Straight Talk is a well-known mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) owned by TracFone. It leases wireless service from each Big Four cell networks, which are AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It’s easy to bring your own phone to this service.
TracFone has a bad reputation for having terrible customer service. That said, there are people who have used Straight Talk for years and love it, including one of our reviewers. The plans are cheap enough for bargain hunters, though not quite as inexpensive as Walmart Family Mobile, which is also a TracFone brand. Because all of the service plans are month-to-month, you can leave at any time. Enrolling in autopay only saves you a dollar, but it adds the convenience of not having to load your plan onto your account every month.
Straight Talk has a variety of plans, starting with a very basic $30 plan that includes unlimited texts, 1,500 minutes and 100MB of data. You get a 50MB data bonus if you sign up for auto-refill. It’s the closest thing to a data-less plan, but if you don’t need any data, we recommend Cricket’s $25 unlimited talk and text plan instead.
At the other end of the spectrum, Straight Talk has a $55 Ultimate Unlimited Data plan. This plan has the highest data cap of all the plans we evaluated. Normally when you max out your data, your speeds are throttled. With Straight Talk, if you use more than 60GB of data in a cycle, your usage may be deemed a violation of use conditions. Still, 60GB is a pretty high threshold, as most unlimited plans cap around 22GB. One common issue with Straight Talk users, however, is getting 4G speeds. In tests performed by our sister site Tom’s Guide, Straight Talk had the slowest uplink and downlink speeds of any carrier. It was even slower than Cricket, which intentionally caps speeds.
Overall, Straight Talk isn’t the cheapest prepaid cell provider we evaluated, but it is cheap enough to consider, if you don’t run into any customer support issues. Of the two, however, we would recommend Walmart Family Mobile over Straight Talk, as it’s run by the same company but has lower prices.