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Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Which One Wins?

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Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Which One Wins?

Key Points

  • Verizon Wireless and AT&T own Visible Wireless and Cricket Wireless respectively, making them the top two mobile carriers.
  • Visible offers unlimited plans with additional features like spam protection and international calls, while Cricket offers limited and unlimited plans with a subscription to HBOMax.
  • Visible has a lower cost for its unlimited plans, but Cricket offers great discounts for multiple lines, making it a cheaper option for family plans.
  • Visible offers a wider range of compatible phones compared to Cricket, including popular brands like iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.
  • Visible uses Verizon’s network, which has the largest coverage area in the country, while Cricket uses AT&T’s network and has better 5G coverage.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T are the top two mobile carriers, so it just makes sense to compare each of their prepaid services. Verizon owns Visible Wireless, while AT&T owns Cricket Wireless. Each offers some of the most affordable plans with great coverage. Which is the best? Here’s a good breakdown of Visible vs. Cricket Wireless.

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Side-by-Side Comparison

VisibleCricket Wireless
What it isMobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
Owned byVerizonAT&T
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimited
Limited plansN/A5GB, 10GB
Unlimited plansVisible, Visible+Unlimited, Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot
CostLowest plan: $30/monthLowest plan: $30/month
Compatible phonesiPhone 14 series, Samsung Galaxy S23 series, Galaxy Z fold 4, Pixel 7 devicesiPhone 14 series, Samsung Galaxy A14, iPhone SE
Founded20181999
Wireless networkVerizonAT&T

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: What’s the Difference?

Plans 

Both Visible and Cricket offer a streamlined number of plans, which can make it easier to pick a plan, but it also leaves out the specialized choices that other companies like TracFone offer. 

Limited Data Plans

Visible doesn’t offer limited plans, so Cricket is the only option for limited plans. It offers a 5GB and a 10GB plan, both with unlimited talk and text. With Cricket’s 10GB plan, it offers a discount for additional lines, making it ideal for families. 

Visible Wireless Carrier logo
Visible Wireless uses Verizon’s network to provide coverage.

Unlimited Data Plans

Visible offers two unlimited plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible gives you a standard unlimited package as well as spam protection, 5G access, and unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada. Visible+ comes with the same services, but it also includes access to 5G Ultra Wideband, unlimited talk and text from Mexico and Canada, calls to over 30+ international countries, and a $10 discount on Verizon home internet. 

Cricket also offers two unlimited plans: Unlimited and Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot. Both plans offer unlimited talk, text, and data. The Unlimited plan also includes unlimited text to 37 countries and unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada. The Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot plan offers everything the Unlimited plan offers, as well as 15GB of mobile hotspot data each month. It also includes a subscription to HBOMax. 

Costs

The cost difference between Visible and Cricket can be substantial, depending on what kind of data you need. Each company offers its own strength in different areas of service. 

Visible only has the two plans we mentioned, Visible and Visible+, making it easy to choose. The Visible plan is $30/month, while Visible+ is $45/month. There is no discount for multiple lines. 

Cricket offers its two limited data plans, 5GB and 10GB, which are $30 and $40 respectively. Its two unlimited plans, Unlimited and Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot, are $55 and $60 respectively, which is a lot higher than Visible’s unlimited plans. However, Cricket offers great discounts for multiple lines. Additional lines for the 10GB plan are only $28 each. Added lines for the Unlimited plan are $25 each, and for Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot lines are $33 each. If you need a family plan, Cricket may end up being the cheaper option. 

Phones

Visible offers a wider range of phones, including popular phones like the iPhone 14 series, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, the Galaxy Z Fold4, and the Pixel 7 devices. If you are looking to transfer your phone to Visible, you have a better chance of your phone being compatible. 

Cricket does offer a lot of popular phone options, like the iPhone 14 series, the Samsung Galaxy A14, and the iPhone SE series, but it doesn’t offer phones like the Pixel 7 series or other popular brands. 

Network

Visible, owned by Verizon, uses Verizon’s mobile network. Cricket Wireless, owned by AT&T, uses AT&T’s wireless. When it comes to coverage area, Verizon covers the largest amount of the country, so if you are in a rural area, Visible might be your best bet. 

When it comes to 5G, AT&T has more coverage than Verizon, which means Cricket has better coverage than Visible, although Visible does offer Ultra Wideband 5G coverage on their Visible+ plan. 

Extras

Most prepaid mobile services don’t provide any extras, but since Visible and Cricket are owned by Verizon and AT&T, they are able to offer a few extras. The Visibile+ plan comes with a $10 monthly discount on Verizon home internet. For Cricket, the Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot comes with a subscription to HBOMax. Neither may seal the deal for you, but having extras on a prepaid mobile plan is always a plus. 

Visible: Verizon’s Answer to Prepaid Mobile

Verizon founded Visible in 2018 as a competitor to other prepaid mobile services, including Cricket. While Visible has been successful, Verizon also acquired TracFone in 2021, which is one of the most popular prepaid mobile services, giving it two horses in the prepaid race. 

Cricket: A History

Cricket Wireless was started in 1999 by Leap Wireless International, which was acquired by AT&T in 2014. Between 1999 and 2014, Cricket operated on a variety of networks, including MetroPCS’s and Sprint’s. When AT&T acquired Leap, it folded its own prepaid option — Aio Wireless — into Cricket, keeping the Cricket brand. 

Cricket Wireless Store
Cricket Wireless uses AT&T’s mobile network.

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • Visible runs on Verizon’s mobile network; Cricket Wireless runs on AT&T’s mobile network. 
  • If you need a family plan, Cricket offers better multi-line discounts than Visible. 
  • Visible offers $10/month off of Verizon home internet with its most expensive plan. 
  • Cricket’s top plan includes 15GB of hotspot mobile service, which is great for those who travel. 
  • Cricket has a more limited phone selection than Visible. 

Visible vs. Cricket Wireless: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

The pluses and minuses of Visible and Cricket really come down to what kind of service you need. Each offers a range of options for data, multiple lines, and service. 

If you want to save money with a limited plan, Visible doesn’t offer limited plans, so the obvious choice is Cricket Wireless, although Visible’s unlimited plans are around the same price as Cricket’s limited plans. If you need a family plan, Cricket has the best discounts for multiple lines, not just compared to Visible, but among all the prepaid carriers. 

The bottom line, based on pricing, network, and available phones, is that Visible has more to offer than Cricket. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Visible different than Verizon?

Visible uses Verizon’s network (and is owned by Verizon), so there are a lot of similarities. The big difference is that Visible doesn’t offer limited data plans. Visible is cheaper than Verizon because Verizon customers get priority data speeds when the network is congested.

What is Verizon's version of Cricket?

Although Verizon owns Visible, which is comparable to Cricket, it also completed a deal in 2021 to acquire TracFone, one of the most popular prepaid mobile brands. Between Visible and TracFone, Verizon has multiple entries in the prepaid mobile market.

Does Cricket use the same towers as Verizon?

No. AT&T owns Cricket Wireless, so the company uses the AT&T network for its mobile service.

Why is Cricket Wireless so cheap?

The biggest reason is that Cricket Wireless is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), which means it doesn’t have its own mobile network, it uses AT&T’s network. However, since Cricket doesn’t own the network, it doesn’t have priority usage of the network. When the network is congested, AT&T will prioritize their own customers before Cricket’s customers, meaning the Cricket customers may see slower speeds during congested hours.

Who has unlimited mobile hotspot?

Visible is the only prepaid service that offers an unlimited mobile hotspot, which is included on both of their plans. Cricket has a 15GB hotspot with its most expensive plan.

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