Unless you get a real kick out of throwing money away (said no one ever), finding a budget-friendly cell service is likely a priority to keep monthly expenses down. And if you’ve checked all of the usual suspects to no avail, Kroger Wireless might be an excellent option for you. Yes, we’re talking about that Kroger, as in the grocery family. Rebranded from i-wireless to Kroger Wireless in 2019, the service is already a standout in the industry.
Certainly, a lot of this success can be attributed to their affordable wireless prepaid phone plans. These make it easy to save money over many of their competitors. If you have questions about this provider, we’ve got the answers. And we’re about to get into all of that below.
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Kroger Wireless is exactly what it sounds like: a wireless service provider.
Every great superhero has an origin story, and Kroger Wireless is no different. Founded in 2005, the i-wireless brand was trialed in 130 Kroger stores the following year. Then, in mid-2008, i-wireless rolled out to over 2,200 Kroger locations and their family of stores across 31 states. Finally, in May 2019, they changed their brand name to Kroger Wireless.
Now you might be a little apprehensive about trusting your mobile needs with a company that appears to be a smaller name in the game. However, what’s super interesting here is that Kroger Wireless doesn’t own its network infrastructure. Instead, they lease it from T-Mobile. This allows them to offer more affordable plans and services to their customers, giving them about 99% coverage nationwide. Ultimately, that means they’re available in most areas.
Every prepaid plan has a hotspot feature.
The company’s prepaid wireless plans include a hotspot feature, so you can use your mobile device to connect anywhere. Plus, if you need to add funds to your prepaid phone while away from home, Kroger Wireless gives you options.
Another major benefit is that Kroger Wireless customer service is impressive. That’s not something you always get with cell providers. We’ve all had those hours-long Verizon calls trying to resolve an issue. The four times I called Kroger Wireless customer service while working on this post, a real person answered within the first few rings every time. No need to go through a slew of automated menus and painful wait times.
You won’t have to worry about credit checks here.
Hands down, one of the most appealing things about Kroger Wireless plans is that there are no contracts. That means no credit checks and you’ll never have to worry about activation fees for contract phone plans, like the $35 Verizon and T-Mobile charge. Moreover, if you ever feel like walking away from Kroger Wireless, there’s also no cancellation fee. Leave Verizon before your contract ends and it can cost you a minimum of $175 as an early termination fee per line. Yikes!
Save on Kroger Wireless phones.
Kroger Wireless offers a variety of phones that’ll work on their network. These include the latest models from Samsung and Apple. You can also bring your own phone (BYOP) over to the service.
Try an off-brand cellphone if you aren’t brand loyal.
If you need to buy a new phone, consider an off-brand phone from Kroger Wireless. For example, they offer the Treswave Sense TW102, for $49 or $4 a month (the cheapest phone Kroger Wireless has available).
Apple fans: consider buying a pre-owned Kroger Wireless phone instead of getting a new one.
I found the cheapest iPhone models at Kroger Wireless are pre-owned iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8, each costing $199. A pre-owned iPhone XR at Kroger Wireless is $249, while a new one costs up to $429. However, there is a trade-off for saving a few hundred dollars. The warranty on pre-owned phones is only 60 days versus one year for new phones.
Note: A shorter warranty is standard practice for things like electronics and cellphones.
Buy a Kroger Wireless phone on sale at Kroger and save up to 25%.
Look for discounts on their phones while shopping for groceries at your nearby Kroger. Here are two recent deals I found:
- Kroger Wireless NUU Mobile Cellphone, $24.99 (reg $29.99)
- Kroger Wireless SKY E55 Phone, $29.99 (reg $39.99)
Bring your own phone over.
Got a phone you love? BYOP to this wireless provider and you won’t have to worry about buying another one. If your device is paid off, is in working order, and is compatible with the network, no need to buy another one — cha-ching! Switching to Kroger Wireless with your current phone is simple. Enter your zip code to make sure Kroger Wireless is in your area and verify the device’s IMEI, then pick your plan.
Trade in your old phone to help pay for an upgraded one.
If you don’t want to bring your current phone over, or have an older phone tucked away in a drawer no longer in use, you may be able to trade it in. Enter your phone’s make, model, and condition on this trade-in website. You could put it towards purchasing a new Kroger Wireless phone or cell plan. Or, hey, pocket the cash. I got a $95 offer for a four-year-old iPhone XR 128GB that I longer use.
Related: Check out these stores that reward you for recycling.
There are also ways to save with a Kroger Wireless prepaid cell phone plan.
Now that you have your cellphone, it’s time to turn your attention to saving on a plan.
Compare them to other Wireless Prepaid providers.
Let’s compare the Kroger Wireless $15 a month plan with some of their prepaid wireless competitors to see how much you can save with them.
- Consumer Cellular: $20
- Lively: $30
- Visible: $30
Kroger came in $5 – $15 under their competitors’ basic plan prices, that’s up to 50% savings. Here’s an in-depth look at the best cheap cellphone plans.
Get $10 off all plans with KCL’s exclusive code KRAZY.
Use the KCL exclusive code KRAZY during checkout and get $10 off all plans (excludes the $15/month plan).
Link your Kroger Plus Card with your Kroger Wireless account to earn 4X fuel points on every phone plan.
It doesn’t matter which phone plan you sign up for; you can earn 4X fuel points. Yep, even their cheapest three-month plan. Stack the wireless fuel points with those you get shopping at Kroger for even better savings at the pump.
You’ll earn fuel points every time you renew your plan, monthly or yearly. However, they do expire on the last day of the month they’re earned.
To link your Kroger Plus card as a first-time Kroger Wireless subscriber, enter your Plus Card number or your alternate ID# as you create your free account. Current members can add their Kroger Plus card to their Kroger Wireless account online or in the app.
Sign up for Kroger Wireless Autopay and save 10% off your monthly plan.
Set up autopay and save 10% off your monthly plan. The $15 three-month plan is the exception; there’s no discount. How much does 10% save you dollar-wise? Let’s take a look.
Select the cheapest monthly plan if you use your phone for the basics.
If you primarily use your phone for texting, making calls, and occasionally browsing the internet, you may only need a light data plan, like the Kroger Wireless 3GB monthly plan. This is only $15 a month (pay $45 every three months).
For heavy data users, annual plans can save up to 20% over monthly plans.
Let’s say you spend most of your time online playing games, streaming HD content, or downloading files, go with an annual Kroger Wireless plan. You’ll save 20% over the monthly plans. The yearly Unlimited Data plan has the highest savings out of all ’em. It’ll save you $108 or $9 a month over the Unlimited Data monthly plan. Here’s the bonus: Remember KCL’s KRAZY $10 discount code? Use it with the 20% off discount of an annual plan to save the most.
- 3GB three-month plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $15/mo or $180/year (requires $45 every three months)
- 6GB monthly plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $22.50-$25/mo or $270 – $300/year (with and without autopay)
- 10GB monthly plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $31.50 – $35/mo or $378 – $420/year (with and without autopay)
- Unlimited Data (25Gb highspeed) monthly plan with Unlimited Talk/Text and Hotspot, $40.50 – $45/mo or $486 – $540/year (with and without autopay)
- 3 GB 12-month plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $180/year
- 6GB 12-month plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $240/year, save $60
- 10GB 12-month plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $336/year, save $84
- Unlimited Data (25GB highspeed) 12-month plan with Unlimited Talk/Text & Hotspot, $432/year, save $108
Pay attention to your talk, text, and data usage.
Kroger Wireless doesn’t carry over any remaining text, talk, or data from month to month. At the end of the month, it’s gone. Manage your usage in their app so you know you’re getting your money’s worth. If you need to switch plans or cancel, do so at the end of the month or re-up period as Kroger Wireless will not refund anything leftover. So, you might as well use it.
Use your Airtime cards before they expire.
Like you need to watch your talk, text, and data usage, pay attention to refilling your prepaid phone with Airtime cards. Each card is only valid for a certain period once activated. If you don’t use all of it by the time the card expires, any remaining value is lost.
- $10 – $19 refills are valid for 30 days after activation
- $20 – $34 refills are valid for 60 days after activation
- $35 – $100 refills are valid for 90 days after activation
Get the cheapest BNPL phone with a 3GB yearly plan to ensure you won’t incur interest paying over time.
During checkout, you must either pay for your phone and plan out of pocket or pay with the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service Affirm. If you choose to pay over time for any of the Kroger Wireless plans, it won’t cost you interest if you pay the total owed within 12 months. Otherwise, it could cost you hundreds of dollars. One way to ensure you won’t incur any interest over time is to go with the cheap phone and the 3GB yearly plan because it doesn’t offer a 24-month BNPL option. Take a look:
Consider your travel plans.
Travel often outside of the United States? All Kroger Wireless plans come with free international texting. However, your prepaid phone will not work outside the U.S. If you want to make any overseas calls you will need to purchase an international calling card. These are available at many retailers, including Kroger. Expect to spend $10+ on a card.