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7 Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans For Families in 2021

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The best cheap cell phone plans for families save money without contracts. Here are 7 quality low-cost cell phone plans that don't sacrifice service.

Finding the right cell phone plan for your family is essential to saving money. Cell phones are the number one accessory today, and are difficult for many to live without. However, it’s easy to overspend. The best cheap cell phone plans for families let you save money yet still provide the data you need.

Reports indicate that phone plans are going down in price. Even if that’s the case, you may still be overpaying for what you truly need. Thanks to prepaid service and increased competition, there is ample opportunity to save money every month on your cell phone bill.

ServiceCostDataMins.TextNetworkGo to Site
Tello$141 GBNo limitNo limitSprint See Plans
Ting$10$5/GBNo limitNo limitT-Mobile, Verizon See Plans
Republic Wireless$15$5/GBNo limitNo limitSprint, T-Mobile See Plans
Xfinity Mobile$45100 MBNo limitNo limitSprint, Verizon See Plans
Verizon$604 GBNo limitNo limitVerizon See Plans
Sprint$160No limitNo limitNo limitSprint See Plans
Metro PCS$50+5GBNo limitNo limitT-Mobile See Plans

 

Best cheap Cell Phone Plans for Families

 

We all have different needs. Maybe you’re a family of four. Maybe you’re only a couple who wants to save money on their monthly cell phone bill. Regardless of your situation, there’s no need to spend a ridiculous amount of money each month to receive quality service.

Often 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 meets those needs. In many cases, carriers even allow you to create a custom plan.

Below are the seven best low-cost cell phone service providers.

1. Tello

 

Tello is a prepaid cell phone carrier with flexible plans and low rates – 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 talking minutes your family needs. This allows you to choose exactly what you want without having to pay for something you don’t need.

There are several plans that have unlimited talk and text, and you customize it further by how much data you want. You can even limit your talk minutes to further lower your bill and still keep unlimited texts.

This makes Tello one of the best cell phone plans for kids and teens, as well as couples.

Their most popular plan has unlimited talk and text plus 1 GB of data for just $14 per month – after paying $7 for the first month.

You can either bring your own phone to Tello or buy one from them.

What to Like About Tello

  • You can use both Android and iPhones
  • 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

If you want a fully customizable plan, with international calling capabilities, Tello is worth considering.

2. Ting

 

Ting is a terrific option for those looking for a flexible family cell phone plan. The provider operates on two networks – T-Mobile and Verizon so you have more reliable coverage.

Ting recently revised their pricing model to provide unlimited talk and text for $10 per month. You only pay for the data you use, which is $5 per GB.

Frugal Rules readers receive a $50 credit when signing up, effectively offering your first few months of service for free.

You can also bring your own phone to Ting, or buy one from the provider.

What to Like About Ting:

  • Provides coverage on two carriers
  • You can bring your own phone
  • $50 credit for Frugal Rules readers
  • Provides fully customizable plans
  • You only pay for what you use
  • No additional cost for calls to 60+ international countries

What Not to Like About Ting:

  • No in-person service, which is common for MVNOs

If you want a cheap cell phone plan for your family, Ting is worth considering.

3. Republic Wireless

 

Republic Wireless is a carrier that offers affordable wireless service for as low as $15 per month. That’s for unlimited talk and text. This includes nationwide coverage and you won’t be locked into any contracts or hidden fees.

It’s worth noting that $15 is including just the talk and text and no data. You can add data for $5 per GB per month, and you can keep track of your data by downloading their app. The provider is also one of the best phone plans for college students looking to save money.

Republic Wireless can offer such low prices because they’re a Multiple Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means they don’t operate their own network. They rent space on the towers of a legacy carrier. Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks for service.

This lets them pass savings onto customers you may not find with a major carrier. Republic Wireless also heavily relies on Wi-Fi to keep your costs down.

Republic Wireless is so confident that you will like your service that they offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. You can either bring your own phone to Republic Wireless or you can buy one from them. However, they they only work with Android phones.

What to Like About Republic Wireless

  • They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee
  • They pay you back each month for unused data
  • Republic Wireless is contract-free, so you can leave at anytime
  • It operates on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks

What Not to Like About Republic Wireless

  • Does not work with iOS platform
  • Data not included but is easy to purchase

If you need a reliable service at an economic price, Republic Wireless is worth considering.

4. Xfinity Mobile

 

Xfinity Mobile is a new mobile service offered by Comcast Xfinity, the internet and cable giant. Many 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 available.

Xfinity runs on the Verizon network, so you know it’s reliable.

You must be an Xfinity Internet service customer in order 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. Each plan includes the following features:

  • Free unlimited nationwide talk and text
  • No line access fees for up to five 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 in one of two competitive options:

  • $15 GB/shared data per month for new plans
  • $45 per month per line for 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

What Not to Like About Xfinity Mobile

  • Does not work with Android devices, only iPhone 5 and later

If unlimited data is important to you, Xfinity Mobile may not work for your needs. However, if you don’t, the carrier is worth a look.

5. Verizon

 

Verizon is well-known for having the expensive plans that helped create the MVNO space. Recently, though, they’ve become one of the best cell phone plans for couples at a relatively decent cost.

Verizon is typically known for having the best network in the mobile space. They cover a significant majority of the country with their 4G LTE service, so you can be in most places and have excellent coverage. If you don’t need a lot of data, but 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.

However, if you need just two lines you can get unlimited talk and text, and 4 GB of shared data for $90 per month.

You will also have HD quality streaming and 15 GB of mobile hot spot. 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 cell 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 price to get out of hand

While a little more expensive, Verizon also includes 5G service with three plans.

6. Sprint

 

Sprint, like Verizon, is a legacy carrier that has made enough strides to be considered among the best cheap cell phone plans for families. Also like Verizon, it’s easy to spend too much with Sprint, but they do also have prepaid plans as an option.

Sprint is best for those looking for family cell phone plans with unlimited data. They offer four lines with unlimited talk, text, and data for $160 per month. If you choose autopay, they reduce the price to $140 per month.

As an added value, Sprint offers customers free Hulu and TIDAL subscriptions. Sprint also offers 50 GB of shared hot spot allowance per month and 10 GB of data in Canada and Mexico.

The downside is using the Sprint network, which is typically on the lower end for service. If you live in a Sprint area, though, this may not be an issue.

You can either bring your own phone or buy a new or refurbished one from Sprint. They’re currently offering $10 off per month on unlimited phones, as long as you bring your own device or buy a new one outright.

What to Like About Sprint

  • Autopay discount
  • Reasonably priced unlimited data plans
  • 50 GB hot spot allowance
  • Free Hulu and TIDAL subscriptions

What Not to Like About Sprint

  • Easy for price to get out of hand
  • Coverage is spotty in some areas

If you’re searching for unlimited data at an affordable price, Sprint is worth a look.

7. Metro PCS

 

Metro PCS is the last on our list of best cheap cell phone plans for families. They are another MVNO and 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, plus 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 price to get out of hand
  • HD streaming costs $10 per month

If you have a small family, Metro PCS is worth considering.

Best Cell Phone Plans FAQs

 

Many of the best cheap cell phone plans for families have no contracts. If you’ve never had a prepaid cell phone plan, you may wonder where to start. You may also wonder how much you should spend per month for service.

Below are answers to some common questions many 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 it 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 most often it’s best to buy your own phone. This gives you more freedom to move from carrier to carrier as you wish 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 it for free, or it will be 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, it’s best to take advantage of that to mitigate 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 $50 per month. However, for most plans, you should spend no more than $40 per month, including taxes, and many providers offer discounts if you opt for autopay.

Bottom Line

 

You have lots options when it comes finding the right cell phone plan for your family. It’s easy to overspend on service, so don’t get caught by spending more than you need to. Look for discounts as many carriers offer them when you have multiple lines.

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 for have you used to save money?

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Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with frugality and passionate about helping others increase their savings rate, eliminate debt, and work toward financial stability. She chronicles her journey with balancing motherhood, work, and finances on her blog, MyDebt Epiphany.com