Verizon already has the nation’s most reliable and fastest network, so it may make sense for you to turn to their prepaid plans if you want a simple and flexible pricing method.
Verizon recently revamped their prepaid plans, and you can choose from several popular devices, including Android, Apple, and Blackberry devices.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to find the best prepaid plan out there, here is what you should know about Verizon’s 4G LTE AllSet prepaid plans .
The Basics of Verizon Smartphone Prepaid Plans
- No annual contract
- No credit check
- No deposit
- No activation fee
- Unlimited talk and text for $45 per month
- 1 GB data included in Verizon’s 4G LTE network
- Personalize your plan with bridge data to get an extra 500MB of data for $5, 1GB for $10 or 3GB for $20
Verizon has several smartphones that work for their Prepaid plans, such as the Galaxy S5 and S6, the iPhone 5 and 6, and the HTC Desire 612. What we really like is that you can also bring an off-contract Verizon phone onto a Prepaid plan. With the Bring Your Own Device program, you can activate a Verizon 4G, 3G or basic phone under a prepaid plan so you can skip the cost of a new phone at activation.
With the Verizon AllSet plan, you pay upfront for unlimited text messaging and talk on your 3G smartphone plan then choose the amount of data you want. You can then renew your prepaid plan for another month by paying the monthly fee before the renewal date.
Instead of trying to compare numerous plans, Verizon makes it pretty simple: you get unlimited talk and text then choose the data amount you want. You can customize your plan at any time by adding bridge data.
Both plans include unlimited Anytime minutes plus text messaging:
- $45 smartphone plan: 1GB data
- $60 smartphone plan: 2.5GB data
Additional data is then added in the following increments:
- Additional 500MB is $5 and expires after 30 days
- Additional 1GB of data is $10 and expires in 90 days
- Additional 3GB of data is $20 and expires in 90 days
You can add Bridge Data through over the phone, online at MyVerizon.com, My Verizon Mobile, refill cards or with a credit or debit card. You can only have 2 Bridge Data bundles on your account at once, and only one can be active at a time. This is a big improvement over the old plans, in which you lost unused data each month. While data still has an expiration date, you can carry it over for up to 3 months.
For 4G LTE Smartphone plans: You can double your data to 1GB if you enroll in Auto Pay. This means you will pay $45 per month and get 2GB per month, not 1GB.
Unlimited texting to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico is also included. This lets you text friends and family in those countries at no additional cost.
Device Options with Verizon Prepaid
Verizon has a fairly wide selection of phones for its prepaid service but you aren’t limited to smartphones: you can also choose from basic phones or tablets. Here are some of the most popular phones currently available with Verizon Prepaid:
- Apple iPhone 6
- Galaxy S4 mini (pre-owned)
- Samsung Galaxy J1
- Nokia Lumia Icon (pre-owned)
- Samsung Galaxy S4 (pre-owned)
- HTC Desire 612
- Apple iPhone 5 (pre-owned)
- Galaxy Note 3 (pre-owned)
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Apple iPhone 5
- Samsung Galaxy S6
Note that you must pay for your device in full to sign up for prepaid service. The smartphones range in price from $70 to $672.
If you want a tablet, you can choose the Apple iPad Air 2, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, the Galaxy Note 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 4, the Galaxy Tab 2, the Verizon Ellipsis 8, and the Nokia Lumia 2520.
Don’t Have or Want a Smartphone? Try the Basic AllSet Plan
If you’re on a budget, the Basic Monthly Plan gives you unlimited text and talk for $35 per month with 500MB of data. The Bridge Data rates are the same for basic plans, and you still get unlimited texting to Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Verizon Pay As You Go Plan
The Pay as You Go Plan is different than the new AllSet prepaid plans because you pay just for what you use with no monthly payments. Pay As You Go has three options:
- $1.99 Unlimited Talk Daily: Pay $1.99 for each day you use your phone. Talk all you want on these days and pay $0.02 per text or $0.25 per picture messaging.
- $0.99 Daily: Pay $0.99 for each day you use your phone with unlimited calling to Verizon customers and $0.10 per minute for other calls. You pay $0.10 per text.
- Per Minute: Pay no access fee but $0.25 per minute of talk and $0.20 per text.
How Does Verizon’s Prepaid Plan Compare?
Verizon doesn’t have the cheapest prepaid plan out there, but it may be a good option for you if your data usage varies wildly. As you can see by comparing it to other plans, Verizon is the only popular prepaid plan that lets you choose the amount of data you will use each month, while still giving you access to many new phones. To show you how it stacks up, here are some other popular prepaid cell phone plans.
Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk
Virgin Mobile offers a basic plan of $35 per month with unlimited data, messaging and 300 Anytime minutes. The $45 plan boosts the Anytime minutes to 1,200 while the $55 per month plan gives you unlimited talk, text and data. The unlimited data is a bit tricky here, though, because the fine print says plans include 2.5GB per month of high speed 3G/4G data and the carrier is notorious for throttling back customers who use more than 2.5GB per month.
AT&T has four prepaid plans, two of which are new in 2015. The most basic plan is the $30/month plan that includes unlimited talk and text and the option to buy data at $5/500 MB.
The plan that’s most comparable to Verizon Prepaid is the $45/month plan with Rollover Data. You get unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data. The first 1.5GB is at 4G LTE speeds, afterward the speed is lower. The other plans are $55/month for unlimited talk, text, and data (high speed on the first 1 GB) with unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada; and $60/month with Rollover Data and unlimited talk, text, and data (high speed data only on the first 4GB).
Note: AT&T plans that have Rollover Data allow you to rollover unused data for a single 30-day period.
One of the biggest benefits of the AT&T GoPhone Prepaid plan is you can bring your own phone or tablet, something that Verizon does not offer. [Editor’s Note: Verizon charges you $50 to bring your own phone.] AT&T also has 18 GoPhone devices to choose from. AT&T also offers unlimited data on select plans, although high speed data is capped.
You can read a more detailed review of AT&T GoPhone plans here, or you can view or sign up for AT&T GoPhone prepaid plans here.
T-Mobile has a contract-free approach, although they do limit your high-speed data use. There are several plans to choose from:
- $40 Simple Starter Plan gives you 1 line with unlimited text, talk and up to 500MB of 4G LTE data with no data overages.
- $50/month plan gives you up to 1GB of 4G LTE data
- $60/month gives you up to 3G of 4G LTE data
- $70/month gives you up to 5GB of 4G LTE data
- $80/month gives you unlimited 4G LTE data (2G, not 4G LTE, after the first 7GB of data). This plan also includes Mobile Hotspot and Rhapsody.
Pay As You Go plan lets you buy minutes in increments. $100 gets you 1,000 minutes ($0.10 per minute) that lasts up to one year. Smaller increments expire after 90 days.
Verizon Wireless is more expensive than T-Mobile with no option for unlimited data. Still, you do get an extra GB of data if you sign up for Auto Pay with Verizon and it does have better network reliability.
Verizon Network Speed and Reliability
RootMetrics recently ranked Verizon has the best national wireless carrier in overall performance for the 4th year in a row. RootMetrics evaluated the top four carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) in 6 network performance categories: text, call, data, speed, reliability, and overall. Verizon took best overall performance in 47 states, best network speed and reliability in 44 states, best data performance in 46 states and best call performance in 45 states.
The Bottom Line
Verizon isn’t the cheapest prepaid plan — that honor goes to Sprint Prepaid — but it does offer the best network speed and reliability, a good mix of 4G LTE smartphones, and flexible prepaid plans that let you choose the amount of data you want. They also give you an extra GB of data when you sign up for Auto Pay, which means you can get 3.5 GB of high-speed data for $60.