The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals

Making international calls on your prepaid phone can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The big mobile operators charge the unwary a fortune for calls to non-US numbers, even to Canada and Mexico. Verizon and T-Mobile charge as much as $1.99/minute to calls to European and Asian countries. AT&T is a little better, but still costly with per minute surcharges as high as $1.09 to China or .89 to the Philippines.



Fortunately there are a number of prepaid mobile operators with much lower international rates.Prepaid Phone News has gone though dozens of prepaid provider’s international calling options to find the operators and plans that offer the least expensive international calling and messaging options .

This post is updated frequently as plans and pricing are constantly changing. Last Updated 4/20/2015: Cricket $50 and $60 plans now include unlimited calls to Canada.

Read on for my recommended prepaid operators and plans for international calling and texting.

Unlimited plans: If you make a lot of international calls, 500 minutes a month or more, an unlimited international plan can be a good deal. These plans are either stand alone plans that include unlimited domestic and international calls and texts or unlimited international add-ons to unlimited domestic plans. Either way, you will end up paying between $20 and $70 per month for unlimited domestic and international talk and text.

There are several things to watch out for with unlimited international plans:

  • They only cover calls to certain countries. Many sizable, but expensive to call, countries including the Philippines, El Salvador and Nigeria are usually not included.
  • For most covered countries only calls to landlines are included, not to mobile phones.
  • They may not be truly unlimited. I’ve seen a number of complaints from users who had their unlimited international plans shut off for using too many minutes. How many is too many? Your guess is as good as mine but I suspect more than 2000 minutes a month would be pushing the limit

In spite of these limitations, “unlimited” plans can be a good deal. Just be sure the plan you choose covers the phone numbers you want to call and don’t be surprised if you get cut off. If you do get your unlimited international plan canceled for overuse, please leave a comment so that other readers can get an idea of what the hidden limits are and which operators to avoid.

On all plans watch out for cumbersome access number dialing schemes. Several operators don’t let you dial international calls directly. Instead you have to dial a 3 to 11 digit access number, wait for a prompt and then dial the international number. It’s possible but tricky to automate the process by using a calling card app or by inserting pauses and waits in the address book dial strings, but I recommend choosing an operator that allows international direct dialing.

Here are my picks for the best deals in unlimited international prepaid plans. Click the operator name in the first column to see details of the plan.

Unlimited International Plans
PlanInt’l Add-On PriceRequired Monthly Plan PriceNetworkCountries Included LandlinesCountries Included (Mobiles)Text CountriesInt’l Access NumberNotes
Ultra Mobileincluded$19 – $59 1T-Mobile10-404-11200direct
Lycamobileincluded$29 – $59T-Mobile36-7030-48supported, number of countries N/AdirectUnlimited calls to up to 5 int’l numbers
H2O Wirelessincluded$30 -$60AT&T5085011 digit
GoSmart$10$25 – 45T-Mobile700200direct$50 call credit
Virgin Mobile$5 – $10$35 – $55Sprint2 – 701supported, number of countries N/Adirect
Airvoiceincluded$40 – $60AT&T609supported, number of countries N/A10 digitUnlimited calls to up to 510int’l numbers
Telcel Americaincluded$40 – $60Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile373 + 250-1000 minutes to Mexico & Guatemalasupported, number of countries N/A11 digitUnlimited calls to up to 15 int’l numbers
Boost Mobile$5, $10$35 – $55Sprint2, 702, 5180direct
Cricket0, $5, $15$50 – $60AT&TUnlimited to Mexico & Canada included, $5/mo adds 35 moreUnlimited to Mexico & Canada included, $15/mo adds 1000 minutes to 28 more35direct
Simple MobileIncluded$50 – $65T-Mobile453supported, number of countries N/A10 digitUnlimited calls to up to 10 int’l numbers
T-Mobile$10 – $15$40 – $80T-Mobile70$15 add on only: 30 countries and 1000 min to Mexico200direct
AT&Tincluded$55AT&T11100directUnlimited calls to Mexico
AT&Tincluded$60AT&T701100directUnlimited calls to Mexico
Straight Talkincluded$60At&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon344173 (Sprint based phones only)11 digitUnlimited calls to up to 15 int’l numbers
Net10included$65At&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon344173 (Sprint based phones only)11 digitUnlimited calls to up to 15 int’l numbers

1 Plus a “cost recovery fee” of 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more. $19 plan includes unlimited calls to 10 countries, $29 and higher plans include unlimited calls to 40 countries.

Unlimited Domestic Prepaid Plans with low per minute international rates. If you already use an unlimited monthly plan for domestic calls and need less than 1000 international minutes per month, it can be less expensive to pay by the minute for international calls. Several operators let you add some extra funds to your account that you can use to make international calls for as a little as a penny per minute. Some even include some free international calls with their international add-ons.

Rates vary widely and no one operator offers the best rate to every country. To help you compare I’ve defined a prepaid market basket of five frequently called countries. It includes the three nations (Canada, Mexico and the UK) that send the most visitors to the US, plus the three countries (Mexico, China and the Philippines.) with the most foreign born US residents.

For each provider I’ve computed the average Market Basket Price per Minute for calls to mobile phonesin the five countries. Here are the best deals.

Unlimited Monthly Plans with Low International Rates
OperatorMarket Basket Price / MinuteNetworkMonthly Plan PriceInt’l Call CreditIncludedInt’l Text RateInt’l Access Number
Ultra Mobile3.6¢ – 4.1¢T-Mobile$19 – $49 1$1.25 – $12.50 2freedirect
NET105.5¢T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon$25 – $75nonefree on Sprint
N/A on others
10 digit
Lycamobile5.8¢T-Mobile$23 – $550 – $7.50freedirect
Red Pocket Mobile7.4¢AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint$19.99 – $59.990 – $2Free on T-Mobile, Sprint, 200 free on AT&T otherwise 10¢ ea.direct
Expo Mobile5.56¢Sprint$19.00 – $60$0 -$10freedirect
Virgin Mobile17¢Sprint$20 – $55none15¢direct
Boost Mobile17¢Sprint$35 – $55none10¢direct

1 Plus a “cost recovery fee” of 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more.
2 $19 plan includes unlimited free calls to 10 countries (mobiles in 4) $29 and higher plans include free calls to 43 countries (mobiles included in 10). $29 and higher plans also include 1000 free minutes to landlines in 45 countries and mobiles in 17 including Mexico.

Pay as you go: For light users (under approximately 300 combined domestic and international minutes and texts per month) a pay as you go plan is usually the least expensive option. The best of these plans charge about 5¢ per domestic minute, 6¢ and up per international minute and 2¢ per domestic or international text. Here are the pay as you go plans with the best international rates.

International Pay As You Go
OperatorMarket Basket Price / MinuteNetworkPer Minute Domestic RateMin. Monthly Plan CostDomestic / Int’l Text RateInt’l Access Number
Lycamobile10.8¢T-Mobile.02.0083free incoming .04/.12 outgoingDirect
Airvoice $10 Plan9.78¢AT&T.04$10.02/.1010 digit
PTel Real PayGo14.4¢T-Mobile.05$5.02/.02Direct
Airvoice PayGo15.788¢AT&T.10$3.33.10/.1010 digit
Red Pocket Mobile16.4¢AT&T or Sprint.10$5 (Sprint) or $8.33 (AT&T).10/.10Direct
H2O $25 Plan22.66¢AT&T.025$25.025/.10Direct
H2O Pay As You Go25.06¢AT&T.05$3.33.05/.10Direct

Recommendations: I advising choosing based on price and which network (T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon or AT&T) works best for you. There are some especially good deals if you can use T-Mobile, including Ultra Mobile for the lowest priced unlimited plan, 1000 free international minutes, inexpensive international rates and $5 to $20 in free international call credit per month and Lycamobile for the lowest domestic and international pay as you go voice rates.

Text Only: If you mainly want to send international texts, Airvoice, AT&T, Expo, Ultra and Lycamobile include unlimited international text messaging with all monthly plans. On pay as you go, PTel is the best deal at 2¢ per international text.

The Details: here’s a bit more about each of the operators mentioned in the table above. The operators are listed alphabetically:


Airvoice (888-944-2355) is an AT&T MVNO that’s been in business since 1999. Airvoice has monthly and pay as you go plans

Monthly unlimited plans all have unlimited domestic talk and and unlimited domestic and international texts

  • $30/month includes 500MB of data
  • $40/month includes 1GB of data and unlimited international calling to 60+ countries
  • $50/month includes 2GB of data and unlimited international calling to 60+ countries
  • $60/month includes 2GB of data and unlimited international calling to 60+ countries
Pay as you go: Airvoice has two pay as you go plans:

  • Pay As You Go: 10¢/min, 10¢/text, 6.6¢/MB, $1/month fee, minimum top up is $10 every 90 days
  • $10 Talk & Text: 4¢/min, 2¢/text, 6.6¢/MB, no monthly fee, minimum top up is $10 every 30 days

Unlimited International Plans:

Unlimited international calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobile numbers in eight (list of covered countries) are included with $40 and higher monthly plans.

International add ons:
A $10 intentional add-on can be added to any plan. It provides the same unlimited international calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobile numbers in eight that’s included with plans priced $40 and higher. With the add-on pay as you go and $10 plan users pay the same 10¢ or 4¢ per minute for covered international calls as they do for domestic calls.

Pay per use international call credit can be added to any plan by purchasing PayGo International Long Distance PINs in $5 increments. Added funds are good for 180 days and unused funds roll over as long as the customer refills before expiration. Sample rates per minute: Mexico landline 2¢, India landline 2¢, Philippines landline 14¢, UK mobile 4¢ (lookup rates).

Airvoice requires dialing a 10 digit access code for international calls. 

Airvoice Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 0 or 0.94¢; Mexico 5¢; China 0 or 1.9¢; UK 4.1¢; Philippines 17¢ – Total 28.94¢ / 5 = 5.788¢ ($30 plan), 5.22¢ (plans $40 and higher), 15.788¢ (pay as you go), 9.78¢ ($10 Talk & Text).

Airvoice Mobile International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 10¢/each on pay as you go and $10 plans. International MMS (picture messages) are 10¢/each to send and receive on all plans. International MMS on monthly plans are funded using a $10 Cash Card. Unused cash card balances never expire as long as the account remains active and the accounts plan isn’t allowed to lapse,

Airvoice international rate page.

For more on Airvoice, see Prepaid Operator Profile – Airvoice Wireless


AT&T GoPhoneicon(800-901-9878) has monthly and pay as you go plans. Per use iinternational voice rates are very high but many plans include unlimited international text messaging and GoPhone’s international add-ons can be a good value for frequent international callers.

Monthly domestic plans:

  • $30/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging
  • $45/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging, Unlimited data throttles after 1.5 GB.
International Plans:

  • US, Mexico & Canada Monthly Plan: $55/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging, unlimited data throttled after 1 GB data. Unlimited calls to Mexico including to mobile phones. Calls to Canada and calls made roaming within Canada and Mexico to the US and 25 other countries are 1¢/minute. Unlimited SMS and MMS while roaming in Canada and Mexico.
  • Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text & Data $60/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging. Unlimited calls to Mexico including to mobile phones, unlimited data throttled after 4 GB data,
Other plans

  • Pay as you go plan: 10¢/min, texts; 20¢ domestic, 25¢ international, $8.33/month minimum
  • $2 Daily plan: unlimited domestic minutes and unlimited domestic and international texts. $2 charged only on days used.
International add ons: 
  • $5/month International Long Distance package can be added to any plan including the 10¢/minute and $2/day plans. It provides 250 minutes of calling to cell phones and landlines in Canada, India, China and several other countries and to landlines in over 50 countries (list of countries).
  • $10/month Mexico Long Distance Plus package can be added to $45 and $60 monthly plans only. It includes 1000 minutes of calling to cell phones and landlines in Mexico, Canada, India, China and several other countries and to landlines in over 50 countries (list of countries).
  • $25/month for 1 GB of roaming data in Canada and Mexico. Available only to users on the $55/month US, Mexico and Canada plan

International Roaming: In addition to the international roaming included with the US, Mexico & Canada Monthly Plan, All GoPhone users can roam in Mexico and Canada. Calls are 25¢ per minute in Mexico and 39¢ in Canada. In both countries texts are 25¢ to send and 20¢ to receive, MMS are $1.30 to send and 25¢ to receive and data is $1.95/KB.

AT&T has international direct dialing (no access code required). 

AT&T Market Basket prices (without international add-on): Calling mobiles: Canada 19¢; Mexico 26¢; China $1.09; UK 49¢; Philippines 89¢ – Total $2.92 / 5 = 58.4¢.

AT&T Market Basket prices (1st 1000 minutes with $10 add-on): Calling mobiles: Canada 0; Mexico 0; China 0; UK 49¢; Philippines 89¢ – Total $1.38 / 5 = 27.6¢.

AT&T Mobile International Messaging: 25¢/each.AT&T Mobile international rate page.

For more on AT&T, see: Prepaid Operator Profile: AT&T GoPhone


Boost Mobile (866-402-7366) is one of Sprint’s prepaid brands. All plans include unlimited domestic calls and messaging.

Monthly Data Boost unlimited plans

  • $35/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 1 GB (throttled after 2.5 GB for auto-pay customers)
  • $45/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 5 GB
  • $55/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 10 GB

International add ons:

  • $5/month – Todo Mexico Plus unlimited international texting, unlimited calling to Canada and Mexico including to mobile phones. Only available with $45 and $55 Data Boost Plans.
  • $10/month – International Connect Plus unlimited international texting, unlimited calling to land lines in 70 countries (list of countries), 1000 minutes of calls to mobiles in Mexico and discounted rates to over 200 countries. Available with all monthly plans.

Boost has international direct dialing (no access code required). 

Boost Market Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 10¢; Mexico 20¢; China 15¢; UK 20¢; Philippines 20¢ – Total $0.85 / 5 = 17¢.

Boost Mobile International Messaging: 10¢/each.

Boost Mobile international rate page.

For more on Boost, see Prepaid Operator Profile – Boost Mobile


Cricket Wireless (800-274-2538) is AT&T’s value priced prepaid brand. It offers monthly plans only.

Monthly domestic plans: All include unlimited domestic calls and texts. Unlimited calls to Canadian and Mexican landlines and mobile phones plus unlimited MMS to Canada and Mexico are included with $50 and higher plans. International calling to other countries is available with $5 and $15 add-ons on the $50 and $60 plans only.

  • $50/month ($45 with autopay) – 5GB high speed data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less
  • $60/month ($55 with autopay) – 10GB high speed data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less
  • $60/month ($55 with autopay) – 20GB high speed data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less

All three plans include unlimited international text messaging to 35 countries.

High-Speed data is throttled to a maximum of 8 Mbps for LTE data and 4 Mbps for HSPA+. After the high-speed data cap is reached speed is further throttled to about 128 Kbps. Additional high-speed data is available for $10 for 1GB good for a month.

International add ons (available with $50 and $60 plans only:

  • $5/month Cricket International add-on that lets you make unlimited calls to landlines in 35 countries
  • $15/month Cricket International Extra add-on includes unlimited calls to landlines in 35 countries, 1000 minutes of calls to mobile phones in 29 countries and unlimited international MMS picture messaging to the same 29 countries.

Pay per use international calling and messaging are not available on Cricket.

International Roaming:
The $10/month International Roaming Mexico Add-on includes 100 minutes of calling and 100 texts from Mexico to US or Mexican numbers.

Cricket has international direct dialing (no access code required). 
For more on Cricket, see: Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket Wireless (CDMA)


Expo Mobile (800-818-1597) Sprint MVNO with monthly plans and good international rates. They also have a pay as you go plan, which I don’t recommend because, unlike most other operator’s pay as you go plans, unused account balances do not roll over when the plan is renewed.

Expo allows activation of Sprint phones subject to Sprint’s usual restrictions. Activation is free.

All plans except the $10/month pay as you go plan include unlimited domestic and international texts.

  • $10/month – pay as you go 5¢/domestic min, 2¢/domestic or int’l text, 10¢/MB, no rollover
  • $19/month – 500 minutes, no data
  • $25/month – unlimited minutes, no data
  • $35/month – unlimited minutes, 500MB data (including 4G WiMax and LTE)
  • $40/month – non-smartphones only, unlimited minutes. unlimited data
  • $50/month – unlimited minutes. unlimited 3G (EVDO) data
  • $60/month – unlimited minutes. unlimited data (including 4G WiMax and LTE)

Free international calling: $40 and higher plans include a $10/month international calling credit

Expo has international direct dialing (no access code required). 

Expo Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 0.5¢; Mexico 4.1¢; China 1¢; UK 8.1¢; Philippines 14.1¢ – Total 27.8¢ / 5 = 5.56¢ , 10.56¢ pay as you go.

Expo International Messaging: 2¢/text on pay as you go, free on other plans.

Expo Mobile international rate page

For more on Expo, see: Sprint and Sprint MVNOs Compared


Go Smart Mobile (877-582-7788 is owned by T-Mobile. Go Smart has a good unlimited international add-on but per minute international rates are high.

Monthly domestic plans: all include unlimited domestic voice and messaging.

  • $25/month – no data
  • $35/month – unlimited data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 2.5 GB
  • $40/month – unlimited data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 5 GB
  • $45/month – unlimited data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 10 GB

International add ons:

  • $5/month unlimited text messaging to over 200 countries
  • $10/month unlimited calls to landlines in 50 countries including all five market basket countries and unlimited text messaging to over 200 countries. List of GoSmart unlimited voice and text countries. $50/month credit for calls to other countries and mobiles.

GoSmart has international direct dialing (no access code required). 

GoSmart Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 25¢; Mexico 25¢; China 20¢; UK 33¢; Philippines 48¢ – Total $1.51 / 5 = 30.2¢.

GoSmart International Messaging: 10¢/each.

Gosmart international rate page

For more on GoSmart, see: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared


H2O Wireless (800-643-4926) is an AT&T MVNO with monthly and pay as you go plans.
Monthly Plans: All include unlimited domestic calls, unlimited international calls to 50 countries (list), including mobile numbers 8 countries and unlimited domestic and international text messaging.
  • $30/month – 500 MB of data including LTE, $10 international call credit
  • $40/month – 1 GB of data including LTE, $20 international call credit
  • $50/month – 2 GB of data including LTE, $20 international call credit
  • $60/month – 2.5 GB of high speed data including LTE, unlimited throttled data, $20 international call credit
Pay as you go: H20 has two pay as yo go plans:
5¢/min, 5¢/SMS, 10c/MMS, 10¢/MB, $10 every 90 days minimum top up.
2.5c/min, 2.5¢/SMS, 10¢/MMS, 10¢/MB, $25 every 30 days minimum top up.
H2O requires dialing an 11 digit access number to make free calls to 50 countries on unlimited plans. For other calls international direct dialing is supported.

H2O Market Basket prices (unlimited plans)
Calling mobiles: Canada 3.2¢; Mexico 28.7¢; China 0; UK 24.9¢; Philippines 39.9¢ – Total 96.7¢ / 5 =19.34¢

H2O Market Basket prices ($25/30 days pay as you go, add 2.5¢/min for $10/90 days plan)
Calling mobiles: Canada 5.7¢; Mexico 31.2¢; China 6.1¢; UK 27.4¢; Philippines 42.4¢ – Total 112.8¢ / 5 =22.56¢ (25.06 on $10/90 day plan)H2O International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 10¢/each on pay as you go

H2O international rates (click “Destination Finder).For more on H2O, see: Prepaid Operator Profile: H2O Wireless


Lycamobile (845-301-1612) is a T-Mobile MVNO with monthly and pay as you go plans and low international voice rates. The Lycamobile website is confusing and Lycanobile has a history of changing plans and pricing with little warning
Monthly Plans: All include unlimited domestic and international text messaging.
  • $23/month – unlimited domestic voice minutes, unlimited data (100 MB at 4G speeds)
  • $35/month – unlimited domestic voice minutes, unlimited data (2 GB at 4G speeds) and a $2.50 international call credit
  • $45/month – unlimited domestic voice minutes, unlimited data (4 GB at 4G speeds) and a $5.00 international call credit
  • $55/month – unlimited domestic voice minutes, unlimited data (8 GB at 4G speeds) and a $7.50 international call credit
International plans:

  • $29/month – unlimited calls to up to 5 different numbers (the first 5 international numbers dialed each month) in 36 countries (landline) and 16 (mobile), 1000 minutes to Mexican mobile numbers. $2.50 int’l call credit. 500MB of high speed data
  • $39/month – unlimited calls to up to 5 different numbers (the first 5 international numbers dialed each month) in 55 countries (landline) and 28 (mobile), 1000 minutes to Mexican mobile numbers. 150 bonus minutes to 15 countries $5 int’l call credit. 750MB of high speed data
  • $49/month, same as the $39 plan except 1GB of high speed data and a $10 int’l call credit
  • $59/month unlimited calls to up to 5 different numbers in 70 countries and mobiles in 48. $5 int’l call credit. 3GB of high speed data
Pay as you go: Domestic minutes are 2 cents, incoming texts are free, outgoing domestic texts are 4¢ and outgoing international texts are 12¢ cents each. Data is not available. There is no minimum payment but you must have a billable event (call, outgoing text or data use) every 90 days or your service will be cancelled.
Lycamobile has international direct dialing

Lycamobile Market Basket prices (unlimited plans, add .05/minute for pay as you go):
Calling mobiles: Canada 5¢; Mexico 5¢; China 5¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 9¢ – Total 29¢ / 5 = 5.8¢ (unlimited)10.8¢ (pay as you go)Lycamobile International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 12¢/each on pay as you go

Lycamobile international rate page.For more on Lycamobile, see: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared


NET10 (877-836-2368) is a brand of América Móvil’s Tracfone division. It’s an MVNO that uses all four US national operators (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint). NET10 offers different phone models for each network as well as AT&T and T-Mobile based SIMs and a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program for Verizon and Sprint phones. It has an unlimited international plan and pay as you go international calling on monthly and pay as you go plans.

Unlimited International Plan: NET10’s $65/month ($60 with autopay) unlimited international plan includes unlimited domestic calling and messaging, 3 GB of high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 64 Kbps or less and unlimited calls to landlines in 34 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and the UK and to cell phones in Canada, China, Mexico, India and Singapore (list of covered countries). Users can only make international calls to 15 unique numbers per month.

 

International Text Messaging: Net10’s unlimited plans include unlimited international texting to 173 countries, but only with phones that run on the Sprint network.

Monthly domestic plans:

  • $25/month – non-smartphones only,1000 voice minutes, texts charged at 1 min ea., MMS 1.5 min plus data used, data 1 min per min of browsing. This plan offers calling to 100 countries for 5 cents per minute extra. Free online registration is required to use international calling feature. International direct dialing is not supported, you need to dial a two character (*1) access code and wait for a prompt before dialing the international number.
  • $35/month – non-smartphones only, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited MMS, no data.
  • $40/month – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited MMS, 500 MB (750 MB withe auto-refill)  high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 64 Kbps or less.
  • $50 ($45 with auto-refill) /month – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited MMS, 3 GB high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 64 Kbps or less.
  • $60/month – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited MMS, 3 GB (4 GB with auto refill) high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less.
  • $75/month – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited MMS, 5GB high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less.

International add on:
NET10 offers a $10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at competitive per minute rates. Used balance doesn’t expire as long as you make an international call at least every 180 days and your NET10 plan is active.

Net10 Global Card Market Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 1.53¢; Mexico 4.95¢; China 1.35¢; UK 4.5¢; Philippines 15.2¢ – Total 27.53¢ / 5 = 5.5%¢.

International direct dialing is not supported on NET10’s unlimited international plan and $10 Global Card, both require using an 10 digit access number for international calls. There’s an Android app that automates calling the access number when you place an international call
 

Pay as You Go: NET10 offers pay as you go plans priced at $15/per month and up with per minute rates of 6.67¢ to10¢ depending on the denomination of the refill used. Texts are charged as half a voice minute. This plan lets you make calls to 100 countries for 5 cents per minute extra. Free online registration is required to use the international feature. International direct dialing is not supported, you need to dial a two character (*1) access code and wait for a prompt before dialing the international number.

For more on Net10 see: Prepaid Operator Profile – NET10


Ptel (866-225-5631) is a T-Mobile MVNO with no extra charge international texts and good international voice rates.

Monthly Plans: All include unlimited domestic talk, unlimited domestic and international text messaging

  • $20month – 150MB, $1/month international call credit
  • $25/month – unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps, $2.50/month international call credit
  • $35/month – 500 MB of 4G data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps, $5/month international call credit
  • $50/month – 2 GB of 4G data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps, $5/month international call credit
  • $65/month – 4 GB of 4G data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps, $10/month international call credit

Pay as you go: Domestic minutes are 5 cents, domestic and international texts are 2 cents each and data is 10 cents per MB. Minimum payment is $10 every 60 days ($5/month).

PTel supports direct international dialing, no access code required.

PTel Market Basket prices (unlimited plans, add .05/minute for pay as you go): Calling mobiles:Canada 1¢; Mexico 14¢; China 1¢; UK 13¢; Philippines 18¢ – Total 47¢ / 5 = 9.4¢ (unlimited) 14.4¢ (pay as you go)

PTel International Messaging: no extra charge (free on unlimited, 2¢/each on pay as you go)

PTel international rate page.

For more on PTel see: Prepaid Operator Profile: PTel


Red Pocket Mobile, (888-993-3888) has traditionally used the AT&T network and recently added new plans and service that use the Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon networks.

GSMA Monthly Plans (AT&T):

  • $29.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 500 MB of data at reduced speeds, 200 international texts
  • $39.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data including LTE (throttled after 500MB), $2 international call credit, 200 international texts
  • $49.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data including LTE (throttled after 1GB), $2 international call credit, 200 international texts
  • $59.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data including LTE (throttled after 3GB), $2 international call credit, 200 international texts
  • $69.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data including LTE (throttled after 4GB), $2 international call credit, 200 international texts

CDMA Monthly Plans (Verizon):

  • $19.99 – 300 minutes, unlimited messaging, 1 GB data
  • $29.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 500 MB data
  • $34.99 -300 minutes, unlimited messaging, 2 GB data
  • $39.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data (throttled after 500 MB), $2 international call credit
  • $49.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data (throttled after 1 GB), $2 international call credit
  • $59.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data (throttled after 3 GB), $2 international call credit

GSMT Monthly Plans (T-Mobile):

  • $19.99 – 300 minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data at reduced speeds
  • $24.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), 200MB data
  • $29.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), 500 MB of data at reduced speeds
  • 34.99 – 300 minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data (throttled after 2 GB)
  • $39.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data (throttled after 2GB)
  • $49.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data (throttled after 2GB), $2 international call credit
  • $59.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data (throttled after 5GB), $2 international call credit

CDMAS Monthly Plans (Sprint):

  • $29.99 – unlimited minutes, unlimited texts (including international), 500 MB of data at reduced speeds
  • $34.99 – 300 minutes, unlimited texts (including international), unlimited data (throttled after 2 GB)
  • $49.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data (throttled after 2 GB), $2 international call credit
  • $59.99 – Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, unlimited data (throttled after 3 GB), $2 international call credit

The $2 international credit that comes with some plans is good for up to 200 minutes of free international calling per month. Unused international credit rolls over from one month to the next. You can check your international calling credit balance at ica.redpocketmobile.com. Log in using your phone number and the last four digits of your SIM card ID.

Pay as you go – Available on AT&T or Sprint only: Domestic minutes are 10 cents, domestic texts are 10 cents each and data is 30 cents per MB on AT&T. Pay as you go data is not available on Sprint. Minimum payment is $25 every 90 days ($8.33/month). Pay as you go customers can call landlines in Taiwan and South Korea and landlines and cell phones in Canada, China, Singapore and Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico for the same price (10 cents/minute) as calls within the US.

Red Pocket has international direct dialing (no access code required)

Red Pocket Market Basket prices  monthly plans: Calling mobiles: Canada 1¢; Mexico 10¢; China 1¢; UK 10¢; Philippines 15¢ – Total 37¢ / 5 = 7.4¢

Red Pocket Market Basket prices  pay as you go (includes 10¢/minute base rate): Calling mobiles:Canada 10¢; Mexico 10¢; China 10¢; UK 20¢; Philippines 32¢ – Total 82¢ / 5 = 16.4¢ 

Red Pocket International Messaging: international texts are 10¢ each on pay as you go plans and those monthly plans that don’t include international texts. International MMS are 20¢ each

Red Pocket international rate page.

For more on Red Pocket see: Prepaid Operator Profile: Red Pocket Mobile


Simple Mobile (877-878-7908) is yet another Tracfone brand that uses on the T-Mobile network only with no roaming.

Unlimited International Plans: Simple Mobile has three plans with international calling and messaging. All include unlimited domestic calling and unlimited domestic and international textng

  • $50/month unlimited data (throttled to 128 Kpbs after 2GB), unlimited* international minutes
  • $60/month unlimited data (throttled to 128 Kpbs after 4GB), unlimited* international minutes
  • $65/month unlimited data (throttled to 128 Kpbs after 10GB), unlimited* international minutes

* unlimited calls to landlines in 45 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and to cell phones in China, Mexico India and Hong Kong (list of covered countries) Unlimited calls can be made to up to 10 unique international numbers per month.

For calls to countries that aren’t included with the internationals plans or if you need more minutes, there’s a $10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at competitive per minute rates. The unused card balance doesn’t expire as long as you an international call at least every 180 days and your Simple Mobile plan is active.

International Text Messaging: all Simple Mobile plans include unlimited international texting

Simple Mobile requires using an 11 digit access number for international calls. There’s an Android app that automates calling the access number when you place an international call

For more about Simple Mobile see Prepaid Operator Profile: Simple Mobile.


Straight Talk (800-299-7784) is another brand of América Móvil’s Tracfone division. Like NET10, it offers service on all four national operators (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint). Straight Talk offers different phone models for each network as well as AT&T and T-Mobile based SIMS and a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program for Verizon and Sprint phones.

Unlimited International Plan: Straight Talk offers a single $60/month unlimited international plan. It includes unlimited domestic voice calling and messaging, 3GB/month of high-speed data, unlimited throttled data and unlimited calls to landlines in 34 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and to cell phones in Canada, China, India and Mexico (list of covered countries). Users can only make international calls to 15 unique numbers per month.

International Text Messaging: Straight Talk’s unlimited plan includes unlimited international texting to 173 countries, but only on phones that run on the Sprint network.

Straight Talk requires using an 11 digit access number or an Android app for international calls.

For more on Straight Talk see: Prepaid Operator Profile – Straight Talk.


Telcel America (800-220-9518) is yanother brand of América Móvil’s Tracfone division. It’s targeted at users do do a lot of international calling, especially to Mexico. Telcel America phones use either T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint depending on phone model. T-Mobile based SIMs are also available.

International Plans: Telcel America offers five plans with international calling and messaging. All include unlimited domestic calling and unlimited domestic and international messaging texting

  • $20/7 days unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 1GB), unlimited* minutes to international landlines, 250 minutes to Mexican and Claro Guatemala mobiles
  • $29/month 100MB of 2G data, 1000 minutes* to international landlines, 100 minutes to Mexican and Claro Guatemala mobiles
  • $40/month unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 500MB), unlimited* minutes to international landlines, 250 minutes to Mexican and Claro Guatemala mobiles
  • $50/month unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 1GB), unlimited* minutes to international landlines, 500 minutes to Mexican and Claro Guatemala mobiles
  • $60/month unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 2GB), unlimited* minutes to international landlines, 1000 minutes to Mexican and Claro Guatemala mobiles. Roaming in mexico: 1000 roaming minutes and 1GB of roaming data

* unlimited calls to landlines in 37 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and to cell phones in Canada, China and India (list of covered countries) Unlimited calls can be made to up to 15 unique international numbers per month.

For calls to countries that aren’t included with the internationals plans or if you need more minutes, there’s$10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at competitive per minute rates. The unused card balance doesn’t expire as long as you an international call at least every 180 days and your Telcel America plan is active.

International Text Messaging: all Telcel America plans include unlimited international texting

Telcel America requires using an 11 digit access number for international calls. There’s an Android app that automates calling the access number when you place an international call

For more about Telcel America click here.


T-Mobile (800-866-2453) 

Monthly Plans: all include unlimited domestic voice and unlimited domestic text messaging.

  • $40/month Simply Prepaid – 1GB of data throttled to 8 Mbps, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps
  • $50/month Simple Choice – 1GB of unthrottled data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps.
  • $50/month Simply Prepaid – 3GB of data throttled to 8 Mbps, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps
  • $60/month Simple Choice – 3GB of unthrottled data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps.
  • $60/month Simply Prepaid – 5GB of data throttled to 8 Mbps, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps
  • $70/month  Simple Choice- 5GB of unthrottled data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps.
  • $80/month  Simple Choice- unlimited, unthrottled data.

International add ons: Customers on T-Mobile prepaid monthly plans priced at $40 and higher you can add their choice of two “Stateside” international add ons. The add ons aren’t available with Pay As You Go plans.

  • $10/month: Unlimited international texts, unlimited calls to landlines in 70+ countries and discounted calling to over 200 countries.
  • $15/month:  Unlimited international texts, unlimited calling to landlines in 70+ countries, unlimited calling to mobile numbers in 32 countries, 1000 minutes of calling to Mexican mobile numbers and 1000 roaming minutes in Mexico. List of countries covered.
International Text Messaging: Simple Choice plans include unlimited international texting. On Simply Prepaid plans international texts are 10¢ each.

T-Mobile has international direct dialing (no access code required)

For more on T-Mobile see: Prepaid Operator Profile – T-Mobile


TracFone (800-867-7183) is owned by América Móvil and has pay as you go plans only. Tracfone pricing is quite complicated:

For feature phones the price per domestic voice minute ranges from 4.4¢ to 33.¢ per minute depending on the refill denomination and if the phone includes “double or triple minutes for life”. Domestic texts are charged as a third of a minute. Data is either half a minute per minute of browsing (older phones) or 1.5 voice minutes per KB of data (phones released since June, 2012).

TracFone Android phones have a unique “triple-triple” pricing model with separate buckets for minutes, data and texts. Price per minute, text or MB of data varies from 4.4¢ to 11¢ depending on refill denomination.
The minimum monthly cost is $6.67 ($19.99 refill every 90 days).

Free” international calling: Tracfone users can make no surcharge calls to landlines in 60 countiesincluding all the market basket countries except the Philippines.

TracFone International Neighbors: On request, TracFone will give you up to three local Mexican numbers that friends and relatives can use to call your TracFone for the price of a local call. Click here for more details and to signup.

Tracfone requires an 11 digit access code for international calls.

TracFone doesn’t support sending international texts.

For more on Tracfone, see Prepaid Operator Profile – Tracfone


Ultra Mobile (888-777-0446) is a T-Mobile MVNO which offers monthly plans only. All plans include unlimited international texts at no extra charge.

Monthly Plans: Ultra Mobile has five monthly plans, all of which include unlimited domestic calling,unlimited international text messaging and unlimited international calls to either 10 ($19 plan) or 40 countries (list), including Mexican mobiles. $29 and higher plans also include 1000 minutes of no extra charge international calling to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18. The difference between the plans include the amount of data and how much international call credit is included with each plan. The choices are:

  • $19/month – unlimited calls to landlines in 10 countries and mobiles in 4, a $1.25/month international call credit and 100MB of data.
  • $29/month – unlimited calls to landlines in 40 countries and mobiles in 11, 1000 minutes to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18, a $2.50/month international call credit and 1 GB of data.
  • $39/month – unlimited calls to landlines in 40 countries and mobiles in 11, 1000 minutes to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18, a $6.25/month international call credit and unlimited data (throttled after 750MB).
  • $49/month – unlimited calls to landlines in 40 countries and mobiles in 11, 1000 minutes to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18, a $12.50/month international call credit and unlimited data (throttled after 1GB).
  • $59/month – unlimited calls to landlines in 40 countries and mobiles in 11, 1000 minutes to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18, a $5.00/month international call credit and unlimited data (throttled after 2.5GB).
Ultra adds a “cost recovery fee” to all airtime purchases from retail locations and 3rd party online PIN sellers. The fee will be 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more. For airtime purchases from the Ultra Mobile site Ultra adds sales and use taxes and Federal Universal Service Fund Fees. These taxes and fees vary with the user’s location.

A unique Ultra Mobile feature is “Call Me Free“, a no extra charge service that provides local access numbers in 44 countries that non-US family members and friends can use to call Ultra customers for the price of a local call.

Ultra Mobile has international direct dialing (no access code required)

Ultra Market Basket prices ($29 and higher plans): Canada 0¢; Mexico 0¢; China 0¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 13¢ – Total 18¢ / 5 = 3.6¢ 

Ultra Market Basket prices ($19 plan): Canada 0¢; Mexico 2.5¢; China 0¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 13¢ – Total 20.5¢ / 5 = 4.1¢ 

Ultra Mobile International Messaging: no extra charge, unlimited domestic and international messaging is included with all plans

Ultra Mobile international rate page.

For more on Ultra Mobile, see: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared


Virgin Mobile (888-322-1122), is owned by Sprint and offers monthly plans only.

Monthly plans. all include unlimited domestic text messaging

  • $20/month – 300 domestic minutes
  • $35/month – 300 domestic minutes, unlimited data throttled after 2.5 GB
  • $35/month – unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited data throttled after 250 MB
  • $45/month – unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited data throttled after 1 GB
  • $55/month – unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited data throttled after 3 GB

International add ons:

$5/month: unlimited calls to Mexican landlines and Canadian landlines and mobiles, unlimited international text messaging.

$10/month: unlimited calls to landlines in 70 countries and Canadian landlines and mobiles,  100 minutes/month to Mexican mobiles. Discounted rates to other countries, unlimited international text messaging.

Virgin has international direct dialing (no access code required) 

Virgin Mobile Market Basket prices: Canada 10¢; Mexico 20¢; China 15¢; UK 20¢; Philippines 20¢ – Total 85¢ / 5 = 17¢

Virgin Mobile International Text Messaging: 15¢/each



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