Free Government Phones

Cricket Wireless PrePaid Cellphone Carrier

Cricket is another wireless provider that offers prepaid cell plans. As you may already know, the beauty of prepaid cell phone plans is that there are no annual contracts, no credit check and best of all, no overages. If you don’t like the service, you can cancel it without penalty. It’s great for budgeting. If you can’t afford to pay the monthly tab, you don’t talk. Easy as that. No going into debt to handle a phone bill.

Simple Prepaid Plans

As of this writing, the Cricket plans range from $25 per month to $60 per month. Here’s what you get for your money:

  • $25 per month - Talk & Text (No Data): With this plan, you get unlimited texting and unlimited talking. (US only) No data means no picture or video messages. You still get the call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding features, but just no data.

  • $30 per month- 2 GB Data: This plan is basically the Talk & Text plan (US only) but it adds 2 GB of data. So what you end up with is unlimited talk, text plus data. With this plan, picture messages are an option.

  • $40 per month - 5 GB Data: This plan has everything the $30 plan has plus 3 more GB of data.

  • $55 per month - Unlimited: Unlimited data access (speeds up to 3 MBps), unlimited texting, unlimited calls. Additionally, what this plan has that the others don’t is unlimited texts from the US to 37 countries (see site for a listing of countries) plus international calls texts to Mexico and Canada (some restrictions apply).

  • $60 per month - Unlimited Extra: Unlimited high-speed data access (4G LTE) plus unlimited texting, calls including international calls to Mexico and Canda and texts to 37 countries.

  • *Data speed is 4G until the monthly limit is reached. Then data speed is reduced (the site doesn’t say just how much slower, but expect more buffering and slower internet at lower speeds).

The higher priced plans ($40 to $60) are eligible for a $5 auto pay discount. For example, instead of paying $40 a month for the 5GB Data plan, your monthly rate is reduced to $35 with auto pay.

Multi-Line Prepaid Plans

With the Unlimited plan ($50 plan), you can realize an increasing monthly discount depending on the number of additional lines as follows:

  • 2 lines - $30 discount for a monthly fee of $80
  • 3 lines - $75 discount for a monthly fee of $90
  • 4 lines - $120 discount for a monthly fee of $100
  • 5 lines - $150 discount for a monthly fee of $125

Just be aware that once you have the multi-line discount, the plan becomes ineligible for the auto pay discount. Make sure you spend some time reading the fine print to be totally sure of what you’re signing up for.

Cricket Data Only Options

If you don’t do much talking and texting, but a lot of data driven surfing, streaming and watching videos, Cricket offers data only plans. The plans range in price from $25 per month to $70 per month at 4 G LTE speeds as listed below:

  • $25 - 3 GB
  • $35 - 10 GB
  • $70 - 30 GB

With the data only plans, once you reach your monthly allotment, your data access cut off. No overage on these plans.

Add-On Features

Cricket Wireless offers add-ons to help you tailor your phone plan to your needs. If you make international calls, you can add the Cricket International option for an additional monthly fee. Crickets current add-ons are as follows:

Cricket Protect
Cricket Wireless Cricket International
Individual Country Add-Ons
Add 1 GB of High-Speed data
Mobile Hotspot

Each add-on has a monthly fee associated with it. Go to the Cricket website, navigate to the Rate plans then click “Add-On Features” to read the details of each feature.

Cricket Wireless Phone Selection

There’s a wide selection of phones to choose from (both Android and iOS). Some of the phones are quite pricey. For those pricey phones, you have the option of “leasing” the phone through Progressive Leasing. All you’ll need is a valid Social Security number, a government-issued ID, a checking account number and either a credit or debit card. Oh, and you must be at least 18 years of age in order to lease the phone through Progressive. Keep in mind, the monthly lease payment to Progressive is in addition to the monthly phone service charge to Cricket. Make sure the two together is an affordable monthly charge.

The other option is to bring your own phone. Check the phone through Cricket’s compatibility checkerto see if it's a fit. If it is compatible, all you’ll need is a Cricket SIM card which costs $9.99.

Terminating Services

The beauty of prepaid cell phones is you can cancel at any time. Be aware, however, that if you cancel your service mid-month, you will not receive a refund for unused services. Therefore, make sure to cancel at the end of your monthly term.


About the Author: LaForey is a person who was fed up with contract phone plans and opted for something more practical.

Last Modified: 22 May 2019

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