2021 Update: I no longer update this page.
I gear my regular cell phone service recommendations towards fairly typical consumers. Most people don’t reassess their options each month or frequently switch carriers to get the best possible deals. Accordingly, my typical recommendations are for services that I think are (a) especially high-quality and/or well-priced today and (b) likely to be especially high-quality and/or well-priced in the future.
On this page, I list deals that might be appealing to unusually proactive deal seekers.
First 3 months at the 12-month rate (intro offer)
Each of Mint Mobile’s plans is priced based on the number of months a customer pays for upfront. With the standard rates, the monthly price of 3 months of service will be higher than the monthly rate for 12 months of service on the same plan. However, Mint Mobile has an intro offer allowing new customers to purchase 3 months of service at the rate that is typically reserved for those purchasing 12 months of service upfront.
T-Mobile Test Drive
T-Mobile is running a promotion offering non-customers a free mobile hotspot device that’s good for up to 30GB of data use or 30 days of service (whatever comes first). The promotion is designed to let people easily trial T-Mobile’s network while using their existing devices. As far as I can tell, the deal really has no strings attached. You don’t need to give T-Mobile a credit card number or agree to future charges in order to take advantage of the offer.