Straight Talk is a smaller carrier that is powered by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The benefit of choosing a smaller carrier like Straight Talk is that their plans are generally less expensive, although there aren’t as many options. However, with nationwide coverage provided by the major players in the wireless game, you won’t be without service often. There are a few more perks to choosing Straight Talk:
Let’s Talk Tip: Unlike many other carriers, there isn’t an activation fee to get your service started
- There are no contracts, so you can come and go as you please.
- There are no credit checks which means you’re free to have the phone and service you want, as long as you stay up to date on payments.
- You can buy your phone through monthly installments.
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Prepaid Straight Talk Plans
Straight Talk plans are only prepaid, which means you will pay for your service beforehand. There are several plans to choose from, all of which have unlimited talk and text. The only thing you need to decide is how much data you want each month. Depending on how much data you use, there are a few levels to choose from with the maximum being unlimited.
Straight Talk Offers a Discount for Enrollment iN automatic Payments
Straight Talk Plans Compared
|Unlimited with 25GB||Ultimate Unlimited||Unlimited International|
|ata Speed||4G LTE (with 4G LTE compatible device and SIM)||4G LTE (with 4G LTE compatible device and SIM)||4G LTE (with 4G LTE compatible device and SIM)|
|Data Prioritization||After 25GB, data speeds slow to 2G||After 60GB, account may be reviewed||After 25GB, data speeds slow to 2G|
|Domestic Texts and Calls||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|International||Extra $10/month for calling||Extra $10/month for calling||Unlimited calls to Mexico, China, India, and Canada + 1,000 international landlines|
|Roaming||No roaming charges in U.S.||No roaming charges in U.S.||No roaming charges in U.S.|
|Full Details||Straight Talk Prepaid Plans|
Once you’re a Straight Talk customer, you can enroll in their free rewards program. Each time you renew your plan you’ll automatically earn points which you can use towards international calling, extra data each month, or even months worth of free service. You will also receive discounts to select local restaurants or activities.
If you’re running low on high-speed data, you can add on data whenever you need it. No worries if you don’t wind up using the extra data; it will roll over to the next month.
If you need to make calls to other countries, you can also add global calling to your plan. Depending on which country you’re calling, rates are as low as $0.01/minute. Again, if you don’t use all the minutes available with this add-on, it will roll over to the next month.
Family Straight Talk Plans
Straight Talk does not currently offer family plans. Because of that, they are a great carrier if you’re just looking for a single-line plan. There are plenty of other carriers that offer family plans for great prices.
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Straight Talk Phones
There a few ways you can get your hands on Straight Talk phones:
- Through the SmartPay program
- Buy a phone outright
- Bring your own phone
Straight Talk’s SmartPay plan is a lease-to-own program. Once you pick the phone you want to use, you will make monthly payments to lease it. After 15 or 24 payments, you will then own your phone.
SmartPay is run by an independent company, which operates separately from Straight Talk
To Qualify for SmartPay you must:
- Be 18 years old (or older) and have a social security number
- Have a minimum monthly income of $1,000 (before taxes)
- Have a credit or debit card for an upfront payment
- Have a Straight Talk service plan
With this payment option, you’ll undergo a credit check and provide a down payment for the phone. With SmartPay, you will also be enrolled in an electric payment plan, so when your bill is due each month it will come out of your debit account automatically.
If you want to leave Straight Talk before your leasing period is up, you’ll need to pay off the phone in full if you want to take it with you—otherwise, you’ll need to return it. There are no fees for paying your phone off early or canceling your plan.
Buy Outright and Trade-ins
If you don’t want to lease a phone from Straight Talk, you can always buy it outright. To avoid paying full price, look for Straight Talk deals where you can buy a discounted phone with the purchase of a new service plan.
If you have an older phone you can trade it in to save money on a new phone. Straight Talk will give you a check for the fair market value of the phone, and you can use that towards the purchase of a new device.
Save money and bring your own phone or trade your phone in for store credit
Bring Your Own Phone
If you already have a phone, I have some good news for you—because Straight Talk operates on all major networks, nearly all smartphones are compatible with this carrier.
Once you’ve confirmed your phone is compatible and unlocked, all you need to do is choose a Straight Talk plan and get a SIM card.