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Straight Talk Pros and Cons: All You Need to Know Before You Sign Up

By
Kyle Reyes
February 18, 2024

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Straight Talk is a powerful MVNO that utilizes Verizon’s network to deliver fantastic coverage to all its users. They have a nice set of plans that, while expensive, offer a lot of data to mid-data users to find a great plan without breaking the bank. Straight Talk is not as prominent in the advertising sphere as major wireless networks or MVNOs like Mint Mobile, but that does not mean you should look over the company! 

Straight Talk has multi-line savings, lots of data, a good mixture of plans, and a store full of the latest and greatest devices. We’ll dive into that later in the article. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of Straight Talk’s pros and cons to help you decide whether or not this mobile provider is right for you. Let’s dive right in. 

Straight Talk Pros and Cons

There are a lot of cell phone providers on the market, making it difficult to decide which one is the best for you. In this section, we will cover the pros and cons of Straight Talk to help you decide whether or not this carrier is right for you. There are many factors to this decision, including data consumption, coverage, price, phone selection, cell phone plans, customer service, and more.

PRO — Phone Selection

Straight Talk operates on Verizon’s network, and just about every phone that is compatible with that network is also compatible with Straight Talk. The latest and greatest smartphones, like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S24, both work on Straight Talk’s network, as well as much older models. If you are bringing a phone with you, then this is not as big of a worry, but if you do need a new device during the switch, then Straight Talk’s cell phone list makes it easy to pick out one you want! If you are interested in less expensive options, you can peruse Straight Talk’s store and find items like the 3rd Generation Apple SE ($429), the Samsung Galaxy S10 ($300), or the Motorola G Power ($150). 

Across the spectrum, many MVNOs have lackluster stores with few new phone models. Straight Talk goes above and beyond with its offerings, satisfying those interested in new phones as well as those who wish for a more affordable option. 

PRO — Cell Phone Plans

Straight Talk has four main plans for its store. All of them are viable, depending on how much data you want each month, with great savings coming from creating a multi-line account. Carriers like Tello Mobile and Visible Wireless, who don’t have any multi-line savings, are able to provide more affordable prices when compared to the maximum cost of Straight Talk’s cell phone plans, but the multi-line savings from Straight Talk is an excellent choice for if you have friends or family who are willing to open an account with you. Here are the main Straight Talk plans:  

  • Bronze Unlimited — $35 per month (no multi-line savings)
  • Silver Unlimited — $45/37.50/30/25
  • Gold Unlimited — $55/47.50/40/35
  • Platinum Unlimited — $65/57.50/50/45

The savings available from these plans make them excellent choices for multiple-line accounts. Straight Talk’s Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans all come with 60 GB of high-speed data before your plan is throttled to 2G data speeds. Outside of the data, the Gold and Platinum plans both come with hotspot data (15 and 20 GB, respectively), 100 GB cloud storage, international calling, and a Walmart+ membership!

As long as you are content with using less than 60 GB of high-speed data each month, opening an account with Straight Talk is a great choice. For single-line users, we still recommend the Silver plan, as the Bronze plan only comes with 10 GB of high-speed data.

PRO — Data Consumption

Straight Talk is best for low and medium-data users. With the data intensity of so many phone processes, regular mobile data usage eats through gigabytes, but 60 each month gives you a lot of flexibility. If you go over, however, you’ll be stranded with 2G. Trust us: You do not want to be using 2G data during the month. 

Straight Talk is best for users who don’t need unlimited high-speed data and are able to open a multi-line account. Their family plan saves loads of money each month on all their cell phone plans.

PRO — Walmart+ Membership

When you use Straight Talk Gold or Platinum plans, you receive Walmart+ (a $13 value) for free! This means you get free shipping on orders, delivery savings, and more. With Walmart’s prevalence around the country, this can be an excellent bonus to your Straight Talk Wireless account.

PRO — Coverage

Straight Talk utilizes Verizon’s 5G and 4G LTE nationwide networks, providing their customers with fantastic coverage in almost every state. Verizon is working hard on its 5G network, constantly deploying more towers to increase its lightning-fast coverage around the country. Make sure to check your local coverage maps for information regarding the best cell phone coverage in your area

PRO— Multi-Line Savings

Straight Talk offers a simple family plan for all its customers. When you have multiple lines on an account, each line receives its lowest prices on Straight Talk’s 3-month contract plans, which are the shortest contracts they offer. 

Man looking at his phone
There are a lot of great things about using Straight Talk’s service. There are pros and cons to every wireless provider, and it’s up to you to figure out which ones are right for you! 

CON— Customer Service

Customer service with cell phone providers can be, to put it lightly, a pain to deal with. Straight Talk’s customer service does not always solve problems quickly. Problems are not super common among their service but be prepared for a multi-hour solution if you ever run into trouble. 

CON — Data Deprioritization

As an MVNO, Straight Talk’s data is subject to fluctuation based on the total bandwidth used in the area. This makes Straight Talk, among other MVNOs, unreliable in terms of data speeds. Anytime there is a danger of congestion within T-Mobile’s network, the high-speed data given to Straight Talk’s customers is slowed down to allocate more bandwidth to T-Mobile’s customers. 

This congestion is seen most in big cities around the United States. In those cities, the network is stronger but not strong enough to handle the city's residents and the commuters coming in for work. Places like New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Miami, to name a few, are all areas where MVNOs experience a lot of congestion. 

It is harder to predict the congestion in less populated cities and rural areas around the country. Festivals, concerts, and sporting events are common times when a lot of congestion hits the area. If you’ve ever been to a football game and tried to access your phone for just about anything, we are certain that you’ve seen what it feels like to try to use data with congestion. 

At maximum congestion, no one can load anything on their device, but MVNO customers are slowed down far before major provider users are slowed down. Straight Talk’s three-month new customer deal is an excellent trial period for Straight Talk to discover how much congestion, if any, you see on a normal day. 

a person taking a picture of food
The amount of time you spend on your phone when out and about plays a huge role in whether or not an MVNO like Straight Talk is right for you. 

Straight Talk Summary

Here’s a little information about Straight Talk! 

  • What sets Straight Talk apart? With so many MVNOs, it is important to know what sets Straight Talk apart when considering switching wireless providers. Their high-speed GB caps set them apart from the competition. 
  • What’s the price of Straight Talk plans? Straight Talk has four plans, titled Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Bronze plan is the cheapest, costing $35 for one line with no options for multi-line savings. Each tier up brings the cost of the first line up by $10, with Silver starting at $45, Gold at $55, and Platinum at $65. The other three plans all offer multi-line savings, which reduces the cost of each line as you add more lines. Lines two and three each bring the cost down $75 a month, and the fourth line subtracts an additional $5 from each line’s monthly cost. 
  • What kinds of plans does Straight Talk offer? Straight Talk has four plans, titled Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Bronze plan comes with 10 GB of high-speed data, and the other three all have 60 GB of high-speed data with various add-ons. In terms of value, we prefer the Silver Unlimited plan, as it is the least expensive way to receive 60 GB of data each month. If you will use the add-ons, the Gold and Platinum plans may provide excellent value, as well. 
  • What network does Straight Talk use? Straight Talk runs on Verizon’s network. Verizon’s  4G and 5G networks, and, by extension, Straight Talk’s network, cover almost all of the continental United States, meaning you’ll get great coverage no matter where you are. While the exact numbers differ between the major wireless providers, the big three networks all provide fantastic coverage in the continental United States. 
  • Can you bring your own cell phone? Yes! If you have a phone that works for you, you can bring your own device to Straight Talk. To bring your device onto Straight Talk’s network, you have to check your device’s compatibility, make sure your device is “unlocked,” and order a Straight Talk SIM card. Straight Talk also offers eSIM plans, making the switch even easier. 
  • Does Straight Talk have any stores? Yes! Straight Talk has many retail locations around the United States. You can check for nearby stores using Straight Talk’s store locator. This is an excellent way to deal with any problems with your account or other issues during your time as a customer. 

Straight Talk Versus Competition

There are loads of wireless providers competing for your attention. Finding the right provider is challenging, but it pays dividends in the long run. Many Americans pay way too much for their cell phone plan because they pay far more than they need. Straight Talk is fantastic for users who don’t need unlimited high-speed data each month and want to save. Let’s look at how it holds up to the competition in MVNOs and major wireless providers. 

Straight Talk vs. Verizon

First, let’s look at Straight Talk compared to the major wireless network Verizon. They share the same network, so the quality of the service is the same throughout, but Straight Talk suffers from the same data deprioritization that all MVNOs do. There are two ways your data may slow down when you use Straight Talk. One is if you go over your data allocation and, for the rest of the month, operate with slow data. The other is if you are in an area where Verizon’s network is congested. If they run out of bandwidth, all of their MVNO customers have their data speeds reduced so their main customers can still enjoy high-speed mobile data. 

Verizon is also much more expensive than Straight Talk. That is the main trade-off between these two companies. If you are a high-data user, Verizon is the way to go. They have plans with unlimited high-speed data and a guarantee that your data will always be at maximum speeds, but you pay a premium for that service. If you are a low or mid-data user and don’t utilize your phone as much when outside of Wi-Fi — Straight Talk is the place to be. 

Straight Talk vs. Hello Mobile

Straight Talk has an incredible high-speed data cap. For just $45 a month, you get a plan with 60 GB of high-speed data, an excellent amount for a mid-data user. Straight Talk has better value plans, but Hello Mobile offers no-contract service with a much less expensive low-data plan. Hello Mobile’s least expensive plan is only $5! You only receive 500 MB of data, but it’s a huge money saver if you don’t use any data when out and about. 

Straight Talk vs. Tello Mobile

Tello Mobile operates on T-Mobile’s network, which means there are areas of the country where Tello Mobile has better data speeds and areas where Straight Talk has better data speeds. The big benefit of Tello Mobile is its flexibility. They don’t require contracts or family plans to get the great prices they have to offer, but their most robust plan only offers 25 GB of high-speed data. This is not a company for anyone but low-data users. If you don’t use your phone much outside of WiFi zones, then Tello Mobile has better-priced offerings, but the 60 GB cap at Straight Talk is amazing for mid-data users. 

a couple of women looking at their phones
Straight Talk offers a great set of plans for users who use less than 60 GB of high-speed data each month. With three plans offering the same amount of data, you can peruse their add-ons to see if a higher-priced plan is right for you. 

Straight Talk: Review Summary

The Good

  • Affordable Plans. Especially with four lines on your account, the cell phone plans from Straight Talk are very well-priced compared to the competition. 
  • Verizon’s Nationwide Network. Operating on Verizon’s nationwide network lets Straight Talk customers enjoy high-speed coverage nationwide. 
  • Impressive Phone Selection. This is one strength uncommon amongst MVNOs. There are a lot of great phones in Straight Talk’s store, making it easier to grab a new phone when yours kicks it without having to go through the trouble of getting an unlocked phone from a third party. 
  • Walmart+ Subscription. When you use Straight Talk Gold or Platinum plans, you receive Walmart+ (a $13 value) for free! This means you get free shipping on orders, delivery savings, and more.

The Bad

  • Long Contracts. The shortest contracts at Straight Talk are still three months, which takes away a lot of flexibility from the wide list of no-contract plans that are out there. 
  • Data Throttling. This is a common problem with MVNOs, but there is always the chance that your data will get slowed way down in times of high usage. If you live in a big city, this is a routine occurrence, which makes all but the lowest-data processes on your cell phone hard to complete. 
  • Customer Service. Problems are not super common among their service but be prepared for a multi-hour solution if you ever run into trouble. 

There’s a lot to like about Straight Talk. Excellent network, affordable plans, and a well-stocked store. It’s not all good, of course, but Straight Talk is high on our list of excellent mobile providers. If you are willing to rock a cell phone plan with limited data, Straight Talk is the way to go! If you want more information regarding cell phone plans in your area, you can check out Really’s comparison tool for all the information you need!

compare phone plans and save up to 80%

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your questions,
answered

does this phone service work everywhere?

Yep, we offer premium wireless service on the the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in our dewi coverage areas, you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

is there a contract?

Nope, it’s pay as you go.

is this prepaid?

yep! You put your card on file and prepay each month so that you never experience any disruption.

does my phone need to be unlocked?

Yep, but it’s super easy to unlock your device as long as it’s paid off. Chat with us and a real human can help you here.

what if I want a new phone?

We have some recommendations on what we think you should get, from iPhones to Droids. Check out our list here which includes affordable places online to get a good deal.

what does decentralized wireless (dewi) mean?

It means we are building a phone network that is powered by the people. Your neighbors put small radios on their roof and help extend the phone network to cover deadzones™ and get even faster speeds. Right now our DeWi network is available in Austin, but we’ll be expanding to other cities REALLY soon. Learn more about DeWi here.

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