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The best of prepaid? Verizon vs AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint plans compared

 SprintVerizon AT&TT-Mobile ONE
1 GB-
-$30-
3 GB-
$40--
4 GB$40
--$45
6 GB-
-$40$55
7 GB/10 GB-
$50/$60--/$50 (limited time offer)
Unlimited$50$80$60$75
*prepaid plan prices are after the auto-pay discount, where available

All major US carriers have had those scrappy prepaid phones since ages, for folks who didn't really have the wherewithal to endure two-year contracts, or the credit history to get a subsidized expensive phone with set monthly outlays. The death of two-year contracts forced them to rethink the prepaid conundrum, too, and these are now very enticingly priced, plus the phones offered on prepaid are no longer scraping the bottom of the specs barrel.

After the two-year cell phone contract is all but dead, and after the dust from the unlimited data plans battle has now settled, the next frontier in the cutthroat competition among the major US carriers is the prepaid market. More and more folks are seeing that value, and AT&T just acknowledged that fact by rebranding its GoPhone plans, and announcing that "prepaid is becoming the most competitive category in wireless."

We've compared the current prepaid offerings from each major carrier above for your convenience, and, surprisingly, with these prices the MVNOs may soon be feeling the heat in prepaid - just look at AT&T's Cricket MVNO plans below, for instance, and the situation is not much better with Straight Talk, Boost, Virgin or other prepaid populars.

Cricket's prepaid offerings are not much better than what the mothership AT&T now offers

Cricket's prepaid offerings are not much better than what the mothership AT&T now offers


These plans include unlimited talk and texts, but who's talking these days, it's the data that counts, as well as other perks.T-Mobile, for example, has been running a 10 GB for $50 prepaid promo since March, and has the highest throttling threshold. Sprint maintains the lowest unlimited data price in prepaid as well, while AT&T now gives you two months for free, and its unlimited prepaid is very reasonably priced, barely higher than Cricket's, for instance. 

Verizon's is the most expensive, but its network offers the most expansive coverage, and a few other extras as well, so check out the current prepaid plan prices for easier comparison when you shop around the big four, and eventually settle down for whichever is the one that covers your area best.

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