The best AT&T prepaid plans for February 2024

If you're interested in cutting those bills right down, our guide to this month's AT&T prepaid plans is sure to be handy. AT&T, like most of the other big carriers tends to focus on its big 'postpaid' unlimited plans, although that hasn't stopped it from offering up some pretty great prepaid options all around. Unlike those from the other carriers, there's quite a variation on offer too which shows AT&T is more willing to offer decent prepaid alternatives than most. In general, AT&T prepaid plans are cheaper, simpler, and also don't need a lengthy contract. We're deep-diving into the current lineup just down below.

If you're visiting this page, you probably already have a general idea about AT&T's current prepaid plans, however, what you might not know is there are actually a few different plan types to take advantage of. Both the traditional pay-monthly plans and multi-month bundles are actually available via AT&T, and we'll be comparing both of these services directly with a full price breakdown just below.

And, If you're you're simply researching affordable plans in general, we've also included our views on how AT&T's prepaid plans shape up against the best AT&T plans in general as well as the best prepaid plans from other carriers. At the bottom of the page, you'll find details in particular about other compelling options like Verizon prepaid plans, Visible, and Mint Mobile to name a few.

Before we get into the current AT&T prepaid plan offerings and pricing, we'll just quickly summarize what AT&T as a service brings to the table. Here we've included the main pros and cons of going prepaid, as well as things a couple of things we think you should know before you dive right in.

Recent updates

Information and prices on-page checked for accuracy. 

AT&T prepaid plans at a glance

Why go AT&T Prepaid?

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Affordable single lines
AT&T prepaid plans offer a simple, cheap way to get your hands on a set amount of data each month without the need for a lengthy contract. Compared to the standard post-paid unlimited data plans at AT&T, these prepaid plans are generally really affordable for single-line users especially.

More upfront, bigger savings
Unlike those offered by most bigger carriers, AT&T prepaid plans give you the option to pay monthly or for a whole year in one upfront payment. The latter might sound like a bad option, but it comes with an overall lower monthly price on average that can save you a ton of cash in the long run.

No credit check
Compared to AT&T's postpaid plans, there's no associated credit check for when you sign up with an AT&T prepaid plan. So, if credit is a concern for you, or you're simply working on building up your score in the meanwhile, these plans are readily available to you.

Why avoid AT&T Prepaid?

Limited features
AT&T prepaid plans, while cheap, are essentially the 'basic' option from the carrier. Subsequently, they do away with some of the juicy perks that most customers enjoy on the post-paid unlimited plans. These include things like high-definition video quality, prioritized data speeds, a bigger mobile hotspot allowance, and even free subscriptions to streaming services like HBO Max.

No enticing phone deals
While cheaper in regards to plan expenses, AT&T prepaid plans don't tend to offer access to the juiciest AT&T phone deals at any one time. The carrier really likes to reserve these for its prepaid customers, so if you've got your heart set on bagging one of the best AT&T phones, you'll likely not get a discount unless you sign up for a more expensive plan. If you happen to have a device to trade-in in particular this can be a strong option, as rebates on postpaid plans can be upwards of $700.

Extra expenses
While some service providers have opted for a simpler and more transparent pricing system, AT&T still offers plans that have taxes and fees piled on top of the price you see at first. So, expect to pay a bit more each month than whatever the 'price tag' indicates.

Current AT&T prepaid plans

AT&T prepaid pay monthly plans

AT&T's main prepaid plan offerings generally follow the usual sort of thing you see offered by smaller carriers - a monthly fee for one month of service with no lengthy contractual obligations. These plans generally offer the most data for AT&T prepaid plans and are also the 'main' plans the carrier advertises for its prepaid service, note, however, you may get better bang for the buck with the multi-month plans (see below).

AT&T Prepaid: 5GB plan for $30/month
For the simplest plan, you can pay one of the lowest prices. This plan will let you do all the calling and texting you want, and it provides 5GB of data that's more than enough for all your email, light browsing, and the occasional YouTube video. Just note, this is the one prepaid plan that doesn't include use in Mexico and Canada.
Yearly cost: $360 | Monthly cost: $30 (1 mo)

AT&T Prepaid: 5GB plan for $30/month
For the simplest plan, you can pay one of the lowest prices. This plan will let you do all the calling and texting you want, and it provides 5GB of data that's more than enough for all your email, light browsing, and the occasional YouTube video. Just note, this is the one prepaid plan that doesn't include use in Mexico and Canada.
Yearly cost: $360 | Monthly cost: $30 (1 mo)

AT&T Prepaid: 15GB plan for $40/month
Need a little more data? No problem, AT&T's prepaid plans also include an option for a 15GB allowance. At $40 per month, this one is a little bit pricier but 15GB is more than enough for most people to stream tunes on a daily basis and a fair bit of video too.
Yearly cost: $480 | Monthly cost: $40 (1 mo)

AT&T Prepaid: 15GB plan for $40/month
Need a little more data? No problem, AT&T's prepaid plans also include an option for a 15GB allowance. At $40 per month, this one is a little bit pricier but 15GB is more than enough for most people to stream tunes on a daily basis and a fair bit of video too.
Yearly cost: $480 | Monthly cost: $40 (1 mo)

AT&T Prepaid: Unlimited plan for $65/month ($50 with auto-pay)
If you use your phone constantly for browsing, streaming music, and a lot of video, then you may be best off with an unlimited plan. With auto-pay, it's only a little more expensive than the 15GB plan. However, you may see reduced speeds when the network is busy, and you'll have to pay separately for hotspot data.
Yearly cost: $780 | Monthly cost: $65 (1 mo)

AT&T Prepaid: Unlimited plan for $65/month ($50 with auto-pay)
If you use your phone constantly for browsing, streaming music, and a lot of video, then you may be best off with an unlimited plan. With auto-pay, it's only a little more expensive than the 15GB plan. However, you may see reduced speeds when the network is busy, and you'll have to pay separately for hotspot data.
Yearly cost: $780 | Monthly cost: $65 (1 mo)

AT&T prepaid multi-month plans

Another option is the 'pay upfront' AT&T multi-month prepaid plan, which essentially offers a kind of Mint Mobile-like option where you buy your months in bulk. Simply put, you can expect to pay a fairly significant sum with these, however, they do average out to a much lower monthly price overall than the usual pay-monthly options. Below you can see the current offerings.

AT&T Prepaid: 1 year unlimited plan for $300 upfront
A superb new prepaid option for mid 2023, AT&T's current 12-month unlimited plan lets you pay $300 upfront for a whole year of service. Averaging out to $25 per month, this is one of the most competitively priced unlimited prepaid plans on the market right now. Note that you are limited to standard-definite streaming, have no mobile hotspot allowance, and are eligible for deprioritization - as with most prepaid plans.
Yearly cost: $300 | Monthly cost: $25 (average)

AT&T Prepaid: 1 year unlimited plan for $300 upfront
A superb new prepaid option for mid 2023, AT&T's current 12-month unlimited plan lets you pay $300 upfront for a whole year of service. Averaging out to $25 per month, this is one of the most competitively priced unlimited prepaid plans on the market right now. Note that you are limited to standard-definite streaming, have no mobile hotspot allowance, and are eligible for deprioritization - as with most prepaid plans.
Yearly cost: $300 | Monthly cost: $25 (average)

AT&T Prepaid: 3 month 16GB plan for $99 upfront
AT&T has recently bumped up the data allowance on its 8GB 3-month plan to an excellent 16GB - a healthy amount for the price. At just $99 upfront, this plan has a lower barrier to entry versus the unlimited plan but it does average out at a higher monthly price overall so you'll probably want to switch to the yearly unlimited plan if you're in it for a long run. Note that this plan does include mobile hotspot allowance and a helpful monthly data rollover feature, however, so it's potentially a good choice in its own right depending on your needs. 
3-month cost: $99 | Monthly cost: $33 (average)

AT&T Prepaid: 3 month 16GB plan for $99 upfront
AT&T has recently bumped up the data allowance on its 8GB 3-month plan to an excellent 16GB - a healthy amount for the price. At just $99 upfront, this plan has a lower barrier to entry versus the unlimited plan but it does average out at a higher monthly price overall so you'll probably want to switch to the yearly unlimited plan if you're in it for a long run. Note that this plan does include mobile hotspot allowance and a helpful monthly data rollover feature, however, so it's potentially a good choice in its own right depending on your needs.
3-month cost: $99 | Monthly cost: $33 (average)

What AT&T prepaid plans include

While AT&T's plans come with data allotments most prominently displayed, they offer a good deal more than that. Here's what you can expect to get from the multi-month prepaid plans:

  • 5G access where applicable (subject to deprioritization)
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited texting to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 other countries
  • Roaming in Mexico and Canada (on 16GB plan)
  • Mobile hotspot (on 16GB plan)
  • Rollover data (on 16GB plan)

And, here's what the pay-monthly prepaid plans have to offer:

  • 5G access where applicable (subject to deprioritization)
  • Autopay discounts
  • Unlimited talk, text and data
  • Roaming in Mexico and Canada (up to 25GB on unlimited)
  • up to 15GB of mobile hotspot data (5GB on unlimited)
  • Unlimited texting to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 other countries

AT&T Prepaid plans: FAQ

AT&T prepaid plans best cheap phone

(Image credit: Future)

Is it better to pay monthly or for multiple months upfront?

Multi-month is the best value overall but it obviously comes with the caveat of having to pay a significant fee upfront - up to $300 for the yearly unlimited data plan. They are also relatively stripped out when it comes to additional features like mobile hotspot allowance.

If you can afford to pay for your plan upfront, however, then it makes perfect sense to go for either the yearly unlimited plan or the 3-month 16GB plan - both of which are some of the best  

How do AT&T's prepaid plans compare against the competition?

AT&T certainly has the name recognition, but that doesn't mean its the best player in the market for prepaid and affordable mobile plans.

Mint Mobile plans are a very, very competitive alternative to the likes of AT&T prepaid. While running on the T-Mobile network specifically, Mint Mobile operates a similar 'buy-in-bulk' pricing scheme to the best value AT&T prepaid plans. For example, for $240 (averaging to $20 a month) you can get yourself 12-months of Mint Mobile's 15GB data plan. That's quite a bit cheaper than the equivalent 16GB AT&T prepaid plan at $33 a month, and there are also options for a cheap unlimited data plan at Mint too at $30 a month. Of course, Mint's plans average out to a very cheap rate per month, but you'll need to be buying them upfront as with the AT&T multi-month prepaid plans.

If you don't want to pay upfront for a multi-month plan but do plan on sticking with one carrier for a while, you may like Verizon's prepaid options. Verizon prepaid plans offer a reduced rate, a special loyalty discount, after your first three months and again after nine months. However, they are otherwise more expensive than AT&T's comparable offers.

For high data needs we'd highly recommend Verizon's subsidiary carrier Visible Wireless. This excellent prepaid carrier offers completely unlimited 5G data and hotspot for as little as $25 per month - which is close to unbeatable from a value perspective right now. Since you don't have to pay for multiple months upfront, Visible is a great choice for those on a budget, just note that it's subject to deprioritization on its basic tier plan.  

Another good option for unlimited data prepaid plans is Metro by T-Mobile. This T-Mobile subsidiary offers an unlimited data plan for as little as $40 per month with access to T-Mobile Tuesday perks. Crucially, it also offers discounts for multi-line plans, which can be useful if you're looking for a decent family-friendly option.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.