Cricket Wireless Buyer’s Guide (February 2021)
A growing number of US consumers are becoming familiar with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Metro, Boost Mobile, and Straight Talk. They operate using the towers and infrastructure from the big players but have their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.Let’s take a look at one of them in particular: Cricket WirelessAboutCricket Wireless (Cricket) initially launched in 1999 and is a US-based prepaid wireless service provider; it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. It offers its own lineup of GSM phones, many of which are also found at other carriers. As one might expect, it uses AT&T for its coverage.Does Cricket have any special deals?Currently you can find a number of phones discounted with new phone numbers, upgrades, and porting your existing number. Some models are even free with the right combination of port-in and signing up for a particular rate plan.READ: Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsAdditionally, Cricket has discounted phones from Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung with some of them potentially free with a plan.What are Cricket rate plans like?Cricket rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement or cancellation fees. Moreover, they do not charge for going over your allotted data and taxes are included in the cost.$30/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 10GB of high-speed data$55/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited data$60/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed data 15GB mobile hotspotCustomers can save $5 per month on most plans with automatic bill payment. The $55 plan has data speeds which are limited to a max of 8Mbps while the $60 option is quicker and includes the hotspot feature. Depending on location and phone, subscribers may see 5G speeds on the $60 plan.Does Cricket offer multiple line plans?Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. Cricket will let you calculate rates for two to five lines. On the $55 Unlimited Plan, for instance, you get at the following monthly rates:2 Lines – $80/mo ($30 discount)3 Lines – $90/mo ($75 discount)4 Lines – $100/mo ($120 discount)5 lines – $125/mo ($150 discount)Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Are there any other Cricket features or offerings?Cricket offers a handful of other options to its customers, most of which can pair with the aforementioned rate plans. Details here include international calling, insurance against lost and stolen phones, extra data, and mobile hotspot.Cricket also sells Data Only options with 20GB ($35), 40GB ($50), and 100GB ($90) allotments.What phones are available at Cricket?Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Cricket we find familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. There are also devices from the likes of Nokia, and Alcatel, too.Like most prepaid providers, phone selection skews toward affordability as opposed to performance. With that said, we do recognize there are some compelling devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and the LG Stylo 6.Can I use my own phone at Cricket?You can often use your current GSM phone, especially if it was previously paired with AT&T. Head to Cricket’s website to check whether your specific model is supported. You’ll want to ensure that your phone is unlocked prior to purchasing the SIM card kit currently priced at just $10.