Visible vs. Verizon prepaid: Which carrier should you get?

Comparing Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid can be quite interesting, as both are prepaid carriers owned and operated by Verizon. That being said, the two have quite a lot of differences in terms of plans, device compatibility, and more. So, if you want to join a flexible carrier on a budget, which of these two should you go for? This is what we're here to help you with.

Visible currently offers two plans, both of which give you unlimited data with access to Verizon's 5G network infrastructure, unlimited mobile hotspot (at 5/10Mbps), and spam protection. If you want extras like international calling, texting, roaming service in Mexico or Canada, or even 'Ultra-Wideband' 5G access, the higher Visible Plus plan is going to be a better fit. Visible also includes taxes and fees in all its prices, so what you see is what you pay. Moreover, you also have the option to pay for a full year of service in advance and save even more.

Verizon Prepaid, on the other hand, offers a more traditional range of services with a total of four offerings. These include plans having just everything from just talk and text, to full Ultra-Wideband 5G access. Among Verizon Prepaid's biggest draws are its loyalty discounts that can bring your bill down over time, with nine months of service giving you maximum discounts. While the top plan of Verizon Prepaid isn't that much different from Visible Plus in terms of perks — even with the loyalty discounts — it's still significantly more expensive.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Who needs unlimited data?

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Most of us don't need unlimited data, but it can be nice not having to think about the usage. Visible's base plan, simply called Visible, is hard to beat, coming in at just $25 per month with unlimited data. However, with low-priority data giving way to slightly better coverage on Verizon Prepaid, there may still be a reason to skip the former.  Still, it's the higher plan, called Visible Plus, which makes the prepaid carrier a whole lot more competitive with the top plan of Verizon Prepaid, despite being priced quite lower. Even with the autopay discounts of Verizon Prepaid, Visible still comes out on top.

It might be worth it for you to determine how much data you really need, so that you can make the best decision. This is usually done by signing into your existing carrier's user portal and checking your usage history. If all that sounds like too much work, or you know for a fact that you need more data than most people do, Visible once again becomes the better value option.

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Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVerizon Prepaid
NetworkVerizon WirelessVerizon Wireless
Nationwide 5GYesYes
Ultra-Wideband 5GVisible Plus onlyUnlimited Plus only
3GNoYes
RoamingNoYes

Those who love streaming movies and TV shows on the go should keep in mind that both these carriers restrict video streaming quality to SD (480p). This is likely going to be fine for most users but if you watch a lot of (gaming) content, you might be more sensitive to the lack of a HD (720p) 60fps streaming option on YouTube. Many video streaming services also offer downloads so with some patience, you can still watch better quality videos.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Is coverage really the same?

Visible speed test LTE on a Galaxy S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Coverage is going to be the same for most users, but as Visible doesn't get access to Verizon's roaming partners, it may have issues in some rural areas. Still, Visible has 5G access including high-speed Ultra-Wideband 5G, which is only available with the most expensive Verizon Prepaid plan.

One of the main features of Visible Plus plan is access to Verizon's Ultra-Wideband 5G, complete with premium data. This basically means that in an area with C-band or mmWave coverage, Visible Plus can be significantly faster than the base plan. One odd thing to note is that phones on the base Visible plan still seem to connect to the Ultra-Wideband towers with a speed cap in place, according to some user reports.

Verizon Prepaid will be a bit stronger moving into rural areas, but that strength won't mean much to the users in suburban and urban areas. Verizon prepaid has access to Verizon's slower but more widely available Nationwide 5G network on all plans, so at least you'll get some 5G if you've got a compatible phone.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Visible's plans

Visible SIM next to an S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Visible has made a few recent changes to its plans offering some improved features as well as more straightforward savings options. The base Visible plan is similar to the old Visible plan that we used in our Visible review with basic unlimited data and unlimited mobile hotspot usage. Starting at just $25 per month, there is no need to sign up with any special parties or codes to get Visible's best pricing.

Visible Plus takes things up a notch with 50GB of Premium data and access to Ultra-Wideband 5G. Starting at $45 (available at $25 for the first month) per month, it also gives you some international perks. Both of these plans come with unlimited talking and texting to Mexico and Canada, but Visible Plus adds roaming to the mix. Visible Plus also allows international calling to over 30 countries and texting to more than 200 countries, and includes mobile hotspot at twice the speed of the base plan too.

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Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVisible+
DataUnlimitedUnlimited (50GB premium)
5G accessNationwideNationwide and Ultra-Wideband
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)Unlimited (10Mbps)
Spam protectionYesYes
Price$25 per month ($275 per year)$45 ($25 for first month) per month ($395 per year)

While Visible's new plans have somewhat robbed the carrier of its past simplicity, Verizon has managed to create yet another one of the best unlimited plans you can get. Visible Plus adds in some of the main things the old Visible plan was missing, though it must be noted that not everything is a pure upgrade. The old Visible plan came with 5G connectivity with a 200Mbps cap, while the current cheaper plan will be much slower on 5G. Even then, Visible's new speeds should be more than enough for most people.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid's plans

Verizon Prepaid has four main plans, starting with just a basic talk & text plan. From there, you can move up to 15GB of data, or one of two unlimited plans. All plans are eligible for an auto pay discount, which is factored into the displayed prices. Of the data plans, the cheaper unlimited plan comes with 5GB of 5G mobile hotspot data, with speeds reducing to 600Kbps for the rest of the month.

If you opt for the top-tier Unlimited Plus plan, you will get 25GB of premium hotspot data and unlimited lower-speed data. Unlimited Plus is the only Verizon Prepaid plan that comes with Verizon's fast C-band or mmWave 5G support.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Talk and text only15GBUnlimitedUnlimited Plus
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Unlimited 2G dataYesYesN/AN/A
High-speed dataNone15GBUnlimitedUnlimited (50GB premium)
HotspotNoneShared5GB25GB
Calls to Mexico and Canada$5IncludedIncludedIncluded
Usage in Mexico and Canada$5/day$5/dayIncludedIncluded
Price (per month)$35$45$60$70
Price after 1 month$30 (with autopay)$35 (with autopay)$50 (with autopay)$60 (with autopay)

There are multi-line discounts available, but only with the two unlimited plans. There are, however, loyalty discounts (only for data plans) that reward customers who stick with Verizon Prepaid for multiple months.

You can save $5 a month after three months of on-time consecutive payments. After nine months, the discount increases to $10 a month. It's a nice bonus for long-term customers, but this offer is a bit lackluster if you're looking for short-term savings.

Verizon Prepaid also has access to international service, with Verizon's 'TravelPass' costing $5 or $10 a day, depending on the destinations where you need service. Calling to other countries is also available for $5 or $15 per month, depending on the destinations you intend to call.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which phones work?

Camera cutout at the front of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus against white background

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

First things first, Visible is compatible with most iPhones that came out after the iPhone 6. On the Android front, things are a bit more complicated. Visible only works with phones that support LTE and voice-over LTE (VoLTE), so 3G phones and older LTE phones will not work.

Luckily, Visible has whitelisted some of the most popular Android phones including phones such as the Galaxy S24 series and Pixel 8 line-up. The best way to see if your phone will work is with Visible's official BYOD tool.

Verizon Prepaid is stronger when it comes to compatible phones with many of the best Android phones working with the carrier. You can check your IMEI as well to know for sure. Naturally, the device will need to be compatible with Verizon's network which can be determined with the carrier's Verizon Prepaid's BYOD tool.

Verizon Prepaid sells a wide range of phones, from high-end flagships to affordable smartphones. Verizon Prepaid also carries a few flip phones if you're looking for something simple.

One thing to note is that Verizon Prepaid makes you pay for the entire cost of the phone upfront. If you need a payment plan, you may be able to find one with the phone manufacturer directly. That said, popular flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus are available for purchase and will work on the network with no issues at all.

Visible's selection of phones is more limited, but it still has a solid range of options including the Google Pixel 8 Pro. There are no basic phones, but you can still find a cheap Android phone that works with the service. Visible offers financing through Affirm as well, depending on your credit.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which should you get?

Verizon Prepaid struggles to match Visible's value when it comes to simple domestic service. Verizon Prepaid's loyalty discounts take months to kick in, requiring you to pay more for the first few months and making the process of trying out a new carrier all the more annoying. Verizon Prepaid does have an advantage in rural coverage and international usage, but that won't be worth the extra cost to many.

While Verizon Prepaid has a wider range of plans, most people will be happy with Visible's focus on talk, text, and unlimited data. While the base Visible plan will be plenty for many users, it's nice that the prepaid carrier has opted to offer a faster option for those that want it. Visible is without a doubt the best prepaid option from Verizon and really goes to show how a simple plan, clear pricing, and good service can be a winning combination. Hopefully, Verizon learns from its success with Visible and can take steps to make its own plans a better value before T-Mobile finishes eating its lunch.

Samuel Contreras

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.

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