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Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

Visible Speed Test LTE Galaxy S20+
Visible Speed Test LTE Galaxy S20+ (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Both Visible and Cricket Wireless are low-cost, pre-paid MVNO carriers that leverage their larger networks to give subscribers affordable, reliable wireless service. They've each been identified as some of the best prepaid phone plans out there today. With no stores, no annual contracts, and no surprises on your bill, these wireless carriers are made for anyone who wants great coverage without the commitment.

Verizon's Visible is perfect for anyone who wants the satisfaction of having unlimited data, 5G access, and unlimited hotspot data. At the same time, AT&T's Cricket is better suited for families, travelers, or those who want more plan options to customize their experience.

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: What kind of service do you need?

Visible keeps things very simple but its simplicity is also its downfall if you need more than basic service. Visible excels at delivering high-speed data, calls, and text but falls short when it comes to international travel or multi-line savings. Even so, with Visible's Party Pay savings, it still has one of the cheapest plans around competing with much more expensive plans.

Cricket has a more traditional layout with four main plans starting with a 5GB and a 10GB data plan. The 10GB plan also gets minor multi-line discounts and an auto-pay discount. Moving up to unlimited, Cricket's cheaper unlimited plan keeps things simple and will prove to be the sweet spot for many families that need a lot of data but want to save on service.

VisibleCricket Wireless
NetworkVerizonAT&T
International callingYes (Canada/Mexico)Yes (for an extra $5 per month)
RoamingNoYes
Mexico and Canada DataNoIncluded with Cricket More and Cricket Core unlimited plans
Hotspot dataUnlimited (capped at 5Mbps)15GB with Cricket More unlimited plan
5G accessYes (capped at 200Mbps)Nationwide 5G on all plans
Video stream quality480p480p

Cricket also allows you to roam in Mexico and Canada for up to 50% of your usage. If you're a traveler or have family abroad, then this is definitely something you might be interested in. It's also important to note that Cricket's prices drop when you add more lines, making it almost as affordable as Visible (though still more expensive).

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Visible's plan

Visible SIM card Galaxy S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Visible offers one simple plan at $40 per month with unlimited data, calling and texting, and great coverage thanks to Verizon's expansive 4G LTE and 5G network. With no contract, commitment, or extra fees, Visible is a great deal for anyone who wants a lot of data and wants to connect to Verizon's nationwide 5G network—as long as your phone is compatible.

You'll also be able to tap into unlimited hotspot data at a speed cap of 5Mbps, which should suffice for activities like SD video streaming, browsing, Spotify, and social media. Though $40 is a good deal as is, you can cut costs even further with Party Pay. By adding 4 lines to your Visible "party," each line's monthly cost (paid separately) goes down to as little as $25 per month, making this plan a great option for families, roommates, or friends.

With a Visible plan, you can call Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but that's it when it comes to international calling. And because roaming isn't supported on Visible and there's no access to Verizon's 3G towers, it's really not an ideal plan if you're someone that travels abroad frequently or goes on road trips through rural areas. Visible is a solid plan if you live in the U.S. and already have good Verizon coverage, so be sure to check out its coverage map before making any decisions.

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Cricket's plans

Cricket Wireless uses AT&T's huge 4G LTE and 5G network with four plans available. The two smaller data plans come in at 5GB and 10GB. One thing to keep in mind is that the 10GB plan gets multi-line and auto-pay discounts that the 5GB plan does not so at three lines, the cost is the same for 5GB and 10GB. Perhaps more interestingly though, at three lines, you could go up to the Unlimited Core plan for the same price.

If you want to get the most out of Cricket, Unlimited More is the way to go. It's pricey at $60 per month for a single line but the price comes down pretty quickly with multiple lines. Still, with this plan, your data is upgraded to premium data meaning it will have priority over other Cricket customers. You also get 15GB of hotspot data to share with other devices. Last but not least, this plan comes with ad-supported HBO Max.

CategoryCricket MoreCricket CoreCricket 10GBCricket 5GB
DataUnlimited (premium)Unlimited10GB5GB
Hotspot15GBAdd-on availableNoneNone
Mexico and Canada UsageIncludedIncludedNoneNone
International text37 countries37 countriesNoneNone
5G accessNationwide 5GNationwide 5GNationwide 5GNationwide 5G
Streaming resolution480p480p480p480p
ExtrasHBO Max (with ads)
Single line price$60$55$40$30
Four-line price (per line)$33$25$28$30

You should check Cricket's coverage map to make sure it will work in your area, though each Cricket plan comes with roaming. This is especially useful if you travel frequently. And if you travel abroad, there are clear advantages to both of Cricket's unlimited data plans (Cricket More and Cricket Core), including unlimited international texting to 37 countries and service in Canada and Mexico—although Canada usage must be less than 50 percent of overall usage.

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

There's no denying that Visible is one of the best MVNO carriers available today. With Verizon's network, unlimited data, 5G connectivity, and unlimited hotspot data, it's hard to beat such a great plan — and for only $40 a month! If you live in the U.S. and have great Verizon coverage, then there's really no reason why you shouldn't opt for Visible. The deal gets even better if you take advantage of Party Pay, which brings your cost down as low as $25 per month.

Cricket is a lot stronger when it comes to international features so if you're a traveler, it may be a simpler fit. Still, if you're an infrequent traveler, grabbing some data on a travel SIM or signing up for something like Google Fi temporarily may prove to be a better option with Visible.

Ultimately both carriers are strong choices but when it comes to saving money and unlimited data Visible comes out on top. Cricket's top plan is worth it if you're looking for a family plan and can sign up for at least two lines. This brings the cost down to $45 per month, or as low as $33 per month if you have 4 lines—making it easily comparable to Visible's $25 per month with Party pay.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.