Best Cell Phone Plans
Hey eCheck.org fans, this article was very difficult to put together because there is a conflict we had to deal with. The very cheapest cell phone plans are awful, and some of the most expensive are the best. However, we didn’t want to create an article that exclusively offered the most expensive cell phone plans. So, we have tried to come up with a list of the best cell phone plans that offer the most for your money. Some of them are a little pricey, but we have tried to offer a fair variety.
T-Mobile is a great plan to try if you tend to use a lot of data. It gives you lots of plans to choose from that are cheap when you consider how much you are actually getting. The unlimited plan seems expensive, but it is pretty good when you consider all the things you are getting. Firstly, let us cover their regular plans.
Mobile’s Regular Plans
They have a plan that gives you 2GB of data for $50 per month where you get unlimited talk and text, and enjoy steaming free music. Another plan gives you 6GB data that will cost you $65 per month, and it comes with unlimited talk and text. Another plan gives you 10GB of data with unlimited talk and text. In order to find out what phone plan is best for you, T-Mobile has a cell phone calculator that will help you match what you use with what you should be spending.
T-Mobile’s Unlimited Plan
The other plan that is available is called the T-Mobile One plan. This plan is more for people who want to have unlimited data and a bunch of other extras. It still offers the unlimited national texts and talk minutes, but you also get 4G LTE data speeds. The throttling amount is 50GB, which is massive when compared to most others.
Many other cellphone network providers will lower your data speeds at around 20 to 25GB. Many will lower your 4G speed down to 2G speeds when you have used those amounts of data, but T-Mobile doesn’t lower your Internet speeds until you have used 50GB, and even then they only lower your speeds during peak periods.
The cost of this plan is $70 per month if you have auto-pay, and that fee includes monthly fees and taxes too. It may seem on the expensive side, but consider all the things you get:
Free mobile hotspot data
Use Netflix at no extra charge
You get unlimited talk, data and text
Taxes and fees are included in your price
No surprise fees on your monthly plan bill
Stream unlimited entertainment at DVD-quality 480p
In-flight texting and 1 hour of data on Gogo-enabled flights
Get texting and data abroad in 140+ destinations and countries
Throttling doesn’t occur until you have used at least 50GB of data
Unlimited talk and texts in Mexico and Canada and get 5GB of Internet data
MetroPCS is another good network to try when looking for the best cell phone plans. It has very cheap plans costing from $30 a month, where you get unlimited text, unlimited minutes and 2 GB of data on its 4G LTE T-Mobile network. With the $30 unlimited plan, it will gives you 4G LTE mobile hotspot, data maximizer and scam ID.
MetroPCS has a $40 plan, and it gives you unlimited hours of music streaming, unlimited text, and unlimited talk minutes along with 5GB 4G LTE data. Its features include unlimited music from certain online sources, 4G LTE speeds on the T-mobile network, and a data maximizer. You get 4G LTE mobile hotspot, Wi-Fi calling with caller ID, voicemail/ visual voicemail and premium directory assistance. As with all of these plans, there are no annual contracts and all taxes and regulatory fees are included.
MetroPCS Unlimited Data Plans
They offer a $50 unlimited plan that gives you unlimited 4G LTE data, unlimited social media, unlimited music streaming, unlimited video streaming, unlimited national texts and unlimited national calls. The $60 per month deal offers the same thing except that you get 10GB of hotspot data on your handset.
Videos stream at 480p, and your Internet speed will be de-prioritized after you have used 35GB of data per month. The unlimited data prices are about average, and you get a bunch of positive selling points that go along with it.
Scam ID services
4G LTE mobile hotspot
Wi-Fi calling and caller ID
Unlimited music streaming
There is no annual contract
Use of their data maximizer
Get 4G LTE on the T-Mobile network
Access premium directory assistance
Call waiting and 3-way calling services
Access to voicemail and visual voicemail
You get unlimited national talk and texts with each plan
All taxes and fees are included in the quoted website prices
Throttling doesn’t occur until you have used at least 35GB of data
There are two Verizon Unlimited plans that are worth a look. There is GoUnlimited for $75 per line, and there is BeyondUnlimited, which costs $85 per line. Those are the prices you get if you sign up and choose auto-pay, and if you choose paperless statements. However, be aware that they may charge you fees and taxes on top of your monthly fee. They charged us a state tax on top of our monthly amount.
The Go Unlimited offer gives you 4G LTE data that doesn’t appear to have a throttling limit, but where they will lower your speeds at peak times. International data is throttled on a daily basis after you use 512MB per day.
You get unlimited talk and text, and you may stream videos at 480p. You get unlimited mobile hotspot at 600kbps, and you become eligible for Verizon Up rewards. You may also enjoy a military discount if you are an active service member or a veteran. The plan also allows for cheap and free calls to Mexico and Canada.
Much of what you get with BeyondUnlimited is the same as what you get with Go Unlimited. You get unlimited national talk and text, and you may call and text Mexico and Canada cheaply and/or for free. You are also eligible for Verizon Up rewards, and there is a military discount for active service members and veterans.
With the BeyondUnlimited plan, you get HD video streaming at 720p, and you get mobile hotspot at speeds that go faster than 600kbps. You also get premium unlimited 4G LTE data that is throttled at 22GB per line. If you use more than 22GB per month, then your data is each de-prioritized, which means your speeds may slow at peak times.
Unlimited music streaming
Unlimited 4G LTE mobile hotspot
You get unlimited talk, data and text
You get unlimited national talk and texts
They have unlimited prepaid too if needed
Unlimited talk and texts to Mexico and Canada
Stream unlimited videos and entertainment at 720p
Get 4G LTE on the very large Verizon mobile network
Throttling doesn’t occur until you have used 22GB of data
Boost has a few single-line plans that may interest you, but their best is probably their Unlimited Plus plan that offers unlimited calls nationally, unlimited texts, and unlimited data. The problem is that Boost keeps changing its prices so you do not know where you stand. At the moment, their fee is $60 per month, and that is if you have auto-pay and if you go paperless. The monthly fees and taxes are included, but you may have to pay an activation fee.
You get enhanced streaming quality at 1080p, which is good if you have a tablet device, otherwise it is a bit of a waste. Plus, you get 20GB of mobile hotspot data, which is more than most unlimited plans offer.
There are no annual service contracts, and you get 50 domestic roaming minutes. If you use more than 23GB of data per month, then your Internet speed is de-prioritized, which means you may see your speeds slow during peak hours. They run on the Sprint network. Their throttle amount is really the only downside to this plan other than their flip-flop prices that change every three to four months.
Before moving on to the list of things that Boost offers, let me mention that Boost has a terrible record of allowing its reps to lie to customers. Be very careful if you are visiting a store or making a call because their reps are rarely punished for outright lying to customers. Do not believe any promises that are given to you, especially if they involve special offers. Also, they run on the Sprint network, so make sure you are covered in your area by Sprint before you sign up because they have no problem signing up people who are not covered in their area.
Video streaming at 1080p
No annual service contract
Unlimited music streaming
Unlimited data, text and talk
Throttled data speeds at 23GB
A high amount of mobile hotspot data at 20GB
Easy to activate extra lines with a multi-line discount
Taxes and fees are included in the prices they list on their website
A&AT offer a brilliant service, but their prices are deceptively high, and I mention the word “Deceptively” because it is not apparent from their website that their prices are so high. When you first visit their website, you see prices such as “$40” per month, but that is per device if you sign up with four devices. The base cost is actually closer to $76, but it goes down a bit if you choose auto-pay and paperless billing. Another reason why their plans are expensive is because you have to ask them to sign you up for annual plans in order to get the lowest possible prices, and even then you have to go into a store and ask the staff if they will offer a discount. In fact, the cheapest prices are only available to people who sign up for two years, and that is if you can convince the clerk in the store to create the deal. No matter what length of contract you sign up for, your first two bills will be slightly higher because the auto-pay and paperless discounts do not kick in until your third bill.
Even though your data is unlimited after you go past 22GB of data your streaming videos may slow down until it is time for your plan to start again. You can get these deals by signing up with A&AT, or by changing plans if you are an existing customer. Also, your prices may change if you sign up with a tablet device rather than a Smartphone device. There may be an activation fee of around $45, and you may be charged extra fees and taxes on top of your regular price.
AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced
You get unlimited talk and texts nationally, even though their promotional page doesn’t mention it. You also get unlimited 4G LTE data speeds. However, your data speeds are de-prioritized, which means your Internet speeds may slow during peak times.
You may stream videos at 480p, and they have an offer where you save $15 per month on DirectTV Now. There is no mobile hotspot data with this plan, but you may be able to get cheaper HBO if you stick with this plan for more than two months. There is also a 15% military discount for active and veteran service people.
You get 2G roaming data in Canada and Mexico, and you may even be able to call and text without paying extra, but you will need to check before you arrive. At the very least, you are able to call and text other people in Canada and Mexico without paying extra. In fact, you are able to send texts, video messages and picture messages from the US to over 120 other countries without paying extra charges.
AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced
All the benefits that come with the Choice Enhanced plan are also available with the Plus Enhanced plan. The biggest differences are that you get premium 4G LTE data up to 22GB per month. Plus, you are able to use “Stream Saver” to help lower your data use when streaming, or you may turn it off and watch streams in high definition up to 1080p. You get 15GB of hotspot data, but the speed is limited to 128 kbps.
Everything else about this plan is the same as the Choice Enhanced version except that you will pay in the region of $80 per month for this one rather than $65 per month for Choice. Again, please remember that fees and taxes will be added onto these prices, and that your auto-pay and paperless discounts do not start until your third month on the plan. Plus, you may be able to get a slightly lower price if you arrange for a 2-year contract, but you have to ask in store for stuff like that.
Military discounts are available
Use your data in Canada and in Mexico
Watch streamed videos at 480p or 1080p
Unlimited calls and texts in the US to the US
Discounts on HBO and DirectTV may be earned
Data is throttled at 22GB of monthly data usage
Unlimited texting from the US to 120 different countries
Different prices are charged for Smartphones and tablets
Mobile hotspot data is available for up to 15GB per month
Get a discount for using auto-pay and signing up for their paperless service
The Virgin Mobile inner circle plan costs $50 per month, plus whatever taxes are added. To qualify for the $50 rate, you need to sign up for auto-pay and paperless statements. This cellphone plan gives you unlimited data, unlimited text, and unlimited talk minutes. Your data speeds are throttled if you use 23GB within a single month. At that point the speed of your internet will slow down to 2G and 3G speeds until the next billing cycle.
Sprint is the main network with this plan. There is no annual contract, and you get video streaming at 480p resolution, music up to 500kbps, and steaming cloud gaming up to 2Mbps. When you purchase the Virgin Mobile cell phone plan, the full amount of the first payment will come with an added $25 in many cases. The reason behind this is that they charge you for the SIM card. The SIM card cost $25 and the plan it self will be $50 a month, so the total of the first payment will be $75. However, they run offers and discounts so often that you can probably get it far cheaper than that. Their discounts change every four to six months, but they are always replaced with another discount, so you can never miss out.
No annual contracts
They donate to Feeding America
Stream movies at 480p resolution
Unlimited calls, texts and 4G LTE data
You can add international calling for a small additional fee
Listen to music at 500kbps and enjoy cloud gaming at 2Mbps
There are add-ons such as mobile hotspot and phone insurance
Data speeds are de-prioritized if you use more than 23GB per month