Ring Ring Cha-Ching — We Compare 8 Cell Phone Plans by Cost & Features

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Ready to phone it in on confusing cell provider plans?

Shopping for cell phone plans can turn into hours of research of what each plan includes, the terms, features, and of course, the cost! While no one loves to do it, it can cost you in the long run if you don’t know exactly what your plan provides (and your kiddos go well beyond your allotted data!) 😱

But never fear! We’ve compiled eight popular wireless phone carriers with their advertised plans, along with a breakdown of their features. Please note that this information is subject to change due to promotions, price increases, or modified terms and conditions.

cell phone plan comparison chart printable

For an expanded view, or to download this as a PDF, click here for your convenience.

Let us break it down a bit…

We get it — there’s a lot of information in the chart. So for a quick frame of reference, we picked out some of the best plans for different scenarios:

Bare bones plan: metroPCS 2GB Data plan

This set data plan is only $30 with taxes included, unlimited talk & text, 2GB of data, mobile hotspot capability, and no contract. It’s perfect for anyone who prefers minimal fuss and no bells & whistles! The plan also features Scam ID so receivers will know if an incoming call is from a known scammer — perfect for those searching for a plan for elderly parents or grandparents!

Best perks: Boost Mobile Ultimate Unlimited

This plan does come at a price ($80 for a single line down to $64/member with 5 lines) but it’s unbeatable when it comes to all the extras. To start, you get unlimited talk, text, & data, no fuss pricing with taxes and fees included, HD-quality streaming, access in Mexico & Canada, and mobile hotspot capability, all without having to sign an annual contract. On top of that, your plan grants you access to International Connect, a TIDAL Premium subscription, and priority customer care. Oh, and if not everyone on your plan needs all these features, you can mix and match with other unlimited plans offered by Boost.

Best value: Cricket Unlimited

Ringing in at only $25 a person when you have either 4 or 5 lines with taxes included, this plan is a steal! You and the other members on the plan will get unlimited talk, text, and data without having to sign an annual contract along with text and talk to Mexico & Canada.

Most expensive: Verizon AboveUnlimited

As a single user of this plan, you’ll be paying $100 not including taxes and smartphone access fees. You’ll get the best of the best with unlimited talk, text, & LTE data, along with HD-quality streaming and the ability to use your plan internationally. You’ll also be able to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot and have 500GB of Verizon cloud storage. It’s a pretty full-featured plan benefiting those who travel internationally frequently, though it comes at a hefty price so you’re better off rounding up some more members to bring down the cost of the plan.

Up Next: Why I Upgraded My Cell Phone at Costco

Join The Discussion

Comments 55

  1. Kristine

    I don’t know if this is a nation-wide deal, but we have Metro PCS 4 lines for $100 unlimited data, text and talk. It runs on the T-Mobile network (which owns Metro). Don’t believe it includes tethering, but if you don’t need it, it’s a good deal.

  2. Staci

    I live in a rural area in the midwest so we are a little bit limited on options. My husband and I each have a pre-paid plan from US Cellular and pay $76 between the two of us for unlimited calling 2gigs of data (after that it slows down but not shut off). It’s the best deal we could find.

  3. Nat

    We had Verizon for almost 6 years and about 8 years ago switched to Metro Pcs. We are very happy with Metro, very affordable price.

  4. Denise

    Love total wireless! My teenage son and I both use and we pay 60 dollars a month. You can set up automatic payments on your credit card if you don’t want to go into Walmart every month to add card. I believe it’s 8 gb unlimited text talk and web for both of us and we never go over. (He’s always on his phone) total wireless is Verizon towers so we get great reception

    • deb

      Do you know if it is all the Verizon towers or just a limited area?

    • Redgoldfish

      $60 each, or $60 for both together?

    • Heidi Smith

      My family also has Total Wireless. I believe they only use Verizon towers. There are (3) iPhone users on our plan that share 20GB data each month and we pay a TOTAL of $88.00 – tax included. No contract and I have auto pay set up so there is never an interruption in service and I don’t have to do a thing. If we would happen to go over our data (which we never do) then it will not charge anything extra – it just goes to a slower speed unless you choose to purchase more data for a few bucks to get you through the month.

      • PAige

        We also use Total wireless. 3 lines for $88 a month. WE have been very happy with their service.

  5. Grandma Cathy

    I have Xfinity mobile. Uses Verizon towers. Unlimited everything on one line $45. You must have Xfinity TV to get it.

  6. Denise

    From my understanding it’s all Verizon

  7. Brian Puhalsky

    Very comprehensive comparison. Thank you!!

  8. JulieL

    I use Ting, where you pay for what you use, and my bill has never been higher than $25 per phone. It’s not unlimited data, but since I typically use my phone for iMessage, emails and phone calls that wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I have a teenage son, though, and he still hasn’t gone over $25.

  9. Taylor S

    Idk if you’ve posted about it, but Sprint currently offers new members a year of unlimited free when you bring your own device!

  10. brenw

    We’re on Ting also and love it. You can go online and set up limits where it will either cut off or send an alert (text or email) that you’re nearing that limit. We have two people on it right now and never pay more than $40 total. When one Virgin Mobile $1 contract expires we’ll be moving a 3rd person on as well. The best part is customer service. I’ve only had to call a few times (during porting) but they answer the phone pretty quickly and it’s a person right away.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That sounds like a great deal, especially if the customer service is helpful! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Kristi

    We have been using republic wireless for years and really enjoy it. We choose not to pay for data services and only for call and text which is $18/ mo. Most places now offer free internet anyway. We also bought our phones during promotion.

    • Kathy

      yes! I only recently bought data…. it’s possible to have a phone without data with all the WiFi available!

    • Maria

      We love Republic! Have been a client with the first roll out of the plan years ago. We always recommend Republic and would not change a thing.

      • DANIELLE

        I also recommend Republic Wireless.

  12. ssbutterfly01

    If you are 55+ you can sign up for a single plan on T-Mobile for unlimited talk/text/data for $50 a month (no extra fees as long as you sign up for auto-pay). Or you can do 2 lines under this plan for $70 a month. My mom and I are on a package plan and save so much with this. Details here: https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/t-mobile-one-unlimited-55

    • ssbutterfly01

      As a follow-up, we buy unlocked phones for our plans so we’re not spending $700 on one phone.

  13. J. Sweet

    We have comcast/xfinity for our internet service. they also offer mobile/cell service to their internet customers. If you are ok with not using data (surfing the internet, sending pictures, etc. . ) (until you have wifi), you can have unlimited call/text for the low price of just the monthly taxes. ($1.50 for us in Oregon) My son (who will be in college in Sept.) and I use this plan. So, $3 a month for the two of us to have unlimited call/text per month!!

    • Mamamia


    • Jill

      Thank you so much for sharing this!! We also have comcast internet but had no idea it also included mobile/cell service. We will definitely be checking this out.

    • Paulina

      We have Xfinity mobile too and love it! We only pay the taxes as well and they use Verizon towers so the service is excellent! We only use Wi-Fi unless really needed we use the data.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Whoa, that’s a seriously steal! Thanks for the heads up!

  14. Redgoldfish

    I have Cricket Wireless and love it. I pay $100/month for five lines, which is $20 each (no longer available, but we are grandfathered in). I share with a few households (relatives), one of who is billed and everyone else set up automatic Chase QuickPay so she doesn’t pay out of her own pocket for us. It includes unlimited talk and text, and 5 gb of data, after which data is still available but at a bit slower speed. It’s on the AT&T network.

    • JA

      We have the same exact plan and I love it. I would highly recommend them.

      • Rosa

        I have that same plan too and we love it!

  15. Kathy

    I’ve used Republic for years and am so pleased. My bill is $23 a month and my husband’s is half that because he’s a teacher. win win!!

  16. HBee

    Due to circumstances I cannot control, our family uses Republic Wireless, Ting & Consumer Cellular. Republic is for hubs and I- I have unlimited voice/text with no data for about $18/mo, and hubs $30/mo with 3 gigs data. Daughter is on Ting (pay as you go) no data (usually) for around $17/mo. My Mom is on Consumer Cellular unlimited talk for $18/mo. Consumer has the best on the phone customer service and would recommend for a person wanting a simple phone plan. I usually can find WiFi when I am running out and about and do not miss data.

  17. Lana

    I realize that we could have a lower bill by switching from AT&T but having to replace our paid for phones does not make it cost effective. We have checked many plans and our phones are not eligible so we carry on where we are.

    • Redgoldfish

      Cricket should be able to work on your phones.

  18. ThriftyChristy

    I pay $5 a month for my teen’s plan through Tello. He has unlimited texting and 100 minutes a month. It’s an a la cartel plan so you pay for how much data, texting, and minutes you want. Can’t beat that price!!

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You aren’t kidding! $5 a month and having the ability to pay for only what you need sounds like a great plan!

  19. Gigi

    If at least one of you is 55 or older, then T-Mobile is 30 per line per month for unlimited everything (autopay). They also paid off the rest of my Iphone 7 last summer for switching over- about $700. (I don’t know if they’re still offering that.) The t-mobile Tuesday offers are a nice little perk too.

  20. Sunny

    I have Google’s Project Fi service. Leaves all of the rest in the dust. $20 for text and calls. $10 per Gig of data. Charged for 2 GB every month but refunded if you do not use. Google will also let you shop from their store for a phone and pay it off over a year. I used to spend an easy $60 a month at Sprint and ATT, now hardly ever break $50 even when i am paying off a phone. Also have a family can sign up for a 4 line plan that is very economical.

    • Libby

      we just switched to Google project file. we were ready googleheads and our bill went from $98 on ATT to 40-50 and WiFi calling when I don’t have service thst I didn’t have on my iPhone

    • Libby

      sorry for the typos- I have a baby in my arms ❤️

    • AJ

      I concur with Google Fi. It also works in 170+ countries of you’re a world traveler. I’ve used it in 12 different countries with no issues.

    • Paulina

      Doesn’t leave Xfinity mobile in the dust no!

  21. Rebecca

    We have had Metro for several years & it’s $50 total for hubby & myself. 2GB a piece is plenty for us, we use the WiFi at home & aren’t on our phones a ton when we’re out & about (or at work!).

  22. DJ

    Cell phone bills are too high. We have Sprint. We are looking forward to the end of our contract. We will also be removing son from the plan. He has no clue 😝.

  23. Jessica

    I’ll stick with my $18.xx a month Republic Wireless plan. As a SAHM it’s a great deal, don’t need the data on my phone, just use our wifi. Been with RW since 2014, and has been a great decision!

  24. Tina

    Thanks, this was really helpful. Changed my plan to get more data for less money!

  25. J

    I’ve had Verizon since I got my 1st cell phone 15 or so yrs ago. I recently switched to Cricket (me, my mom, dad, and gma) I brought my smart phone from V to C, everyone else got their 1st smart phone – LG $80, kept all of our #’s. I’m saving over a $100 a month (keep in mind w/ Verizon I was the only one with data/smart phone, now we all have it) It’s been almost 2 months, so far we all love it, my parents are traveling and haven’t lost service (in the mountains, and S Or) Cricket is $100 total, (includes taxes) for all 4, unlimited everything

  26. Mruss

    Boost mobile has great deals if you’re watching, we got a family plan of 5 lines for $100! Unlimited talk, text, data, & hotspot! We got 3 free new smartphones (could have gotten all 5 but 2 of my kids wanted to keep the iphones they already had), 3 cases and a Bluetooth speaker! Runs on the Sprint and has been great!

  27. Tony Ruehle

    We use Walmart family mobile prepaid…no contract, with 3 gigs of data (slowed down after, but not stopped) 2 lines for years for only 60 bucks per month. We love it, no issues, what’s not to like? They use T-Mobile towers…

  28. Keona

    My husband and I recently switched to Xfinity mobile, and other than a few bumps initially, it has worked out. It runs on the Verizon network but without access fees. We pay 12.99 per GB. Our largest bill for two phones was about 45 dollars.

  29. just me

    We use older iphones and have limited plans on tracfone for only $12 a month. I’m going to have to look into that Tello for my kiddos. $5 a month is a steal! I thought $12 a month per phone wasn’t bad but that price is Amazing

  30. SJ

    Any chance you would do a similar post on Cable TV/Internet bundle plans (do not need phone)?


  31. Ruthie

    I have Straight Talk unlimited talk & text for $45 plus tax per month. It uses Verizon or AT&T towers depending on the phone.

  32. Gigi

    This may just be a breakdown for the best plans but what I would like to know are what the connections are like for each plan.

    Location is the main key. One plan may have great connection in an area and suck in a different area.

  33. Nessa

    I pay $5 a month for Tello with unlimited texts and 100 min a month. You can go up in plans and pay what you need. I love it!
    Plus use my referral P36BVG31 and you get $10 off!! 🙂

  34. Shaun

    I had metro PC’s for about 2 years and my honest experience with them is they were good for about 6-8 months then I had drop calls, people were trying to call me and it wasn’t going through, I would text or received a text and then it wouldn’t go through until the next day or days. I now have cricket wireless for about 5 years now and I absolutely love their overall service the only downside with them is there selection of phones is limited but you call always get a unlock phone that accepts the carrier. The 5 lines for $100 is awesome or you can get the unlimited everything for 4 lines for $100. I will be with cricket wireless for a very long time unless there are some major changes due to their plan or some kind of signal problem which I doubt because there bandwidth is by AT&T which is a solid company.

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