Cell phones keep us connected to those we love and are the number one accessory today. However, it’s easy to overspend on a phone plan. Luckily, the best cheap cell phone plans for families can help you save money.
Reports indicate that phone plans are going down in price, but you may still be overpaying for what you truly need. Thanks to prepaid service options and increased competition, there is ample opportunity to save money on your cell phone bill.
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Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Families
Maybe you’re a family of four, or perhaps you’re a couple who wants to save money on their monthly cell phone bill. Regardless of your situation, there’s no need to spend a small fortune each month to receive quality service.
One of the best ways to save money on your cell phone plan is to compare different options. Consider what you need and it’s likely you’ll find a plan that’s right for you.
In some cases, carriers even allow you to create a custom plan. Below are the seven best low-cost cell phone service providers.
Tello is a prepaid cell phone carrie with flexible plans and low rates, making it perfect for families and couples.
There are no contracts, no activation fees, no early termination fees, and customers get nationwide 4G LTE coverage provided by Sprint’s network.
Plans start as low as $5 per month and you can customize your plan based on how much data or how many minutes your family needs.
This allows you to choose what you want without paying for anything you don’t need.
Tello offers several plans that have unlimited talk and text. You can customize your plan further based on how much data you want. It’s also possible to limit your talk minutes to lower your bill and still keep unlimited texts.
This makes Tello one of the best cell phone plans for kids and teens. It’s also great for couples. Their most popular plan has unlimited talk and text plus 2 GB of data for just $14 per month.
You only pay $7 for the first month. Tello lets you bring your own phone or buy one from them.
What to Like About Tello
- You can use both Android and iPhones
- Free calls to over 60 countries
- Fully customizable plans
- Free tethering
- You can make international calls
What Not to Like About Tello
- No roaming, but calls are made over Wi-Fi
- Phones are a bit more expensive
Read our Tello review to learn more.
If simplicity and lots of data is essential to you, Visible is a great choice for your cell phone needs. The company has one plan option. It includes unlimited talk, text, and data.
Visible operates on the Verizon network, making it even more favorable. It is $25 per month, for one line. You can move to the Visible+ plan, for $45, if you need expanded international calling features.
They also often have promotions to use it for less. As an example you can currently get the first two months of service for $22 total.
The carrier offers a generous free-trial, allowing you to try the service free for 15 days.
Here is the plan available with Visible.
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Data||High-Speed Data||Hotspot Data|
Visible throws in free calls to Canada and Mexico, with other countries also for free with Visible+. Consult their website for availability and rates.
The plan doesn’t limit your hotspot data. Visible also offers 5G service. Frugal Rules readers receive a $100 gift card to use with the carrier when you sign up through our link.
What to Like About Visible
- Coverage on Verizon
- Bring your own phone
- Unlimited data
- $100 gift card for new users
What Not to Like About Visible
- Doesn’t offer in-person service
Read our Visible By Verizon review to learn more.
3. Xfinity Mobile
Xfinity Mobile is a new mobile service offered by Xfinity. Many people have had less than stellar experiences with Comcast, but their coverage map and pricing make them hard to deny as one of the top cheap phone plans.
Xfinity runs on the Verizon network, so you know it’s reliable. You must be an Xfinity Internet service customer to qualify for their mobile service.
If you live within their coverage area, it’s likely you have them as your internet service provider.
The best part of Xfinity Mobile is their pricing structure. Xfinity is one of the best cheap cell phone plans for couples on the market.
Xfinity is proud to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Qualified customers can receive a credit of up to $30/month towards their Internet and mobile service. Learn more today!
*Check out Xfinity Mobile’s savings calculator to see how much you can save by switching.*
Each plan includes the following features:
- Free unlimited nationwide talk and text
- No line access fees for up to ten lines
- Free access to 18+ million Wi-Fi hotspots
- 100 MB shared data for free each month
Aside from taxes, the base plan is free of charge. If Wi-Fi is not enough for your needs, you can buy data through one of several competitive options:
- $15 for one GB of shared data per month for new plans
- $30 for three GB of shared data per month for new plans
- $45 per month for one line of unlimited data
- $60 per month for two lines of unlimited data
- $60 per month for 10 GB of shared data per month for new plans
- $90 per month for three lines of unlimited data
- $120 per month for four lines of unlimited data
What to Like About Xfinity Mobile
- Great service on the Verizon network
- Free, unlimited nationwide talk and text
- Customizable data plans
- Free access to Wi-Fi hotspots
- #1 in customer service satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index
What Not to Like About Xfinity Mobile
- No in-person service, but that is common with MVNOs
Read our Xfinity Mobile review to learn more.
Verizon is well-known for having the expensive plans that helped create the MVNO space. That said, they’ve recently become one of the best cell phone plans for couples at a relatively decent cost.
The provider is typically recognized for having the best network in the mobile space. They cover most of the country with their 4G LTE service, so you can be in most places and have excellent coverage.
*Related: Are you looking for a no-contract cell phone service that fits your needs? Read our Mint Mobile vs. Ting comparison to see which provider is best for you.
If you don’t need a lot of data but want the best coverage possible, Verizon is a solid pick. Need a plan for your older parents? Verizon is one of the best cell phone plans for seniors as well.
Verizon offers three unlimited plans, all $60 or under per month. You can adjust each person’s plan with the family option to accommodate different needs and preferences.
Mexico and Canada talk, text, and data is also included. An ad-free library with Apple Music can be used as well.
What to Like About Verizon
- Excellent coverage
- Prepaid phone plans in addition to their traditional plans
- Decent price for couples
- 15 GB hot spot allowance
- Disney streaming services included in their Play More plan
What Not to Like About Verizon
- Low data cap
- Easy for the price to get out of hand
While it’s a little more expensive, Verizon also includes 5G service with three plans. If you are looking for a plan that can accommodate your family member’s unique needs, it may be worth looking into Verizon.
5. Reach Mobile
Reach Mobile offers affordable cell phone service with no contracts. They’re a Multiple Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on Verizon’s network and offer 4G LTE coverage.
Every customer who chooses Reach Mobile helps women in need. They work closely with NGO partners in India, Nigeria, and the United States to support digital literacy and skills training for the recipients.
When you sign up for a plan and don’t use all of your data, they’ll automatically discount your plan to the one that works best for you. Their site claims one in four people save money this way.
All of the available plans with Reach Mobile have unlimited talk and text and are hotspot enabled. They also have HD streaming and allow international calls.
This carrier is best for couples or small families as each additional added line can make your monthly bill go up quickly. If you’re switching from another service provider, you can choose to keep your existing phone number. In most cases, you can also bring your own phone.
What to Like About Reach Mobile
- Reach Mobile is contract-free, so you can leave at anytime
- New customers save 50% off their first 3 months of service with promo code REACH503
- Each plan provides unlimited talk and text
- Plans are hotspot enabled
- They give back to the needy
What Not to Like About Reach Mobile
- If multiple lines are needed the cost can get out of hand
Reach Mobile offers four different plans to give you plenty of coverage options.
T-Mobile (which recently merged with Sprint) is a legacy carrier that is among the best cheap cell phone plans for families. This carrier is best for those looking for family cell phone plans with unlimited data.
They offer four lines with unlimited talk, text, and data for $120 per month on their Essentials plan. The Essentials plan also provides unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data.
However, you may find your data to be slow if you use it during peak times. To avoid this, you can upgrade to their Magenta plan for $140 per month.
With the Magenta plan, you’ll also receive 3GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, then unlimited 3G. All T-Mobile plans offer international texting, Live Nation VIP Venue Perks, scam-blocking protection, and 5G access at no extra cost.
You can either bring your own phone or buy a new or refurbished one from T-Mobile.
What to Like About T-Mobile
- Autopay discount
- Reasonably priced unlimited data plans
- Scam-blocking protection
- Live Nation VIP Venue Perks
What Not to Like About T-Mobile
- Easy for the price to get out of hand
If you’re searching for unlimited data at an affordable price, T-Mobile is worth a look.
7. Metro PCS
Metro PCS is another MVNO. It is owned and operated by legacy carrier T-Mobile. Pricing with Metro PCS is fairly straightforward. You can get unlimited talk, text, and data for $50 for one line.
If you add a second line, you pay $80 per month. Metro PCS also gives each line a 5 GB mobile hot spot allowance each month and 100 GB of Google One storage.
If you’re a couple, this makes Metro PCS a good choice. However, if you have a family, it’s easy for the bill to become expensive since they charge $30 per line to have additional lines.
They also charge $5 extra per month, per country, if you want to add unlimited talk, text, and data for Canada or Mexico. You can bring your own phone or buy one from Metro PCS.
What to Like About Metro PCS
- Reasonably priced plan for two lines
- Operates on the T-Mobile network
- Hot spot allowance is per line
What Not to Like About Metro PCS
- Easy for the price to get out of hand
- HD streaming costs $10 per month
Metro PCS is worth considering if you have a small family.
Best Cell Phone Plans FAQs
If you’ve never had a cheap cell phone plan, you may wonder where to start. You may also want to know how much you should spend per month for service.
Below are answers to some common questions many people ask when looking for cheap phone plans:
What kind of cell phone do I need?
To use most cheap plans, you need an unlocked cell phone. An unlocked cell phone is a phone not tied to a specific carrier or contract.
You can shop on Amazon to find the best cell phone deals and take the phone to your chosen carrier. Just make sure the phone will work with the provider before purchasing.
Should I buy my own phone or get one from a carrier?
This depends on the carrier, but it can be best to buy your own phone. Doing this gives you more freedom to move from carrier to carrier and not risk buying a locked phone.
How do I activate an unlocked phone?
It is simple to activate an unlocked cell phone. You get a SIM card from the carrier and insert it into your phone. In many cases, carriers will either provide this for free or a $10 one-time charge.
The SIM card allows you to receive texts, make calls, and use data on the chosen network.
How much data do we need?
That depends on your family’s needs. If you’re not on Wi-Fi most of the day and stream a lot of data, your family will need more. Since Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere, take advantage of it to lower your data needs and save money.
While there are unlimited plans for families, they can easily get out of hand when it comes to data.
How much money can I save per month with the best cell phone plans?
The most expensive plan on our list tops out at $60 per month. However, you should spend no more than $40 per month on most plans, including taxes. Many providers offer discounts if you opt for autopay.
You have lots of options when it comes to finding the right cell phone plan for your family. It’s easy to overspend on service, so be careful not to spend more than is necessary.
Many carriers offer discounts when you have multiple lines, so watch for those to get the best prices for your family’s needs. Narrowing down your options depends on your budget and preferences.
Each family member may use their phone for different things, so a flexible plan is always a great option.
How much is your phone bill each month? What other phone plans have you used to save money?
Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), personal finance freelance writer, and blogger who focuses on helping others manage their money better in order to live a life with more possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, and Barclaycard.