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Prepaid Reviews: Major Carriers
(Listed Alphabetically)

Prepaids NOT Affiliated with Major Carriers

AT&T GoPhone
AT&T PREPAID
Our Rating:
(3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Operated by AT&T
Network: AT&T Only
GoPhone is now know as "AT&T Prepaid."  They still give you all the benefits of the entire national AT&T wireless network without the commitment. Choose Pay As You Go for as low as .10 a minute, or several levels of Unlimited voice, Mobile to Mobile and Nights and Weekends, and Unlimited Text. AT&T Prepaid's Unlimited plans are offered at a competitive price. Canada and Mexico Roaming is available, Mexico roaming is only .25/minute. If you have an Unlocked or AT&T GSM phone you can just purchase a new AT&T SIM and try it out. Expect some AT&T Prepaid promotions during their 're-branding' including new plans.
AT&T Phones @ Less Than Retail
Discount GoPhone Refills

Boost
BOOST MOBILE
■ Our Rating:
(2 Out of 4 Stars)

Operated by Sprint
Network: Sprint Only
Boost gives you a unique choice of plans and good nationwide coverage. Boost phones use the Sprint network and do not roam off that network. Their Unlimited plan is a great alternative to those from the other carriers at a good price. Boost Mobile has the same coverage as Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid so you might check their plans and features to see if they match your usage better.

CRICKET WIRELESS
■ Our Rating:
(3 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by: AT&T
 
Network: AT&T Only
Cricket offers a competitive prepaid service on the AT&T network with Unlimited Voice, Text & Picture Messaging, Long Distance and Data. Plans start at $40 with significant discounts available for Auto-Pay and multiple users. Cricket offers a modest selection of GSM phones and allows you to bring your own phone.  Cricket phones can roam in Mexico for Talk, Text and Data but not in Canada and there is no off-network roaming available in the US. Cricket has the  advantage of using the AT&T network at a discount price and gets credit for making Mexico roaming available at no increase in price over their $50 and $60 plans.

Discount Refills
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We offer refills for Prepaid phones at a Discount, AND in a greater variety of denominations than you get from the carriers themselves! Don't Pay Full Price! Mountain Prepaid Refills are available for nearly all prepaids! Refill directly into your account or with a PIN.


Click to Get More About MetroPCS
METRO PCS
Our Rating:
(3 Out of 4 Stars)

Operated by T-Mobile
Network: T-Mobile Only
Metro PCS has been acquired by T-Mobile but will continue to be operated as a separate product. With both carriers combining spectrum there is greater bandwidth capabilities. MetroPCS is a "flat-rate" carrier with nationwide service. Using a GSM handset, coverage has been greatly expanded including Voice and Text and Data Roaming in Mexico and Canada, however, there is no off-network roaming in the US. Most of the MetroPCS network is 4G LTE. Plans start at a low price point and Family plans are cheaper than average. They have no activation fees and don't charge extra taxes and fees.

All plans include Unlimited Web access with different thresholds for "throttling" data speeds. Metro offers a "Bring Your Own Phone" plan that includes certain iPhone models. They have a good selection of phones. We have never dealt with MetroPCS customer service but it should on the same above-average level as T-Mobile. 
MetroPCS has opened their own stores which adds some benefit when you need help with returns and adjustments. Occasionally, MetroPCS stores have promotional deals that are not available online, and vice versa.


Sprint
SPRINT PREPAID
■ Our Rating:
(1 Out of 4 Stars)

Operated by Sprint
Network: Sprint Only
Sprint offers their own prepaid, called "Sprint Forward" which has been very much like their postpaid plans. Recently they offered very few phone models, and sometimes none. The Sprint Forward plans claim to be competitive, but it's still to early to tell.  Smartphone plans include unlimited data with various levels of throttling, and unlimited messaging and talk while on the Sprint network. Prepaid phones are also offered by Sprint under the Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile brands using the same Sprint network.

T-MOBILE PREPAID
■ Our Rating:
(3 Out of 4 Stars)

Operated by T-Mobile
Network: T-Mobile Only
T-Mobile is one of the best values available for per-minute users. Achieve "Gold Rewards" and get Pay As You Go service as low as .10/minute and a 1-year expiration, and yearly refills can be as low as $10. They have a pay by the day data option including 4G coverage. There are some truly Unlimited, or at least very high limit, Data plans, starting at $25/month. T-Mobile Prepaid allows you to roam off their own network (except Data) without additional charges, and will also roam in Canada, Mexico and over 200 foreign countries. Roaming in Canada and Mexico can be included in your prepaid plan including Data.  Other foreign roaming charges may be quite pricey but they offer an Wi-Fi Calling app that enables you to make Voice calls through wi-fi in any country at the same rate as local calls in the US. Since T-Mobile is now offering 'No Contract' rates for their normal plans, you should consider them as an economical way to buy a top model phone. This also means you need to hunt to find their actual "prepaid" plans. Also, if you have an Unlocked or existing T-Mobile GSM phone you can just activate a new T-Mobile SIM and try it out. T-Mobile also operates the MetroPCS brand which may offer you more Prepaid options.
Discount T-Mobile Prepaid Refills

U.S. Cellular
US CELLULAR PREPAID
Our Rating:
(1 out of 4 Stars)

Operated by: US Cellular
Network: US Cellular and Others
US Cellular, the 5th larger wireless carrier in the US, operates one of our preferred wireless services, but their prepaid plans have some limitations. While Talk and Text is available nationwide, Data is limited to only their own network. They currently offer only monthly prepaid plans instead of pay-as-you-go. US Cellular Prepaid is a good choice if you live in an area where US Cellular is the only service available.

Verizon Wireless
VERIZON PREPAID
■ Our Rating:
(2 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by Verizon Wireless
Network: Verizon and some Roaming partners
Verizon has several different levels of Prepaid plans including a competitive monthly Unlimited plan. For pay-as-you-go plans, on days you don't use your phone, you don't pay. Your number of features determines the rate you pay on those days you use the phone, including different types of Unlimited features and minutes. You also get access to most of Verizon's unique features, like VZ Navigator. Roaming off the Verizon network incurs additional roaming charges. Fortunately, Verizon's network is extensive. There is a limited number of phone models that Verizon will allow current customers to convert to Prepaid.

Verizon Wireless claims their Prepaid phones roam in Canada & Mexico but the rates are hard to determine. Most likely you would pay .99 per minute Voice, and NO data is available.

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Virgin Mobile
VIRGIN MOBILE
Our Rating:

(2 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by Sprint
Network: Sprint Only
Virgin owes its popularity to the fact that they use the robust Sprint network. They support good features all across the country, but you cannot roam off the Sprint network. The only phone model they offer is the Apple iPhone. They offer Unlimited plans at good rates but they do have limitations including a maximum of 800 talk minutes per month. Virgin is owned by Sprint. Virgin Mobile has the same coverage as Boost Mobile and Sprint Prepaid so you might check their plans and features to see if they match your usage better.