Prepaid cellphone plans comparison

What I hate the most is that only competition will ever get you lower prices with monopolies. Verizon has only recently introduced prepaid plans (which most cellphone providers think that customers do not need), which has forced AT&T to introduce clone lower-priced plans.Of course, the main driving force of who you will choose will depend on who you will call the most (in-network calls are free on most plans).

You can transfer and keep your prepaid phone number from one provider to another.

Be smart, compare prices. It may be possible to pay for less on a prepaid plan than on a contract basis.

Move your data before transferring your phone number. Remember that the old service is disconnected immediately after number transfer is successful. Make sure any software, games, voicemail, photos, pictures, txt messages, and the like is transferred to the new phone. And remember to delete that data if you sell that phone or give it to someone else. You can resend some of that data from one phone to another if you cannot transfer it thru the SIM card.

If you are buying a used phone, make sure the following:

  • The phone does not come with a contract
  • There is a close-up picture and text specifies that there are no excessive scratches or damage
  • Seller has a return policy
  • The phone displays the exact name of the provider on the phone (ignore if text says "it will work with that provider anyways"), especially for Sprint phones.
  • If you are buying a Spring phone, it must say "Spring" on the phone.
  • The text states that the ESN (electronic serial number) is clean. For phones without SIM cards (Verizon, Sprint, etc), you use ESN to activate the phone. On AT&T, you pop in the SIM card.
  • Do not buy the cheapest cellphone that you see online. You will likely have to buy another phone that is not actually badly scratched, damaged, or actually activates.


Plans comparison table:

  AT&T Verizon
Cost of plan Link to available plans. Recommended: Mobile to Mobile Plan Link to available plans. Recommended: Core.
Cost of phone Frequently has refurbished phones on their website for $10. Plenty of cheap phones on the Internet. No activation fee. New phones start at $50. $25 activation fee. Harder to find refurbished phones anywhere
Activation and other fees No activation fee $25 activation fee
Problems and stupidities Automatic refill is useless. New e-mail notification on phone is useless. Web access on phone is very expensive. PIN has to be entered every time you access voicemail.
Uses SIM card? Yes No
Texting package?    
Balance announcement Text window after call or message. Gets in the way frequently Voice recording before call. Gets in the way of fast calls.
Special software on phone:    

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Page last modified 21-May-16 15:34:40 EDT
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