How to Pick the Right Cell Phone Plan
Buyers Guide

How to Pick the Right Cell Phone Plan

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When it comes to cell phone plans, we all have different requirements and preferences.

Some people only need to opt for a basic plan, as they are light data users. Others use their cell phone data all the time and therefore require a plan that will accommodate their usage.

In order to pick the right cell plan for your needs, it is important to assess your usage.

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This will help to ensure you don't end up paying more than you need to for a package that is designed for heavier users. It will also ensure that, if you are a heavy data user, you don't get hit by overage charges.

With a wide choice of carriers and plans to choose from, finding the right one for your needs should be relatively simple.

Which Plan is Right for You?

The variety of plans available are designed to cater for different needs, so once you have established your usage requirements you can determine which is the right one for you.

Below, we have provided details of different cell phone plans and who they are best suited to. This should help you to make a more informed decision with regards to the plan you pick. You can find out more about how to check your data usage here.

Related: Which Cell Phone Carrier is Right for You?

How to Pick the Right Cell Phone Plan

Plans for Heavy Data Users

If you are a heavy data user, you risk overage charges or data throttling if the plan you choose is not adequate for your needs. One plan that we feel is ideal if you fit into this category is the Verizon Unlimited Plan, which is one of a range of Verizon cell phone plans.

Verizon U (1 Line)

Verizon
Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data 4G LTE Network
$80 Monthly Cost $30 Upfront
Switch to Verizon and get up to $650Get $100 off with Promo Code: VZWDEALUse Phone As A Hotspot

You can look forward to a range of benefits with this plan, and you won't have to worry about exceeding your usage limits and being hit with crippling fees.

This cell phone plan comes with unlimited everything, which is perfect for those that don't want to be constantly monitoring their usage. As a heavy data user, you can enjoy far greater peace of mind with this plan. You can also look forward to a variety of features that should prove ideal for your requirements.

Some of the key pros and cons of the Verizon Unlimited Plan include:

Pros

Cons

  • After it gets to 10GB, mobile hotspot data falls to 3G speeds
  • Once you have used 22GB of data in a billing cycle, you may experience slow speeds. This is because after 22GB the carrier may prioritize other customers when the network is congested

Despite the cons, this plan is a very good option for those that do use a lot of data. Ultimately, the only thing that will be affected is the speed once you have exceeded a certain amount of data. You'll be able to share your data amongst other lines on your account, and you can expect some of the best coverage in the business. Verizon is an expensive option, but you'll get solid service.

Plans for Light Data Users

If you are on the other end of the spectrum and class yourself as a light data user, there is also a cost effective solution available. One of the plans that will prove perfect for lighter data usage is the Republic Wireless 1GB plan. This comes with a variety of benefits and a low monthly cost, which is ideal if you don't use a lot of data. If you start using more data in the future, you can always upgrade.

With this cell phone plan, you won't end up paying for lots of data that you will never use. You get 1GB, which is generally fine for lighter users. Of course, you should assess your usage to ensure that this will be sufficient for you before you make a decision. However, if you only use your data occasionally and don't engage in data-heavy activities, this plan should provide the ideal, affordable solution.

Republic Wireless 1GB Plan (1 Line)

Republic Wireless
Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts
1 GB Data Sprint Network
$20 Monthly Cost $5 Upfront
Unlimited WiFi DataSprint & T-Mobile Network4G LTE Data

Some of the pros and cons to consider with this cell phone plan include:

Pros

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 1GB of data
  • Can be used on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks
  • Hotspot capable
  • 4G LTE data
  • Affordable monthly cost

Cons

  • Can't be used with iPhones
  • No phone contact for customer service

All in all, this cell phone plan represents good value for money if you are a light data user. You can still get unlimited talk and text but you won't be paying for data that you are unlikely to use. Just be aware that this plan is unavailable to iPhone users. If you're truly devoted to saving as much money as possible, a pay-as-you-go phone is a great alternative. They won't be as fancy as an iPhone, but they'll do the trick.

Plans for Families

A simple and convenient means of saving money as a family is to opt for a family plan. This enables you to benefit from multiple lines, so you can all get connected and benefit from having the same features and carrier. The Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan is an excellent choice for families, particularly if some or all of you are heavier data users. You will enjoy a range of features with this plan, along with the benefit of unlimited data.

You can get up to four lines of service as part of this plan, and the pricing is very competitive given that you will receive multiple lines. There are various add-ons available to help you customize your plan and you can look forward to a reliable service from this carrier. You do need to purchase a phone as part of this plan, but this can be done through financing or leasing if you cannot afford to buy it outright.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom (1 Line)

Sprint
Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data 4G LTE Network
$50 Monthly Cost $30 Upfront
Switch to Sprint and get up to $100Free Online Activation10GB HotspotHD Video Streaming

There are a number of pros and cons to consider with this plan, including:

Pros

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • HD video streaming
  • Hotspot capable
  • Save up to $100 per line by switching
  • Choice of 2, 3, or 4 lines
  • Competitive pricing for families

Cons

  • Service may slow down after 23GB of data is used
  • You have to lease/buy a phone as part of the package

Families looking for an unlimited service will find that this is a cost-effective option. Since the plan is unlimited, you won't have to worry about anyone with a line exceeding their limits and being charged. You'll find this to be an affordable alternative compared to Verizon or AT&T. T-Mobile offers a number of extra perks baked into their T-Mobile One plan, but their known issues with coverage may dissuade you.

samsung galaxy s8 phone

Plans for the Young Professional

If you are looking for the ideal plan as an individual user with average data usage needs, the Total Wireless $35 Plan is a good choice. You can enjoy the combined benefits of affordable pricing and a decent amount of data that should be fine for an average user. You can use this plan on the Verizon network and it comes with a variety of benefits.

You will still be able to benefit from unlimited talk and text with this plan, and you also get 5GB of data. This should be sufficient for most average users. Additional benefits include 4G LTE data and no roaming fees. Another thing to consider is that there is no credit check required with this plan, which is ideal if you have a lower than average credit score.

Total Wireless $35 Plan (1 Line)

Total Wireless
Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts
5 GB Data Verizon Network
$33.25 Monthly Cost $0 Upfront
No Roaming FeesVerizon Network4G LTE Data

This pros and cons of the Total Wireless $35 plan include:

Pros

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 5GB data
  • Affordable monthly cost
  • 4G LTE data
  • No roaming fees charged
  • No credit check required
  • No contract provider

Cons

  • Have to pay extra for tethering/hotspots

This plan is simple, straightforward, and affordable, which is ideal for individual users who do not expect to use more than 5GB data each month. The fact that there is no credit check required is another bonus if you are concerned about your credit score. This is perfect for fresh-out-of-college graduates, young professionals, and offers the level of control you would expect from a prepaid cell phone plan.

Related: Did you know that citizens in Britain pay significantly less each month on their cell phone bill? In this article, we discuss why Americans are overpaying by almost $50 on their cell phone bill compared to the UK.

Plans for the Ultimate Budgeter

These days, a lot of people are looking for prepaid plans, and there are a number of options available. You should look at the features and benefits of any prepaid plan you are considering to ensure it is right for you.

One great option for those looking for prepaid cell phone plans is the Tello $29 Plan. This is ideal for those on a budget and comes with a number of key benefits.

With the Tello $29 Plan, you don't have to worry about termination fees and lengthy contracts. For your monthly fee, you will benefit from unlimited talk and text as well as 1GB of data. The service can be used on the Sprint network and is hotspot capable. You get 4G LTE data and you won't have to worry about a credit check being carried out.

Some of the pros and cons of this plan are:

Pros

  • No lengthy contract to worry about
  • No termination fees
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 1GB of data
  • Operates on the Sprint network
  • Hotspot capable
  • Low monthly price

Cons

  • Only suitable for light data users

As long as you are not expecting to use a lot of data, this prepaid plan is a great choice. You can enjoy peace of mind and affordability as well as unlimited calls and texts.

You might find this option to be oddly similar to our recommended choice for Light Data Users. Indeed, Republic Wireless offers several similar plans as Tello at an equally affordable price. Tello's advantage? Fully customizable plans which you can change whenever you wish. If you need more or less data, minutes, or texts, it's just a click away.

Plans for Travelers

You will also find international plans available, and these are ideal for those who tend to travel a lot. As we all know, the cost of mobile usage while abroad can be crippling so if you travel regularly you need to find a suitable solution. An international plan is a great choice and one of the popular options is the T-Mobile One Plus International Plan.

This international plan will enable you to enjoy using your mobile device while traveling internationally without the worry of being hit with roaming fees. You can opt for the basic plan, which provides you with unlimited data at up to 128kbps while you are abroad. However, the One Plus enables you to benefit from 256kbps speeds while abroad, making it ideal for browsing, social media usage, emailing, and much more.

T-Mobile ONE (1 Line)

T-Mobile
Unlimited Minutes Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data 4G LTE Network
$70 Monthly Cost $25 Upfront
Call T-Mobile(855) 436-3659 Visit Site
Switch to T-Mobile and get up to $650Save $30 with promo code: AFFSAVE30Get 2 lines for $100/monthTaxes & Fees included

The pros and cons of the T-Mobile One Plus International Plan include:

Pros

  • A safe and affordable way to use data while abroad
  • No need to worry about roaming charges
  • Can be added to any T-Mobile One line as long as it is postpaid
  • Roaming provided in more than 140 international destinations

Cons

  • Limited service for no credit customers. No credit check customers not eligible

With this international plan, you can put aside any worries when using data abroad. All you need to do is make sure that the destination you are traveling to is covered as part of the plan.

Related: Reading the terms of your cell phone plan can be like looking at hieroglyphics. In this guide, we break down every confusing term, condition, and policy in the cell phone industry.

Recap

As you can see, there are plans available to suit all requirements, preferences, and budgets these days. All you need to do is determine your needs and then look for the most suitable cell phone plan accordingly. The ones that we have mentioned above are ideal for specific types of users. This is because they provide the most suitable features and benefits for particular user groups.

You can compare cell phones plans quickly and easily with this cell phone comparison table. This makes it quick and simple to find the right plan for your specific needs. This provides you with a great way to reduce your costs and sign up to the most suitable cell phone plan based on your usage and requirements.

If you are already signed up to a cell phone plan, you could enjoy big savings by switching to a more suitable plan. Some providers also offer generous rewards for switching, which means even greater value for you.

To learn how much you can save by switching from your current provider, all you need to do is use this cell phone savings calculator. You can then see the financial benefits of switching for yourself.

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Tired of High Phone Bills? Calculate Your Savings!

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