Clark Howard

PureTalk Review: 5 Things To Know Before You Sign Up

If you’re looking for a more affordable cell phone plan, you may be wondering about PureTalk. PureTalk offers plans for as low as $20/month, and unlimited data plans begin at $55.

In this article, I’ll take a closer look at PureTalk to help you decide whether or not this affordable cell phone service provider will work for you.

What To Know Before Signing Up for PureTalk

PureTalk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers affordable cell phone plans on AT&T's network. The online-only retailer has plans beginning as low as $20 per month for one line with 3GB of high-speed data.

All of PureTalk’s plans include unlimited talk and text. However, the amount of high-speed data you’ll get per month depends on which plan you select. Once you’ve reached your high-speed monthly data allotment (or 60GB on the unlimited plans), speeds will reduce until your plan renews.

I took a closer look at the details of PureTalk’s plans, coverage, phone deals and more. I’ve also compared the prepaid carrier to other available phone plans and carriers to help you decide whether you should make the switch.

Table of Contents:

  1. Plans and Pricing
  2. Network Coverage
  3. Activation Process
  4. Phone Selection
  5. Customer Service

Below, you’ll find more information about PureTalk including what plans are available, how to sign up for service and how it compares to other cheap cell phone service providers.

1. Plans and Pricing

PureTalk offers seven different monthly plans ranging from $20 for 3GB of high-speed data to $65 for 60GB of high-speed data and 30GB of mobile hotspot.

PriceHigh-Speed DataMobile HotspotPerks
$3010GB5GB$100 phone discount
$3515GB5GB$100 phone discount
$4525GB5GB$150 phone discount
$5560GB20GB$200 phone discount
$6560GB30GB$250 phone discount

All of PureTalk’s plans include unlimited talk, texting and free international talk and texting to over 70 countries. 

If you need more than one line of service, you can get a multiline discount on your total bill: 10% for two lines, 15% for three lines or 20% for four or more lines.

When it comes to download speeds, here’s what PureTalk says you can expect:

"After you have used your plan's high-speed data allowance (or 60GB on the Unlimited data plans), your speed will be reduced to 256 kbps until your plan renews. Typically, you can expect to experience download speeds of 4-35Mbps."

As a prepaid carrier, PureTalk doesn't require any credit checks or contracts, and there are no activation fees or overage fees for these plans. However, you can expect taxes and regulatory fees to be added to your monthly payment that vary by location.

You can check out the full details of PureTalk's cell phone plans here.

In addition to cell phone plans, PureTalk also offers Tablet plans (data only) for any compatible 5G device. Here are the monthly data-only plans available:

  • $10 for 2GB
  • $20 for 5GB
  • $30 for 10GB

In addition to a compatible device, you’ll also need an existing PureTalk mobile line active or added in your online shopping cart to purchase.

You can check out the full details of PureTalk's data-only plans here.

2. Network Coverage

PureTalk provides access to AT&T's 5G and 4G/LTE networks. If AT&T offers strong service in your area, you'll likely have reliable access to services with PureTalk.

Below, you can see the PureTalk coverage map:

To see if you'll have coverage with PureTalk, visit the company's website and enter your ZIP code on the coverage map.

Since PureTalk runs on AT&T's towers, you can also visit AT&T's website and check out the parent company's coverage in your area as well.

3. Activation Process

PureTalk is an online-only cell phone carrier. If you decide to make the switch to PureTalk, you'll need to order a SIM card or eSIM online from the company's website.

You may choose to bring your current cell phone number or get a new one. You can also bring your own device to PureTalk or buy a new phone when you choose your plan. To save the most money, I recommend bringing your own unlocked phone to PureTalk. 

You can check your device's eligibility online. Visit PureTalk's website and click "check your phone" to begin.

Once you've verified that your phone is compatible, you can choose any of PureTalk's plans and click "add to cart." Then, you'll be able to choose whether you want to purchase a new phone or bring your own. A physical SIM card costs $3, and an eSIM is free.

Once you've chosen a phone, SIM or eSIM, you'll be taken to your shopping cart. There, you can click "add more lines to save" if you want to add any additional lines to your plan.

Here, you can also enter a promo code if you have a referral from a friend. Finally, you’ll enter your ZIP code to see the estimated taxes and fees. For my area, it added $3.52.

Once you click "proceed to checkout" you'll be able to review your plan details, enter your billing and payment information and choose your shipping option. Shipping begins at $3.99.

When you're ready to activate your service, visit PureTalk's website and click "Activate."

From there, you can choose to activate with a physical SIM card or an eSIM. You'll be asked to enter either your SIM card number or your phone's IMEI along with your email address and ZIP code to activate your device.

If you are bringing your own phone number to PureTalk, be sure to follow Clark's #1 tip for a seamless switch!

4. Phone Selection

Most people who are switching to PureTalk will want to keep their own phones for the most savings. You'll just need to make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with PureTalk before you get started. You can check your phone's compatibility online.

If you do want to purchase a new phone through PureTalk, you’ll find a small selection of devices to choose from.

At the time of writing, PureTalk was offering 24 different phones including flip phones and smartphones. The cheapest phone I saw was $109 for a Schok FLIP Classic (currently available for $50 with qualifying plan). The most expensive phone available was the Samsung S24 Ultra 5G for $1,299.99 (currently available for $1,049.99 with qualifying plan).

Six of the most affordable phones were available for $50 (or $1.67 per month) with a qualifying plan. All other phones were eligible for up to $250 off depending on your plan.

You can check out the full phone selection online. For more options, check out our top picks for the best places to buy an unlocked phone.

Whether you choose to bring your own phone or buy a new one, you'll need a PureTalk SIM card or eSIM. Know that a SIM card costs $3, but an eSIM is free.

In addition to cell phones, PureTalk also sells iPads (starting at $436) and Apple Watches (starting at $299).

5. Customer Service

You can reach a customer service representative for PureTalk over the phone or via email through an online contact form.

To speak with a customer representative over the phone, call PureTalk at (877) 820-7873. You can also fill out this contact form to reach out to a customer support representative via email.

Customer service representatives are available at PureTalk Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 7p.m.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a more affordable alternative to your current cell phone service, PureTalk is an MVNO worth considering. Plans begin at $20 monthly for unlimited talk, text, 3GB of high-speed data and 2GB of mobile hotspot.

To compare, here are a few other MVNOs that also run on AT&T's network along with their most affordable plans:

  • H2O Wireless (Review) offers the same plan as PureTalk with 3GB of high-speed data and 2GB of mobile hotspot for $20. However, you can save $2/month with autopay. Unlimited plans begin at $45.
  • Consumer Cellular (Review) also offers a $20 plan, however, it only includes 1GB of data. Unlimited plans begin at $50.
  • Cricket Wireless (Review) offers a $15 plan with 1GB of data or $30 for 5GB. Unlimited plans begin at $55.

Compared to other AT&T MVNOs, PureTalk offers competitive prices with a fair amount of high-speed data with both its most affordable plans and its unlimited plans. Compared to AT&T's single-line pricing of $65.99-$85.99 for an unlimited plan, PureTalk offers excellent prices.

If you're still looking for the best fit, you can check out our top picks for the best cell phone plans and deals available now. No matter which service provider you decide to switch to, be sure to read our guide to switching phone carriers to help you step-by-step through the process.

Are you thinking about switching to PureTalk? Let us know in our Community or check out the latest conversations around cell phones here.

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