Virgin Mobile has streamlined its cell phone service, offering just one plan and one type of phone — the iPhone.
If you’re in the market for a new iPhone and willing to pay full price, Virgin’s new unlimited plan is worth a look. But first, double-check whether the carrier’s sometimes lackluster coverage and data speeds work for you.
AT A Glance
- Only available plan is $50 a month
- Notables: Must purchase a compatible iPhone via Virgin Mobile or an Apple store; operates on Sprint’s network
Virgin Mobile cell phone plans
Virgin Mobile offers just one plan: unlimited talk, text and high-speed data for $50 per month. There are a few caveats, though:
- You have to sign up for automatic payments.
- You must buy a compatible iPhone, either through Virgin’s website or via an Apple store. Compatible models include the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6 and 7 series.
- Video streaming is limited to standard definition. Music streaming and gaming are also “optimized” for mobile and will play at a lower quality.
- Data speeds are slowed if you use more than 23 gigabytes during a given billing cycle. They may also be slowed during peak times.
Virgin Mobile’s network
Of course, what matters is whether you get service, not how well a network performs overall. Talking to friends and family who use Sprint in your area is usually the easiest way to discover whether Virgin will work for you.
How Virgin Mobile compares on price
|1GB or less||2-4GB||5-7GB||8-10GB||Unlimited|
|*Republic Wireless customers pay $15 for unlimited talk and text. Data is billed at a rate of $5 per gigabyte.|
|AT&T GoPhone||$35 (talk and text only)||$45 (6GB)||$65|
|Boost Mobile||$35 (3GB)||$50|
|Cricket Wireless||$25 (talk and text only)||$30 (2GB)||$40 (5GB)||$60|
|MetroPCS||$30 (2GB)||$40 (5GB)||$50|
|Republic Wireless*||$15 (talk, text and Wi-Fi)|
|Sprint prepaid||$45 (4GB)||$65|
|Straight Talk Wireless||$30 (1,500 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB data)||$35 (2GB)||$45 (10GB)||$55|
|T-Mobile prepaid||$45 (4GB)||$55 (6GB)||$75|
|Verizon prepaid||$30 (talk and text only)||$40 (3GB)||$50 (7GB)||$60 (10GB)||$80|
NerdWallet has partnered with BillShark, a company that can help save you money by renegotiating your bills for you. If BillShark determines that you’re already getting the best rates, there’s no cost to you. See if you can save up to 25% on your cell phone bill.
Stephen Layton is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Aug. 2, 2017.