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Best Phone Plans in 2021

Compare the cheapest cell phone plans

Check Coverage

In these uncertain times, the last thing you need is to be stressed by high cell phone bills.

So you'll be pleased to hear that there are much cheaper cell phone plans available that can save you up to $600 per line without sacrificing anything.

We're a group of cell phone geeks and we've analyzed the best cell phone plans from low-cost carriers so you can quickly find the best.

Best phone plans of 2021

Tello SIM Card - Best no contract phone plan - TelloTello SIM Card - Best no contract phone plan - Tello
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo*
* 25% Off for 6 Months
Editors Take
5 / 5
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

$14.30*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$18*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 8GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

8GB

$21.80*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$29.30*

* 25% Off for 6 Months
Features
Benefits

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

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best unlimited phone plan - Mint MobileMint Mobile SIM Card - Best unlimited phone plan - Mint Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo*
* $90 for 3 months Service
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
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
Benefits

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

Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best 5G phone plan - Boost MobileBoost Mobile SIM Card - Best 5G phone plan - Boost Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
5 GB
Price
$15/mo*
* $10 Off First Month
Editors Take
3.5 / 5
Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Boost Mobile 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$9*

* $64 for 6 Months Service

Boost Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15*

* $10 Off First Month

Boost Mobile 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$15

Boost Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$35

Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$35*

* $15 Off First Month
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • New upgraded network with DISH

  • No annual contract

  • Unlimited music streaming

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

Ting SIM Card - Best talk & text phone plan - TingTing SIM Card - Best talk & text phone plan - Ting
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0 GB
Price
$10/mo*
* $5 extra per GB
Editors Take
4 / 5
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
Benefits

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

Red Pocket SIM Card - Best phone plan for kids - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Best phone plan for kids - Red Pocket
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
0.5 GB
Price
$10/mo
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Red Pocket 500MB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

0.5GB

$10

Red Pocket 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$20

Red Pocket 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$30

Red Pocket 22GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

22GB

$40

Red Pocket 50GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

50GB

$50

Features
Benefits

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

Pure Talk SIM Card - Best phone plan for one - Pure TalkPure Talk SIM Card - Best phone plan for one - Pure Talk
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
4 GB
Price
$18.75/mo*
* 25% Off for 3 Months
Editors Take
4 / 5
Plans
PlanMinutesTextsDataPrice

Pure Talk 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$15*

Pure Talk 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$18.75*

Pure Talk 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$22.50*

Pure Talk 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$26.25*

Pure Talk 20GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

20GB

$33.75*

Pure Talk Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$41.25*

* 25% Off for 3 Months

Features
Benefits

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

The best cell phone plans in July

Check Carrier Coverage

Cheap phone plan benefits

The best way to save money on cell phone plans is to switch to a smaller carrier.

These providers are called MVNOs or mobile virtual network operators. They use the big wireless networks to give you cheaper unlimited data plans.

  • Same great coverage: Alternative carriers like Mint Mobile and Tello rent space on the major wireless networks and sell it for less. So you get the very same nationwide coverage and high speed data as usual.

  • Much lower prices: MVNOs typically operate completely online. This keeps their overhead and marketing costs down. The result is that you save up to 50% off your unlimited plan costs.

  • Same great service: Don't sacrifice premium features just for a cheaper plan. Smaller carrier plans include unlimited talk text and data just like the major carriers. Plus, providers like US Mobile offer perks and extras like free Apple Music or HBO Max.

  • No contracts: It's no fun getting stuck in a long term commitment with an expensive carrier. Compare no contract phone plans and keep your freedom. Leave whenever you're ready.

  • Keep your phone and phone number: Low cost carriers wrote the book on bring your own phone plans. They make your switch hassle free and port your number over for you.

  • Customize your plan: One of our favorite things about MVNOs is that they help you avoid overpaying for things you don't need. You pick how much texting, calling and data you need. Need plans for 2 lines or more? Design each one exactly the way you want.


Best cheap AT&T phone plan

Pure Talk 4GB data plan* 25% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G data

$18.75*

per month

$25/mo

Powered by: AT&T

AT&T unlimited phone plans

Plan

Data

Monthly Price

Annual Cost

AT&T Unlimited Extra

Unlimited

$75

$900

AT&T Unlimited Elite

Unlimited

$85

$1,020

AT&T vs Pure Talk Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $619 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE

Unltd*

$75/mo

$900/yr

Pure Talk

AT&T 4G LTE

4GB

$25/mo

$281/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$619/yr

Compare the best cheap AT&T phone plans


Best cheap Verizon phone plan

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

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G data

$15*

per month

$30/mo

Powered by: Verizon

Verizon unlimited phone plans

Plan

Data

Monthly Price

Annual Cost

Verizon Play More Unlimited

Unlimited

$80

$960

Verizon Do More Unlimited

Unlimited

$80

$960

Verizon Get More Unlimited

Unlimited

$90

$1,080

Verizon vs Reach Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $645 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

Verizon

Verizon 4G LTE

Unltd*

$80/mo

$960/yr

Reach Mobile

Verizon 4G LTE

3GB

$30/mo

$315/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$645/yr

Compare the best cheap Verizon phone plans


Best cheap T-Mobile phone plan

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

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G data

$15*

per month

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile unlimited phone plans

Plan

Data

Monthly Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile Essentials

Unlimited

$60

$720

T-Mobile Magenta

Unlimited

$70

$840

T-Mobile Magenta Max

Unlimited

$85

$1,020

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $540 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

Unltd*

$60/mo

$720/yr

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

4GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$45/mo$540/yr

Compare the best cheap T-Mobile phone plans


Compare the best phone plans

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Tello

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

1GB

$7.50** 25% Off for 6 Months

Pure Talk

AT&T

Unltd

Unltd

2GB

$15** 25% Off for 3 Months

Ting

T-Mobile & Verizon

Unltd

Unltd

Unltd

$25** $20 Off for 3 Months

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

10GB

$20** $60 for 3 Months Service

h2o Wireless

AT&T

Unltd

Unltd

6GB

$22.50** 25% Off for 3 Months

Carrier 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

NETWORK

OVERALL

RELIABILITY

SPEED

DATA

CALL

Verizon Coverage

95

96

94

96

94

AT&T Coverage

94

94

95

96

92

T-Mobile Coverage

86

88

82

89

82

Source: Rootmetrics

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

Cheap phone plan 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.

Cell phone 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.

  • 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.


Considerations when comparing phone plans

  1. Coverage: check cell phone coverage maps and choose a carrier with strong 4G LTE signal in your area.

  2. Cost: carriers offer a range of deals to suit different cell phone needs. Figure out what your needs will be. You might need lots of data and fancy features or a super basic plan might be more up your street.

  3. Number of lines: if you need more than one line, compare family plans to find the best deal.

  4. Features: each carrier will offer different extras. For example, you can find no contract phone plans with international calling, mobile hotspot usage, or add-ons for more data.

  5. Device: a new plan can come with a new device, or you might want to bring your own phone. Check yours will work with a new carrier plan before switching.

Cheap phone companies list

AT&T

T-Mobile

Verizon

Red Pocket

Mint Mobile

US Mobile

Pure Talk

Ultra Mobile

Ting

h2o Wireless

US Mobile

Red Pocket

Good2Go Mobile

Ting

Visible

Unreal Mobile

Tello

Reach Mobile

Cricket Wireless

Red Pocket

Twigby

Kroger Wireless

Boost Mobile

Net10 Wireless

easyGO Wireless

Consumer Cellular

Page Plus Cellular

Altice Mobile

GoSmart Mobile

Total Wireless

Freedompop

Republic Wireless

Xfinity Mobile

Simple Mobile

CREDO Mobile

Selectel Wireless

GreatCall

Gen Mobile

Walmart Family Mobile

Wing

yahoo! Mobile

easyGO Wireless

Speedtalk Mobile

How to switch to a cheaper phone plan

It's actually pretty simple to switch to a cheaper carrier.

  1. Pick a carrier. Maybe you want one that runs on a specific network, like T-Mobile. Or maybe you're looking for mobile hotspot use and international calling. There's an MVNO for everyone.

  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 your stuff to your new phone 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 bought a cell phone from your new carrier it should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own phone you'll get a SIM card kit in the mail or in a store.

Bring your own phone & save your money

Why spend a bunch more money on a new phone if your current one is still in good condition?

Just make sure your phone is unlocked for use with a different carrier. Once you've checked phone compatibility with your new wireless provider you're good to go.

You'll get a prepaid SIM card either in the mail or in a store. Insert it in your device and follow the provider's instructions.

Just make sure you don't cancel your current phone plan until your new plan is active. Your phone number needs to be ported over first so you don't lose it.


Best cell phone deals

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Apple iPhone 11

New

64GB

AT&T

$349

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

New

64GB

AT&T

$649

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

New

64GB

AT&T

$749

Apple iPhone 12

New

64GB

AT&T

$579

Apple iPhone 12 mini

New

64GB

AT&T

$479

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

New

128GB

AT&T

$749

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

New

128GB

AT&T

$849

Apple iPhone SE

New

64GB

AT&T

$149

Apple iPhone XR

New

64GB

Verizon

$499


Best phone plans FAQs

Who has the best cell phone plans?

With MVNOs you can build a plan to suit you. Check the coverage in your area to find the best network. Then compare the best phone plans on their network.

Who has the best unlimited data plans?

Powered by AT&T, PureTalk offers a great value unlimited data plan. If that's not for you, check out more unlimited data plans.

What are the best no contract cell phone plans?

The best cell phone plans give you what you need from a phone whilst saving you money. And that's exactly what MVNOs offer.


Recap

Last things last. Dodge rising costs of cell phone plans and still get great quality.

There are so many low-cost carriers emerging in the wireless industry. They're eager to help you save hundreds of dollars each year.

You don't have to sacrifice cellular coverage you already know and trust. Each one is tailored toward specific needs. Finding that new, better 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.

Carrier

Best for...

Mins

Texts

Data

Price

Tello SIM Card - Best no contract phone planTello

Best no contract plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$10/mo

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best unlimited phone planMint Mobile

Best unlimited plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30/mo

Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best 5G phone planBoost Mobile

Best 5G plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$25/mo

Ting SIM Card - Best talk & text phone planTing

Best talk & text plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$10/mo

Red Pocket SIM Card - Best phone plan for kidsRed Pocket

Best kids plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

0.5GB

$10/mo

Pure Talk SIM Card - Best phone plan for onePure Talk

Best plan for one

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$25/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.

The best prices on the best networks