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Best Deal: Mint Mobile 10GB SIM for $20/mo

Best Prepaid SIM Card in 2022

How much is a prepaid SIM card?

99% coverage4G & 5G speedBring your phoneNo contracts
Big wireless coverage at small prices: switch & save up to $600 a year
Tello Sim Card - Vertical
2GBLTE Data
$10.50*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* 25% Off for 6 Months
Mint Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
4GBLTE Data
$15*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $45 for 3 Months Service
US Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
12GBLTE Data
$20per month
Powered by:
See DealFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Ting Sim Card - Vertical
UnltdLTE Data
$25*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $20 Off for 3 Months
Mint Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
UnltdLTE Data
$30*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $90 for 3 Months Service
Twigby Sim Card - Vertical
3GBLTE Data
$10*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* 50% Off for 6 Months
Boost Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
2GBLTE Data
$15*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $0.99 for 1st Month
Mint Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
10GBLTE Data
$20*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* $60 for 3 Months Service
US Mobile Sim Card - Vertical
18GBLTE Data
$25per month
Powered by:
See DealFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Tello Sim Card - Vertical
UnltdLTE Data
$29.25*per month
Powered by:
See Deal* 25% Off for 6 Months
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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 CoveragePowered by the major networks
Bring your own phoneKeep your existing phone and number
4G LTE data speedsSame fast speeds as the big guys
No contractsFlexible and commitment-free
Customize your planOnly pay for what you use
Buy onlineNo need to visit a store
Best Prepaid SIM Card Hero
Same coverage, massive savings!
Stop the Unlimited Data Plan Rip Off!
CarrierNetworkDataPriceAnnual
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnlimited*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Avg. data usage only 3-5GBSavings$65/moSavings$780/yr
Coverage CheckerFind great value plans with the best coverage in your area
Find cheap plans in your area
Lady shouting
Switching & saving is simple
1
Customize your planDon't pay for data you don't use
2
Bring your own phoneKeep your phone & number
3
Order SIM card onlineInsert your new SIM card & activate

Cheapest prepaid SIM cards

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 T-Mobile prepaid SIM card

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

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo*

$3.75 per GB

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan 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 SIM cards


Best Verizon prepaid SIM card

US Mobile 5GB data planFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo

$3.00 per GB

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile Plan 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 SIM cards


Best AT&T prepaid SIM card

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

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G/5G data

$12.50/mo*

$25/mo

$8.33 per GB

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile Plan 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

Compare: AT&T prepaid SIM cards


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.

Cheapest prepaid SIM cards

Best prepaid iPhone SIM card

US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB data SIM kitUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB data SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5 GB
Price
$15Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Powered by:

This US Mobile 5GB SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for $15 for 1 month of wireless service. US Mobile prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$8

US Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15

US Mobile 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$20

US Mobile 18GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

18GB

$25

US Mobile 30GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

30GB

$30

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Reviews

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 prepaid unlimited data SIM card

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile unlimited data SIM kitMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile unlimited data SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$90** $90 for 3 Months Service
Powered by:

This Mint Mobile unlimited SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for $90 for 3 months of wireless service. Mint Mobile prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$15*

* $45 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$20*

* $60 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 15GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$25*

* $75 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30*

* $90 for 3 Months Service
Features
Reviews

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 prepaid smart watch SIM card

Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB data SIM kitTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB data SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$10** 25% Off for 6 Months
Powered by:

This Tello 1GB SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for $10 for 1 month of wireless service. Tello prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$6*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$7.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$10.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$14.25*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$18*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 8GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

8GB

$21.75*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$29.25*

* 25% Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

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 prepaid 5G SIM card

Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB data - 12 mths SIM kitUltra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB data - 12 mths SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
2 GB
Price
$14** $168 for 12 Months Service
Powered by:

This Ultra Mobile 2GB SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for $14 for 1 month of wireless service. Ultra Mobile prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Ultra Mobile 250MB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

0.25GB

$10*

* $120 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 2GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$14*

* $168 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 3GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$20*

* $240 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 6GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$25*

* $300 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 15GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$30*

* $360 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile Unlimited Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$40*

* $480 for 12 Months Service
Features
Reviews

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 prepaid GSM SIM card

Ting SIM Card - Ting unlimited talk & text SIM kitTing SIM Card - Ting unlimited talk & text SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0 GB
Price
$10** $5 extra per GB
Powered by:

This Ting 0GB SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for $10 for 1 month of wireless service. Ting prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile & Verizon 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Ting Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$10*

* $5 extra per GB

Ting 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$15

Ting 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$20*

* $5 Off for 6 Months

Ting Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$25*

* $20 Off for 3 Months

Ting 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$30*

* $5 Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Simple plans for light phone users

  • Customer service

  • Nationwide LTE and 5G coverage

  • Good selection of handsets

Cons

  • Not for the data hungry user

Benefits

  • Offers coverage on both Verizon and T-Mobile

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or start-up fees

  • Bring your GSM or CDMA phone - most devices are compatible - or buy one from Ting

  • Keep your current number

  • Tethering/mobile hotspot allowed, speeds limited to 3G for GSM tethering

  • Use your plan minutes to call 60+ international locations

  • International roaming capability (at surcharged rates)

  • Extensive customer service hours by phone, chat, or email

Best prepaid CDMA SIM card

Twigby SIM Card - Twigby 3GB data SIM kitTwigby SIM Card - Twigby 3GB data SIM kit
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
3 GB
Price
$20** 50% Off for 6 Months
Powered by:

This Twigby 3GB SIM kit includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 3GB data for $20 for 1 month of wireless service. Twigby prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Twigby Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$6.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$10*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$9.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$12.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$17.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

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 prepaid data only SIM card

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB data only SIM kitMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB data only SIM kit
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
4 GB
Price
$45** $45 for 3 Months Service
Powered by:

This Mint Mobile 4GB SIM kit includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 4GB data for $45 for 3 months of wireless service. Mint Mobile prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$15*

* $45 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$20*

* $60 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 15GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$25*

* $75 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30*

* $90 for 3 Months Service
Features
Reviews

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 prepaid alarm SIM card

US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 500MB data only SIM kitUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 500MB data only SIM kit
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
0.50 GB
Price
$5Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Powered by:

This US Mobile 500MB SIM kit includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 500MB data for $5 for 1 month of wireless service. US Mobile prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$8

US Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15

US Mobile 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$20

US Mobile 18GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

18GB

$25

US Mobile 30GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

30GB

$30

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Reviews

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 prepaid GPS tracker SIM card

Red Pocket SIM Card - Red Pocket 1GB data only SIM kitRed Pocket SIM Card - Red Pocket 1GB data only SIM kit
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
1 GB
Price
$10
Powered by:

This Red Pocket 1GB SIM kit includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 1GB data for $10 for 1 month of wireless service. Red Pocket prepaid plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Red Pocket 1GB Data Only

0

0

1GB

$10

Red Pocket 5GB Data Only

0

0

5GB

$25

Red Pocket 20GB Data Only

0

0

20GB

$40

Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage

  • No contracts

  • Latest selection of phones

Cons

  • Account dashboard needs work

  • No 0% financing options on latest phones

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon

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

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA device and keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering allowed with your plan data

  • Free international calling to 70+ countries

  • Customer service available in English, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish via chat or phone

Prepaid SIM card benefits

You can say goodbye to long contracts and a huge phone bill with a prepaid SIM card from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator like Boost Mobile. Prepaid phone plans offer unlimited calls, unlimited SMS, great coverage, and so much more without any sacrifices.

  • Save money: With the best prepaid SIM card you could cut your phone bill in half and save up to $600 a year.
  • National coverage: Powered by the same major US networks, whether you're looking for an AT&T prepaid SIM card, Verizon prepaid SIM card, or a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card there's plenty to choose from.
  • Prepaid phones: If you want to upgrade your phone, there are great options for existing or new customers with carriers like Mint Mobile. Pay upfront or in affordable monthly installments.
  • No contracts: With MVNOs, their plans are prepaid so there are no lengthy tie-ins for any SIM card including the best prepaid eSIM deals.
  • 4G LTE data speeds: Operating on the same US networks, you'll receive access to the nationwide LTE 4G data speeds with the best prepaid SIM cards.
  • 5G network: Choose from a range of SIM cards that are compatible with your 5G phone.
  • Unlimited plans: If you're a heavy data user, you can get prepaid unlimited data SIM cards for unlimited calls, texts, and data.
  • eSIM: If your phone is compatible with eSIM, you'll find a variety of the best AT&T eSIM, best Verizon eSIM, and the best T-Mobile eSIM to compare.

Best cheap prepaid SIM card plans

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltd2GB$10.50** 25% Off for 6 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd4GB$15** $45 for 3 Months Service
US MobileVerizon & T-MobileUnltdUnltd12GB$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
TingT-Mobile & VerizonUnltdUnltdUnltd$25** $20 Off for 3 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltdUnltd$30** $90 for 3 Months Service

Prepaid carrier coverage

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

NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
Verizon Coverage9596949694
AT&T Coverage9494959692
T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

Source: Rootmetrics

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

Prepaid carrier customer service

It's a myth that customer care is worse with an alternative 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

Prepaid SIM card carrier features

  • 4G LTE & 5G 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.

How to switch to a cheap prepaid carrier

It's easy to switch carriers. Let's break it down into three simple steps.

  1. Customize your plan. Choose 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 account open until your number has ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel the old one. New devices will come ready to go and transferring data from one to another is usually seamless. If you're bringing your own phone you'll need to follow the instructions with the SIM card kit that will be sent to you in the post.

Bring your own phone & save

Who doesn't love simple? The great thing about MVNOs is that switching carriers and keeping your own device is just that. Simple.

You need an unlocked phone, so your current carrier will have 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. Pop it into your phone and follow the instructions. Make sure you don't cancel your current phone plan until you've ported your phone number over to the new carrier to avoid any hitches and hurdles.


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.

iPhone SIM card compatibility

DEVICESIM CARD SIZE
iPhone SE SIMNano
iPhone 6 SIMNano
iPhone 7 SIMNano
iPhone 8 SIMNano
iPhone X SIMNano
iPhone XR SIMNano
iPhone XS SIMNano
iPhone 11 SIMNano
iPhone 12 SIMNano
iPhone 13 SIMNano

Samsung SIM card compatibility

DEVICESIM CARD SIZE
Galaxy S7 SIMNano
Galaxy S8 SIMNano
Galaxy S9 SIMNano
Galaxy S10 SIMNano
Galaxy S20 SIMNano
Galaxy S21 SIMNano

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.

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.