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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
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    What is the cheapest phone service?

    Cheap prepaid service
    1GB 4G/5G data
    $10/mo
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    Cheap family service
    5GB 4G/5G data
    $15/mo
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    * Free 10 Day Trial
    Cheap unlimited service
    Unltd 4G/5G data
    $30/mo*
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    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    Cheap 5G service
    5GB 4G/5G data
    $5/mo*$15/mo
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    * 66% Off for 3 Months
    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 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.

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

    Cheapest prepaid cell phone provider

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/moTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    1GB
    Price
    $10/mo
    Powered by:
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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. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Tello review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    Tello 1GB

    1GB

    $10

    View Plan

    Tello 2GB

    2GB

    $14

    View Plan

    Tello 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    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

    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

    Cheapest cell phone provider for families

    See Deal
    US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB $15/moUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 5GB $15/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    5GB
    Price
    $15/mo* Free 10 Day Trial
    Powered by:
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    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. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's US Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    US Mobile 1GB

    1GB

    $12

    View Plan

    US Mobile 5GB

    5GB

    $15

    View Plan

    US Mobile 12GB

    12GB

    $20

    View Plan

    US Mobile 18GB

    18GB

    $25

    View Plan

    US Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $35

    View Plan

    * 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

    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

    Cheapest cell phone provider for unlimited

    See Deal
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited $30/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile Unlimited $30/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    Unlimited
    Price
    $30/mo** Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    Powered by:
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    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. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Mint Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Mint Mobile 4GB

    4GB

    $15*

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $20*

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $25*

    * Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan
    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

    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

    Cheapest cell phone provider for 5G

    See Deal
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/moBoost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    5GB
    Price
    $5/mo** 66% Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
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    Boost Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $5 per month. Boost Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Boost Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Boost Mobile 5GB

    5GB

    $5*

    * 66% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths

    1GB

    $8.33*

    * $100 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $20*

    * $240 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $25

    View Plan
    Review
    3.5

    Pros

    • New customers & Online only

    • No annual contract

    • Free SIM Kit ($9.99 value)

    • Free Shipping ($4.99 value)

    • Works w/ most Unlocked GSM Phones

    Cons

    • Coverage in rural areas

    Benefits

    • Owned by Dish and runs on T-Mobile's nationwide network

    • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or extra fees

    • Bring your own phone (GSM compatible) or choose from a wide selection of new phones

    • Mobile hotspot allowance with all plans

    • International service and roaming available as add-on packs

    • Customer support available by phone - 4am - 8pm PST Monday to Friday, 4am - 7pm weekends

    Cheapest cell phone provider for talk & text only

    See Deal
    Twigby SIM Card - Twigby 0GB $5/moTwigby SIM Card - Twigby 0GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    0GB
    Price
    $5/mo** $10 Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
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    Twigby 0GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for only $5 per month. Twigby plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Twigby review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Twigby 1GB Data

    1GB

    $5*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $5*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 4GB Data

    4GB

    $10*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 7GB Data

    7GB

    $15*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby 10GB Data

    10GB

    $20*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Twigby Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * $10 Off for 3 Months
    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    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

    Cheapest cell phone provider for seniors

    See Deal
    Reach Mobile SIM Card - Reach Mobile 2GB $10/moReach Mobile SIM Card - Reach Mobile 2GB $10/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    2GB
    Price
    $10/mo** $10 Off First 3 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Reach Mobile 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $10 per month. Reach Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Reach Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Reach Mobile 2GB

    2GB

    $10*

    * $10 Off First 3 Months
    View Plan

    Reach Mobile 5GB

    5GB

    $20*

    * $10 Off First 3 Months
    View Plan

    Reach Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $25*

    * $10 Off First 3 Months
    View Plan

    Reach Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $30*

    * $10 Off First 3 Months
    View Plan

    Reach Mobile 25GB

    25GB

    $35*

    * $10 Off First 3 Months
    View Plan
    Review
    4

    Pros

    • 5G coverage available

    • 24/7 live customer support with helpful humans

    • No contract, no bulk-order commitment

    • Hotspot enabled

    • A socially conscious provider who gives back

    Cons

    • Small selection of handsets

    Benefits

    • Powered by the Verizon network

    • Service is postpaid with no credit check

    • Only upfront payment is shipping for SIM card

    • Bring your own compatible phone

    • Keep your phone number

    • Hotspot enabled on all plans

    • 24/7 customer support by phone or chat

    Cheapest cell phone provider for kids

    See Deal
    PureTalk SIM Card - PureTalk 2GB $15/moPureTalk SIM Card - PureTalk 2GB $15/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    2GB
    Price
    $15/mo** 25% Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    PureTalk 2GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 2GB data for only $15 per month. PureTalk plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's PureTalk review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    PureTalk 2GB

    2GB

    $15*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    PureTalk 4GB

    4GB

    $18.75*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    PureTalk 6GB

    6GB

    $22.50*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    PureTalk 10GB

    10GB

    $26.50*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    PureTalk 20GB

    20GB

    $33.75*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    PureTalk Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $41.25*

    * 25% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan
    Review
    3.5

    Pros

    • 4G LTE coverage

    • Multi-month discounts

    • US based customer service

    Cons

    • No 0% finance plans for new phones

    • May slow speeds at busy times

    Benefits

    • Service provided on the AT&T network

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

    • 30-day risk-free guarantee on plans- cancel within your first 30 days or 500 minutes/500 MB of data to receive a refund for your plan charges

    • Bring your own compatible GSM phone or buy a PureTalk USA phone

    • Keep your phone number

    • Mobile hotspot/tethering permitted

    • International calling available as an add-on calling card

    • Customer support available by phone 9am - 10pm EST weekdays and 12pm - 9pm weekends

    Cheapest phone provider for individuals

    See Deal
    Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB $10/moGood2Go Mobile SIM Card - Good2Go Mobile 3GB $10/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    3GB
    Price
    $10/mo** 50% Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Good2Go Mobile 3GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 3GB data for only $10 per month. Good2Go Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Good2Go Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Good2Go Mobile 3GB

    3GB

    $10*

    * 50% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Good2Go Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $10

    View Plan

    Good2Go Mobile 6GB

    6GB

    $15*

    * 50% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Good2Go Mobile 1GB

    1GB

    $15

    View Plan

    Good2Go Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $35

    View Plan

    Good2Go Mobile 20GB

    20GB

    $45

    View Plan
    Review
    4

    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 cheap cell phone service in 2022

    By Rob Webber - Last updated on
    Check Carrier Coverage

    Cheap 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 three 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.

    Cheapest cell phone service on T-Mobile

    Mint Mobile4GB plan* Only $45 for 3 Months Service

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    4GB

    4G/5G data

    $15/mo*

    $3.75 per GB

    Powered by: T-Mobile

    T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile 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 plans


    Cheapest cell phone service on Verizon

    US Mobile5GB plan* Free 10 Day Trial

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    5GB

    4G/5G data

    $15/mo

    $3 per GB

    Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

    Verizon vs US Mobile 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 plans


    Cheapest cell phone service on AT&T

    Good2Go Mobile3GB plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    3GB

    4G/5G data

    $10/mo*

    $20/mo

    $6.67 per GB

    Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

    AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile comparison

    Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $690 per year

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
    Good2Go MobileAT&T 4G & 5G3GB$20/mo$210/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$690/yr

    Compare: cheap AT&T plans


    Cell phone service features

    • 4G LTE & 5G data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big three 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.

    Cheapest cell phone service in my area

    Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

    Cell phone coverage comparison

    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

    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

    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 service 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.

    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.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Finding the best cell phone provider

    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.

    • Customize your plan - 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.
    • 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 - 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. 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.
    • 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.

    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 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

    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.

    Cell phone providers list

    AT&T MVNOsVerizon MVNOsT-Mobile MVNOs
    Red PocketUS MobileBoost Mobile
    PureTalkRed PocketUS Mobile
    Unreal MobileTwigbyUltra Mobile
    Good2Go MobileVisibleTello
    H2O WirelessReach MobileRed Pocket
    Straight TalkSpectrum MobileMint Mobile
    TracfonePage Plus CellularConsumer Cellular
    Boom! MobileXfinity MobileGoSmart Mobile
    easyGO WirelessCREDO MobileRepublic Wireless
    Optimum MobileLivelySimple Mobile
    FreedompopWalmart Family MobileLycamobile
    TingSelectel Wireless
    Gen Mobile
    Wing
    easyGO Wireless
    Speedtalk Mobile

    Cheap cell phone provider FAQs

    What are the cheapest cell phone providers?

    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 is the best cell phone service?

    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 three carriers.

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

    Don't sacrifice the cellular coverage you know and trust. Find out which of the three big networks offer the best cell phone coverage in your area, and find the best low-cost carrier for you. Bring your own phone to save even more and check our carrier 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 - Cheapest prepaid cell phone providerTelloCheap prepaid serviceUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
    US Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for familiesUS MobileCheap family serviceUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for unlimitedMint MobileCheap unlimited serviceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$30/mo
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for 5GBoost MobileCheap 5G serviceUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
    Twigby SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for talk & text onlyTwigbyCheap talk & text serviceUnlimitedUnlimited0GB$10/mo
    Reach Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for seniorsReach MobileCheap senior serviceUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$20/mo
    PureTalk SIM Card - Cheapest cell phone provider for kidsPureTalkCheap kids serviceUnlimitedUnlimited2GB$20/mo
    Good2Go Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest phone provider for individualsGood2Go MobileCheap individual serviceUnlimitedUnlimited3GB$20/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.