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Phones

Verizon shakes up prepaid plans with cheaper pricing tier, hotspot tethering and more

Prepaid Verizon customers will also be able to talk, text and surf the web in Mexico and Canada for $5 a day.

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Verizon's adding new prepaid options.

Josh Miller/CNET

The phone carrier Verizon is bringing some changes to its prepaid plans. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 20, customers interested in prepaid plans -- or plans that don't require users to sign an annual contract or go through a credit check -- will see more pricing options and bundled features.

For starters, there will be a cheaper pricing tier for single-line plans, which costs $30 a month for unlimited US talk and text, plus 500MB of data. This isn't much of a deal though, since the pricing tier after that (which Verizon has been offering already) gives you six times as much data for $10 more (in other words, 3GB for $40 a month). You can also get 7GB for $50 and 10GB for $60.

Verizon is also adding 3G mobile hotspot or data tethering to prepaid plans. This is useful whenever you want to connect a device, say a laptop, to the internet using your phone's data connectivity. Just keep in mind that using your phone's mobile hotspot still chews through your allotted data plan and that 3G data can feel glacial if you're used to 4G LTE speeds on your phone. (And in case you're wondering, Verizon cites its 3G mobile tethering speeds max out at about 600Kbps.)

Lastly, the carrier added an international travel option for prepaid customers traveling to Mexico and Canada. You can call, text and surf the web for $5 a day.