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Cheapest Cell Phone Service Providers in 2022

Compare the best cheap cell phone companies

Best prepaid plan
1GB 4G/5G data
$7.50* per month
Powered by:

See Deal

* 25% Off for 6 Months
Best family plan
5GB 4G/5G data
$15 per month
Powered by:

See Deal

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Best unlimited plan
Unlimited 4G/5G data
$30* per month
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See Deal

* $90 for 3 Months Service
Cheap cell phone plans starting at $10/mo - Compare Now
Find the cheapest phone plans in your area

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 four 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.

Find your next cell phone plan from the best service providers out there today.

Best phone provider for prepaid plans

Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB data planTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB data plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo** 25% Off for 6 Months
Powered by:

Tello 1GB data includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $7.50 per month. Tello prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$6*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$7.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$10.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$14.25*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$18*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 8GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

8GB

$21.75*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$29.25*

* 25% Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support

  • No contracts

  • Budget friendly family plans

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Benefits

  • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

  • Keep your current phone number

  • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

  • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

  • 24/7 customer service

Best phone provider for family plans

US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB data planUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB data plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5 GB
Price
$15/moFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Powered by:

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

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$8

US Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15

US Mobile 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$20

US Mobile 18GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

18GB

$25

US Mobile 30GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

30GB

$30

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

Best phone provider for unlimited data

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile unlimited data planMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile unlimited data plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo** $90 for 3 Months Service
Powered by:

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

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Mint Mobile 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$15*

* $45 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$20*

* $60 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 15GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$25*

* $75 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30*

* $90 for 3 Months Service
Features
Reviews

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

Benefits

  • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

  • Keep your phone number

  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

  • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

  • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

  • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

Best 5G phone provider

Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB data - 12 mths planUltra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 2GB data - 12 mths plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
2 GB
Price
$14/mo** $168 for 12 Months Service
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Ultra Mobile 2GB data - 12 mths includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $14 per month. Ultra Mobile prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Ultra Mobile 250MB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

0.25GB

$10*

* $120 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 2GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$14*

* $168 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 3GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$20*

* $240 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 6GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$25*

* $300 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile 15GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$30*

* $360 for 12 Months Service

Ultra Mobile Unlimited Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$40*

* $480 for 12 Months Service
Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Simple account dashboard

  • Unlimited international talk and text

  • Nationwide coverage

Cons

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Coverage provided on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own compatible GSM phone or buy one from Ultra Mobile

  • Mobile hotspot use supported

  • Unlimited global texting and unlimited calling to 80+ countries

  • International roaming credits available in $5, $10, or $20 denominations

  • International plan tier comes with uTalk - a feature that gives you up to 1250 bonus minutes to your choice of 39 additional destinations

  • Customer service available by phone, email, and chat from 6am to 6pm every day

Best phone provider for talk & text only

Ting SIM Card - Ting unlimited talk & text planTing SIM Card - Ting unlimited talk & text plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0 GB
Price
$10/mo** $5 extra per GB
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Ting unlimited talk & text includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for only $10 per month. Ting prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile & Verizon 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Ting Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$10*

* $5 extra per GB

Ting 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$15

Ting 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$20*

* $5 Off for 6 Months

Ting Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$25*

* $20 Off for 3 Months

Ting 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$30*

* $5 Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Simple plans for light phone users

  • Customer service

  • Nationwide LTE and 5G coverage

  • Good selection of handsets

Cons

  • Not for the data hungry user

Benefits

  • Offers coverage on both Verizon and T-Mobile

  • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or start-up fees

  • Bring your GSM or CDMA phone - most devices are compatible - or buy one from Ting

  • Keep your current number

  • Tethering/mobile hotspot allowed, speeds limited to 3G for GSM tethering

  • Use your plan minutes to call 60+ international locations

  • International roaming capability (at surcharged rates)

  • Extensive customer service hours by phone, chat, or email

Best phone provider for seniors

Twigby SIM Card - Twigby 3GB data planTwigby SIM Card - Twigby 3GB data plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
3 GB
Price
$10/mo** 50% Off for 6 Months
Powered by:

Twigby 3GB data includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 3GB data for only $10 per month. Twigby prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon 4G LTE and 5G network.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Twigby Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$6.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$10*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$9.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$12.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months

Twigby 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$17.50*

* 50% Off for 6 Months
Features
Reviews

Pros

  • No hotspot/tethering charges

  • International calling and texting

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • Exclusive deals and discounts as a Twigby customer

Cons

  • Limited handset selection

  • Not for the data hungry

Benefits

  • Runs on both the Verizon and Sprint networks

  • 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee on phones and plans (under 300 minutes, 300 texts, or 300 MB of data used)

  • Prepaid - no contracts, credit checks, or activation fees

  • Bring your CDMA device or choose from a modest selection of Twigby phones

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Use your phone and plan data as a mobile hotspot

  • Use your plan minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Free international texting to over 180 countries

  • US-based chat support available weekdays 7am to 9pm CST and 10am to 6pm on weekends

Best phone provider for kids

Red Pocket SIM Card - Red Pocket 500MB data planRed Pocket SIM Card - Red Pocket 500MB data plan
Minutes
500
Texts
500
Data
0.50 GB
Price
$10/mo
Powered by:

Red Pocket 500MB data includes 500 mins, 500 texts and 500MB data for only $10 per month. Red Pocket prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Red Pocket 500MB Data

500

500

0.50GB

$10

Red Pocket 3GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$15*

* $180 for 12 Months Service

Red Pocket 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$20

Red Pocket 10GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$22.50*

* $270 for 12 Months Service

Red Pocket 22GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

22GB

$30*

* $360 for 12 Months Service

Red Pocket 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$30

Red Pocket 50GB Data - 12 Mths

Unlimited

Unlimited

50GB

$37.50*

* $450 for 12 Months Service

Red Pocket 22GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

22GB

$40

Red Pocket 50GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

50GB

$50

Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage

  • No contracts

  • Latest selection of phones

Cons

  • Account dashboard needs work

  • No 0% financing options on latest phones

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fees

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA device and keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering allowed with your plan data

  • Free international calling to 70+ countries

  • Customer service available in English, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish via chat or phone

Best phone provider for individuals

Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB data planGood2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
3 GB
Price
$12.50/mo** 50% Off for 3 Months
Powered by:

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 3GB data for only $12.50 per month. Good2Go Mobile prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Good2Go Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$10*

* 50% Off for 3 Months

Good2Go Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$10

Good2Go Mobile 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$12.50*

* 50% Off for 3 Months

Good2Go Mobile 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$17.50*

* 50% Off for 3 Months

Good2Go Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$40

Good2Go Mobile 20GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

20GB

$50

Features
Reviews

Pros

  • 4G LTE coverage

  • No contract

  • No credit checks

Cons

  • No unlimited data options

  • No app interface

Benefits

  • Coverage on the nationwide AT&T & T-Mobile networks

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or buy a Good2Go Mobile phone

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering not supported

  • International calling to over 60 countries available as affordable plan add-on; calling to other countries via add-on calling card

  • Customer service available by phone 7am - 1am EST every day

Best provider for hotspot plans

US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 2GB data only planUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 2GB data only plan
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
2 GB
Price
$10/moFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Powered by:

US Mobile 2GB data only includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 2GB data for only $10 per month. US Mobile prepaid phone plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G networks.

Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$8

US Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15

US Mobile 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$20

US Mobile 18GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

18GB

$25

US Mobile 30GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

30GB

$30

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Reviews

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

The cheapest cell phone service in January

Check Carrier Coverage

Cheap cell phone provider benefits

We love Mobile Virtual Network Operators or 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 T-Mobile service provider

Mint Mobile 4GB data plan* $45 for 3 Months Service

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo*

$3.75 per GB

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G4GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Compare: cheap T-Mobile phone plans


Best cheap Verizon service provider

US Mobile 5GB data planFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5 GB

4G/5G data

$15/mo

$3.00 per GB

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $780 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
VerizonVerizon 4G & 5GUnltd*$80/mo$960/yr
US MobileVerizon 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$180/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$65/mo$780/yr

Compare: cheap Verizon phone plans


Best cheap AT&T service provider

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G/5G data

$12.50/mo*

$25/mo

$8.33 per GB

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $637 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G & 5G3GB$25/mo$263/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$637/yr

Compare: cheap AT&T phone plans


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 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.

Compare the cheapest cell phone providers

CarrierNetworkMinutesTextsDataPrice
TelloT-MobileUnltdUnltd2GB$10.50** 25% Off for 6 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltd4GB$15** $45 for 3 Months Service
US MobileVerizon & T-MobileUnltdUnltd12GB$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
TingT-Mobile & VerizonUnltdUnltdUnltd$25** $20 Off for 3 Months
Mint MobileT-MobileUnltdUnltdUnltd$30** $90 for 3 Months Service

Phone service provider coverage

Which prepaid carrier is best for you? That depends on which network has the best coverage in your area.

Whether you go with a GSM carrier (T-Mobile and AT&T) or a CDMA carrier (Verizon) you'll enjoy national coverage, just like with the major carriers.

Network performance ratings

NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
Verizon Coverage9596949694
AT&T Coverage9494959692
T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

Source: Rootmetrics

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

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:

CARRIERTRUSTPILOT USER RATING
Reach Mobile4.9
Tello4.6
US Mobile4.6
T-Mobile1.5
Verizon1.3
AT&T1.2

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.

Cheap cell phone providers pros & cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Considerations when 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.


How to find the best cell phone 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.


How to switch to a cheaper 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 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 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

AT&TVerizonT-Mobile
Red PocketTingBoost Mobile
Unreal MobileUS MobileTing
Good2Go MobileRed PocketUS Mobile
Pure TalkTwigbyUltra Mobile
H2O WirelessReach MobileTello
Cricket WirelessVisibleRed Pocket
TracfoneNet10 WirelessMint Mobile
FreeUP MobileTotal WirelessGoSmart Mobile
Kroger WirelessXfinity MobileRepublic Wireless
easyGO WirelessCREDO MobileSimple Mobile
Optimum MobileAffinity CellularLycamobile
FreedompopLivelySelectel Wireless
Walmart Family MobileGen Mobile
Wing
easyGO Wireless
Speedtalk Mobile

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 the cheapest cell phone prices

PhoneStorageNetworkConditionPrice
Apple iPhone SE64GBAT&TNew$399
Apple iPhone 1164GBAT&TNew$499
Apple iPhone 12 mini64GBAT&TNew$629
Apple iPhone 13 mini128GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 1264GBAT&TNew$729
Apple iPhone 13128GBAT&TNew$829
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max64GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 12 Pro128GBAT&TNew$899
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro128GBAT&TNew$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max128GBAT&TNew$1,099

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.


Recap

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.

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.

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 sign up 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.

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 - Best phone provider for prepaid plansTelloBest prepaid planUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Best phone provider for family plansUS MobileBest family planUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best phone provider for unlimited dataMint MobileBest unlimited planUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Best 5G phone providerUltra MobileBest 5G planUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$14/mo
Ting SIM Card - Best phone provider for talk & text onlyTingBest talk & text planUnlimitedUnlimited0GB$10/mo
Twigby SIM Card - Best phone provider for seniorsTwigbyBest senior planUnlimitedUnlimited3GB$20/mo
Red Pocket SIM Card - Best phone provider for kidsRed PocketBest kids plan5005000.50GB$10/mo
Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Best phone provider for individualsGood2Go MobileBest individual planUnlimitedUnlimited3GB$25/mo
US Mobile SIM Card - Best provider for hotspot plansUS MobileBest hotspot plan002GB$10/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.