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Cheapest Unlimited Phone Plans
The average price of cell phone plans has been trending downward for over a decade1, but if you ask us, they’re still not cheap enough. But certain carriers, like Mint Mobile for example, are offering some pretty amazingly cheap deals.
We’ve highlighted the best of the cheapest cell phone plans for all kinds of users. That way, you can find a plan that’s perfect for you and your wallet.
Before we talk about the details of each plan, here’s a look at how they compare side-by-side. (Note: We haven’t included US Mobile’s unlimited talk and text plan in this comparison because it’s on a totally different tier and it doesn’t come with any mobile data.)
Mint Mobile: Best value
What we like
The cheapest unlimited data plan available right now is Mint Mobile's $30 Unlimited Plan. Mint Mobile undercuts the competition significantly (like by $10 or more every month) and is easily the best value unlimited plan right now in the wireless world.
In case you're curious, here's how the cheapest unlimited data plans rank right now. You'll see that nobody is particularly close to Mint Mobile in terms of price right now for unlimited data.
What we don't like
Usually if something is cheaper than the competition, there's usually a catch. Mint Mobile does have a catch, but it's not such a big negative that we wouldn't recommend the plan. Deprioritization is baggage that comes with all Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) providers. Basically, if you're on an MVNO provider, like Mint Mobile, your data speeds can become throttled in congested areas and during peak-usage periods.
The problem with Mint Mobile is that it isn't owned by a major network. Visible Wireless, for example, is owned by Verizon, which means it will get preferential treatment over other MVNOs on Verizon's network. Mint Mobile doesn't have any strong connections to the major networks, so expect it to be even more deprioritized than your average MVNO.
Visible Wireless $40 Unlimited Plan: Best network
What we like
Visible Wireless’s $40 unlimited plan isn’t quite as cheap as Mint Mobile, but it makes up for it with awesome coverage. Here’s what we love about it.
Operates on Verizon’s network
What’s the point of an unlimited plan if you don’t have enough bars to call your aunt Baru on her birthday or play Pokémon GO on your afternoon stroll? That’s right, there is no point at all. So get yourself on a network that provides good coverage in your area.
For most people, Verizon’s network will provide the best coverage. And, while it still lags behind other carriers, its data speeds are still pretty darn fast. Visible Wireless runs on Verizon’s network (and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than Verizon itself).
But don’t take our word for it. Check out Verizon’s coverage in your area using this interactive map.
Unlimited talk, text, and data
Visible Wireless’s plan (they only offer one) will give you unlimited talk, text, and data. There are no caps, so go ahead and stream Tiger King on your layover or play some PUBG Mobile while you’re on the bus.
Unfortunately, Visible doesn’t give you any mobile hotspot data (if that’s a dealbreaker, check out these great hotspot plans).
Great deals on extra lines
When you add extra lines to your Visible Wireless plan, it’s not called a family plan. It’s called Party Pay. That’s right, this is a party, and you can invite whoever you want: friends, coworkers, ex boyfriends, roommates.
When you add lines with Party Pay your own bill will go down. For example, once you’ve got four lines on your plan it will be just $100 a month, or $25 per line. That’s a wildly good deal for an unlimited data plan!
What we don’t like
We’re pretty impressed with Visible Wireless, but that doesn’t make us blind to its flaws. Here are a few of the less desirable features of the plan.
Limited phone selection
Visible has done a lot to improve its phone selection in the last few years. But there are still a few compatibility issues, especially with older phones. So, if you’re still rocking an iPhone 5 then you might need to find another carrier (or just upgrade your device).
It’s not just the Sprint Unlimited Kickstart plan. Visible customers can also experience deprioritization (in fact, all of the cheapest unlimited mobile plans can be deprioritized). So, if you need a plan with reliably super-fast data speeds, you might want to look elsewhere.
But for most of us, a little data slowdown during rush hour or when we’re out on a Friday night won’t be catastrophic.
If Visible isn’t banging on all cylinders for you, then you might want to check out other carriers that use Verizon’s network. Some of them have cheaper, non-unlimited-data plans to offer.
T-Mobile Essentials 55+: Best for seniors
What we like
Senior discounts aren’t just for greasy spoon diners and auto insurance. In fact, you don’t even have to be an official senior to get a discount from T-Mobile. The company’s Essentials unlimited data plan is just $40 a month for anyone 55 or older.
This plan comes with solid service and quite a few perks. Let’s talk details.
Unlimited talk, text, and data without caps
As with the other plans on this list, Essentials will get you unlimited talk, text, and data. Your mobile data won’t have any hard caps.
But, unlike other cheap unlimited data plans, this one does come with some hotspot data, 3 GB of it to be exact. While that’s not a boatload of data, it’s enough for doing a few hours of work on your laptop when you’re traveling.
T-Mobile’s network fluctuates in the coverage and data speeds rankings. It used to be one of the largest and fastest networks, until it was overtaken by AT&T and Verizon. But there’s likely another shakeup coming.
Since their merger, T-Mobile has started absorbing Sprint’s customers and network infrastructure. This will mean a larger, more robust network and additional resources for expansion. You can expect T-Mobile to be a major contender in coming years, especially in the rollout of 5G.
And, by the way, the company’s network is actually quite good already. Here’s a look at its coverage map.
The hotspot data isn’t the only perk this plan offers.
You’ll also get unlimited talk, text, and data (at 2G speeds) if you travel to Mexico or Canada. T-Mobile will help you break up with your old carrier by covering remaining phone payments and paying up to $350 of your early termination fee. And with T-Mobile Tuesdays you can get giveaways like concert tickets.
What we don’t like
If you qualify for this 55+ Essentials plan then there aren’t many drawbacks to worry about. The main one is the risk of deprioritization.
As with the other two plans on this list, T-Mobile’s Essentials plan comes with a risk that your data will be slowed down when the network is congested. This shouldn’t affect you most of the time, but be prepared to have choppy streams and slow uploads when you’re on a crowded city street or at a sports game.
While this plan is a great deal for those who want one of the best cheap unlimited data plans, it’s definitely not the only game in town for seniors. Here’s a look at some other senior-focused unlimited data plans.
Cheap senior-focused unlimited data plan comparison
US Mobile: Best unlimited talk and text plan
What we like
Although many of us use the term “unlimited plan” to mean “unlimited data plan,” there are plans without data. And they’re very affordable.
This unlimited talk and text plan runs on two of the nation’s best networks and is dirt-cheap (fine, you might not pay $7 for dirt, but you know what we mean). Let’s take a closer look.
Unlimited talk and text
You don’t have to count your texts or worry about using up your anytime minutes with this plan. You’ll get unlimited talk and text on either T-Mobile or Verizon’s network (depending on what kind of device you have).
There’s "10% off" cheap, then there’s "sale bin at the front of the store" cheap. This plan from US Mobile is the latter. At $7 a month, this plan is cheaper than a Netflix subscription.
What we don’t like
The problem with this plan is kind of obvious: there’s no mobile data.
No mobile data
It’s harder than ever to live in the world without having mobile data. You can’t hail an Uber or look up directions on Google Maps. You can’t follow the latest news or your friends Instagram account.
With this US Mobile plan, you’ll be completely data-less. But if you think you can live without data, then more power to you (and more money in your pocket).
There are plenty of other low-cost unlimited talk and text plans on the market. Here’s a look at some of the other cheapest ones.
Cheapest talk and text plans
Recap: Which cheap unlimited plan is right for you
You can save money and still get (most of) what you want. So don’t settle for a second-rate discount carrier before you’ve considered these plans.
- Best value: Mint Mobile's $30 Unlimited Plan is the best value deal for unlimited data you can find. It's the cheapest way to get unlimited data right now.
- Best coverage: Visible Wireless’s $40 Unlimited Plan is the best way to get on Verizon’s top-tier network without paying an arm and a leg. And your price will go down if you decide to add extra lines.
- Best for seniors: T-Mobile’s Essentials 55+ plan is an amazing deal for those who qualify. The plan offers useful perks, like mobile hotspot data and T-Mobile Tuesday giveaways.
- Best unlimited talk and text plan: US Mobile’s Unlimited Talk and Text plan is just $7 a month. What more do we really need to say? If you don’t need mobile data, then this is the perfect way to get connected for cheap.