AT&T – Sign Up
AT&T offers a variety of no-contract service plans to suit any consumer's needs. By going with their GoPhone plan, you can buy a compatible Samsung Galaxy or Nokia Lumia smartphone and enjoy no-contract services starting at $25/month. By choosing their AT&T Next plan, you can buy the latest smartphones (including Apple iPhones) which are broken down into monthly payments. You pay a flat rate for mobile service which varies depending on your specific service needs. This option is no contract and you are only tied into a monthly payment for your smartphone not for the service itself.
Straight Talk – Sign UpEditor's Choice Straight Talk is one of the most popular no-contract options due to its “bring your own phone” feature and affordable pricing structure. Unlike most of these no contract options, you can bring in phones from competing carriers and buy a compatible Straight Talk SIM card then you're good to go. The Straight Talk service runs on the AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mobile cellular towers so you're coverage depends on which SIM card you buy and what smartphone you have. Their pricing starts at $30 and their $45 plan offers unlimited calling, texting, and data which is significantly cheaper than most competitor's unlimited plans. Coupling a Straight Talk plan with a used iPhone or Galaxy smartphone from eBay is likely one of the most cost-effective choices. Another advantage to this carrier is the ability to prepay for multiple months at a time to receive a discounted monthly rate.
Net10 Wireless – Sign Up
Net10 Wireless is a popular no contract option that supports existing smartphones or you can opt to buy a new phone. They advertise a $40 unlimited talk, text, and data although this plan only offers 500MB of high-speed data before it is throttled significantly. The best bang plan is the $50 option which offers unlimited talk, text, and data with 2.5GB of data being offered at high-speed. Another advantage to Net10's no contract plans is their discounted family pricing which offers service for 2-4 family members at a lower monthly rate.
T-Mobile – Sign Up
T-Mobile recently was one of the first major wireless carriers to switch to a fully contract free service. Their services support a wide variety of existing GSM smartphones or you have the option to buy a new device. Similar to AT&T's Next program, T-Mobile offers brand new devices such as the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, and LG G Flex via monthly payment plan until the device is paid in full.
Sprint – Sign Up
Sprint offers both long-term commitment plans and no-contract options which should be suitable for most consumers. Their smartphone plan starts at $45 per month and their $60 per month plan offers unlimited calling, texting, and data. Unlike most major wireless carriers, Sprint offers full unlimited data and vows to offer unlimited data for life. This is a refreshing statement as Verizon and AT&T have already done away with their unlimited data offerings.
Verizon Wireless – Sign Up
Verizon is another huge wireless carrier that offers both long-term and no-contract smartphone plans. Their no-contract plans are prepaid, have no activation fees, don't require a credit check, and offer free overnight shipping on all devices. Starting at $50/month, their smartphone plans come with unlimited anytime minutes, mobile-to-mobile calling, text/picture messaging, and 1GB of data. Their highest no contract smartphone plan runs $70 per month and offers the same unlimited benefits with an upgrade to 4GB of data.
Virgin Mobile – Sign Up
Virgin Mobile was one of the first no contract smartphone plans to come to market and offers very competitive pricing. Their plans start at $35 a month ($30 if you set up autopay) and include 300 minutes along with unlimited text/data. The biggest disadvantage to using a Virgin Mobile no contract plan is that their plans do not support any “bring your own smartphone” features thus requiring subscribers to buy a proprietary device from their online store.
Republic Wireless – Sign Up
Republic Wireless is one of the newcomers to the wireless market and their plans are rather unique. They currently offer the Moto X at $299 with no contract and their plans run from $5-$40 a month. The lower priced plans include unlimited WiFi talk, text, and data and the highest priced plan offers unlimited WiFi talk, text, and data as well as unlimited 4G talk, text, and data.
Boost Mobile – Sign Up
Boost Mobile offers a multitude of different wireless no contract plans including short-term daily plans. The standard month-to-month plans run from $45-$60 whereas the daily plans run from $2-$3 per day. Boost also runs a unique promotion that offers long-time loyalty in exchange for discounted monthly rates. This promotion offers $5 off your monthly bill every 6 consecutive months of use with a cap of a $15 monthly discount. You can buy and activate compatible Boost Mobile models off their website and in exchange you'll receive $30 in account credit to put towards a future billing cycle.
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As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.