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The cheapest cell phone plans: Starting at $10

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.

Are you tired of feeling pigeonholed by the big three's limited options, indecipherable bills, and constant price hikes?

While these telecom giants have been busy toasting their ever-climbing profits and plotting yet more price increases without adding value, they seem to have missed a key detail. Consumers are fed up with the status quo, and the awareness of alternatives is on the rise.

Drawing from a decade of expertise in the telecom field, I've seen the price disparities grow. But finding a better deal has become easier and quicker than ever before.

I've done the heavy lifting, reviewing 30 alternative carriers and pouring over 100 prepaid plans, so your search is that much easier.

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

What might surprise you is the sheer number of carriers still competing, many of whom you may not recognize by name. However, they all offer services on the same reliable networks. Get the same quality connectivity you've already come to trust for much less cost.

Choosing the right plan now comes down to understanding your usage and network preferences. I've compiled the best value cell phone plans across three different usage levels and all major networks.

I've highlighted what I see as the ultimate value plan overall, but the power to turn the industry on its ear lies with you!

Cheapest phone plans 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

Cheapest phone plans 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
See at Twigby

*$5/mo for 1st 3 Mths

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*
See at US Mobile

*$180 for 12 Mths Service

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
See at US Mobile

*30 Day FREE Trial

5 Read our US Mobile review
$594 in annual savings

Cheapest phone plans 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 phone plan

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

With the average phone bill of $155 per month and the prices of other basic needs rising, it's no wonder nearly 38 million Americans are living in poverty. The government's recent response? To cut funding to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which helps 22 million low-income families access affordable internet and cell phone service.

At the same time, the big three spent January celebrating record profits and multi-billion dollar shareholder dividend payouts. To add insult to injury, they are simultaneously announcing yet more price hikes. With consumers outnumbering shareholders, the math doesn't add up.

Awareness is power - there are other options outside of the big three, 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.

An unlimited data plan with a major provider 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 only cost you $900.

So, buying plans 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?

Big wireless companies pad your bill with their extra expenses.

So, basically, customers are shelling out their hard-earned money for their multi-billion dollar ad campaigns, stadium sponsorships, and thousands of stores with commission-based salespeople. These costs are passed onto the many to maximize the profits and dividend payouts of the few.

With the next generation of MVNOs, you can instantly switch online and simply pay for phone service without the extras.

Cut your phone bill, not your coverage

Low-cost carriers are an unbeatable alternative. They offer transparent pricing, a wide range of customizable data plans to fit your needs, and higher-rated customer service experiences.

The best news? Keep your phone, number, coverage, and most importantly, your money!

It's quick and easy. You can complete the entire switching process online in minutes with an eSIM-compatible phone.

Now is the time to reevaluate your options and take back control of your phone bill. Free yourself from price hikes forever!


Compare the cheapest cell phone plans

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 plan comparison to find the best deal.


How to choose the best value carrier

  • Which network keeps you connected? Being on a reliable network is key, and thankfully, budget-friendly carriers offer the same top-tier 5G and 4G LTE coverage as the big three. According to an Opensignal 5G Experience Report (2023), T-Mobile is leading the 5G race, but whichever MVNO you choose on your preferred network ensures no drop in connectivity.
  • Thinking about data? Forget the unlimited plan hype; many users find their actual needs are much lower, thanks to Wi-Fi. Affordable plans are designed around real usage, with most people only averaging about 10GB a month.
  • Need a hotspot? It's fairly standard at this point, although specifics can vary. For those reliant on tablets or needing internet on the move, there are plans tailored just for you, ensuring constant connectivity even without Wi-Fi.
  • But what about the cost? While traditional wireless plans might set you back anywhere from $75 to $90 monthly, savvy shoppers can find plans ranging from $5 to $35 with MVNOs without compromising on speed or coverage.
  • How about lines? Unlike big carriers pushing multi-line deals, MVNOs offer simple, flexible single-line pricing, making it ideal for individual or family plans to keep everyone connected at a lower cost.
  • Bringing your own device? MVNOs say yes to BYOP, allowing you to avoid the costly upgrade cycle. Most MVNOs also have affordable options and 0% financing available if you're eyeing something new.
  • Looking for deals? Skip the confusing offers with lots of fine print from the big three. MVNOs keep it clear and straightforward, letting you know exactly what you're signing up for without the hidden strings attached.
  • What about extras? Be wary of "free" subscriptions that end up costing you in the long run. Choose perks that match your lifestyle to avoid unnecessary expenses, or better yet, keep these subscriptions separate to make it easier to track.
  • And international calls? Staying in touch globally shouldn't be a luxury. Many MVNOs include free international calling, perfect for those with loved ones in far-off places.
  • Can parents monitor their kids? Many MVNO carriers offer parental control features. Primary accounts can manage and limit data usage via their account or directly on the phone's settings.

Find the best cell phone service in your area

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Compare the cheapest cell phone plans

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

To ensure you get the best phone deal, compare the cheapest phone plans from multiple low-cost carriers side by side.


Cheap cell phone plans FAQs


Recap: What is the best cheap phone service?

Feeling squeezed by the big three's ever-climbing prices? You're not alone. As they focus on fattening their wallets, the rest of us are left counting pennies, especially when every dollar matters more than ever.

But don't despair. There's a glimmer of hope for slashing those costs without sacrificing the service quality you rely on. Imagine keeping an extra $600 a year in your pocket instead of handing it over to companies making huge profits on the backs of loyal customers.

Put yourself back in the driver's seat and find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Our tailor-made cell phone plan comparison is your ally. It sifts through the maze of options to spotlight the absolute best deals for you, ensuring you never overpay for your cell phone plan again.

Cheap 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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