T-Mobile Prepaid Plans

With a T-Mobile prepaid plan, you have more control over your usage and budget, while still enjoying a lot of the same features of a standard postpaid phone plan. Let’s take a look at what T-Mobile’s prepaid phone plans offer and how they compare to those from other major carriers.

T-Mobile Unlimited Prepaid Plans

T-Mobile offers two versions of its prepaid unlimited plan:

  • Simply Prepaid Unlimited for $50/month
  • Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus for $60/month

Both the $50 Prepaid Unlimited and $60 Prepaid Unlimited Plus plans offer unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data. With Unlimited Plus, though, you also get 10GB of dedicated 4G hotspot data. On the $50 plan, your hotspot speeds are limited to 3G. Both plans include Wi-Fi calling and free Music Unlimited streaming services.

T-Mobile’s Simply Prepaid unlimited plans stack up quite well against the carrier’s postpaid Magenta unlimited plans. They offer nearly all of the main features and perks, and the ones that are missing (like talk and text in Mexico and Canada) aren’t necessarily essential for most subscribers and can be supplemented through a monthly add-on.

Prepaid Unlimited Plans vs. Major Carriers

AT&T T-Mobile Verizon
# of Limited Data Prepaid Plans 2 1 3
Monthly Cost 1GB Plan: $30*
8GB Plan:$40*
10GB Plan:$40 1GB Plan: $35
6GB Plan: $35*
16GB Plan: $45*
Mexico and Canada usage With 8GB plan only n/a n/a
Mobile Hotspot With 8GB plan only Yes Yes
Additional Perks Rollover data (8GB plan only) Unlimited music streaming n/a

Note: Sprint no longer offers prepaid plans (migrated to Boost Mobile). * Includes AutoPay discount

T-Mobile’s prepaid unlimited plans are also quite favorably competitive to offerings from other major carriers. Both Simply Prepaid Unlimited and Unlimited Plus are cheaper than Verizon’s lone unlimited prepaid offering. While they don’t include international talk and text like the other carriers’ plans, they both include a data hotspot (which the others don’t).

Other Prepaid Plans from T-Mobile

Don’t necessarily feel the need for speed? Or would you rather pay only for the minutes you actually use? T-Mobile has a solution for you.

T-Mobile’s Simply Prepaid plan offers unlimited talk and text, plus 10GB of 4G LTE data each month, including your mobile hotspot (which is plenty of high-speed data for most users!). After that, T-Mobile will simply slow your speeds down to 2G. At $40/month, it’s an even more affordable way to stay connected.

For a pay-as-you-go option, PayGo prepaid plans are available at T-Mobile stores, offered through Ultra Mobile. For $3/month, the PayGo plan includes:

  • 30 voice minutes;
  • 30 text messages; OR
  • A combination of the two.

If you need more of each, you’ll pay 10 cents per minute/text. To get data, add on a 1-day or 7-day data pass for $5 or $10, respectively.

Limited Prepaid Plans Compared

AT&T T-Mobile Verizon
# of Limited Data Prepaid Plans 2 1 3
Monthly Cost 1GB Plan: $30*
8GB Plan:$40*
10GB Plan:$40 1GB Plan: $35
6GB Plan: $35*
16GB Plan: $45*
Mexico and Canada usage With 8GB plan only n/a n/a
Mobile Hotspot With 8GB plan only Yes Yes
Additional Perks Rollover data (8GB plan only) Unlimited music streaming n/a

Note: Sprint no longer offers prepaid plans (migrated to Boost Mobile). * Includes AutoPay discount

T-Mobile’s Simply Prepaid plan is one of the pricier limited data plans among the major carriers—but you’re also getting a lot for your money. You get a full 10GB of high-speed data, the biggest allowance second only to Verizon’s $45 plan. It also includes unlimited music streaming, where most other prepaid plans are without any mentionable entertainment perks. So while other plans are cheaper, the difference is negligible when you factor everything you get for the additional $10/month.

International Travelers to the U.S.

Welcome to America! To stay connected while in the States, T-Mobile offers a Tourist prepaid plan through Ultra Mobile that gets you 3 weeks of communication. It includes:

  • 1,000 domestic voice minutes
  • Unlimited texting (domestic or global)
  • Unlimited data (up to 2GB of 4G LTE speeds)

Activating Your T-Mobile Prepaid Phone

Once you’ve decided on a prepaid plan, getting it set up is easy.

  • Purchase a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card, unless you have an iPhone (the SIM is already included).
  • Find your phone’s IMEI/serial number. You can call #06# to retrieve it.
  • Visit T-Mobile’s prepaid plan activation site and follow the prompts.

That’s it! If you need help, contact T-Mobile’s customer support.

Prepaid vs. Postpaid Plans Explained

As its name implies, a prepaid plan requires you to pay upfront for talk, text and data. Depending on the carrier and plan, this could either be on a monthly basis or a pay-as-you-go structure. The nice thing about prepaid plans is that they don’t typically require you to undergo a credit check.

Postpaid plans, by contrast, bill you at a recurring rate at the end of the month. This is the traditional type of cell phone plan, and they require an upfront credit check.

Pros & Cons of a T-Mobile Prepaid Plan

Pros

  • Less expensive than postpaid
  • Option for multiline discount
  • No credit checks
  • Flexible renewal options

Cons

  • Must remember to renew or top off
  • Must pay for phones outright (no monthly payment plans)
  • Less perks/benefits compared to postpaid plans

Prepaid phone plans have greatly improved in recent years and offer a lot of attractive features. The cost for a single line on T-Mobile prepaid is lower than its postpaid options, and the option to change up your plan structure at any given time gives you a lot of flexibility.

However, there are still a few features that might make a postpaid plan a better option for you. Some newer phone models are only available for purchase when you sign up for a postpaid plan. T-Mobile’s postpaid plans also include options like international talk and text that, with a prepaid plan, require an add-on purchase.

Really, it comes down to prioritizing what’s important to you (cost vs. features; flexibility vs. predictability, etc.) and choose your plan structure from there.