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2020 Republic Wireless Review: Our Experience After 6 Years

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Republic Wireless is a cell phone service provider that began offering service in 2011. We’re sharing this Republic Wireless review to tell others about our experience of how you can save money on your cell phone bill.

They’re changing the way people pay for and use cell phone service. 

Why are they making such big waves?

They’re stealing customers from the big four carriers left and right because they can save people a massive amount of money every month.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think anyone loves paying crazy high cell phone bills.

Personally, my wife and I both have our cell phones with Republic Wireless.

Included below are our personal experiences with the cell phone service provider throughout the almost six years we’ve been subscribers.

Republic Wireless Review Of Their Plans And Their Prices

republic wireless logoNo matter which plan you pick, you never have to sign a contract.

Right away, that puts Republic Wireless ahead in my mind.

To make things even better, they have a super-simple plan structure.

You pay $15 per month for unlimited talk and text plus an additional $5 per GB of data you’d like to purchase. It’s that simple.

republic wireless my choice plan costs for unlimited talk and text and high speed lte cell data

Of course, you still have to pay taxes and governmental fees. On our $20 plan, we pay just $3.90 in taxes and fees per month.

New Annual Plans Save You Even More

In May 2019, Republic Wireless announced the ability to prepay for a year of service. To reward you for prepaying, you get 12 months of service for the price of 10 months of service.

Of course, you need to be able to afford to pay for a year of service up front. Due to their low monthly costs, a year of service only cost my wife $200 for a year with 1 GB of data per month plus the cost of taxes and fees. In total, we paid $239.05.

You can prepay for any amount of data you want locking in a 16.67% discount. That said, doing so locks you into paying for at least that much data each month.

Even if you buy a year of service, you can always add an additional GB of data at any time for the regular rate of $5. You just don’t get the 16.67% discount on data you don’t prepay for one year in advance.

If you know you’ll use a minimum of 2 GB per month, it makes sense to prepay and get a 16.67% discount. On the other hand, if you don’t use any data some months, you might be better off buying additional data at the full price of $5 per GB.

It is important to note that the year of service you prepay for is non-refundable. If you leave Republic Wireless before your year of service is up, you forfeit any remaining months of credit you have.

If you’ve tried out their service and love it, prepaying for a year is a smart move that saves you 16.67% off your annual cell phone bill. We just renewed our yearly service for another year and got another 12 months for the price of 10.

However, I’d suggest you stick to a monthly plan if you haven’t tried out their service yet. You can prepay for a year at any time, so try out the service to make sure it works for you before you lock yourself in for a full year.

Get Republic Wireless Today

Phones You Can Buy From Republic Wireless

Currently, Republic Wireless offers a variety of phones that cover pretty much every possible price point.

Unfortunately, they don’t work with iPhones yet. I’ve heard the iPhone in beta testing, though, so iPhones may be in Republic Wireless’s future. For now, they do have a nice selection of Android phones which currently include the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ – $1,099
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 – $999
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 1o – $949
  • Google Pixel 4 XL – $899
  • Google Pixel 4 – $799
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 – $749
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e – $599
  • Motorola moto Z4 – $499
  • Google Pixel 3a XL – $479
  • Google Pixel 3a – $399
  • Samsung Galaxy A50 – $349
  • Moto G Stylus – $299
  • Motorola Moto G7 – $299
  • Moto G Power – $249
  • Samsung Galaxy A20 – $249
  • LG Stylo 5 – $199
  • Motorola Moto G7 Play – $199
  • Samsung Galaxy A10e – $179
  • Motorola Moto E6 – $149

Bring Your Own Phone Compatible Phones

If you’d prefer to save money and want to buy your phone elsewhere or use a phone Republic Wireless doesn’t sell, you don’t have to buy your phone through their online store.

If you do this, make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on your phone. You might be surprised to find out the best place to buy your cell phone isn’t where you’d think.

This is great if you already own a compatible phone, too.

All you have to do is buy a SIM card kit to use with the phone you bring. The kit explains exactly how to set up your new phone with the Republic Wireless service and it only costs $5.

It’s important that you buy the North America unlocked version of the phone that works on GSM networks if you bring your own phone. Here’s a list of phones that are currently compatible with Republic Wireless service.

  • Alcatel A30 (5046G, A576RW)
  • Google Pixel (G-2PW4100)
  • Google Pixel XL (G-2PW2100)
  • Google Pixel 2 (G011A)
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (G011C)
  • Google Pixel 3 (G013A)
  • Google Pixel 3 XL (G013C)
  • Google Pixel 4 (G020I)
  • Google Pixel 4 XL (G020J)
  • Huawei Ascend 5W (H1623)
  • LG K30 (LM-X410ULMG)
  • Moto E4 (XT1768)
  • Moto E4 Plus (XT1775)
  • Moto E5 Play (XT1921-2)
  • Moto G4 (XT1625)
  • Moto G4 PLAY (XT1607)
  • Moto G4 PLUS (XT1644)
  • Moto G5S Plus (XT1806)
  • Moto G5 Plus (XT1687)
  • Moto G6 (XT1925-6)
  • Moto G6 Play (XT1922-9)
  • Moto G7 Power (XT1955-5)
  • Moto X Pure Edition (XT1575)
  • Moto X4 (XT1900-1)
  • Moto Z (XT1650-03)
  • Moto Z Play (XT1635-02)
  • Moto Z2 Play (XT1710-01)
  • Moto Z3 Play (XT1929-4)
  • Nexus 5X by LG (LG-H790)
  • Nexus 6 by Motorola (XT1103)
  • Nexus 6P by Huawei (H1511)
  • OnePlus 6T (A6013)
  • OnePlus 7T (HD1905)
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (SM-A600U)
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J320A) (2016 version)
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (SMJ327U) (2017 Version)
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (SM-J337U) (2018 Version)
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J727U) (2017 Version)
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (SM-J737U) (2018 Version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (SM-N950U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (SM-N960U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T)
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930U)
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935U)
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 (SM-G950U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (SM-G955U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 (SM-G906U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (SM-G965U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+ (SM-G986U1)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (SM-G988U1)

My Picks For Best Republic Wireless Phones

If I had to upgrade my phone today, I’d narrow my options down to two choices: a premium phone and a budget phone. Here’s what I would be debating between as my top picks for Republic Wireless phones.

Premium Phone – Moto G7 – $299

Just a couple of months ago, I upgraded to the Moto G7. I think it is a great value for the money because it comes with the following features that should make it a good looking and long lasting phone:

  • A 3D glass-back design
  • 6.2″ Max Vision Full HD+ display
  • 64 GB of storage expandable with a MicroSD card slot
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 12 MP + 5MP rear camera and 8MP front camera
  • Turbocharging with 3000 mAh battery
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Android 9 Pie

Even at $299, this still won’t compete on the same level as the ultra expensive Samsung Galaxy S20 at $999. However, for a phone that is $700 cheaper, I’d say the sacrifices are well worth the cost savings.

Budget Phone – Moto E6 – $149

The Moto E6 is my favorite Republic Wireless phone on the low end of the price range. Here are the major features that seem great for a phone at this price point:

  • 5.5″ HD+ display
  • 16 GB of storage expandable with a MicroSD card slot
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 3,000 mAh removable battery
  • 13MP rear camera
  • Android 8 Pie

While these are great features for a $149 phone, it definitely won’t work as well as a more premium phone like the Moto G7 or the Samsung Galaxy S20.

That said, if you’re on a budget and just need a phone that makes phone calls, can browse the web, run social media apps and take pictures, this is a great fit.

How Can Republic Wireless Offer Such Low Rates?

How can a cell phone provider offer these rock bottom prices, have great service and survive? I’m glad you asked because switching to their service can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Republic Wireless uses wireless networks (WiFi) instead of cell networks whenever possible to make phone calls, send text messages and for all data consumption purposes.

By using free WiFi instead of a cell network, they can save a ton of money by not paying for cell network access.

They pass these savings along to their consumers in the form of lower rates. I have to say, I’ve been quite impressed with their offerings.

These days, we’re almost always around a source of WiFi. I know we have WiFi at our home, at work and at many of the stores we shop at on a regular basis like the grocery store and Home Depot.

The only time I don’t have access to WiFi is if I’m traveling somewhere unfamiliar or I’m actually on the road.

Be A Part Of Their Thriving Community

Have you ever heard of a community of passionate AT&T or Verizon users that come together to help each other? I didn’t think so. The community at Republic Wireless’s site is quick to help you out if you ever have a question.

You can even learn how to optimize your experience through knowledgeable people already in the community. As you learn, you can add to the conversations if you’d like.

How Is Republic Wireless’s Service?

Republic Wireless uses the Sprint or T-Mobile network for all of your cell calls, text messages and data that don’t end up going over WiFi depending on which phone you use.

My phone uses the Sprint network, which is actually one of the better networks in terms of 4G LTE coverage in my area. My wife’s phone uses the T-Mobile network. We haven’t had any major problems with either one.

Make sure to check the coverage in your area on the Republic Wireless website. You can see coverage maps and enter your zip code to see what coverage they have in your area.

But what if you don’t have awesome Sprint or T-Mobile coverage everywhere you go? Is it a big problem?

I’m going to say it isn’t a game breaker with how Republic Wireless works. Due to the fact that they route everything over WiFi as a first priority, as long as you have access to WiFi you should be fine.

Over the past year, we’ve encountered just a few places where we didn’t have phone or data service through their network. However, I can remember there were dead spots when I used to have AT&T, too.

You’ll run across these issues with any cell phone provider, but Republic Wireless’s calling and texting over WiFi offers another option for when you’re in a dead zone.

As soon as we connected to the store’s WiFi network, we were able to make the call we needed.

When you consider how much cheaper Republic Wireless is than AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, I’m willing to accept an occasional area of spotty service for the hundreds of dollars I’ll save each year.

You Can Switch From WiFi To Cell Service Manually During A Call

If for whatever reason your WiFi call isn’t working smoothly (which we haven’t had any major problems with) there is a setting you can turn on that will allow you to switch a call manually from WiFi to cell service or from cell service to WiFi.

It’s called handover and we’ve rarely had to use it. All you have to do is tap the button.

Republic Wireless’s software is very good at picking a stable network for your phone calls, so we’ve rarely had to switch mid-call. However, it’s a nice feature to have.

You might end up with a dropped call if the handover doesn’t go smoothly, but I’d say this is a rare occurrence based on our experience. We could count the amount of dropped calls we’ve had in the past year on one hand with a couple of fingers to spare.

What’s The Catch?

how republic wireless cut our cell phone bill to $25 in front of jar of $100 bills on blue backgroundRepublic Wireless isn’t going to be able to offer the same exact service on all levels of their business that AT&T and Verizon can because they aren’t a behemoth company yet, even though they currently have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

There isn’t a phone number you can call for customer service, which is a bit annoying.

However, they do have a well thought out ticket-based online support system. You usually get a response pretty fast, but sometimes you may have to wait a bit if they’re super busy.

The only other major downside is you can’t use any phone. That said, they do have an awesome selection of Android-based phones to choose from. iPhones may be coming, too.

They have the latest Samsung Galaxy phones, a wide range of Motorola phones and they even have a phone for less than $150 if you don’t care which phone you use. Check out their full lineup of phones here.

Don’t Worry! You Can Bring Your Phone Number With You!

The biggest worry my wife had about switching was keeping her phone number. Luckily, in almost every case you can port (or take) your old cell phone number to Republic Wireless.

The setup is pretty simple and they have step by step instructions for you to follow. Make sure to check and see if your number can be ported over before you make a purchase with their online tool.

Get Republic Wireless Today

14 Day Money Back Guarantee

If you’re on the fence about trying Republic Wireless, the 14-day money back guarantee should ease your mind. If you don’t like it, simply return it and get all of your money back, except for your initial shipping. Just make sure to follow the rules.

In order to get the money back guarantee, you must contact the company within 14 days of delivery of your phone. You must be able to return the phone in an undamaged condition AND with all of the original packaging.

Don’t throw anything away!

You can only return accessories if they are unopened and undamaged. So, don’t open any accessories if you’re not sure if you’re going to keep the phone yet.

All you have to do is wait for your free return shipping label, ship your phone back and they’ll process your request. It’s a pretty simple process! Make sure to check out the Republic Wireless website for full details.

Our Final Verdict On Our Republic Wireless Review

Republic Wireless is a great way to save a ton of money on your cell phone service. Even after you buy the phones up front, you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year over a traditional cell phone plan.

The WiFi calling technology is pretty awesome. Yes, you might drop a call once in a blue moon or you might hit a spot that doesn’t have cell coverage, but the same exact things happen on the big networks like AT&T or Verizon, too.

Overall, I’m willing to take any of the minor inconveniences I’ve dealt with so far in exchange for saving hundreds of dollars a year. In fact, my wife and I have both made the switch and we’re saving a ton of money.

Our Republic Wireless review shows they aren’t perfect for everyone.

That said, if you’re not a huge technology nerd that has to have the latest Apple phone every 6 months and your area has decent Sprint, T-Mobile and/or WiFi coverage then I suggest you give them a shot. 

You don’t have anything to lose with their 14-day money back guarantee. Odds are you’ll like the service and save hundreds of dollars a year. How cool is that?!

Get Republic Wireless Today

Ready to try out the service and support this site at the same time? Sign up through this affiliate link for Republic Wireless! I’m very thankful for everyone who helps support Money Manifesto!

Common Questions About Republic Wireless

I’ve decided to put together a list of common questions I get so everyone can have the answers.

How Does Republic Wireless Work Internationally?

Republic Wireless doesn’t offer cell service overseas so you won’t be able to make calls, receive and send text messages or use data from cell phone providers.

That said, you will still be able to do all three wherever you have access to WiFi thanks to their awesome WiFi calling technology. Just set your phone to airplane mode and turn on WiFi to get started.

Does Republic Wireless Offer Family Plans?

Unfortunately, Republic Wireless doesn’t offer family plans. If your family doesn’t use a ton of data and is always around WiFi, Republic Wireless’s rock bottom rates may still be worth considering even without a family plan.

Are Republic Wireless Phones Unlocked?

Any phone you can currently buy directly from their online store will come to you unlocked and can be used on any cell phone service provider that uses the same technology (GSM or CDMA) that the phone uses.

If you hate the service but love your new phone, simply exercise the 14-day service guarantee to get a refund for your service and take your new phone to a new carrier.

If you hate the phone, too, you can use the 14-day phone guarantee to get a refund for your phone as well as noted above.

Will Republic Wireless Connect To Any WiFi Including Private Password Protected Networks To Make Calls?

Republic Wireless uses WiFi just like you use WiFi. If your WiFi is turned off, it can’t use WiFi to make calls. It can’t access a Wi-Fi network if the network is password protected and you don’t have the password to access it.

If you have to log in using an internet splash page before getting access to a WiFi network, you’ll have to do that before you can make a call using WiFi.

It won’t randomly connect to an unsecured WiFi network unless you’ve already connected to that network in the past.

Does Republic Wireless Charge Activation Fees?

Thankfully, Republic Wireless does not charge an activation fee at this time.

What Happens If I Run Out Of Data? Am I Automatically Billed For Another GB?

This is one of the great things about this service. Let’s say you sign up for 1 GB of data per month. Once you use your GB of data, your phone no longer has access to data and you will not be billed for another GB of data.

However, if you want to purchase another GB of data, simply open the app and add an additional GB for $5. You have complete control.

Can You Buy A Phone Using A Payment Plan Like On The Big 4 Carriers?

While I’m not a fan of financing phones, Republic Wireless does offer the option to make monthly payments on their phones through Affirm.

That said, if you’ll be saving a ton of money on your monthly bill but can’t afford a phone upfront, the financing charges could be less than the money you save on your monthly bill making it an overall money-saving move.

Does Republic Wireless Offer Any Discount Codes, Promo Codes or Redemption Codes?

From time to time Republic Wireless will run special prices on their phones or free shipping on purchases.

These are most of the deals you’ll see from Republic Wireless. However, once in a blue moon Republic Wireless will offer redemption codes for even better deals.

If I ever hear of a public redemption code, I’ll be sure to share it here.

Do you have Republic Wireless? If not, are you considering switching? Have any questions that we can test out for you? Let me know in the comments or contact me!

I worked very hard on this review to help you decide if Republic Wireless is a good fit for you or not to help you save money.

There are affiliate links within this post that will pay me a small commission if you sign up through them. It is the same price for you either way, but I thank you in advance if you sign up through one of my links.

This review is my opinion only and was most recently updated and accurate to the best of my knowledge as of May 16th, 2020.

Republic Wireless

Varies
8.7

Price

10.0/10

Phone selection

7.0/10

Innovative phone service

9.0/10

Pros

  • Cheap monthly bills
  • Annual plan offers lower price
  • Great for light data users
  • Good Android phone selection

Cons

  • iPhone not yet available
  • Not all Android phones available
  • Heavy data users will have high bills
  • No family plans

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Beau W.

Friday 15th of May 2020

Im definitely going too check out Republic after my contract with Sprint is over. You can't beat the prices. I would be saving $50.00 a month. Compared too what im paying for now.

Gary Bridgman

Thursday 30th of August 2018

I have been a happy Republic Wireless customer for about the same period of time, since 2013, and I continue to enjoy their service, but I would offer 2 gentle cautions (or maybe explanations) to prospective customers: 1. There's a Hotel California effect (you can check out anytime, but you can never QUICKLY leave). If you decide to leave Republic, like my son did to be able to use an iPhone, it takes *10 days* to port your number to the new provider. Republic is technically a "wire-line" (landline) telecom provider because their service platform is hybrid VOIP/Cell. VOIP telecoms are considered wire-lines by the FCC. The handover process was very awkward and confusing until we finally brought Republic into the process. Normally, you let your new provider give your old provider the bad news, but apparently it's better to "bring your ex-lover along on the honeymoon" and ask Republic for help in the handover. Dumping Republic will basically become a full-time job for a few days without their help. So, don't try to switch carriers away from Republic 3 days before going on vacation. 2. If you will be receiving a lot of incoming calls on your Republic phone while using a corporate WiFi (guest WiFi or whatever WiFi your employer makes available for personal use), you need to find out in advance if they have a firewall or proxy or blocked router port that can restrict the voice service. Calling out may work great, but extra-secure WiFi systems have trouble accepting the apparently exotic inbound signal of a voice-over-WiFi call. Good luck getting a straight answer out of your IT department, my help desk never bothered to call me back since it was a personal phone. Every time someone calls me on my Republic phone, I can't hear them for about 15 seconds, but the caller doesn't know that. They usually hang up or leave voicemail. (Cell service is weak in the part of the building where I work, so I'm screwed either way). Data, texts and most outbound calls work fine in all this, though. I have had this problem while working in a large hospital and I've had the problem in a 200-employee ad agency.

Christine

Friday 17th of August 2018

So here's the part I am confused about. Your review mentions that it only connects to wi-fi if it is a password free network, or if you know the password. It won't connect to networks with a splash page log in. Almost ALL wi-fi requires a password, and those that don't like Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, all have a splash page that you have to log into for the free wi-fi. How does the phone handle getting onto the wi-fi? The other puzzling part is that why would they be charging for data on wi-fi since in essence, its using your wi-fi at home on your network which you already pay for from your internet provider and when at free wi-fi spots, its free for the customers to use...... so why charge for data?I can use my tablet for free at such places. Unless you are saying that you can use data from their cell phone service? That I can understand charging data for, because they are providing you with the ability to download or surf using Sprint or Tbombile network. But if you can't surf the internet over the cellular and must have wi-fi... than they are in essence charging you for things that would be free anyway. Please help me understand better.

Lance Cothern

Friday 17th of August 2018

Sorry for any confusion. Your phone will obviously connect to WiFi if you enter the password to enter a password protected network or if you accept the terms on the splash page of a public WiFi system. However, it will not automatically connect to any WiFi that is password protected or has a splash page UNLESS you take action to access the network. Just like any other phone, once you enter a WiFi password, it will remember it and log you on the network with no problems unless the WiFi password changes or you tell your phone to forget the WiFi network. Basically, it works like any other phone.

That said, they don't charge you for data over WiFi. If you get the package with no data (the $15/mo plan) you don't have cell data and can only access over WiFi. If you pay $5 for 1 GB of data, you'll only use that data when you aren't connected to WiFi or when there is a problem with the WiFi and it has no internet access. The data comes from Sprint or T-Mobile towers depending on which device and sim card you have. Does that help? They don't charge you for data for anything that goes over WiFi, only over cell towers.

Todd Weitzman

Friday 3rd of August 2018

Is it because you have an extensive partnership with Republic you recommend them over a $15 plan from Mint Sim? I've written a review on Mint and it's been a worthy competitor to Republic Wireless to be honest. Of course it does depend on the kind of phone you have as well.

Lance Cothern

Sunday 5th of August 2018

Thanks for the question. The reason this post focuses on Republic Wireless and not MintSim is because it is a Republic Wireless review. My wife and I have happily used Republic Wireless for years. Personally, I like the fact that Republic Wireless has free calling and texts over WiFi. I use this feature often when we're on cruises to contact family members back home without the cost of an international plan. It's also helpful to get service in my house where I don't get the best cell signal no matter what carrier I choose. Finally, whenever I need an extra GB or data I can add it for just a month for $5. This allows me to keep my standard cell bill lower but have the ability to add more data inexpensively when I need it. I do believe MintSim is another option that could work for some people based on their rates, but I haven't personally used their service so I haven't written a review of them yet.

Edson Jeune

Thursday 12th of July 2018

hello, so i currently have t-mobile and i travel a lot to Europe, which is the reason i have switch to T-mobile from ATT. a friend of mine who is also a traveler have mentioned to me that T-mobile allows one to text for free even while traveling internationally. so my question is, since they use T-mobile and Sprint network, would it still allow me to text for free internationally as a Republic Wireless member? looking forward to your reply. thank you.

Christopher Thorpe

Wednesday 25th of July 2018

You don’t really need service overseas anymore. I worried about this with my daughter going oiut of the country for 5 months, but we both just loaded the WhatsApp app on our Republic Wireless phones and voila. We could text and call over wifi and it was all free! Don’t be afraid to bail out on T-Mobile. :)

Lance Cothern

Thursday 12th of July 2018

I'd stick with T-Mobile. To the best of my knowledge, Republic Wireless doesn't offer any service overseas. They only use the US based towers. If you have access to WiFi overseas, you can use WiFi to make free calls and texts. I've done this on cruises before. However, if you need cell service (not WiFi) overseas, stick with T-Mobile.