Cricket vs Metro, Straight Talk, Boost, Mint and Fi prepaid plan prices

Cricket vs Metro, Straight Talk, Boost, Mint and Fi prepaid plan prices

Best prepaid unlimited for a single line

Straight Talk at Walmart for $50 with 60GB cap and 10GB hotspot
Cricket Wireless for $40 with number porting and 15GB hotspot

Cheapest prepaid plan

Mint (T-Mobile's network), at $15/mo for 12GB data and hotspot

Best prepaid unlimited for a family

Metro by T-Mobile with 4 Lines - $120/mo (limited time offer) with 35GB cap and 15GB hotspot

Best prepaid unlimited for international travel and hotspot

Google Project Fi with $70/mo for single line, 22GB hotspot and free high-speed data in 200+ countries

It used to be that going the so-called Non-Contract Full-Service Wireless Providers route was the only way to get unlimited data at reasonable pricing on your favorite carrier of choice. Today's prepaid fight, however, is fought by the major carriers - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint - leaving scraps for their virtual carrier (MVNO) offshoots. 

Still, they have reinvented themselves, and each is targeting a certain niche, either geographically, or with unorthodox amounts of data at rock bottom prices, too, in a way to differentiate from the big four. Well, the little guys usually ditch a few added features in the process, but those are of the type you might not be using on a regular basis anyway.

We've compared the current offerings from a few major MVNOs (virtual operators that piggyback on the big four networks), and found out that in most cases there is a niche that is still unoccupied by the big players, and maybe there is one for you, too, so check out the current prepaid plan prices of MetroPCS, Cricket, Straight Talk, Boost, and Google's Project Fi, for easier comparison when you shop around.

Cricket Wireless - AT&T at a discount

Piggybacking on the second-largest US network, Cricket made a name for itself for offering what AT&T does in terms of coverage at cheaper pricing, but with some important omissions that may or may not be your cup of tea. To reach the $55 price of its unlimited data plan, for instance, Cricket limits video streaming to SD quality and speeds to 3Mbps. Its current $40 promo for unlimited if you port a number from another carrier, is an excellent value. 

Metro by T-Mobile

T-Mobile prides itself on having a slightly faster 4G network than Verizon on average, though with much fewer users on it, compared to Big Red. That's good news for Metro by T-Mobile, as it relies on the latter for its call and data duties. 

The virtual career gives you unlimited for $60, and with 15GB hotspot to boot, but at times of network congestion, T-Mobile customers will have a priority. On the plus side, Metro's top unlimited plan offers Amazon Prime media streaming, and 100GB Google One cloud storage for free. Its limited time family promo for 4 lines at $120/mo is unsurpassed, too.

Straight Talk - the Walmart darling piggybacks on all

This one is an odd bird - owned by the largest US MVNO, TracFone. It has agreements with all four major networks, and, since the service has become synonymous with Walmart, whose stores carry it, is extremely popular as far as prepaid goes. 

Not only is Straight Talk cross-platform, ensuring the best coverage, but its $50 unlimited with 10GB hotspot can hardly be beaten, as it comes with a very high 60GB throttling cap, compared to the other offerings. 

Boost - Sprint on a budget 

Boost is a Sprint offshoot, and pretty popular one at that, using the carrier's network to offer a $60 unlimited plan with the whopping 30GB of hotspot data at full speed to boot. Then, again, it's Sprint's network, so if it has good coverage in your area or the places you frequent when traveling, you are golden.

Project Fi - Google's calling all globetrotters

Google's collective uses a strange mix of bedfellows, relying on T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks for coverage, depending on the area. While it may be paying less in fees this way, that certainly doesn't translate to the pricing very well, as it has one line of unlimited for $70, and with 22GB throttling cap at that. There are a lot of perks that come with Fi, though, especially if you are traveling internationally, or using wireless hotspots on a regular basis.

Mint Mobile

Formerly Mint SIM, this T-Mobile MVNO takes the most affordable route by asking you to prepay for 3, 6 or 12 months. Prices start at just $15/mo for 12GB if you prepay for 3 months as a limited time offer, and include the hotspot allotment. If you can't join them, beat them.

*prices are with included Auto Refill discount, where available


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