(Updated 8/24/17) It’s absolutely crazy how expensive a smartphone plan is these days with the four big carriers, also known as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. I have a good friend who’s always telling me how I need to look at Republic Wireless as it’s saving him a butt-load of money every month on his cell phone bill.
Being pretty happy with my $30/mo T-Mobile secret plan, I just kinda blew him off. But after he brought it up again for the umpteenth time, I figured it was time to not only look at Republic Wireless, but all of the other cheap cell phone plans available and do a review of each to help you decide which is right for you.
After investigating all of these cheap phone plans, I was absolutely blown away with how much you can save if you’re a current Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T mobile customer. You’d be crazy not to switch. It’s also worth mentioning that I included some killer hacks to maximize your savings even more with these discounted cell services. Hope this article helps you switch and save.
Republic Wireless Breakdown:
- How does Republic Wireless work? – Republic Wireless works by first accessing available WiFi networks for talk and text. If they can’t find any WiFi networks they’ll access the T-Mobile network. So if you’re at home, your phone will use WiFi. But if you then get in your car and drive away while still talking, Republic will seamlessly switch your call over to the T-Mobile 4G LTE network (previously Sprint). Pretty cool, and the main reason they’re able to keep their costs so low.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes, but not just any smartphone. If you have one of the following phones you can port it over to Republic Wireless, otherwise you’ll need to purchase one of their eight phones plus a $5 Republic SIM card.
- Moto G4
- Moto G4 Plus
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Nexus 5X by LG
- Nexus 6P by Huawei
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- What Phones do they Sell? – They’re all highly regarded Android based smartphones and include the following:
- Moto X Pure Edition $349 ($21/mo) – I have this phone, love it.
- Moto G4 – $199 ($12/mo)
- Moto G4 Plus – $299 ($18/mo)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 – $179 ($11/mo)
- Samsung Galaxy S6 – $549 ($33/mo)
- Galaxy S7 Edge – $799 ($48/mo)
- Nexus GP – $499 ($30/mo)
- What do Republic Plans Cost? This is where Republic stands above the crowd. Here’s what you need to know about their affordable plans:
- $15/mo for unlimited talk, text, and WiFi data.
- $20/mo for unlimited talk, text, WiFi data and 1GB cell data. Best value.
- $30/mo for unlimited talk, text, WiFi data and 2GB cell data.
- $45/mo for unlimited talk, text, WiFi data and 4GB cell data.
- $60/mo for unlimited talk, text, WiFi data and 6GB cell data.
- $90/mo for unlimited talk, text, WiFi data and 10GB cell data.
Republic Wireless Hacks:
- Check the T-Mobile Coverage Map First – Because Republic accesses the T-Mobile 4G LTE network when WiFi is not available, it’s smart to check T-Mobile’s coverage map to make sure you have good coverage where you live.
- Avoid the Samsung Galaxy J3 – It basically costs the same as the Moto G4, but can’t hold a candle to the G4 when you start breaking down it’s features.
- 14-Day Guarantee – If you decide to give Republic Wireless a try, and for whatever reason decide it’s not for you, they’ll not only refund you the cost of your phone but also any monthly plan charges. Goes to show how much they stand behinds their discount cell service.
- Try the “Talk to an Expert” Feature – To keep there cell phone plans cheap, Republic Wireless uses expert users to help you with any questions you might have about setting up your service. It’s actually a brilliant idea and it flat out works great. The feature can be accessed via either a ticket or live chat engagement. Once you submit a ticket, available experts are notified and respond to your ticket. Typical response time is under 5 minutes. As for the live engagement, you simply enter your question, submit it, and then available agents are notified. The first expert to accept the question/chat engages with you 1-on-1.
Let me know your thoughts on Republic Wireless.
Straight Talk Wireless
Another solid option is Straight Talk Wireless as it offers one of the cheapest cell phone plans that’ll get you 5GB of data at 4G speed. Here’s the skinny.
Straight Talk Breakdown:
- How does Straight Talk work? – Supported by TracFone and sold by Walmart, Straight Talk is a no-contract, month to month cell service that claims 99.6% coverage in the U.S.. They tap into the pre-existing cell towers of Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yep, new customers can use their current GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) or CMDA (Sprint, Verizon) smartphone on the Straight Talk network.
- What Phones do they Sell? – Here are the smartphones Straight Talk sells. It’s worth noting that they don’t offer monthly financing, you’ll need to buy the phone outright.
- iPhone 5s 16GB – $149.99
- Samsung Galaxy S4 – $149.99
- LG Optimus Fuel – Free w/ plan purchase.
- LG Sunrise – Free w/ plan purchase.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 – $299.99
- iPhone 6s 16GB – $650
- What do Straight Talk Plans Cost? –
- $30/mo for 1500 talk minutes, text, and 100MB of data.
- $45/mo for unlimited talk, text, and 5GB monthly data at 4G speed (2G after you use 5GB data) Best Value
- $55/mo for unlimited talk, text, and 10GB monthly data at 4G speed (2G after)
- $60/mo for unlimited international talk, text, WiFi data and 4GB cell data.
- $130/yr for 3/mo of unlimited talk, text, and 5GB monthly data at 4G speed (2G after)
- $255/yr for 6/mo of unlimited talk, text, and 5GB monthly data at 4G speed (2G after)
- $495/yr for 1-year of unlimited talk, text, and 5GB monthly data at 4G speed (2G after)
Straight Talk Hacks:
- Big Data Users Listen Up – If you suck up a lot of data every month, the $45 plan for 5GB is worth a look. No other major carrier can touch this plan.
- Best Way to Reach Customer Service – Word of warning, they don’t have great customer service. The best way to get in touch is to dial 877-430-2355 then Press 1 for English, then press press 5, 5, followed by a 2. Also, hit them up via Twitter and Facebook as their known to have reps monitoring their accounts daily.
- Non-Tech Savvy Should Be Warned – If you’re not comfortable figuring a lot of things out on your own when it comes to your smartphone, you might want to stay away from Straight Talk. Because of the lacking customer service you should know what a SIM card is and the difference between GSM and CDMA phones.
Do you have any experience with Straight Talk? Let me know in the comments section.
Red Pocket Mobile
Red Pocket Mobile has come up with a competitive model that will appeal to many. Here’s the 411 that you need to know:
Red Pocket Breakdown:
- How does Red Pocket work? – Red Pocket offers a contract-free mobile and internet service which runs on the nation’s top 4 networks. Essentially they buy discounted access to the cell towers of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile and pass the savings along to you. You can buy or bring your own GSMA or CDMA device to Red Pocket and use your existing phone number. The also sell their own SIM cards for most unlocked GSM and CDMA phones.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes, you can bring your own phone and keep your number.
- Do I Have to Enter Into a Contract? – No.
- What Phones are Available? – Bring your own or buy one of the devices they offer. They offer gently used iPhones, Samsung, and LG phones via their internal online marketplace called Glyde.
- What do Red Pocket Plans Cost? – Glad you asked:
- $29.99/mo for unlimited talk & text with 500MB of data.
- $39.99/mo for unlimited everything with 1GB of data.
- $49.99/mo for unlimited everything with 2GB of data.
- $59.99/mo for unlimited everything with 3GB of data.
Have you or anyone you know used Red Pocket? Let me know what experiences you’ve had.
Simple Mobile offers some very attractive, and cheap, alternatives to Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. Here’s how it works.
Simple Mobile Breakdown:
- How does Simple Mobile work? – Simple Mobile is a T-Mobile based carrier which has some very attractive plans. You can use any phone that is compatible with T-Mobile.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes, you can bring your own unlocked GSM phone (AT&T or T-Mobile) or buy one from them. You can also port your existing number to Simple Mobile.
- Do I Have to Enter Into a Contract? – No. Also, they don’t require a credit check.
- What do Simple Mobile Plans Cost? –
- $25/mo for unlimited talk and text. No data.
- $40/mo for unlimited talk and text. 4GB data at 4G LTE speed. Best value.
- $50/mo for unlimited talk and text. 5GB data at 4G LTE.
- $55/mo for unlimited talk and text. 10GB data at 4G LTE.
- $60/mo for unlimited talk and text. Unlimited data at 4G LTE.
Simple Mobile Hacks:
- If you’re considering T-Mobile’s 10GB plan at $80/mo, you should consider Simple Mobile’s comparable 10GB service which comes in at only $55 a month.
- Calling Mexico often? Simple Mobile makes it very easy as they now offer roaming to our neighbors to the south.
So, what say you about Simple Mobile? When it comes to their cheap cell phone plans do you have any experiences worth sharing?
Ultra Mobile is a perfect solution if you need to make frequent international calls to countries like Mexico, China, and India. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Ultra Mobile Breakdown:
- How does US Mobile work? – From their website, “Ultra Mobile focuses on delivering convenient and cost-effective unlimited talk, text and data services for the estimated 40 million foreign-born people living in the United States who regularly call or text internationally to stay connected with family and friends around the globe.”
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes, but it needs to be an unlocked GSM compatible phone and use a SIM card. If it fits both of these you can also port in your existing phone number.
- What Phones are Available? – If you need to buy a smartphone to use at Ultra, they sell these brands: Samsung, Apple, HTC, and BLU.
- What do Ultra Mobile Plans Cost? – All of the plans below include unlimited U.S. calling.
- $19/mo for 100MB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 30+ countries, $1.25 Call Anywhere credit.
- $24/mo for 100MB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 30+ countries, $7 Call Anywhere credit.
- $29/mo for 1GB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 60+ countries, $2.50 Call Anywhere credit.
- $34/mo for 2GB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 30+ countries.
- $39/mo for 2GB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 60+ countries, $2.50 Call Anywhere credit.
- $44/mo for 1GB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 30+ countries, $20 Call Anywhere credit.
- $54/mo for 2GB of 4G LTE, Unlimited talk to 30+ countries, $20 Call Anywhere credit.
Here’s the full list of countries that Ultra Mobile allows unlimited calling to. Also, the Call Anywhere credits (noted above) allow for calling to destinations which aren’t included on the Unlimited and 1000 Free Minutes lists. Ultra is a fantastic, and affordable, choice if you’re regularly calling friends and family that live in another part of the world.
US Mobile is unique in that they offer more of an ala carte cell service. You pick and choose how much text, data, and talk minutes you’ll use each month.
US Mobile Breakdown:
- How does US Mobile work? – You pay for exactly what you think you’ll need each month. Are you a texter and rarely make a call? No problem, just pay for texts and the minimum 100 minutes of talk. Do you use very little data ever month? Then just pay $2 a month for 100MB of data.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes, you can bring your phone and existing number. All you need to do is buy a US Mobile SIM card for $3.99.
- What Phones are Available? – They sell phones from LG, Sony, OnePlus, Apple and Samsung.
- What do US Mobile Plans Cost? – US Mobile let’s you customize a plan that will work for you.
- Talk: 100 minutes ($3), 250 minutes ($5), 750 mintues ($8), 1500 minutes ($10), 5000 minutes ($15).
- Text: 100 texts ($2), 250 texts ($3), 500 texts ($4), 1000 texts ($5), unlimited for $7.
- Data (4G LTE): 100MB ($2), 250MB ($5), 500MB ($9), 1GB ($14), 2.5GB ($20), or 6GB ($35).
ROK Mobile Wireless
ROK Mobile has an interesting model that combines music and mobile.
ROK Mobile Breakdown:
- How does ROK Mobile work? – ROK is a no-contract CDMA cell service which operates on America’s largest 4G LTE Network (Verison). With ROK, you get a pretty competitive cell plan PLUS access to 20 million songs. The songs are all available ad-free and are accessed through the ROK Mobile app. ROK also gives you access to 20 million hotspots across the U.S. which are accessed when your data speeds get slow.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes. From their website, “If you want to bring your number from your previous service, no problem. To do this you will need to request an unlock code/PIN from your previous carrier.”
- What Phones are Available? – They have a bunch of phones available, here are the highlights.
- iPhone 6S – $699
- Samsung Galzy Note 4 -$349
- LG Lancet – $129
- What do ROK Mobile Plans Cost? – Well, they only have 1 plan so this is simple.
- $49.99/mo for unlimited talk and text and 5GB data at 4G LTE speed.
So, what say you? Do you like the idea of rolling your mobile and music into one cute little package?
Page Plus Cellular
Page Plus is one of the larger prepaid cell services in the United States. Here’s what you need to know.
Page Plus Breakdown:
- How does Page Plus work? – Page Plus is a no-contract wireless provider that accesses Verizon cell towers to bring you excellent coverage at very affordable rates.
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – Yes. From their site, “You can use your current 4G LTE device on Page Plus simply by purchasing a Page Plus SIM card, choosing the 4G LTE monthly plan that fits your needs, and activating your device on Page Plus.”
- What Phones are Available? – If you don’t have a 4G LTE device, Page Plus sell phones from LG, Sony, OnePlus, Apple Motorola, and Samsung.
- What do Page Plus Plans Cost? – Here’s how it breaks down…
- $12/mo for 250 talk minutes, 250 texts, and 10MB of data.
- $29.95/mo for 1500 talk minutes, unlimited texts, and 1GB of data at 4G LTE.
- $39.95/mo for unlimited talk and text, and 3GB of data at 4G LTE (2G thereafter). Best Value.
- $55/mo for unlimited talk and text, and 5GB of data at 4G LTE (2G thereafter).
- $69.95/mo for unlimited talk and text, and 7GB of data at 4G LTE (2G thereafter).
Their coverage map is pretty darn impressive. Let me know if you have any experiences with these guys.
Krew Mobile distinguishes themselves as a discounted cell service designed for parents and kids. Here are the details.
Krew Mobile Breakdown:
- How does Krew Mobile work? – Let’s let them explain in their own words, “As Krew Captain, mom or dad gets to control the kids’ lines so you can remotely set healthy limits on how often they can use their phones. Parents simply log in to an online dashboard to keep track of kid’s lines and their monthly talk and text usage. From here parents can also turn on and turn off a kid’s lines for a preset number of consecutive hours, which gives kids nationwide talk and text during that time.”
- Can I Bring My Own Phone? – No. You need to order a Starter Kit which includes 3 SIM cards to use on your existing devices.
- What Phones are Available? – None. You have to bring your own 4G devices to the party.
- What do Krew Mobile Plans Cost? – They have 1 plan that includes 3 lines.
- $19.95/mo. – This plan is regularly $39.95 per month. Mom or Dad get unlimited talk and text and 2GB of 4G LTE data. The 2 kids lines get nationwide talk and worldwide text.
Krew Mobile appears to be a solid option for families wanting to keep control over how much access their kids have on their mobile devices. Plus, their monthly plan will save you a ton of dough.
Happy savings, hope this article helps you find the cheap cell phone plan that’s right for you.
By Kyle James