Cricket Wireless is a prepaid cell phone company which is owned and run by AT&T. It is considered as a good cell phone network by RootMetrics, a mobile network analyzing firm. Cricket Wireless offers many plans with a practical and realistic price and an excellent 4G LTE high-speed data network. It also offers great prepaid family and international plans.
Cricket Wireless Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
There are mainly five plans currently offered by Cricket Wireless, namely- Talk & Text Plan, Basic Plan, Smart Plan, Pro Plan and Unlimited Plan. The plans with their details are enlisted below:
|Plan||Price||Validity||Minutes & Messages||MMS||Data||International Text|
|Talk & Text||$25||30 days||Unlimited||–||–||–|
|Basic||$40||30 days||Unlimited||Unlimited||2.5 GB||–|
|Smart||$50||30 days||Unlimited||Unlimited||5 GB||Unlimited|
|Pro||$60||30 days||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||Unlimited|
Cricket Phone Plan Details:
- Cricket Wireless offers $5 monthly discount on auto-pay. This offer is valid only for plans with data. So, Talk & Text plan of $25 will not be valid in this case.
- Talk & Text plan of $25 includes unlimited minutes and messaging but with no data and multi-media messaging. Auto-pay and group discounts are not applicable for this plan. This plan is available only for basic phones and not for smartphones.
- Basic Plan of $40 includes unlimited minutes, messaging and MMS with no international benefits. It offers 2.5 GB data with the first 1 GB of data at 4G LTE high speed.
- Smart Plan of $50 per month includes unlimited talk, text, and MMS. It offers 5GB of data with the first 3 GB of data at 4G LTE high speed. It has the benefit of unlimited international texting to 38 countries around the world but no multi-media messaging is allowed.
- Pro Plan of $60 per month includes unlimited talk, text, and MMS. It offers the first 10GB of data at 4G LTE high-speed network.
- Unlimited Plan of $70 per month includes unlimited minutes, messages and MMS including unlimited data. However, Unlimited Plan provides 4G LTE high-speed data only up to 23 GB per month. If a user wants to use data more than the mentioned data, then there is a cap on LTE data speed.
International texting details:
- Smart Plan and Pro Plan includes unlimited international minutes, text and multimedia messages to Mexico and Canada. However, 50% of talk, text and data usage in any consecutive three-month duration should be within U.S. So, it requires good text management.
- Pro Plan has the benefit of unlimited international texting to 38 countries around the world but no multi-media messaging is allowed.
- Smart Plan and Pro Plan also allows you to access high-speed data allotment if you are visiting Mexico or Canada.
- Unlimited calls to landlines in 36 countries can be added for an extra $5 a month.
- Unlimited calls to landlines and unlimited multi-media messaging in 36 countries can be added for an extra $15 a month. It also comprises 1000 mobile to mobile minutes to 32 out of 36 countries on the list.
Cricket Cell Phone Plan Benefits:
|Benefits||Basic Plan||Smart Plan||Pro Plan||Unlimited Plan|
|Unlimited International texting from U.S. to 38 countries||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Data Access plus unlimited Talk and Text to and from Mexico, Canada and U.S. (Min. 50% U.S. usage required).||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Group Save Discount Eligible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Cricket Family Plans
Cricket Prepaid Family Plans are wonderful dollar saving plans. The more lines you have, the more money you will be able to save on a monthly basis. With group save discounts, an additional $10 discount is offered for every line you add. If you add a second line, then you get $10 off. $20 off is offered for the third line, $30 off for fourth line and $40 off for the fifth line. So, eventually, in total, you will receive $100 discount on having five lines on a monthly basis. Congratulations on your group discount!!!
- 1st Line
- 2nd Line- $10 off
- 3rd Line- $20 off
- 4th Line- $30 off
- 5th Line- $40 off
* $10 + $20 + $30 + $40 = $100 discount
For instance, you have opted for the Basic plan of $40 per month on one line. On adding the second line, it will cost you $30 per month. On adding the third line, it will cost you $20 per month. On summation, your total monthly bill will be $90.
Cricket Wireless Network
Cricket Wireless offers data at 4G LTE speed but this high-speed data is limited. The data speed is capped at 8 Mbps. However, in some markets, it is reported by RootMetrics that the 4G LTE speed is faster than 8 Mbps and could go more than 20 Mbps. The bandwidth may vary in various locations according to the signal strength.
Netflix acclaims 3 megabits per second are required for streaming standard quality video and 5 megabits per second is required for high-quality video. Since Cricket provides 8 Mbps; it makes it a very good and robust internet network. RootMetrics has reported, “AT&T’s network has consistently remained a strong number 2 performer behind Verizon in a majority of categories in our United States testing for five consecutive test periods.”
According to Consumer Reports 2015 Summer Survey, the customers are overall satisfied with the care provided by Cricket Wireless on the basis of price and data access. Cricket ranked second out of the total thirteen prepaid carriers, first being Verizon.
Where to Buy Cricket Wireless
After selecting the best plan of your choice, place the order for your SIM Card. Cricket Wireless SIM Card costs about $10. The special deal offers you SIM Card only for $0.99. After placing the order for your SIM Card, Cricket Wireless will send a confirmation email to your email address. Another email will be sent to you regarding the free shipment of SIM Card within two days. Once you have received the SIM Card, follow the instructions to the guide here about how to activate cricket wireless phone, insert the SIM Card into your cell phone and use it for talk and text.
Cricket Wireless cell phones and SIM Cards are available at Cricket’s website. They are also available at Wal-Mart, GameStop, Aaron’s, Meijer, Target, Best Buy and many other independent cell phone stores.
There are two kinds of cell phone network, namely- GSM and CDMA. Cricket works on GSM network of AT&T. So, you can buy a new phone or any unlocked phone from AT&T or T-Mobile that works on GSM and activate it at Cricket. If you buy any unlocked phone from Verizon or Sprint, then there can be issues since only iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6Plus and Nexus 6 can be transferred from those networks. If you wish to check your cell phone’s compatibility with the network, Cricket has a tool for this purpose. Use the Cricket prepaid cell phone plans and have a great conversation with your friends, family and relatives.
If you are finding trouble connecting to the internet or sending MMS. refer our fix on cricket wireless apn settings.
How Cricket Wireless Compares on Prices
The prepaid cell phone plans of Cricket Wireless have moderate prices, neither high nor low. In fact, it provides unlimited talk minutes, great high-speed 4G LTE data along with that international perks at moderate prices. Prepaid monthly cell phone plans offered by various cell phone networks with their details and benefits are listed below:
|Network||1 GB Or Less||2-4 GB||5-6 GB||10 GB||Unlimited|
|AT&T GoPhone||$30 (talk and text only)||$45 (3 GB)||$60 (6 GB)||–||–|
|Boost Mobile||$30 (1GB)||$35 (2GB*)||$45 (5 GB*)||–||$50 (standard video streaming)
$60 (no limit on streaming quality)
|Cricket Wireless||$25 (talk and text only)||$40 (2.5 GB)||$50 (5 GB)||$60 (10 GB)||$70|
|Metro PCS||$25 (talk and text only)
$30 (1 GB)
|$40 (3 GB)||$50 (5 GB)||–||$60|
|Sprint Prepaid||$35 (1 GB)||$45 (3 GB)||$55 (6 GB)||–||–|
|Straight Talk Wireless||$30 (1500 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB data)||–||$45 (5 GB)||$55 (10 GB)||–|
|T-Mobile Prepaid**||$25 (talk and text only)
$30 (100 minutes, unlimited text; 5GB data at up to 4G speeds, drops to 2G speed after)
|$40 (3 GB – Simply Prepaid)
$50 (2GB – Simple Choice prepaid)
|$50 (5 GB – Simply prepaid)
$65 (6 GB – Simple Choice prepaid)
|$60 (10 GB – Simply Prepaid)
$65 (6 GB – Simple Choice prepaid)
|Verizon Prepaid||$30 (basic and feature phones only; unlimited data)
$30 (smartphones; no data included)
|$45 (2 GB)||$60 (5 GB)||–||–|
|Virgin Mobile||$30 (500 MB)||$40 (4GB)||$50 (6GB)||–||–|
*Boost Mobile prepaid customers get an extra 500MB of high-speed data after every three on-time payments, and can grow their data package by up to 3GB after 18 on-time payments.
**T-Mobile offers three types of monthly prepaid plans: Simply Prepaid, Simple Choice prepaid and Basic Monthly. Simple Choice prepaid plans include additional features, such as unlimited music streaming, unlimited international texting while in the U.S., and rollover data and unlimited video streaming on plans with 6GB or more.
Cricket Wireless Comparison on Features
Cricket phone plans provide unlimited talk and text; international benefits and group family discounts. It also offers mobile Hotspot service for an extra charge. The comparison on features provided by various prepaid cell phone networks is as follows:
|Network||Auto-Pay Discount||Bonus Data||Family Plans||Unlimited Music Streaming||Mobile Hotspot||International Calls or Text|
|Straight Talk Wireless||×||×||×*|
Note: Asterisk mark (*) indicates features available for an additional charge.
Cricket Wireless Features:
- Auto-pay Discount: Cricket Wireless offers $5 monthly discount on auto-pay. This offer is valid only for plans with data, i.e. for Basic, Smart, Pro, and Unlimited Plans. Talk & Text Plan is disqualified for this plan. Group Save discounts are also available.
- Unlimited 2G: After your high-speed data is over, Cricket allows you to use unlimited 2 G data for the billing phase. If you wish to add 1GB of high-speed data, then it will cost you an extra $10.
- Family Plans: With group save discounts, an additional $10 discount is offered for every line you add. You can save up to $100 per month if you have five lines. For instance, you have opted for the Basic plan of $40 per month on one line. On adding the second line, it will cost you $30 per month. On adding the third line, it will cost you $20 per month. On summation, your total monthly bill will be $90.
- Unlimited Music Streaming: Not available
- International Calls and Texts: Smart, Pro, and Unlimited plans offer unlimited international text, multimedia messaging. High-speed data access on travelling to Mexico and Canada and unlimited texting without pictures and video to 38 countries around the world.
- Mobile Hotspot: Smart and Pro plans have the option of a mobile hot spot on the payment of an additional $10 per month. Data used from mobile hotspot comes from a monthly allotment of the plan.
Is Cricket Wireless Right For You?
According to Consumer Reports 2015 Summer Survey, the customers are overall satisfied with the care provided by Cricket Wireless on the basis of price and data access. Cricket ranked second out of the total thirteen prepaid carriers, first being Verizon. Therefore, Cricket Wireless has a good customer satisfaction record. In the list of the great services provided, international service, group family discounts and robust 4G LTE high speed takes up an important position.
If you wish to use data speeds greater than that which is provided by Cricket, then you can look for prepaid options from the parent company, AT&T.