Best Cell Phone Plans Under $30

Affordable plans for all you talkers, texters, streamers, and dreamers

Best Value
Mint Mobile
Plan price:
$15–$30
/mo
  • pro
    Cheapest unlimited data
  • con
    Deprioritization possible
Best Unlimited Plan
Visible
Plan price:
$25
/mo
  • pro
    Unlimited high-speed data on Verizon’s network
  • con
    Deprioritization
Best Network Coverage
Twigby
Plan price:
$5–$25
/mo
  • pro
    Verizon’s network
  • con
    Only 20GB of data
Best Low-Data Plan
Tello
Plan price:
$5–$25
/mo
  • pro
    Cheap unlimited talk and text
  • con
    Deprioritization possible
Easton Smith
Mar 26, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read

So you’ve set your limit: you’re not going to spend over $30 a month on your cell phone plan. Good for you! Way to budget! And don’t worry, you won’t lose much in terms of quality if you choose your plan carefully.

There are phone plans under $30 for data lovers, international callers, rural folks, city slickers, families, and pretty much everyone else. Read on for the details about our favorite plans (and some alternative options).

The best cell phone plans under $30:

Mint Mobile: Best value

Unlimited talk and text with 20GB of data for $25 a month (after promo prices)
Pros
  • 20–40GB of high-speed data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Strong network performance
Cons
  • Deprioritization

What we like

If you want a decent cell phone plan for cheap, Mint Mobile is offering all of its plans for $15 a month for your first three months. This means you can get unlimited talk and text plus 20GB of high-speed data for $15/month instead of $25/month.

Or get the Unlimited plan with unlimited data and 40GB of premium data for $15/month for three months instead of $30/month.

And did we mention Mint is owned by Ryan Reynolds?

That’s right, Deadpool (or Green Lantern, if you prefer), owns Mint Mobile. This doesn’t necessarily give the company superpowers, but we thought we’d mention it. Anyway, on to the stuff we like about Mint!

20GB of data

Mint Mobile's 20GB plan is great for users who don't want to spend more than $30 a month on their phone bill and don't need unlimited data. If you end up using all of your data allotment, you won't be charged an overage fee, although your speeds will slow down significantly.

Unlimited talk and text

When you’re looking at prepaid phone plans under $30, unlimited talk and text aren’t always a given. But you’ll get all the minutes and messages you could ever want with Mint’s 20GB plan. That includes calls to Mexico and Canada. How aboot that, amigo?

You'll also get a free mobile hotspot with any Mint Mobile plan, but be aware the hotspot pulls from your regular data allotment.

Unlimited data

New Mint Mobile customers can get any plan for $15/month for the first three months, which is why we've included the Unlimited plan in this lineup. While it's technically $15/month for the first three months, your price will return to $30 after those 90 days. We thought it was worth highlighting for those willing to pay a bit more for a boost in data. 

Family plans

Mint lets you add up to five lines on one account. You don't get any additional discounts with a family plan, but you can easily customize and manage all lines from the same account.

Strong network performance

Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). That’s just a very futuristic-sounding way of saying that Mint piggybacks on another company’s wireless network. In this case, that company is T-Mobile.

T-Mobile’s network is ranked second in the nation for both 4G speeds and 4G coverage.1 That means you should have no issues with streaming, gaming, or scrolling using your favorite apps. It also means you should see full bars in most metropolitan and suburban areas.

What we don’t like

Sorry, Ryan Reynolds, we love you, but we still have a few complaints.

Deprioritization

As we mentioned above, MVNOs like Mint use another company’s network. That means you get awesome coverage for less, but it also comes with a drawback: when the network is busy, your data speeds can be slowed down.

This happens because the network owner (T-Mobile) wants to prioritize the speeds of its own customers, which makes sense given, ya know, money and competition.

Alternative picks

If you’re looking for a cheap plan with a lot of data, but you just really don’t like Ryan Reynolds (or T-Mobile’s network or whatever), then check out these other options.

Cheap plans with lots of data

Visible Wireless: Best unlimited plan

Truly unlimited talk, text, and data for $25 a month
Pros
  • Unlimited high-speed data on Verizon’s network
  • Unlimited hotspot
Cons
  • Possibility of deprioritization
  • Limited phone compatibility

What we like

Visible Wireless is one of the best prepaid providers in the business, hands down. Want to know why? Well, sorry. It’s a secret.

Fine, we’ll tell you. Here’s what we love about Visible Wireless.

Unlimited high-speed data on Verizon’s network

In the huge crowd of MVNOs that have entered the industry recently, Visible Wireless tends to stand out. That’s because its one plan offers truly unlimited data—no caps, no gimmicks, no throttling. And, to top it off, Visible uses Verizon’s best-in-the-nation network.

For all you gamers, streamers, and data hogs looking to save a buck, Visible is the way to go.

It’s cheap

Visible’s $25 Plan is one of the cheapest unlimited data plans on the market, and you can get it for $20 a month for 24 months right now with code VISIBLE24. (The code works for all of Visible's plans, so you can also get the $45 Plan for $35 a month for 24 months if you're willing to push your budget closer to $40.)

Unlimited hotspot

Both Visible plans get you unlimited hotspot use, with speeds capped at 5Mbps. With Visible's hotspot, you can tether one device at a time, allowing you to use your cell phone as a Wi-Fi connection for your tablet or laptop.

What we don’t like

It’s visible for all to see that Visible has a few issues. (Did you see what we did there?)

Possibility of deprioritization

As we’ve mentioned above, all MVNOs come with the possibility of deprioritization. This happens when there are a lot of people connecting to cell towers and the parent network (Verizon) decides to prioritize the data speeds of its own customers.

This shouldn’t happen to Visible customers too often, but it’s always a possibility when you’re in heavily congested areas (i.e., sports matches, Disneyland, or Coachella).

Alternative picks

If you’re not picking up what Visible Wireless is laying down, look into these other unlimited plans that are around $25 a line.

Unlimited data plan comparisons

Twigby Mobile: Best network performance

Get on Verizon’s premium network for less with Twigby Mobile.
Pros
  • Great network performance
  • Free international texting
Cons
  • Only 10GB of data
  • $10 plan price increases after three months

What we like

Twigby Mobile is another MVNO looking to take a slice of the discount-wireless cake. The company has several prepaid cell phone plans under $30, but the one we like the most is the $15/month 10GB plan with unlimited talk, text, and data plus 10GB of high-speed data. Sadly, after three months, the price will increase to $25/month, but you'll still be happily under your $30 monthly budget. 

Here’s a closer look at the 10GB plan's pros and cons.

Great network performance

Verizon has the best overall coverage in the nation. You’ll get lightning fast download speeds, awesome 4G availability, and coverage in pretty much every nook and cranny of this huge country. Just look at this map.

Of course, as with any MVNO, you could experience slowdowns on your Twigby Mobile plan due to deprioritization. But Verizon’s robust investment in its network should make this a relatively rare occurrence.

Free international texting

If you’ve got long-lost family in other parts of the world, get ready to reconnect with them. With Twigby Mobile, you’ll get unlimited free texts to 180+ countries, like Malaysia, Mexico, India, and Norway. Maybe it’s time to brush up on those foreign language skills.

What we don’t like

Twigby Mobile’s Unlimited Talk and Text plan with 10GB is a pretty great deal. But the biggest issue we have with it is right there in the title.

Only 10GB of data

You won’t find an unlimited high-speed data plan for under $30 a month. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need your YouTube fix.

You’ll be able to meet some of your data needs with this Twigby Mobile plan, but heavier users will hit that 10GB cap pretty quickly.

Alternative picks

Are you just not that into him (him being Twigby Mobile)? Well here are some similar plans from the competition.

Unlimited talk and text plans with at least 8GB of data

Tello: Best low-data plan

If you don’t need data, you can get a decent cell phone plan for under $10 a month.
Pros
  • Cheap unlimited talk and text
  • Free international texting
Cons
  • Weaker network performance

What we like

If you’re asking yourself, “Are there any cell phone plans without data, like the one I had back 2002?” then the answer is.. almost. Say hello to Tello's 1GB data plan. As its name suggests, the 1GB plan comes with just 1GB of data for $9/month. But if you want absolutely zero data, you can get unlimited talk and text for only $8/month. And customers who use less than 100 minutes a month can even get a plan as low as $5/month.

Cheap unlimited talk and text

You’re reading this article because you want a cell phone plan that clocks in below $30. But what if you could get one that costs less than $10 a month? You could save that extra $20 and get a Netflix and a Disney+ subscription.

For $9 a month, Tello offers unlimited talk and text, 1GB of data, and free international texting to over 60 countries.

This is a perfect plan for your tween who just needs a phone to coordinate rides to birthday parties and soccer practice and enough data for emergencies. Just tell them to get good at connecting to those Wi-Fi networks if they want more data!

What we don’t like

It’s hard to be nitpicky about a $9 plan, but we’re going to do it anyway because that’s our job.

Weaker network performance

Tello runs on T-Mobile’s network. That means you’ll get great service in most metropolitan areas, but once you leave the concrete jungle, you might run into some issues. Take a look at those gaps in the Western half of the country.

So if you’re a city dweller through and through, you shouldn’t have any issues with T-Mobile. But if you live in a small town or just like to go on epic outdoor adventures, you might want to check out Verizon or one of the MVNOs that run on its network.

Alternative picks

If you don’t love Tello for whatever reason, don’t worry. There are literally (but not literally) a million other options out there for dirt-cheap talk and text-only plans. Check them out.

Talk and text only cell phone plans

Recap: Cheap phone plans for all kinds of users

There’s no shortage of $20–$30 cell phone plans out there. You want one with tons of data? No problem. You want rural network coverage? Check. No need to settle for less.

Here’s a recap of our favorite cell phone plans under $30.

  • Best value: Mint Mobile’s 20GB Plan
  • Best unlimited data plan: Visible Wireless’s $25 Plan
  • Best network coverage: Twigby Mobile’s 10GB plan
  • Best low-data plan: Tello's $9 Plan

If we missed your favorite cheap cell phone plan in our review, let us know in the comments section. Or, if you want even cheaper plan options, check out our breakdown of the best cell phone plans under $20.

FAQ

Q: Which phone company has the cheapest unlimited plan?

If you came here because you want to know who has the least expensive cell phone plan, then you may not have found the answer above. The answer is … complicated.

The absolute cheapest cell phone plan is probably one of these $0 a month, pay-as-you-go plans. But most people will want something more than what these plans offer.

Very cheap cell phone plan comparison

Companies like Twigby Mobile, Good2Go, and GreatCall offer really cheap talk and text plans. 

Sources:

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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