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The majority of Americans have signed up for one of the three major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless. However, there are many other options available to US Cellular customers who are looking for a deal. These low-cost carriers, also known as MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), piggyback on major networks and can offer lower prices, particularly for individuals who don't want to be part of a family plan.
Low-cost brands are available from all major carriers. It is worth looking into their offers. Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T. Metro is currently owned by T-Mobile. Visible is owned by Verizon. These brands offer excellent customer service and a broad selection of stores. They should be your first stop for shopping. When appropriate, we'll include them in the following.
Pay attention to the reputation of other brands and their enabling networks for customer service. Some MVNOs allow you to choose from multiple enabling networks while others are limited to one. Google's Project Fi uses T-Mobile's and US Cellular networks interchangeably on certain phones. However, for all other devices, you must choose the network when you purchase your prepaid SIM card.
To give you the best value, we've sorted our picks based on how much you plan to spend each month. There may be a plan that suits your needs on any of the three major networks. Check out our rankings for the Fastest Mobile Networks (the USA and Canada) to find the best service near you.