Republic Wireless Vs. Other Cheap Cell Phone Plans

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Republic Wireless is a cell service provider that offers cheap cell phone plans. It is one of many such services, which are called mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Essentially, this means that these smaller cell phone service companies rent from a major cell service provider the ability to use their network.

Because these companies don’t have to invest massive amounts of money in infrastructure and only have to rent the usage, they can easily start up new companies that promote some unique offers. Using one of these providers is a great way for you to lower your cell phone bill.

Republic Wireless is one such company. They offer network coverage that combines the cell towers of T-Mobile and Sprint and they offer a tantalizing price package: $15 for unlimited talk and text and then just $5 per GB of data that you use.

Immediately, you might think, “Wow, that’s a great deal!” And, yes, it is.

However, there are a ton of other MVNOs out there that also offer good deals. What makes each discount cell service provider different? Most people go straight to the rates they pay to compare different MVNOs. Doing that won’t give you the full story, though.

You need to look into more details to find out what you’re really getting.

  • What network does the MVNO run on?
  • Are your data speeds limited?
  • Can you use any smartphone device on their network?
  • Can you easily reach customer service when you need help?

We’ll be taking a detailed look at each company below. However, if you’re looking for a quick summary, though, you can check out the table at the bottom of this article.

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. offers a great pricing plan and some features that used to be unique, like Wi-Fi calling.

  • One of the coolest things about their Wi-Fi calling is that it can be switched over to cell coverage in the middle of a call.
  • That way you won’t drop a call when you’re leaving your house or work, for example.
  • And, obviously, Wi-Fi calling will save you money and help you if you have poor cell coverage inside of your home.

Speaking of coverage, their website conveniently detects your location and tells you if your area is covered. Check it out for yourself Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. !

Unfortunately, one downside is that Republic Wireless’s customer support process can be potentially frustrating as they offer no phone number. You have to either search their forum or open a new help ticket.

The biggest drawback of Republic Wireless may be their lack of support for certain smartphones. They flat out DO NOT support iPhones, and their Android selection is limited as well. They have approximately 50 supported Android phones, including the premium phone makers Samsung and Google. Here is a complete list Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. of their supported phones.

Republic Wireless At A Glance

  • Network: Sprint/T-Mobile
  • Plan Pricing: Unlimited talk and text – $15 per month + $5 per GB of data
  • Data speed: Up to 4G LTE
  • Available phones: Select Android phones only
  • Customer service: Only available by submitting support tickets

One last Republic Wireless perk: they allow you to try out their service for 14 days risk-free. If you don’t like it, you can simply quit the service, and they will give you your money back — even the money for a phone if you purchased one through them! Pretty sweet!

Check out our full review of Republic Wireless here.

Republic Wireless Unlimited talk and text with no contract starting at $15. Add data for just $5 per GB Republic Wireless Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Republic Wireless definitely has some great benefits, but how does it compare to the other discount cell service providers? Let’s find out.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile’s Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. offers discounts for prepaying for more months at time. You can buy plans in three, six, or 12-month packages. The sim card is free with Mint Mobile while it’s $5 with Republic Wireless.  However, the free trial with Republic Wireless is 14 days while it’s only 7 days with Mint.

Switching to Mint Mobile is very smooth and they offer a way to port your number yourself on their website. If Republic Wireless isn’t for you, Mint Mobile is our second choice. Try it for three months and see if you like. Customer’s report that switching back and forth is quite painless.

Mint Mobile At A Glance

  • Network: T-Mobile
  • Plan pricing: Pricing varies by the number of months of service you pre-purchase. All come with Unlimited Talk & Text.
    • 3GB 4G LTE Data: $25/mo for 3-month price, $20/mo for 6-month price, $15/mo for 12-month price
    • 8GB 4G LTE Data: $35/mo for 3-month price, $25/mo for 6-month price, $20/mo for 12-month price
    • 12GB 4G LTE Data: $45/mo for 3-month price, $35/mo for 6 month price, $25/mo for 12-month price
  • Data speed: 4G LTE up to data limit
  • Available phones: Latest iPhones and Galaxy phones available. You can also bring your own unlocked device Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. .
  • Customer service: 1-800-683-7392 but no listed hours, or contact email support at [email protected]

When compared to Republic Wireless, Mint Mobile has a few advantages, such as iPhone support and the discount for months prepaid. It’s true you can get those perks in a cheaper package at FreedomPop Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . But keep in mind, that FreedomPop Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. charges $20 if you need to top off your data plan.

Mint Mobile Mint Mobile is the easy way to get unlimited talk and text plus 4G LTE on the nation's fastest, most advanced network for as low as $15 per month. Mint Mobile Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Gen Mobile

cheap cell phone

If you have ample access to Wi-Fi and don’t need a lot of mobile data, one of the lowest cost options for you is Gen Mobile Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . You can keep your number and/or bring your phone.

While it is also a prepaid MVNO like Mint Mobile and Freedom Pop, you do not need to pay months in advance to get the low $10/month for unlimited text, 300 mins of voice, and 1 GB of data. However, if you’re often on the go and need lots of voice minutes or cellular data, Gen Mobile is not the right option because it’s another $5 for every additional 500 mb or extra 500 minutes.

>But if you can plan ahead and download the tunes, podcasts, or shows you want before your commute, it’s hard to say no to $10 a month. Best of all, you can try it for a month, and switch to another provider like Mint Mobile or Freedom Pop if staying below 1 GB turns out to be impossible for you.

Unlike Mint Mobile, there is a $5 for the SIM card.

Gen Mobile At A Glance

  • Network: Sprint
  • Plan pricing: A great deal if you plan ahead on data usage. Not so much if you end up having to pay $5 for every 500 mb.
      • 1 GB Data, 300 mins, unlimited text: $10 a month.
      • 1 GB Data, unlimited voice in US and 100 countries, unlimited text: $15 a month
  • Data speed: Not specified
  • Available phones: iPhone and Android phones, but you can bring your own device. Check out all the details.
  • Customer service: +1-833-528-1380>or chat.

If you want a plan that lets you experiment with data fasting, Gen Mobile is a super option.

Why? Because it’s easy to bring your number in, test out the low data plan for a month, and then go back to another option because you don’t need to prepay for months in advance like Mint Mobile or Freedom Pop just to get a price break. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and find that 1GB plus lots of WiFi is all you need!

Check out our full review of Gen Mobile here.

Gen Mobile Gen Mobile is an honest, cost effective and customer-friendly mobile provider that offers straightforward plans starting at $5/month. Gen Mobile Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Ting

 

Ting is the perfect cell phone service for light users. You’re only charged for the number of minutes, texts, and data you actually use.

Ting At A Glance

  • Network: Sprint/T-Mobile
  • Plan pricing: Mix and match based on the number of lines, number of minutes, number of texts, and data amount actually used. Below is their average listed plan.
    • 1 line fee – $6
    • 101-500 minutes – $9
    • 101-1,000 texts – $5
    • 101-500MB data – $10
    • Total – $30/mo
  • Data speed: Up to 4G LTE
  • Available phones: Latest iPhones and Galaxy phones available
  • Customer service: 1-855-846-4389 and online chat available, but hours are not listed

In terms of pricing, Republic Wireless almost certainly wins this fight. With Republic Wireless, $20 will get you unlimited talk and text, plus a GB of data. However, Ting’s average plan is $30, and that only gives you up to 500 MB of data. If you go extremely bare bones, you can get your plan down to $15, but I personally think that would be tough to manage.

However, Ting does offer iPhone support. So, if you’re someone who has to have an iPhone, then this would be a better option than Republic Wireless.

FreedomPop

FreedomPop Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. is unique in that you get a bigger discount based on how many months you prepay in advance. If you can afford to buy a year of service all at once, you could see some major savings.

FreedomPop can also offer you completely free service if you carefully follow all of the terms and conditions. Unfortunately, they make money if you don’t follow those terms and exceeding your limits will result in upcharges.

Beware of the multiple fees they charge for various services such as activation, as well.

Freedom Pop At A Glance

  • Network: Sprint/AT&T
  • Plan pricing: Beware of $20 top-up fee for exceeding your data limit
    • Free service:
      • Sprint CDMA Network – 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500 MB of 4G LTE Data per month
      • GSM LTE Network – 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 200 MB of 4G LTE Data per month
    • Prepaid plans (all come with Unlimited Talk & Text):
      • 2 GB Data: $24.99 for 1 month, $13.99 for 3 months, $11.99 for 6 months, $9.99 for 12 months
      • 5 GB Data: $34.99 for 1 month, $18.99 for 3 months, $17.99 for 6 months, $14.99 for 12 months
      • 10GB Data: $59.99 for 1 month, $24.99 for 3 months, $22.99 for 6 months, $19.99 for 12 months
  • Data speed: Not specified
  • Available phones: Mostly older iPhone and Android phones, but you can bring your own device.  Check out all the details Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. .
  • Customer service: 1-877-848-2810 with limited business hours

FreedomPop is a great option if you are very conscientious about checking how much data you have used throughout the month. It’s also great if you are a light cellphone user. Who knows? You might even be able to get away for free. It also has iPhone support.

Finally, this is also a good place to think about if you are able to prepay for extended periods of time. The 5 GB of data at $15 per month is admittedly tempting, but to get that deal you’d have to pay for a year in advance.

Total Wireless

Total Wireless is an MVNO alternative that provides service on the popular Verizon network. Therefore, expect to pay more for better service, but less than you would otherwise pay with Verizon.

Total Wireless At A Glance

  • Network: Verizon
  • Plan pricing: Wide variety of single line and family plans available. All come with Unlimited Talk & Text.
    • No data: $25/mo or $23.70 with auto-refill
    • 5 GB Data: $35/mo or $33.20 with auto-refill
    • 25 GB Data: $50/mo or $47.50 with auto-refill
    • Add an extra 5GB for $10
  • Data speed: Data is listed as “up to 4G LTE speeds”
  • Available phones: Latest iPhones and Galaxy phones available. You can also bring your own unlocked device.
  • Customer service: 1-866-663-3633 and live online chat with great hours, seven days a week

Total Wireless is definitely not the cheapest option on the block. However, if you’re a stickler for fantastic coverage and also like to save money, then this might be the one for you.

Cricket Wireless

Last, but not least, we have Cricket Wireless. Cricket is another MVNO where you pay a bit more for a better network. Since Cricket Wireless uses AT&T, you should get good coverage, but you won’t be getting the rock bottom MVNO prices you’d expect with T-Mobile or Sprint.

Cricket Wireless At A Glance

  • Network: AT&T
  • Plan pricing (All come with Unlimited Talk & Text):
    • No Data: $25/mo
    • 2 GB High-Speed 4G LTE Data: $30/mo
    • 5 GB High-Speed 4G LTE Data: $40/mo
    • Unlimited 3 Mbps Data: $55/mo
    • Unlimited 4G LTE Data: $60/mo
  • Data speed: Depends on plan
  • Available phones: Latest iPhones and Galaxy phones available. You can also bring your own unlocked device.
  • Customer service: 1-800-CRICKET with reasonable hours, seven days a week

In short, with Cricket Wireless (using AT&T), your cost is probably going to fall somewhere between Republic Wireless (which uses T-Mobile and Sprint) and Total Wireless (which uses Verizon). Therefore, the decision may come down to which networks you are able to get good coverage from in your area.

MVNONetworkPlan PricingData SpeedAvailable PhonesCustomer Service
Republic WirelessSprint/T-MobileUnlimited talk and text
$15 per month + $5/GB of data
Up to 4G LTESelect Android phones only"Customer Expert Helpers"
Submit a help request
Mint MobileT-MobilePricing varies by the number of months of service you pre-purchase4G LTE up to data limitLatest iPhones and Galaxy phones available1-800-683-7392
[email protected]
Gen MobileSprintUnlimited talk and text
$10 per month + $1/GB of data
Up to 4G LTECan bring own device1-833-528-1380
Live Chat
TingSprint/T-Mobile1 line fee - $6101 - 500 minutes - $9101 - 1,000 texts - $5101 - 500MB data - $10Total $30/moUp to 4G LTEiPhones and Galaxy phones available1-855-846-4389
Live Chat
FreedomPopAT&T/SprintFree service and Paid plans. Save more by purchasing a longer length of plan. Beware of fees for data overages.Not Specifiedolder iPhone and Android phones; Can bring own device 1-877-848-2810
Limited Hours
Total WirelessVerizonWide variety of single line and family plans availableUp to 4G LTELatest iPhones and Galaxy phones1-866-663-3633
Live Chat
Cricket WirelessAT&TTalk & Text - No Data - $25/moTalk & Text - 2 GB High-Speed 4G LTE Data - $30/moTalk & Text - 5 GB High-Speed 4G LTE Data - $40/moTalk & Text - Unlimited 3 Mbps Data - $55/moTalk & Text - Unlimited 4G LTE Data - $60/moDepends on planLatest iPhones and Galaxy phones available1-800-CRICKET

Pick The Right Discount Cell Service Provider For You

Only you can decide which features are most important in a discount cell service provider.

  • For some people, the absolute lowest cost plan for their usage is the top priority.
  • For others, convenient customer service options may be the most important.
  • Some just have to have an iPhone. If you are an iPhone only person, Republic Wireless isn’t going to cut it. But there are many other options available.

If you can pay in advance, you might want to go with FreedomPop Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. or Mint Mobile Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . If you prefer to have outstanding coverage, you might want to go with Total Wireless or Cricket Wireless.

But if you want unlimited talk and text and a reasonable amount of data at a low cost on an Android phone, Republic Wireless may be exactly what you’re looking for.

But as long as you’re happy with your choice and you’re saving money versus one of the “big four” carriers, I’d say you’re winning.

cheap cell phone plans

ChooseFI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. ChooseFI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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Comment Disclaimer: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

8 thoughts on “Republic Wireless Vs. Other Cheap Cell Phone Plans”

  1. Red Pocket Mobile has been offering great values on yearly plan on eBay: $240 gets you 5GB/month for eye days. You can choose from multiple national networks. Like the other MVNOs, there are significant holes in their coverage map. (Wyoming and western Nebraska are my areas of concern.]

  2. There is a major MVNO provider any elligible FI adherent must look in to. Anyone currently subscribing to Comcast (Xfinity) internet can take advantage of their cell service on the Verizon network. If you are the type who can get away with using little to no data, then the service is essentially the cost of state taxes only. You also will be able to piggyback off of xfinity wifi services anywhere. Using this service, I pay $14.66 per month for 4 phones! I provide 2 phones to my in-laws and utilize their Netflix service for a win-win. Wifi can essentially be picked up anywhere now so the 100mb limit of free cell data is a non-issue. All in my internet and phone bill is 54.65/month. Not too bad.

  3. I’m surprised you left out Google FI. It’s very popular in the FI community, especially with those that travel internationally.

  4. I’ve been using Republic Wireless for 4 years and am pretty happy with them. Personally I love that the customer support is only online. It usually only takes a few minutes to search for a crowd sourced, phone specific answer instead of sitting on hold forever with customer service. Also, while traveling internationally I always make sure our lodging has wifi and I can use my phone just like I’m at home. I appreciate the comparison as I always like to be aware if something better for me comes along.

  5. Awesome summary of some great phone plans out there! I feel like everyone is on the Republic Wireless bandwagon, but you guys are the first ones to share my personal favorite of the group – MINT MOBILE!

    I’ve been jammin’ with Mint mobile for years now and it has basically flawless. Super cheap if you pay the whole year in advance. Righ tnow I am paying for the 3GB package with unlimited talk and text, and it comes out to about $18/mo.

    Republic simply can’t beat that. Plus, I can use my unlocked phone and don’t have to buy a new one. I think folks should take long hard look at MInt MObile as their next carrier.

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