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Sprint Prepaid Is Back With New Plans and Phones

Sprint Prepaid Logo
Remember Sprint Prepaid? It's Sprint's third (after Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile) and least known prepaid brand. Launched in 2013 as Sprint As You Go, it was originally only sold at Sprint stores, probably to give Sprint salespeople something to sell to customers with poor credit who could not qualify for postpaid.

Sprint relaunched Sprint As You Go in 2014 as Sprint Prepaid. Eventually Sprint Prepaid phones and airtime cards became available at national retailers, including Best Buy and Target, and also online from the Sprint Prepaid site. Sprint Prepaid plans always seemed to offer less value than those of its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile stablemates. I doubt many Sprint Prepaid phones were ever sold or activated.

Early last year it looked Sprint Prepaid was being shut down. It disappeared from national retail and most Sprint stores and the Sprint Prepaid website seemed to be closing out the phones at bargain prices.

To my surprise, new plans and new phones showed up on the Sprint Prepaid site yesterday. The new plan lineup is:

  • $45/month ($40 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 3 GB at high speeds.
  • $55/month ($50 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 5 GB at high speeds.
  • $65/month ($60 with autopay) - unlimited talk, messaging and unlimited high speed data. In common with other carrier's unlimited plans, the unlimited data has some limits: video streaming is degraded to 480p resolution, audio streaming is restricted to 500 Kbps, online gaming data is throttled to 2 Mbps, and hotspot, VPN and P2P data are throttled to 128 Kbps after the first 5 GB.
All plans include hotspot and 50 domestic roaming minutes per month.

For comparison, here's the old Sprint Prepaid lineup:

  • $35/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 1 GB at high speeds
  • $45/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 3 GB at high speeds
  • $55/month - unlimited talk, messaging and data with the first 6 GB at high speeds
Not only are the new plans not much better than the old ones, they are also inferior to comparable Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile plans. Virgin Mobile offers the equivalent of Sprint Prepaid's $55 5 GB plan for $20/month less. Boost's $50 plan is the same as Sprint Prepaid's $65 plan except that hotspot on Boost is throttled after 8 GB instead of 5 GB.

Sprint Prepaid's phone lineup includes a couple of Sprint's newest entry level phones, but no iPhones or
Android flagships. Currently available phones and prices are:

  • Alcatel ONETOUCH Retro flip phone $14.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime LTE Android phone $49.99
  • LG Tribute HD LTE Android phone $60.00
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge LTE Android phone $84.00
  • LG X Power LTE Android phone $108.00
  • LG Stylo 2 LTE Android phone $120.00
Sprint prepaid offers a family plan discount. The second line gets a $20 discount and the third though fifth lines each get a $10 discount. Family plan lines do not all have to be on the same plan. The first line is also eligible for the $5 autopay discount.

All in all, the new Sprint Prepaid seems as lackluster as the old. I suspect that it's been revived to serve its original purpose as something for Sprint stores to offer to to credit challenged customers. In fact one of the selling points for Sprint Prepaid is that customers who make 12 consecutive, on-time monthly payments can transfer to postpaid.

Source: Sprint Prepaid via PrepaidMobilePhoneReviews

24 comments:

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  1. Expected USER's Sprint Plan:

    includes domestic roaming call + text + data
    includes international roaming Canada + Mexico
    Group Save discount at least as Cricket

    $20 (with Autopay $15) - 1GB of data
    $30 (with Autopay $25)- 3GB of data
    $40 (with Autopay $35) - 8GB of data
    $50 (with Autopay $45) - Truly unlimited data without restrict.

    However, the new plans seem like trash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAKE news. You have to add a $25 monthly access charge, activation fee, monthly taxes and fees.

      Delete
    2. Not the least bit competitive. The Sprint unlimited plan is a huge downgrade from Cricket's... but at the same price!

      It's a total joke. Are they doing it for tax write off reasons?

      Delete
    3. Two anonymous, it said "Expected" User's wish. Read carefully and make a comment.

      Delete
  2. Am I wrong that these plans don't even beat Verizon prepaid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Objectively speaking, as the article states these plans don't even beat their own brands. It's as if Sprint thinks its name is worth an additional $5-10/month (plus taxes, fees, and surcharges) over the same service and same phones as Boost and Virgin.

      And for those that insist on using a flip phone, there are far better options out there.

      Delete
    2. "It's as if Sprint thinks its name is worth an additional $5-10/month (plus taxes, fees, and surcharges) over the same service and same phones as Boost and Virgin."

      That's an industry-wide practice. GoPhone costs more than Cricket. T-Mobile branded prepaid costs more than Metro PCS.

      Delete
    3. "GoPhone costs more than Cricket. T-Mobile branded prepaid costs more than Metro PCS."

      Worth noting that GoPhone has higher tower priority (so less latency) and significantly faster speeds than Cricket; and T-Mobile prepaid has somewhat higher speeds and lower latency than MetroPCS, as well as more capacity for roaming. So there's at least some value added for the higher prices with GoPhone and T-Mobile. I have no idea if the same is also true for Sprint.

      Delete
  3. "I doubt many Sprint Prepaid phones were ever sold or activated."

    I doubt many were activated on SPP, but I suspect many Moto E's and LG Volt's were activated on RingPlus and Freedompop. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought a new Sprint Prepaid Motoe a while back at Best Buy and I did indeed put it on Ringplus right away:)

      Delete
  4. Sprint is just doing anything at this point, three prepaid brands for no reason when they could just limit it to two or simply merge all into one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks like they add graduation program after 12 month converting to the postpaid plan. However, worthless even Sprint postpaid due to poor coverage and better choice of another prepaid carriers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sprint is caught in the loser mentality. They desperately need to do something radical to turn things around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe just die? I wouldn't use Sprint for FREE. Remember when they would give a year of unlimited everything for FREE to a college student who bought a phone full price through Best Buy? I was in undergraduate school then and chuckled pressing on PAYING another provider. I just can't believe that Softbank has dumped all the money they have into a dead horse.

      Delete
  7. Swing and a miss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bush league.

      Now, look for comments about how great this is... all from those who work in Sprint stores.

      Delete
  8. Ha ha...nothing left to be said that hasn't already been said in the comment section here. Poor network, poor pricing...feel bad for any poor, uneducated person getting on Sprint Prepaid or anything Sprint period. I'll keep my Cricket, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmm, I guess they don't want any Boost Mobile customers anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking at the poor network of Boost and it's uncompetitive pricing, I don't think they ever wanted Boost customers.

      Anyway, this offer is ridiculous and lousy. It's almost as if John legare launched this as a piece of fake news, or maybe Verizon to get back at Sprint for its current false advertising campaign.

      Delete
  10. Some of the comments prior to this one mention taxes fees and such added to the listed prepaid monthly bill. On these prepay phone plans there are no such items, but usually the buyer has to pay a local sales tax on month's bill. So 40 $ bill in a ten percent sales tax state would cost 44 $ for example, usually. But there are no other taxes or fees for Sprint system prepaid brands. There are, though, "Extras" one can buy with most or all of these systems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true, some states add 911 fees to prepaid, some add other special excise taxes to apply to prepaid just the same as postpaid. Some of these are a % tax, others ate a fixed per line amount/fee. States that don't charge all the fees for prepaid as they do on postpaid are working on it, NY is one of the most recent ones I am aware of.

      Delete
    2. True but point of sale taxes can be much higher than 10% in some cities, currently 19.7% in San Francisco and 17.5% in Chicago, for example. The Sprint prepaid brands are at a disadvantage compared to their chief competition, Cricket and MetroPCS, whose prices include all taxes, even sales taxes.

      Delete
  11. Sprint Prepaid - Introducing Sprint Forward new Single Line Plan 4GB/$40-month. Also Family Plans Mix and Match 3GB/$40-month and Unlimited/$65-month, up to five lines.

    ReplyDelete
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