One of the best-kept secrets in the cellular world is prepaid plans. The big carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint don’t want you to know that a prepaid phone can save you thousands a year.
Though prepaid networks weren’t very good in the past, they’ve been much better recently. Many now offer 4G LTE in select areas and reliable coverage. Some even piggyback off of the bigger carrier’s networks for expanded range and quality.
The one elephant in the room is what phone you use on prepaid. Since you’re not buying the phone with a contract, you will have to pay more upfront. You will make the money back in the long run, but the initial cost can give you second thoughts.
It’s easy to try to save a few bucks and end up with a phone that gives you nothing but headaches. That’s why I’m here to help. I’ll break down all the options you have when it comes to prepaid phones so you’ll know you’ve made the right decision before you buy.
You can provide your own phone. You might have an existing phone you want to keep. Or you can buy new or used phones from Amazon, Wirefly, Google, eBay or friends and family.
I checked with the five major prepaid carriers – Virgin Mobile, StraightTalk, Boost Mobile, Cricket and MetroPCS. Only Virgin said you couldn’t bring your own phone. The rest said it was possible, but there may be some hiccups.