The cheapest cell phone carriers in April
Cheap cell phone provider benefits
Want to stay on the same network, keep your phone and number, plus get greater flexibility?
Yep. You've got it. Forget the major carriers. Plans include everything you need but come at a much better price with an MVNO.
Same great nationwide coverage: These cell phone carriers operate on the very same networks as the big four carriers.
Much lower prices: Save up to $600 per year on your cell phone plan. Why are MVNOs so much cheaper? They don't have the huge overhead and advertising costs the big guys do.
No contracts: Don't get trapped into a two-year agreement. Switch carriers when you decide to with a no contract phone plan.
Same cell phone service: Just because you're paying less, that doesn't mean you have to scrimp on features. Plans with unlimited everything are easy to find from these prepaid carriers. Usually, a low cost carrier plan comes with unlimited talk and text as standard, high speed data, and even mobile hotspot data features.
Keep your phone and number: You can bring your own phone and keep your phone number. No need to sign up for pricey device payments.
Customize your plan: You decide how much data you need. Choose to pay as you go, opt for unlimited or no data, minimal minutes, or unlimited talk text and data. Unlimited data plans come at a much better price with an alternative carrier. Pick the plan options that fit your budget - not the one your carrier thinks you need.
Great customer support: Smaller mobile providers are known for their attention to their customers. Stop feeling like an anonymous number getting lost in the crowd! Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.
T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison
Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $480 per year
4G LTE Data
|T-Mobile 4G LTE|
|T-Mobile 4G LTE|
|*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GB||Savings||$40/mo||$480/yr|
Cheap cell phone service features
4G LTE data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big four cellular networks you'll pay less without sacrificing speed. More and more are adding 5G coverage all the time so you can expect high-speed data.
Unlimited talk and text messaging: Finding a new unlimited plan has never been easier. Virtually all small carriers include unlimited text and calls in their plan options. Compare cheap talk and text plans with or without data.
International calls to Canada and Mexico: International calling is a must for many people. Luckily MVNOs offer some of the best international phone plans, with free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on others.
Multiline discounts: Low-cost carriers also offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with multiline discounts.
Wi-Fi calling: This feature is handy when you're out of your service area, allowing you to make calls over the internet instead of on your cellular connection.
Tethering/hotspot data: Many low-cost carriers allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. Pick an MVNO with the best mobile hotspot plans so you can share your mobile hotspot data with other devices.
HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming and some don't. Read the fine print to find the option you want.
Cheap carrier coverage
Which prepaid carrier is best for you? That depends on which network has the best coverage in your area.
Network performance ratings
Best cheap providers by network
And don't worry - some MVNOs are already starting to offer 5G phone plans currently being rolled out on the major networks, you'll just need to make sure you have a 5G compatible phone. In the meantime you'll still get the 4G coverage you're used to.
Cheap cell phone provider customer service
Concerned that low-cost carriers won't have good customer service? Don't be, on average MVNOs score much higher customer ratings than the big networks as you'll see in the comparison chart below:
TRUSTPILOT USER RATING
Cheap cell phone service plan types
Unlimited plans: Looking for unlimited talk text and data? Alternative carriers have got you covered. Data hungry users looking for unlimited plus plans can save serious money by switching to one of the cheapest unlimited data plans. Not sure how much data you need? Check out our data usage calculator.
Basic plans: If you (or a loved one) only use a cell phone to make a few calls, send a couple of messages and rarely go online then you can opt for a simply prepaid plan. You get basic cell phone functions, an allowance for minutes of talk, and usually around 2GB of data at a great price. Once you run out of your data allotment, speeds slow, but it's usually very easy to add on more.
Family plans: Need four lines or more? Many MVNOs offer group plans. Compare the cheapest family phone plans so you can pick and choose what each family member needs.
Bring your own phone plans: BYOP plans are the norm with smaller carriers. Compare cell phone prices and get a great deal to go with your cheap cell phone plan!
Single line plans: Stop paying a premium rate just because you only need one line. Find the best phone plans for individuals.
Talk and text only plans: Don't need data? No problem - compare cheap talk and text plans. Bonus, you'll save a ton of money if you're not paying for data!
Tablet plans: Find the cheapest data plan for your tablet or iPad.
Kids plans: MVNOs offer the best phone plans for kids because you can tailor them to exactly what you want your child to have.
Senior plans: Senior citizens often have different cell phone needs. Compare cheap cell phone plans for seniors for the perfect fit.
Pros and cons of cheap cell phone providers
No commitment: with cheap phone plans there are no contracts. No long-term commitment is necessary, pay month to month, and if you're not happy you can cancel at any time without the worry of early termination fees.
Plans to fit you: customize a plan that works for you. Whether you're looking for an unlimited data plan, plenty of calls and texts allowance, or a family plan you'll be able to find cheap phone plans from MVNOs to suit you.
Cheaper plans: say goodbye to expensive plans and only pay for what you need. Stay in control of your cell phone bill with customizable products and services, you can have the coverage you love and save money while getting the best value.
Deprioritization: cheap phone plans from MVNOs run on the same networks as the big three, so at certain times your wireless service can be slowed. This normally only happens during busy periods to help avoid congestion.
What to look for when comparing
We know choosing the best cheap cell phone provider can be overwhelming, and that's where we can help. With such a variety only a few providers will be suitable for your needs.
Money Saving Pro has all the latest up-to-date industry knowledge and we're here to break it down for you. To help narrow your search and provide the tools you need to understand your phone usage and make sure you only pay for the features you really need.
Here're some things to think about when considering your options.
The most common concern is how will coverage be affected. The good news is it won't.
Low-cost carriers piggyback on the big three networks offering the same quality coverage, so if you love the coverage from your current provider AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, there's a range of prepaid plans operating on these networks. Alternatively, if you're looking to change you can use your ZIP code to check coverage in your area.
To narrow down your search further it's worth figuring out the amount of data you use. Do you need to get unlimited or can you save money with set data per month?
If you spend a lot of time online, streaming HD video, or browsing the internet you may want to go for a data plan with unlimited data. However, be sure to check the small print as unlimited never really means unlimited and your data speeds will be slowed once the agreed data limit is reached. The good news is choosing an unlimited data plan is still cheaper with carriers like Mint Mobile and Tello.
But why pay a premium if you don't need to? Use our data calculator to see how much you need. Most of us only use around 3 to 5GB per month and choosing a set data plan will save you even more.
Perks and add ons
Choosing a cheaper cell phone provider doesn't mean missing out on all those extras. Most low-cost carriers include taxes and fees in the cost, plans commonly include unlimited talk and text messages and some mobile offers include perks like discounts for multiple lines, multi-month discounts for three months or more, and international calling and roaming.
Number of lines
Are you looking for more than one line? Many low cost carriers offer multiple lines for a family plan.
A multi-line plan can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Most alternative carriers provide a discount per line added to your plan, which is a much cheaper option than buying individual plans. Some include apps to help you manage all of the accounts in one place.
Cheap cell phone provider comparison
$15** 50% Off for 3 Months
$18.75** 25% Off for 3 Months
T-Mobile & Verizon
$20** $5 Off for 6 Months
$30** $90 for 3 months Service
How to pick the right plan
So how do you choose between all of these cheap cell phone providers? If you're still not sure which alternative carrier is right for you, there are plenty of checks you can do to find the right phone plan.
Look at how you use your phone
Do you need to have unlimited everything? A great place to start is by working out what you use your phone for and the features you really need. There are international calling options if you have family living abroad, or a basic plan if you just need it for calls and texts.
You can save more money by only paying for what you need on these customizable plans.
What's your budget
Deciding what you want to spend on your monthly phone bill can help you narrow down your top picks. Alternative carriers provide the same benefits as the big 3 but with a more affordable price tag.
Unlimited data isn't for everyone
We're not big fans of unlimited data. Most plans with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon use unlimited data as their main selling point, but we don't believe it's really necessary.
You can check your estimated data use with our free tool to see if you really need an unlimited data plan. On average we only use around 3 to 5GB of data per month so by choosing a set data plan you'll be able to save money on your monthly bill. However, if you really want unlimited data you'll find some affordable options with carriers like Tello and Mint Mobile but make sure to check the small print as unlimited never really means unlimited. Most plans have a set data limit that once reached, although there's no overage charge, your data speeds will be significantly reduced.
Best is personal
There's no one size fits all when it comes to cell phone plans. There's a wide range of plans to choose from whether you're looking for a basic phone with just talk and text, a family plan, or lots of data for hotspot use and streaming HD video. You can also check your ZIP code to see whether T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon's network is best in your area.
Switching to a cheaper carrier
It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.
Customize your plan. Whether you're looking for a truly unlimited plan, or in the market for something more basic, choose a plan to suit your cell phone needs.
Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bills are paid up and your phone is unlocked. If you're getting a new device, transferring data from one to another is simple. Even if you're going from an iPhone to Android, and vice versa.
Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel your old account. If you've got a new device with your Tello plan, it should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own phone then you'll need to follow the instructions with the new SIM card kit that Tello will send to you in the post.
Bring your own phone & save even more
You need simple in your life. The great thing about MVNOs is that switching carriers is easy.
You need an unlocked phone (meaning your carrier has released it for use on another network). Once you've checked with your new provider about phone compatibility the rest is a breeze.
Most low-cost carriers simply provide you with a prepaid SIM card. You pop it into your mobile phone and follow the provider's instructions. Just make sure you don't cancel your current phone plan until you've ported your phone number over to the new carrier.
Cheap cell phone companies list
Cheap cell phone deals
So what if you do want to upgrade your phone? It's all good - with a prepaid carrier you can save a ton of money by choosing one of a couple of great money-saving options:
Buy a new phone from the carrier: More and more MVNOs are offering a selection of affordable phones. Some even give you the choice of making device payments instead of paying all at once. We've gathered the best cell phone deals for you to compare all in one place.
Buy a refurbished cell phone: If you'd rather own your phone outright, compare refurbished phone deals to save over 50% on top models in great condition.
Compare cheap cell phone prices
Cheap cell phone providers FAQs
What's the cheapest cell phone plan?
Prices vary depending on the carrier and what you're looking for from your cell phone package. With a low-cost carrier, plans start from around $10 a month.
What are good options for prepaid phone plans?
MVNOs offer great value prepaid cell phone plans. Saving you money on your monthly bill, while receiving the same quality coverage as they piggyback on the big US networks.
What's the best cell phone carrier?
The best carrier provides you with what you need from a cell phone plan and good coverage in your area. MVNOs offer a selection of plans suitable for everyone.
Paying over $80 a month for a cell phone plan that doesn't give you what you need doesn't make sense. Dodge the rising costs of cell phone plans from the big four carriers.
Don't sacrifice cellular coverage you know and trust. Find out which of the four big networks offer the best coverage in your area, and find the best low-cost carrier for you. Bring your own phone to save even more and check user reviews before you signup to get the best switching experience.
Each low-cost carrier is tailored toward specific needs and there's a great range out there. Finding that next great plan has never been easier.
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