2013 brought an immense amount of competition to the cell phone service arena!
Luckily for consumers, this brought out the best no contract phone service plans the cell phone industry has ever seen!
Between so many MVNO’s and the main carriers own prepaid no contract offerings, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest and greatest in no contract plans!
Don’t sweat it. We’ll catch you up and let you in on the best service plans your money can buy for 2014!
“The Big 4″ Major Carrier No Contract Phone Service Plans
While AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have a business model that loves to keep consumers signing those new 2-year contract extensions (and re-signing), they’ve also provided their own competitive offerings for their prepaid plans as well.
Reminder: This is geared for the major brand no contract service plans and doesn’t include many of the other MVNO providers that offer other packages that might fit your needs!
Verizon No Contract Service
Verizon now offers no contract plans and even allows you to purchase a device from them with some discount if you set-up autopay for your monthly bill. For $99, you can get an iPhone 4. Sure it’s a little bit older model but the price point is right on and a strong offering!
- Unlimited Talk/Text
- 500 MB of Data
You can additionally add extra data onto your plan as essentially a 2nd service package on top of the 500 MB of data already included.
- $5 – Extra 500 MB – Expires after 30 Days
- $10 – Extra 1 GB of data – Expires after 90 Days
- $20 – Extra 3GB of data – Expires after 90 Days.
This is basically like having a backup for data that you prepay for.
You can BYOD as long as it’s a Verizon handset that isn’t on the lost or stolen list and has a clean ESN and IMEI number.
T-Mobile No Contract Service Plans
T-Mobile rocked the boat at last years CES show and was first to the punch on really offering out no contract service plans. Their offerings cover heavy data usage all the way down to less expensive options. The cheapest plan being a bit more expensive than other carriers lowest no contract price, at $50, still has an advantage with the extra data that it provides.
- All of the plans below include unlimited talk, more than enough text messaging and data. (Text and data is not unlimited!)
- $80/month – Unlimited Talk/Text & Nationwide 4G LTE Data. (Includes 5GB of Mobile Hotspot Data)
- $70/month – Unlimited Talk/Text & up to 5 GB of 4G LTE Data.
- $60/ month – Unlimited Talk/Text & 3 GB of 4G LTE Data.
- $50/ month – Unlimited Talk/Text and 1GB of 4G LTE Data.
While these plans might be a little more expensive, they do include more data than other offerings and you don’t have to sign the ever dreaded 2 year contract.
You can BYOD as long as it’s either UNLOCKED GSM or a T-Mobile branded device. This makes for a wider arrange of selection and availability on the GSM network.
- If you bring your own device and it’s not a T-Mobile compatible phone, it’s possible the network bands won’t support T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network. You might only get 3G.
AT&T No Contract Service Plans
AT&T has previously offered their no-contract service branded under the GoPhone name. While that hasn’t changed, they’ve started to promote in their normal AT&T offerings.
- $60/ month – Unlimited Talk/Text & 2.5 GB of Data.
- $40/ month – 500 Minutes, Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging and 500MB of Data.
- $25/ month – 250 Minutes , Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging – NO DATA PLAN
Additional data for the $60 plan will run at $10 for 1GB, $5 for 100MB on the $40 plan and $5 for 50MB on the $25 plan.
Consumers are really urged to look at their usage before opting into one of these plans.
You can freely bring any AT&T or unlocked phone to their no contract service plans. Most all unlocked phones have the proper network bands to support their 4G LTE network. (Besides T-Mobile phones)
For those that talk and consume data, what seems to be a cheap offering could end up resulting in using all your data too quickly and paying a hefty price for additional data!
Sprint No Contract Service Plans
Sprint has recently entered into the no contract service plan offerings and has done a good job at offering a competitive price.
Their offering is more geared towards the heavy data user and those who are a walking hot spot. The price tag is intimating , but heavy data users will be hard pressed to get a flat fee with any other provider.
- Unlimited Talk and Text and data with no restrictions
- 5GB of hotspot data included.
- You can only bring in a Sprint device that’s clear and free of bad ESN number. While this limits the amount of phones you can bring to the network, Sprint phones are typically the cheapest to buy in the used cell phone market. Mainly, because they’re not able to be exported to other countries or used on other carriers.
Best No Contract Service Plan for you?
It ALL comes down to your data usage! Almost everyone provides unlimited talk and text plans (besides the lowest AT&T $25 no contract plan). With that said, your typical data consumption is where one plan will fit you better than another. It’s important to know what you’re usage is because each no contract service plan data upgrades vary by price (per GB) as well as within the standard package.
- Heavy Data Consumption – Sprint
- Budget – AT&T
- You depend on data but not a heavy user – T-Mobile
- I just need a little bit of data – Verizon
- Flexible (fair amount of data, can add more as you go at “discounted” rate but also expires if you don’t use it. – Verizon
- Family/Business Plan – T-Mobile hands down!
My ultimate choice would be Verizon because my data consumption varies from month to month and being able to add on more data if needed without going without or paying an arm and a leg would be worth the possibility of expiring data.