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.
|Service||Cost||Data||Mins.||Text||Network||Go to Site|
|Tello||$14||1 GB||No limit||No limit||Sprint|
|Ting||$10||$5/GB||No limit||No limit||T-Mobile, Verizon|
|Republic Wireless||$15||$5/GB||No limit||No limit||Sprint, T-Mobile|
|Xfinity Mobile||$15||100 MB||1GB||No limit||Verizon|
|Verizon||$60||4 GB||No limit||No limit||Verizon|
|Reach Mobile||$30||3 GB||No limit||No limit||Verizon|
|T-Mobile||$160||No limit||No limit||No limit||T-Mobile|
|Metro PCS||$50+||5GB||No limit||No limit||T-Mobile|
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 eight best low-cost cell phone service providers.
Tello is a prepaid cell phone carrier 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 1 GB of data for just $14 per month. You only pay $7 for the first month.
*Related: Now through June 30, all new customers receive 25 percent off any plan for their first six months!
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
If you want a fully customizable plan with international calling capabilities, Tello is worth considering.
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 costs $5 per GB.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $50 credit when signing up, effectively making your first few months of service 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, it may be worth it to check out Ting.
3. Republic Wireless
Republic Wirelessis a carrier that offers affordable service for as low as $15 per month. This includes unlimited talk and text, nationwide coverage, and no contracts or hidden fees.
It’s worth noting that the $15 plan doesn’t include data. You can add data for $5 per GB per month and download their app to track your data.
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). This means that they don’t operate their own network. Instead, they rent space on the towers of a legacy carrier.
The provider piggybacks on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks to offer affordable wireless service. This lets them pass savings onto customers. They also rely heavily 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 only work with Android phones.
What to Like About Republic Wireless
- They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee
- Republic Wireless is contract-free, so you can leave at anytime
- They pay you back each month for unused data
- It operates on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks
What Not to Like About Republic Wireless
- Does not work with the iOS platform
- Data not included but is easy to purchase
If you need a reliable service at an affordable price, Republic Wireless is worth considering.
4. 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.
*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 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 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
- $80 per month for two lines of unlimited data
- $100 per month for three lines of unlimited data
- $120 per month for four lines of unlimited data
*Right now through August 8th, 2021 Frugal Rules readers can switch to Xfinity Mobile for free and get $25 when you BYOD! Request a SIM today.
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
Xfinity Mobile may not work for your needs if you’re not regularly on Wi-Fi. However, if data isn’t on your must-have list, the carrier is worth a look.
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.
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.
However, if you need just two lines, you can get unlimited talk, text, and 4 GB of shared data for $90 per month.
You will also have HD quality streaming and a 15 GB 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 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.
6. 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 REACH503 promo code
- 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 (who 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.
8. 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 prepaid 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 for 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?