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Best phone plans for one in 2024

Same coverage: Cut your bill by $600 per year

Verizon
$75
/mo
Unlimited data
$900/yr
vs
Tello on T-Mobile
Tello logo on phone
$25
/mo
Unlimited data
$300/yr
US Mobile on Verizon
US Mobile logo on phone
$29
/mo
Unlimited data
$348/yr
Boost Mobile on AT&T
Boost Mobile logo on phone
$25
/mo
Unlimited data
$300/yr
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MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

Fed up with the limited options, perplexing bills, and steep costs from the major networks?

As they toast to their skyrocketing profits and unveil yet another round of price increases, it's evident they've overlooked a critical consumer: an individual looking for a single-line plan.

Drawing on my extensive experience in the wireless industry over the last decade, I've observed the widening gap between high costs and actual value. Yet, the shift to a more affordable carrier is now more straightforward than ever.

To ease your search, I've looked into 30 alternative carriers and analyzed over 100 prepaid phone plans.

To save you time, I have excluded carriers that:

  • Only offer unlimited data plans
  • Only advertise multi-line prices
  • Have confusing phone bills with unexpected fees
  • Lure customers with "free" phones
  • Constantly try to upsell additional lines
  • Bundle plans with unnecessary subscriptions
  • Need loads of small print to explain their offers
  • Want you to go to a store
  • Need a commission-based salesperson
  • Reward customer loyalty with increased prices

The best plan will depend on cell phone usage and network preference. But recognizing the diverse needs of individual users, I've compiled the best value cell phone plans for one across all three major networks, catering to varying data consumption levels from low to high.

Helping you to make an informed choice that aligns with your lifestyle and usage habits.

Best plans for one on T-Mobile

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with T-Mobile coverage to consider.

Cheap T-Mobile plan

Tello 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$10/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$780 in annual savings

Best family plan on T-Mobile

Mint Mobile 15GB plan

Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
15GB
data
$15/mo*
$20/mo
See at Mint Mobile

*$45 for 3 Months

4.2 Read our Mint Mobile review
$675 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on T-Mobile

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$600 in annual savings

Best plans for one on Verizon

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with Verizon coverage to consider.

Cheap Verizon plan

Twigby 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Twigby
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$5/mo*
$15/mo
4.4 Read our Twigby review
$750 in annual savings

Best family plan on Verizon

US Mobile 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$15/mo*
5 Read our US Mobile review
$720 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on Verizon

US Mobile unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$15/mo*
$29/mo
5 Read our US Mobile review
$594 in annual savings

Best plans for one on AT&T

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with AT&T coverage to consider.

Cheap AT&T plan

Red Pocket 1GB plan

Image of cell phone with Red Pocket
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
1GB
data
$10/mo
4.1 Read our Red Pocket review
$780 in annual savings

Best family plan on AT&T

Boost Mobile 5GB plan

Image of cell phone with Boost Mobile
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
5GB
data
$5/mo*
$15/mo
See at Boost Mobile

*$10 Off 1st Mth

4 Read our Boost Mobile review
$730 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on AT&T

Boost Mobile unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Boost Mobile
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$10/mo*
$25/mo
See at Boost Mobile

*$15 Off 1st Mth

4 Read our Boost Mobile review
$615 in annual savings

Best overall value plan for One

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$600 in annual savings

Big wireless: Big prices, big profits, little value

The average phone bill is $155 per month, and while 38 million Americans live in poverty, the government cut funding to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which was assisting 22 million low-income families with subsidized internet and cell phone service.

At the same time, the big three spent January celebrating record profits and multi-billion dollar shareholder dividend payouts while simultaneously announcing yet more price hikes.

So, big wireless continues to raise prices, and the government drops assistance to those in need. However, you do have options, so the power is in your hands.

Take back control of your phone bill

A big wireless unlimited plan will cost you $1,600 extra over the next 3 years compared to getting the same service from an MVNO.

A big wireless unlimited data plan will cost you $2,700 over the next 3 years for just 1 line. In comparison, unlimited plans from a low-cost carrier over the same period would cost only $900.

So, buying directly from Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T is now 3 times more expensive for the same coverage. This does not include fees and taxes or future price hikes.

Why is it so much more expensive to buy the same service directly?

With big wireless, you are paying for multi-billion dollar ad campaigns, stadium sponsorships, and thousands of stores with commission-based salespeople - all these expenses get passed onto you to maximize profits and dividend payouts.

With this next generation of MVNOs, you switch online and just pay for phone service.

Cut your phone bill, not your coverage

These low-cost carriers offer a great alternative with transparent pricing, a range of data plans to customize to your needs, and more highly rated customer service.

You can keep your phone, number, coverage, and most importantly, your money!

Even better, it's quick and easy; you can complete the entire switching process online in minutes with an eSIM-compatible phone.

So, now is the time to re-evaluate your options, take back control of your phone bill, and free yourself from price hikes forever!


Compare the cheapest cell phone plans for one

Carrier Data Monthly Price Annual Price Savings
Tello 2GB $10/mo $120/yr $780/yr See at Tello
Mint Mobile 15GB $15/mo*$20/mo $225/yr $675/yr See at Mint Mobile
*$45 for 3 Months
Tello Unlimited $25/mo $300/yr $600/yr See at Tello

Check out our cell phone plans for one comparison to help find the best deal.


How to pick the best value carrier for one person

  • What network coverage do you prefer? Whether you're always on the go or spend most of your time in one place, reliable network coverage is non-negotiable. Thankfully, many affordable carriers tap into the same 5G & 4G LTE wireless networks. And according to this Opensignal 5G Experience Report (2023), T-Mobile is leading in 5G coverage. If you have a network preference, there's likely an MVNO that can match it, ensuring you stay connected wherever life takes you.
  • How much data do you need? Think twice before jumping on the unlimited data bandwagon. Despite what the major carriers suggest, many individuals find their actual data usage is well below the average; in fact, the current average monthly cellular data use is around 10GB, particularly if you're frequently connected to Wi-Fi. Opting for a plan that matches your actual usage can lead to significant savings.
  • Is hotspot data included? Hotspot functionality is a staple for many, but keep in mind that tethering data is often capped. If you rely on your devices for more than just social scrolling-like working from cafes or streaming on the go, some carriers offer plans with dedicated hotspot data.
  • What's the monthly price? Gone are the days when a quality cell phone plan would set you back $75-90 a month. Today's MVNOs offer competitive plans starting from $5-35 per month without compromising on coverage or speed. Be vigilant about hidden fees and taxes, as transparency varies significantly between carriers.
  • How many lines do you need? If you're seeking a single line, MVNOs shine by offering straightforward, no-nonsense pricing without the pressure to conform to family plans for the best deals.
  • Can I bring my own phone or buy a new device? MVNOs offer a breath of fresh air by encouraging you to bring your own device. This approach not only saves money but helps with sustainability. For those in the market for a new phone, several MVNOs provide affordable options with flexible financing, putting you in control.
  • Are there any deals or promotions? While big wireless often lures customers with flashy promotions, the fine print can lead to unwanted commitments and expenses. In contrast, MVNOs tend to offer more straightforward, transparent deals, particularly appealing to those who value simplicity and honesty in their transactions.
  • What perks or add ons can I expect? Beware of the allure of "free" subscriptions included in some of the big three plans. These perks often evolve into additional charges on your bill. A select few MVNOs do offer add-ons, but it's wise to consider whether these extras truly meet your needs or if they're just inflating your bill.
  • Is international calling included? For the global-minded, staying in touch with friends and family around the world shouldn't mean racking up a hefty bill. Many MVNOs now include international calling to a wide range of countries, ensuring you can maintain those vital connections without extra charges.
  • Are there parental controls? While parental controls may not be a priority for every individual, they can offer peace of mind to those who lend their devices to younger family members or seek to manage their own digital well-being. Some MVNOs provide these features, allowing users to tailor their mobile experience to their personal needs.

Check out our cell phone plan comparison to make sure you find the best deal.


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Phone plans for one FAQs


Recap: What is the best cell phone plan for one?

The big three are not shy about their plans to escalate prices further, a strategy seemingly more about padding their profits than responding to economic pressures.

In an era where every penny counts, when we're grappling with rising living costs, there's a beacon of hope. You now have the opportunity to access the same quality cell phone service at a significantly lower price, potentially saving up to $600 annually on your single-line plan.

For those of you looking to navigate the options and find a plan that fits your individual needs and budget, our cell phone plan comparison can help. It's tailored to help you sift through the noise and pinpoint the best deal, ensuring you're not overpaying for your mobile service.

Phone plan guides

How we choose the best carriers and plans

To select the best carriers and plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

We regularly update our comparisons. Updating cell phone plans weekly and our content monthly to ensure we are showing the latest and most accurate information.

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