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- 1GB for $25/mo., 5GB for $35/mo., 25GB for $50/mo.
- Discounts for family plans
- Bring your own phone or purchase one from them
- No contracts
- Uses Verizon’s network
Total Wireless is a prepaid cellular provider owned by TracFone. If you’re new to prepaid cell plans, they use the same networks as the big three companies (Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T) but you normally pay a fraction of the cost as you would with the larger phone companies.
In Total Wireless’s case, you’ll gain access to Verizon’s robust network. Moreover, when you sign up for service, you’ll have the choice of bringing your phone (if it’s compatible) or you can purchase one through them. If you decide to buy one, you’ll either pay for it outright or lease it, making monthly payments until you pay off the phone.
Overall, Total Wireless is one of the more affordable prepaid cellphone options available. Once you switch your service over to them, you’ll pay in advance for service. When you use the allotted time, you’ll have the choice to renew through autopay, service card or by paying online. To help you see if it’s right for you, here’s an in-depth look at Total Wireless.
Total Wireless phones
A robust selection of phones
Total Wireless has an excellent selection of phones for every budget. If you’re searching for a great deal, you can buy the newer iPhone SE for only $349 or lease it for $14.58/mo. They also have the iPhone 7 for under $200 and the Samsung Galaxy A50 for under $250.
Meanwhile, if you want a brand new phone, Total Wireless does sell them. Unlike other providers who might offer a discount (as part of the service contract or for switching to them), you’ll pay full price. With this in mind, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy S20+ for $1,199 or lease it for $50/mo.
Total Wireless plans
Plans are moderately priced compared to other prepaid carriers
As noted above, prepaid plans work differently in that you must pay a month in advance to activate service. If you choose to not renew, you won’t have service for the following month. Overall, Total Wireless’s cellphone plans are slightly more expensive than competitors.
|Data||Price||Price (w/ auto-pay)||Mobile hotspot|
All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/05/20.
Each plan comes with unlimited talk and text. Unlike other prepaid providers who might charge you in tiers based on usage, with Total Wireless, you have no restrictions on who you text or talk to within the U.S. What’s more, Total Wireless offers fast 4G connection speeds for up to the first 25GB of data usage, depending on the plan you select. After that, you’ll still have access to unlimited data, but at slower speeds.
Plans with data start from as low as $24/mo. with autopay for a single line. Meanwhile, families can save significantly by signing up for a plan. Two lines with 30GB of high-speed data will run you $57/mo. with auto refill, while four lines come with 100GB of data for $95/mo. with autopay. You’ll receive a slight discount the more lines you add to your plan.
How do Total Wireless’s prices compare?
Here’s a look at how Total Wireless compares to other wireless carriers:
|Carrier||Price per GB*||4GB or less||5-9GB||10-25GB||Unlimited|
|UNREAL Mobile||$3.19||$15 (3GB)||$20 (8GB)||$25 (12GB)||–|
|Mint Mobile**||$3.19||$15 (3GB)||$20 (8GB)||$25 (12GB)||$30|
|Metro by T-Mobile||$4.00||–||–||$40 (10GB)||$50-$60|
|Red Pocket||$4.03||$19 (3GB)||$30 (8GB)||$40 (20GB)||$60|
|Net10||$4.24||$20 (2GB)||$35 (5GB)||$40 (10GB)|
|Straight Talk Wireless||$4.40||–||$35 (5GB)||$45 (25GB)||$55|
|U.S. Cellular||$5.00||–||$40 (8GB)||–||$55-$65|
|T-Mobile||$5.50||$15 (2GB)||$25 (5GB)||$40 (10GB)||$50-$85|
|Simple Mobile||$5.67||$25 (3GB)||$30 (5GB)||$40 (15GB)||$50-$60|
|Boost Mobile||$5.80||$10 (1GB)|
|$25 (5GB)||$35 (10GB)|
|H2O Wireless||$5.89||$20 (2GB)||$30 (6GB)||$40 (15GB)||$50-$60|
|Page Plus Cellular||$7.50||$30 (3GB)||$40 (8GB)||–||$55|
|Verizon||$8.75||–||$55 (5GB)||$65 (10GB)||$65-$90|
|FreedomPop||$8.92||$17 (1GB) $25 (4GB)||–||$35 (10GB)||$55|
|Ultra Mobile||$9.00||$19 (1GB) $23 (2GB)||$29 (5GB)||$39 (15GB)||$39|
|Credo Mobile||$9.15||$50 (3GB)||$55 (9GB)||$70 (15GB)||$70|
|Cricket Wireless||$9.50||$30 (2GB)||–||$40 (10GB)||$55-$60|
|Republic Wireless||$9.75||$20 (1GB) $25 (2GB) $30 (3GB) $35 (4GB)||$40 (5GB) $45 (6GB) $50 (7GB) $55 (8GB) $60 (9GB)||$65 (10GB) $75 (12GB) $90 (15GB)||–|
|AT&T||$10.00||$30 (2GB)||$40 (8GB)||–||$50-$85|
|Total Wireless||$11.33||$25 (1GB)||$35 (5GB)||$50 (25GB)||–|
|Tracfone||$14.17||$20 (1GB) $25 (2GB) $30 (3GB)||–||–||–|
|Consumer Cellular||$16.83||$25 (0.5GB) $30 (3GB)||–||$40 (10GB) $50 (15GB)||$60|
|Google Fi||$18.80||$30 (1GB) $40 (2GB) $50 (3GB) $60 (4GB)||$70 (5GB) $80 (6GB)||–||$70|
*Unlimited plans not factored in.
**Introductory rates, also available with 12-month renewal
All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/06/20.
Total Wireless deals
Save with autopay and discounts on new smartphones
Total Wireless offers discounts when you sign up for auto refill. This is where they’ll charge your payment method on file when your service expiration date comes. To demonstrate, a single line plan with 1GB of data is normally $25/mo. plus taxes. However, if you sign up for autopay, they’ll charge you $23.70/mo. plus taxes. While it isn’t a substantial discount on the surface, those savings can add up.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a great deal on a smartphone, Total Wireless has you covered. In the deals section of their website, you can browse from a wide selection of choices. Currently, they have the iPhone 6S with 32GB of storage for $99.99. They also have the Samsung S7 for only $149.99. And if you buy within 30 minutes of visiting their deals section, you can save 15% off a smartphone.
Total Wireless also has a rewards section. When you sign up, you accumulate points for every purchase you make with Total Wireless. They even double points when you auto refill your service. As you rack up the points, you can cash them in for free high-speed data (5GB) or even a free month of service. They also offer a referral bonus when you refer a friend to Total Wireless, where you’ll both receive a month of service for free.
Total Wireless coverage
Gain access to Verizon’s network without the high cost
When you use a prepaid provider like Total Wireless, they won’t have their own dedicated network. Instead, they use a network belonging to one of the big three carriers. We relied on scores from Ookla, RootMetrics and others, to measure a network’s consistency as it relates to speed, reliability and more.
Total Wireless users have access to Verizon’s network. Here’s how Verizon compares to the other big providers:
|Source||Total Wireless (on Verizon’s Network)||Verizon||AT&T||T-Mobile|
|Ookla Consistency Score||73.80%||73.80%||79.70%||79.20%|
|RootMetrics Overall Performance||94.8||94.8||93.2||86.9|
|OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience||9.7||9.7||9.3||8.7|
|Consumer Reports Data Score||Good||Good||Fair||Very good|
|Consumer Reports Reception Score||Good||Good||Poor||Good|
How is Total Wireless’s 5G network?
As noted before, Total Wireless uses Verizon’s network for data, text and talk. This should signal great news for Total Wireless users, as Verizon far and away performs the best in 5G download speeds, according to Open Signal. On average, users can experience download speeds of 506.1 Mbps on Verizon’s network. By comparison, the second fastest provider, LG in Korea, had download speeds of 238.7 Mbps. That said, Verizon’s 5G network doesn’t have widespread availability yet, so you may have trouble getting a 5G connection.
How does Total Wireless compare to other prepaid phone companies?
Total Wireless is owned by TracFone, which performs better than average in Consumer Reports Reader Score. However, when it comes to overall customer satisfaction and purchase experience, this table illustrates TracFone has some work to do compared to other providers:
|Company||Consumer Reports Reader Score||J.D. Power Purchase Experience||ACSI Score|
|Metro by T-Mobile||$83.00||843||74|
Total Wireless customer service
You can reach Total Wireless a few different ways:
- Live chat is available seven days a week at www.totalwireless.com/contactus
- You can also call them at 1.866.663.3633
Total Wireless FAQs
Who owns Total Wireless?
TracFone owns Total Wireless, so they handle all account management concerns from billing to collecting payment. They’ll also help you should you need tech support or aid in buying a new phone.
What network does Total Wireless use?
Total Wireless uses Verizon’s network. Given Verizon’s strong signal reliability, it makes Total Wireless a great deal for those who want access to an expansive network without the high cost.
How do I unlock my Total Wireless phone?
If you buy a phone through Total Wireless, you could be eligible to unlock it if you meet the following requirements:
- You’re a current customer requesting the unlock
- Your Total Wireless phone has not been reported lost or stolen, per their terms of conditions
- Your phone has to have service for at least one year
- If you’re in the military and being deployed
If you meet these requirements, you can request Total Wireless to unlock your phone on their website or by calling 1.888.442.5102.
Should you switch to Total Wireless?
If you’re looking to save money relative to the big three carriers, yet have access to a reliable and fast network, then Total Wireless is a smart choice to consider. They offer affordable plans, a great selection of phones, and with auto refill, you can save money every month when you renew service.
What’s more, they have data plans for many different needs. Whether you’re looking to check email occasionally or stream music during workouts, Total Wireless has flexible plans for you. If you need more high-speed data, you can buy 5GB for only $10. Overall, Total Wireless’s strengths are in its access to Verizon’s network and its affordability, making it an enticing choice.
*Originally written 08/28/20. Last updated 11/05/20.
By Sean Jackson
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