Prepaid Faceoff: H2O Wireless vs. Pure TalkUSA

h2o wireless logo


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 H2O Wireless and Pure TalkUSA, both AT&T MVNOs that have been around for a little while. Here’s how they compare:

Plan Prices  Price range? What is included?

H20 Wireless – Plans range from $30 – $65

All plans include unlimited talk, unlimited text, unlimited international text, unlimited international calling to select countries and international calling credit as well as limited high speed data which varies depending on the plan selected. Check out the plans here and here.

Pure TalkUSA – Plans range from $5 – $30

PureTalk is aimed at light users and includes limited talk and text designed for users who only need phones for emergencies. Data add-ons are available for all plans but are a little pricey. Check out the basic plans here.

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

H20 Wireless – Yes; $30 is the cheapest plan and also includes 500 MB of high speed data and $10 international calling credit

Pure TalkUSA – Yes, $30 is the cheapest plan which includes unlimited talk and text. 500 MB and 400 MMS

Data Ranges  What is the most and least data available?

H20 Wireless – All of H2o Wireless’ monthly plans include data. Data ranges from 500 MB to 3.5 GB, which is a little expensive as far as data goes. However, $35 and up plans all include unlimited throttled data once the high speed cap is reached. Data is throttled to 128 kbps.

Pure TalkUSA – The unlimited plans, which range from $30 – $45 all include small amounts of data (500 MB – 2 GB). Other plans can have data as an add-on, but it’s really expensive: $10 for 400 MB or $20 for 1 GB. Data is required to send MMS as well.

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

H20 Wireless – The per minute rate for all but the 30 day refill card are $0.05 per text/minute and $0.10 per MB/MMS. The 30 day refill card has the same per MB and MMS rate, but minutes and texts are charged at $0.025 per unit. All pay go plans include some international calling as well.

Pure TalkUSA – Pay-as-you-go is not supported

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

H20 Wireless – All monthly plans include unlimited international text and unlimited international calling to 50+ countries. Additionally, International talk credit is included with basically all plans. A per-minute rate is charged depending on the country called, and additional funds can be added. Learn more about it here.

Pure TalkUSA – Pure TalkUSA doesn’t include international calling as part of a plan, however customers can purchase an international calling card which functions basically the same as a regular calling card. International texting is available for select plans at the rate of $0.25 per message.

BYOD  Can you activate your own device?

H20 Wireless – Yes, provided the device is an unlocked or compatible GSM device

Pure TalkUSA – Yes, provided the devices is an unlocked or compatible GSM device

Network/Coverage  What network does it use?

H20 Wireless – AT&T | Coverage Map

Pure TalkUSA – AT&T | Coverage Map



  1. Franklin on December 21, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I decided that it would be best to keep the grand children off our Verizon account. An inexpensive month-to-month plan like H2O looked like what fit the bill. I got a phone and setup an H2O account for one grand child this past July. I just tried to add a second phone for another grand child for Christmas, but I could not “view my account” unless I responded to H2O with a code that could only be sent to the first grand child’s H2O cell phone. Now – when I setup the first account in July, I provided my cell phone number – which I was able to confirm is listed as the account’s contact phone number.
    After an hour on the phone and in the chat room, it was confirmed that H2O will not send the text “code” that is required for me to “see” my own account to other than one of the H2O numbers on the account. The contact number on the account is apparently decorative.
    The result is that instead of my monthly H2O bill going from $40 to $80 (that would be from $480 a year to $960 a year) it will go to zero, as I move both grand children over to an account I can manage.