5 Most Popular Prepaid Cell Phone Plans

There are many options for prepaid cell phone plans and it can become confusing to the consumer who needs to make a choice. Not all prepaid cell phone plans are created equally but some still stand out from the crowd when it comes to affordability and easy of use.

Here are 5 of the most popular prepaid cell phone plans available to consumers today


The standing leader in the prepaid cell phone industry, TracPhone offers a large selection of cell phone devices as well as many plans that are easy to use and understand. TracFone includes the ability to carry over unused minutes on plans as long as phones are recharged with new minutes every three months. The phones allow users to access how many minutes have been used, giving adequate notice for recharge. There are multiple options for minute denominations ranging from 30 minutes for $9.99 to 450 minutes for $79.99. Double Minutes for Life cards can be purchased for $49.99 and double minutes for cardholders on all card purchases in the future. Text messaging rates differ among phone types, ranging from free to 5 cents a message.


Net10 is one of the most popular prepaid cell phone service providers because their pricing structure is simple to understand and easy to use. Net10 uses only one rate for all calls. All minutes are priced at 10 cents each which eliminates the confusion of different rates at different times. While Net10 does not offer discount pricing for nights or weekend phone use, the 10 cents per minute is simple to use and understand. Prepaid cards are available in a selection of plan options including a $45 plan for 600 minutes and a $60 card with 900 minutes. The company also offers two options for 30-day plans including a $25- 750 minute plan or a $50 plan that includes unlimited everything. Call waiting and voicemail cost nothing extra and there is no activation fee for the phone.


T-Mobile is one of the larger cell phone providers that now offer prepaid options for cellular service. There is no monthly bill for customers. Minutes can be purchased over the Internet through a minute card at T-Mobile retail stores. The company offers monthly prepaid plans and pay-as-you-go options. Prepaid plans include unlimited talk and texting as well as 100MB of data for $50 a month. A smaller plan is available for $30. One downside to the calling prices of T-Mobile is that the small quantity cards end up costing more money in minutes than higher denominations. Pay-as-you-go texting costs 10 cents to send messages and 5 cents to receive messages. Features like Caller ID, voicemail, and call waiting are included at no additional charge.


Another big cell phone provider offering prepaid plans is AT&T. AT&T is known for high quality phone selections as well as good customer service. Rates vary for the four prepaid plan GoPhone options. Two plans include unlimited talk and texting services. The other options include pay-as-you-go services where minutes are priced at 10 cents each. Data plans are also available on a pay-as-you-go basis or for a monthly fee.  There are no activation fees associated with this prepaid plan.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon wireless prepaid services offer several prepaid plans to cater to the needs of all users depending on their calling needs. Prepaid packages include several options for unlimited minutes and 1-cent texting. Verizon also offers one of the largest calling networks in the nation. Daily plans do incur an access charge which may be a drawback for some users. Plans include 25 cent minute, pay-as-you-go plans and 99 cent per day plans that charge 10 cents per minute for the days the phone is used. The Unleashed plan, which is only available in certain locations does offer unlimited talk, text, and mobile web access for $44.99 a month with additional minutes charging at 45 cents each. Unlimited minute plans cost $74.99 each month. Text message for pay-as-you-go rates vary by plan chosen.


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