The best family plans in May
Cheap family phone plan benefits
Outfitting the whole family with wireless service can get insanely expensive. We help you find the cheapest cell phone plans for 2 lines or more on the big name networks, at an affordable price.
There are plenty of reasons to go with one of these alternative providers:
Much lower prices: Most smaller carriers operate solely online. This allows them to give you better rates without sacrificing your favorite network.
Same great phone service: Don't give up your mobile essentials just to stay on budget. Low cost plans include all the most popular feature options. Compare cheap family plans with unlimited talk text and data, or choose one with mobile hotspot use.
No contracts: Most MVNOs only sell no contract cell phone plans. You won't have to make any commitments. Switch carriers at any time if you find a better deal.
Bring your own phones: Not ready to commit to $30 a month in device payments for each family member? No problem. Compare BYOP plans and keep your phones and your phone numbers.
Customize your plans: One of the best things about smaller carriers is that you can mix and match plans to fit each person. Get unlimited data plans for the heavy users and basic phone plans for everyone else.
Great customer service: Stop being an anonymous number in the hordes of customers. Low cost carriers are known for providing high quality customer support. Read our carrier user reviews to help you pick a provider.
AT&T family plans pricing
Pure Talk multi-line plan pricing
T-Mobile family plans pricing
Mint Mobile multi-line plan pricing
Verizon family plans pricing
Play More Unlimited
Do More Unlimited
Get More Unlimited
Reach Mobile multi-line plan pricing
Family phone plan features
4G LTE and 5G data speeds: Get the same nationwide 4G LTE coverage as your chosen network. Plus most smaller carriers include 5G coverage at no extra cost.
Unlimited talk and text messaging: No need to sacrifice your must have features. Most smaller carriers give you unlimited calling and texting. You then add the necessary data amounts for each person.
International calls to Canada and Mexico: Need international calling? Compare the best international phone plans. You can find free international texting and talk to places like Canada and Mexico. Plus you'll get great rates to other countries.
Multiline discounts: Smaller carriers offer the cheapest family cell phone plans. Manage multiple lines on your account from one place.
Wi-Fi calling: Make calls over the internet when you're out of cellular range.
HD video streaming: Get HD video streaming with subcarriers like Boost Mobile.
Carrier coverage comparison
Choosing the best family phone plan isn't just about features and data. Those things are only helpful if you choose the network with the best coverage in your area.
T-Mobile boasts the most expansive coverage nationwide, covering about 99% of the population. T-Mobile also has the largest 5G network so far. Where it suffers a little bit is in rural areas.
AT&T also provides wireless service to roughly 99% of the US but its 5G coverage is the least widespread.
Verizon Wireless serves about 98% of the country and has a pretty good balance of urban and rural coverage.
Network performance ratings
Best carriers by network
Keep all the advantages of high speed data on your favorite network without the high prices.
Carrier customer service comparison
We know that getting good customer support is important to you. As you'll see in the comparison chart below most MVNOs rate well above their corporate counterparts.
TRUSTPILOT USER RATING
Family phone plan types
The term "family plan" is typically used by big companies to advertise their lowest rates.
When you're shopping smaller carriers you may not see their family plan offerings called by that name. It's just that their prices are already so low that it's easy to find cheap cell phone plans for all the lines on your account.
That actually makes it even easier to get what you all need. You can mix and match your plans so everyone gets a perfect fit.
Unlimited plans: Looking for unlimited talk text and data? Alternative carriers have got you covered. Save money on those data hungry users 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: Set up the light users in the family with a simply prepaid plan. They'll get a basic allowance for talk minutes and text messages, with data capped typically around 2GB, all at a great price. Data speeds usually slow after your allotment is used up but it's easy to add more.
Bring your own phone plans: BYOP plans are perfect for families looking for affordable wireless service. As long as you all have compatible devices you can switch carriers with no hassle.
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 so it's just right for them.
Pros and cons of cheap family plans
No contracts: No commitment necessary with a prepaid family plan. Pay month to month and if your needs change you can amend your plan or leave at any time, without worrying about early termination charges. However, if you choose to there are plans you can sign up for in increments of three, six, or 12 months to get a better discount.
Plans to fit the whole family: Customize each person's line to suit their needs. Pick different data amounts and features for everyone.
Cheaper plans: Saving money feels good and MVNOs make that possible. Their cheap cell phone plans give you all the features you need, plus network coverage from one of the three major carriers. They don't have the overhead costs associated with physical stores and they pass these savings on to you.
Deprioritization: Because MVNOs run on the major telecom networks your data speed could be slowed during busy times to avoid congestion. Keep in mind this can happen when you buy directly through the main carrier as well.
What to look for when comparing plans
Of all the family phone plans we've covered only a handful will be a perfect fit. There's a ton of features to compare and so much choice can be overwhelming.
That's where we come in.
We break down the most up-to-date industry knowledge and built tools to give you a clearer idea how you're using your phone. Knowing which features you really need will help narrow your search. Here are some things to consider when comparing plans.
It's a complete myth that coverage is worse with a smaller carrier. Alternative carriers use the exact same network infrastructure as the big wireless companies. They piggyback off same towers, which power the same coverage. Switching won't mean you get poorer quality service.
Coverage is personal. Perhaps you love the coverage you get from your current provider. Whether you prefer AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon, there are lots of alternative carriers operating on the same network.
If you're not happy with your coverage, put your ZIP code into our coverage checker to see which carrier will give you the best service.
Figuring out how much data each person uses will also help you narrow down the search for the perfect plan. Once you've worked out everyone's actual usage you'll know whether to pay more for unlimited or save money with a shared data plan.
If your family does a lot of data heavy activities like streaming HD video or mobile hotspot use for example, then getting a lot of data makes sense. Many low cost carriers offer unlimited data plans. Mint Mobile, Tello, US Mobile are just a few. Data speeds with these carriers are the same as you'd expect from the big networks.
Most people don't need unlimited data, though. Why pay for more than your family will use? Our data usage calculator shows you how much each person needs. The average person only uses 3-5GB a month, which saves you a ton of money.
Perks and add ons
It's not just the big guys offering additional perks. You'll find carrier offers with different bonuses and features as standard. Unlimited talk and text comes with most, some carriers offer signup bonuses or multi-month discounts when you opt for three months, plus cashback guarantees. Others have additional international features like unlimited international minutes at a modest additional cost.
Number of lines
Many alternative carriers offer multi line plans, but as I mentioned earlier they don't necessarily call them family plans. Either way you'll find the cheapest plans for 2 lines or more.
Some, like Mint Mobile, come with an intuitive app for you to manage all your lines. Low cost carriers help you make a seamless transition for everyone on your account.
Family phone plans comparison chart
$10** Buy 1 Month, Get 1 Month Free
$15** 50% Off for 3 Months
T-Mobile & Verizon
$25** $20 Off for 3 Months
$20** $60 for 3 Months Service
AT&T & T-Mobile
$7.50** 50% Off for 3 Months
How to pick the right family phone plan
If you're still not sure after comparing all these low cost carriers, we're here to make choosing a family phone plan less painful.
There's no one size fits all when it comes to family phone plans but there are different areas you can look at to make sure everyone will be happy.
Look at how your family uses their phones
The first place to start is to think about each person's main wireless activities. A basic plan is the best option for those who use it for a few calls and texts or just for emergencies.
There are also plenty of options if you have family abroad. Choose from phone plans offering unlimited international calling, some with at least 200 countries including Mexico and Canada.
Once you've calculated everyone's data usage you'll know if you need to have unlimited everything. Or can you save money with less talk text and data and go for a set data plan option instead?
What's your budget
How much do you want to spend on your monthly bill? Bear in mind smaller carriers will save you up to $600 on each line of service. That adds up quick when you're buying, for example, plans for 4 lines!
MVNOs offer a variety of low-cost plans that still provide the same benefits you'll find going directly to one of the major networks, but with a more affordable price tag.
Unlimited data isn't for everyone
Most plans from the major carriers offer unlimited data but we don't believe it's necessary. On average each family member likely only uses around 3 to 5GB of data a month. Check your estimated data use with our free tool so you're only paying for what each person needs.
Just make sure to check first with the carrier how much data you're really getting. Unlimited doesn't always mean unlimited. Usually you're getting a set amount of data at high speed, then once that's reached you get unlimited data at 2G or 3G speeds.
Best is personal
With such a wide selection there's no one best plan. For some families shared data with unlimited talk and text might be ideal. For others, it could be unlimited data plans for 5 lines or more.
Switching to a cheaper carrier
It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.
Customize your plans. Choose a carrier with options to fit everyone in your family.
Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bills are paid up and your phones are unlocked. If you're getting new devices it's easy to transfer everything from the old ones to the new ones. Even if you're going from an iPhone to Android, and vice versa.
Set up your new plans. Keep everyone's accounts open until your phone numbers are ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel your old account. If you bought cell phones with your family plan they should be ready to go when they arrive. If you're bringing your own phones then you'll need to follow the instructions that come with the new SIM card kits.
Bring your phone & save your money
You need simple in your life. The great thing about MVNOs is that switching carriers is easy, even if you're buying plans for 3 lines or more.
You need unlocked phones (meaning your carrier has released them 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 prepaid SIM cards. You pop them into your mobile phones and follow the provider's instructions. Just make sure you don't cancel your current phone plan until you've ported your phone numbers over to the new carrier.
Prepaid cell phone companies list
Family phone plan FAQs
Who has the best prepaid family plan?
It depends on the features you and your family need. The best value prepaid family plans can be found with MVNOs like Tello who run on the main provider networks while offering cheaper plans.
What is a family plan?
A family plan allows you to add more than one line to your plan. Most carriers offer a discount on each additional line added to your plan while some like Mint Mobile offer it as one place to look after all family members phone plans in one place.
Are family plans cheaper than individual?
If you're looking for more than one phone line then a family plan is cheaper than buying multiple individual lines. Most carriers offer a discount for each additional line.
Is it cheaper to have a family plan?
It can depend on how many lines you're looking for. Many carriers offer cheaper prices the more lines you have.
The wireless market has undergone drastic changes in recent years. It's simpler than ever to slash your plan costs by hundreds each year.
Compare family cell phone plans from low cost carriers and only pay for the data you use. Save up to $600 per line without sacrificing your reliable network. Bring your own phones when you switch and save even more. Choose a phone plan that fits your family's needs instead of your carrier's bottom line.
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