Cheap Cell Phone Plans
Cheap cell phone plans should be inexpensive, flexible, and simple to understand. Purchasing a cell phone plan can be expensive and the last thing you want are hidden costs and low data caps. It may be tough to find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles you desire and saves you money, but it’s not impossible.
There are several low-cost cell phone carriers that use some of the big named mobile carriers networks to offer you great coverage at the fraction of the cost. Some of these cheap cell phone carriers also offer unlimited talk and text with great data service.
If you are looking to save money and still have great service then get a family plan with some of the low-cost carriers that provide some great plans on some of the best networks. You don’t always have to sacrifice service for savings.
The 9 Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans Available in 2019
Almost all prices are susceptible to change so please check the service plan website for current information details.
Tello allows you to build your own customized plan, which runs on Sprint’s network. All Tello offers is prepaid, so you will never get hit with any kind of hidden fees.
You create your phone plan based on what exactly you need for talk, text, and data. If you think you will use your cell phone for data and texting, you can build the plan based on that and reduce your monthly bill. You are able to add up to 5 GB of 4G LTE data to the plan. Tello also provides predefined plans which are popular. Tello allows you to bring your own unlocked phone.
- $11/month: unlimited talk and text plus, calls to Canada, Mexico & China are included.
- $14/month: unlimited talk, text and 1 GB plus, calls to Canada, Mexico & China are included.
- $19/month: unlimited talk, text and 2 GB plus, calls to Canada, Mexico & China are included.
- $24/month: unlimited talk, text and 3 GB plus, calls to Canada, Mexico & China are included.
- $39/month: unlimited talk, text and 10 GB plus, calls to Canada, Mexico & China are included.
Republic Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator that sells low-cost mobile phone service which defaults to Wi-Fi and falls back on partnerships with two national cellular networks, either T-Mobile or Sprint, when Wi-Fi is unavailable. Because Republic Wireless is backed by two of America’s largest networks, it offers 98 percent coverage, so dropped calls are quite rare.
Republic Wireless plans start at $15 for unlimited talk and text, and you can purchase a GB of high-speed LTE data for $5. You can add or remove 4G LTE data at any time right from the Republic Wireless app. The app also provides usage statistics, a Wi-Fi connection assistant, and a data connection manager that you can use to restrict which apps can connect to the internet via 4G LTE data and which can connect via Wi-Fi only.
- $15/month: unlimited talk and text
- $20/month: unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data
- $25/month: unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data
- $30/month: unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of data
- $65/month: unlimited talk, text, and 10GB of data
Xfinity Mobile is an MVNO, meaning it buys up access on one of the wireless carriers and then resells that to its customers. In Comcast’s case, the network it’s using is Verizon, which means you’re hopping on board with the network with the best coverage in the US.
Xfinity Mobile is offering the unlimited plan for $45 – that includes unlimited talk text and data, though speeds will be capped at 1.5 Mbps for downloads and 750 Kbps for uploads after 20 GB of usage in a billing cycle. While the plan’s monthly cost will jump to a rate of $65 per month once the promotional period ends, customers who sign up for the $45 rate will get to keep it for two years as long as they maintain the account in good standing and keep their Xfinity Internet subscription.
Note: Available only to people with Comcast Infinity Internet subscribers.
- $12/month: unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data ($12/GB)
- $45/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (reduced speeds after 20GB)
Twigby is a good single plan for someone looking for something very basic. Maybe you’re looking for a backup phone, or you simply don’t use your phone as much as the rest of us.
With a basic or smartphone, you can choose plans based on minutes starting at $9 for 200 minutes and going up to unlimited minutes for $25. After choosing your minutes you can add data to your smartphone, which starts at $3 for 150MB and goes up to 2GB for $23. Unlimited texting is automatic with any plan. One drawback of Twigby is their coverage, again through the Sprint network.
Note: Twigby is giving its new customers 25% off on their first 6 months of service.
- $9.75/month: unlimited talk and text
- $14.25/month: unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data
- $17.25/month: unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data
- $21.00/month: unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of data
- $24.75/month: unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of data
- $32.25/month: unlimited talk, text, and 10GB of data
Mint Mobile is an MVNO much like the others, with a special twist on how you can buy service.
While you can buy a package of talk, text, and data for a month, you can also buy extended service for as long as one year for significant savings. It offers the small (2GB), medium (5GB), and large (10GB) plans for one month, three months, six months, or one year.
$35 gets you a single month plan with unlimited talk and text as well as 2GB of LTE data (which drops in speed once your limit is reached), or $399 gets you a full year’s worth of service including 10GB of LTE data.
If you know how much service you’ll need buying in bulk can be a considerable saving. Mint Mobile uses aggressive pricing to provide long-term value, as well as cheap packages for monthly users.
- $15/month: unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data. ($45 per 3 months)
- $20/month: unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data. ($60 per 3 months)
- $25/month: unlimited talk, text and 10GB of data. ($75 per 3 months)
Ting offers a pricing schedule to help you save money by only charging you for the minutes and data you use. It costs only $6 a month to have your phone activated. These are some key benefits of choosing Ting as your mobile carrier. With Ting, you don’t have any contracts and you pay for the usage you use. Ting uses Sprint’s network. If you have great Sprint network in your area, Ting would be a great cheap mobile plan for you.
- $15/mo: 100 minutes and 1000 texts plus international calling and texting to 60+ countries
- $24/mo: 100 minutes and 1000 texts and 500 MB of data plus international calling and texting to 60+ countries
- $30/mo: 500 minutes and 1000 texts and 500 MB of data plus international calling and texting to 60+ countries
- $36/mo: 500 minutes and 1000 texts 1 GB of data plus international calling and texting to 60+ countries
Cricket Wireless offers a great cheap cell phone plan using the AT&T network. Their plans may cost a little more but the AT&T network is better than Sprint’s network. There are no contracts with Cricket Wireless. You can also save more money by signing up for auto pay. This will save you an additional $5 a month. Another great benefit is you can bring your own phone to this plan.
- $25/month: unlimited talk and text
- $30/month: unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data
- $40/month: unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data
- $55/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus Unlimited international texts with unlimited calls, texts Mexico and Canada.
- $60/month: unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data plus Unlimited international texts with unlimited calls, texts Mexico and Canada.
MetroPCS plans don’t stand out from the best prepaid cell phone plans at first glance, but they are the only prepaid carrier to offer a truly unlimited data plan and at a very reasonable price. The phone selection isn’t great, but you can bring your own device and pop in a prepaid SIM card. MetroPCS has four prepaid cell phone plans available starting at $30 a month all plan includes unlimited talk and text with different amount of data.
- $30/month: unlimited talk; text and 2 GB of data.
- $40/month: unlimited talk, text and 5 GB of data
- $50/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus 5GB of Hotspot
- $60/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus 15GB of Hotspot and amazon prime included
US Mobile believes mobile providers should offer plans that are simple and offer great value. As such, you’re able to build your own plan based on your specific usage needs. you’re able to add up to 10 lines to your mobile account to cover your entire family, with the option to top up your account with more minutes, texts or data as you need.
- $10/month: unlimited talk and text
- $23/month:1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 1 GB of data
- $25/month: unlimited talk, text and 5 GB of data
- $40/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (Speed Limited To 1 Mbps)
- $45/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (Speed Limited To 5 Mbps)
- $55/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (No Speed caps)
Key Considerations When Comparing Cheap Phone Plans
In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that 23% of smartphone owners in the U.S. said they had canceled their cell phone plan in the past because they couldn’t afford it. With large overage fees and high prices on low data caps, it’s obvious why many are struggling and searching for the cheapest smartphone plans.
There are various questions to contemplate when looking for the cheapest cell phone plans available. Obviously, it’s important to pay attention to prices. But it’s also necessary to pay attention to some other things including:
1. How much data and how many minutes do you need? The amount you’ll be using your phone will determine how much data and minutes you’ll need in a month. If you can estimate the amount of data and minutes you’re going to need, you can compare the cheapest cell phone plans based on that amount. This is the best way to decide on a plan, whether it’s prepaid, postpaid or pay-as-you-go.
If you are sure you won’t be using your phone very often, pay as you go plan could be perfect for you. Otherwise, a prepaid cell phone plan or postpaid plan is probably the way to go. Whichever option you choose, fortunately, long distance calling won’t be a concern. These days, cell phone providers don’t charge extra for long distance.
2. Can you bring your own cell phone? Many carriers these days have brought your own cell phone plans. This feature allows you to activate cellular service on a used, unlocked phone at a reasonable price. This may be an option for you for anything from a basic flip phone to an iPhone or Android smartphone.
Instead of buying a brand new phone from your carrier, you can go online and buy a cheap used cell phone. If you’re not sure about buying used cell phones online, check out our review of the best place to buy used cell phones. Or, you could bring a device you already have. Say, for example, your Samsung Galaxy S9 is still in great condition. You won’t have to shell out big bucks for a latest Samsung Galaxy S10 if you’ve already got a working phone.
The bring your own cell phone option could save you a lot of money, especially now that most carriers have done away with free cell phones. Not every carrier offers it, though, so check with your chosen wireless carrier to ensure they allow it.
3. Will you have to sign a contract? Whether or not you’ll have to sign a cellular service contract will depend on what type of cheap phone plan you choose. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when you purchase a plan. Prepaid or pay as you go plans may be the way to go if you’re looking for no contract. Postpaid plans almost always require a contract.
On a side note, pay attention to the locked or unlocked status of your phone if you buy from a carrier or a used cell phone site. It may be locked in an attempt to keep you from using another carrier for a certain amount of time. You can unlock cell phones in some cases.
4. Are there any extra or hidden fees? Like contracts, hidden fees and overages come along with many contract cell phone plans. Pay as you go or prepay plans, on the other hand, do not have either.
With a prepaid plan, you pay for data and minutes before you use them each month. At the end of the month, you can renew your plan for the same amount of data and minutes or switch it up, depending on your carrier’s options. This way, you never have to worry about extra fees. Your monthly plan simply ends when you run out of talk time, text messages and/or data.
Overall, I hope this article has helped you determine how to find the cheapest cell phone plans with the most reliable coverage. There are so many cell phone companies out there, large and small, offering so many different options. It’s best to make sure you know exactly what you need before you make any decisions. A cheap cell phone plan is just one great step for keeping costs low.