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AT&T No Contract Prepaid Phone Plans

Being one of the largest phone service providers, AT&T has a wide-reaching network. As such, they can offer a prepaid phone plan to customers across the country. AT&T’s network reaches not only Alaska but Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well. No matter where you live in the US, there’s a chance that there’s an AT&T location near you. Whether you go into an actual store location or visit their online store, AT&T has a presence in your state.

AT&T Prepaid Phones

AT&T Prepaid Cell Phones

If you decide to use AT&T as your prepaid cell phone provider, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide whether to purchase a phone from AT&T’s inventory or to use an existing phone that you own. If you choose to bring your own phone, all you need to do is order the free SIM kit and select one of the prepaid plans.

NOTE: Be sure to check their website for promotions and deals. As of this writing, there’s a limited-time promotion that includes a $50 account credit when ordering the SIM kit and activating service. )

If bringing your own phone is not an option, you can visit the AT&T online or store location to select a phone to use with your prepaid service. Be aware that there are certain discounts and deals available online that might not be available at the brick and mortar store. For example, as of this writing, you can skip the activation fee (a $9.99 value) for certain phones if you order online.

For those of you who are unsure as to which way to go, you can always visit an AT&T store, to examine the phones to get a better idea of what each phone offers. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can then order the phone online to take advantage of any existing promotions.

The phones range in price from as low as $19.99 for the LG Phoenix Plus (limited time deal) to in excess of $400 for the iPhone 7. The selections include, but are not limited to Apple, Samsung and LG. You can also choose between a new phone or an AT&T certified restored phone. Certain phones are discounted if you purchase it along with a prepaid plan.

AT&T Prepaid Service Plans

Just like phone purchases, there are online discounts for prepaid plans that are not available by walking into the AT&T store. Before committing to a prepaid plan, make sure you do your research by reviewing both the online and in-store plans. Having both will ensure you’ll get the best plan for your pocketbook and cell phone use habits.

For example, there was a limited time online offer of $25/month which includes 8GB high-speed data if you prepay $300 for the year upfront. This was an online offer only.

Below is an outline of the plans offered by AT&T in September 2019. Plans change and limited time offers change. The chart will give you an idea of what a “regular” plan offers vs. a limited time deal. If you’re not in a rush for a prepaid phone plan, it pays to keep watching the website until you see the right deal for you.

Sample Plans

Limited Time
Price$35/mo or $30 with Autopay$50/mo or $40 with autopay$65/mo or $50 with autopay$85/mo or $70 with Autopay
Unused Data Rolled over to the following monthXXN/AN/A
Mobile HotspotXX10GB (US only)
Unlimited talk/text and data to Mexico & CanadaPay per useXXX
Unlimited texts to over 100 CountriesXXXX
Multi-Line DiscountXXXX
(Above table best viewed in landscape mode on small screen devices)
NOTE: Please be aware that once you’ve reached your high-speed data usage limit, the remaining data speed is reduced to 128 Kbps until the next term.

AT&T Prepaid A La Carte Options

If the above plans don’t suit your needs, you can always tailor a plan that better suits your usage (and pocketbook).

If you don’t use data, such as surfing the web, social media or stream movies/music and only use your phone for talking and texting, the $30 per month unlimited talk/text might work for you. The $30 drops to $25 per month if you use the auto-pay option. If occasionally use data, you can purchase it on an as-needed basis at the cost of $5 for 250MB of data.

There’s also the $2 a day plan for unlimited talk/text. The $2 applies only on those days you use the phone.

Or, you can opt for the $.25 per minute for all nationwide calls.

NOTE: If cost is a factor in your decision, please be advised that AT&T participates in the Federal Lifeline program. While they don’t offer free government phones, they do offer discounted phone service. For more information visit AT&T Lifeline Plans.

Prepaid Options

In addition to the above, AT&T offers several options such as Autopay. Enrolling in autopay means monthly savings. You will be notified before payments are due and you can change or cancel the autopay plan at any time without a penalty.

International Calling: Some plans include international calls to Mexico and Canada with no additional charge. However, if you’re making calls to countries other than Mexico and Canada, visit their prepaid international calling page for details

Another AT&T prepaid option, if you find you need more data than any of the options outlined above is to purchase additional data on a monthly basis. The cost of the additional data depends on which monthly prepaid plan you’re currently using.

If on the $50 per month plan, you can purchase 1GB of data for $10 or 3GB of data for $20. If on the $35 per month plan, you can purchase 1GB of data for $10. Those on the $30 per month plan can purchase 250MB for $5 and lastly, those on the $2 daily plan can purchase $100 MB for a dollar.

Another option AT&T offers is the multi-line discount. Therefore if you and another member of your family join the AT&T prepaid program, you’ll get a discount. Check their site for details.

Things to Know Before Purchasing an AT&T Phone or Plan

Below is important information regarding how AT&T responds to returns/refunds, phone delivery, and online offers. While this information is important to know, most folks don’t pay attention to things like returns or refunds until something goes wrong. We suggest you review the following information prior to purchasing a phone or prepaid plan. For more detailed information, please visit the AT&T website.

  • Phone Delivery: Provided the payment is approved, orders are processed immediately. Any order received after 4 PM CST will be processed on the next business day. According to their site, there are no Saturday, Sunday or holiday deliveries. Shipments to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico may take more than 2 business days.

  • Returns: You may only return phones purchased directly from AT&T whether it was one of their retail stores, online from or over the phone from AT&T. The phone must not have water or physical damage. In other words, in like-new condition. You must return the device in its original packaging with all of the accessories, charger, manual and unopened software. Also, be sure to include a copy of your original receipt.

  • Refunds: Once AT&T accepts the returned phone, your refund may take up to two months. Refunds will be returned to the original form of payment.

  • Cancellation: If you wish to cancel service, call the number on your invoice to cancel. If you cancel within 3 days of initial service, AT&T will also refund the activation fee.

Please make note of AT&T’s stance on online offers. You can find this wording under the AT&T legal section of the site:

"Online Price" is generally the same as prices offered at our AT&T company-owned retail locations, however, phone prices and selection may vary. Phone prices at retail locations may also vary based on rate plan or contract length. Online prices are subject to change and/or periodic promotional offers. Package offers are only available online. Not all package offers are valid for all customers; for example, customers interested in upgrading their device are not eligible for package offers. Each package requires a two-year service agreement, except purchases with GoPhone® service. In certain states, sales tax is calculated based on the un-activated "Retail Price".

NOTE: Online orders require a credit or debit card.

Now that you have the preliminary information, go visit AT&T and find your prepaid cell phone plan.

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

Last Modified: 2 October 2019

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