Best cheap cell phone plans for January 2022: options starting at $ 5 per month

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Cheap mobile phone plans: jump links

If you’re looking to keep those monthly bills to a minimum, let us help you with a comprehensive roundup of this month’s best cheap cell phone plans. We’ve tirelessly researched all of the top carriers in the US to come up with a list that, in our humble opinion, not only offers the lowest monthly costs but also the best overall value when it comes to cheap. . mobile phone plans.

Of course, it can be difficult to determine which plan is right for you – after all, there are literally hundreds to choose from and each one has different needs. To help you out, we’ve taken a pragmatic approach in our review of each of these cheap cell phone plans considering not only the costs, but things like data allowances and practical benefits as well.

We’ve also clearly separated each of our top picks for cheap cell phone plans based on which app we think they’re best for. Simply put, whether you are a single line user looking for a cheap unlimited plan or even looking for a cheap family plan as an alternative to the big carriers, you will find some good options here. Mainly from the excellent selection of prepaid operators currently available.

Speaking of prepaid, we strongly recommend that you go with a prepaid carrier if you are looking for strictly cheap cell phone plans. Not only will you get rid of those pesky long-term contracts, these small businesses simply offer great value that the biggest carriers just can’t compete with. Of course, there are a few caveats to opting for a prepaid carrier, which we covered in detail in each selection and in our Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of the page.

If you want to broaden your scope a bit, we have even more options on our main page for the best mobile phone plans. You can also compare these inexpensive cell phone plans to those offered by the major carriers on our Verizon plans and AT&T plans pages.

The best cheap mobile plans: the best choices

  • 1. Mint Mobile best cheap cell phone plans
  • 2. Visible – best mobile phone plans with unlimited data and cheap
  • 3. Tellocheapest inexpensive mobile phone plans
  • 4. Ultra mobile – the best inexpensive mobile phone plans with pay-as-you-go
  • 5. Twigby – a great inexpensive Verizon alternative
  • 6. Speak pure – a great inexpensive AT&T alternative
  • seven. Boost mobiles – a great inexpensive T-Mobile alternative

The best cheap cell phone plans in the United States

Here, we’ll break down our choices and give a quick analysis of each. Here you will find all the basic information you need to know, such as monthly cost, data allowances, and coverage.

1. Inexpensive mobile phone plans with the best value for money

2. Best unlimited and cheap plans

3. The cheapest of the cheap

4. Verizon coverage

5. AT&T coverage

6. T-Mobile coverage

7. Sprint coverage

8. Better pay-as-you-go

Cheap mobile plans: FAQ

best cheap cell phone plans

(Image credit: Avenir)

How to save money with a cheap mobile plan?

Switch to a smaller carrier

Any of the cheap cell phone plans on our list will save you a ton of money compared to more established brands like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. While the bigger carriers tend to offer more comprehensive plans overall (with things like streaming service subscriptions), in terms of value, they just can’t compete with the smaller fish. Even if you go for an unlimited data plan, for example, carriers like Visible offer cheaper prepaid alternatives for as little as $ 25 a month. For context, that’s about a third of what you’d expect to pay with Verizon, which is Visible’s parent company. Then he can pay dividends to switch to a smaller, promising company with cheap cell phone plans.

Cut out what you don’t need

Don’t pay for what you don’t need! It’s a simple adage, but it rings true when looking for the best cheap cell phone plans. Data in particular is a key area where a simple cut can really help rule out those monthly bills – especially if you’re someone who tends to use WiFi more than their cellular data. These days, almost all cheap cell phone plan providers offer unlimited calling and texting on their service, so the biggest savings tend to be in data reduction rather than cost reduction. other features. The bigger carriers also offer bundled streaming service subscriptions, which don’t tend to be on cheaper prepaid plans, but are worth ditching if you’re strictly on a budget with a post plan. -paid.

See plan usage and avoid additional data charges

Before committing to any of the cheap cell phone plans on our list, we recommend that you have a clear idea of ​​how much data you will be using each month, as well as the talk and text requirements. . Some cheaper carriers tend to have pretty strict allowances where they cut your data, reduce your speed, or even charge you extra for going over your monthly allowance. Note – this overcharging is actually quite rare now, and none of the cheap cell phone plans on our list will charge you if you go over your allowance (without asking). Still, it’s worth reading all of the fine print carefully and getting a good idea of ​​your data usage before you jump in with an operator.

Who has the best coverage?

All of the inexpensive cell phone plans featured in this article are offered by MVNO companies using the largest carrier networks of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. They all have good nationwide coverage, but you’ll definitely want to figure out which one is right for you by using the coverage checkers on their websites.

Here are some quick links to the different pages where you can check your coverage directly. Simply enter your zip code or locate your location on the maps provided to see which major carrier has the best coverage in your area.

How are these cell phone plans so cheap?

Small Operators (MVNOs) do not operate their own networks for cellular coverage, but instead choose to “piggyback” on one of the four major carrier networks. The main advantage of this is that the MVNO does not have to pay expensive maintenance costs to maintain the physical infrastructure necessary for a cellular network, while still allowing it to have great coverage. This economy means that they can operate with much lower overhead costs and offer overall cheaper cell phone plans to their customers.

All of this has a catch though, as large operators like to prioritize connections from their own customers when the network is experiencing heavy overall traffic. This can lead to what is known as “deprioritization” for customers using a sub-operator, which essentially results in a slower connection over LTE (Non-WiFi Internet). That said, the potential savings from using a smaller carrier tend to outweigh the disadvantages of a potentially slower connection for most people. In general, the market tends to call these types of plans prepaid plans, as opposed to the usual (unlimited) postpaid options like Verizon and others.

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