Finding the perfect individual cell phone plan can seem like a challenge.
However, when you broaden your search beyond options offered by only the big four networks, you can often find a plan that gives you freedom while saving serious money.
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Key Considerations When Looking for a Single Line Plan
As you begin your search for a great individual cell phone plan, be sure to keep some thoughts in mind.
- Coverage Location. To get started, map out where you live or frequently travel for work or during personal time. You'll want to know that the which network has the best coverage in those regions.
- Data Needed. How much data do you plan to use on your phone? Will 1 GB of data do? Need a plan with 10 GB of data usage instead? Not sure? Use a handy online data usage calculator to help decide.
- Phone Desired. Do you already have a phone, or will you be purchasing a new one with your plan? As you might suspect, your answer will affect your carrier choices.
- Budget Preferred. Whether or not this is your first individual phone line, you likely have a budget in mind. Don't worry if your preferred number seems low: There are cheap cell phone plans available if you're willing to go with a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
Think you're not familiar with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)? You might be surprised to learn you probably are. Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless are just two of the many MVNO choices.
MVNOs rent storage and service from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon (the "big four" carriers). Because MVNOs get bulk rates, they can turn around and sell extremely low-priced prepaid plans to consumers.
How are the MVNOs saving enough money to offer shockingly affordable packages and good customer service? In general, they don't worry about doing much marketing. They also don't have storefronts to run. All they need is a robust website to keep customers happily enjoying having a mobile hotspot and unlimited data plans for less.
Like the idea of keeping more of your hard-earned dollars and cents? You owe it to yourself to learn more about MVNOs and their advantages:
- They offer the same 4G LTE mobile networks you use now.
- They rarely offer contracts and don't check your credit, which means they won't ding credit scores.
- They are structured to allow you to pay for the services you need, not for ones you don't.
- They make signing up easy.
- They allow you to keep your phone and/or phone number by just replacing your current SIM card.
Ready to start looking for the best MVNO for your needs and learn to save money? Read on for some top picks.
The Best Cheap Individual Plan: Red Pocket
You're always looking for a way to stretch a dollar. Red Pocket understands.
This MVNO, which uses Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon coverage, is well-known for being highly affordable while still giving you terrific benefits:
- Unlimited text on all plans.
- Risk-free guarantee for first 30 days.
- Variety of data use choices to fit any lifestyle.
- Zero activation fees.
- Zero overage fees.
- International calling in 70 countries.
The Best Individual Plan for Customization: Tello
You like to get hands-on and build everything, including your cell phone plans. Lucky you because Tello is perfect for DIY-ers.
In addition to Tello using Sprint's coverage, this popular, no-contract-needed MVNO allows you to construct your plan. Choose from loads of options:
- Many minutes packages, including zero minutes if desired.
- Many data packages, or no data per month if you don't need it.
- Ability to reconfigure as your responsibilities and needs a change.
- Ability to freely call China, Mexico, and Canada with any minutes plan.
The Best No Data Individual Plan: Twigby
Not a fan of using data? Just want a simple individual cell phone line for your basic needs? Welcome to Twigby.
Not only does Twigby offer basic packages meant for people who never use data, but it has characteristics that appeal to minimal phone users:
- Protection against any overages.
- Introductory rates of up to 50 percent off.
- Choice of using a smartphone or basic phone.
- Two-month satisfaction guarantee.
- Ability to size-up to a data package (if your needs change and you want data included for a month).
Tired of High Phone Bills? Calculate Your Savings!Save Now
Want Even More Savings? Buy a Refurbished Phone!
As you're making your decision on an MVNO, why not ask yourself what kind of phone you honestly need?
Many customers have decided that buying the latest Samsung Galaxy S9 or other hot new phone model is too expensive. Instead, they are deciding to buy a refurbished phone.
Refurbished phones can work just as well as pricier counterparts, and they're perfect for MVNO packages that require you to bring your own phone (BYOP).
Ready to Search for Your Next Phone?
In today's fast-paced world, it's smart to have a phone you can trust. Yet you don't have to overspend to get the quality you deserve.
It doesn't hurt to look into MVNOs and discover why others are switching to user-friendlier cell phone service plan providers.
To save the most possible money follow these steps: