Is Prepaid Wireless Cheaper Than Postpaid Wireless?

Is prepaid wireless service is cheaper than post paid wireless? Sometimes. In this article and video I want to share with you my Verizon wireless postpaid bill, review the cost, and compare the price to some prepaid wireless services.

Verizon Monthly Bill

I signed up for a Verizon Wireless postpaid account for a few months this year to try out the service and see how much it differs from the prepaid wireless service I normally use. I picked the new Verizon Small Plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB of high speed data. As you can see from my bill, the total monthly cost was $59.37. If you read smartphonematters.com or watch my YouTube channel you’ll know right away that you can get pay way less than $60 for a monthly plan with 2GB of data or significantly more high speed data for $60 per month with prepaid wireless plans.

Monthly Bill Details

Verizon lists the price of the New Verizon Plan Small as $35. That sounds great until you realize that is on top of a $20 Line Access charge, bring the price to $55 per month. Add in $1.99 of surcharges and $2.38 in taxes and government fees and the total reaches $59.37.

Taking a closer look at the additional surcharges, that $1.99 breaks down to $0.55 for Federal Universal Service Charge, a $0.21 regulatory charge, and a $1.23 regulatory charge. These charges are costs that Verizon is passing on to you although some of them are imposed on Verizon by the FCC. The $2.38 on my bill includes Massachusetts state sales tax and a state e911 charge. These charges are imposed by my state, if you live in a different state, you may see a different sales tax rate and addition state, county, or local taxes or charges.

Differences Between Prepaid and Postpaid


When comparing the cost of prepaid and postpaid wireless service keep in mind that prepaid plans don’t usually offer all the same features as postpaid. There may be differences in data speeds and prepaid plans may not offer all the advanced features tht postpaid does such as hotspot, wi-fi calling and others. Always check the prepaid plan details to make sure it includes features that are important to you.

Verizon Prepaid vs Verizon Postpaid

When comparing the my New Verizon Small Plan with Verizon Prepaid it’s easy to see that you can get equivalent service for less money or a lot more service for the same money. In this case we are primarily comparing the amount of high speed data included with the months plans. With Verizon prepaid you can get a plan with unlimited talk and text and 3GB of high speed data for $40. That’s $19.37 cents less than Verizon postpaid. With MA sales tax, the price of that prepaid plan rises to $42.50 assuming the same $1 for E911 service the price rise to $43.50. Estimating say $2.50 in fees the price lands at $46 or about $13.37 less per month for service with an additional 1GB of data.

Verizon prepaid also has a $50 plan with 7GB of high speed data, using the same estimates as above, the 7GB plan would come to about $56.63 about $2.75 less per month for a plan with with 3.5x the data.

Keep in mind that the features on Verizon Wireless prepaid and post paid are not exactly the same, but they are very close.

Verizon Prepaid Vs Straight Talk


Next up I thought I’d compare the price of Verizon postpaid to two different Straight Talk plans I have used. I used Straight Talk’s $45 plan that include 10GB of high speed data and the price was $46.74. At the time, they offered a $2.5 auto refill discount that is now onlt $1, so let’s say $48.24. That’s $11.13 less per month for a plan with 5x the data. I also used Straight Talk’s $35 2GB plan which total $37.39 or a whopping $21.44 per month less expensive.

Straight Talk uses the verizon network or towers, the data speeds seem as fast to me, but they definitely do not support the same advanced features.

Conclusion

So for a single line with unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, prepaid wireless is much less expensive. I always tell my readers to understand the costs and pick the right balance of cost and features. If you are shopping for a family plan, multiple lines, or unlimited data you my find that postpaid wireless is a better option for you. Wjen I first started writing about prepaid wireless back in 2013, many of the prepaid wireless companies advertised their service was half the cost. Times have changed and that is no longer the case.

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