Prepaid Reviews & Ratings: Non-Carriers
Reviews of the Largest Prepaid Providers Not Operated by the Top Carriers Themselves
Listed alphabetically

Our Rating: (4 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Independently Operated
■ Network: AT&T and others
Consumer Cellular provides easy-to-use phones, no-contract plans and free or low-cost handsets. Coverage includes the AT&T network and some roaming partners. Plan prices are reasonable and are available for Talk, Text and Data. You can bring your own AT&T or Unlocked GSM phone. Customer Service is better than average. AARP and AAA members get additional discounts.

Get Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones.

Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Independently Operated
■ Network: T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular and foreign carriers

Project Fi offers a new approach to wireless service. Your phone will determine the best connection to make a call or access the Internet. Their plan involves a $20 monthly fee and another charge for broadband access. You are then credited each month for unused data usage. In addition to Unlimited Calls and Text as well as low-cost international calls, you have phone and data access in over 120 foreign countries. The service works with only a limited number of phone models. Establishing a Google Fi account also automatically replaces your Google Voice account.

 Our Rating: (1 Out of 4 Stars)
 Independently Operated
 Network: Sprint or AT&T
FreedomPop has earned its way into our ratings by their brazen offer: FREE service!  What's the catch? FreedomPop offers a quality product with a good number of features and they hope you will sign up for their Free service and then upgrade to one or more of their value-priced features.  For the low usage customer, FreedomPop has a great number of benefits as a primary, secondary or tertiary wireless service.  Their specialty is providing service and devices for wireless Internet access.  However, you must pay attention to their procedures and their terms. You may end up with a VoIP line or an overage fee that you didn't expect.  Not that these are bad things, it's just something you need to watch for.
Shop for FREE at FreedomPop

 Our Rating: (2 Out of 4 Stars)
 Operated by GreatCall
 Network: Verizon Wireless and others
Jitterbug has phones and plans specially designed for seniors. They have phones with large, easy-to-read buttons and screen, a loud earpiece, service with reasonable monthly charges, no contract, an "operator" when you need one, and great national coverage. Not many phone models are available, but they also offer a few non-phone devices that can be used to summon aid from any location, even outside the home. They also still offer a flip phone with large numbers and buttons. Their service is directed to seniors and persons who may need phones with bigger images on the screen.  Great Call uses the Verizon Wireless network and other roaming partners. Plans start as low as $14.99 per month.
Get Jitterbug Phones at Web-Only Prices

■ Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Operated by America Movil
■ Networks: AT&T and others
NET10 has very good coverage with no extra charges for Roaming or Long Distance. You can get Local numbers and coverage almost anywhere in the US. NET10 uses the top cellular networks available. They can also automatically refill your account monthly. Net 10 also has a no-contract Unlimited plan and a "Bring-Your-Own-Phone" plan. NET10 is nearly identical to its sister service, StraightTalk, but differs by being available at retailers other than Walmart and that plans are available at different data caps and price levels, especially for "family" plans. NET10, like all America Movil companies, charges local sales tax.
Online Deals For NET10 Phones
Discount Refills for NET10

■ Our Rating: (4 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by America Movil
Network: Verizon Wireless and others
Page Plus is a great choice to convert your existing CDMA phone to Pay As You Go. They offer great rates and you are charged for their various features only when you use them. Refills start at only $10 for 100 minutes for 120 days and they have an inexpensive Unlimited plan. They can refill your minutes automatically. You get access to the largest cellular network in the country with off-network roaming available for an additional charge, including Mexico. Their normal refill period is good for 120 days and at the $80 level, refills are good for a whole year. Unlike other Prepaid carriers, Page Plus Auto-Refill occurs on the same date each month, not each 30 days, a small but measurable advantage. Also, Page Plus phones will roam off the Home network as long as you have a cash balance in your Page Plus account. Page Plus. like all America Movil companies, charges local sales tax.

Online Deals on Page Plus Phones
Discount Page Plus Refills Use Promo Code PAGEPLUS1.

■ Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Independently Operated
Network: Wi-Fi and T-Mobile (legacy devices use the Sprint network)
Republic satisfies the needs of those users who want to make Calls & Texts and use Data at a lower price by using Wi-Fi first for most connections. All actions occur through available Wi-Fi networks but Roaming is also available on the Sprint or T-Mobile networks. You get Unlimited Talk, Text, Data at below-average rates! Republic offers a few phones with capabilities defined by the phone model.

Online Deals for Republic Wireless

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 virtually all prepaids!

Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Operated by America Movil
■ Network: T-Mobile
Simple Mobile phones are confined to the T-Mobile network and give you lower rates in return for more restricted network access. The name "Sim-ple" originated with them being a "SIM-only" service, but now they offer several Simple Mobile-branded phones. You are still invited to bring your own unlocked or T-Mobile compatible GSM phone and they'll send you a SIM card to start service. The difference in prices among plans is based on your data speed or threshold. With the more expensive plans you get faster service. You are limited to the T-Mobile network, there is no off-network roaming except in Mexico. All plans have Unlimited Calls and Texts and some level of Data.

Simple Mobile Coverage
Simple Mobile Discount Refills

■ Our Rating: (4 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by America Movil
Network: There are 3 types of Coverage (Depending on Phone Model and Location):

■ GSM: AT&T, T-Mobile and Others

■ Sprint Only

■ Verizon Wireless Only
Straight Talk offers monthly prepaid plans that start at $30 for 1,000 minutes of Talk and Text without a contract. Their Unlimited Talk, Text, Picture Messaging, Web browsing and 411 plan is $45 per month. You can set up to automatically refill your account. Each phone model they sell specifically uses one of the national wireless networks with no off-network roaming. You should check coverage to make sure a certain phone model covers where you travel, the model they offer you is based on where you sign up for service. They sell a number of phones including Smart phones, some of which are expensive, but you can save with reconditioned phones.

They also offer a "Bring Your Own Phone" plan both for GSM and CDMA phones. Unlike the phones noted above, the Bring Your Own Phone GSM plan allows your phone to use different GSM networks. CDMA phones are still limited to one network.

Straight Talk Customer Service leaves something to be desired, but not enough to lower them from the top of the ratings. If service isn't exactly as you expected, you might be smart to just leave things alone...or start from scratch. The savings are usually worth it. StraightTalk, like all America Movil companies charges local sales tax.  Straight Talk also offers a competitive Wireless Home Phone product.

Ours is one of the few sites where you can buy Straight Talk Online, with FREE Shipping. Straight Talk is an America Movil Network.

Online Deals on Straight Talk
Bring Your Own Phone SIM
Straight Talk Coverage GSM vs CDMA

Straight Talk Discount Refills

■ Our Rating: (2 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by: Independent
Network: Sprint Only
Tello has risen among the prepaid carriers as a low-price leader. Their plans start as low as $5 and plans with data can be less than $10.  While they encourage you to bring your own phone, there is a limit of the type of phones that are compatible.  It includes all Sprint phones and any unlocked model that can be used on Sprint's network.  You can tailor your plan based on the amount of minutes, texts, or data you need. They also offer Pay As You Go rates, and calls to Canada and Mexico are included.
Check for Tello's Current Promotions

■ Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
■ Operated by America Movil
■ Network: Verizon Wireless
TOTAL WIRELESS was created to be sold with limited retail distribution but is also available online. Coverage is limited to the Verizon Wireless network and not their roaming partners. You can get Unlimited Talk & Text plans starting at $25 and a large amount of 4G-LTE Data for about $10 more. Total Wireless is supported by America Movil and, like all America Movil  products, sales tax and local fees are added. If you live and travel within Verizon's wireless network, Total Wireless can be a good value for you.  
Total Wireless is Available Online!

■ Our Rating: (3 Out of 4 Stars)
Operated by America Movil
Network: There are 2 types of Coverage (Depending on Phone Model and Location):

GSM: AT&T, T-Mobile and Others

CDMA: Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Others
TracFone is the largest prepaid cellular company in the US and arrange for their phones to use whichever wireless carrier is available in a given geographic area. As a result, TracFone actually has more included roaming coverage available than perhaps any other single company, especially prepaid. They now allow you to bring your own Smart phone. Their price points start below $9 a month and offer all the advantages of prepaid services. They feature monthly plans and offer promotions with bonus minutes, and plans with 365-day expiration. They offer the option of having the charges deducted from your credit card or checking account automatically, eliminating the need to renew an exact expiration date. TracFone offers Free international calls to about 60 countries by calling a special access number, and with their International Neighbors features, they can provide a local number in Mexico or Canada for incoming calls from those countries at local rates for both callers. Tracfone's customer service is fairly easy to access, however, their agents have a wide variety of experience. It may take multiple calls to solve a problem. TracFone, like all America Movil companies, charges local sales tax.
Online Deals For TracFone
Discount TracFone Refills

- Our Ratings: We rate each service based on Coverage, Price, Roaming, Customer Support and Features, 1 to 4 stars, 4 being the best, 1 not so much.

We have details about smaller Prepaids on our Tertiary Prepaid Page.

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