The 7 Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans of 2023

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LifeWire / Amelia Manley

The Rundown
  • Best Overall: Metro by T-Mobile, "The best overall rates for prepaid subscribers across the country."
  • Best Data Plan: Boost Mobile, "Unlimited talk, text, and 35 GB data plans start at $50 for a single line and $90 per month for a family of three."
  • Best Basic: GoSmart Mobile, "Unlimited international texting as well as unlimited 4G LTE access to both Facebook and Facebook Messenger."
  • Best Individual: T-Mobile, "The Simply Prepaid option is a great choice for individual shoppers looking for a single line of service."
  • Best Freedom: AT&T Prepaid, "For just $25 per month, customers get unlimited talk and text plus 8 GB of high speed data."
  • Best Coverage: Verizon Wireless, "Best in the country for download speeds and reception where you need it most."
  • Best Seniors: Consumer Cellular, "A middle-of-the-road rate plan for two people will run about $55 per month with 7 GB of data."

Best Overall: Metro by T-Mobile

The Metro By T-Mobile logo.

 The Metro By T-Mobile logo.

With a bevy of single- and family-line options available, Metro by T-Mobile offers the best overall rates for prepaid subscribers across the industry.

Whether it's a four-line unlimited plan at $100 a month or two lines starting at $80 per month, Metro by T-Mobile includes taxes and videos alongside unlimited talk, text, and data. There are less expensive offerings, as well, for individuals or families, including a $30 offering that adds unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB of data.

Most Metro by T-Mobile plans also include 4G LTE mobile hotspot connectivity as well as Wi-Fi calling and nationwide coverage, thanks to parent company T-Mobile's coast-to-coast network.

As a prepaid or "pay-as-you-go" user, you can expect to pay full price for the purchase of a device, including flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G or Apple iPhone 13. At the same time, you're welcome to connect your own compatible smartphone to your Metro by T-Mobile line at any time.

Best Data Plan: Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile

 Boost Mobile

If lots of data with a bunch of extra perks is what you're after, look to Boost Mobile for great pricing and generous data for the whole family.

Plans with unlimited talk, text, and 35 GB of LTE data start at $50 for a single line. You also get a 12 GB mobile hotspot. (After you exceed 35 GB of data, speeds will be reduced.)

A $60 offering adds HD video streaming and a 30 GB mobile hotspot. Add international calling to Mexico for just $5 per month per line.

Supported by parent company DISH, the Boost network reaches nearly every corner of the U.S. for nationwide coverage.

Best Basic: GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile

 GoSmart Mobile

When it comes to the basics, look to GoSmart Mobile for a prepaid plan that offers budget-friendly rates with a few notable extras.

Beginning at $15 per month for unlimited talk, text, and 250 MB of data, GoSmart jumps as high as $55 per month, allowing unlimited data and a 10 GB mobile hotspot, along with a $10 international calling credit.

While the data speed limitation stands out, so does GoSmart's unlimited international texting as well as unlimited 4G LTE access to both Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

No matter which of the GoSmart plans you're on, every customer receives unlimited use of the Facebook platform. To get 4G LTE access to Facebook, you must have a 4G LTE-capable device and must do so on your own, as GoSmart provides only the service and the SIM.

Best Individual: T-Mobile



While competition in the prepaid space is fierce, the Simply Prepaid option is a great choice for individual shoppers looking for a single line of service.

With unlimited talk, text, and up to 10 GB 4G LTE data for $40 a month, customers on this plan have the option of bringing their own device or purchasing one directly from the provider.

If you wanted to jump just a little bit higher to add unlimited data and unlimited mobile hotspot connectivity, opt for the $50 Unlimited monthly rate plan. There's also an Unlimited Plus plan for $60 per month with unlimited data and up to 10 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot connectivity.

A $15 international plan is also available, offering unlimited calling to more than 70 countries; an extra $5 will net you international roaming in Mexico and Canada.

If you have limited data needs and are looking for a truly cost-effective plan, consider the T-Mobile Connect low-priced options: a $15-per-month prepaid plan with unlimited talk and text, plus up to 3 GB of high-speed data, or a $25-per-month prepaid plan with up to 6 GB of high-speed data. With these plans, T-Mobile vows to increase your data by 500 MB every year through 2025.

Best Freedom: AT&T Prepaid

ATT Logo

 ATT Logo

AT&T isn't the first company to come to mind when it comes to prepaid mobile service, but it should be a consideration. AT&T has several plans to choose from for various budgets and data needs.

The plan that offers the best deal in the AT&T lineup is its $25 per month (paid in advance for 12 months) unlimited talk and text plan that includes 16 GB of high-speed data.

If you think you'll need more high-speed data, or if you would like to use your mobile device as a wireless hotspot, AT&T also offers an unlimited talk, text, and data plan (that includes the ability to add on mobile hotspot data) for just $50 per month (when you select AutoPay).

Additional discounts apply to those who have multiple lines. AT&T offers $20 off per line per month with a family plan.

Need to read more reviews for family plans? Take a look at our pickings for the best family cellphone plans.

Best Coverage: Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless

 Verizon Wireless 

Its rates may not always be the most competitive, but it's hard to doubt Verizon's commitment to its network, making it the best choice for prepaid customers.

Verizon's most popular prepaid plans start at $40 for the first line and offer unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB of data; plan prices go all the way up to $75 for an individual line with unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband data.

The longer you stay with a plan, the more you'll save. For example, the $40 plan drops down to $30 per month after three months and $25 per month after nine months (this includes a $5 AutoPay discount).

Each rate plan offers unlimited texting to more than 200 countries worldwide, while the higher-tier plans include unlimited calls to and from both Mexico and Canada. Family plans are also available at all rates, and you can add up to five lines.

Fortunately, the higher cost equates to stronger coverage, as Verizon's network is widely regarded as the best in the country for download speeds and reception where and when you need it most.

Best Seniors: Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular

 Consumer Cellular

For seniors who want no contract with a prepaid cellular plan, Consumer Cellular is what you're looking for.

Designed with the older user in mind, customers can opt for one, two, or three-line plans with data increments of 1 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, 15 GB, or 20 GB of shared data, or they can choose unlimited data. If you don't need a data plan, opt for an unlimited talk-only plan for $15 per month.

A middle-of-the-road rate plan for two people is $50 per month with 10 GB of shared data. The deal gets even more attractive for AARP members who can save 5 percent on their monthly service.

Fortunately, you're never married to just one plan, as Consumer Cellular allows customers to change plans every month to address different needs and budgets.

Customers have the option of purchasing devices directly from Consumer Cellular, including flip phones designed specifically for an older customer with larger buttons and displays, as well as newer flagship devices like the iPhone 13 and the latest Samsung phones.

Want to take a look at some other options for seniors? See our guide for the best senior cellphone plans.

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