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$50 Prepaid Unlimited Monthly Plan Now Available Directly from Verizon

Verizon Prepiad has quietly expanded the availability of their $50 Monthly Unlimited Smartphone Plan. The plan includes unlimited domestic talk and messaging, unlimited text messaging to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico and 1 GB of data.

The $50 Plan originally launched in August, 2013 as a Walmart exclusive. Users could only activate or switch to the $50 plan by purchasing a special $50 airtime card at a Walmart store or online at Walmart.com. Today I discovered that the $50  smartphone plan is now showing as available on the Verizon Website. It's labeled as "Limited Time Offer" and according to the site is available online and at Verizon Wireless stores.

If you need more than 1 GB of data, Verizon charges 5¢/MB for overages or you can purchase an extra 1 GB for $20. If you use more than 1 GB per month on a regular basis you would be better off with one of Verizon's other smartphone plans which include more data; $60/month for 2 GB or $70/month for 4 GB.

Updated: Verizon Prepaid Adds 1 GB Smartphone Plan and Unlimited Texting to Mexico
Verizon and Verizon MVNO Prepaid Plans Compared
Prepaid Operator Profile: Verizon

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  1. Wow Verizon, you're really competing in the prepaid market (sarcasm intended). Seriously, their postpaid $60 promo plan is better than this plan because you get LTE, phone subsidy, and free domestic roaming.

    1. Verizon doesn't need to compete with Wal-Mart mobile-AT&T.

    2. Mark L:

      I disagree with your views. Having spent over 2 years with Virgin Mobile (Moto Triumph) and 5+ years on Verizon Prepaid (basic flip phone) to Verizon post-paid on a 2-year contract with a 32GB iPhone 5S, I think you are missing a few key facts:

      1) With LTE, you get fast data transmission, but your monthly allowance of data stays the same. Without a large bucket of data, LTE loses a lot of its advantages. I am on the 450 min plan with 2 GB of data ($70 a month) and 2 GB of data translates into about 66 MB of data a day. Usually, by the middle of the month, I dis-enable the LTE to stay on 3G since I use data too fast on LTE. With 66 MB of data per day, I can't watch videos, I have to limit my web-surfing since the pop-up ads, large websites, etc just eat into my daily data allowance -- what good is LTE in this scenario? And, I don't want to pay $20 a month extra to increase my data bucket: (a) 5 GB or (b) 4 GB with hotspot.

      2) Phone subsidy benefits are illusionary due to ETF. Since I got a $450 discount over 2 year, it comes out to $18+ a month in subsidies. However, if I terminate my contract early, the real benefit is $10 a month reduction against my ETF. So unless you can keep the phone for the entire 2-year contract, the subsidy benefits are greatly exaggerated. The truth about ETF is that they never fully amortize over the life of the 2-year contract to $0 since it's $350 at the getco and $10 a month over 24 months only amortizes $240 of the ETF (if you do go the full 24 months, there is no ETF).

      Here are some facts you overlooked:
      A. The data overage charges on the $60 promo plan is NOT cheap.
      B. Most people can buy top-up cards for the Verizon Prepaid Plan at a sizable discount, 5% with Target red card and as much as 15% when Target discounts the top-up card combined with red card. At 15% discount, a $50 prepaid plan is reduced to $42.50 a month.
      C. Post paid plans have fees and taxes. My current $70 bill comes out to $78 after everything.
      D. Based on "B" and "C", the actual monthly difference between post-paid and prepaid gets larger and favors the prepaid plan.


    3. Anonymous,

      While I appreciate your response, I think you are missing some important factors for choosing either plan (prepaid vs postpaid).

      First off, LTE does NOT use more data. You are the one that uses more data because the connection is faster and more efficient, therefore you are doing more browsing.

      Secondly, neither prepaid or postpaid data overages are cheap. While postpaid is more, you are also getting LTE. Which opens up to another point you are missing, which is the limited phone selection for 3G phones that can work on Verizon Prepaid or MVNOs. With LTE, you get access to newer phones. Presently, the only smartphone that is decent would be the Moto G.

      Thirdly, a Target discount isn't exactly fair game to use in a price comparison as not everyone can get (or wants) a Target charge card. Yes, on prepaid you can browse around and find discounts, which is something that I do. However, I'm not naive enough to believe that those discounts or lack of sales tax will last forever. In fact, there is legislation to implement a federal sales tax on all online purchases.

      Here's what you are missing from the 10-15$ difference in price:
      -Domestic roaming at no extra cost.
      -Again, phone subsidy. You can get a high end phone with the subsidy.
      -Domestic data roaming. On Verizon prepaid, you only get talk/text roaming.
      -Better phone selection.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of killing phone subsidies and the postpaid model. But, I think your argument that Verizon's recent prepaid plan addition is superior to the postpaid $60 promo is a bit of a stretch. If Verizon offered LTE and a better phone selection on its Prepaid division, then I'd totally agree with you. Right now, this new plan is a mediocre deal.


    4. Mark L:

      1. It is a known fact that LTE consumes more data than 3G -- for example, Verizon executives commented on it when rolling out LTE. Under the user agreement with Verizon, the user is **responsible** for all data transmission. The rest of us have had **fat finger** mistakes, or inadvertently hit a wrong link (since these screens are small), etc. Verizon will bill us for the entire data if you accidentally hit a video link even if you do not watch the video. If you abort under 3G speed when you realize your mistake, it's not that costly. With super fast LTE speeds, kiss your data good-bye.

      2. The better phone selection is a non-issue as the buyer knows that is a limitation of Verizon prepaid. The Moto G is a nice addition at $100 to the line up and you have the option of (albeit dated) BYOD.

      3. Data is much cheaper on prepaid since: (a) you have flexiblity to change your plan from $50 to $70, (b) Dennis points out that an extra 1 GB is $20, and (c) for the $60 post paid plan, it's $15 per marginal 500 MB.

      4. You are a bit myopic on the topic of discounts. If you don't want to use Target red card (where I loaded my prepaid account to $400 before switching to post paid), you have other options: (a) $5 credit/month for autopay for $60 and $70 prepaid plans, (b) top up cards at times also go on sale at Walmart or other retailers, or (c) use Dennis' recommendation of Callingmart.com when they run specials, e.g. 7% on Verizon.

      For me, after spending 5 months on Verizon post-paid, I am thinking about going back on Verizon prepaid to save money. I will probably go with 2 devices: Moto G at $50/month and convert my iPhone 5S to Walmart's TMobile $30 plan once I get confirm it is in fact 5 GB at LTE for $30/month.


    5. @MarkLangr

      LTE is great for speed. BUT LTE USES MORE DATA. look at news reports that say LTE has increased data usage. as a practical matter, LTE will suck your data allotment dry quicker where you have to pay for more data. but that's the idea from a business perspective to give people something bigger faster etc and make them keep paying for more.

    6. This is what I believe...

      The PEOPLE who use LTE consume more data than the people who use 3G.

      LTE technology itself does not consume more data than 3G. If you watch a video via LTE, you consume the same amount of data as those who watch it via 3G. The same amount of data.

      It is inaccurate to say that LTE uses more data than 3G.

      It is accurate to say that most users of LTE consume more data than 3G users.

      Personally, if I had LTE on my phone I'd turn it off. Not because of fear of consuming too much data, but because LTE is a battery hog. 3G is plenty fast for my meager data needs.

  2. Lame!! Boost Mobile is a much better option with 4G LTE and shrinking payments.

    1. Sprint non roaming network is the downside.

    2. I had service with Virgin Mobile with the Triumph at $25 (currently $35) a month for over 2 years. I got fed up with the slow Sprint 3G service along with their distaste adaptive protocol on videos. It was so hard to consume over 1.2 to 1.3 GB of data each month; most of the time, my patient ran out around 600 to 900 MB.

      I won't mind Republic Wireless since you get so much more for less each month and the fact that wifi is pretty much everywhere in large cities.

  3. Verizon is competing with Straight Talk with ST own phones or the BYOP for CDMA verizon coverage. $50 with tax unlimited every thing with 2.5 Gb of Data included.

  4. Verizon is continuing its slow, gradual and conservative approach to prepaid because it works for them. Four years ago, they didn't have smartphones or byod. . They've incrementally changed a lot of things so that though they are not on the cutting edge, they aren't really lagging either (except for the whole no lte second class citizenship it gives prepaid and roaming of course) . It's better then before but other lesser network coverage carriers will offer you more for your money but that's worth it only if their coverage is at least equal to Verizon prepaid in the user's local market.

  5. Verizon CEO said last year that Verizon's 3G network is a cash cow for them at this point. Dennis. Why do prepaid customer's think Verizon owes them cheap LTE data? This is a business for Verizon and Verizon shareholders.

    Where I live you need a phone on Verizon to get coverage in and out of city limits. So having cheap 3G plans on Verizon network is my only choice. T-Mobile, Boost, Virgin Mobile phones are useless in the places I go for work. I have never used AT&T where I live but there coverage map has white where Verizon has coverage.

  6. HOFO ID Grateful4adviceFebruary 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    Republic Wireless uses the Sprint network. Data is extremely slow. My wife only stays with RW because she is on Wi-Fi most of the time. We used Boost previously and don't notice a difference in speed. If Virgin is too slow, RW will be no improvement. I lack confidence in RW's LTE plan @$45/month + taxes but have never tried it. RW claims their customers roam on Verizon free. In 18 months my wife has never once roamed on Verizon with her dual band Motorola Defy XT.

    1. Thank you for that feedback. That is very helpful. I am going to cross off RW from my list.

      I have a Sprint tower 3 blocks from my home so if I walk 300 feet from my apartment to an unobstructed place, my data speeds on my Virgin Mobile Triumph jumps from 300 - 600 kbps download to 1.0 to 1.2 mbps. That plus the wifi calling were the only reasons I would even consider RW.

  7. Saving $80 on moto G vs GSM moto and no tax and 10-15% off on air time with Verizon coverage sounds not that bad. What are V 3g speeds ??

    1. The theoretical maximum speed for Verizon's EVDO Rev A 3G is 3.1 Mbps. Real world average speed is about 800 Kbps.

    2. that's hideous - No deal.

  8. Hey Dennis. Does Verizon prepaid still lack 4G LTE?

  9. I just called Verizon Wireless about the $45 limited time offer, unlimited TnT with 250mb/month. They said there is a two-year contract required, and I do get a phone subsidy. So my area has 14.3% taxes and fees, total about $52/month. After I subtract what I would have to pay separately for an iPhone 5S, $27.15/month, I would only pay about $25/month for unlimited TnT plus 250mb/month. I can switch back and forth between the $45 and $60 plans during the contract period until I find the one that works best for my data needs. I get LTE service.
    To me, this is a much better deal than the $50/month prepaid plan that does not supply LTE. $25-$40/month, plus $8/month for the $200 phone payment, vs. $50/month for prepaid. It is also much better than the AT&T $45/month plan, where you have to buy the phone at list price or bring your own. Am I missing something here (besides the data allocation differences)?

    1. No $35 activation fee if you order by phone. Not clear whether you also get the $100/new smartphone line as a bill credit after 60 days of service. That would be nice.

    2. If you can sell your current phone on Swappa, the net benefits with the Verizon promo postpaid plans look even better.

    3. This Vzw limited promotion is better overall than prepaid if:
      1. You know you will need unlimited TnT for the next 2 years;
      2. You want a new phone;
      3. You can usually live with up to 500 MB/month on the $45 plan; and
      4. The data allocations of 1 GB works for you most months on the $60 postpaid plan. If you have to buy extra data many months at $15 per 500 MB, the $60 plan could be significantly more expensive than prepaid with 3G service ($50 or $60/month):

      1. Prepaid 1 GB/month: $50/month plus $650 + 5% tax for new phone = $1883 over 2 years.
      2. Postpaid 250 MB/month: avg $55/month w/tax over 2 years +$200 +$10 tax for phone down payment = $1530 over 2 years. Possible $100 bill credit in mo. 3. Buy extra 250 MB of LTE data for $15 as needed: $1890 for 500 MB/month over 2 years.
      3. Postpaid 1 GB/month: avg $72/month w/tax over 2 years +$210 for phone D.P. = $1938 over 2 years. (+$2/month for newer 4G phones, LTE, data and voice roaming, etc.)

    4. "After I subtract what I would have to pay separately for an iPhone 5S, $27.15/month, I would only pay about $25/month for unlimited TnT plus 250mb/month."

      I am sorry to advise you but your view is not correct. I am not an expert on Verizon's Edge program, but the main benefits of Edge are: (a) lower initial payment on the phone -- for the iPhone 5S, it's $27.15 ($650 / 24 months), (b) upgrade to a new device after 30 days AND you have pay half of the phone cost, and (c) you MUST turn in your **old** phone for the **new** phone. Because of (c), it's not considered a subsdy since you will NOT keep your old phone. Therefore, you should not be subtracting the $27.15 from each month's phone bill. That $27.15 savings is illusionary, and we know that to be true is because if you don't upgrade, then you have instead paid the entire cost of the phone of $650. Your bill will include the $27.15 monthly amount to your $45 or $60 monthly plan.

      In contrast, the standard post paid plan on a 24-month contract IS a subsidy since the iPhone 5S costs $199 at signing, and the $450 savings is prorated over the remaining 24 months. If you cancel the contract, you pay the ETF but you KEEP the phone.

      In summary: Under Edge, you are paying for the cost of the phone each month but DO NOT keep the phone when you upgrade. Verizon's Edge program was created in response to Tmobile's Jump. Please search the web for details on why Edge (or Jump) are inferior plans for some people. In life, you don't get something for nothing, especially from Verizon.

      Notwithstanding the aforementioned comments, Verizon is currently running a $100 promotion for its Edge program.

    5. "I am sorry to advise you but your view is not correct."
      Allow me to explain my view, since you assume that I was referring to Edge, and other people may also be confused.
      With the $45 and $60 plans, we can get a new, subsidized phone by signing a 2-year contract. That phone has value. At the end of the contract, we keep the phone. I subtracted the price of the phone, divided by 24 to estimate the net cost of the phone service, for comparison to the Verizon prepaid plans. To adjust for the down payment in my example, I added back $8/month, the up-front $200 divided by 24. The postpaid plan still costs less per month ($33-$48), and you do not have to pay all the phone price up front like you would on prepaid.

  10. Verizon is 10 cents short of a dollar in the prepaid game. I never seen a company so stingy with LTE, hell even AT&T with their nickle and diming has LTE on prepaid. Verizon prices are so 2010 prices. But if your an individual who is not a heavy data user then Verizon is prepaid is for you and if Verizon is the only carrier that have good reception then this plan is for you. But I feel the prices should be more competitive.

    1. Verizon doesn't need to compete , they just added 1.5 million postpaid customers last quarte vs AT&T 's 500k.Verizon's network talks the talk.

    2. Verizon needs to compete. They are responding to AT&T's price cuts, and to a lessor extent trying to slow defections to T-Mobile. Verizon't 3G network is about one third the speed of AT&T and one fourth the speed of T-Mobile's HSPA+ networks. HSPA+ is a great backup to LTE for those two.

  11. Tmobile's network is about 5x smaller than Verizon's.

  12. Let's see...I have two verizon iphone 5. I need about 1gb data and unlimited talk and text.
    1st choice: Take this offer at $50 per month and both lines will cost me $300 for the three months.
    2nd choice: Sign up with blackwireless.com and use the buy 2 get 1 month free offer. I'll get unlimited talk and text and 1gb of data. Total cost for both lines for the same 3 months: $160

    That's a $140 savings over Verizon.

    Granted this scenario is for those who have verizon phones that can work on gsm.

    1. Over a year, you could save $144 or $344 by signing up for the Verizon promo postpaid plan for $60/month and selling your old iPhone 5 phones. Get two new iPhone 5C for $200, then pay $60/month plus tax (say, $69 x 2) with no activation fees. Maybe get $100 bill credit x 2 in month 3 for your 2 new smartphone lines. Sell your phones on Swappa for $800. Enjoy the 4G LTE, data roaming, etc.

  13. Is the glass ceiling "cracking" at Verizon Wireless? With Verizon Communications just about to complete the purchase of it's joint venture partner Vodafone for the remainder of Verizon Wireless it doesn't already own (45%), the senior leadership team at Verizon Wireless has been busy this month lowering the cost of postpaid plans.

    For the 2014 President's Day Holiday Weekend, Verizon Wireless is waiving the $35.00 per line activation fee and is offering a $45.00 per month unlimited voice and text plan, plus 250mb of 4G LTE data.

    Of course, the $45.00 monthly rate requires either a 2-year contract, with a $350.00 termination fee (declines $10.00 for each month the line is in service) or month-to-month (no contract) with a Verizon BYO device.

    Supposedly, the $45.00 plan also qualifies for the $100.00 to $300.00 rebate (via a Verizon Wireless gift card) when you turn in any functioning smartphone device and order a new smartphone device (on contract).

    As compared to U.S.-owned and operated Selectel and other Verizon MVNO's, Verizon Wireless is going to add the bevy of required to be collected taxes (amount depends on your location) and the NOT required to be collected Administrative Charge and Regulatory Charge, which in other words just pads Verizon's pockets above and beyond the $45.00 monthly charge for this rate plan.

    I'm surprised, but as of the time that I write this, Verizon Wireless is offering a number of 4G LTE devices that can be had for free, some for .99c, and most under $99.00, but they all require a 24 month/2 year contract that can be used with the $45.00 plan.

    The negative in terms of comparative shopping, the $45.00 plan is not available online, and can only be ordered either over the phone through Verzion Wireless or by going into a Verizon Wireless store.

    In addition, no corporate discounts can be used or applied to or for the $45.00 plan.

    The plan is so new, Verizon Wireless has not had the time to even update their website so that you can order the plan on-line.

    In my opinion and analysis, the $45.00 plan offer by Verizon Wireless is not a competitive response to Selectel, Page Plus, Net 10, Straight Talk or for that matter any other Verizon Wirless MVNO, but it's squarely taking aim at T-Mobile.

    Plan Information:

    Verizon Wireless: (800) 465-4091


  14. I have the Wal-Mart $50 prepaid 'm assuming its the same as this one. I tried to pay with a credit card through the My Verizon app and put in $50 for the payment but it told me that unfortunately the payment didn't go through to dial 611.

    I dialed 611 and through there it ended charging me $54 and some change something about a 911 fee. I thought prepaid had no hidden charges. How much are you guys paying for your Verizon prepaid plan?

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