Prepaid Faceoff: MetroPCS vs. Cricket Wireless



With the massive number of prepaid MVNOs and carrier options, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all and even harder to compare and decide which company is the right one for you. So, every once in a while we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two popular companies, comparing plans and services to help you better decide. Today, we’ll look at MetroPCS, a T-Mobile prepaid brand, and Cricket Wireless, an AT&T prepaid brand. It’s battle of the carrier brands! Here’s how they compare:

Plan Prices  Price range? What is included?

MetroPCS – Plans range from $30 – $60

MetroPCS offers both individual lines and mild $5 discounts for family plans. Currently, all plans include some form of 4G LTE. All plans renew on a monthly basis; there are no daily or pay-as-you-go options. Check out MetroPCS current plans here.

Cricket Wireless – Plans range from $25 – $60.

All plans include unlimited talk and text with a limited amount of high speed data. Plans priced at $40, $50 and $60 include unlimited low speed data. Cricket offers a $5 rebate on the $40, $50 and $60 plans if consumers sign up for auto pay. Cricket also tends to offer promotional discounts for multiple lines. Click here to view Cricket Wireless plans.

Unlimited Talk/Text  Is it offered? What is the lowest price?

MetroPCS – Yes, $30; includes 1 GB of data

Cricket Wireless – Yes, $40; includes 2.5 GB data (there is a $25 plan with no data for feature phones as well)

Data Ranges  What is the most and least data available?

MetroPCS – At the low end, MetroPCS offers 1 GB of data. MetroPCS claims “unlimited” data for their top tier, and data should be delivered at top speeds until around 21 GB, after which it will be de-prioritized (which is kind of similar to throttling but only during heavy use periods). MetroPCS also offers hotspots which are throttled after 6 GB of data. Users will be able to continue using data after they are throttled.

Cricket Wireless – For feature phones, Cricket has a plan that includes zero data. However, for smartphones, data ranges from 2.5 GB – 10 GB high speed. All plans include unlimited low speed, throttled data.

Pay-As-You-Go Rates  What are the pay-as-you-go per minute rates?

MetroPCS – N/A; MetroPCS does not have any pay-as-you-go options

Cricket Wireless – N/A (no pay-as-you-go option)

International Calling  What options are available? What does it cost?

MetroPCS – MetroPCS offers several international calling plans. One $5 add-on includes unlimited calling add texting both to and from Mexico. Service in Mexico is limited to select regions and data is not included. Another plan only includes unlimited international texting and call forwarding. MetroPCS also offers a $10 World Calling add-on which give unlimited calling to landlines in 75 countries plus limited minutes, texts and MB while roaming in select countries. This plan also offers 20 minutes of calling to Cuba. Read more about international add-ons here.

Cricket Wireless – Most plans include unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada as well as landline calling to select countries. Customers can also purchase a $5 or $15 add-on for more international options which may include an additional 35 countries, MMS and other features. Individual country add-ons are also available for $10 – $15. Click here to learn more.

Activation Fees  How much do they cost?

MetroPCS – no fee

Cricket Wireless – $25 one-time fee

BYOD  Can you activate your own device?

MetroPCS – Yes; Buy a SIM for $10

Cricket Wireless – Yes, as long as it’s GSM and unlocked

Network/Coverage  What network does it use?

MetroPCS – T-Mobile | Coverage Map

Cricket Wireless – AT&T | Coverage Map