Verizon Prepaid plans and phones

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Dec 16, 2020 — 6 min read

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  • Offers access to the nation’s top-performing network at a lower cost per gig than many of its competitors
  • Three prepaid data tiers available, plus a talk-and-text-only plan and a Prepaid Family plan
  • Bring your own device or choose from Verizon’s extensive selection of new and recent models
  • Prepaid Verizon plans don’t offer as many special deals and perks as their postpaid counterparts
  • Monthly price discounted after three and nine months of service

Verizon is still one of the top-performing networks in America, and it’s always popular with U.S. customers. Its data coverage is second to none in terms of speed and reliability, and it offers some of the best phone deals out there. 

Although many have subscribed to Verizon’s postpaid plans, fewer may be aware that the provider offers prepaid plans, as well. These plans offer access to Verizon’s top-of-the-line 5G network at a lower cost — and without some of the bells and whistles — compared to its postpaid plans. Learn more about how these plans work and whether they’re right for you.

Verizon Prepaid plans and pricing

Verizon offers several tiers of prepaid plans for you to choose from. Although you’re primarily paying for different amounts of data, these plans do have some additional distinguishing features that may nudge you in one direction or another. 

$65 Prepaid Unlimited Smartphone Plan

  • $65/mo. for unlimited talk, text and data
  • Mobile hotspot available for additional $5/mo.
  • Autopay and loyalty discounts available
  • Free calls to Mexico and Canada 
  • Text, call and use data in Canada and Mexico for free

This plan basically has everything you need if you’re doing extensive amounts of streaming or traveling around North America regularly. You’ll have unlimited access to Verizon’s 5G network all over the U.S., plus free calls, texts and data to and from Canada and Mexico, along with free texting to over 200 other countries. One downside of this plan is that you’ll have to pay $5 extra per month if you want to use your device as a mobile hotspot.

$50 Prepaid Smartphone Plan 

  • $50/mo. for 15GB of data and unlimited talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot included
  • Free calls to Mexico and Canada 
  • Autopay and loyalty discounts available

Verizon’s second-tier prepaid plan grants you 15 GB/mo., plus unlimited calls and texts in the U.S. That’s still plenty of data for a lot of streaming or heavy business use, and this plan includes Verizon mobile hotspot access for your device. You can still make free calls to and from Canada and Mexico.

$40 Prepaid Smartphone Plan 

  • $40/mo. for 5GB of data and unlimited talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot included
  • Calls to Mexico and Canada for $5/mo.
  • Autopay and loyalty discounts available

This basic prepaid plan still offers a hearty 5GB of data, along with unlimited calls and texts. It’s a higher starting baseline than many other providers, but you will pay for it ($40/mo. is nowhere near the cheapest data plan on the market). With available discounts for autopay and loyalty, though, as well as optional add-ons for calls, text and data to and from Canada and Mexico, you might find this is a nice bump on your typical basic plan. 

$35 Prepaid Smartphone Plan

  • $35/mo. for unlimited talk and text, no data
  • Calls to Mexico and Canada for $5/mo.
  • Autopay and loyalty discounts available

If you’re looking to keep it simple and just need a plan that offers basic texting and calling, Verizon does offer a prepaid option for you. It’s worth noting that several other providers offer comparable (or cheaper) plans that still include a small amount of data, even when the discounts are factored in. 

Prepaid Family Plan

  • Combine up to 10 phone, tablet and Jetpack® prepaid lines in one plan
  • Add an additional 20 connected device lines (such as Smart Locators)
  • Pricing and other plan details based number of devices and each device’s plan
  • Autopay and loyalty discounts available

If you want some of the benefits of a family plan without the hassle of sharing data with each other, Verizon does offer the option of consolidating up to 10 main lines under one plan. Each user still has his or her own data plan, but all billing and plan administration can be consolidated under one account owner. As a bonus, you can even add an additional 20 accessory device lines such as Smart Locators. The same loyalty and autopay discounts apply for each line on the plan.

Loyalty discounts

All Verizon wireless prepaid plans are eligible for a $5/mo. autopay discount, plus loyalty discounts of $5/mo. after three months and another $5/mo. after nine months (for a total potential savings of $15/mo). So if you choose the $65/mo. unlimited plan, you could pay as little as $50/mo. after nine months of service.

Verizon Prepaid phones

As one of the largest national providers, Verizon offers an extensive smartphone lineup, with current and recent models from all the major brands, including Apple, Google, LG, Motorola and Samsung

Prices for Verizon prepaid phones are middle of the road compared to other providers — you can definitely pay less (or more) elsewhere. But in general, Verizon offers its phones at or close to the manufacturer’s retail price, and you don’t have access to special deals when you prepay for your phone.

Apple iPhone 12: $799.99

Apple’s newest model is always highly anticipated, and this one promises to be another top seller. The iPhone 12 boasts 5G connectivity, Apple’s fastest A14 processor, Dolby Vision HDR video recording and a return to the flat-edged design of older models. As with all of Verizon’s prepaid phones, you’ll have to pay full retail price.

Samsung Galaxy Note10: $949.99

This may not be Samsung’s newest model, but it’s stood strong since its 2019 release. The Note10’s combination of big-screen display with compact feel is still tough to beat, and its massive storage space and decent processing power make this a great choice.

Google Pixel 4a: $379.99

This newer offering from Google is a great performer for its price range, with a nice OLED display and generous amounts of memory and storage to boost performance. It’s not going to compete with the Pixel 4 or 5 models, but it’s at a great price point.

LG Stylo 6: $240

If you’re in the market for an inexpensive smartphone, LG’s latest offering in its Stylo series is a solid one. The phone looks great and performs decently for its price. 

How does Verizon Prepaid compare?

Considering that Verizon’s nationwide network consistently performs better in the majority of U.S. markets, its prepaid plans are a steal. It may not offer as many data tiers as some of the other providers, but its average cost per gig is only $5.67. Compared to some other major networks, that’s a bargain — AT&T’s prepaid plans clock in at a whopping $11.88 per gig on average. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

If you’re weighing whether to go with Verizon prepaid or postpaid plans, it really comes down to what you want out of your wireless plan. In terms of advertised prices, prepaid customers can save a noticeable amount compared to Verizon’s postpaid plans — a single user will pay $10 less per month for 5GB of data out of the gate, and $20 less per month with all discounts applied, for instance. However, you don’t get access to any of Verizon’s other deals on a prepaid plan. That means no discounts for device trade-ins and no special perks such as Disney Plus or Apple Music, among other things.

Should you switch to Verizon Prepaid?

Verizon has earned its reputation as the best nationwide network, and it has always attracted a lot of customers to its postpaid plans, despite the fact that they tend to be some of the most expensive on the market. Verizon Prepaid, on the other hand, offers customers who are thinking about making the switch a way to try out Verizon’s powerful network at a reasonable cost.

You may not get as many features or perks as you would on a postpaid plan, but Verizon’s prepaid plans can still connect you to lightning-fast 5G speeds throughout North America. Plus, it’s easy to combine your plans under one umbrella with a Prepaid Family Plan. If you’re unsure whether you want to make a big commitment, Verizon makes it easy to unlock its phones, so you can always give Verizon Prepaid a try for a few months to see if you’re happy with your experience.

By Luke Daugherty

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