The following article will provide a detailed comparison between Straight Talk and Total Wireless to help you select a budget cell phone carrier. Read on for a Straight Talk vs. Total Wireless comparison.
Does your monthly cellular bill seem too expensive and you’re looking for more budget-friendly options to cut down costs? Then it is time to select a budget carrier that provides all the facilities of your current service provider but at an affordable price.
It’s evident that Straight Talk and Total Wireless are among the most cost effective carriers. But which one is best for you? We are here to help you with just that. By the end of this article you will have a fair idea of all the differences between the two carriers which will help you select the best option for yourself.
So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Straight Talk vs. Total Wireless: Which is Better?
The answer to this question is not so straightforward. The better option between Straight Talk and Total Wireless depends entirely upon your needs as each carrier has its own pros and cons.
Let’s look at some more things before you might be able to make a decision.
TracFone owns both Straight Talk and Total Wireless
TracFone owns both Straight Talk and Total Wireless, which are Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). MVNOs are cellular service providers that purchase the right to use the towers of one of the four major cellular networks (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint). However, there are significant differences in plans, pricing, and retail availability between Straight Talk and Total Wireless, which we’ll go over later.
Please keep in mind that just because TracFone owns Total Mobile does not automatically make Straight Talk phones interoperable on Total Mobile networks. Similarly, all billing, customer service, and other services are handled by separate providers (for example, you can’t call Total Wireless to refill your Straight Talk account).
Straight talk is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), also known as an alternative carrier, that provides prepaid wireless services. Straight Talk is a TracFone brand that primarily caters to data-hungry, low-income individuals. It has 25 million subscribers and is the largest no-contract cellular provider in the United States.
This MVNO uses the networks of T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. The best network for you is determined by coverage in your area.
It has around 800 stores in 15 countries around the world. Straight Talk currently provides phones, devices, service plans, mobile hotspots, and other phone payment plans. With a joint venture with Walmart, it is easier to act as an exclusive retailer, allowing customers to buy goods and services directly from Straight Talk.
Straight Talk is one of the most affordable prepaid carriers on the market. This service provider keeps its prices low by utilizing cell towers from other MVNOs. While this allows you to pay lower phone plan rates, it also means foregoing certain bells and whistles. It translates to slower data speeds and the absence of family plan deals.
Pros of Straight Talk
Following is a list of all the good features of Straight Talk:
- Does not require a contract or credit check
- Offers a reward program
- Gives discounts for enrolling and using the auto-refill program
- Made for mobile data users on a budget
- Allows you to keep your old phone
- Includes phone installment plans
- Offers International calling
- Quick transfer of data from old phone
Cons of Straight Talk
Straight Talk has some cons but some of the most prominent ones include:
- No international texting
- Data coverage is not so good depending on the carrier you select
- Does not offer family plans
- Speed is slow
TracFone owns Total Wireless, which was founded in 2015. It operates on Verizon’s network and covers the entire United States. Total Wireless provides no-contract, flexible service to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. Customers can select a Total Wireless plan and phone that fits their needs without having to sign a contract or pay any hidden fees. Customers may be able to use their existing cell phone with Total Wireless’ service while keeping their current phone number. Total Wireless is ideal for moderate-level cell phone users.
Devices and service plans are available online at Total Wireless and Wal-Mart, as well as in-store at Target, Walmart, and Dollar General. They do not use Verizon’s voice VoLTE but rather CMDA, so call quality may vary depending on your location.
Total Wireless customers are pleased with the company’s overall services, which include flexible packages and data plans, as well as the network’s dependable coverage. They may have some minor flaws, but considering their prices and services, they are well worth it.
Pros of Total Wireless
The pros of Total Wireless include:
- Offers family/multi line plans
- No contract or credit check required
- Affordable add ons
- 5% auto-refill discount
- Provides great coverage
- Offers international calling
- Allows you to retain your existing phone number
Cons of Total Wireless
- Only offers basic plans and not too many options are available
- None of the plans offer unlimited data or hotspot
- Does not provide international texting
- Expensive interest fees on lease to own
Straight Talk vs. Total Wireless: Plans
Both Straight Talk and Total Wireless offer different plans each with their own advantages. While Total Wireless does not offer much variety in terms of plans, it does offer family/multi line packs that can prove to be quite cost effective if you are looking to get a plan for your entire family.
On the other hand, Straight Talk offers several plans that provide unlimited data, while Total Wireless does not have any plans that offer unlimited data.
Straight Talk has three major plans that give you the benefit of unlimited data. Having unlimited data will allow you to use mobile data at 4G LTE speeds until your monthly allowance gets used up. You will be lowered to 2G speeds until you get a recharge. But basic plans will not provide the facility of mobile hotspot.
The three major plans offered by Straight Talk include:
- 3 GB: $35 per month ($34 with Auto-refill)
- 25 GB: $45 per month ($44 with Auto-refill)
- Unlimited: $55 per month ($50/month for 3 months with Auto-refill)
Straight Talk does not offer family plans, but now provides a 2 line, unlimited data plan for $90 a month.
Total Wireless also has three major plans. Just as in the case of Straight Talk, all plans provide data at 4G LTE speeds before reducing to 2G speed:
- Unlimited Talk and Text: $25 ($23.70 with Auto-refill)
- 5 GB: $35 per month ($33.20 with Auto-refill)
- 25 GB: $45 per month ($47.50 with Auto-refill)
During congestion, Straight Talk (and Total Mobile) customers’ speeds are prioritized behind customers on the network they are using. For example, if you use T-network, Mobile’s these customers will be prioritized during peak hours.
Straight Talk vs. Total Wireless: Coverage
Total Wireless operates solely on Verizon’s networks. Straight Talk is compatible with all major carrier networks. You can do this by selecting the compatibility of your phone. For example, if you bring an AT&T phone to Straight Talk, you select an AT&T-specific SIM card.
You should look into which one will provide better coverage in your area. Of the major carriers, Verizon has the best overall performance and coverage. However, it may differ from where you live. Most people, especially those living in cities, should have no trouble getting coverage. The majority of these areas are covered by major networks, and you can easily find the right one.
You can use either Verizon or AT&T’s towers, depending on your preferences. If Verizon isn’t a good option in your area, go with Straight Talk.
Straight Talk vs. Total Wireless: Phone Selection
Straight Talk and Total Wireless are comparable in terms of phone selection and available devices.
They provide a good number of the most recent smartphones on the market, such as the latest Samsung and Apple smartphones, giving users more options to get what they want.
You can also bring your own phone with the two cellphone service providers. Switching over is simple if you have a SIM kit from either of them.
Enter the device IMEI number on the specific website and let them do the rest to see if your current phone is compatible.
If everything goes as planned, you will only need to choose a SIM card and then a plan. You will be up and running in no time while also saving up quite a lot.
Rewards and Customer Service
Straight Talk and Total Wireless both have rewards programs that can help you save money on your monthly bill. Each works on the basis of points earned by paying your bills on time, enrolling in auto-pay, and other actions. Overall, the advantages of both are equal.
Straight Talk has slightly better customer service than Total Wireless, but don’t expect either to be great.
Prepare to solve the majority of your problems on your own. If you do decide to cancel your Total Wireless service for any reason, don’t expect them to refund any unused funds in your account right away. You should use it up before switching.
Now that you are well-versed in all the pros and cons of Straight Talk and Total Wireless, it will become fairly easy for you to select one that fits your needs seamlessly.
While both of them have similar disadvantages like a lack of international texting service, they each have their pros too. For people who truly need an individual budget plan, The 5GB option by Total Wireless seems like the best plan. On the other hand, if You are looking for a 2 line plan, the $90 monthly plan by Straight Talk is the way to go.
Nevertheless, you should also look at other budget carriers besides Total Wireless and Straight Talk to check if there’s an even better plan out there that is more suitable to your needs.