There are a large amount of prepaid carriers in the marketplace, from the no names to the recognizable brands. It's not difficult to find a cheap plan. However, cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better. When it comes to the best value for your pre-paid buck, you will likely find what you need with carriers that have nationwide service areas and a large selection of both plans and phone offerings.
Consumer Cellular is an AT&T product. If you're looking for unlimited minutes, you're looking at a flat rate of $50 per month. The price lowers even further when you elect to buy bulk minutes. For example, the price for 3,500 minutes is $40 per month. You can even choose as little as 250 minutes per month, which fetches a rate of $15 per month. If you go over your plan allotment, you pay 25 cents per additional minute. If you'd rather pay for only the minutes you use, there's a plan for that and it's $10 per month. You pay this in addition to 25 cents per minute of use. This plan is good for users who rarely use a cell phone or have one for emergency use only.
Cricket Wireless is another AT&T product. Plans range from $25 to $60 per month. The cheapest plan, Talk and Text, is $25. It comes with unlimited talk and text minutes. However, you forego other common features, such as the ability to surf the web. The next plan up is the Basic Plan at $40 per month. With this plan, you can search the web, using up to 2.6 GB of data at high speed. It also comes with unlimited talk and text. However, you also get the ability to send picture and video files without limitation. The $50 Smart monthly plan offers up to 5 GB of high speed data capability and comes with unlimited talk, text, picture and video messaging. You also get unlimited talk and text to certain international location. Cricket's Pro plan is the top shelf plan that gives you every thing the $50 plan gives, but 5 GB more for a total of 10 GB of high speed data use. No matter what plan you have, Cricket deducts $5 from your monthly charge if you utilize its auto pay feature.
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Sprint offers several prepaid plans, with Boost Mobile being one of its most well-known brands. You have a choice between the $35 per month with up to 1 GB of high speed data, $45 for up to 5 GB, and $55 for 10GB. Each of the monthly plans comes with unlimited talk, text, picture and video messaging capability. Boost also has day-to-day plans available. For basic phones, you just pay $2 per day. This gives you unlimited talk, text and data along with popular phone features such as voicemail, call waiting and call forwarding. The $3 per day plan is reserved for smartphones and provides the same features. You can also purchase other services as the need arises, including data packs to get more high speed data when you have already used your allotment and mobile hotspot capabilities for your phone.
Virgin Mobile is another option among prepaid carriers. It provides unlimited talk, text and data coverage at plans starting at $35 up to $55 per month. The $35 plan lets you mix and match your needs. You can choose either to have 250 MB of high speed data with your unlimited talk, text and data or keep the unlimited talk and text and switch out the 250 MB of high speed data for 300 minutes at the higher speed of 2.5 GB instead. The next plan up is $45 and gives you unlimited data, talk and text plus 1 GB of high speed data. The top tier $55 monthly plan give you the same plus an additional 2 GB of high speed data on top. If you just want Wi-Fi access on your phone, Virgin offers this service through its Wi-Fi Lover's Delight plan priced at $20 per month. You get up to 300 minutes of access and unlimited texting.