Cheapest Phone Service Providers in 2023

What is the cheapest cell phone service?

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$15/mo

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Find the cheapest phone plans in your area
By Rob Webber - Last updated on

With everything going on, the last thing you need right now is to be stung by a supersized cell phone bill.

There are over 50 cell phone carriers in the United States. Known as MVNOs, these alternative carriers are powered by one or more of the big three networks.

Stay on the same network, keep your phone and number, plus get greater flexibility. Everything you need comes at a much better price with a low-cost carrier.

We'll help you find the best cell phone plan from the cheapest phone service providers out there.

Cheap cell phone providers

Cheapest Phone Service Providers
Check Carrier Coverage

Cheapest cell phone service

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Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB planTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1GB
Price
$10/mo
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Tello 1GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $10 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

Tello 1GB

1GB

$10

Tello 2GB

2GB

$14

Tello 5GB

5GB

$19

Tello 10GB

10GB

$24

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$29

Review
5

Pros

  • No contract. No bulk buying.

  • 24/7 friendly customer support

  • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

  • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

  • Free international calls to 60+ countries

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Read Tello review

Cheapest phone service for 5G coverage

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Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB planMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
4GB
Price
$15/mo
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Mint Mobile 4GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 4GB data for only $15 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB

4GB

$15

Mint Mobile 10GB

10GB

$20

Mint Mobile 15GB

15GB

$25

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$30

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Read Mint Mobile review

Cheapest phone service for families

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US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 15GB planUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 15GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
15GB
Price
$20/mo* FREE 10-Day Trial
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US Mobile 15GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 15GB data for only $20 per month. US Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

US Mobile 500MB

500MB

$5

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

US Mobile 2GB

2GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB

5GB

$15

US Mobile 15GB

15GB

$20

US Mobile 25GB

25GB

$25

US Mobile Unlimited Data Basic

Unlimited

$35

US Mobile Unlimited Data Premium

Unlimited

$45

* FREE 10-Day Trial

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Read US Mobile review

Cheapest phone service for unlimited data

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Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited planMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo
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See Deal

Mint Mobile Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $30 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB

4GB

$15

Mint Mobile 10GB

10GB

$20

Mint Mobile 15GB

15GB

$25

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

$30

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Read Mint Mobile review

Cheapest phone service for one person

See Deal
US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB planUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5GB
Price
$15/mo* FREE 10-Day Trial
Powered by:
See Deal

US Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $15 per month. US Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks.

Plans
PlanDataPrice

US Mobile 500MB

500MB

$5

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

0GB

$8

US Mobile 2GB

2GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB

5GB

$15

US Mobile 15GB

15GB

$20

US Mobile 25GB

25GB

$25

US Mobile Unlimited Data Basic

Unlimited

$35

US Mobile Unlimited Data Premium

Unlimited

$45

* FREE 10-Day Trial

Review
4.5

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Read US Mobile review

Cheap phone provider benefits

We love Mobile Virtual Network Operators, known as MVNOs. If you're on the lookout for cheap cell phone plans, they're the best route to go down.

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.

Best cheap phone provider on T-Mobile

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

10GB

4G/5G data

$20/mo

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile unlimited data plans

PlanDataMonthly PriceAnnual Cost
T-Mobile MagentaUnlimited$70$840
T-Mobile Magenta MaxUnlimited$85$1,020

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $600 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G10GB$20/mo$240/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$600/yr

Compare: cheap T-Mobile phone plans


Best cheap phone provider on Verizon

US Mobile 15GB plan* FREE 10-Day Trial

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

15GB

4G/5G data

$20/mo

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon unlimited data plans

PlanDataMonthly PriceAnnual Cost
Verizon Play More UnlimitedUnlimited$80$960
Verizon Do More UnlimitedUnlimited$80$960
Verizon Get More UnlimitedUnlimited$90$1,080

Verizon vs US Mobile comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $720 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G15GB$20/mo$240/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$60/mo$720/yr

Compare: cheap Verizon phone plans


Best cheap phone provider on AT&T

Boost Mobile 5GB plan* 66% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5GB

4G/5G data

$5/mo*

$15/mo

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T unlimited data plans

PlanDataMonthly PriceAnnual Cost
Boost Mobile 5GB5GB$15$150
Red Pocket 500MB - 12 Mths500MB$5$60
Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths1GB$8$96
Good2Go Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text0GB$10$120
Red Pocket 3GB - 12 Mths3GB$15$180
PureTalk 2GB2GB$20$225
Good2Go Mobile 1GB1GB$15$180
PureTalk 4GB4GB$25$282
Boost Mobile 15GB15GB$20$240
Good2Go Mobile 2GB2GB$20$240

AT&T vs Boost Mobile comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $750 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Boost MobileAT&T 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$150/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$60/mo$750/yr

Compare: cheap AT&T phone plans


Cell phone service features

  • 4G LTE and 5G 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. Most low-cost carriers include unlimited talk and text only plans.
  • 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 multi-line 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.

Cheapest cell phone service

CarrierDataNetworkPrice
Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10/mo
Mint Mobile 4GB plan4GBT-Mobile$15/mo
Lycamobile 12GB plan12GBT-Mobile$5/mo** Only $5 for First 3 Months
US Mobile 15GB plan15GBVerizon & T-Mobile$20/mo* FREE 10-Day Trial
Mint Mobile Unlimited planUnltdT-Mobile$30/mo

Cell phone service coverage

NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
Verizon Coverage9596949694
AT&T Coverage9494959692
T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

Source: Rootmetrics

Best phone providers in my area

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

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:

CARRIERTRUSTPILOT USER RATINGMONTHLY PRICECOVERAGE
US Mobile4.7$10-35Verizon 5G & 4G LTE
Tello4.4$10-29T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE
Red Pocket Mobile4.2$10-50AT&T 5G & 4G LTE
T-Mobile1.5$70-90T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE
AT&T1.3$75-90AT&T 5G & 4G LTE
Verizon1.2$80-90Verizon 5G & 4G LTE

Cell phone service 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.

Comparing cell phone providers

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.

Coverage

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.

Data allowance

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.


Switch to a cheap cell phone provider

It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 an Android, and vice versa.
  3. 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

You need simplicity 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 phone companies list

AT&T MVNOsVerizon MVNOsT-Mobile MVNOs
Red PocketUS MobileBoost Mobile
PureTalkRed PocketUS Mobile
Good2Go MobileTwigbyUltra Mobile
H2O WirelessAffinity CellularTello
Straight TalkReach MobileRed Pocket
TracfoneSpectrum MobileMint Mobile
Black WirelessPage Plus CellularLycamobile
Kroger WirelessTotal by VerizonConsumer Cellular
easyGO WirelessLivelyGoSmart Mobile
Unreal MobileWalmart Family MobileRepublic Wireless
Optimum MobileTingSimple Mobile
FreedompopGen Mobile
Wing
easyGO Wireless
Speedtalk Mobile

Phone service providers FAQs

Which cell phone providers are the cheapest?

Cheap cell phone providers, such as US Mobile, Tello, Boost Mobile offer low-cost plans starting at just $10 per month. They offer the same wireless coverage and data speeds as the big networks.

What is the best cheap prepaid cell phone service?

MVNOs offer great value prepaid cell phone plans. They can save you $600 per year without sacrificing cell phone service coverage.


Recap

Paying $70-80 a month for a cell phone service does not make sense when you can get the same wireless coverage for less than half the price. Dodge the rising costs of cell phone plans from the big 3 carriers.

There are so many low-cost carriers emerging in the wireless industry. Offering cheap cell phone plans, they can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

There's no need to sacrifice the wireless coverage you know and trust to cut your phone bill. Bring your own phone to save even more and check user reviews before you sign up.

Each low-cost cell phone provider offers customized plans so you'll only pay for what you need. Cutting your phone bill and saving $600 per year has never been easier.

MoneySavingPro methodology

We're here to bring transparency to telecoms, putting power back in your hands. This guides everything we do.

  • We've got high standards. We use our industry expertise to find carriers that reach these standards. We all deserve the best value for money, choice, and customer experience.
  • We care about accuracy. MoneySavingPro is run by cell phone geeks and money-saving obsessives. Our content team researches everything thoroughly so that information you read here will give you the whole picture. Everything we do is backed up by the data.
  • We keep things simple. It's our job to break down what you need to know, so you can make informed choices.
CarrierBest for...MinsTextsDataPrice
Tello SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone serviceTelloCheapest phone serviceUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest phone service for 5G coverageMint Mobile5G phone serviceUnlimitedUnlimited4GB$15/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest phone service for familiesUS MobileFamily phone serviceUnlimitedUnlimited15GB$20/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest phone service for unlimited dataMint MobileUnlimited phone serviceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest phone service for one personUS MobileIndividual phone serviceUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

Powered by
4G/5G data
mins
texts
/mo
Same coverage - massive savings!YOU SAVE:
T-Mobile
Magenta - $70/mo
$840/yr
AT&T
Unlimited Extra - $75/mo
$900/yr
Verizon
Play More Unlimited - $80/mo
$960/yr
$0$17.5$35$52.5$70
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
Benefits