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Team Clark has come up with the top five questions you need to answer when shopping for a new cell phone provider. After this list, compare our favorite cheap cell phone plans for unlimited data, families, light data users and more. Plans that charge for a fixed amount of data can be much cheaper. Every wireless provider has a coverage map on its website. Looking for more than a single line?

Best cell phone plans and deals right now

Prepaid service is paid for in advance, while postpaid service is when you pay at the end of your billing cycle. Most carriers will sell you a new phone, but if you want to bring your own device it must be unlocked. Click on one of the category links below or just keep scrolling to find out more about them. We would also appreciate it if you left a review of any of these providers in the comments below! Netflix is included with T-Mobile One for two lines or more, so those who only need a single line of service may be better off with one of the cheaper unlimited talk, text and data plans listed below.

Key takeaway: Both plans have mobile hotspot. MetroPCS is changing its name and adding 2 new unlimited data plans. The cheaper option restricts data speeds to 3 Mbps. It also relies on 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots. Mint Mobile review: Want to lower your cell phone bill even more? If you have four lines of service, your monthly cost per line will really go down! There are special deals for those 55 and older! The best cell phone plans for seniors. When traveling abroad, you use data just like you would at home. Back to top. Sprint 2GB Price: Unlimited minutes and text messages, plus 2GB of data.

Tracfone 30 minute airtime card Price: Any combination of 30 minutes or texts. Individual line, Small, no data Price: Any combination of 30 minutes or 30 texts per month. Unlimited minutes and text messages with option to purchase data package. Get started at Ting's site. Get started at Republic Wireless' site. Get started at Sprint's site.

Get started at U. Cellular's site.


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Get started at TracFone's site. The plan still features Hulu.


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It also offers unlimited talk and text in Canada and Mexico, along with 5GB per month of high-speed data service in these countries. It includes HD video streaming, music streaming at 1. The plan also offers 15GB of high-speed mobile hot spot service—plus unlimited 3G service—and both Hulu and the Tidal music streaming service.

Just like the basic plan, this one delivers unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada, but your monthly data allowance in these countries doubles to 10GB.

The Best Cell Phone Plans

You also get data security services from Lookout, your mobile hot spot allowance gets doubled to GB, and you get unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico. Heavy data users, beware: Like its competitors, Sprint reserves the right to cut your speeds when data demand is high, regardless of what tier of service you shell out for. In this case, that applies to customers who use more than 50GB per month—which, admittedly, is a lot of data. T-Mobile does not let you share data. You must purchase it separately for each phone in your household. Like the pricier plans, T-Mobile Essentials includes unlimited talk, text, and data.

Another important detail to note when crunching the numbers: In the T-Mobile One plans, the taxes and fees are included; in the lower-priced Essentials plans, they are not. So what are you missing out on if you sign up for Essentials? Well, for one thing, Netflix. It's usually included in T-Mobile One plans that have at least two lines. Essentials customers also fall to the bottom of the priority list for data speeds during heavy traffic times.

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And Essentials customers who use more than 50GB per month may see their speeds dip even further. For T-Mobile One customers, the company will throttle your data speeds only if you go over that 50GB-per-month threshold. Travel outside the country much? Essentials customers get unlimited talk, text, and 2G data in Mexico and Canada.

Best cell phone plans comparisons

Texting is unlimited in more than destinations around the world. In addition to unlimited texting in those plus destinations, T-Mobile One also includes unlimited 2G data use. And, just a heads-up. Under both plans, video typically streams at DVD quality. Want more? Last year, Verizon updated its offers to add a third set of pricing for its unlimited data plans.

Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans - NerdWallet

And the company reserves the right to slow your data speeds any time the network gets busy. After that, your speeds are capped at Kbps. And Verizon promises not to throttle your data speeds until you use 22GB of data during a given month. And though talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada are included in all three unlimited plans, Above Unlimited also gives you five Verizon TravelPasses per month.

But as mentioned above, T-Mobile includes unlimited texting and data calls cost extra in more than destinations as part of its T-Mobile One plans. Interested in a premium plan for yourself but maybe not for your kids? No problem. Verizon will let you mix and match pricing options within one family plan. And Verizon still sells plans with shared bundles of gigabytes. We've priced those out in the table below, as well. I write about all things "cyber" and your right to privacy.