Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans Of 2019
Hotspot plans change all the time. On AT&T and Verizon, your best bet is to add your hotspot line to your existing carrier's phone plan, as a separate line. That gets you the most data for your dollar. If you add a hotspot onto an "unlimited" phone plan, you get up to 50GB of high-speed data with Verizon, up to 40GB of data with AT&T, and 40GB with T-Mobile. After that, the carriers deprioritize your data or throttle it unpredictably. (T-Mobile's Magenta Max plan says it has truly unlimited data, but it isn't designed for use on dedicated hotspot devices and so you may get cut off unexpectedly.) You can find more details on the carriers' constantly changing hotspot plans at RVMobileInternet.com(Opens in a new window).
Best prepaid cell phone plans of 2019
Quality 5G hotspots such as the Verizon Orbic Speed 5G UW Mobile Hotspot and Netgear M5 use the Qualcomm X55 modem. That's two generations behind the latest phones, but it's the best you can get right now.
The best 4G hotspots, including the MiFi 8000 and MiFi 8800L, use the Qualcomm X20 or X24 modems. Other hotspots out there, including everything the virtual carriers currently sell, use three- or four-year-old modems that have lower speeds and worse signal strength than the best new phones. That means you may get 5Mbps to 10Mbps whereas your phone gets 25Mbps to 30Mbps, for instance.
If you decide to make the jump, hotspots and cellular modems aren't the only options. Smartphones have a Wi-Fi hotspot mode, and if you have a 5G phone, you might get better performance in that mode than you would with a 4G hotspot. That said, phones support fewer devices at once, have fewer network management features, and can run out of battery quite quickly.
For my research finding the best sim card for Europe I traveled to every European country. I put together complete guides for the best prepaid sim card in Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, France, Sweden, UK, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Finland, etc. on top of that I checked all major airports in Europe: Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Geneva, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Madrid, Manchester, Lisbon, Rome, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Oslo and many more.
Choosing a phone plan, in general, is no small feat, but choosing a prepaid phone plan for seniors can get even trickier. We compared prepaid plans from regular and senior-friendly companies alike, narrowing down our top picks for you.How did we do it? From pricing and discounts to contracts and medical alert features, we combed through the best prepaid phone plans out there to find the best choices for seniors. Below is a list of our most important criteria.
Lively prepaid phone plans were made for seniors! Enjoy the flexibility your budget needs and the safety features your health requires. Choose from monthly phone plans starting at less than $20 per month for value talk, text, and data.
No, the cost of a prepaid phone plan does not include the cost of purchasing a cell phone. However, most prepaid phone plan carriers let you bring your own phone for no additional charge or sell cell phones that are compatible with their network separately.
If you plan to go with AT&T prepaid service, you should consider bringing your own phone, where they provide a SIM card for you to put into a device you already have. You can also check our best cheap Android phones and best Android phone lists for great options that will play nicely with the AT&T network. If you decide to stick with what AT&T prepaid phones are on offer, here are the best options.
Want to keep your current phone? Under a limited time promotion, Verizon is offering discounts between $5 to $14 on its various unlimited plans when you bring your own device. Even better for families, that discount applies to each line of data that brings its own phone.
We're constantly keeping track of different wireless carriers to see which ones offer the best cell phone plans. That includes checking Verizon's offerings to see how they compare to other plans from both major carriers and smaller providers. Because of that, we can walk you through your options at Verizon.
Families will prefer unlimited plans for the discounts Verizon adds for each line in your phone plan as well as the many perks that Verizon offers subscribers. But if you're looking to save on your monthly bill, Verizon also offers one of the best prepaid phone plans, even if you can find cheaper cell phone plans elsewhere.
Verizon 5G Play More $80/month - Best unlimited plan (opens in new tab)Verizon's Play More plan is one of the best unlimited data options around. Not only does it include unlimited 5G on Verizon's impressive network but it also includes a free subscription to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu, plus a subscription to the streaming gaming service of your choice (Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass) and six-month trials for Apple Music and Discovery Plus. Those extras make Verizon's 5G Play More a top choice for unlimited data, and if you bring your own phone, the cost drops to $66 per month.
Verizon 15GB prepaid $35 - Best prepaid option at Verizon (opens in new tab)Verizon's prepaid plans cram a lot of data in for the price. The best option gets you 15GB of data for $45 a month but if you set up AutoPay, that price drops to $35 after the first month of payments. Signing up for autopay means you no longer get Verizon's loyalty discounts for keeping your prepaid account open at Verizon, but the autopay discount is steeper than it was before.
Pressured by rival carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon reintroduced unlimited plans in 2017, and hasn't looked back since, even expanding into multiple unlimited options. We think the Verizon 5G Play More plan is the best unlimited data option because it includes Disney-owned streaming services (Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu) as part of your subscription. You also get six-month trials for Apple Music and Discovery Plus. Additionally, Verizon includes Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, depending on which streaming gaming service strikes your fancy.
The only other prepaid options at Verizon are a pair of unlimited plans. They cost $50/month and $60/month after $10 autopay discounts. Both prepaid unlimited plans at Verizon include a six-month subscription to Disney Plus. Even a limited trial to Disney Plus makes Verizon one of the prepaid providers to include a complementary streaming service as a perk, though Google Fi has since added YouTube Premium as a perk for Unlimited Plus plan customers.
If you live in an area that's covered by Verizon's 5G network and want to experience faster coverage, unlimited data is the best Verizon plan to get. Complete 5G coverage comes with the Play More, Do More and Get More unlimited plans, as well as with Verizon's prepaid unlimited plan and the new One Unlimited for iPhone option. 5G Start and Welcome Unlimited customers only get nationwide 5G coverage, not the faster Ultra Wideband service.
Finding the best Verizon phone plan for your wireless needs involves choosing between unlimited data or turning to the tiered data options from Verizon's prepaid service. (Verizon offered 5GB and 10GB plans for postpaid customers, but those are now discontinued for new accounts.)
Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -8-2/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate); else triggerHydrate(); } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Philip MichaelsSocial Links NavigationPhilip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.
Just about any unlocked phone can be used with a prepaid carrier, as long as it supports the bands for the underlying carrier. That means you can buy one of the most expensive phones on the market and use it with a prepaid carrier. But if you're looking to get the best value for money, these Android phones under $350 are the right place to start. The OnePlus Nord N20 has all of the right features with fast hardware, good cameras, and support for sub-6 5G.
The Snapdragon 695 CPU feels like the perfect fit, with enough power to keep things running smoothly, and the efficiency to make the 4,500mAh battery lasts all day with ease. Like Google's low-cost Pixels, the N20 reminds us that a cheap phone can still have excellent cameras with its 64MP main shooter, 2MP macro camera, and 2MP monochrome sensor. We were thoroughly impressed by the photos in our Nord N20 review.
The OnePlus Nord N200 5G is a lot of phone for the price with solid specs, good build quality, and a massive battery. Even in our in-depth Nord N200 review, its Snapdragon 480 CPU performed admirably. The large 6.49-inch, 1080x2400 IPS display refreshes at 90Hz making this phone feel even nicer to use. It only comes with 64GB of storage but with one of the best microSD cards, there's plenty of room to grow.