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The 5 Cheapest Cell Phone Plans You Can Buy Today

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The 5 Cheapest Cell Phone Plans You Can Buy Today

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Cheapest Cell Phone Plan is Mint Mobile. 
  • Prepaid plans are incredibly affordable and offer no-contract, budget-friendly options for cell phone users.
  • These plans allow you to choose how much you want to spend each month on your phone plan and provide the flexibility of changing it based on your needs.
  • The best cheapest cell phone plan for you should include necessary features such as unlimited data/texts, great coverage, reliable internet speed, or any other criteria that are important to you.

There are lots of choices when it comes to choosing a cell phone plan. You want something reliable but also offers exceptional value for your money. That’s where the cheapest cell phone plans come in. In this article, we will rank five of the best options with prices starting from as low as $5/month. We’ll cover different aspects including cost, features, network coverage, and customer support. This guide will help you make an informed decision about which provider is most suitable for you. So here are our top five picks for the cheapest cell phone plans available today:

Best Overall: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile is a budget-friendly cell phone plan provider for those looking to save money. The company’s plans start as low as $15 per month, with the most popular being their 3-month prepaid service for $45. You get unlimited talk and text plus 4GB of high-speed data which you can use for streaming music and more all while connected to one of America’s largest nationwide 4G LTE / 5G networks. 

Additional coverage options include 5GB data for just $15/month, 15GB at 20/month, or unlimited data at 30/month. Mint Mobile operates on the T-Mobile network so they cover some of the largest cities in North America The operator also has several roaming partners which extends your reach to several rural areas across select states in the US as well as Canada. 

With Mint Mobile, not only do you get access to an excellent cell phone plan that will rarely break your budget, but other added features like discounts on international calling options and personalized customer support. You can pick from three, six, or twelve-month contracts — with longer plans offering greater value each month. Even better, they offer a seven-day money-back guarantee so you can try the service before committing fully. They also have a 10GB plan which works well for anyone with light data usage or with a tighter budget.

Pros Cons
It has excellent value cell phone plans with unlimited talk and text plus 4GB of high-speed data for only $15/month.A 10GB starter plan may not be adequate for those with heavier data usage.
5GB or 15GB data options are available at affordable rates as well as an unlimited plan.
It provides coverage in some of the largest cities in North America, select rural areas across US and Canada, plus roaming partners.
There are additional features like discounts on international calling options and personalized customer support.
There is a seven-day money-back guarantee to try the service before committing fully.
Mint Mobile network carrier website
Mint Mobile gives you unlimited talk and text plus 4GB of high-speed data for $15 per month.

Best for Light Users: Tello

Tello is a cell phone provider that specializes in offering budget plans and great customization options for its users. This makes it the perfect choice for light users who are looking for an affordable and flexible solution. Tello’s plan offerings start at just $10 per month for 1GB of data, all the way up to $29 per month for unlimited data. Each of their plans also comes with unlimited talk minutes, text messages, call forwarding, voicemail, and caller ID.

The main benefit of Tello is its customizability — you can customize your plan by mixing and matching different features to get exactly what you want out of your plan. For example, if you don’t need much data, but you still want to be able to make international calls on occasion, then you could design a surprisingly low-cost package. That would include only 1GB of domestic traffic plus 100 international long-distance minutes each month. It’s easy enough to do on their website. They break down all of the available details so that even those unfamiliar with mobile technology can understand it. 

Tello runs off Sprint’s 4G LTE network which covers approximately half of the continental United States. Depending on where you live coverage may not always be as widely available as some other providers such as Verizon or AT&T. That said though, most major cities will have access with no problem making this a good option. In remote or rural areas signal strength has been known to drop (though there is support roaming if ever needed).

ProsCons
It provides budget-friendly plans starting at just $10 per month for 1GB of data.Coverage is not as widely available as some other carriers like Verizon or AT&T.
Unlimited talk minutes, text messages, call forwarding, voicemail, and caller ID are included in all plans.Signal strength may drop when venturing outside city limits into remote areas or rural locations due to a lack of support roaming in those areas.
Tello offers extreme customizability options with the ability to customize a plan based on individual needs.  
The 4G LTE network covers around half of the continental U.S., with good coverage in most major cities.

Best for Data: Visible Wireless

If you’re looking for an easy and reliable data cell phone carrier, then Visible Wireless is the perfect choice! Their network runs on Verizon’s 5G and 4G LTE networks, providing great speed, reliability, and coverage in over 6,000 cities — plus there are no hidden fees or charges. Also, their monthly plans are simple too: just $25 a month for unlimited data, talk, texts, and hotspot access with no caps on usage. That sounds like a great deal to us!

With Visible+, you can make international calls to Mexico and Canada. They also offer a host of other features, such as fast 5G Ultra Wideband, home internet, and international texts. There’s no need for an annual contract either so you have the freedom to make changes if needed. New users get special introductory offers and those who refer others also benefit from bonuses. One downside though is during peak times; your data connection may slow down due to deprioritization.

Pros Cons
Visible Wireless offers reliable speed, coverage in over 6,000 cities, and no hidden fees or charges.During peak times your data connection may slow down due to deprioritization.
Simple monthly plans for $25 with unlimited data, talk texts, and hotspot access with no caps on usage.
Visible+ includes international calls to Mexico and Canada as well as fast 5G Ultra Wideband, home internet, and international texts without the need for an annual contract.

Best for Seniors: Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular is a cell phone provider offering an array of plans geared towards seniors — those 50 years or older. Their senior-friendly packages are typically focused on simplicity, affordability, and customer service. They offer individual plans starting at $20 per month and family plans for as low as $40. They also offer unique customization options so customers can build their package — increasing flexibility in terms of cost and data usage while maintaining value. 

One perk of Consumer’s Cellular’s senior-friendly plan options is that they don’t impose long-term contracts that typically come with other cellular providers. For instance, the company offers AARP members 10% off each of their monthly bills in addition to free activation fees when signing up. This can not only improve financial savings, but also ensure better peace of mind since there are no hidden costs associated with Consumer Cellular’s services. Again there is no complicated fine print within their conditions established for customer enrolment.

ProsCons
It offers senior-friendly packages that are focused on simplicity, affordability, and customer service.Not all cellphone carriers are compatible with Consumer Cellular’s network.
Individual plans start at $20 per month and family plans for as low as $40.The service plans only suits senior members.
There are unique customization options so customers can build their package, increasing flexibility in terms of cost and data usage while maintaining value.
No long-term contracts or hidden costs associated with Consumer Cellular’s services.

Best Prepaid Plan: Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is a popular prepaid option for cell phone plans that offer great value. The plan offers 5GB of high-speed data, unlimited talk and text in the US, and unlimited international texting to select countries each month. No annual or setup contracts are required. You also get access to more than 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide. As far as pricing goes, you can sign up for the popular premium Plan, which costs $60 per month. With this plan, you get unlimited data+ 15GB hotspot ($55 with Auto Pay)

In terms of network coverage and reliability, Cricket has recently upgraded their 4G LTE network using AT&T’s towers so you can expect faster connections in most areas. Data speeds are also fast enough thanks to download maximums: 15Mbps download/8Mbps upload across 3G/4G networks (AT&T GSM). 

The biggest positives include affordability, great customer service, and a wide range of features for the price. However, this plan does not include data roaming. So international travelers may be better served by other prepaid plans with more advanced coverage. Additionally, while Cricket has improved its 4G LTE network recently, some customers may experience slower speeds in certain rural areas due to limited coverage in those areas.

Pros Cons
It has an affordable monthly plan with 5GB of high-speed data, unlimited talk and text in the US, and unlimited international texting to select countries.No data roaming is included so it may not be sufficient for international travelers.
CW provides access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.Slower speeds are possible in certain rural areas due to limited coverage in those areas.
Users can get unlimited data+ 15GB Hotspot per month ($55 with Auto Pay).
It provides good customer service and a wide range of features for the price being charged.
Cricket Wireless Store
With Cricket, you can get unlimited data plus a 15GB hotspot for $55 a month on autopay.

How to Pick the Cheapest Cell Phone Plans: Step-By-Step

Choosing the cheapest cell phone plan for your needs is an essential part of becoming a responsible and savvy consumer. To ensure you get the best deal, there are several different considerations you should take into account. When selecting a plan, here are some of the features that can help you find the right option: 

  • Coverage
  • Data Usage Requirements
  • Network/Device Restrictions
  • Extras

Coverage

Evaluate coverage maps from carriers in your area to determine which provides better service across more areas. Pay attention to not only where they offer service, but also what types of technology they employ (such as 4G LTE, 3G, or 5G).

Data Usage Requirements

Different plans have different levels of data usage allowances. So look at exactly how much internet access you need for each person using it. If all members rarely use data, then don’t buy an expensive package. Instead, opt for one that has limited or up-front set amounts of data (these tend to be cheaper).

Network/Device Requirements

Find out what phones are compatible with each network provider’s service. Some providers allow any unlocked GSM smartphone, while others may place restrictions on devices such as requiring carrier SIM cards to activate specific services. These may include domestic roaming calls and messaging on their networks.

Extras

Some plans include bundled deals that limit minutes and text messages but come along with extras like free streaming music subscriptions or international calling credit — consider these perks when comparing prices between options as not everyone requires every feature available.

What to Know Before Choosing the Cheapest Cell Phone Plans

When it comes to choosing a cell phone plan, it is essential to take the time to consider your individual needs. Are you planning on using your phone for business or personal use? Do you need lots of data and coverage area or just basic services? Deciding on what specific features you require will help ensure that you get the best possible deal when choosing a cell phone plan. 

It is also important to understand the limits and restrictions that come with various carriers. Since not all providers offer the same signal strength or coverage area, there may be limitations depending on where you live. Making sure that your provider offers comprehensible coverage in your area would save plenty of money over time. Texts and calls are subject to higher rates outside some carriers’ primary service areas. 

Finally, researching each potential carrier’s reputation for reliability and customer support should also factor into making an informed decision about which plan suits your lifestyle better. Read reviews from former customers regarding their experiences with different industry giants.

Using the Cheapest Cell Phone Plans: What It’s Like

The majority of people today rely on their cell phones to keep in touch with friends and family, make important reservations, or stay up-to-date with the latest happenings. Cheapest cell phone plans can be a great way to save money each month and still stay connected without cramping your budget. 

It’s a fact that cheaper service providers can have limited coverage or connection speeds. If you need reliable access from any location, or fast loading times when streaming services like movies and TV shows, this could be a problem for you. Plus, if something doesn’t go right with your service, expensive packages get better customer service response times — so there’s another thing to consider.

For those who do choose to go ahead with the cheapest cell phone plans, an excellent technique is to remain mindful of their current usage data levels while keeping an eye out for promotional deals that could offer bonus features. Examples include extra perks like free international voice calling minutes or even text messaging credits. They might provide additional value depending on personal needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any hidden fees with cheap cell phone plans?

Hidden fees in the context of cell phone plans refer to any additional monthly costs that are not explicitly stated in the advertised plan. Common hidden fees associated with cheap cell phone plans include early termination fees, roaming charges, data overage charges, and activation or upgrade fees. In addition, taxes and other miscellaneous administrative charges may also be added on top of the cost of a plan.

Do these cheap cell phone plans include unlimited data?

No, most of the cheaper cell phone plans do not include unlimited data. Different plan structures may allow you to increase the amount of data available to a certain point, but generally, an unlimited data option is more expensive.

Will I need to sign a contract for a cheap cell phone plan?

No, most cheap cell phone plans today are offered on a no-contract basis. Many mobile phone companies offer very low-cost monthly plans or even prepaid plans without the need to sign a contract. Additionally, some providers may specialize in no-contract provider and/or month-to-month plan options that can be tailored precisely to an individual’s needs. Ultimately, whether you need to sign a contract for your plan will depend on the company offering it.

Why should I consider a cheap cell phone plan?

Choosing a cheap cell phone plan offers cost savings, budget-friendly options, flexibility, reduced financial commitment, and suitability for light users. These plans provide essential communication services at a lower price, making them ideal for those on a tight budget or looking to save money. They often come with flexible terms, and no long-term contracts, and cater to individuals who primarily need basic calling, texting, and limited data. Consider your needs and budget to make an informed decision.

How do I find the cheapest cell phone plans?

To find the cheapest cell phone plan, compare different carriers, evaluate your needs, consider prepaid plans and MVNOs, and take advantage of promotions and discounts. Conduct thorough research, compare plans, and consider your specific usage patterns to find a plan that suits your needs while helping you save money.

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