Verizon Wireless is the largest cellular carrier in America, with over 100 million subscribers. In late 2010 they became the second U.S. carrier to launch an LTE network, and currently operate the nation's largest LTE network. Shortly thereafter they unveiled a $50 monthly prepaid plan.
Pros: Verizon prepaid offers not only pay-as-you-go and monthly prepaid plans, but it also offers its postpaid plans on a prepaid basis (with a small rate increase).
Cons: There is no straight pay-as-you-go option; the 10 cents per minute plan is on the 99 cents per day plan, which is very expensive.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.05 to $0.25
Verizon Wireless offers three different prepaid plans. The first costs 50 dollars per month and provides unlimited talk, text, and web for basic devices. The second is a smartphone plan that offers two choices. The 60 dollar plan offers unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of data. The 70 dollar plan increases that data limit to 2GB. The pay-as-you-go plan offers three different options. The basic rate is 25 cents per minute. For a fee of 99 cents per day that rate goes to 10 cents per minute, with calls to other Verizon customers for free. For $1.99 per day there are unlimited minutes.
Read more about Verizon Wireless plans
Customer Service: Customer service can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via email, a toll free number and from your Verizon prepaid cell phone without incurring airtime charges.
Free Nights: Unlimited available
Credit Check: None
Free Weekends: Unlimited available
Daily Access Fee: $0.99 to $3.99
Payment Options: Verizon pay as you go service allows you to pay via credit card or debit card auto pay, as well as allowing you to pay via credit card or debit card on their website. Additionally, you can make payments by phone or in person at Verizon Wireless stores or kiosks.
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messaging is unlimited with the 50, 60, and 70 dollar unlimited plans. The basic pay-as-you-go rate is 20 cents per text message and 25 cents per picture message. The 99 cent daily plan reduces that to 10 cents for text and 25 cents for picture, and the $1.99 daily plan reduces it to 2 cents per text and 25 cents per picture.
Data Plans: The 50 dollar unlimited plan includes unlimited mobile web. The 60 dollar smartphone plan includes 500MB of data, while the 70 dollar plan includes 2GB of data. For pay-as-you-go, mobile web costs 99 cents per day.
Downloads: Verizon offers every type of downloable you can imagine. Ringtones, music, wallpaper, IM, email, web, ringback, voice guided GPS navigator, games, applications, vcast (which allows you to watch streaming videos and TV) and more. Prices vary based on service and phone. Downloads are subject to a 99 cent download fee, which is assessed for the first download in any 24-hour period.
International Calling: Verizon allows international calling. Puerto Rico is not considered an international call. Verizon charges normal airtime rates for calls to Puerto Rico. International calling rates start at 29 cents per minute in additional to normal airtime charges. You'll need to check with customer service to get the rates of the country you plan to call prior to making international calls.
Text Messaging Available: Yes
Roaming Charges: Calls placed while roaming are charged an additional 69 cents per minute on top of regular airtime.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: Yes
Calling Features: Verizon includes 3-way calling, call forwarding, caller ID, and call waiting with all prepaid plans.
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: Yes
Activation Fee: There is an activation fee of up to 25 dollars to get started with service.
Nationwide Long Distance: Verizon treats nationwide long distance calls as they do regular calls. There are no additional charges for making long distance calls to the United States or Puerto Rico above normal airtime charges.
Unlimited Plan Available: Yes
411 Calls: Directory assistance calls are charged a fee of $1.49 per call in addition to normal airtime charges.
Earliest Minute Expiration: Minutes expire based on the denomination you purchase them in; $15 to $29.99 expires in 30 days, $30 to $74.99 expires in 60 days, $75 to $99.99 expires in 90 days, $100 and above expires in 365 days. If you refill your minutes before they expire and your existing balance will be carried forward.
911 Calls: Yes.
Phones: Verizon offers phones in a wide range of pricing and features. Feature phones are available for both monthly and daily plans, while smartphones, including BlackBerry devices, are available on the prepaid monthly plans.
Standard Calling Features: call waiting, caller ID, 3 way, call forwarding
Some Available Cell Models: Samsung Intensity ii (shown)
Cheapest Phone Model: varies