Navigating the market for cell phone services can be a nightmare. I’m constantly keeping tabs on the cellular industry, digging into carriers’ policies, and assessing network performance. Below, I list my most-strongly recommended carriers and plans as of June 2020.
Since people have different needs and budgets, my recommendations are split into several categories. For additional recommendations, find the category best-matched to your needs (i.e., “Cheap Family Plans”) and follow the link to a longer list of recommended carriers.
I receive commissions when I refer customers to some of these carriers. For details about financial arrangements I have with carriers, see my transparency page.
Cheap Family Plans
Xfinity Mobile runs over Verizon’s extensive network. The service is well-priced, but it is only available to Xfinity Internet customers. All of Xfinity Mobile’s plans include unlimited minutes and texts at no charge. Customers pay only for data, and they can choose either (a) an unlimited data option for $45 per month per line or (b) a pay-by-the-gig option. Subscribers can even mix-and-match by-the-gig lines and unlimited lines within a single family plan.
While Xfinity Mobile’s prices are excellent, subscribers should be cautious about indirect costs from being locked into Xfinity-branded services. If an Xfinity Mobile subscriber ceases paying for another Xfinity service, the subscriber will be charged an extra $20 per line each month.
Sample plan: 5 lines unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 10GB of data for $12 per line each month.
Total Wireless offers excellent coverage over Verizon’s network. Total Wireless’ low-cost, family plans come with huge data allotments.
Sample plan: 4 lines with 100GB of shared data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts for $25 per line each month.
Cheap Plans (Non-Family)
Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network and offers some of the best prices for plans with decent-sized data allotments. All of Mint’s plans include unlimited texts and minutes along with 3 to 12 gigabytes of high-speed data. All the plans also include unlimited data at substantially reduced speeds for subscribers that use all of their high-speed data.
Sample plan: 1 line with 8GB of full-speed data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts for as low as $20 per month.
T-Mobile Connect plans are awfully cheap and make great options for people who don’t need more than 5GB of data per month. While T-Mobile doesn’t have the best coverage, the network offers solid service in most well-populated areas.
There are two T-Mobile Connect plans. Both offer unlimited minutes and texts. A $15 per month plan comes with 2GB of data. A $25 per month plan comes with 5GB of data.
Sample plan: 1 line with 2GB of data along with unlimited minutes and texts for $15 per month.
Verizon’s postpaid plans are the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to wireless service. While the plans tend to be expensive, most subscribers have high priority access to the nation’s most extensive network.
For most people considering Verizon’s postpaid service, I recommend the Play More Unlimited plan.
Sample plan: 5 lines on Verizon’s Play More Unlimited plan (unlimited minutes, texts, and data) for $40 per line each month.