Can you use an iPhone on an AT&T prepaid plan?

In a world filled with expensive wireless plans and unforgiving multi-year phone contracts, prepaid phone plans are becoming more popular. AT&T's answer to all this is GoPhone. And here's how to GoPhone with iPhone!

How do you use my iPhone on GoPhone?

You need to make sure your iPhone is unlocked. The you can buy a GoPhone SIM card, pop it into your iPhone and boom! You are off to the races!

SIM Card? Ummmmm....?

Okay! Basics:

One more: Unlocked phone?

When you buy an iPhone — or almost any phone — from most major carriers, they "lock" it to their network. That way you can't use it anywhere else and they get to keep your business and your money. That's fine when you're on-contract or paying off the phone. When your contract is done, though, and you're finished paying your phone off, leaving it locked limits your options.

So, an unlocked phone is either a full-price phone that you bought and was never locked to any specific carrier, or a phone you've paid off and gotten unlocked by the carrier.

How do I get my iPhone unlocked?

You can always go to your current carrier and request them to unlock your phone for you. Lots of companies have very strict rules about who qualifies to get unlocked. And, even if you meet their requirements they may still try to say no.

What's so good about GoPhone?

Prepaid plans - like all phone plans - have their pros and cons.

Pros

  • No Contract: No need to worry about being stuck in a multi-year contract.
  • No Credit Check: This can be especially helpful if you need a cell phone but have bad credit.
  • Often cheaper: Since you aren't paying for the device itself the plan is often cheaper.

Cons

  • A la carte features: Some features are completely separate from the standard Go Phone plans offered.
  • Less data available: Even on the most expensive Go Phone plan, you only get 5GB of data a month.
  • Have to re-fill account: Unlike a normal plan you won't get billed each month, you pay in advance, and if you forget, you will be left without service.

What plans does AT&T offer for GoPhone?

There are three main plans for Go Phone that a breakdown by price per month. We will start with the cheapest and work our way up.

$30/month plan

  • Unlimited Talk & Text in the U.S.
  • Unlimited Messaging to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 countries

Those are all that comes with the $30 plan. However, you can get data for an extra five dollars per 100 MB used. 100 MB is almost nothing, and if you use data often, you aren't going to want this plan.

$45/month plan

  • Unlimited Talk & Text in the U.S.
  • Unlimited Messaging to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 countries
  • High-Speed Data Access 2GB a month
  • Rollover Data

Rollover Data means that any leftover data from your 2 GB a month you didn't use will automatically rollover to the next month. So if you used 1 GB in October, that means in November you will have 3 GB to use.

$60/month plan

  • Unlimited Talk & Text in the U.S.
  • Unlimited Messaging to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 countries
  • High-Speed Data Access 5 GB a month
  • Rollover Data
  • Unlimited Talk & Text from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada
  • Includes Talk, Text & Data usage in Mexico and Canada

While it's the most expensive plan, the $60/month plan is especially good if calling or travelling to Canada and Mexico is a priority for you.

Are you using an unlocked iPhone and GoPhone on AT&T? If so, let me know how it's working out for you!