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

Visible's current plan layout ditches the old Party Pay hoops customers had to jump through in favor of two simple plans with unlimited data. All Visible customers get unlimited data with access to Verizon 5G, unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps, and Spam protection. If you want a few extras such as international calling, texting, or even roaming in Mexico or Canada, Visible+ is going to be a better fit. Visible also includes taxes and fees in the sticker price so what you see is what you pay.

Verizon Prepaid, on the other hand, sticks to a more traditional plan layout with five plans ranging from just talk and text to unlimited data with Ultra Wideband. Verizon Prepaid's main draw is its loyalty discounts which can bring your bill down over time with maximum savings after nine months. While its top plan isn't far off Visible+ in terms of features, even with loyalty discounts, it's still significantly more expensive.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Technically, no one needs unlimited

Most of us don't need unlimited data, but it can be nice not to think about usage. If you don't want unlimited data and don't use more than 5GB in a month, then you can match Visible's lowest price with Verizon Prepaid after three months, and you'll even have slightly better coverage. For many smartphone users, however, 5GB these days just won't cut it.

It might be worth it for you to determine how much data you need to make the best decision. If that sounds like too much work or you know for a fact that you need more data than that, Visible once again becomes the better value option.

VisibleVerizon Prepaid
NetworkVerizon WirelessVerizon Wireless
Nationwide 5GYesYes
Ultra Wideband 5GVisible+ onlyUnlimited Plus only
3GNoYes
RoamingNoYes

Streamers should keep in mind that both carriers restrict video streaming quality to 480p. This is fine for many people, but if you watch a lot of gaming content, you might be more sensitive to the lack of a 720p 60 FPS option on YouTube. Many video streaming services also offer downloads, so with some patience, you can still watch HD videos.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Is the 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 people. Visible, however, doesn't have access to Verizon's roaming partners, so in some rural areas, Visible may struggle. Still, Visible has 5G access including Ultra Wideband 5G, which all but the most expensive Verizon Prepaid plan lacks.

One of the main features of the upgrade Visible+ plan is access to Verizon Ultra Wideband 5G with premium data. This means that in an area with C-band or mmWave coverage, Visible+ can be significantly faster than the base plan. One odd thing to note is that phones on the base Visible plan seem to still connect to 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 many people 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 that just $30 per month, there is no need to sign up with any special parties or codes to get Visible's best pricing.

That being said, if you want the same $25 price possible with the old plan, you can get a $5 discount by signing up through PayPal (opens in new tab).

Visible+ takes things up a notch with a blast of Premium data and full access to Ultra Wideband 5G. Starting at $45 per month, you get 50GB of premium data as well as some international perks. Both plans come with unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada but Visible+ adds roaming to the mix. Visible+ also allows international calling to 30+ countries and texting to 200+ countries.

Visible's plans
VisibleVisible+
DataUnlimitedUnlimited (50GB premium)
5G accessNationwideNationwide and Ultra Wideband
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)Unlimited (5Mbps)
Spam protectionYesYes
Price$30 per month$45 per month

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

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid plans

Verizon Prepaid has five main plans starting with just a talk and text plan. From there you can move up to 5GB or 15GB of data, or one of two unlimited plans. All plans are eligible for a $5 auto pay discount, which is factored into the displayed prices. Of the data plans, the cheaper unlimited plan doesn't come with mobile hotspot data, though 10GB is available for $5 per month.

If you opt for the top-tier Unlimited Plus plan, you'll get 10GB of 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide hotspot data or unlimited hotspot data on the 5G Ultra Wideband network. Unlimited Plus is the only Verizon Prepaid plan that comes with Verizon's fast C-band or mmWave 5G support.

Verizon Prepaid's plans
Talk and text only5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited Plus
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
High-speed dataNone5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
HotspotNoneSharedShared$5 for 10GBUnlimited (5G Ultra Wideband) 10GB (4G LTE and 5G Nationwide)
Calls to Mexico and Canada$5$5IncludedIncludedIncluded
Usage in Mexico and Canada$5/day$5/day$5/dayIncludedIncluded
Price$30 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$45 with auto pay$60 with auto pay$70 with auto pay
Price after 3 months$30 with auto pay$30 with auto pay$40 with auto pay$55 with auto pay$65 with auto pay
Price after 9 months$30 with auto pay$25 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$50 with auto pay$60 with auto pay

Unlike older Verizon Prepaid plans, there are no multi-line discounts available. There is, however, a loyalty discount that rewards customers for sticking with Verizon Prepaid for multiple months. This only applies to the data plans. 

You can save $5 per month after three on-time consecutive payments. After nine months, the discount increases to $10 per month. This is 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 per day, depending on the destinations where you need service. Calling to other countries is also available for $5 or $15 per month, depending on which destinations you intend to call.

Visible vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which phones work?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 at low battery

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

First thing's 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 like the Galaxy S22 series and Pixel 6 series. The best way to see if your phone will work is with Visible's BYOD tool on its website (opens in new tab).

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 BYOD tool on its website (opens in new tab).

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. The Galaxy S22, for example, is eligible for a payment plan if purchased directly from Samsung. Some credit cards also allow for payment plans on large purchases.

Visible's selection of phones is more limited, but still has a solid range of options including the Galaxy S22 series and Pixel 6 series of phones. There are no basic phones, but you can find a cheap Android phone that works with the service. Visible also offers financing through Affirm, 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 has an advantage in rural coverage and international usage, but 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.

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.