Republic Wireless Cell Phone Plans Review

Republic’s flexible plan options could save you money—unless you want a lot of data.
republic-wireless-logo
Republic’s flexible plan options could save you money—unless you want a lot of data.
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Customizable plans
Data amounts can be adjusted month-to-month
No iPhones—can't bring your own

Overview

Looking for a way to save money on your cell phone bill? Republic Wireless could be the answer you’ve been waiting for.

Republic Wireless My Choice plan prices

Unlimited Talk and text price*Data price**Learn more
$15/mo.$5/GBView plans

* Prices include discounts for autorefill and paperless billing where applicable. Tax and fees not included.
** Data for multi-line plans is shared. Information effective 9/1/18. Offers, pricing, and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

Republic lets you build your own plan—with up to 15 GB of data—so you don’t end up paying for what you don’t use. Waste not, want not, amirite?

Pros

  • Custom
  • Customizable plans
  • Uses T-Mobile and Sprint networks

Cons

  • No
  • Data costs add up fast
  • No iPhones—can't even bring your own

Republic Wireless prepaid plans and pricing

Plans start out cheap, but data prices quickly add up. 

If you can’t stand those one-size-fits-all cell phone plans, Republic Wireless’s approach may be a pleasant surprise. Its My Choice Plan is fully customizable.

Republic Wireless My Choice plan prices

Unlimited Talk and text price*Data price**Learn more
$15/mo.$5/GBView plans

* Prices include discounts for autorefill and paperless billing where applicable. Tax and fees not included.
** Data for multi-line plans is shared. Information effective 9/1/18. Offers, pricing, and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

The plan starts out with unlimited talk and text for $15 each month. That’s a pretty sweet deal when you compare it to other talk and text plans from Cricket Wireless and Total Wireless.

Republic Wireless talk and text price comparison

CarrierPrice*Learn more
Republic Wireless$15/mo.View plans
Cricket Wireless$25/mo.View plans
Total Wireless$23.70 for 30 daysView plans

* Prices include discounts for autorefill and paperless billing where applicable. Tax and fees not included.
** Data for multi-line plans is shared. Information effective 9/1/18. Offers, pricing, and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

But those prices are a little less stunning when you start adding on data. Republic charges $5 for one gigabit (GB) of data. (That data doesn’t roll over, by the way.)

This price doesn’t seem too bad until you compare it to competitors’ prices: Total Wireless charges $10 for 5 GB of extra data and MetroPCS charges $5 for 2 GB of data.

Here’s what that data charge would look like for a plan with 5 GB of data—and how it compares to similar plans from Cricket Wireless and Total Wireless.

Republic Wireless 5 GB plan price comparison

Carrier5 GB data price*Learn more
Republic Wireless$40/mo.View plans
Cricket Wireless$35/mo.View plans
Total Wireless$33.20 for 30 daysView plans

* Prices include discounts for autorefill and paperless billing where applicable. Tax and fees not included.
** Data for multi-line plans is shared. Information effective 9/1/18. Offers, pricing, and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

Info Box icon

By the way...

Republic Wireless lets you add only 15 GB of data to your plan. If you need more, we recommend checking out an unlimited plan instead. See our recommendations in the Best Unlimited Cell Phone Plans review.

So if Republic’s prices aren’t that competitive (at least when you’re talking data), what the heck is all the buzz about?

We have a feeling it has to do with how Republic Wireless structures its plans. Because it’s a flexible plan, you get to pick how much data you get.

republic wireless QA screenshot

Better yet, if you decide you want to change the amount of data on your plan each month, you can.

This comes in super handy if you travel a lot.

We all know airports, airplanes, and hotels are some of the most exciting places on Earth—not. So, chances are you’re gobbling up your data by checking in for your flight, streaming the relaxing sounds of rain to drown out your hotel neighbors at 3 a.m., or showing your travel buddy the latest cute cat video you found on YouTube.

Info Box icon

What's the deal with international calls?

Our dreams of sharing selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower have been dashed. Republic Wireless doesn’t offer any type of international calls or texts—unless you plan on calling your cousins in Canada to tell them Dunkin’ Donuts is better than Tim Hortons. (But we wouldn’t advise that—they’ve got some beefy hockey players there.

Instead of hitting a data wall, you can plan ahead and up your data limit for the month you’re planning your trip (or when you just need more data). Then you can lower it back down once you return. And you don’t need to call customer service to change your plan—just use the Republic Wireless app.

What phones work on Republic Wireless?

If you like Android phones, you’re in luck. But it’s “too bad, so sad” for Apple phones.

If you’re all about the Android operating system (OS), then you won’t have any trouble hopping onto a Republic Wireless plan.

But if leaving the sleek and shiny iPhone gives you the heebie-jeebies, we’re sorry to say you won’t find any Apple phones supported here.

If leaving the sleek and shiny iPhone gives you the heebie-jeebies, we’re sorry to say you won’t find any Apple phones supported on republic wireless.

The reason for this, so we hear, is that Republic Wireless uses its app to prioritize using Wi-Fi for you to place a call. If it can’t connect to Wi-Fi, the app hops onto a cellular network. And, unfortunately, that app is currently supported only on Android phones.1

Hopefully, Apple will get its act together and approve the Republic Wireless app for use on iOS soon.

Which top phones* does Republic Wireless have?

MakeModels availableLearn more
SamsungGalaxy S9, S8, J7, J3View phones
MotorolaMoto Z3 Play, Moto G6/G6 Play, Moto X4, Moto G5/G5 Plus and G5S Plus, Moto E4/E4 Plus, Moto G4/G4 PlayView phones
GoogleBring your ownView phones

*Not a complete list.

While this is a relatively short list of phones available in Republic Wireless stores, the list of phones supported through the Bring Your Own Phone program is a lot longer.

What’s coverage like on Republic Wireless?

By bouncing between Wi-Fi and Sprint and T-Mobile networks, Republic Wireless offers pretty reliable coverage.

We mentioned before that Republic Wireless keeps your costs low by relying on Wi-Fi signals for you to make and receive calls. If there’s no Wi-Fi signal available or if you happen to walk out of a Wi-Fi zone, Republic hops onto a cellular network.

But what networks does Republic Wireless use? The company doesn’t like to name names, but we found out it uses Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s networks.

Pin icon

4G explained

“What’s 4G?,” you ask? Great question. 4G measures how fast your phone downloads information from the internet—typically that’s about 15 megabits per second (Mbps). If your phone is rocking 4G speeds, that means downloading a photo will take about one second. Compared to four seconds on 3G or three minutes on 2G, that’s a blink of an eye.2

We ranked T-Mobile second and Sprint fourth for both coverage and speed, so it’s pretty safe to say you’ll have a signal throughout your daily travels. (Unless you venture way out in the boonies, in which case we doubt even the MVP, Verizon, would have you covered.)

Republic Wireless customer service

Got a question? Time to get chummy with other Republic Wireless customers.

We found a lot of rave reviews of Republic Wireless, but not a lot of commentary about its actual customer service. This could be a good thing, since that means fewer negative reviews.

We also noticed that most of the answers on community support posts came from other Republic Wireless users—and the company even recommends asking an “Expert Member” if the FAQs don’t answer your question.

republic wireless screenshot

Republic Wireless is super confident in its users—maybe even more so than its customer service staff.

This is an interesting approach to customer service, but it doesn’t help much if you have a question about your bill. You know, a question that requires someone who actually works for Republic Wireless to answer it.

Your other options are chatting with an actual Republic Wireless rep and opening a ticket. But we couldn’t find a phone number for customer service anywhere—even on Google. Hmm . . .

Recap—Is Republic Wireless any good?

So when it comes down to it, just how good is Republic Wireless? Here are our thoughts in a nutshell.

  • Plans: The My Choice Plan offers you endless customization—unless you want more than 15 GB of data. And if you’re an iPhone lover, we’re sorry to say it’s not gonna happen.
  • Performance: Republic works hard to save you money by hopping on a Wi-Fi signal when one’s available. When there’s no Wi-Fi signal to be found, you’ll get great coverage and speed on Sprint’s or T-Mobile’s networks.
  • Customer service: Republic Wireless relies on its customers to answer most of your questions—which could be good or bad. If you need more help, your options are limited to live chat, an online ticket, or social media. No phone calls for this cell phone company. Funny, isn’t it?
  • Overall: If you don’t need a lot of data, Republic Wireless’s flexible plan could save you some money. But, sadly, iPhone users and anyone looking for an unlimited data plan are left out in the cold.
Light Bulb icon

Check out other prepaid cell phone plans

Republic Wireless not cutting it? Check out more top picks in our Best Prepaid Plans review.

FAQs

Q: Where can I buy Republic Wireless phones?

Unless you live near Raleigh, NC, your only option for buying a Republic Wireless phone is the online shop.

But if you do call North Carolina home, there’s a Republic Wireless pop-up shop in downtown Raleigh.

Q: Does Republic Wireless use a GSM network?

According to Republic, most of its phones can use both GSM and CDMA networks. But some phones may work only with the GSM network. You can check out GSM or CDMA compatibility here.

Sources

1. Republic Wireless Member Community, “Why Not Use iPhones?
2. Ken’s Tech Tips, “Download Speeds: What do 2G, 3G, and 4G Actually Mean for You?