Now that most people have realized that prepaid cell phone plans are cheaper in the long run, many are looking to end their contracts and move to a prepaid carrier. Fortunately, there’s a ton of prepaid carriers you can choose from. If you’re moving to a prepaid carrier, here are the things you should do to know which carrier is the cheapest/best and most suitable for your needs.
Check the carrier’s coverage
First, to not regret your decision of moving to a prepaid carrier, you should check the coverage of the carrier which you’re switching to. Checking the coverage is something you must do because, unlike contract plans, you will not be refunded if the coverage of the prepaid plan you chose is bad.
Now here are the options you have if you want to move from contract to prepaid…
Prepaid plans with 4G LTE
When looking into prepaid carriers or plans, a disadvantage you’ll notice is that most prepaid plans don’t offer 4G LTE, specially MVNO carriers – the most you could get are HSPA+ speeds which is twice less than LTE on average. So if LTE is a feature you’re looking for in a prepaid plan, here are the carriers offering LTE on prepaid plans:
AT&T – GoPhone unlimited with 2GB data:
One of the few carriers that offer 4G LTE on prepaid plans is AT&T. With AT&T $60 GoPhone plan, you’ll receive 2GB of data, which is enough for most people. In addition to 2GB of data, you’ll also have unlimited minutes for national calls with unlimited international and nationwide text messaging. (att.com)
T-Mobile 4G plans
Since T-Mobile no longer have contract-based plans, all their plans are prepaid. If AT&T is not an option for you, you can also try T-Mobile. Unlike AT&T, who only offer 2GB of data, T-Mobile will give you 2.5 GB of data for $60 or unlimited for $70. Although T-Mobile offer more for less compared to AT&T, with AT&T you will receive better LTE coverage and better building penetrations. (T-Mobile.com)
For $50/month you’ll get everything unlimited on Boost Mobile, this includes nationwide text, calls, and 4G LTE data. If you believe this is the perfect plan, make sure to check your coverage before buying an expensive phone from Boost Mobile. This is because Boost Mobile uses Sprint network, which currently has the worse LTE coverage and slowest 3G speeds of all four major carriers. But if Sprint has a good coverage with LTE in your city and you don’t travel a lot this can be the best plan for you. (boostmobile.com)
Cheapest providers for Android, iPhone
If you don’t care much about 4G LTE and care more about saving money while having usable data but not extremely fast, then these will be the carriers you should check out…
Straight Talk is one of the most popular MVNO carrier in the US. Straight Talk operates on T-Mobile and AT&T network for GSM phones. With $45/month, Straight Talk will give you ”unlimited data’, text, and minutes. Although Straight Talk offer no LTE, you’ll receive HSPA+ speeds from AT&T or T-Mobile, depending on your chosen carrier. (straighttalk.com)
Another cheaper carrier, cheaper than Straight Talk, would be Simple Mobile. Simple Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data for just $40, 250MB when using 4G. This carrier works with T-Mobile network. (simplemobile.com)
Red Pocket, Straight Talk competitor, offers unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data for $50. This carrier is similar to Straight Talk, both operate on AT&T’s network. But with Red Pocket you can buy AT&T SIM directly from their site, while Straight Talk SIM for AT&T phones can only be purchased from eBay or Amazon. (Red Pocket)