Cricket Wireless is a MVNO which runs on the super speedy 5G capable AT&T network making it one of the best cell phone providers (opens in new tab) out there. So while you will get decent coverage and compatibility you can also make savings here thanks to it being prepaid.
This is also a financial winner if you don't want the hassle of worrying about credit checks, since you just pay for what you need up front. No worries of bills coming in more than expected either.
So is there a catch? Well, unlimited plans do have a cap on data but only based on when the network is busy, claims the provider. Yet in reality that only applies to the top-end plan, all others are capped at 8Mbps.
You have the option to buy a phone from Cricket or to bring your own across, if it's compatible with AT&T Wireless (opens in new tab). Since 5G is available it's worth having a phone that can take advantage of those top-end speeds.
Cricket Wireless also has over 4,300 physical stores across 50 states which is great if you want a place to sign-up or go if you need customer care.
Cricket Wireless: Plans
- Unlimited from $55 per month
- 2GB data minimum from $30 per month
Cricket Wireless has a selection of unlimited plans which start from $55 all in and go up to $60. Or, if you prefer to make an even bigger saving, at the cost of data, then there is a 2GB plan for $30 or a 10GB options for $40 per month.
The catch is in the data speeds. So those minimal 2GB and 10GB plans, and even the $55 plan, will cap you at 8Mbps LTE. If you want the fastest data speeds you'll need to spring for the top $60 plan. This top-end 5G plan also includes 15GB of hotspot data, something you have to pay more for on the other plans. If you want some better prepaid alternatives, the likes of Visible (opens in new tab) and Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) are well worth a look. They both run on the Verizon Wireless (opens in new tab) network, which is our top pick.
A nice touch is that all unlimited plans include talk, text and data to and from Mexico and Canada as standard.
Cricket Wireless: Coverage and performance speeds
- AT&T network
- 5G and 4G LTE speeds
Since Cricket Wireless uses the AT&T network is claims to cover a massive 99 percent of Americans. While rural areas will struggle a bit, this is the case for most networks. AT&T is rated as the second best in the US by RootMetrics so it's a tough one to top unless you're Verizon.
The result should be reliable coverage for talk, text and data. Of course this will vary depending where you are so it's always a good idea to check out the coverage map on the Cricket Wireless site to make sure you're going to actually get that great coverage.
Cricket Wireless: Perks
- AutoPay savings
- Great customer care
Cricket Wireless offers some great payment options to help not only make things easier but to save you money too. If you decide to talk to a live representative to make payment then you'll need to pay a $3 fee which is why AutoPay is a great option. You won't be charged that fee if you either pay online each month or give over your credit card details to set up AutoPay. This will then take the money automatically so you don't need to worry about that hassle each month. If your deal is $40 per month or more then you will save $5 per month by using AutoPay.
There are over 4,300 Cricket Wireless stores so you can always go in and chat face to face with someone if you have an issue. That said, the website is very user friendly and full of useful information. If that still leaves you scratching your head and you don't want to go in store then there is an online chat option as well as a toll free number you can call. Whatever way you get in contact, customer support is excellent.
Cricket Wireless: Customer reviews and satisfaction
- ConsumerAffairs rating of one star
- BBB rating of A+
Cricket Wireless has a tip-top A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (opens in new tab) despite not be accredited - a rarity indeed. That said, the customer reviews rating averages at just one star from 155 reviews.
One review, from Joshua L, who said: "My experience overall with Cricket has been decent; I paid for a $90 unlimited plan for three phone lines. Recently, however, I purchased a new phone as my old one broke [...] now I am paying $90 for two lines, and Cricket's response was, 'we are working on certain 4G devices and the issues should be resolved by February 2022!' Are you kidding me?"
The ConsumerAffairs (opens in new tab) rating is just over three stars from 442 reviews. Positives include affordability, worry-free use and customer care. Negatives include number porting issues, plan changing problems and own phone usage failures.
One comically written review, from Robyn of Anchorage, AK, said: "I expected to be met with a smile that didn’t quite reach the eyes and gift of gab that flowed like honey. A memorized verse filled with empty promises and strategic omissions. And I was also armed and ready to deflect and dodge. So I can’t begin to describe the dumbfounded look I must have had on my face nor the gibberish I responded with. When I wasn’t met with the typical sales routine! WHAT A CONCEPT!!!! These guys pretty much explained how the entire network of connecting & communication worked. What I would need, and what their service could and could not help me with. AND WHICH PROVIDER COULD further help me. I will be launching my business in the next couple weeks and because these guys character and wisdom my connectivity is set! Thank you! The experience was a pleasure!"
Should you choose Cricket Wireless?
Cricket Wireless is an affordable way to get unlimited talk, text and data on a good network with wide coverage and reliable stability. Thanks to the AT&T network supporting this MVNO you don't need to sacrifice quality to save money and to get out of a credit check contract.
Plans are affordable with a few options although hotspot can cost you more. That said, talk, text and data to and from Mexico and Canada are free. Data is capped at 8Mbps for most plans which explains the price savings.
Customer service is excellent although there are numerous poor consumer reviews online. That said, on the whole, this is an excellent MVNO with a solid network.
If you're undecided on the handset you want, check out our best smartphone guide, while we also rank the best prepaid cell phone plans. Take a look at our cell phone coverage map of the US to find out who has the best network in America.