Charis Brown, Clark.com
Are you looking to save money? Switching your cell phone carrier can be a great way to do it! Now more than ever, you have a lot of choices when it comes to cell phone service.
Consumer Reports National Research Center recently surveyed about 90,000 cell phone users and discovered that half of the respondents who switched providers cut their monthly bill by $20 or more! There are so many different options for cell phone service right now and so many factors to consider to get the very best deal for you — including how many people will be on the plan and the network that works best in your area. Generally, Clark recommends Republic Wireless or Sprint as the best deal for one person, or T-Mobile or Sprint for families. Some notable plans right now include a deal Metro PCS is offering with unlimited talk, text data for $100 for four people, along with Boost Mobile’s similar plan, while T-Mobile has 2 lines with unlimited talk, text and data for $60 for those 55 and up. These plans include taxes and fees!
So to help you compare plans across carriers, we’ve compiled a simple guide. You may also want to go to the company’s website if you need more information to help you decide based on your needs.
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These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there
Unlimited mobile plans
Several providers are offering unlimited service for under $80 per plan, per month. The best deals are below! (Note that some providers reduce speeds once a plan’s applicable high-speed data threshold is reached.)
- Metro PCS: $30 a month, 1GB 4G LTE data including fees, $50 a month for unlimited 4G LTE data or 4 lines of unlimited LTE data for $100 a month
- Cricket Wireless: $30 a month with 2GB 4G LTE, $55 a month for unlimited 4G LTE data with auto-pay
- Boost Mobile: $35 a month with auto-pay, 3GB 4G LTE data including fees, $50 a month for unlimited 4G LTE data including taxes and fees or 4 lines with mobile-optimized streaming with 4G LTE for most everything else for $25 a month per line
- Straight Talk: $35 a month with 2GB 4G LTE data or $55 a month for unlimited talk and text with unlimited 4G LTE+ data
- Sprint: $60 per month for one line, $25 per line unlimited everything per line with 4 to 5 lines. Sprint is also offering new customers a year of unlimited service free!
- Virgin Mobile: $50 a month unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data with autopay.
- AT&T: $60 a month with auto-pay, 3 mbps max speed, $90 a month unlimited 4G LTE with 22GB at fast speeds
- T-Mobile: $70 a month unlimited LTE data with auto-pay, including taxes and fees, or $40 per line for 4 lines. Also, get 2 lines for $60 for those 55 and up.
- Verizon: The Go Unlimited plan gets you unlimited everything for $75 a month for one line ($40 per line for 4 lines), while the Beyond Unlimited plan gets your premium unlimited everything for $85 per month, plus taxes and fees.
- 100% free basic plan: 200 minutes, 500 texts, 500 MB data each month.
- Compatible with most unlocked GSM AT&T or T-Mobile phones. Cancel anytime.
- Current deal: 100% free talk, text, and data + free 1.5GB bonus with $0.01 LTE SIM card
Republic Wireless (Clark’s favorite for one person)
- Plans start at $15 a month for unlimited talk and text.
- Get unlimited talk, text and 1GB of cell data for $20 a month.
- Cost based on use; average bill is $23 a month.
- Buy a phone or bring your own device in most cases.
- GSM and CDMA networks.
- Ting is offering a $35 credit to RingPlus customers, now that RingPlus is no more.
- Unlimited talk & text plus 5GB data for $35.
- Uses Verizon’s network.
- Save 5% with autopay.
- Can bring your own phone in most cases, but may need to purchase a CDMA activation kit.
- $30/month unlimited talk, text and 2GB 4G LTE data.
- Buy a phone or bring your own device.
- Check out the deals here.
- Fi Basics is $20 a month plus taxes and fees, which includes: Unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texting in the U.S. and 120 other countries and ability to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Add $10 per GB of data.
- Purchase a Nexus 5X, 6P or 6 device, a Google Pixel phone or bring your own device. Currently Project Fi only supports Google Pixel, Moto X4, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6 smartphones.
- $30/month unlimited talk and text with 4GB 4G LTE high-speed data and auto-pay, unlimited 2G after that.
- Unlimited international talk to 50+ countries + unlimited international text.
- $35/month unlimited talk, text and data with 3GB 4G LTE data.
- Check out the current deals here!
- 4 unlimited lines for $100
- 1 line with unlimited talk, text and 2GB of 4G LTE data for $30
- Current deal: Get a free Amazon Prime subscription plus a free Samsung Galaxy when you switch.
- Plans start at $9.
- Unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data is $30 a month.
- Buy a phone or bring our own phone, if compatible.
- Plans start at $10.
- 5,000 texts, 5,000 minutes and 3 GB of data is $46 a month.
- Bring your unlocked GSM phone, or U.S. Mobile will try to unlock it for you for a small fee.
- Best plan: $45 unlimited talk, text, and data, with 5GB of high-speed data.
- Buy a phone or bring your own device.
- 250 minutes, 300 texts and 30MB is $17.50 per month; Unlimited talk, text and 3GB data is $60 a month before taxes and fees.
- Buy a phone or bring your own device.
- Caring plan: Unlimited talk, text and 3 GB data for $35 a month.
- No activation fee; bring your own device!
- TPO will give 10% of the cost of your service plan to a charity of your choice.
- Keep your phone and your number: This company operates on all four of the main carrier networks!
- 500 minutes, 500 texts, 500 MB LTE data for $10/month.
- Unlimited talk, text and 3GB LTE data for $30/month.
- Uses T-Mobile’s network.
- Unlimited talk, text and data with 2GB 4G LTE data for $15 per month when you buy three months.
- Runs on Verizon’s network.
- Unlimited talk, text and data is $45 per month plus taxes and fees.
- Note that you must already be a Comcast customer and you must buy one of their phones.
The big 4
- Unlimited plans are $50 for the 1st line, $90 for the 2nd line and free for the 3rd through 5th lines.
- Sprint is also offering new customers a year of unlimited service free!
- If you don’t need unlimited, Sprint has a deal for unlimited talk and text, plus 4 GB of data for $40.
- Check the current promotions here. Phone: 855-644-7554
- $160 a month unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data for a family of 4, $120 unlimited everything for 2 lines (taxes & fees included).
- Includes unlimited talk, text, 4G LTE data, unlimited streaming video and music and unlimited travel abroad plus GOGO service.
- Current promotions: T-Mobile ONE plans with 2 lines or more get Netflix free. Also, get 2 lines with unlimited talk, text and data for $60 for those 55 and up.
- Check out all the current promotions here.
- Phone: 866-454-1206
- The Go Unlimited starts at $75 a month while the Beyond Unlimited plan starts at $85 per month. Or, get unlimited talk, text and 2 GB data for $40 a month with Verizon prepaid.
- See the current deals here.
- Unlimited talk, text and data is $60 with 3 mbps max speed; $90 includes high-def video and 10 GB mobile hotspot.
- Includes unlimited text, picture, and video messages from the U.S. to Mexico, Canada, and over 100 countries.
- Check out the current promotions here.
If you’d rather pay for your phone plan in advance, there are several options available:
- AT&T GoPhone: Unlimited talk, text and data for $60, or $30 a month for unlimited talk, text and 1 GB data with AutoPay
- T-Mobile Prepaid: Unlimited talk, text and data starting at $45 a month
- Sprint Forward: Unlimited talk, text, and 4GB of 4G LTE for $40 a month
- Tracphone: 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500 MB data for $15 (30-day plan)
- Verizon prepaid: Unlimited talk, text and 3 GB data for $40 a month