Do you want to have the freedom of not being tied into a monthly contract with your network provider? Then consider a mobile top-up card.
There are many e-top up card providers, but chances are you don’t want to send money to an unknown service or get a bad deal. So, we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide to keep you posted on the best prepaid services.
What Is a Mobile Top-Up Card?
A mobile top-up card (also called a mobile prepaid card or voucher) adds credit to a user’s phone account. The credit can then be used for calls, texts, and Internet data, and once they run out, the user can either refill it or purchase a new card.
It is used for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) services and acts as an alternative to postpaid mobile services. Instead of entering a contract or billing arrangement, the top-up card user pays for telecommunications services in advance, as a deposit.
Mobile Top-Up Online Vouchers vs. Physical Cards
Should you go digital or visit a brick-and-mortar store? Here are the main aspects to examine.
|What They Are||Digital files with a code||Plastic cards, similar to regular a debit card or credit card|
|Delivery||Arrive instantly with email delivery||Instant if you buy at a store; if ordered online, it normally takes 3-14 business days|
|Security||Can be susceptible to fraud (make sure to buy at verified vendors)||No security concerns|
|Convenience||No need to go anywhere, just research and buy online||Might take a car ride to get to the destination|
|Other Considerations||Impossible to lose, available from anywhere (as long as the network coverage extends to your location)||No risks of entering the wrong email when you buy in-store or getting non-unique codes|
List of the Best Mobile Phone Top-Up Cards
Here are our top picks for mobile top-up prepaid cards, ranked by hundreds of online users. Short descriptions and all essential details are at your service.
T-Mobile Prepaid Top-Up Card
Standout features: Grants up to 1,000 minutes on the T-Mobile network, available for new and existing users, automatically applied to all lines within one account, free text message reminders before renewal
Card values: $40, $45, $50, $55, $60, $75, $100
Maximum amount: $150 per transaction, $1,000 for total account balance
Expiration date: One year, valid for 30 days from the date of activation
Can be refilled by: Phone (T-Mobile Refill Center), T-Mobile online account
The card is suitable for all T-Mobile Prepaid plans – Monthly Prepaid, Pay As You Go, and Mobile Internet. If your credit has been refilled, you will automatically receive a confirmation email. In addition to specific plans, the card can also fund talk time, text messages, and data.
AT&T Prepaid Phone Card
Standout features: Supports flexible spending, universal phone compatibility, lower prices for prepaid AutoPay ($5 off plans less than $50 or $10 off plans $50+), comes with taxes and other charges (about 10%)
Card values: $10, $15, $25, $30, $35, $40, $45, $50, $65, $75, $85, $100, $300
Maximum amount: Unspecified
Can be refilled by: Call-in, email
Similar to other cards, this one gets connected to AT&T prepaid services (although, the exact selection may change). The card can be used to top up the balance of friends and family but only in the US. For coverage area, rates, plans, and add-ons, consult with the carrier.
Orange Top-Up Card
Standout features: Best for one-time use, serves more than 100 countries, top-up arrive within 30 seconds
Card values: €6, €12, €20, €33, €47, €70, €105, €150
Maximum amount: For number of recharge – 10 by day, 24 by month; for amount of recharge – €90 by day, €240 EUR by month
Expiration: Six months being activated for line validity, 14-31 days for credit validity
Can be refilled: Online, by phone
This mobile phone top-up card is advertised as a perfect option for business travelers, expats, and tourists, or those who want to help relatives abroad. It’s supported only by three mobile operators – Orange Senegal EUR, Expresso Senegal, and Tigo Senegal – and connects to the Transfert Pays mobile app.
Virgin Mobile Prepaid Card
Standout features: Unlocks all prepaid plans – unlimited messages, voicemail and number display, queueing, forwarding, three-way calling, member benefits, and AutoPay bonuses, refilled automatically upon purchase
Card values: $35, $45, $60
Maximum amount: Unspecified
Expiration: 30 days
Can be refilled: Online, by phone
The card is specifically designed for prepaid plans and cannot be shared with other members. If you have Virgin reward points, those can be redeemed for free prepaid credit. The Virgin Mobile card is not available on the official website but can be purchased at Best Buy, RadioShack, Walmart, Target e, K-Mart, and Walgreens online and in physical stores.
Verizon Prepaid Mobile Card
Standout features: Can be used for any tech device or service at Verizon, unlimited talk & text data allowance, unlimited text, $5/month savings with AutoPay, loyalty discounts for plans $40 and higher
Card values: $40, $50, $60, $75
Maximum amount: $75
Can be refilled by: Non-reloadable
The prepaid card is compatible with Verizon accounts and associated with the user’s existing phone number. Any service available on the prepaid page can be purchased with the PIN code. For example, if you are looking for a new phone, there is a shop for prepaid phones. All plans include 5G nationwide access, and the $75 also offers 5G Ultra Wideband.
Lycamobile Top-Up Card
Standout features: Can be used for mobile top-up as well as for other Lyca services (Digital, Radio, Productions, Health, Data Centre, etc.), supports over 600 carriers in 150 countries, works for any customizable plan or add-on
Card values: $10, $19, $23, $29, $33, $39, $50; $10, $20, $50, $100 for international credit
Maximum amount: No limit
Expiration: 90 days, 30 once loaded
Can be refilled: Online on the website or by calling from your Lycamobile number
The credit balance in the member’s account may be used for Lyca services, including family plans. Users can terminate their phone plan at any moment and transfer the remaining credit to other users with no additional charges. If you want to keep credit but switch phones or networks, that is also possible with Lyca’s mobile top-up voucher.
Starhub Mobile Prepaid Top-Up Card
Standout features: 15% more credits – bonuses of $2-$12 available for 30 days, additional bonuses with Happy Data 30, can be used for monthly postpaid bill
Card values: $10, $18, $20, $30, $50, $80
Maximum amount: $500 worth of local calls & SMS, $140 worth of international calls & SMS
Expiration: 120 days for $10 top-up, 180 days for the rest
Can be refilled: Prepaid app, online, mobile postpaid, several digital channels, authorized retailers & convenience stores, WeChat
Starhub is only available for Prepaid SIM and Travel SIM card members. But the provider allows you to add the prepaid credit to other data plans, such as Value-Added Services within the Main Wallet. The credit can also be easily bundled with local data and calls, IDD, messages, roaming data, etc.
Tesco Mobile Top-Up Card
Standout features: Very lucrative Triple Credit tariff (£10 top-ups act as £30 or turn into 8GB data, 5,000 minutes & 5,000 SMS, available for 30 days), £1 top-up requests from somebody else’s credit via Ping Me A Pound, unavailable for monthly customers
Card values: £5, £10, £15, £20, £25, £30 (equivalent denominations in euro)
Maximum amount: Unlimited
Expiration: 28 days
Can be refilled: Online, Tesco mobile app, phone, Tesco store, digital vouchers
The Tesco card can be used for any pay-as-you-go deals. Customers aren’t bound by any contract, but most of them choose to top up their phones with minutes or data credit. The credit isn’t tied to any specific account, so users can forward the code to their friends and family.
How to Use Mobile Top-Up Voucher Online
Steps may vary depending on the provider’s practices. But if you want to learn the general guidelines, here are the steps to get and activate most cards.
- Find a Store/Website That Sells Top-Up Cards
We have a few store suggestions in the next section.
- Go Up to the Cashier or Check Out Online and Purchase a Top-Up Card
If it’s a physical card, the cashier will scan the barcode on the back of it. If you’re shopping online, you can also check out as usual.
- Obtain the Card Number
Scratch off the 10-digit code on a physical card or open the email with the code (the code can also be shorter or longer depending on a provider).
- Follow the Brand-Specific Instructions
Go to the network page. All further instructions will be outlined in your personal account (usually the top left corner) or the FAQ section.
Where to Buy a Prepaid Card for a Mobile Phone
As we already mentioned, you can get a mobile phone top-up voucher online or at real-life locations.
- Online marketplaces – Think of any large digital supermarket, e.g., Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens, and K-Mart. If you know other reliable stores, go ahead and search for cards there.
- Cell phone stores – You’ve probably seen those in malls, whether by a particular provider or multi-brand.
- Official websites – Visit the website of the issuing company for the safest online purchase.
In any case, make sure you are dealing with an authorized seller. Avoid unknown third-party websites, eBay, or small kiosks because if you get a faulty code, it will be almost impossible to replace the purchase.
Alternative Payment Methods
- Network Apps
If your mobile provider has an app (which most companies do), open it up, select products and services within its ecosystem, and pay. The easiest way is to enable ApplePay, GooglePay, or SamsungPay on your smartphone.
Go to your provider’s website and log in to your account. Visa and MasterCard will be among your bill and payment options, so make the payment like in any other online store. You can also attach your card and enable AutoPay for extra perks.
You can pay for mobile plans with cryptocurrency, which is as easy as paying with a Visa card. Baxity customers have access to the best Trastra terms, so feel free to spend your crypto this way.
Some providers allow you to pay using digital wallet services like PayPal. See which wallets your service supports in your personal account and if you find your preferred service, check out as usual.
Pros And Cons of Top-Up Cards
Before you make up your mind, check out the table below and weigh some arguments for both sides.
+ Easy to purchase
+ Plenty of options for countries and mobile operators
+ No lengthy service contracts
+ No surprise bills
+ Prevent overspending, perfect for cash-conscious consumers
– Data rates may be higher
– Time limits
– Limited roaming capabilities when traveling to other countries
– Not all cards will be compatible with your existing phone or operator
Hopefully, this article gave you enough insight into budget mobile top-up cards to decide if you need a card, and if so, which one. Luckily, you can top up very small amounts and have a quick test drive without risking much.
Be sure you fully understand all of the terms and conditions. Some of the limits were discussed in the article, but if you’re really interested in getting a prepaid card, check the provider’s website (especially notes written in fine print with an asterisk*).
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Prepaid Phone Card Is the Best?
During our research, we found that the T-Mobile top-up card and the AT&T phone card are the go-to prepaid services. But depending on your mobile operator and needs, you may find other options more suitable – like Orange, Virgin, Verizon, and others on our curated list.
Can You Still Buy Mobile Phone Top-Up Cards?
Yes, and they are as convenient as ever. Pay As You Go customers are the biggest audience for top-ups. There are great selections of prepaid cards that can be accessed in a few clicks or with one phone call.
Where Can You Buy Mobile Top-Up Prepaid Vouchers?
Prepaid cards are available at online stores, your mobile provider’s website, and even certain physical locations like post offices.