Verizon Prepaid: 5 Things to Know Before You Sign Up

Verizon not only offers its main voice and data plans, but they also offer prepaid plans that can potentially be cheaper in the long run.

Advertisement

If you’re a customer for one of the big carriers in the US, it’s likely that you’re using their main voice and data plans, but if you’re an individual (or even a couple) looking for a cheaper plan, prepaid plans can be the way to go.

Unfortunately, Verizon and other big carriers rarely advertise their prepaid options, and usually push their main data plans when signing up new customers, which isn’t too surprising, but users tend to miss out on a better deal.

Verizon’s prepaid plans aren’t meant for larger families and groups, but for individuals or couples looking for a cheaper data plan, prepaid can be the way to go.

Here are five things to know before you sign up for one of Verizon’s prepaid plans.

Advertisement

Same Service

The most important thing to know when deciding on a Verizon plan is that the company’s main Verizon Plan and its prepaid plans both use the same service.

Advertisement

Verizon pre-paid plans

What this means is that no matter which plan you choose, whether it’s prepaid or not, you’ll get the same cell service either way. You’ll have access to the same LTE coverage across the US.

That’s certainly a good thing, and it makes a prepaid plan that much more enticing.

Cost

The biggest difference with Verizon’s main plans and its prepaid plans are the amount of data you get and the cost of the plans.

Advertisement

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.10.08 PM

Verizon currently has three prepaid plans to choose from, all of which come with unlimited talk and text:

  • $30/month: No data included (WiFi only)
  • $45/month: 2GB of data
  • $60/month: 5GB of data

Compared to Verizon’s main plans, the prepaid plans are tad bit cheaper when you factor in the $20/month per smartphone access fee that Verizon charges for its main plans.

So if one person was looking for a plan, a 2GB plan would cost $45/month on prepaid, while it would cost $65/month on Verizon’s main plan to get at least 2GB of data. The more people you have in your family, the more it makes sense to go with one of Verizon’s main plans, but prepaid is great for individuals or even couples.

However, Verizon gives more data to prepaid customers who use auto pay, earning 1GB extra per month, which isn’t too bad of a deal.

Advertisement

Features

One of the big perks of having a prepaid plan is that you’re not attached to a contract, but Verizon recently got rid of contracts anyway, so there’s less of a reason to go prepaid. However, Verizon still offers a few perks for those going the prepaid route.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 12.13.07 PM

For instance, there’s no activation fee when signing up for a Verizon prepaid plan, which can save you some cash up front. Also, there are no credit checks with prepaid plans, so if you have particularly bad credit, a prepaid plan might be the way to go for you.

Prepaid plans also get the same access to NFL Mobile, which lets you watch games live on your smartphone. This perk is free on all Verizon plans, no matter if its prepaid or not.

Advertisement

What Phones Can You Use?

While prepaid plans are associated with cheaper phones, you can actually use any Verizon smartphone on a Verizon prepaid plan.

iPhone-6-3

A lot of times you can buy a cheap smartphone, like the Moto E, and it will come with a pre-installed prepaid SIM card that you simply just have to activate right on the phone (Verizon makes this easy). However, you can move that SIM card to any other smartphone that you want.

As long as the smartphone is a Verizon smartphone or unlocked, it will work with Verizon’s prepaid plans without a problem.

Mini Review

I’ve been using Verizon’s prepaid service for a couple of months now and it’s going smoothly so far. I have my account set up so that it pays automatically every month, so I don’t have to worry about it, since I already have our main Verizon plan to worry about.

IMG_1920

Like I mentioned above, Verizon’s prepaid plan uses the same service as Verizon’s main plans, which means it uses the same LTE coverage and you’ll get the same speeds.

For me, data speeds were pretty consistent, and running Speedtest proved that for the most part. Sometimes my prepaid phone would perform faster, while another test showed that it was getting slightly slower speeds, but the differences weren’t anything abnormal by any means.

I definitely like Verizon’s prepaid plans for their simplicity, and it’s really easy to sign up for a prepaid plan with the carrier, especially since there are no credit checks required.

However, I think now that contracts are gone completely, Verizon needs to do something different with its prepaid plans. Maybe make them cheaper or change how much data you get, but with contracts gone, I feel like there’s less of a reason to go with a prepaid plan these days, besides just the cost.