For the longest time, whenever we give advice on ways to cut your cell phone bill, one of our go-to recommendations would be Republic Wireless.
However, with more competition having entered the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the last few years, Republic Wireless is no longer competitive.
Instead, we now recommend Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile is a good apples-to-apples comparison because both are MVNOs that use the T-Mobile network. So reliability and coverage would be almost identical, and we can just focus on the price and value.
And my goodness, what a difference!
Mint Mobile costs almost half of Republic Wireless at the 4Gb/month plan. While a Republic Wireless plan would cost $350 a year for 4GB/month, Mint Mobile is only $180 for the same amount of data.
If you think can save more money with Republic Wireless by scrimping on data usage, think again. Republic Wireless smallest data plan is 1Gb/month, and when paid annually, is still costs $200! That’s $20 more than Mint Mobile’s 4Gb/month entry level plan.
Since switching carriers is a 5-10 min task, we at ChooseFI now recommend Mint Mobile as the first choice for people looking for quality and value.
We have left our previous review of Republic Wireless below, as it is our hope that some day, we will be able to recommend it again after Republic Wireless levels up its game and is able to compete with other VMNOs like Mint Mobile.
Archived Republic Wireless Review (Outdated, For Reference Only)
So what is Republic Wireless? Republic Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers service over the Sprint or T-Mobile network on select Android devices. However, Republic Wireless isn’t your typical MVNO. Here’s what you need to know about Republic Wireless and how you could save money by switching.
Republic Wireless Plans
Republic Wireless has a super easy to understand plan structure. First, you get unlimited talk and text for just $15 per month. If you want cell data, simply pay $5 per GB. If you run out of data during a month, you can purchase extra data at $5 per GB through the Republic Wireless app.
How Republic Wireless Keeps Their Rates Low
Republic Wireless was one of the first cell phone companies to explore WiFi calling. Essentially, Republic Wireless prefers to route phone calls and texting over WiFi instead of through cell phone towers. By doing this Republic Wireless cuts down on the cost it must pay the cell networks it contracts with for minutes and texts. In return, Republic Wireless offers amazing rates.
Republic Wireless customers haven’t typically been data hogs that prefer unlimited data plans. Instead, Republic Wireless customers were originally frugal types that wanted to save money by using WiFi whenever possible. As Republic Wireless has evolved, they’ve come up with a great way to purchase the data you need each month without overpaying for massive amounts of data you’ll never use.
For instance, I rarely use 1 GB of data per month. However, when I go on vacation, I might rely on cell data much more than usual. Rather than pay $30 per month for 3 GB of data just in case I need it, I can pay $20 per month for 1 GB of data and, when I need it, I can purchase extra data from the Republic Wireless app without worrying about paying any crazy overage fees.
Another way Republic Wireless keeps costs low is through their customer support. Unlike most companies, Republic Wireless doesn’t offer a direct customer support phone number you can call. Instead, you submit help request tickets through your Republic Wireless account. First, other customers that Republic Wireless has deemed experts take a shot at answering your question. These responses usually come within a few minutes, but complex questions could take longer.
If the customer experts can’t help, or if you choose to bypass customer experts, your ticket will get assigned to a Republic Wireless employee. Republic Wireless says their response time is typically under 24 hours. However, if you’d like to try out their online chat feature, you can chat with a Republic Wireless help team member from 9 am to 9 pm Eastern time. They list their average response time for chat at under 15 minutes.
While this can be inconvenient at times, you’re saving a lot of money on your cell phone bill. To me, the tradeoff is worth it.
Republic Wireless Phones
Republic Wireless offers many phones to choose from that range from inexpensive to satisfy those on a budget to pretty pricey for those that want the latest and greatest technology. Unfortunately, Republic Wireless does not support iPhones at this time.
You can purchase a phone through Republic Wireless directly or purchase a SIM card from Republic Wireless and bring your own phone. If you want to bring your own phone, here’s a list of phones currently compatible with Republic Wireless.
- Alcatel A30 (A576RW)
- Alcatel A30 (5046G)
- Google Pixel (G-2PW4100)
- Google Pixel XL (G-2PW2100)
- Google Pixel 2 (G011A)
- Google Pixel 2 XL (G011C)
- Huawei Ascend 5W (H1623)
- Moto E4 (XT1768)
- Moto E4 Plus (XT1775)
- Moto G4 (XT1625)
- Moto G4 PLAY (XT1607)
- Moto G4 PLUS (XT1644)
- Moto G5 Plus (XT1687)
- Moto G5S Plus (XT1806)
- Moto G6 (XT1925-6)
- Moto G6 Play (XT1922-9)
- Moto X Pure Edition (XT1575)
- Moto X4 (XT1900-1)
- Moto Z (XT1650-03)
- Moto Z Play (XT1635-02)
- Moto Z2 Play (XT1710-01)
- Moto Z3 Play (XT1929-4)1
- Nexus 5X by LG (LGH790)
- Nexus 6 by Motorola (XT1103)
- Nexus 6P by Huawei (H1511)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J320A) (2016 version and only certain build numbers)
- Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J327U) (2017 version)
- Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (SM-N950U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (SM-G935U)
- Samsung Galaxy S8 (SM-G950U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SM-G955U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S9 (SM-G960U1)
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ (SM-G965U1)
For Motorola phones that you do not purchase through Republic Wireless, the phones need to be the North American unlocked version and on software channel RETUS or AMZ to be compatible with both of their cellular providers.
Other Republic Wireless Innovations
Republic Wireless is constantly trying to innovate when it comes to how we use our cell phones. For instance, they came out with a product called Relay which is sort of like a cell phone walkie-talkie with no screen. It allows kids to stay in touch with their parents and select others without having a screen to stare at all day.
Republic Wireless has also come up with Republic Anywhere app, which allows you to make calls, send text messages and find your contacts information anywhere. It works with Android devices, iOS devices, Windows PCs or Macs. They’ve even invented a smartspeaker that doubles as a phone to use when you’re at home to make calls, called Anywhere HQ.
14 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you’re on the fence about giving Republic Wireless a shot, it’s worth noting they have a 14 day money back guarantee if you buy through the Republic Wireless store. All you have to do is contact Republic Wireless within 14 days of joining. They’ll cancel your service and provide instructions for returning your phone. You get a full refund after receiving your phone.
You do have to return the phone in like new shape with all of the original packaging and components. If you’re missing anything or the phone has been damaged, you’ll be charged for missing or damaged items. Accessories can only be returned if they are unopened and undamaged.
So, what are you waiting for? If Republic Wireless sounds like a good fit for you, give them a shot. If you don’t like them, you can always use the 14 day money back guarantee.