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Say no to the unlimited data plan rip-off - no matter what the big guys tell you, one size does not fit all! The average data usage is only 3-5GB per month, so it's time to stop wasting money on data you don't use.
People who switch from an unlimited data plan to a smaller carrier save $600 per year on average.
Find out how much you could save on your monthly plan with our phone plans savings calculator.
What is the best cell phone service?
Cheap cell phone plan benefits
Take advantage of the many benefits of switching to a smaller carrier (or MVNO - mobile virtual network operator):
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.
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 from no data to unlimited data plans. Pick the plan options that fit your budget - not the ones your carrier thinks you need.
Great customer support: Smaller mobile providers are known for their attention to customer service. Stop feeling like an anonymous number getting lost in the crowd! Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.
Compare cheap cell phone plans
AT&T & T-Mobile
Best cheap cell phone carriers
Ready to switch? Pick an MVNO with just the right combo of features and price:
Mint Mobile: Phone service sold in 3-12 month packages to increase savings, runs on the nationwide T-Mobile network with both 4G LTE and 5G coverage.
PureTalk: This AT&T MVNO offers HD video streaming, multi-line discounts, plus international calling plan options.
Unreal Mobile: Runs on T-Mobile and AT&T networks and sells in multi-month packs for additional savings.
Good2Go Mobile: Powered by T-Mobile and also an AT&T MVNO, great for low to moderate data users. International calling add-on available.
Red Pocket: Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Solely a bring your own phone provider, whether CDMA or GSM.
Xfinity Mobile: This Verizon MVNO is available to existing or new Xfinity Internet customers. Xfinity Mobile offers family plans and an unlimited data option.
Boost Mobile: Operates on the T-Mobile network. Boost Mobile offers multi-line discounts and an unlimited data plan option.
Tello: A T-Mobile MVNO with flexible, customizable plans available for multiple lines on one account.
Twigby: Twigby operates on both CDMA networks - Sprint and Verizon. Great for a range of data users.
Ultra Mobile: A T-Mobile MVNO, Ultra Mobile lets you save even more money by choosing to pay for multiple months at a time.
Ting: Operates on both the T-Mobile and Verizon networks. It's also one of the few MVNOs that provide postpaid cell phone plans. This means you only pay for exactly what you use each month.
US Mobile: With US Mobile you can pick your network - T-Mobile or Verizon - and your data speed.
Reach Mobile: Reach Mobile runs on the nationwide Verizon network and offers from low to unlimited data plans. They use a portion of revenue to provide service to low-income customers.
H2O Wireless: H2O Wireless is an AT&T MVNO. They offer a range of bring your own phone plans anywhere from light to heavy data users.
Cell phone plan types
Smaller carriers are no slouches when it comes to flexibility, either. They offer a wide variety of cell phone plan types - everything you're used to choosing from with your expensive carrier.
Prepaid plans: Most MVNOs offer prepaid cell phone plans. No contracts, credit checks, overage charges, or overdue bills. Not sure which is best for you? Check out our prepaid phone plan comparison.
Unlimited plans: Data hungry users can save money by switching to one of the cheapest unlimited data plans available today. Not sure how much data you need? Check out our data usage calculator.
Family plans: Some 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.
Best cell phone coverage in your area
Which smaller 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 (Sprint and Verizon) you'll enjoy national coverage, just like with the major carriers.
Looking for the cheapest AT&T plans? Go with a carrier like H2O Wireless or PureTalk. For cheap T-Mobile plans choose from top MVNOs like Ting or Mint Mobile. US Mobile and Red Pocket will get you the cheapest Verizon plan. The cheapest Sprint plans are offered by carriers such as Tello and Twigby.
And don't worry - some MVNOs are already starting to offer 5G phone plans currently being rolled out on the major networks, you'll just need to make sure you have a 5G compatible phone. In the meantime you'll still get the 4G LTE coverage you're used to.
Low cost carrier plan features
Afraid you'll have to give up the features you get with the big three? Rest assured you can find everything you need with the cheapest cell phone plans out there.
4G LTE 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.
Unlimited talk and text messaging: Virtually all small carriers include this 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 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 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.
Bring your own phone & save
You need simple in your life. The great thing about MVNOs is that switching carriers is easy (learn how to switch carriers).
Of course, 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.
Best cheap cell phone deals
This is also a great time to break the cycle of expensive device payments. Tired of paying $40 a month for two years? Save 50% or more by purchasing a refurbished smartphone in great condition. Compare unlocked phone deals and take your device to any carrier you want.
Whether you love iPhones, the Samsung Galaxy series, or the Google Pixel, you can save a ton of money by comparing cell phones prices from multiple carriers with our handy tool. Quickly find the best deals on Verizon phones, Sprint phones, T-Mobile phones, and AT&T phones.
Stop paying too much for your cell phone service. The best cheap cell phone plans aren't necessarily the most expensive. Save up to $600 per year and get all the great features and reliable networks you love.
Save even more money when you compare cell phone deals. It's time to break out of the big carrier rut and take back your freedom - and your money!
Cell Phone Plans FAQs
Who has the best cell phone service?
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 plan?
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 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.