage

Best cheap T-Mobile SIM card

Mint Mobile 4GB data plan* $45 for 3 Months Service

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G data

$15*

per month

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

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

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

Unltd*

$70/mo

$840/yr

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

4GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Compare: Cheap T-Mobile prepaid SIM cards


Best cheap AT&T SIM card

Pure Talk 4GB data plan* 25% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G data

$18.75*

per month

$25/mo

Powered by: AT&T

AT&T vs Pure Talk Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $619 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE

Unltd*

$75/mo

$900/yr

Pure Talk

AT&T 4G LTE

4GB

$25/mo

$281/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$619/yr

Compare: Cheap AT&T prepaid SIM cards


Best cheap Verizon SIM card

Reach Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G data

$15*

per month

$30/mo

Powered by: Verizon

Verizon vs Reach Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $645 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

Verizon

Verizon 4G LTE

Unltd*

$80/mo

$960/yr

Reach Mobile

Verizon 4G LTE

3GB

$30/mo

$315/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$645/yr

Compare: Cheap Verizon prepaid SIM cards


Cheap prepaid SIM card benefits

MVNOs - or Mobile Virtual Network Operator - are the best route to go down for cheap cell phone plans. By hopping onto one of the major networks prepaid SIMs offer the same great service you trust but at half the cost. You get greater flexibility, can keep your phone and number and no long contracts to keep you tied down.

  • Same great nationwide coverage: These cell phone carriers operate on the very same networks as the big four carriers.

  • Much lower prices: Save up to $600 per year on your cell phone plan. Why are MVNOs so much cheaper? They don't have the huge overhead and advertising costs the big guys do.

  • No contracts: Don't get trapped into a two-year agreement. Switch carriers when you decide to with a no contract phone plan.

  • Same cell phone service: Just because you're paying less, that doesn't mean you have to scrimp on features. Plans with unlimited everything are easy to find from these prepaid carriers. Usually, a low cost carrier plan comes with unlimited talk and text as standard, high speed data, and even mobile hotspot data features.

  • Keep your phone and number: You can bring your own phone and keep your phone number. No need to sign up for pricey device payments.

  • Customize your plan: You decide how much data you need. Choose to pay as you go, opt for unlimited or no data, minimal minutes, or unlimited talk text and data. Unlimited data plans come at a much better price with an alternative carrier. Pick the plan options that fit your budget - not the one your carrier thinks you need.

  • Great customer support: Smaller mobile providers are known for their attention to their customers. Stop feeling like an anonymous number getting lost in the crowd! Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.


Best prepaid SIM plans

Tello SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid SIM card - TelloTello SIM Card - Best cheap prepaid SIM card - Tello
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo*
* 25% Off for 6 Months
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for unlimited data - Mint MobileMint Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for unlimited data - Mint Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo*
* $90 for 3 months Service
Reach Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for families - Reach MobileReach Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for families - Reach Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
3 GB
Price
$15/mo*
* 50% Off for 3 Months
Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for 5G - Boost MobileBoost Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for 5G - Boost Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5 GB
Price
$15/mo*
* $10 Off First Month
Ting SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for talk & text - TingTing SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for talk & text - Ting
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0 GB
Price
$10/mo*
* $5 extra per GB
Twigby SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for seniors - TwigbyTwigby SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for seniors - Twigby
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$14.25/mo*
* 25% Off for 6 Months
Red Pocket SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for kids - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for kids - Red Pocket
Minutes
500
Texts
500
Data
0.5 GB
Price
$10/mo
Pure Talk SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for one person - Pure TalkPure Talk SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for one person - Pure Talk
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
4 GB
Price
$18.75/mo*
* 25% Off for 3 Months
US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for data only - US MobileUS Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap SIM card for data only - US Mobile
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
2 GB
Price
$10/mo
Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Prepaid plan features

  • 4G LTE data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big four 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.

  • Multiline discounts: Low-cost carriers also offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with multi-line discounts.

  • 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.


Compare bring your own phone plans

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Tello

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

2GB

$10.50** 25% Off for 6 Months

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

4GB

$15** $45 for 3 Months Service

Twigby

Verizon

Unltd

Unltd

5GB

$18.75** 25% Off for 6 Months

Ting

T-Mobile & Verizon

Unltd

Unltd

Unltd

$25** $20 Off for 3 Months

US Mobile

Verizon & T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

30GB

$30Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Prepaid carrier coverage comparison

Which prepaid carrier is best for you? That depends on which network has the best coverage in your area.

Whether you go with a GSM carrier (T-Mobile and AT&T) or a CDMA carrier (Verizon) you'll enjoy national coverage, just like with the major carriers.

Network performance ratings

NETWORK

OVERALL

RELIABILITY

SPEED

DATA

CALL

Verizon Coverage

95

96

94

96

94

AT&T Coverage

94

94

95

96

92

T-Mobile Coverage

86

88

82

89

82

Source: Rootmetrics


SIM Card Sizes

There are three different SIM card sizes in the various Apple iPhone models. Each has an adapter in case you want to switch to a phone with an incompatible SIM Card slot.

1. Standard SIM Card - The original SIM Card size is similar to any card in your wallet. However, if you want to transfer your data to a new phone, you can take out a small portion of the SIM card to insert into another iPhone. The original iPhone along with the older iPhone 3G and 3GS all use the original SIM Card, according to Apple.

2. Micro SIM Card - Micro SIM Cards were introduced with the iPhone 4 in 2010. The Micro SIM is also used in the iPhone 4s. The Micro SIM Card size is small compared to the original SIM card but not quite as small as the Nano SIM card.

3. Nano SIM Card - Nano SIM Cards are the smallest SIM cards that came out in the iPhone 5 in 2013. The cards have been in every iPhone since, all the way up to the iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple iPhone SIM card sizes

DEVICESIM CARD SIZE
iPhone SENano SIM
iPhone 6Nano SIM
iPhone 7Nano SIM
iPhone 8Nano SIM
iPhone XNano SIM
iPhone XRNano SIM
iPhone XSNano SIM
iPhone 11Nano SIM
iPhone 12Nano SIM

Samsung Galaxy SIM card sizes

DEVICESIM CARD SIZE
Galaxy S7Nano SIM
Galaxy S8Nano SIM
Galaxy S9Nano SIM
Galaxy S10Nano SIM
Galaxy Note 8Nano SIM
Galaxy Note 9Nano SIM
Galaxy Note 10Nano SIM

How to remove a SIM card

To remove the SIM card from your Apple iPhone all you need is the SIM card remover tool provided to you when you bought your phone, or a small paper clip.

  1. If using the paperclip, unfold it and gently insert the end into the small pinhole in the SIM tray.

  2. Press gently until the SIM tray pops up, you do not need to use much pressure.

  3. Pull the SIM tray out gently, be careful the SIM card does not fall out.

  4. Swap your SIM card over, making sure you have aligned the SIM in the correct position.

  5. Re-insert the SIM tray into the iPhone.

Considerations before switching SIM cards

  • How much data, voice and text messages do you need? By keeping track of what you use in one month, you can then tailor a plan to your needs. Low-cost carrier plans give you more flexibility. If you need more or less of anything, update your plan.

  • Are you bringing your own phone? If you are, check which carriers are compatible.

  • Are you looking for a new phone and sim deal? Find out which MVNO gives you the best coverage in your area, then check out their new handset plans.


Prepaid SIM card FAQs

What is a prepaid SIM card?

A SIM card - or subscriber identity module card - is where your phone information is stored.

How much does a prepaid SIM card cost?

A prepaid SIM card typically costs between $10-70 per month depending on the carrier and data plan.

What size SIM card do I need?

There are three types of SIM cards available; Nano SIM, micro SIM, and standard. The Nano SIM is the most common and is used for all the latest smartphones.

Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card?

SIM cards can be purchased online or in retail stores such as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.


Recap

Saving money on your cell phone bill has never been easier with MVNOS. With such a variety of prepaid SIM cards to choose from, there's something for everyone.

These low cost carriers can save you up to $600 a year, and with all the same perks. Running on the same US networks, coverage is one thing you don't have to sacrifice.

If you're not sure which carrier is available in your area, you can check cell phone coverage at your address using your ZIP code.

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.

Prepaid SIM card comparison

Showing mobile virtual network operators for AT&T & their starting prices
Good2Go Mobile $8
Red Pocket $10
Unreal Mobile $10
Optimum Mobile $14
h2o Wireless $15
Pure Talk $15
FreeUP Mobile $15
Freedompop $17
Boom! Mobile $17
Tracfone $20
Black Wireless $20
easyGO Wireless $20
Kroger Wireless $25
Cricket Wireless $30
Straight Talk $35
Showing mobile virtual network operators for T-Mobile & their starting prices
Tello $6
US Mobile $8
Ultra Mobile $8
Ting $10
Red Pocket $10
Mint Mobile $15
Gen Mobile $10
Speedtalk Mobile $11
Boost Mobile $15
Republic Wireless $15
Lycamobile $19
Wing $20
easyGO Wireless $20
Simple Mobile $25
GoSmart Mobile $25
Metro by T-Mobile $30
Consumer Cellular $30
Selectel Wireless $30
Showing mobile virtual network operators for Verizon & their starting prices
US Mobile $8
Ting $10
Twigby $10
Red Pocket $10
Spectrum Mobile $14
Reach Mobile $15
GreatCall $20
Net10 Wireless $20
Total Wireless $25
Visible $25
Affinity Cellular $25
Walmart Family Mobile $25
Page Plus Cellular $30
CREDO Mobile $35
Xfinity Mobile $45