Best Basic Cell Phone Plans (2018) – The Best Plans We Could Find
Basic cell phone plans are still one of the most popular mobile plans in the USA. The reason for this is unclear, but it may be a psychological reaction to the overabundance of choice. There are so many cellphone plans these days that people are opting for the best basic cell phone plans in order to keep things simple. In other words, when an ice cream store offers people 66 different varieties, more people will pick vanilla.
The Price Is Right
The phone network industry is very competitive to the point where there is no guarantee that the prices you see right here will be the same when you try them yourself. Nevertheless, this article will still stand as a good place to find the best basic phone plans, since you can click the links to see if the networks have raised or lowered their prices.
What Do Basic Cellphone Plans Include?
The best basic cell phone plans allow you to buy minutes and texts with no added data, no added frills, or extras. If you want extras, then you have to pay for them separately outside of your contract or Pay-As-You-Go agreement.
Some people pick basic cellphone plans to keep things simple, and others pick them because a basic plan is all they need. There are people out there who only want to use their phone for calls and texts, and basic cell phone plans are just what they need. A basic cell phone plan makes life easier if you only use a small amount of data, or if you do not use the many extras that phone plans come with. Dependent upon your cellphone use, a basic plan may ensure you are not wasting your money on a plan with which you are not using all the benefits.
The basic cell phone plans in this article are not ranked in any way. We found the best cellphone plans that were available to most people nationally, and we slapped them down on this document.
Republic Wireless have affordable phone plans that are easy to use because they have no contracts to tie you down. They have a money-back guarantee where if you cancel within 14 days of starting your cellphone plan, then you can get a full refund. Their basic plan has unlimited talk-time minutes, unlimited texts, and no added data.
You can use your old phone with this plan as long as it is an unlocked mobile phone. This plan will only cost you $15 a month. Republic Wireless do offer other plans that give you certain amounts of data to go with your unlimited texts and calls. Alternatively, you may go with their basic plan and pay to add data into it as a one-off whenever you need cellphone data.
There is an offer where you are able to add or remove 4G LTE anytime data for just $5 extra. The offer gives you access to limited amounts of 4G LTE data, for which you are charged an extra $5 per month, and you may opt out of the 4G LTE data option whenever you like.
With Republic Wireless, you get nationwide coverage, US-based customer support, a money-back guarantee within 14 days, no hidden fees, and no contracts obligations. No contract obligations means you may opt out of your cellphone plan whenever you like.
Before you consider Republic Wireless plans, you can become a member for free to find out/check to see if the area you live in has full cellular coverage. Even if it does not cover your area, if you have home Wi-Fi, then you may still receive calls via their Wi-Fi calls service.
Project Fi’s Fi Basics is one of the more middle-priced plans at $20 per month. For your $20, you get unlimited minutes and texts. Subscribing to Project Fi is free, easy to do, and you can sign in to your online account using your google profile (the same one you use for Gmail, YouTube, Google+, and so forth).
If you wish to find out if this company offers great coverage in your area, then you can check out their website. Enter your zip code into their coverage checker, and it tells you how good the coverage is in your area. If you want to add to your plan, it will cost you an extra $60. for which you get 6GB of data. The Project Fi Basic Plan nay have 4G LTE added, and you may gain free access to a hundreds of thousands safe hotspots. Project Fi makes sure you only use what you want, which helps to ensure you spend no more than you want to.
Project Fi markets a function called “Bill Protection.” It helps to ensure you do not overspend on your bills every month. None of our legal people from the research team were able to look it over, so we are not able to give you an informed opinion on it, but I would lean towards caution. It may be a true and honest way for you to protect yourself from overspending when you use your phone data, but it seems like an unprofitable thing for a company to do (like a baker restricting how many pies each customer can buy).
You have to pay a monthly fee if you are using Ting, but the fee only covers you being on the Ting plan. Everything else is Pay-As-You-Go. For example, if you where to sign up to the Ting plan, and you put your phone in a drawer for the month, then your bill would only come to $6. If you were to use something such as 100 texts, then you would have to pay an additional $3. If you were to use 100MB of data, then you would pay an additional $3.
How do people save money with this? How did it end up on our best basic cell phone plans article? Ting is viciously similar to a Pay-As-You-Go plan, except that they charge you $6 per month to be on it. The idea is that you save money because the rates for things such as texts, calls and data are lower than if you had a basic Pay-As-You-Go plan. For example, where a Pay-As-You-Go plan may charge you 10 cents per text, the Ting plan only charges you between 3 cents and 0.25 cents per text.
Instead of signing up to a more complex plan that offers a set amount of data, calls, texts, etc., you sign up to Ting and only pay for what you use. In that sense, it may save you money, but it will be a case of comparing your current Ting bills with the bills you paid to your last network to see if you are making a saving.
Another way you may save money is through having more than one line with Ting. For example, if you have two lines, it will cost you $12 per month, but the calls, texts and data you are charged for is combined. For example, if one phone makes 60 texts and one phone makes 40 texts, you are not charged an additional $12, only an additional $6. In other words, they pool the usage of all the phones on the plan and generate a single bill for all of them. The image below gives you an idea of what you may be paying.
One of the best basic cell phone plans that Verizon offers is their $30 per month plan that comes with unlimited talk time and texts. Verizon has a bunch of different plans you can choose if you are looking for talk time, texts, and cellphone data.
You can choose the plan that is called go-unlimited. The plan costs $75 if you want the one line, but if you want to have 10 lines plan, then the price goes down to $40 a month. That will include unlimited 4GLTE data, unlimited talk and text. You will also get with this plan unlimited hotspots that is (600kbps) and streaming for at 480p picture quality. Verizon also offers discounts called up-rewards, but they are for select customers only. For example, there are some rewards that apply to people who worked, or who are in the military, they may get discount when choosing this plan.
This Verizon plan also includes Canada and Mexico, meaning you can take your plan with you to these places as long as you have a 4G device. You get unlimited minutes from the U.S, Canada and Mexico and there are no additional charges.
The next plan that Verizon offers is the Beyond unlimited plan. You get premium unlimited 4G LTE data, unlimited text and unlimited talk time. If you only want one line, you have to pay $85 a month and enroll to pay with auto pay. The price goes down as you add more lines. You may be able to add as many as 10 lines with this plan, but this plan is more expensive at $500 per month.
The Beyond plan also has HD-quality streaming and unlimited hotspots. Choosing this plan gives you extra rewards, and it also includes a military discount if you serve or served in the military. Just like the other plan, Canada and Mexico are included in this plan. For example, if you go on vacation, or your friends or family live in Mexico/Canada, you may save money with this cellphone plan.
The FreedomPop Basic 200 plan has no contract and no commitments, which means you can cancel at anytime. You won’t have to make a monthly payment, as FreedomPop offer more of a Pay-As-You-Go plan. Within this plan you get 500 texts, 500GBs of data and 200 minutes.
FreedomPop starts out free (at the time of writing, they gave us our basic plan for free), though you may need your phone unlocked to run on a network other than your own. You will need to pop your FreedomPop simcard into your mobile phone. Be careful, as some mobile phones are not eligible for a FreedomPop plan. Get your simcard and then download the FreedomPop app.
Basic FreedomPop 500 – $0 a month, 500 texts, 200 minutes and 500MB data
Premium 500 – $10.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 500MB data
1GB Premium – $19.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 1GB data
2GB Premium – $24.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 2GB data
3GB Premium – $29.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 3GB data
4GB Premium – $34.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 4GB data
Unlimited 2GB – $29.99 per month, unlimited text, unlimited talk and 2GB of data, after which your Internet speed is throttled (lowered) until you get your next month’s allowance of 2GB of data
Cricket Wireless has a phone plan where for $25 per month you get unlimited texts and unlimited minutes. You are able to buy added GBs of data for your phone on top of your plan. Alternatively, you can buy their set plans that come with added data. For example, you can buy the $30 plan, which will give you 2GB on top of your unlimited talktime and texts.
Cricket Wireless offers a monthly discount if you say yes to automatic payments. When you choose the group-save plan, you can get $10 off of your second line, third, fourth and fifth line.
The Cricket Wireless network uses LTE and the download speeds are capped at 8mb megabits, which is plenty if you to stream videos, look though your social media pages, or surf the internet.
GreatCall offers you 200 minutes for $14.99, but you will have to pay extra for data and texts. So, it will make a perfect cell phone plan for seniors who use their mobile phones to phone more often than they text or user data.
GreatCall is designed for seniors, which is why they have services such as their “The health and safety services,” which is a service that puts seniors in contact with the emergency services and doctors/consultant at the push of a button. These services, and others like it, are available as add-ons to this basic cell phone plan.
There are no annual contract or cancellation fees with this monthly plan. You can buy more minutes if you wish, such as by upgrading your plan. For example, you can get 600 minutes for $19.99, you can get 1500 minutes for $29.99, and you can get 3000 minutes for $39.99.
If you would like to add extra texts to your account, it will cost you:
- 300 texts costs $3.00
- 700 texts costs $6.00
- 1250 texts costs $10.00
- 2500 texts costs $15.00
If you would like to add data to your account, it will cost you:
- 40MB of data costs $2.49
- 100MB of data costs $5.00
- 200MB of data costs $10.00
- 500MB of data costs $15.00
- 1GB of data costs $20.00
- 2.5GB of data costs $30.00
The fees do not include things such as taxes, and there are overage charges at $0.35 per minutes. There are also extra fees such as higher costs for sending and receiving texts overseas, and making overseas calls. For example, if you receive a text from overseas, it may cost you ten cents.
It allows you to have unlimited national talk and text only for $35 per month, and you get 2GB of data too. It has unlimited picture messaging, and there are no roaming charges when you go overseas. Your Internet data is unlimited, but you only get 2GB of 4G LTE speeds, after you have used your 2GB, your speeds are reduced to the sort of speeds you get with 2G Internet. There are no credit checks, no contract, and no deposit.
There is a $40 version where you get 4GB of high speed data, and a $50 version where you get 8GB of high speed data. You get 10GB of high speed data for $60 per month, but this is the point where if you are using 10GB of data per month, then maybe a basic plan is not the one for you. You will get a better deal if you look elsewhere.
There is also an international plan where you pay $65 for unlimited national texts and calls, and you get unlimited international talk and text. You get 8GB of high speed Internet, which drops to a lower speed after 8GB until your next month’s allowance kicks in. Read the small print when you sign up for the international plan because there are terms and conditions you may not expect, such as how you only get unlimited calls to landlines in Mexico. Plus, the international plan is worded as “Over 1000 destinations” rather than “Over 1000 countries,” which may mean the country you wish to call is not covered in the international plan.
Consumer Cellular says that if you choose to go with one line, you get a nationwide talk plan that is $15 a month and comes with 250 minutes. Or, you may pay $20 a month for unlimited talk time. The one line options gives you a range of different data and text plans that you may add into your basic plan. For example, you may pay an extra $5 a month for 250MB, an additional $10 per month for 1 GB, $20 for 3GB, $30 for 5GB, and an additional $40 per month for 10GB of data. However, if you are paying as much as $40 extra per month for your data, then it is probably time you find a different network because this basic plan is uneconomical for a heavy mobile Internet user.
Consumer Cellular offers a 5% discount on monthly services if you are a member of the AARP. You don’t need to sign any contracts, which means you are on a rolling contract that you can cancel as you wish. All of the Consumer Cellular plans come with unlimited texts and picture messaging. I get the feeling that this company or these plans were made for really dumb old people. I mention it because the website seems to be aimed at senior people, but the stuff written on it seems to be aimed at dumb people, such as telling users they are buying phone data so they may use the Internet from their phone. Do electricity companies tell people they are buying electricity so they may use light bulbs?
US MOBILE is a no text or data cellphone plan, you pay $2.50 per month to get 40 talk minutes, but there is also a service fee of $4, so the lowest priced plan will cost you $6.50 per month. There are also taxes to consider when you sign up, as they are not included in the quoted prices online. US MOBILE runs on T-Mobile network and is very flexible, which is why they allow you to create your own customized service plan.
It does not have a contract. The plan you pick is for 30 days, and you can set it to keep rolling over until you wish to quit. You can check your coverage status on the website. You may build a custom plan, or you may pick an unlimited plan. Also, though it is true that the company doesn’t have any hidden fees (a point they mention on their website), I should point out that unexpected fees are almost as bad as hidden ones. They could have made their service fee a lot clearer because it appears to the casual observer that their prices go as low as $2.50, when in fact their lowest price is $6.50. It is not a hidden fee, but it is not as upfront as many of the other networks.
You can buy a monthly plan that has 500MB data that is 4G. You also get unlimited national talk time and unlimited talk time to 75 locations around the world. They also give you unlimited global text messages (USA and to 75 international destinations). This plan costs $19 per month, but do not get too excited because there are two catches. The company has some serious coverage issues that exist even in big cities. The second and most overlooked downside is their customer support, which is the worst of all the networks listed on this article. We rarely come across such poor quality and rude customer service representatives. We experienced everything from service members putting us on hold until we went away, to rude staff members who hang up for no reason.
There are plans that run from $19 per month to $49 per month, and they all include the same thing except that they give you more mobile data. The $49 package gives you all the things mentioned in the $19 service plan, but you get unlimited 4G LTE data. There are no set contracts other than a monthly rolling one, there are few hidden fees, and you will not be hit with unexpected payments unless you do any overseas traveling.