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Cheapest Phone Plans in 2021

Compare the best cheap cell phone plans

Check Coverage

We get it. The last thing anyone needs right now is to be tied down by an expensive cell phone plan.

Compare cheap cell phone plans from numerous low-cost carriers and you could save up to $600 per year by switching.

Cheap doesn't mean making sacrifices. You'll get the same cell phone service coverage that you've come to know and trust, at a fraction of the cost. Here's how.

Tello SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan - TelloTello SIM Card - Cheapest prepaid phone plan - Tello
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo*
* 25% Off for 6 Months
Editors Take
5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

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 - Cheapest unlimited phone plan - Mint MobileMint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest 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
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

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

Red Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest phone plan for kids - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest phone plan for kids - Red Pocket
Minutes
500
Texts
500
Data
0.5 GB
Price
$10/mo
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

Red Pocket 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$10*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 500MB Data

500

500

0.5GB

$10

Red Pocket 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$15*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 22GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

22GB

$20*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 50GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

50GB

$25*

* 50% Off First Month
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

The best cheap phone plans in September

Check Carrier Coverage

Cheap phone plan benefits

Cheap doesn't mean you lose out on any of the features or benefits the big guys offer. When you go through a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, MVNO for short, you can get the exact same service at a much better price.

Stay on the same network, keep your phone and number, plus get greater flexibility?

Yep. Here's why we think it's such a no-brainer.

  • Same great nationwide coverage: Low cost carriers piggyback on the networks run by bigger operators. So they able to offer the same service.

  • Much lower prices: No more big monthly bills, save up to $600 per line annually on your cell phone plan. How are MVNOs so much cheaper? The big guys shoulder the cost of maintaining the network, not the smaller carriers. Plus, cheaper carriers don't have the costs that come with running retail stores or advertising campaigns. They pass those savings on to you instead.

  • No contracts: Switch when you decide the time's right, no more getting trapped in two-year commitments.

  • Same cell phone service: Enjoy the features and cell phone comforts you're used to. Plans with unlimited everything are easy to find, unlimited talk and text usually come as standard. High speed 4G LTE data is the norm and mobile hotspot come with many plans.

  • Keep your phone and number: Save more by taking advantage of the bring your own phone feature. Your old number will be ported over to your new plan, no problem.

  • Control over your plan: Customize everything to suit your needs. No more paying for unlimited data you don't need. Decide how much data you want, go unlimited or opt for none. Set your call and text allowance, get minimal minutes or unlimited talk text and data.

  • Great customer support: No annoying commission-hungry sales people. You're more than a number to a smaller provider. Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.


Cheapest 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 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 $660 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

Unltd*

$70/mo

$840/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$55/mo$660/yr

Compare the best cheap T-Mobile phone plans


Cheapest Verizon phone plan

US Mobile 5GB data planFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5 GB

4G data

$15

per month

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

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 US Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $780 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

Verizon

Verizon 4G LTE

Unltd*

$80/mo

$960/yr

US Mobile

Verizon 4G LTE

5GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$65/mo$780/yr

Compare the best cheap Verizon phone plans


Cheapest AT&T phone plan

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G data

$10*

per month

$20/mo

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

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 Good2Go Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $690 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE

Unltd*

$75/mo

$900/yr

Good2Go Mobile

AT&T 4G LTE

3GB

$20/mo

$210/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$690/yr

Compare the best cheap AT&T phone plans


Cheapest phone plans comparison

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Ultra Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

2GB

$11** Extra 20% Off with code: MSP20

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

4GB

$15** $45 for 3 Months Service

US Mobile

Verizon & T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

12GB

$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Tello

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

Unltd

$29.30** 25% Off for 6 Months

Good2Go Mobile

AT&T & T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

1GB

$7.50** 50% Off for 3 Months

Cheap carrier coverage comparison

You can cut the cost of your cell phone bill without sacrificing coverage. Which alternative carrier has the best coverage depends which network has the best coverage in your area.

Choose a GSM carrier (T-Mobile and AT&T) or a CDMA carrier (Verizon) and enjoy the same reliable coverage you get from the big guys.

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 carrier customer service comparison

Low cost carriers offer great customer service with their cheaper plans. In fact, they tend to score over and above the big networks for customer satisfaction. Take a look at the comparison chart below.

CARRIER

TRUSTPILOT USER RATING

Reach Mobile

4.9

Tello

4.6

US Mobile

4.6

T-Mobile

1.5

Verizon

1.3

AT&T

1.2

Cheap phone plans features

  • 4G LTE data speeds: Low cost carriers operate on the big cellular networks. This means you don't sacrifice speed when you switch. More and more are also adding 5G coverage all the time.

  • Unlimited talk and text messaging: Pretty much all small carriers give this as standard. Compare cheap talk and text plans, you can add data or go without.

  • International calls to Canada and Mexico: Anyone wanting to keep in touch with loved ones abroad will want international features. Cheaper carriers offer great international phone plans. Most include free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on other countries.

  • Multiline discounts: Smaller carriers offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with discounts the more lines you add.

  • Wi-Fi calling: Handy if you're in a signal shadow but have WiFi connection, this feature allows you to make calls over the internet.

  • Tethering/hotspot data: Get more devices online and share your data allowance through your phone. Find a carrier with the best mobile hotspot plan.

  • HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming, while others don't. If this is a must-have for you, reach out to the carrier's customer support and find out whether your plan includes this feature.

Cheap phone plan types

  • Unlimited plans: Unlimited talk and text are a pretty standard offering from low cost carriers. And if you burn through data each month? Alternative carriers have got you covered with their unlimited plus plans. Switch to one of the cheapest unlimited data plans. Not sure how much data you need? Use our data usage calculator.

  • Basic plans: Ideal if you don't use your cell phone to go online, instead you (or a loved one) only make a few calls and send a few of messages each month. Simply prepaid plans give you basic cell phone functions, an allowance for minutes of talk, and a bit of data. It's usually very easy to add on more features if you run out before the end of the month.

  • Family plans: Need multiple lines? A lot of MVNOs offer group plans. Compare the cheapest family phone plans. Some, like Mint Mobile, have an app that makes managing all your plans a breeze.

  • Bring your own phone plans: BYOP plans are the norm with alternative carriers, freeing you up to find a great deal on a cell phone elsewhere, or keep your current device and save even more.

  • Single line plans: With cheaper carriers you don't pay a premium for one line. Find phone plans for individuals.

  • Talk and text only plans: If you don't need data you can save a ton of money by opting for a cheap talk and text plan.

  • Tablet plans: MVNOs are a great place to go for your tablet plan too. Find the cheapest data plan for your tablet or iPad.

  • Kids plans: Alternative carriers make it super simple to customize your plan, making them ideal kids' plans. Browse the best phone plans for kids and tailor the plan. No nasty bill shaped surprises at the end of the month.

  • Senior plans: Senior citizens often have different cell phone needs. Compare cheap cell phone plans for seniors for the perfect fit.


Considerations when comparing cheap phone plans

  1. Coverage: check cell phone coverage in your area and make sure your next carrier will give you a reliable 4G LTE signal before you switch.

  2. Cost: you'll find a range of deals to suit different cell phone needs. Figure out what you need your phone to do. Maybe you need a lot of data and a ton of fancy features, or you might want to keep it simple with a basic plan.

  3. Number of lines: if you're switching multiple lines, compare family plans and find a great deal.

  4. Features: there are cheap phone plans with international calling, mobile hotspot usage, or add-ons for more data. We've done the research for you here so you can find a plan with any extras you need.

  5. Device: plan to bringing your own phone? Check compatibility with our IMEI checker.

Cheap phone companies list

AT&T

T-Mobile

Verizon

Red Pocket

Mint Mobile

US Mobile

Good2Go Mobile

Ultra Mobile

Red Pocket

Unreal Mobile

US Mobile

Reach Mobile

Pure Talk

Tello

Twigby

h2o Wireless

Red Pocket

Spectrum Mobile

FreeUP Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

Net10 Wireless

Boom! Mobile

Consumer Cellular

Page Plus Cellular

Black Wireless

GoSmart Mobile

Total Wireless

Kroger Wireless

Republic Wireless

Xfinity Mobile

easyGO Wireless

Simple Mobile

CREDO Mobile

Optimum Mobile

Lycamobile

Affinity Cellular

Freedompop

Selectel Wireless

GreatCall

Boost Mobile

Walmart Family Mobile

Gen Mobile

yahoo! Mobile

Wing

Ting

easyGO Wireless

Speedtalk Mobile

Cheap phone plans pros & cons

Pros

  • Contract free: prepaid plans from pay as you go providers give you more flexibility and freedom. Forget early termination charges, no contact means you leave when you devide. Most carriers are so confident you'll love their service they come with 100% money-back guarantees. Be aware though, you can bag bigger discounts by signing up for more months at a time.

  • Plans to fit you: know how you use your phone and customize the plan to suit your needs. If your needs change, simply adapt your plan.

  • Cheaper plans: get features you need, network coverage from the big guys and save money. MVNOs give you the power to take back control of your cell phone budget.

Cons

  • Deprioritization: cheaper carriers piggyback off the big telecom networks. It's one of the reasons they're cheaper, but if their network gets busy, they may slow the service slightly for smaller carriers.

How to switch to a cheap phone plan

Switching has never been simpler. It's easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Customize your plan. Find a plan to suit your cell phone needs.

  2. Prepare to make the switch. Pay old bills and get your phone unlocked.

  3. Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has ported over. A new device should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own device you'll need to follow instructions that come with the new SIM card kit.


Cheap cell phone deals

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Apple iPhone 11

New

128GB

AT&T

$549

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

New

64GB

AT&T

$599

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

New

64GB

AT&T

$699

Apple iPhone 12

New

128GB

AT&T

$779

Apple iPhone 12 mini

New

64GB

T-Mobile

$729

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

New

128GB

Verizon

$999

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$1,099

Apple iPhone SE

New

64GB

T-Mobile

$399

Apple iPhone XR

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$549


Cheap phone plans FAQS

Who has the cheapest cell phone plan?

Alternative low cost carriers like Tello, Red Pocket Mobile, and Twigby offer a range of cheap cell phone plans starting from around $10 a month.

What is the best and cheapest unlimited cell phone plan?

The best will be personal to your needs and affordability, but MVNOs offer the best value and cheapest prices with plans suitable for everyone. When it comes to unlimited, Mint Mobile offers a great value unlimited everything plan.

What is the best affordable phone service?

MVNOs provide the best affordable cell phone service, with plans starting from $10 a month while offering the same quality nationwide coverage.


Recap

It's difficult to justify paying $70-80 every month for a cell phone plan when there are cheaper options out there.

Compare cheap cell phone plans from numerous low cost carriers and save up to $600 per year by switching. You won't sacrifice service quality or coverage and finding a cheaper cell phone 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 - Cheapest prepaid phone planTello

Best cheap prepaid plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$10/mo

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Cheapest unlimited phone planMint Mobile

Best cheap unlimited plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30/mo

Red Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest phone plan for kidsRed Pocket

Best cheap kids plan

500

500

0.5GB

$10/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