The 10 Best Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans in 2024

Prepaid cell phone plans are a great option for those looking to save money on their mobile phone service. With prepaid plans, you pay upfront for a set allotment of minutes, texts, and data that you can use during a certain period of time (often 30-90 days). This allows you greater control and flexibility over your spending compared to postpaid contract plans.

In 2024, many excellent prepaid plans are available from major carriers and smaller mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). These affordable plans can meet the needs of light to heavy data users. With increased competition, plan allowances continue to grow while prices remain budget-friendly.

This guide covers the 10 best and cheapest prepaid phone plans you can get in 2024 based on value, affordability, data, talk & text. We’ll explain what each cell phone plan offers and why it stands out as a top pick for prepaid users.

1. Mint Mobile – Best Cheap Prepaid Plans Overall

Starting at

  • $15/month for 4GB
  • $20/month for 10GB
  • $25/month for 15GB

Mint Mobile has earned a reputation for having the best cheap prepaid phone plans on the market today. They consistently offer the perfect blend of high data amounts, unlimited talk and text, plus the coverage of the T-Mobile 5G network at extremely competitive pricing.

What makes Mint Mobile prepaid plans so affordable is that they sell service in bulk 3, 6 or 12-month plans which saves consumers a lot each month. They also keep overhead costs low as an online-only MVNO.

Some key details of Mint Mobile plans:

  • Data: 4GB, 10GB, 15GB per month
  • 5G access on capable devices
  • Mobile hotspot included
  • Unlitimed nationwide talk & text
  • Free calls to Mexico & Canada
  • 99% coverage footprint through T-Mobile

For budget-conscious prepaid users, especially the data-hungry ones, Mint Mobile has the best cheap rates in 2024 for the allotments they provide access to each month.

2. Visible – Unlimited Prepaid Plan

$30 per month when joining a Party Plan

Visible stands out as the only carrier to offer a truly unlimited prepaid plan without throttling your data speeds after a certain threshold. While officially advertised at $40 per month, Visible offers Party Pay which drops the monthly cost to just $30 when you join a group of at least 3 lines.

Here’s an overview of what Visible unlimited includes:

  • Truly unlimited data
  • Unlimited talk & text
  • 5G access where available
  • Mobile hotspot (one device)
  • 99% nationwide coverage via Verizon’s LTE & 5G
  • Unlimited talk to Mexico & Canada
  • Party Pay multi-line discount ($30 per line for 3+)

Visible lets customers stream video in HD quality without slowdowns. For prepaid shoppers who want an unlimited data amount each month at a reasonable rate, Visible can’t be beaten in 2024.

3. Tello – Customizable Affordable Prepaid Plans

From $10 per month

Tello stands out as the most customizable prepaid carrier when it comes to tailoring a plan exactly to your data needs each month at extremely competitive rates.

As an online MVNO powered by the T-Mobile LTE network, Tello keeps costs low and passes those savings onto consumers through flexible build-your-own prepaid rate plans with no contracts.

With Tello Pay As You Go plans in 2024, you can choose:

  • 100 Talk minutes for $7/month
  • Unlimited Talk & Text for $10/month
  • Data can be added at rate of $5 per 1GB
  • International calling add-ons

The flexibility to cut way back on data or increase as needed month-to-month makes Tello the ideal pick for shoppers wanting more control over a prepaid phone expenditure.

4. US Mobile – Customizable Plans + Perks

From $9 per month

Matching Tello for flexibility is US Mobile which stands out for letting subscribers build fully customized prepaid plans by mixing and matching buckets of talk, text and pooled data shared between devices.

You start with the basics an can add more based on your monthly mobile needs:

  • 250 Talk & Text for $9
  • Unlimited Talk & Text for $15
  • 1GB Data $9
  • 10GB Data Bucket $25 (shared)
  • International roaming add-ons
  • Perks like Netflix, Spotify, Pandora

US Mobile runs on Verizon’s fast 5G network and offers the most extras of any prepaid carrier. With generous pooled data allowances and ability to mix and match plan components each billing cycle, they appeal to a wide range of data needs.

5. Boost Mobile – Generous Data Plans

Starting at $15 per month

As one of the biggest no-contract prepaid networks in the country, Boost Mobile offers expanded coverage and very wallet-friendly monthly plans in 2024.

They have continued to increase data amounts this year, while keeping affordable pricing especially for multi-line accounts. Some key details:

  • Plans start at $15 for 3GB
  • $25 plan has 15GB
  • Unlimited plans offered too
  • 5G access included
  • 99% coverage nationwide
  • Mobile hotspot on all plans
  • Unlimited talk & text

An excellent choice for individuals and families needing lots of data on the T-Mobile 5G network, Boost Mobile prepaid value is tough to beat in 2024.

6. Cricket Wireless – Top-Ranked Prepaid Coverage

Plans from $30 per month

Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and promotes itself as having the best nationwide prepaid coverage compared to discount carriers. They offer a competitive range of plans from light to heavy data usage.

  • $30/month gets 4GB high-speed data
  • $40/month plan has 15GB data
  • Unlimited data plans available too
  • Unlimited talk & text on all plans
  • 99% coverage on AT&T LTE network
  • Mobile hotspot included up to 15GB cap
  • 5G access coming later in 2024

Known for reliable service across America, Cricket Wireless prepaid plans are a great choice for talk and text alongside mid-range to high data amounts each month. Their coverage makes them a top pick in rural locations too.

7. Walmart Family Mobile – Reliable Low-Cost Plans

From $25 per month

For the best value and variety of prepaid plans bundled with phones, Walmart Family Mobile can’t be beaten. Their plans rival the discounts available even directly from T-Mobile while bundled with new devices.

Walmart Family Mobile plan highlights:

  • Plans from $25 for 5GB data
  • $30 plan includes 10GB
  • Unlimited plans offered too
  • Unlimited talk & text standard
  • Built on fast T-Mobile 5G network
  • 99% nationwide coverage footprint
  • Mobile hotspot included

Offering a great selection of both iPhone and Android devices to pair with low-cost plans, Walmart Family Mobile makes it more affordable than ever to get connected on the T-Mobile network.

8. Tracfone – Longest Standing Prepaid Provider

Plans from $20 per month

With over 25 years in the prepaid business, Tracfone is the biggest and longest-standing no-contract provider in America. They offer wallet-friendly plans to suit lower data users.

  • Plans start at $20 with 3GB data
  • $25 monthly plan has 8GB
  • $35 plan gets you 12GB
  • Unlimited plans available too
  • Unlimited talk & text
  • Bring your own phone or buy
  • Access to both Verizon and AT&T

Built on a reliable CDMA and GSM network reaching 99% of Americans, Tracfone delivers exceptional nationwide prepaid coverage at budget-friendly monthly rates.

9. Simple Mobile – Generous Domestic & Global Plans

Plans from $25 per month

Simple Mobile delivers prepaid cell service with international appeal. They offer affordable monthly plans with lots of data optimized for heavy streaming and global communication with broad domestic and international coverage reach.

Here’s what Simple Mobile has to offer:

  • Plans from $25 for 15GB
  • $50 plan has unlimited data
  • Mobile hotspot included
  • Reliable T-Mobile LTE network
  • Generous international calling bundles
  • Worldwide coverage in over 70 countries

For prepaid consumers who want a balance of domestic data with international calling and global roaming capabilities, Simple Mobile has very versatile and wallet-friendly plan options.

10. Red Pocket Mobile – Low Cost Basics

Plans from $10 per month

Red Pocket Mobile rounds out our list by providing no-frills, low-cost prepaid plans that cover the basic talk, text and light use needs for an incredible value.

As an MVNO, Red Pocket offers super cheap plans good for 30-360 days at a time:

  • $10 plan has 500 minutes talk & unlimited text
  • $15 plan gets you 1000 talk minutes
  • $20 monthly plan has 3GB of data
  • Bring your own AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon device
  • Unlimited slower data after cap reached
  • Hotspot capability supported

For those with basic prepaid needs on a tight budget, Red Pocket Mobile has the cheapest pay-as-you-go plans that deliver excellent domestic coverage and account management flexibility.

What To Look For in Cheap Prepaid Plans

When comparing affordable prepaid cell phone plans in 2024, be sure to evaluate these key factors:

  1. Network Coverage Footprint: Most MVNO prepaid carriers lease access from major networks like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Evaluate coverage reach for your area before choosing a plan.
  2. Data Amounts Per Month: If you stream music and video daily, opt for plans with at least 10-15GB of full-speed data to avoid slower data or overages. Light users can get by on 1-4GB per month quite affordably.
  3. Call & Text Allowances: Many prepaid plans offer unlimited nationwide calling and texting which is preferred. For light callers, some plans allow customization of minutes talking bucket amounts.
  4. 5G Access: With 5G rolling out nationwide, prepaid provider 5G access is expanding quickly. Unlimited data plans often include 5G whereas metered plans sometimes have 5G for an added fee.
  5. Mobile Hotspot: Most prepaid carriers offer mobile hotspot use within monthly data amounts allowed. Having this capability for Wi-Fi internet access on laptops and tablets is ideal.
  6. Multi-Line Discounts: For family and group plans, most prepaid carriers offer discounted rates for multiple lines on the same account so always check for available markdowns.

Get Significant Savings With Prepaid Phone Plans

The best cheap prepaid phone plans really deliver exceptional value and wallet savings over pricier postpaid contracts. They combine excellent coverage with generous amounts of full-speed data for streaming, downloading and web access on the go.

Unlimited talk and text is standard along with mobile hotspot access for Wi-Fi sharing. As prepaid carriers enhance their network reach and 5G availability, the case for switching from postpaid bills only gets stronger. Evaluate all your options to maximize savings!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs about cheap prepaid phone plans:

What are the cheapest prepaid plans?

The cheapest prepaid plans typically start around $10-15 per month. Some of the least expensive options are Red Pocket Mobile, Mint Mobile’s 4GB plan, and Tello’s Pay As You Go plan.

Do prepaid plans have hidden fees?

Most prepaid plans do not have hidden fees. What you see advertised is typically the monthly price you will pay, with taxes being the only add-on. There are no activation fees, overage charges or early termination fees like with postpaid plans.

Can you bring your own phone to a prepaid plan?

Yes, most prepaid carriers support bringing your existing unlocked phone to use with their service and SIM card. This helps you save money upfront rather than buying a brand new device.

Do prepaid plans work with iPhones?

Yes, iPhones can be used with pretty much every major prepaid carrier now, including plans from Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile, Cricket and many others. Just be sure your iPhone is unlocked.

How does data work on prepaid plans?

Prepaid data works the same as with postpaid plans, allowing you to browse the web, stream videos and music, and use apps. Once you hit your monthly data allowance, speeds are reduced or you will need to purchase an add-on pack.

Can you make international calls on prepaid plans?

Most prepaid plans include international calling bundles to Mexico, Canada and even other countries. Some carriers like Simple Mobile even include global connectivity in over 70 countries with their monthly plans.

Do prepaid plans support mobile hotspots/tethering?

The majority of prepaid carriers allow turning your phone into a mobile WiFi hotspot for other devices you own. This pulls from your monthly data bucket and is included at no extra charge.