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Best prepaid phone plans in 2022

Published Feb 5th, 2022 9:45AM EST
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Everybody has a phone these days. From your kids to your grandparents, everyone needs a way to stay connected on the go. Buying a prepaid phone plan can be a great way to save money and still get access to great coverage. Most companies let you pay ahead, which means you don’t have to worry about your monthly bill changing each cycle. But, with so many phone plans out there, how do you choose the right one? That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you want to look for in a prepaid phone plan, as well as discuss some of the best prepaid phone plans out there.

Before we dive into the good stuff, let’s talk about what you want to look for in a prepaid phone plan. First, you’re going to want to look into the coverage that they offer. A lot of prepaid phone options utilize the coverage of postpaid phone companies like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. While these providers offer some great phone plans to keep in mind, not all coverage areas are created equal. You’ll also want to look for a plan that fits what you need. If you use a lot of data each month or don’t have ready access to wi-fi, try going for something with a higher or unlimited data cap. It’s also important to keep your phone’s connection type in mind. Does your phone support 5G or is it only a 4G device? Additionally, it’s always important to find something that fits your price range.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the important things to look out for, though, it’s time to really dig in. Here’s a quick look at some of the best prepaid phone plans available in 2022.

Best prepaid phone plan overall: Mint 10GB

Mint MobileImage source: Mint Mobile

Pros: Affordable and easy to set up, 5G and other perks

Cons: Best prices come from buying months in bulk, price increase after first three months

It’s impossible not to include Mint on our list, and for good reason. Even without all the great celebrity-filled ads, Mint Mobile offers some fantastic options for prepaid users looking to group a great plan with their smartphone. While not the cheapest plan out there, or the one with the highest data cap, the Mint 10GB plan comes in at a moderate $20 a month for new users.

That price does go up after the first initial three months, but Mint gives you access to 5G and 4G LTE data, as well as unlimited talk and text. If you’re rocking an iPhone 13, or one of the best Android phones, 5G access lets you take advantage of faster speeds. That $20 a month goes up to $35 a month after the first three months, but you can subscribe for longer periods of time (up to 12 months) to receive a lower monthly price.

Mint also throws in free mobile hotspot access, as well as wi-fi calling and texting, so you can more easily send and make calls on your phone when it’s connected to your home internet. While this plan touts a 10GB data cap, it’s important to note that you’ll still have access to data after you hit your cap. However, it will slow down exponentially, so this isn’t the greatest plan if you use a lot of data each month.

Subscribe to Mint Mobile

Best prepaid phone plan with unlimited data: Visible

Visible prepaid phone logoImage source: Visible

Pros: No 5G cap, unlimited hotspot usage, and tons of ways to bring your bill cost down

Cons: Not the cheapest unlimited data plan out there

Visible is less of its own provider, and more of a service offered by one of the most well-known carriers, Verizon. Because it’s owned by Verizon, it makes use of the telecom giant’s network, giving it an exceptional amount of coverage across the United States. Visible only offers one plan — unlimited — and you can get it for a starting price of $40 a month. That might seem a little expensive for a prepaid phone plan, but it gives you all the hotspot that you can use, as well as no cap on 5G data. 

On top of offering great coverage and perks, Visible also comes with a lot of ways to get your monthly bill down. You can team up with other friends on the service using “Party Pay”. This works essentially like a family plan, but you can team up with at least four other people to bring your monthly payment down to $25 a month. There are also special plans for wearables like the Apple Watch, and you can bring your own phone, too. 

Visible isn’t the cheapest plan out there if you’re going in solo. But, if you can get a couple of friends together, you’ll get great coverage for a great price.

Subscribe to Visible

Best prepaid phone plan for low-data users: Mint 4GB

Mint mobile app on phoneImage source: Mint

Pros: Lots of extra perks, 5G access for super cheap

Cons: Best prices come from buying months in bulk

You really shouldn’t be surprised to see Mint back on here. After all, the company offers some great plans for users looking for prepaid service. Much like the 10GB offering, the Mint 4GB plan come with all the usual perks like 5G and mobile hotspot usage. You’ll also get free international calls to Mexico and Canada, too.

Of course, like the 10GB plan, Mint’s cheaper option requires you to pay months in advance for the best prices. When you first start out, though, you can get three months of service for just $15 a month. This price goes up to $25 a month after the first 90 days, but you can bring it back down by subscribing for 12 months at a time. If you don’t plan on using a lot of 5G data each month, this can be a great option. While not the cheapest low-data plan out there, Mint continues to deliver fantastic coverage, especially as 5G continues to roll out to more areas. If you’re looking for a solid prepaid phone plan, and don’t mind dropping the $180 upfront to pay for 12 months, this can be a great low-data plan to pick up on any smartphone that supports the network.

Subscribe to Mint 4GB

Best budget prepaid phone plan: US Mobile 5GB

US Mobile prepaid planImage source: US Mobile/Amazon

Pros: Uses T-Mobile and Verizon coverage, easy to customize and mix plan options

Cons: Low data cap

Where Mint is probably a name that many expect to see on a list like this, US Mobile might not be. Don’t let not knowing about this company fool you, though. It has some amazing options for users that want a budget-friendly prepaid phone plan. In fact, its 5GB data plan is perfect for people who want to spend less on their cellphone bill without losing access to unlimited talk, text, and solid data speeds.

US Mobile uses a combination of T-Mobile and Verizon towers to provide coverage. This means you should be able to get coverage in a lot more areas than some other services out there. The initial plan is also only $15 a line. That makes it one of the cheapest out there for what it offers. Of course, being a prepaid phone plan designed for budget users, you’re not going to get a lot of perks to show off here. If you’ve got more than one line, you can expect to see some savings when you bundle them all together.

US Mobile also makes it very easy to combine different elements of some of its plans together, to create a plan that feels right for you. There are also other options out there, like the 12GB plan for $20, or even the 18GB plan for $25. They aren’t as cheap as the 5GB plan. If you don’t mind paying a little extra for a few more data access, you’ll find it useful.

Subscribe to US Mobile 5GB

Best family prepaid phone plan: Boost Unlimited

Boost prepaid plan optionsImage source: Boost Mobile

Pros: Lots of flexibility for adding new lines, can mix and match different plans into one custom plan

Cons: Best prices only available after six months of service

When it comes to family-oriented prepaid phone plans, Boost offers some of the best options. A family of three can join up and grab a Boost plan for just $30 per line. This gives them access to unlimited data, talk, and text. There’s also a lot of flexibility for how you mix and match the different options. This comes in handy when adding a new line.

Boost currently works off T-Mobile’s coverage, but the company is in the process of moving over to AT&T towers. That means you should have solid coverage across the states, including 5G and 4G LTE. The company currently offers two “unlimited” plans, one for $50 and one for $60. The only difference here is how much data you’ll get on your hotspot, as the cheaper plan only offers 12GB of hotspot data. The more expensive offer comes with 30GB of mobile hotspot data. Another nice features bout Boost is that the price will drop after six months of service.

Where it succeeds in family offerings, Boost isn’t that great for solo users, so we definitely recommend steering clear if you don’t have multiple lines to bring to the service. 

Subscribe to Boost Unlimited

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.