SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Cell phone industry experts from MyRatePlan.com, the leading cell phone plan comparison site on the web, has released its annual ranking of the best prepaid cell phone plans.
To create their ranking, the analysts from MyRatePlan took into account a number of criteria including monthly cost, amount of minutes, data, and messages, service coverage, customer ratings, and expert opinions.
Consumers are switching by the thousands to prepaid cell phone plans because of the cost savings they realize by making the switch and because they are not required to sign a 2-year contract.
With AT&T and T-Mobile now offering their regular plans, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
There are so many cell phone providers out there, however, that it can be hard to know which one offers the best plan for each consumer. MyRatePlan aims to take the guesswork out of choosing a plan.
Here are the best prepaid cell phone plans currently available, ranked by MyRatePlan.com:
1. Straight Talk Unlimited Plan - For the second straight year, the Straight Talk Unlimited Plan is this year's top choice for the category of best prepaid cell phone plan, according to MyRatePlan's ranking.
The Straight Talk Unlimited Plan offers unlimited voice minutes, text messaging, and data for just $45 per month. Straight Talk service can be used with almost any device, from a basic phone all the way up to a high-end smartphone like the Apple iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S line of phones. In addition, customers can bring their own devices as well and avoid having to pay for a phone.
2. T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan - T-Mobile recently switched their entire business model to a no-contract prepaid cell phone plan model. With that change, T-Mobile now offers some of the best value in a prepaid cell phone plan out of all of the carriers on the market.
In addition, for a limited time, T-Mobile is offering to pay customers up to $650 when they switch to T-Mobile and trade in their previous phone.
With the T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan, customers receive unlimited voice minutes and text messaging, and can choose between individual and family plans, and select between 500 MB of data per month for $50, 2.5 GB of data per month for $60, or unlimited data for $70 per month.
T-Mobile also offers free unlimited international data in over 100 countries around the world. T-Mobile supports all the latest and greatest smartphones, and also allows customers to bring their own devices.
3. Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk Plan - Rounding out this year's list of the best prepaid cell phone plans is the Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk Unlimited Plan. The Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk Unlimited Plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $55 per month.
Virgin Mobile also offers the latest phones such as the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c, and the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones. Customers can also choose cheaper versions of the plan that limit the amount of voice minutes allowed, but still allow for unlimited data and text messaging.
"I predict in 2014 we will see a bigger number of customers switch to prepaid cell phone plans than any previous year," explained Logan Abbott, President of MyRatePlan.