There are few things worse (technology-wise, anyway) than dealing with a lousy cellular service provider. Dropped calls, poor wireless coverage, and surprise fees are just a few problems that can plague modern smartphone users who find themselves chained to a bad network. Things don’t get much easier when it’s time to choose a new carrier, either, as there are enough cell phone plans available today to make your head spin.
A good deal can make that decision a lot easier, however, and network providers know it, frequently offering all sorts of special sign-up offers and smartphone discounts for new customers who switch. If you’re one such customer on the hunt for a new wireless service, we rounded up a big handful of the best cell phone plan deals available right now, so read on.
Today’s best cell phone plan deals
Note that the availability of these plans will depend on your geographic location, and prices may not include additional upfront costs such as one-time activation or setup fees:
- Best unlimited plan: — $43/month
- Best family plan: — Starts at $70/month ($180/month for family of four)
- Best build-your-own plan: U.S. Mobile Unlimited — $40/month (or less without Unlimited)
- Best cheap plan: — Starts at $15/month
- Best talk and text plan: Consumer Cellular — Starts at $20/month
T-Mobile is offering one of the best unlimited plan deals right now, with its Magenta Plus unlimited bundle delivering a lot of bang for the buck: For just $43 per month, you get unlimited talk, text, and data as well as HD streaming, 20GB of mobile hotspot data at 4G speeds, and a free Netflix subscription (with two simultaneous HD streams included). If you like to travel, you also get 4GB of 4G data in Mexico and Canada as well as unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi where allowed.
If you’re after a good unlimited wireless plan for the whole family, then Sprint has long been one of the best carriers in the game for that sort of thing. The Sprint Unlimited Plus Family plan starts at $70 per person per month but gets cheaper the more lines you add ($50/month for the second line and $30/month for lines 3-5, which would come to $180/month for a family of four). Each line enjoys unlimited talk, text, and data — it’s compatible with 5G networks, too — along with HD streaming, a 50GB mobile hotspot, a Hulu membership, and a subscription to the Tidal music streaming service, giving you a nice handful of extra goodies.
AT&T is another contender for the best unlimited phone plan deal going right now. Its Unlimited Elite plan rings in at $50 per month and includes unlimited talk, text, and data in the U.S. as well as Mexico and Canada. You also get 30GB of monthly mobile hotspot bandwidth (which reverts to 128Kbps after this is used up), HD streaming, 5G access, and a free subscription to HBO as a nice little sign-up bonus. If you don’t need all the extras, the Unlimited Kickstarter plan gives you the same unlimited calls, texts, and data for a cheaper $35 per month.
Finishing off the “big four” list of U.S. carriers, Verizon offers similar wireless services as the other main providers but tends to be more expensive if you’re only paying for one line. Unlimited Verizon wireless plans start at $70 per month per line with unlimited talk, text, and data, but is cheaper at $60/month/line for two lines, $45/month for three, $35/month for four, and $30/month for five lines. It’s a cheaper option than Sprint for a family plan, but bear in mind that this Verizon Start Unlimited package is rather basic — if you want extras like HD streaming, you’ll have to pay $10-$20 more per line.
Prepaid wireless plans are a great option for light users, kids, and anyone else who won’t be consuming a lot of data on a daily basis. U.S. Mobile is one of the best prepaid service providers available today, allowing you to build your own custom plan — meaning you’re only paying for as many minutes, texts, and gigabytes of data as you want to. As just one example, unlimited minutes and 1,000 texts would set you back just $12 per month, and if you want to go totally unlimited, it’s still only $40 per month. You also get 10GB of 4G roaming data in most countries (not just Mexico and Canada).
Mint Mobile is a newcomer to the budget wireless scene and one that is very promising, especially for light data users who use their phones mainly for talking and texting. Mint is running an introductory offer for new customers, too, with the cheapest unlimited talk and text plan ringing in at a super-cheap $15 per month for the first three months (paid in three-month increments). This is only unlimited for talk and text, but you do get 3GB of 4G data per month, or up to 12GB of monthly data with the $25/month plan if you need more. After the first three months, this special pricing returns to normal, but if you like your service, you can opt to pay in advance for the 12-month renewal plan and keep these low introductory prices.
If your needs are modest, then Consumer Cellular is another very affordable prepaid option, especially if you mainly need a phone for talk and text. The most basic talk/text plan includes 250 minutes, 500MB of data, and unlimited text messaging for just $20 per month; if all you need is talk and don’t need any text or data at all, then you can get a voice-only plan for as little as $15 per month. Unlimited minutes are just $5 more as well (which comes to $25/month with text and $20/month without SMS).
Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.
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