AT&T takes on Mint Mobile with new multi-month prepaid plans

AT&T has rolled out a couple of new prepaid wireless options akin to the multi-month plans long offered by companies like Mint Mobile. Under these new deals, AT&T Prepaid customers have the option of pre-paying for multiple months at a time, ultimately scoring a discount on a per-month basis compared to paying monthly. The wireless company currently has two multi-month plans available.

Multi-month wireless plans are simple to understand: you pick a plan, then pay for three or more months at once. The appeal is in the discount — because you'll be with the company for a while, it offers these plans at a discount, ultimately offering a monthly price lower than most competing per-month plans.

The potential downside, of course, is that you can't refund these months in most cases, meaning you're stuck with the carrier for however many months you prepay even if you decide you want to switch. These plan options are ideal for prepaid wireless customers who are already satisfied with the carrier they're using and who are willing to stick with them for a while.

Mint Mobile is perhaps the best-known prepaid carrier offering multi-month plans, but now AT&T is getting into the mix. The company has introduced two multi-month prepaid plans, each offering 8GB of high-speed mobile data on top of unlimited talk and text. Customers can prepay for either three months or 12 months of service.

The three-month AT&T Prepaid plan costs $99, which works out to $33 per month. The 12-month prepaid plan costs $300, which works out to $25 per month. These rates are a bit more expensive than some competitors, though consumers may be willing to pay more for the AT&T network. Mint Mobile, for example, offers 12GB of high-speed data for $25 per month on its 12-month prepaid plan; the three-month 8GB plan is $20 per month.