- Differences between prepaid and postpaid phone plans.
- The benefits of prepaid plans.
- The best prepaid phone plans available.
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your monthly bill, consider switching to a prepaid cell phone plan.
I’ve researched more than 70 phone plans to find the absolute best prices and features.
Through this process, I’ve been able to see firsthand how much you can save by switching to a prepaid plan.
Read on so you can find out the best way to save on your cell phone plan.
Prepaid Phone Plans: What You Need To Know
A prepaid cell phone plan can be a great way to save on your monthly phone bill, and you’ll have access to the same service as postpaid plans.
With prepaid phone plans, you won’t have to worry about a credit check or monthly contract.
You’ll also find lower prices per line than with traditional postpaid plans.
Plus, there are more options and features available now with prepaid phone plans, so you can choose the amount of talk, text and data that works for you.
Prepaid Phone Plans vs. Postpaid Phone Plans
Prepaid and postpaid phone plans aren’t really all that different these days.
Now, “prepaid” simply means that you pay your bill before you use the phone’s service instead of at the end of the month.
Prepaid phone plans are available from major cell phone service providers.
Such as T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T as well as from cost-efficient MVNOs that run on the same towers as major networks (examples include Mint Mobile and Boost Mobile.)
Why is the price lower?
You can choose unlimited talk, text and even data for a lower price than you’ll see with traditional postpaid plans.
The price is often lower because you get lower data caps and earlier deprioritization.
But being able to avoid a credit check, contract and overage fees may be worth it to you.
To see exactly how much you can save with a prepaid phone plan, I looked at a couple of examples from AT&T and T-Mobile:
Benefits of AT&T
AT&T offers a 4GB plan for $50 per month for one line with unlimited talk, text and 4GB of data.
While prepaid plans directly from AT&T begin as low as $25 per month per line for 16GB of high-speed data when you prepay a year in advance.
Of course, the data is likely to be a little slower with a prepaid phone plan.
But you’ll save $25 per month for one line and get four times the amount of high-speed data by switching to AT&T Prepaid.
Benefits of T-Mobile
Next, let’s consider T-Mobile.
For one line, T-Mobile offers prepaid plans beginning at $40 per month for 10GB of data and unlimited postpaid plans.
That range from $50-$90 per month for one line.
Connect by T-Mobile is another prepaid option with plans beginning as low as $10 per month for 1GB of data.
Benefits of Boost Mobile
Alternatively, Boost Mobile is an MVNO that runs on the same towers with monthly prepaid plans beginning as low as $15 per month for 5GB of data.
Unlimited monthly data plans from Boost begin at $25, which is still a better deal than T-Mobile’s cheapest postpaid plan.
As you can see, prepaid phone plans are a great way to save on your monthly phone bill.
For even more affordable options, be sure to check out our full list of the best prepaid phone plans.
The Benefits of Prepaid Phone Plans
No matter which plan you decide is best for you, opting for a prepaid phone plan, in general, has its benefits.
You’ll be able to find a lower monthly price, change your plan at any time and enjoy the same coverage that you’d get with a postpaid plan.
If you’re still on the fence about it, here are five of the best reasons to consider a prepaid phone plan:
Pricing. Generally speaking, prepaid phone plans are cheaper. You’ll find deals beginning around $10 per month with prepaid plans such as Tello Mobile, Boost Mobile and Connect by T-Mobile.
Offers starting from $10
While you’ll likely have slower data speeds, you’ll still have access to the same service.
No Credit Checks. When you sign up for a prepaid plan, you’ll pay upfront for what you plan to use.
And you won’t have to sign a contract.
That means you won’t have to worry about any credit checks because you won’t be borrowing anything.
Flexibility. Since you won’t be signing a contract with a prepaid phone plan, you’ll have total flexibility.
You can cancel, change your plan features or change your phone at any time.
No Overage Fees. Since you’ll be paying upfront for what you use, you won’t have to worry about overage fees.
Prepaid plans simply pause your service once you’ve met any calling, texting or data limits.
And the coverage?
And you can change your plan or add to it at any time.
Coverage and Features. Prepaid phone plans from major carriers and MVNOs offer the same coverage that you get with traditional postpaid plans.
Plus, there are tons of features to choose from now with prepaid plans.
This includes mobile hotspot availability and international add-ons.
What To Know Before You Switch
While there are several benefits to choosing a prepaid phone plan, there are still a few major differences and exceptions that you should be aware of.
For example, if you’re looking for a family phone plan with shared data, if you’re looking for a phone plan with a lot of additional perks…
Or if you’re looking for a contract-based phone plan that includes a new phone on a payment plan, you may want to consider a postpaid plan instead.
Before switching to a prepaid phone plan, here are a few differences that you should be aware of:
There will be fewer benefits included
Data may be slower. Monthly prices are lower with prepaid phone plans due, at least in part, to the fact that data may be slower.
This is thanks to data throttling and prioritization, which basically means that you may have a limited amount of high-speed data or experience slower speeds when the network is busy.
Prepaid phone plans tend to get hit the hardest with this, so expect slightly slower data speeds.
There will be fewer perks included. Compared to postpaid family plans and major carriers, you’ll find fewer perks with prepaid phone plans.
You won’t see many prepaid family plans with shared data, multi-line discounts or streaming service subscriptions.
Plus, you’ll likely need to bring your own phone or buy a new one on your own. Prepaid plans without contracts don’t typically offer new phone deals.
International data may not be available. Many prepaid plans don’t include international talk, text or roaming.
In fact, several prepaid plans and carriers don’t offer international data at all. So if you’re a frequent traveler, prepaid may not be the way to go.
The Best Prepaid Phone Plans
In the box above, you’ll find my top three picks for the best prepaid phone plans.
When it comes to prepaid phone plans, there are more options to choose from now than ever.
There are prepaid plans available directly from major carriers as well as from more cost-efficient MVNOs that provide access to the same service towers.
I’ve researched dozens of prepaid phone plans to find the absolute best prices and features. You can check out the full list here.