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- One of the most affordable prepaid carriers — $39/mo. for unlimited talk, text and data
- 0% APR financing on select phones
- Discounts if you prepay for several months in advance and use auto-renewal
- Ultra Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network for coverage
Ultra Mobile is an incredibly cost-effective cellphone carrier that offers prepaid plans as low as $10/mo. (when you pre-pay for a year upfront). It does not use contracts or have any hidden fees and it uses the T-Mobile network for its coverage. Ultra Mobile debuted in 2011 and offers a variety of prepaid options, including by-the-gig plans, unlimited plans and international calling plans.
Prepaid phone plans are simple and many carriers are moving to them. They’re also known as pay-as-you-go plans in which you pay a monthly bill upfront.
For example, if you choose Ultra Mobile’s cheapest plan at 1GB for $16/mo., you’ll pay that $16 before you start using the network, and you will get a monthly bill for that amount. Also, you have three options when checking out. You can prepay for three months at $16/mo. ($48 upfront), six months at $15/mo. ($90 upfront), or you can prepay for a year at $10/mo. ($120 upfront).
Ultra Mobile phones
You can get 0% financing on select phones through Ultra Mobile, but phone prices aren’t discounted.
Ultra Mobile, like most other phone carriers, offers some phones for purchase. If you want to keep the phone you have now and switch to Ultra Mobile, you can choose their bring your own phone plan. Otherwise, there are some great deals you can get on phones.
Ultra Mobile uses Affirm to offer financing so you can pay a monthly fee for your phone until it’s paid off. This is a great option if you cannot afford to pay the total phone cost upfront. They are currently offering 0% APR through financing in a limited-time offer.
As of this writing, there aren’t any great deals on the phones themselves, only with the financing currently offered at 0% APR. In fact, many phones are more expensive through Ultra Mobile. The iPhone 11 Pro, for example costs $899 through Apple and most retailers, but $999 through Ultra.
Here are some popular phones from Ultra Mobile:
- Ultra is offering a deal on the iPhone SE for a total of $399 upfront or $17/mo. with 0% APR. It comes with 12 months of Apple TV+ included.
- Grab a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ for $999 upfront or $42/mo. with Affirm financing.
- Buy a Google Pixel 4 for $849 upfront or $36/mo. with financing.
Ultra Mobile plans
Plans start at just $10/mo. if you pay for a full year upfront
Ultra Mobile offers single month plans or multi-month plans. You can get some good discounts on the price of your plan if you choose a multi-month plan, which means you pay for three, six or 12 months upfront.
All plans come with unlimited nationwide talk and global text and 4G LTE data. The one exception to this is the $16/mo. single month plan, which comes with talk and text only. All plans provide unlimited talk to over 80 international destinations. All plans — except for the $16/mo. option — come with mobile hotspot capability. You can get mobile hotspot capability with the $16/mo. plan, but you will need to add it on.
|Data||1 month price||3 month price||6 month price||12 month price|
All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/05/20.
On the unlimited plan for $39/mo., speeds will slow for the rest of the billing period if you go over 50GB, which is highly unlikely for most users. After 50GB of usage, your video streaming will also go from HD quality to standard definition (SD).
How do Ultra Mobile’s prices compare?
Ultra Mobile is much more affordable than the other carriers listed here. The price per gig is in the middle, but the unlimited plan for $39 is one of the best prices around for an unlimited data plan.
|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.
Ultra Mobile deals
Choose a multi-month plan for an excellent discount
Ultra Mobile offers some great deals if you pay for several months upfront. All the prices in this review are available when you choose auto recharge. That means the price of your plan will be automatically taken out of your bank account every time it renews, whether it’s monthly, every three months, every six months or every 12 months.
- 1GB plan: $16/mo. for three months ($48 upfront), $15/mo. for six months ($90 upfront), and $10/mo. for 12 months ($120 upfront).
- 3GB plan: $22/mo. for three months ($66 upfront), $21/mo. for six months ($126 upfront), and $20/mo. for 12 months ($240 upfront).
- 6GB plan: $28/mo. for three months ($84 upfront), $27/mo. for six months ($162 upfront), and $25/mo. for 12 months ($300 upfront).
- Unlimited plan: $46/mo. for three months ($138 upfront), $45/mo. for six months ($270 upfront), and $40/mo. for 12 months ($480 upfront).
As you can see, the per month price gets increasingly lower with the more months you commit to.
Ultra Mobile coverage
Ultra Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network, offering good coverage
Ultra Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network, which has excellent ratings. Out of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint (the top three networks), Ultra Mobile’s network ranks the second best from the Ookla Consistency Score. Consumer Reports Data Score ranks it as the highest of these networks, and the Consumer Reports Reception Score is in line with Verizon.
|Source||Ultra Mobile (T-Mobile’s network)||Verizon||AT&T||Sprint|
|Ookla Consistency Score||79.2%||73.8%||79.7%||66.1%|
|RootMetrics Overall Performance||86.9||94.8||93.2||86.7|
|OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience||8.7||9.7||9.3||8.2|
|Consumer Reports Data Score||Very Good||Good||Fair||Fair|
|Consumer Reports Reception Score||Good||Good||Poor||Poor|
How is Ultra Mobile’s 5G network?
The average 5G download speed with Ultra Mobile is 47 Mbps, compared to 27.3 Mbps with a 4G signal.
SpeedTest Intelligence shows that Ultra Mobile (on the T-Mobile network) is the second-fastest mobile operator with a speed score of 33.69. Ultra Mobile has the best score for latency at an average of 31 milliseconds. Ultra Mobile comes in second for the consistency score at 79.2%. Unfortunately, when scoring 4G availability, SpeedTest has it coming in last with a score of 97.5% with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint beating them. It also comes in last when scored on the 5G speed score (64.26). However, the 5G capable speed score for Ultra Mobile is second with a score of 49.22.
Overall, Ultra Mobile provides a good 5G network signal for those who have a 5G capable phone and live in an area where 5G is available.
How does Ultra Mobile compare to other prepaid phone companies?
Ultra Mobile’s price per gig falls about in the middle when compared with other phone carriers. The average price per gig is $12.38, and Ultra Mobile’s price per gig is $9.00. However, it has one of the best prices for a 1GB plan at $19/mo. It also has the very cheapest unlimited data plan at just $39/mo.
Ultra Mobile customer service
You can reach Ultra Mobile a few different ways:
- If you are already an Ultra Mobile customer you can call them by dialing 611 on your phone. This service is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
- Call Care Center (for non-customers): 888.777.0446 also available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
- There are store locations all over the United States. Use this map to find an Ultra Mobile near you.
Ultra Mobile FAQs
What company owns Ultra Mobile?
American Mobile Virtual Network owns Ultra Mobile as well as Mint Mobile. Its headquarters are in Costa Mesa, CA.
Where can you buy an Ultra Mobile SIM card?
You can buy an Ultra Mobile SIM card online or at other select retailers.
What network does Ultra Mobile use?
Ultra Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network.
Should you switch to Ultra Mobile?
Ultra Mobile is an increasingly popular phone plan carrier because of the extremely affordable options it offers. You can go as low as $10/mo. by paying for 12 months upfront for the 1GB plan, and that is incredibly attractive for a lot of people. Ultra Mobile’s prices for all its plans are excellent. So, if you’re looking for a phone plan that’s nice to your bank account, Ultra Mobile looks like your best bet.
Ultra Mobile gets great coverage since it uses T-Mobile’s network, so you’ll get a great signal nationwide. Check out its coverage map to see if you would get great coverage where you live. If you’re in an area, and you likely are, where you’d get good coverage from Ultra Mobile, then go for it. Take advantage of Ultra Mobile’s amazing phone plan deals and stash your savings or treat yourself.
*Originally written 09/01/20. Last updated 11/05/20.
By Nicole LaMarco
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