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21 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in the United States (USA): Buying Guide

The United States – the most famous country in the world.

Known for its many attractions, movies produced in Hollywood, and its influence worldwide.

While everyone knows at least something about this country, some forget that the United States is huge.

From tropical areas like Florida (FL) to an Arctic climate in Alaska (AK).

From densely populated urban areas like New Jersey (NJ) to vast middle-of-nowhere lands in Oklahoma (OK), the United States has something for anyone.

I honestly believe anyone who can afford it to make a long road trip across the nation – the experiences will be unreal.

Regardless of why you visit the United States, you certainly want to share your experiences online.

Do note that international roaming can be expensive.

That is why I recommend using local SIM cards, like an American one, to enjoy local rates.

But how expensive are SIM cards in the United States?

You can get an American SIM card for as little as 1 USD up to 59 USD (sold with a plan). SIM cards are widely available in the official stores of the mobile operators (like AT&T & T-Mobile) or resellers (like Best Buy or Target). Getting SIM cards at airports is almost impossible, except for Newark Liberty International Airport for some reason.

Those prices are not too bad! You often hear Americans complain about how expensive mobile services are.

Well, they can be. Just because the SIM cards are reasonably priced, the plans do not have to be.

But, the prepaid plans in the United States are quite good, especially compared to Canada‘s extortion.

Buckle up because we have a lot to go through.

In this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in the United States. Let's go.

Buying a SIM Card in the United States Guide (logos of T-Mobile, AT&T, Black Wireless, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, FreedomPop, Good2Go Mobile, Google Fi, GoSmart Mobile, H2O Wireless, Lycamobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, NET10 Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk, TracFone, Ultra Mobile & Unreal Mobile)

Original publication: 12th of December 2019. Last updated: 27th of October 2021.


Table of Contents

In This Guide Show

Can You Buy a SIM Card in the United States?

Anyone living in or visiting the United States can buy an American SIM card from the mobile network operators (AT&T & T-Mobile), Mobile Virtual Network Operators (Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless & Metro by T-Mobile) in their stores or from resellers without any restrictions.

You do need a phone that supports the frequencies used in the country (preferably all of them to have the most optimal experience while in the United States).

Furthermore, you need to have a SIM-lock-free device.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in the United States?

You can get an American SIM card in AT&T, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, Metro by T-Mobile & T-Mobile stores or from resellers (Best Buy, CVS, Walgreens & Walmart). Getting SIM cards at American airports is rare, with the exception of Newark Liberty International Airport.

You can expect to pay the following for American SIM cards:

  • T-Mobile US: 9.99 USD
  • AT&T: 4.99 USD
  • Black Wireless: 9.99 USD
  • Boost Mobile USA: 2.50 USD – 10 USD
  • Consumer Cellular: 9.99 USD
  • Cricket Wireless: 9.99 USD
  • FreedomPop: 9.99 USD
  • Good2Go Mobile: 4.99 USD
  • Google Fi: 9.99 USD
  • GoSmart Mobile: 0.99 (purchase with plan often required)
  • H2O Wireless: 0.99 (purchase with plan often required)
  • Lycamobile USA: 19 USD – 59 USD (sold together with plans)
  • Metro by T-Mobile: 9.99 USD (+ 20 USD (!) activation fee)
  • Mint Mobile: 2 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • NET10 Wireless: 0.99 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • Red Pocket Mobile: 5 USD – 10 USD
  • Simple Mobile: 0.99 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • Straight Talk: 0.99 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • TracFone: 0.99 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • Ultra Mobile: 1.99 USD (purchase with plan often required)
  • Unreal Mobile: 4.99 USD

The following mobile operators also have SIM cards targeting tourists:

  • Ultra Mobile: 30 USD

Can You Use Your Phone in the United States?

The United States uses GSM and CDMA technology for mobile telecommunications services. Although CDMA is still being used actively, you would not be able to use CDMA networks unless you buy a phone from the CDMA mobile operator (Verizon) or roam.

Although Verizon has been using regular 4G/LTE & 5G NR, you still need an approved device, preferably the North American version, to use Verizon's network.

You also need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are three ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American Frequencies and European Frequencies.

The United States uses American Frequencies, which are used in the Americas (North-, Central, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2). Phones sold in the Americas typically have no issues when using their phone in other ITU Region 2 countries.

In Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3), they typically use European Frequencies, meaning phones bought in those regions can be used in countries using European Frequencies without issues.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in the United States.

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3) and have a low/medium-end device without Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in the United States or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in the United States (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE or 5G NR.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in the United States

The United States has 3 mobile network operators (Main Operators) offering nationwide coverage and 19 GSM Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs):

  • Verizon Wireless
  • T-Mobile US
  • AT&T
  • Black Wireless (AT&T MVNO)
  • Boost Mobile USA (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • Consumer Cellular (AT&T MVNO)
  • Cricket Wireless (AT&T MVNO)
  • FreedomPop (AT&T MVNO)
  • Good2Go Mobile (AT&T MVNO)
  • Google Fi (T-Mobile & UScellular MVNO)
  • GoSmart Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • H2O Wireless (AT&T MVNO)
  • Lycamobile USA (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • Metro by T-Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • Mint Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • NET10 Wireless (AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon MVNO)
  • Red Pocket Mobile (AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon MVNO)
  • Simple Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • Straight Talk (AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon MVNO)
  • TracFone (AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon MVNO)
  • Ultra Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
  • Unreal Mobile (AT&T & T-Mobile MVNO)

The following frequencies are used by the GSM mobile operators in the United States:

  • 2G: 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 600 MHz (Band 71), 700 MHz (Band 12, Band 14, Band 17 & 29 Band), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700 MHz (Band 4 & Band 66), 1900 MHz (Band 2) & 2300 MHz (Band 30)
  • 5G NR: 600 MHz (n71), 850 MHz (n5), 1900 MHz (n2), 2500 MHz (n41), 28 GHz (n261) & 39 GHz (n260)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in the United States, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.


A Note About Sprint & Verizon

Sprint Logo
Verizon Logo

Both Sprint and Verizon are CDMA mobile operators.

Well, not entirely – Sprint has been bought up by T-Mobile, and the merger was completed on the 1st of April 2020.

Sprint's 3G CDMA network is being decommissioned fast and should be shut down by January 2022.

Now, the United States has only 1 nationwide CDMA mobile operator – Verizon. The largest mobile network operator in the country.

The technical difference between GSM and CDMA is beyond the scope of this section, of this guide for that matter, but all you need to know is that GSM is more popular. Much more popular.

Only a handful of mobile operators in Armenia, China, Japan, Myanmar, the United States & Uzbekistan use CDMA – the rest of the world uses GSM.

And many of the mobile operators in the aforementioned countries plan on shutting down their CDMA networks in the coming few years.

The CDMA and GSM discussion was only relevant with 2G & 3G – 4G/LTE is its own network completely. The same applies to 5G NR.

This means that, in theory, as long as your GSM phone supports the right 4G/LTE & 5G NR frequencies, it could be used on a CDMA network. Or the other way around.

However, Verizon has a relatively short list of approved GSM devices, especially phones not sold by Verizon directly.

Let alone phones not sold in North America – those are rarely approved for Verizon's network.

As a result, Verizon and Verizon-only MVNOs will not be covered in this guide.

Note that some MVNOs allow you to select which network you want to be on (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon).

Unless you have confirmed your phone will work on the Verizon network, you should select the AT&T or T-Mobile network.

A Note About MVNOs in the United States

The United States is home to more than 100 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), most using the networks of AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.

The majority of MVNOs offer postpaid services only, which we travelers and tourists cannot get.

As a result, they will not be covered in this guide.

Moreover, only MVNOs that offer SIM cards in physical stores you can easily visit will be covered in this guide.

There are plenty of completely online-only MVNOs in the United States.

Many of them offer free shipping of SIM cards to US addresses.

However, shipping can take anywhere from 1 day to several weeks, depending on where you stay during your United States trip.

MVNOs that sell their SIM cards in like three stores per state have also been excluded (looking at you, Gen Mobile).

Even with all these exclusions, you still have plenty of choices in the United States.

A Note About Deprioritization

The Main Operators want to, or at least try to, ensure their customers get the best network experience at all times.

As a result, they practice something called deprioritization.

But what does that mean?

When the network is congested, the Main Operators will Prioritize the traffic of their own customers and Deprioritize the traffic of MVNO customers.

This could mean that at the same location and at the same time – and even the same phone for that matter, someone with an AT&T SIM card will have faster speeds than someone with an H2O Wireless SIM card (AT&T MVNO).

And the Main Operators take deprioritization seriously.

Both T-Mobile & Verizon are the worst offenders in terms of deprioritization – it can be aggressive.

AT&T is relatively mild (in most cases) with its deprioritization practices, which can be a selling point for using an AT&T MVNO.

But many AT&T MVNOs have a speed cap of 8 Mbps at all times, so be aware of that.

But what about postpaid vs. prepaid prioritization?

AT&T does not deprioritize prepaid customers. You will get the same speeds, if conditions allow, on both prepaid and postpaid AT&T SIM cards.

T-Mobile deprioritization can be all over the place, especially in urban areas. However, T-Mobile prepaid is treated much better than T-Mobile MVNOs in terms of priority.

Verizon's deprioritization methods are aggressive, even for Verizon prepaid users. In fact, even postpaid customers get throttled quickly because of congested networks.

Keep these thoughts in mind when selecting a SIM card.

5G NR in the United States

Commercial 5G NR has been available in the United States since late 2018, and it is also available to most prepaid users.

Unlike many developed countries where 5G NR is (still) restricted to postpaid customers, 5G NR is also available to prepaid customers and MVNOs (almost is unheard of in 2021).

Even though 5G NR may be available in your area, you need to have a compatible device to use the 5G NR networks of the Main Operators.

This could mean that while your phone supports 5G NR, you cannot use it because your device was not approved by the Main Operator (yet).

Throughout the guide, I will mention which mobile operator offers 5G NR and whether all or only select plans are eligible for 5G NR.

Spoiler alert: the majority of mobile operators offer 5G NR at no additional cost.

Let's take a look and see which mobile operator offers the best 5G NR experience.

T-Mobile currently has the most extensive 5G NR coverage and the fastest 5G NR speeds.

Its 5G NR availability is about 70%.

Its median 5G NR download speed is around 100 Mbps.

Best SIM Card in the United States

If you want to buy the best SIM card in the United States, I recommend going with AT&T, T-Mobile, Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, or Ultra Mobile. They offer the best value, options, and quality compared to the competition.

AT&T has the best nationwide coverage, especially on 3G. It reaches fast download speeds, and unused data will roll over to the next billing cycle.

AT&T is, however, expensive, especially compared to its competitors. Its 5G NR speeds are also the slowest of the Big Three. Plus, it does not have the best reputation for customer service (which is why it is the smallest mobile operator of the Big Three).

T-Mobile has the most extensive 5G NR availability of around 70%, double the availability of AT&T and Verizon. It also has the fastest median 5G NR speeds. Its prepaid plans allow for unlimited music streaming with 47 apps.

T-Mobile's prepaid plan options are, however, limited, with only 5 choices. Video streaming is limited to 480p, which can be bothersome. Although it currently boasts the fastest median 5G NR speeds, its top speeds are far slower than AT&T and Verizon.

In terms of Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile & Ultra Mobile, they all offer additional unique features compared to AT&T or T-Mobile directly.

Google Fi allows for free roaming worldwide. Metro by T-Mobile is just T-Mobile but cheaper (and about as good). Mint Mobile is loved because of its low prices with minimal MVNO-downsides (although its plans last at least 3 months). Ultra Mobile allows for unlimited international calls to 52 countries to both landline and mobile numbers.

There are MANY more pros and cons with the featured mobile operators above, but I had to keep it short (for now). You will get plenty of reasons why they are good or bad in their own ways when I analyze them in-depth later on.


SIM Card Registration in the United States

SIM card registration using your passport information is not needed when buying a SIM card in the United States. However, if your purchase your SIM card from a third-party reseller, you will need to activate the SIM card on the operator's site or by visiting their (partner) stores.

Taxes & E911 Emergency Fee in the United States

The United States is one of the few countries where the price tag is not the final price you pay.

The sales tax is added upon check out, increasing the price by 13.5%, depending on the state and county.

Some states, like Delaware (DE), Montana (MT), New Hampshire (NH) & Oregon (OR), have no sales tax, meaning that the advertised price is the final price.

In most states, however, the sales tax ranges from 2.9% (Colorado – CO) to 13.5% (Arab, Alabama – AL).

These taxes affect all purchases, including buying a SIM card, recharging your SIM card, and buying plans.

Because the taxes differ per state, and county for that matter, the prices listed in this guide are without tax.

But we are not done yet with fees. Introducing the E911 Emergency Fee.

The E911 fees, as AT&T puts it nicely, are “charges imposed on the customer pursuant to state or local law to finance Enhanced 911 services in a particular jurisdiction”.

In short, many states charge these fees to recover state or local government costs related to building and operating enhanced 911 services.

In Massachusetts (MA), Nevada (NV) & Puerto Rico (PR), these are monthly fees of 1 USD, up to 1 USD & 0.50 USD, respectively.

In the majority of states, however, this fee is charged upon topping up your SIM card. This could be a flat fee or a percentage of your refill.

And there is no nationwide structure of how things are charged.

For example, Alaska (AK) charges 0.01 USD for its AK Telecom Relay Service.

Illinois (IL), however, charges 3% for the IL State 911 Service Fee & 0.07% for the IL Telecom Relay Service. If you are in Chicago, another 7% will be slapped for the Chicago 911 Service Fee.

I have probably already bored you enough with all these numbers, so I will let you be. For more information related to the E911 fees, visit AT&T’s help page.

United States Mobile Internet Speeds, Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of the United States

North America is not known for having affordable mobile data rates.

In fact, the whole continent is not known for being cheap either.

But some places in Canada and the United States can be cost-effective, I guess.

But how much will mobile data cost you in the United States?

The average price for 1 GB of data in the United States is 3.33 USD, far below the North American average of 8.21 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Those prices are not too bad, right?

Especially if you compare it to Bermuda, which is about 6 times more expensive than the United States.

Even then, do not let these low figures fool you. Postpaid plans are much cheaper than prepaid plans in the United States.

Unlike in Canada, where there is a big difference in the allowances you get with prepaid plans (tiny) than postpaid plans (a lot, for Canadian standards).

Enough about prices, let's talk about speed. Is mobile data fast in the United States?

Yes and no.

Your speeds in urban states, like Washington D.C., will be much faster than in rural states, like Mississippi. Up to 3 times faster.

And before you get angry with me saying Washington D.C. is not a state – I know. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention ;)

So, let's talk about numbers.

The United States' average mobile download speed is around 91 Mbps.

First, let's see which mobile operator is the fastest.

That would be T-Mobile USA, with a speed score of 54.13. Followed by AT&T (47.96) and Verizon (40.02).

If you wonder why these median numbers are far below the nation's average, check out this page explaining the difference between the two terms with examples.

And also check out the 5G NR section for more explanation.

Okay, so we know that the United States is huge (3rd largest in the world).

And I also mentioned that urban, densely populated states will have much faster mobile speeds than rural, almost deserted states.

Which states have the fastest speeds?

The three states with the fastest median mobile download speeds are Washington D.C. (78.10 Mbps), New Jersey (62.32 Mbps) & Delaware (60.06 Mbps).

This is then followed by New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Minnesota & Utah.

So, which unfortunate states have the slowest mobile data speeds?

The three states with the slowest median mobile download speeds are MIssissippi (24.78 Mbps), Wyoming (27.49 Mbps) & Maine (30.48 Mbps).

This is then followed by Vermont, Nebraska, Arkansas, Alaska, Iowa, West Virginia & Oklahoma.

United States Speedtest Market Analysis Slowest Regional Speed Results 2021

Source

Below is a full overview of median download speeds per state, according to the Speedtest United States' Q2 Market Analysis – note that AT&T is the fastest in 27 states, followed by T-Mobile (17 states) and Verizon (1 state):

RankStateMedian Download (Mbps)Median Upload (Mbps)Fastest Mobile OperatorMobile Operator Median Download (Mbps)
1District of Columbia78.112.73Verizon Wireless89
2New Jersey62.3211.94T-Mobile68.74
3Delaware60.069.41AT&T69.38
4New York59.1712.41T-Mobile66.42
5Massachusetts54.610.34AT&T63.33
6Maryland53.98.3AT&T66.45
7Rhode Island53.0610.9N/AN/A
8Pennsylvania52.658.54AT&T64.93
9Minnesota51.137.47AT&T61.45
10Utah49.869.32N/AN/A
11Illinois49.729.17T-Mobile57.72
12Washington47.998AT&T56.8
13Ohio47.837.61T-Mobile61.6
14Connecticut47.28.27T-Mobile63.17
15North Dakota46.288.88AT&T60.81
16Michigan45.516.41AT&T52.85
17Missouri44.076.74AT&T54.76
18Arizona44.067.56AT&T56.86
19Virginia43.557.13AT&T54.45
20California43.129.11AT&T46.93
21Indi ana42.686.78AT&T47.55
22South Dakota42.218.15AT&T59.69
23Kansas42.087.25T-Mobile59.11
24Geor gia41.396.99T-Mobile49.94
25Nevada40.978.26AT&T51.39
26Hawaii40.927.79T-Mobile55.21
27Colorado40.656.85AT&T56.73
28Oregon40.316.41AT&T57.8
29Tennessee39.877.33T-Mobile46.46
30Florida39.877.59T-Mobile45.93
31North Carolina38.936.28AT&T53.11
32New Hampshire38.815.83AT&T51.62
33Kentucky38.666.67T-Mobile47.99
34South Carolina38.496.57AT&T49.12
35Texas37.177.55T-Mobile50.82
36Idaho36.996.99N/AN/A
37Montana35.186.36AT&T63.35
38Wisconsin34.845.34AT&T49.56
39New Mex ico34.467.77AT&T49.95
40Louisiana34.236.58T-Mobile42.41
41Alabama33.76.18T-Mobile51.97
42Oklahoma33.67.23T-Mobile48.23
43West Virginia33.495.85AT&T46.9
44Iowa33.177.35AT&T54.2
45Alaska32.987.04T-Mobile63.69
46Arkansas32.766.33T-Mobile41.08
47Nebraska31.077.73N/AN/A
48Vermont30.664.53AT&T39.31
49Maine30.485.26N/AN/A
50Wyoming27.495.25AT&T43.91
51Mississippi24.784.29N/AN/A

Source – Note: the results were too close to call in Rhode Island, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Maine & Mississippi.

Speedtest also checked the city speeds of the 100 most populated cities in the United States.

Tampa, Florida, has the fastest median download speed, with a median download speed of 79.75 Mbps. Followed by Washington D.C. (78.10 Mbps) & Jersey City, New Jersey (77.21).

Stockton, California, has the slowest median download speed (25.89 Mbps) of the 100 most populated cities. Followed by Reno, Nevada (30.22 Mbps) & Lubbock, Texas (30.27 Mbps).

So, what do all these speed figures tell us?

That mobile speeds can be decent to blazing-fast throughout the United States. Even in areas you would expect much from.

But, you should not expect much when driving in deserted areas. Or going from state to state on smaller roads.

Even though coverage is great throughout the country, it is not everywhere, especially in really rural areas.

With reasonably priced SIM cards, quite affordable costs for mobile data, fast mobile download speeds, and great nationwide coverage (even in rural states), you should have a smooth network experience.


North American Roaming in the United States

Many Canadian and Mexican operators offer free international roaming or roaming at attractive rates than standard Pay As You Go roaming rates.

Do note that if your mobile operator offers free international roaming in the United States, you may have a roaming (data) allowance or roaming at reduced speeds (often @ 128 Kbps, which is extremely slow).

Even then, I would recommend checking whether your operator offers such a feature, because why pay extra when it is already provided for free?

Currency in the United States

10 US Dollar Note
© U.S. Currency Education Program

The United States uses the US Dollar with the symbol USD (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in the UNited States are listed in just $.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

Wise Signup Banner

American Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through T-Mobile US, AT&T, Black Wireless, Boost Mobile USA, Consumer Cellular, Cricket Wireless, FreedomPop, Good2Go Mobile, Google Fi, GoSmart Mobile, GoSmart Mobile, H2O Wireless, Lycamobile USA, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, NET10 Wireless, Red Pocket Mobile, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk, TracFone, Ultra Mobile & Unreal Mobile, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices, and availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs) 

With that being said, let’s see what the United States has to offer.


T-Mobile US

T-Mobile Logo
© T-Mobile

T-Mobile US, just T-Mobile, is the second-largest mobile operator in the United States.

It purchased and merged with Sprint, which was the smallest mobile operator of the Big Four – now Big Three.

T-Mobile is known for its Un-Carrier campaigns, including free roaming in Canada & Mexico, free texting on planes (Gogo Inflight internet) & allowing for data rollover (Data Stash).

Let's not forget about T-Mobile Tuesdays, where you could get rewards, such as free food from various fast-food chains, Lyft ride credits & Shell gas discounts.

T-Mobile uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 1700/2100 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 600 MHz (Band 71), 700 MHz (Band 12), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700/2100 MHz (Band 4 & Band 66) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)
  • 5G NR: 600 MHz (n71), 2500 MHz (n41), 28 GHz (n261) & 39 GHz (n260)

This is what you will learn about T-Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a T-Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – T-Mobile US

T-Mobile has extensive coverage throughout the United States. It also has the widest 5G NR coverage, covering more than 40% of the country.

As explained in the 5G NR section, T-Mobile uses low 5G NR frequencies for nationwide 5G NR coverage.

Although this improves speed compared to 4G/LTE, it still sacrifices even faster speeds for coverage. But the distance the 5G NR waves can reach is further than millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G NR.

Do note that T-Mobile has the worst 4G/LTE coverage, covering 62% of the United States. Reception in rural areas can be really spotty with T-Mobile.

In fact, in none of the states does T-Mobile have the best 3G nor 4G/LTE coverage (compared to AT&T & Verizon).

T-Mobile's 4G/LTE best states are Connecticut (CT), New Jersey (NJ), Delaware (DE), South Carolina (SC) & Indiana (IN).

South Carolina (SC), New Jersey (NJ), Minnesota (MN), Indiana (IN) & North Carolina (NC) are the best states for T-Mobile's 5G NR coverage.

The states with the spottiest T-Mobile coverage (3G, 4G/LTE & 5G NR) are Alaska (AK), Nebraska (NE), Oregon (OR), Maine (ME) & West Virginia (WV).

In fact, I would highly discourage you from using T-Mobile in both Alaska & Nebraska.

In Maine, Oregon & West Virginia, you may only want to use the T-Mobile network when staying in urban areas.

Below is T-Mobile's coverage map:

Here is the coverage map of Alaska:

Then the map of Hawaii:

Finally, the coverage map of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands:

I always like to compare official coverage maps with one made independently because some mobile operators are overly optimistic with their maps.

Note that all the maps shown above are more generous with marking their coverage than in reality.

SIM Card Price – T-Mobile US

You can buy a T-Mobile SIM Card for 9.99 USD in T-Mobile stores and from many other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic shops & convenience stores.

T-Mobile USA SIM Card
© T-Mobile US

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a T-Mobile store or from an autuhorized reseller, such as Best Buy.

T-Mobile SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 365 days (no top-up for 365 days or no activity for 365 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – T-Mobile US

T-Mobile top-up vouchers are sold in T-Mobile stores, grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

T-Mobile USA Top-Up Card
© T-Mobile US

To top up your T-Mobile SIM card, dial *233 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial #255# to check your T-Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the T-Mobile app (Android/iOS).

T-Mobile USA App
© T-Mobile US

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – T-Mobile US

T-Mobile has three data-featured plans:

All T-Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

T-Mobile Connect – T-Mobile US

The T-Mobile Connect plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

T-Mobile USA Connect
© T-Mobile US

T-Mobile Connect can be activated on the T-Mobile app:

PriceData 1Local MinutesLocal SMSValidity
15 USD2.5 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days 
25 USD5.5 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days 

1 video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction

Simply Prepaid – T-Mobile US

The Simply Prepaid Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Simply Prepaid can be activated on the T-Mobile app:

PricePlanDataMusic Streaming 3Local MinutesLocal SMSValidity
40 USD10 GB10 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USDUnlimitedUnlimited 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USDUnlimited Plus Unlimited 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 speed may be throttled during busy times when having used more than 50 GB/month
2 video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
3 Music Unlimited apps:

  • 8Tracks
  • AccuRadio
  • Amazon Music 
  • Apple Music 
  • Audacy.com 
  • Bandcamp
  • Beatport
  • Black Planet
  • Chilltrax
  • Dash Radio
  • DatPiff
  • Deezer
  • Digitally Imported
  • ESPN Radio (via the ESPN app)
  • Fit Radio
  • Groove Music (formerly Xbox Music)
  • iHeartRadio
  • Jango
  • JAZZRADIO.com (AudioAddict app)
  • KCRW
  • My Mixtapez
  • Napster (formerly Rhapsody)
  • Nextradio
  • Noon Pacific
  • OHIO.FM
  • Pandora
  • PreDanz
  • Radio Danz
  • Radio Disney
  • Radio Paradise
  • Radio.com (now Audacy.com)
  • radioPup
  • RadioTunes
  • ROCKRADIO.com
  • Saavn (Jiosaavn) 
  • SiriusXM
  • Slacker 
  • SMULE
  • SomaFM
  • SoundCloud
  • Spinrilla
  • Spotify
  • StreamOn
  • Tidal Music
  • TuneIn Premium (paid service only)
  • Uforia
  • YouTube Music
T-Mobile USA Plans

Add-Ons – T-Mobile US

The Add-Ons are, as the name implies, add-ons for Canada & Mexico roaming, or international calls & SMS. They are exclusively for Simply Prepaid and cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Add-Ons can be activated on the T-Mobile app:

PriceRoaming Data 1Roaming Minutes 1International Minutes 3Roaming SMS 1International SMS 3Validity
5 USD5 GB 2UnlimitedN/AUnlimitedN/AUntil plan expires
15 USDN/AN/AUnlimitedN/AUnlimitedUntil plan expires

1 in Canada & Mexico
2 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
3 Stateside International – from the US, Canada & Mexico to 70 countries (landline), of which 30 to both landline and mobile numbers:

T-Mobile USA Add-Ons

APN/Internet Settings – T-Mobile US

  • Name: T-Mobile
  • APN: fast.t-mobile.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


AT&T USA

AT&T Logo
© AT&T

AT&T USA, standing for American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, is the oldest mobile operator in the United States and the oldest telecommunications company in the world.

Although being this old, it is the smallest mobile operator in the country, behind Verizon and T-Mobile.

AT&T uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: N/A – phased out in 2017
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 12, Band 14, Band 17 & 29 Band), 850 MHz (Band 5), 1700 MHz (Band 4 & Band 66), 1900 MHz (Band 2) & 2300 MHz (Band 30)
  • 5G NR: 850 MHz (n5), 1900 MHz (n2), 28 GHz (n261) & 39 GHz (n260)

This is what you will learn about AT&T:

* Coverage
* How to Get an AT&T SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – AT&T USA

AT&T has extensive coverage in the United States. It also has the best 3G coverage.

All the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, are covered by AT&T.

Delaware (DE), Indiana (IN) & New Jersey (NJ) have basically perfect state-wide coverage.

The states with excellent coverage are:

  • Arkansas (AR)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • Florida (FL)
  • Geor gia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Kansas (KS)
  • Kentucky (KY)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Ohio (OH)
  • Rhode Island (RI)
  • South Dakota (SD)

The states with the spottiest AT&T coverage are Alaska (AK) & Maine (ME).

Users in Arizona (AZ), Nevada (NV) & Wyoming (WY) will also experience spotty coverage out of urban areas.

Below is AT&T's coverage map. Canada & Mexico are also shown on the map (extended coverage). Some plans allow for free international roaming in said countries:

Below is another coverage map produced by Speedtest:

Do note that both maps are more generous with marking their coverage than in reality.

SIM Card Price – AT&T USA

You can buy an AT&T SIM card for 4.99 USD in AT&T stores and from many other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic shops & convenience stores.

AT&T USA Prepaid Starter Kit
© AT&T

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in an AT&T store or from an authorized reseller, such as Best Buy.

AT&T USA SIM Card
© AT&T

AT&T SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 60 days (no top-up for 60 days or no activity for 60 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – AT&T USA

AT&T top-up vouchers are sold in AT&T stores, grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

AT&T USA Top-Up Card
© AT&T

To top up your AT&T SIM card, dial *888*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *888*123456#.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *777# to check your AT&T balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the myAT&T app (Android/iOS).

myAT&T App
© AT&T

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – AT&T USA

AT&T has two data-featured plans: combo plans & data-only plans.

Some AT&T prepaid plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device.

Combo Plans – AT&T USA

The Combo Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Combo Plans can be activated on the myAT&T app:

PriceDataLocal Minutes 4Local SMS 4International SMS 5Validity
30 USD5 GB 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD15 GB 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
65 USDUnlimited 1, 2, 6  UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
75 USDUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
99 USD8 GB/month (24 GB) 1, 3UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
300 USD8 GB/month (96 GB) 1, 3UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days

1 high-speed data. Unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
3 5G access
4 also to Canada & Mexico, except for the 30 USD plan
5 speed at 3 Mbps – speeds may be throttled even more after using 22 GB
6 to 241 countries and territories:

AT&T USA Plans

Data-Only Plans – AT&T USA

The data-only plans are, as the name implies, data-only bundles.

They are aimed at tablet and mobile hotspot use. However, these plans can be used on phones as well (but you may have to get an AT&T data-only SIM card first).

The following Data-Only plans are available:

PriceDataValidity
35 USD15 GB30 days
55 USD100 GB30 days
300 USD20 GB/30 days (240 GB)360 days

AT&T USA Data-Only Plans

APN/Internet Settings – AT&T USA

  • Name: ATT NXTGENPHONE
  • APN: NXTGENPHONE

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Black Wireless

Black Wireless Logo
© Black Wireless

Black Wireless is an AT&T MVNO.

It is one of the many AT&T MVNOs out there.

To learn about Black Wireless's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Black Wireless:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Black Wireless SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Black Wireless

Black Wireless is an AT&T MVNO, meaning Black Wireless uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Black Wireless, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Black Wireless

You can buy a Black Wireless SIM Card for 10 USD from independent dealers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, and electronic shops.

Black Wireless SIM Card
© Black Wireless

You might have to activate your SIM card online.


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Black Wireless

Black Wireless SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards. Your balance can be checked online too.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Black Wireless

Black Wireless has two data-featured plans: Monthly Plans (combo) & Add-Ons (as the name implies).

No Black Wireless plan is eligible for 5G NR.

Monthly Plans – Black Wireless

The Monthly Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Monthly Plans can be activated online:

PricePlanData 1Local MinutesInternational Minutes 2Local SMSValidity
20 USDSaver 1 Month1 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USDBest Value 1 Month10 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USDHigh Data 1 Month22 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
120 USDSaver 6 Months1 GB/30 days (6 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
180 USDBest Value 6 Months10 GB/30 days (60 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
240 USDSaver 12 Months1 GB/30 days (12 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
240 USDHigh Data 6 Months22 GB/30 days (132 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
360 USDBest Value 12 Months10 GB/30 days (120 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
480 USDHigh Data 12 Months22 GB/30 days (264 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 to 50+ countries – may call up to 10 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle

Black Wireless Plans

Add-Ons – Black Wireless

The Add-Ons are data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

PriceDataValidity
5 USD250 MBUntil the billing cycle expires
10 USD1 GBUntil the billing cycle expires
15 USD2 GBUntil the billing cycle expires
50 USD10 GBUntil the billing cycle expires
Black Wireless Add-Ons

APN/Internet Settings – Black Wireless

  • Name: Black Wireless
  • APN: ERESELLER

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Boost Mobile USA

Boost Mobile Logo
© Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile USA, just Boost Mobile and not to be confused with Boost Mobile Australia, is a T-Mobile MVNO.

It used to be a Sprint MVNO until Sprint was purchased by T-Mobile.

Now, Boost Mobile is owned by Dish.

Dish is currently a T-Mobile MVNO until it builds up its own network.

However, its current agreement requires Dish (and Boost Mobile) to use the T-Mobile network for 5-7 years.

To learn about Boost Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Boost Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Boost Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Boost Mobile USA

Boost Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Boost Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Boost Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Boost Mobile USA

You can buy a Boost Mobile SIM Card for between 2.50 USD and 10 USD in Boost Mobile stores and from many other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic shops & convenience stores.

Boost Mobile USA SIM Card
© Boost Mobile USA

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Boost Mobile store.

Boost Mobile SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 120 days (no top-up for 120 days or no activity for 120 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Boost Mobile USA

Boost Mobile top-up vouchers are sold in Boost Mobile stores, grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

Boost Mobile USA Top Up Card
© Boost Mobile USA

To top up your Boost Mobile SIM card, dial #233 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial #255 to check your Boost Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the My Boost app (Android/iOS).

My Boost USA App
© Boost Mobile USA

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Boost Mobile USA

Boost Mobile has four data-featured plans:

All Boost Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Monthly Plans – Boost Mobile USA

The Monthly Plans are combo bundles with data minutes & SMS.

Monthly Plans can be activated on the My Boost app:

PriceData 1, 3Local MinutesLocal SMSValidity
15 USD2 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD5 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
35 USD10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USD35 GB 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USD35 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 video streaming @ 480p – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction

Boost Mobile USA Plans

One-Time Data Packs – Boost Mobile USA

The One-Time Data Packs are, as the name implies, data packs that do not auto-renew.

One-Time Data Packs can be activated on the My Boost app:

PriceDataValidity
5 USD1 GB30 days
10 USD2 GB30 days
Ongoing Data Packs – Boost Mobile USA

The Ongoing Data Packs are, as the name implies, data packs that auto-renew each billing cycle until you cancel it.

Ongoing Data Packs can be activated on the My Boost app:

PriceDataValidity
5 USD1 GBUntil plan renews
10 USD2 GBUntil plan renews
Boost Mobile USA Data Packs
HD Buy Up – Boost Mobile USA

The HD Buy Up is a 10 USD add-on allowing you to stream videos @ 1080p instead of @ 480p, steam music at 1.5 Mbps instead of @ 500 Kbps & play games online @ 8 Mbps instead of @ 1.5 Mbps.

You can also use a VPN and stream at whatever resolution or speed you want without paying for this add-on.

APN/Internet Settings – Boost Mobile USA

  • Name: Boost
  • APN: boost.data

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular Logo
© Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular is an AT&T MVNO.

It is targeted at the elderly, but anyone can use its SIM cards.

To learn about Consumer Cellular's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Consumer Cellular:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Consumer Cellular SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular is an AT&T MVNO, meaning Consumer Cellular uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Consumer Cellular, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Consumer Cellular

You can buy a Consumer Cellular Fi SIM card for 10 USD in Target throughout the United States.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Consumer Cellular SIM Card
© Consumer Cellular


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards. Your balance can be checked online too.

You can also use the My Consumer Cellular app (Android/iOS).

My Consumer Cellular App
© Consumer Cellular

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular has one type of data-featured plan, which includes data, minutes & SMS.

All Consumer Cellular plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device.

Plans can be activated online or on the My Consumer Cellular app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
20 USD500 MB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
25 USD500 MBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD3 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
30 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
35 USD10 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
40 USD10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
45 USD15 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
50 USD15 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
55 USD35 GB 1250 minutesUnlimited30 days
60 USD35 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance

Be aware that if you go over your data allowance, your plan will automatically be upgraded to a higher plan and stay there until you reserve it in the next billing cycle.

APN/Internet Settings – Consumer Cellular

  • Name: ConsumerCellular
  • APN: ccdata

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless Logo
© Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless, also known as simply Cricket, is an AT&T MVNO directly owned by AT&T.

Cricket Wireless competes directly with Metro by T-Mobile and Visible by Verizon – both budget brands directly owned by the Big Three.

Unlike most MVNOs in the United States, Cricket Wireless has stores you can visit.

To learn about Cricket Wireless's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Cricket Wireless:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Cricket Wireless SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is an AT&T MVNO, meaning Cricket Wireless uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Cricket Wireless, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Cricket Wireless

You can buy a Cricket Wireless SIM Card for 9.99 USD in Cricket Wireless stores and from many other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic shops & convenience stores.

Cricket Wireless SIM Card
© Cricket Wireless

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Cricket Wireless store or from an authorized reseller, such as Best Buy.


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless top-up vouchers are sold in Cricket Wireless stores, grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

Cricket Wireless Top-Up Card
© Cricket Wireless

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
10 USD30 days
25 USD30 days
35 USD90 days
40 USD90 days
50 USD90 days
60 USD90 days

The following online top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
10 USD – 29 USD30 days
30 USD – 99 USD90 days
100 USD356 days

To top up your Cricket Wireless SIM card, dial *729 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

You can also top up and check your balance on the myCricket app (Android/iOS).

myCricket App
© Cricket Wireless

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless has two data-featured plans: Cell Phone Plans (combo) & Add-On (as the name implies).

Cell Phone Plans – Cricket Wireless

The Cell Phone Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Cell Phone Plans can be activated on the myCricket app:

PricePlanDataRoaming DataLocal MinutesLocal SMSInternational SMSValidity
30 USD2 GB2 GB 5NoUnlimitedUnlimitedN/A30 days
40 USD10 GB10 GB 5NoUnlimitedUnlimitedN/A30 days
55 USDCricket MoreUnlimited 1YesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USD 4Cricket CoreUnlimited 6YesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 @ 8 Mbps. Video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
2 Canada & Mexico only – use AT&T Mexico for fastest speeds
3 to 37 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada (excluding Northern Territories), China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom & Venezuela
4 5G access as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device
5 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
6 Video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction

Cricket Wireless Plans

Add-On – Cricket Wireless

The Add-On is a 1 GB data add-on costing 10 USD. The data is valid until your Cell Phone Plan expires. The Add-on cannot be purchased as a standalone plan.

PriceDataValidity
10 USD1 GBUntil plan expires

APN/Internet Settings – Cricket Wireless

  • Name: Internet
  • APN: endo

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


FreedomPop

FreedomPop Logo
© FreedomPop

FreedomPop is an MVNO by Red Pocket Mobile, which, in turn, is also an MVNO.

Red Pocket Mobile owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

FreedomPop is one of the many AT&T MVNOs in the United States.

To learn about FreedomPop's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about FreedomPop:

* Coverage
* How to Get a FreedomPop SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – FreedomPop

FreedomPop is an AT&T MVNO, meaning FreedomPop uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with FreedomPop, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – FreedomPop

You can buy a FreedomPop SIM card for 5 USD in Best Buy and Target throughout the United States.

Do note that many, if not all, starter kits are preloaded with 3-month plans. You will pay for those three months upfront.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

FreedomPop Types of SIM Cards
© FreedomPop


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – FreedomPop

FreedomPop SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards. Your balance can be checked online too.

FreedomPop SIM Card
© FreedomPop

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – FreedomPop

FreedomPop has one type of plan, which is the Bundle with data, minutes & SMS.

All FreedomPop plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device

Bundles can be activated online:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
15 USD1 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
17 USD1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
23 USD4 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
25 USD4 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USD10 GB250 minutesUnlimited30 days
35 USD10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
55 USDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

APN/Internet Settings – FreedomPop

  • Name: FreedomPop
  • APN: ERESELLER

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile Logo
© Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile is an AT&T MVNO.

It is one of the many AT&T MVNOs out there.

To learn about Good2Go Mobile's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Good2Go Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Good2Go Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile is an AT&T MVNO, meaning Good2Go Mobile uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Good2Go Mobile, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Good2Go Mobile

You can buy a Good2Go Mobile SIM card for 5 USD in Best Buy throughout the United States.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Good2Go Mobile SIM Card
© Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 30 days (no top-up for 30 days or no activity for 30 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards. Your balance can be checked online too.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Good2Go Mobile

Good2Go Mobile has two data-featured plans: Monthly Plans (combo) & Add-On (as the name implies).

No Good2Go Mobile plan is eligible for 5G NR.

Monthly Plan – Good2Go Mobile

The Monthly Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Monthly Plans can be activated online:

PriceData 1Local MinutesLocal SMSValidity
20 USD1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD2 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USD6 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USD20 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USD6 GB/30 days (18 GB)UnlimitedUnlimited90 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance

Good2Go Mobile Plans

Add-On- Good2Go Mobile

The Add-On is a 1 GB data add-on costing 10 USD. It is valid until your plan expires. It cannot be purchased as a standalone plan. Activation is done online.

PriceDataValidity
10 USD1 GBUntil plan expires

APN/Internet Settings – Good2Go Mobile

  • Name: Good2Go Mobile
  • APN: att.mvno

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Google Fi

Google Fi Logo
© Google Fi

Google Fi, by Google, is a T-Mobile & UScellular MVNO.

Google Fi is unique because it will automatically select the best network automatically and constantly, unlike some other MVNOs that will choose the best network upon activation.

Google Fi is also popular because it allows for free international roaming in 200+ countries.

With Google Fi, you will mostly be on the T-Mobile network, unless you are staying in the midwestern United States (think of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska & Wisconsin).

UScellular's 4G/LTE covers about 10% of the United States.

For comparison, T-Mobile covers 62% of the United States.

To learn about Google Fi's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Google Fi:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Google Fi SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Google Fi

Google Fi is (mostly) a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Google Fi uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Google Fi, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Google Fi

You can buy a Google Fi SIM card for 5 USD in Best Buy and Target throughout the United States.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Google Fi SIM Card
© Google Fi

Before purchasing a Google Fi SIM card, make sure your device is compatible with Google Fi.

Currently, some devices from these manufacturers are compatible with Google Fi:

  • Apple
  • Essential
  • Google
  • HTC
  • Huawei
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • OnePlus
  • RED
  • Samsung
  • Xiaomi

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Google Fi

Google Fi SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards. Your balance can be checked online too.

You can also use the Google Fi app (Android/iOS).

Google Fi App
© Google Fi

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Google Fi

Google Fi has one type of data-featured plan, which includes data, minutes & SMS.

All Google Fi plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Plans can be activated on the Google Fi app:

PricePlanData 9Local Minutes 8International MinutesRoaming MinutesLocal SMSRoaming SMSValidity
20 USDFlexible10 USD/1 GB 1, 2, 5UnlimitedUnlimited 4UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USDSimply UnlimitedUnlimited 3UnlimitedUnlimited 4N/AUnlimitedN/A30 days
70 USDUnlimited PlusUnlimited 3, 5, 7UnlimitedUnlimited 10UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 you pay per 1 GB
2 unlimited data @ 256 Kbps after using more than 15 GB
3 unlimited data @ 256 Kbps after using more than 22 GB
4 to Canada & Mexico only
5 also in Canada & Mexico
6 10 USD/1 GB for roaming in 200+ countries
7 also for roaming in 200+ countries
8 also to Canada & Mexico
9 video streaming @ 480p – recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
10 to 56 countries:

  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom” data-wpil-keyword-link=”linked” href=”https://www.phonetravelwiz.com/buying-a-sim-card-in-the-united-kingdom-guide/”>United Kingdom
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
Google Fi Plans

APN/Internet Settings – Google Fi

  • Name: Google Fi
  • APN: h2g2

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile Logo
© GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile is an MVNO by TracFone, which, in turn, is also an MVNO and the mobile brand of América Móvil (known as Claro in Central & South America and A1 in Central Europe).

TracFone owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

Unlike some other TracFone-owned MVNOs, GoSmart Mobile does not allow you to select the network you want to use.

Instead, it uses the T-Mobile network only.

To learn about GoSmart Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about GoSmart Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a GoSmart Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning GoSmart Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with GoSmart Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – GoSmart Mobile

You can buy a GoSmart Mobile SIM card for 0.99 USD from GoSmart Mobile retailers, including Total Wireless (TracFone brands reseller), pharmacies & convenience stores.

GoSmart Mobile SIM Card
© GoSmart Mobile

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Total Wireless store.


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile top-up vouchers are sold by GoSmart Mobile dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & Total Wireless stores throughout the United States.

To top up your GoSmart Mobile SIM card, text ADD to 611611 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text USAGE to 611611 to check your GoSmart Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the GoSmart Mobile My Account app (Android/iOS).

GoSmart Mobile App
© GoSmart Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile has one data-featured plan, which is the Monthly Plan. It includes data, minutes & SMS.

No GoSmart Mobile plan is eligible for 5G NR.

All Monthly Plans allow for free data roaming in 16 Latin American countries and include 300 roaming minutes and unlimited roaming SMS when in those countries.

The 16 Latin American countries are:

GoSmart Mobile International Roaming Countries

Service Plans can be activated on the GoSmart Mobile My Account app:

PriceData 1, 3Local MinutesInternational Minutes 4Local SMSInternational SMSValidity
15 USD250 MB UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD1 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
35 USD5 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
45 USD20 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
55 USDUnlimitedUnlimited 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 up to 8 Mbps. Unlimited data @ 64 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance (not for the 55 USD plan)
2 + 10 USD international call credit – may call up to 15 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle
3 unlimited Facebook & Facebook Messenger @ 4G LTE speeds
4 to 69 countries, of which 29 to both landline and mobile numbers may call up to 15 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

GoSmart Mobile Plans

GoSmart Mobile International Minutes Countries

APN/Internet Settings – GoSmart Mobile

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for GoSmart Mobile SIM cards.

If that does not automatically happen, you can text APN to 611611 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: GoSmart
  • APN: multibrand

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless Logo
© H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless is an AT&T MVNO.

Although it is advertised as a budget option, there are far many cheaper AT&T MVNOs out there.

To learn about H2O Wireless's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about H2O Wireless:

* Coverage
* How to Get a H20 Wireless SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless is an AT&T MVNO, meaning H2O Wireless uses the AT&T network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with H2O Wireless, jump to the AT&T Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – H2O Wireless

You can buy an H2O Wireless SIM card for as little as 1 USD in various stores, including convenience stores, electronic shops & budget stores. However, you may be required to buy a plan together with your SIM card.

H2O Wireless Retailers
© H2O Wireless

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

H2O Wireless SIM Card
© H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 30 days (no top-up for 30 days or no activity for 30 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless top-up vouchers are sold by H2O Wireless dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & electronic shops throughout the United States.

H2O Wireless Top-Up Card
© H2O Wireless

To top up your H2O Wireless SIM card, dial *111*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *111*123456#.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial #777# to check your H2O Wireless balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the my h2o app (Android/iOS). Do note that the app has not been updated since April 2017.

my h2o app
© H2O Wireless

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless has two types of data-featured plans: Monthly Plans (combo) & LTE Data Top Ups (data add-ons).

All H2O Wireless plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device.

Monthly Plans – H2O Wireless

The Monthly Plans are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

H2O Wireless Monthly Unlimited Plans Banner
© H2O Wireless

Monthly Plans can be activated online or on the my h2o app:

PricePlanData 1Roaming Credit 2Local/International Minutes 3Local/International SMSInternational Call CreditValidity
20 USDBasic Plan2 GB N/AUnlimitedUnlimited1.50 USD30 days
30 USDValue Plan6 GBN/AUnlimitedUnlimited5 USD30 days
40 USDPremium Plan15 GBN/AUnlimitedUnlimited5 USD30 days
50 USDUnlimited Plan“Unlimited”, 40 GB10 USDUnlimitedUnlimited5 USD30 days
60 USDUnlimted XL With Hotspot“Unlimited”, 60 GB20 USDUnlimitedUnlimited5 USD30 days

1 @ 8 Mbps – video streaming @ 480p – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction. Unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 Canada & Mexico only
3 70 undisclosed countries to landline numbers only. Unlimited calls to mobile phones countries: China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore & South Korea

H2O Wireless Monthly Unlimited Plans

LTE Data Top Ups – H2O Wireless

The LTE Data Top Ups are data add-ons. The Top Ups do not expire as long as you keep your plan(s) active. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

LTE Data Top Ups can be activated online or on the my h2o app:

PriceDataValidity
10 USD1 GBUntil plan expires
20 USD2 GBUntil plan expires

APN/Internet Settings – H2O Wireless

  • Name: H2O APN
  • APN: PRODATA OR att.mvno

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Lycamobile USA

Lycamobile Logo New 2021
© Lycamobile

Lycamobile USA, just Lycamobile, is a T-Mobile MVNO.

Lycamobile, as a brand, is known for offering low rates for international calls abroad, and it is active in various other European countries.

To learn about Lycamobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Lycamobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Lycamobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Lycamobile USA

Lycamobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Lycamobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Lycamobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Lycamobile USA

You can buy a Lycamobile SIM Card from independent dealers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, and electronic shops. They are often sold together with a plan (starting from 19 USD).

Lycamobile SIM Card
© Lycamobile

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Dial *613# to see your Lycamobile phone number.

Lycamobile SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 60 days (no top-up for 60 days or no activity for 60 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Lycamobile USA

Lycamobile top-up vouchers are sold by Lycamobile dealers, such as grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

Lycamobile USA Retailers

To top up your Lycamobile SIM card, dial *611*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *611*123456#.

Lycamobile USA Top Up Card
© Lycamobile USA

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *611# to check your Lycamobile balance.

Although Lycamobile has apps (Android/iOS), they have performance issues.

Personally, its Android app has worked well for me, but many other users have problems with it to this day.

Lycamobile App
© Lycamobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Lycamobile USA

Lycamobile has two data-featured plans: Monthly Plans (combo) & Data Add Ons (as the name implies).

No Lycamobile plan is eligible for 5G NR.

Monthly Plans – Lycamobile USA

The Monthly Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Monthly Plans can be activated online or on the Lycamobile app:

PriceData 1Local MinutesInternational Minutes 2International Call CreditLocal SMSValidity
19 USD2 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
23 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited1.50 USDUnlimited30 days
29 USD7 GBUnlimitedUnlimited2.50 USDUnlimited30 days
33 USD15 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
39 USD15 GBUnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimited30 days
50 USD40 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
59 USD60 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance (except for the 50 USD plan)
2 to 74 countries, of which 45 to both mobile and landline numbers:

Lycamobile USA Plans

Lycamobile USA International Minutes Countries

Data Add Ons – Lycamobile USA

The Data Add Ons are, as the name implies, data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Data Add Ons can be activated online or on the Lycamobile app:

PriceData Add OnValidity
5 USD500 MBUntil plan expires
10 USD1 GBUntil plan expires
Lycamobile USA Data Add Ons

APN/Internet Settings – Lycamobile USA

  • Name: Lycamobile
  • APN: data.lycamobile.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) Logo
© Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile, formerly known as MetroPCS, is, as the name implies, a T-Mobile MVNO directly owned by T-Mobile.

With such a name, you will never forget about T-Mobile's involvement with Metro.

Metro by T-Mobile competes directly with Cricket Wireless by AT&T and Visible by Verizon – both budget brands directly owned by the Big Three.

Unlike most MVNOs in the United States, Metro by T-Mobile has stores you can visit.

To learn about Metro by T-Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Metro by T-Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Metro by T-Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

Metro by T-Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Metro by T-Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Metro by T-Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

You can buy a Metro by T-Mobile SIM Card for 10 USD in Metro by T-Mobile stores and from many other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic shops & convenience stores. A 20 USD activation fee applies.

Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) SIM Card
© Metro by T-Mobile

You might have to activate your SIM card online.


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

Metro by T-Mobile top-up vouchers are sold in Metro by T-Mobile stores, grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) Top Up Card
© Metro by T-Mobile

To top up your Metro by T-Mobile SIM card, dial *99 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *99 to check your Metro by T-Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the myMetro app (Android/iOS).

myMetro App
© Metro by T-Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

Metro by T-Mobile has two data-featured plans: Prepaid Plans (combo) & Add-Ons (data).

All Metro by T-Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Prepaid Plans – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

The Prepaid Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Prepaid Plans can be activated on the myMetro app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
30 USD2 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD10 GB 2, 3UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USDUnlimited 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USDUnlimited 1, 2UnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 speed may be throttled during busy times when having used more than 35 GB/month
2 video streaming @ 1.5 Mbps – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
3 Music Unlimited – unlimited data for music streaming apps:

Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) Unlimited Music
© Metro by T-Mobile

  • 8tracks
  • AccuRadio
  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • Bandcamp
  • Beatport
  • Black Planet
  • Chilltrax
  • Dash Radio
  • DatPiff
  • Deezer
  • Digitally Imported
  • ESPN Radio
  • Fit Radio
  • YouTube Music
  • Groove Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Jango
  • JAZZRADIO.com
  • KCRW
  • My Mixtapez
  • Napster
  • NextRadio
  • Noon Pacific
  • OHIO.FM
  • Pandora
  • PreDanz
  • Radio Danz
  • Radio Disney
  • Radio Paradise
  • radio.com
  • radioPup
  • RadioTunes
  • ROCKRADIO.com
  • Saavn
  • SiriusXM
  • Slacker
  • SMULE
  • SomaFM
  • SoundCloud
  • Spinrilla
  • Spotify
  • StreamOn
  • Tidal Music
  • TuneIn Premium
  • Uforia

For 10 USD, you can purchase the HD video add-on, allowing you to stream videos @ 1080p. Or you could use a VPN to circumvent this restriction.

Metro by T-Mobile (MetroPCS) Plans

Add-Ons – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

The Add-Ons are data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Add-Ons can be activated on the myMetro app:

PriceDataValidity
5 USD2 GB30 days
10 USD5 GB30 days
20 USD10 GB30 days

APN/Internet Settings – Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS)

  • Name: Metro by T-Mobile
  • APN: fast.metrobyt-mobile.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile Logo
© Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO.

It used to be part of Ultra Mobile until it was spun off and become its standalone brand.

But it still technically operates as a subsidiary of Ultra Mobile.

Now, it is (partially) owned by Ryan Reynolds (the Deadpool actor).

Mint Mobile is one of the cheaper (T-Mobile) MVNOs out there.

However, do note that Mint Mobile does not sell monthly (30 days) plans like most other MVNOs.

Instead, the shortest plan lasts 90 days (3 months).

To learn about Mint Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Mint Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Mint Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Mint Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Mint Mobile

You can buy a Mint Mobile SIM card for 2 USD from Best Buy & Target. However, they are often sold together with a plan (starting from 45 USD).

Mint Mobile Starter Kit
© Mint Mobile

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Mint Mobile SIM Card
© Mint Mobile

Text MENU to 6700 to access the Mint Mobile menu.

Mint Mobile SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 45 days (no top-up for 45 days or no activity for 45 days).


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile SIM cards can only be topped up online with (international) debit and credit cards.

The following top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
5 USDNo expiry
10 USDNo expiry
20 USDNo expiry

Text BAL to 6700 to check your Mint Mobile balance.

Or you can use the Mint Mobile app (Android/iOS).

Mint Mobile App
© Mint Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile has two data-featured plans: Cell Phone Plans (combo) & Data Add-Ons (as the name implies).

All Mint Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Mint Mobile Plans Fox
© Mint Mobile

Cell Phone Plans – Mint Mobile

The Cell Phone Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Do note that all Mint Mobile plans have a validity starting from 90 days. It is not possible to buy a plan for 30 days.

Cell Phone Plans can be activated on the Mint Mobile app:

PriceData 1, 3Local MinutesInternational Minutes 2Local SMSValidity
45 USD4 GB/month (12 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
60 USD10 GB/month (30 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
75 USD15 GB/month (45 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
90 USDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
120 USD4 GB/month (24 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
150 USD10 GB/month (60 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
180 USD4 GB/month (48 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
210 USD15 GB/month (90 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
210 USDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited180 days
240 USD10 GB/month (120 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
300 USD15 GB/month (180 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
360 USDUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance. For unlimited plan, 35 GB of high-speed data before speeds are @ 128 Kbps
2 to Canada & Mexico only
3 video streaming @ 480p

Mint Mobile Plans

Data Add-Ons – Mint Mobile

The Data Add-Ons are, as the name implies, data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Data Add-Ons can be activated on the Mint Mobile app:

PriceDataValidity
10 USD1 GBEnd of 30-day cycle
20 USD3 GBEnd of 30-day cycle

APN/Internet Settings – Mint Mobile

  • Name: Ultra
  • APN: wholesale

Note: “Ultra” as Name is not a mistake from my end. Leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


NET10 Wireless

NET10 Wireless Logo
© NET10 Wireless

NET10 Wireless is an MVNO by TracFone, which, in turn, is also an MVNO and the mobile brand of América Móvil (known as Claro in Central & South America and A1 in Central Europe).

TracFone owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

NET10 Wireless allows you to choose which network (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon) you want to be on.

However, as Verizon has a relatively short list of approved GSM devices, especially phones not sold by Verizon directly, I recommend going with AT&T or T-Mobile.

Suppose you do not select an AT&T-, T-Mobile-, or Verizon-linked SIM card.

In that case, NET10 Wireless will activate your SIM card on the network that performs the best in the area of activation.

To learn about NET10 Wireless's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies or T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about NET10 Wireless:

* Coverage
* How to Get a NET10 Wireless SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – NET10 Wireless

NET10 Wireless is an MVNO using the AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon networks (you can only choose one), meaning NET10 Wireless does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with NET10 Wireless, jump to the AT&T Coverage section or the T-Mobile Coverage section, depending on the network you choose.

SIM Card Price – NET10 Wireless

You can buy a NET10 Wireless SIM card, regardless of what network you select, for 0.99 USD from NET10 Wireless retailers, including Total Wireless (TracFone brands reseller), pharmacies & convenience stores.

NET10 Wireless SIM Cards

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Total Wireless store.

NET10 Wireless SIM Card
© NET10 Wireless


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – NET10 Wireless

NET10 Wireless top-up vouchers are sold by NET10 Wireless dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & Total Wireless stores throughout the United States.

To top up your NET10 Wireless SIM card, text ADD to 611611 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text USAGE to 611611 to check your NET10 Wireless balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Net10 Wireless My Account app (Android/iOS).

NET10 Wireless My Account App
© NET10 Wireless

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – NET10 Wireless

NET10 Wireless has two data-featured plans: Monthly Plans (combo) & Add-On Plans (as the name implies).

All NET10 Wireless plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device or a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Monthly Plans – NET10 Wireless

The Monthly Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Monthly Plans can be activated on the Net10 My Account app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesInternational Minutes 4Local SMSValidity
20 USD2 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
35 USD5 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD10 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USD“Unlimited” 2, 3UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
60 USD40 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
65 USD“Unlimited” 2, 3UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 64 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 NET10 Wireless may review your account when using “a lot of data” (probably more than 60 GB/month – just like Straight Talk) and terminate it if they feel like it. I recommend staying below 60 GB
3 undisclosed fair-use limit
4 to 69 countries, of which 31 to both landline and mobile numbers – may call up to 15 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

NET10 Wireless Plans

NET10 Wireless International Minutes Countries

Add-On Plans – NET10 Wireless

The Add-On Plans are data add-ons. Multiple Add-On Plans can be activated at a time. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Add-On Plans can be activated on the Net10 My Account app:

PriceDataValidity
5 USD500 MBNo expiry 1
10 USD1 GBNo expiry 1

1 if your Monthly Plan stays active

NET10 Wireless Add-On Plans

APN/Internet Settings – NET10 Wireless

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for NET10 Wireless SIM cards.

If that does not automatically happen, you can text APN to 611611 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: net10
  • APN: tfdata (AT&T) OR wap.tracfone (T-Mobile)

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket Mobile Logo
© Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket Mobile, also known as simply Red Pocket, is an MVNO that owns several other MVNOs in the United States, which will also be covered in this guide.

The MVNO is famous for its lucrative refer-a-friend program (25 USD per referred friend – up to 500 USD a year).

Red Pocket Mobile allows you to choose which network (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon) you want to be on.

However, as Verizon has a relatively short list of approved GSM devices, especially phones not sold by Verizon directly, I recommend going with AT&T or T-Mobile.

To learn about Red Pocket Mobile's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies or T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Red Pocket Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Red Pocket Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket Mobile is an MVNO using the AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon networks (you can only choose one), meaning Red Pocket Mobile does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Red Pocket Mobile, jump to the AT&T Coverage section or the T-Mobile Coverage section, depending on the network you choose.

Red Pocket Mobile Networks

SIM Card Price – Red Pocket Mobile

You can buy a Red Pocket Mobile SIM card for 5 USD in CVS and Target throughout the United States.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

Red Pocket Mobile SIM Card
© Red Pocket Mobile

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket Mobile top-up vouchers are sold by Red Pocket Mobile dealers, like CVS & Target, throughout the United States.

To top up your Red Pocket Mobile SIM card, dial *111*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *111*123456#.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text BAL to 3888 if you are on the AT&T network and BAL to 7039 if you are on the T-Mobile network to check your Red Pocket Mobile balance.

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Red Pocket Mobile

Red Pocket Mobile has three data-featured plans:

All Red Pocket Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device or a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Plans – Red Pocket Mobile

The Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Plans can be activated online:

PricePriceLocal MinutesInternational Minutes 2Local SMSValidity
20 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USD10 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
40 USD22 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
50 USD50 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 calling to 79 countries, of which 47 to both landline and mobile numbers (marked with “(M)”) – may call up to 20 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

Red Pocket Mobile Plans

Data Only – Red Pocket Mobile

The Data Only (plans) are, as the name implies, data-only bundles. They are exclusive to the AT&T network (GSMA). Those with T-Mobile-linked Red Pocket Mobile SIM cards cannot purchase Data Only (plans).

Data Only (plans) can be activated online:

PriceDataValidity
10 USD1 GB30 days
25 USD5 GB30 days
40 USD20 GB30 days
Data Top Ups – Red Pocket Mobile

The Data Top Ups are data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Data Top Ups can be activated online:

PriceDataValidity
2 USD100 MBUntil plan expires
5 USD200 MBUntil plan expires
15 USD1 GBUntil plan expires
20 USD2 GBUntil plan expires

APN/Internet Settings – Red Pocket Mobile

  • Name: Red Pocket Mobile
  • APN: ERESELLER (AT&T) OR WHOLESALE (T-Mobile)

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile Logo
© Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile is an MVNO by TracFone, which, in turn, is also an MVNO and the mobile brand of América Móvil (known as Claro in Central & South America and A1 in Central Europe).

TracFone owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

Unlike some other TracFone-owned MVNOs, GoSmart Mobile does not allow you to select the network you want to use.

Instead, it uses the T-Mobile network only.

To learn about Simple Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Simple Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Simple Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Simple Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Simple Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Simple Mobile

You can buy a Simple Mobile SIM card for 0.99 USD from Simple Mobile retailers, including Total Wireless (TracFone brands reseller), pharmacies & convenience stores.

Simple Mobile SIM Card
© Simple Mobile

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Total Wireless store.


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile top-up vouchers are sold by Simple Mobile dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & Total Wireless stores throughout the United States.

Simple Mobile Top-Up Card
© Simple Mobile

To top up your Simple Mobile SIM card, text ADD to 611611 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text USAGE to 611611 to check your Simple Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Simple Mobile My Account app (Android/iOS).

Simple Mobile App
© Simple Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile has two data-featured plans: Service Plans (combo) & Add-On Plans (data).

All Simple Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Service Plans – Simple Mobile

The Service Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

All Service Plans allow for free data roaming in 16 Latin American countries and include 300 roaming minutes and unlimited roaming SMS when in those countries.

The 16 Latin American countries are:

Simple Mobile International Roaming Countries

Service Plans can be activated on the Simple Mobile My Account app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesInternational Minutes 5International Call Credit 4Local SMSValidity
25 USD3 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimited30 days
30 USD5 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimited30 days
40 USD15 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimited30 days
50 USDUnlimited 2, 3UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimited30 days
60 USDUnlimited 2, 3UnlimitedUnlimited20 USDUnlimited30 days

1 Unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 speeds may be reduced after using more than 40 GB
3 video streaming @ 480p – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
4 to 100+ countries
5 to 69 countries, of which 30 to both landline and mobile numbers – may call up to 20 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

Simple Mobile Service Plans

Add-On Plans – Simple Mobile

The Add-On Plans are data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Add-On Plans can be activated on the Simple Mobile My Account app:

PriceDataValidity
5 USD2 GBUntil plan expires
10 USD5 GBUntil plan expires
20 USD10 GBUntil plan expires
Simple Mobile Add-On Plans

APN/Internet Settings – Simple Mobile

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for Simple Mobile SIM cards.

If that does not automatically happen, you can text APN to 611611 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: simple
  • APN: simple

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Straight Talk

Straight Talk Logo
© Straight Talk

Straight Talk is an MVNO by TracFone, which, in turn, is also an MVNO and the mobile brand of América Móvil (known as Claro in Central & South America and A1 in Central Europe).

TracFone owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

Straight Talk allows you to choose which network (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon) you want to be on.

However, as Verizon has a relatively short list of approved GSM devices, especially phones not sold by Verizon directly, I recommend going with AT&T or T-Mobile.

Suppose you do not select an AT&T-, T-Mobile-, or Verizon-linked SIM card.

In that case, Straight Talk Wireless will activate your SIM card on the network that performs the best in the area of activation.

To learn about Straight Talk's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies or T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Straight Talk:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Straight Talk SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Straight Talk

Straight Talk is an MVNO using the AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon networks (you can only choose one), meaning Straight Talk does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Straight Talk, jump to the AT&T Coverage section or the T-Mobile Coverage section, depending on the network you choose.

SIM Card Price – Straight Talk

You can buy a Straight Talk SIM card, regardless of what network you select, for 0.99 USD from Straight Talk retailers, including Total Wireless (TracFone brands reseller), pharmacies & convenience stores.

Straight Talk SIM Cards

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Total Wireless store.

Straight Talk SIM Card
© Straight Talk


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Straight Talk

Straight Talk top-up vouchers are sold by Straight Talk dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & Total Wireless stores throughout the United States.

Straight Talk Top Up Card 1
© Straight Talk

To top up your Straight Talk SIM card, text ADD to 611611 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text USAGE to 611611 to check your Straight Talk balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Straight Talk My Account app (Android/iOS).

Straight Talk My Account App
© Straight Talk

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Straight Talk

Straight Talk has one type of data-featured bundle, which is the Wireless Phone Plan. They include data, minutes & SMS.

All Straight Talk plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device or a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Wireless Phone Plans can be activated on the Straight Talk My Account app:

PricePlanDataLocal MinutesCanada & Mexico MinutesInternational Minutes 3Local SMSValidity
30 USDBasic Phone Plan100 MB1500 minutesN/AN/AUnlimited30 days
35 USDUnlimited10 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
45 USDUnlimited25 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
55 USDUltimate Unlimited Nationwide“Unlimited”, 60 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimited30 days
60 USDUnlimited International25 GB 1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
65 USDPlatinum Unlimited“Unlimited”, 60 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
90 USDUltimate Unlimited“Unlimited”, 60 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
130 USDUnlimited Extended 3 Month Plan25 GB/30 days (75 GB) 1N/AN/AN/AN/A90 days
225 USDUnlimited Extended 6 Month Plan25 GB/30 days (150 GB) 1N/AN/AN/AN/A180 days
495 USDUnlimited Extended 1 Year Plan25 GB/30 days (300 GB) 1N/AN/AN/AN/A365 days

1 unlimited data @ 64 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 Straight Talk may review your account when using more than 60 GB in a month and terminate it. I recommend staying below 60 GB
3 to 62 countries, of which 23 to both landline and mobile numbers – may call up to 15 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

Straight Talk Plans

Straight Talk International Minutes Countries

APN/Internet Settings – Straight Talk

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for Straight Talk SIM cards.

If that does not automatically happen, you can text APN to 611611 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: Straight Talk
  • APN: tfdata (AT&T) OR wap.tracfone (T-Mobile)

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


TracFone

Tracfone Logo
© TracFone

TracFone is an MVNO and the mobile brand of América Móvil (known as Claro in Central & South America and A1 in Central Europe).

TracFone owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

TracFone allows you to choose which network (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon) you want to be on.

However, as Verizon has a relatively short list of approved GSM devices, especially phones not sold by Verizon directly, I recommend going with AT&T or T-Mobile.

Suppose you do not select an AT&T-, T-Mobile-, or Verizon-linked SIM card.

In that case, TracFone will activate your SIM card on the network that performs the best in the area of activation.

To learn about TracFone's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies or T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about TracFone:

* Coverage
* How to Get a TracFone SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – TracFone

TracFone Wireless is an MVNO using the AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon networks (you can only choose one), meaning TracFone does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with TracFone, jump to the AT&T Coverage section or the T-Mobile Coverage section, depending on the network you choose.

SIM Card Price – TracFone

You can buy a TracFone SIM card, regardless of what network you select, for 0.99 USD from TracFone retailers, including Total Wireless (TracFone brands reseller), pharmacies & convenience stores.

TracFone SIM Cards

You might have to activate your SIM card online if you did not purchase it in a Total Wireless store.

TracFone SIM Card
© TracFone


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – TracFone

TracFone top-up vouchers are sold by TracFone dealers, such as budget stores, convenience stores & Total Wireless stores throughout the United States.

TracFone Top Up Card
© TracFone

To top up your TracFone SIM card, text ADD to 611611 and follow the instructions.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text USAGE to 611611 to check your TracFone balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the TracFone My Account app (Android/iOS).

TracFone My Account App
© TracFone

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – TracFone

TracFone has two data-featured plans: Smartphone Plans (combo) & Extra Benefits (add-ons).

All TracFone plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device or a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Smartphone Plans – TracFone

The Smartphone Plans are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

Smartphone Plans can be activated on the TracFone My Account app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
15 USD500 MB500 minutes500 SMS30 days
20 USD1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD500 MB500 minutes1000 SMS60 days
25 USD2 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
30 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
35 USD1 GB750 minutes1000 SMS60 days
40 USD8 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
45 USD1.5 GB750 minutes1000 SMS90 days
50 USD2 GB750 minutes1000 SMS90 days
125 USD1.5 GB1500 minutes/month (18 000 minutes)1500 SMS/month (18 000 SMS)365 days
199 USD12 GBUnlimitedUnlimited365 days

Unused data will roll over to the next billing cycle as long as you renew your plan on time.

Tracfone Plans

Extra Benefits – TracFone

The Extra Benefits are data, minutes & SMS add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Extra Benefits can be activated on the TracFone My Account app:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
5 USDN/AN/A1000 SMSUntil plan expires
10 USDN/A500 minutesN/AUntil plan expires
10 USD1 GBN/AN/AUntil plan expires

APN/Internet Settings – TracFone

Most phones will automatically retrieve the correct APN settings when inserting a SIM card – the same counts for TracFone SIM cards.

If that does not automatically happen, you can text APN to 611611 to download the APN settings.

If that does not work, you will have to add the settings manually by filling in these fields:

  • Name: Tracfone
  • APN: tfdata (AT&T) OR wap.tracfone (T-Mobile)

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile Logo
© Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO.

It is one of the many budget MVNOs on the T-Mobile network.

To learn about Ultra Mobile's frequencies, jump back to T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Ultra Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get an Ultra Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO, meaning Ultra Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Ultra Mobile, jump to the T-Mobile Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Ultra Mobile

You can buy an Ultra Mobile SIM card for 2 USD from Best Buy, Target & independent retailers. However, they are often sold together with a plan (starting from 15 USD).

Ultra Mobile SIM Card
© Ultra Mobile

Be aware that there are two types of Ultra Mobile SIM cards: Orange & Purple.

Purple Ultra Mobile SIM cards are sold for a minimal fee (from 2 USD). They need a payment to be made active.

Ultra Mobile Purple SIM Card
© Ultra Mobile

Orange Ultra Mobile SIM cards are preloaded with a plan (starting from 15 USD). You will pay for the SIM card and the plan when purchasing the starter kit. Orange SIM cards do not need to be activated after purchase.

Ultra Mobile Orange SIM Card
© Ultra Mobile

Short-term visitors and tourists can also get the Ultra Mobile Tourist SIM card.

For 30 USD, you will get 3 GB of data, unlimited local minutes, 100 international minutes, unlimited local SMS & unlimited international SMS – all valid for 21 days.

PriceDataLocal MinutesInternational Minutes 1Local SMSInternational SMSValidity
30 USD3 GB Unlimited100 minutesUnlimitedUnlimited21 days

1 to 81 countries, of which 52 to both landline and mobile numbers (marked with “(M)”):

Do note that Ultra Mobile Tourist SIM cards cannot be recharged, nor can they be renewed. Moreover, you cannot buy a plan when you are out of data.

Ultra Mobile Tourist SIM Card
© Ultra Mobile


Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile top-up vouchers are sold by Ultra Mobile dealers, such as grocery stores, gas stations & electronics shops throughout the United States.

Ultra Mobile Top Up Card
© Ultra Mobile

To top up your Ultra Mobile SIM card, text RECHARGE VoucherCode to 6700.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text RECHARGE 123456 to 6700.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text BAL to 6700 to check your Ultra Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Ultra Mobile app (Android/iOS).

Ultra Mobile App
© Ultra Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile has one type of data-featured plan, which includes data, minutes & SMS.

Plans can be activated on the Ultra Mobile app:

PriceData 1Local MinutesInternational Minutes 3International Call CreditLocal SMSInternational SMSValidity
15 USD250 MBUnlimitedUnlimitedN/AUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
19 USD2 GBUnlimitedUnlimited1.50 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
24 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited1.50 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
29 USD6 GBUnlimitedUnlimited5 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
39 USD15 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimited5 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
49 USD40 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
59 USD60 GB 2UnlimitedUnlimited10 USDUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance (except for the 15 USD plan – hard data cap)
2 video streaming @ 480p – I recommend using a VPN to circumvent this restriction
3 calling to 81 countries, of which 52 to both landline and mobile numbers (marked with “(M)”):

Ultra Mobile Plans

APN/Internet Settings – Ultra Mobile

  • Name: Ultra
  • APN: wholesale

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Unreal Mobile

UNREAL Mobile Logo
© Unreal Mobile

Unreal Mobile is an MVNO by Red Pocket Mobile, which, in turn, is also an MVNO.

Red Pocket Mobile owns various prepaid MVNO brands, which will also be covered in this guide.

Unreal Mobile allows you to choose which network (AT&T or T-Mobile) you want to be on.

To learn about Unreal Mobile's frequencies, jump back to AT&T's frequencies or T-Mobile's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Unreal Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get an Unreal Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Unreal Mobile

Unreal Mobile is an MVNO using the AT&T & T-Mobile networks (you can only choose one), meaning Unreal Mobile does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Unreal Mobile, jump to the AT&T Coverage section or the T-Mobile Coverage section, depending on the network you choose.

SIM Card Price – Unreal Mobile

You can buy an Unreal Mobile SIM card for 5 USD in Best Buy and Target throughout the United States.

You might have to activate your SIM card online.

UNREAL Mobile SIM Card
© Unreal Mobile

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Unreal Mobile

Unreal Mobile top-up vouchers are sold by Unreal Mobile dealers, like Best Buy & Target, throughout the United States.

UNREAL Mobile Top Up Card
© Unreal Mobile

To top up your Unreal Mobile SIM card, dial *111*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *111*123456#.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Text BAL to 3888 to check your Unreal Mobile balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Unreal Mobile app (Android/iOS).

UNREAL Mobile App
© Unreal Mobile

Plans, Packages, Bundles & Offers – Unreal Mobile

Unreal Mobile has one type of data-featured plan, which are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

All Unreal Mobile plans are eligible for 5G NR, as long as you have an AT&T 5G NR compatible device or a T-Mobile 5G NR compatible device.

Plans can be activated on the Unreal Mobile app:

PriceData 1Local MinutesInternational Minutes 2Local SMSValidity
10 USD 22 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
15 USD3 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
25 USD12 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited30 days
39 USD 22 GB/30 days (6 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
60 USD3 GB/30 days (9 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
90 USD12 GB/30 days (36 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited90 days
120 USD 22 GB/30 days (24 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
180 USD3 GB/30 days (36 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days
300 USD12 GB/30 days (144 GB)UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited360 days

1 unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 T-Mobile network exclusive
3 calling to 80 countries, of which 44 to both landline and mobile numbers (marked with “(M)”) – may call up to 20 unique international phone numbers every billing cycle:

UNREAL Mobile Plans

APN/Internet Settings – Unreal Mobile

  • Name: Unreal Mobile
  • APN: ERESELLER

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.


Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in the United States

The cheapest way to get online in the United States is to get a SIM card from one of the local mobile operators. However, that is not your only method of staying online.

Below are some other options to consider.

International Roaming

Roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected. You do not have to buy a new SIM card, and people at home can easily reach you on your current phone number.

However, roaming has many downsides as well. It can be insanely expensive.

Learn more about roaming.

International/Travel SIM Cards

International SIM cards or travel SIM cards are SIM cards made for travelers.

The rates charged are often lower than international roaming, but they are almost always higher than what local operators will charge you.

Get to know more about international and travel SIM cards.

Mobile Hotspots (Pocket WIFI)

Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting.

Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

Free WIFI Networks

Nothing beats free, right? Paying nothing to stay connected may be the best option.

Until you remember that free hotspots are not available everywhere (especially when on the move) and that free connections are often extremely slow.

Just make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN when connected to open WIFI connections. It is worth it.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in the United States

Getting a SIM card from AT&T, T-Mobile, Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, or Ultra Mobile would do you well when considering an American SIM card.


Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other North American Countries

Visiting other countries in North America? Check out my North America SIM card buying guide, covering other North American nations, such as:

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

Support Phone Travel Wiz

It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate, and review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful)

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Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services, and products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

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Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!