Contract cell phone plans get in the way, tie you down and prevent you from testing the waters with other cell phone providers. While a contract plan has its benefits, such as an extended coverage range and the latest smartphones, it comes at the price of hidden fees, two-year commitments and additional costs for ending your contract early. With no-contract cell phone plans, those worries fly right out the window.
Why Consider a No-Contract Cell Phone Plan?
You should consider a no-contract plan for all the reasons mentioned so far and more. With a no-contract plan, you only pay for the minutes you use per month. You also have the choice between unlimited, family and data plans for a set price without the worry of hidden monthly fees.
No-contract cell phone plans have come a long way and offer more options than just buying minutes with a prepaid card. You can choose unlimited talk, text and data plans from these reliable service providers:
- Boost Mobile
- Pure TalkUSA
- Wal-Mart Family Mobile
Many of these plans come with unlimited talk, text and Web for a set price that remains the same every month. In addition, the service providers offer these plans for $30 to $60 a month in most cases. Service providers, such as Boost and T-Mobile, offer the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and other popular cell phones. However, you have to purchase the phone separately for your plan.
Choosing a No-Contract Cell Phone Plan
Before you select a no-contract plan, consider the amount of minutes you need per month. Buying prepaid minutes works fine if you only use your phone a few times a week, but why not go with an unlimited plan and get everything you want? If you go this route, you have a variety of providers from which to choose.
- Boost Mobile offers shrinking payments with its unlimited plans. For example, buy a phone as low as $29 and choose an unlimited plan with Shrinkage starting around $50 per month. For every six months that you pay on time, Boost subtracts $5 from your bill. After 18 months of on-time payments, you only have to pay $35 for your unlimited plan. Check Boost Mobile for more plan options.
- T-Mobile also offers unlimited plans with no contract. While T-Mobile doesn’t offer shrinking payments, you can choose from unlimited plans with a set amount of high-speed data. T-Mobile offers the latest smartphones with a small down payment and a contract, or you can buy one outright to go with your no-contract plan.
- Verizon has contract and no-contract cell phone plans. It boasts the largest coverage area of any provider and has an assortment of cell phones in its inventory. You can choose from smartphone and non-smartphone plans with either unlimited or 500 anytime minutes.
- Pure TalkUSA has no-contract cell phone plans at affordable prices. This provider works best if you don’t use a lot of minutes per month and only need basic services. However, Pure TalkUSA does offer an unlimited plan, but it caps you at 100 megabytes of data.
- Wal-Mart Family Mobile uses T-Mobile’s national network, giving you the affordability of Wal-Mart with the coverage of T-Mobile. Wal-Mart offers no-contract cell phone plans for around $30. You can also buy a non-smartphone for under $30 to go along with your plan. If you want an unlocked phone, look to spend up to $500.
Our Top Recommendations
Pure TalkUSA gets our top recommendation for best bare-bones plan. It offers good service, rollover minutes and low costs. It has three plans to choose from and works with unlocked GSM and AT&T phones. If you don’t have a phone, Pure TalkUSA gives you an outdated phone for free with your plan. We also recommend Pure TalkUSA for seniors who want an affordable cell phone plan and only need a specific number of minutes to use per month.
For the top overall plan, we recommend Wal-Mart Family Mobile. You can purchase an individual plan for around $30 and add four additional phones for less than $25. Most unlocked cell phones work with this plan, and Wal-Mart has iPhones and other popular phones in its inventory.
It’s Time to Switch to No-Contract Cell Phone Plans
With no hidden fees, unlimited options and plenty of phones to choose from, a no-contract plan makes sense if you want to break the chains of contract services. From Verizon’s to Wal-Mart’s no-contract plans, you get the sa