Tired of overpaying for phone plans that include data and calls you never use? If you’re looking for an affordable plan that suits your needs, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best budget-friendly cell phone plans in the US. Whether you require a plan with limited data, high-speed data, or unlimited data, we’ve got you covered.
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Best Limited Data Plans
If you have Wi-Fi access at home, work, and school, and you don’t use much data when you’re on the go, consider switching to a limited data plan to save money.
1 GB Data | $8.33/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
If you’re largely on Wi-Fi, H2O Wireless’s 12-month plan could be an ideal choice. Opting for this plan requires a $100 upfront payment, which averages to $8.33 per month for 12 months of service. The package includes unlimited talk time, unlimited texting, 1 GB of high-speed data, and free use of your data for a mobile hotspot.
Wondering what you can do with 1GB of data? Well, it suffices for approximately one hour and 20 minutes of standard definition video, sending or receiving about 1000 emails, or exchanging over 1.5 million WhatsApp text messages.
If you exceed your monthly 1GB data limit, you will still have access to unlimited data, but at slower speeds. Additionally, you can always purchase high-speed data: 2 GB for $10 or 5 GB for $20.
2 GB Data | $10.99/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
TextNow started as one of the many voice over internet protocol (VoIP) apps that allowed you to make calls and send texts to people for free over Wi-Fi. Now, it has evolved into an MVNO running on T-Mobile’s network – which means you can access to 5G network at a low cost with it.
If you’re looking for an economical phone plan for your backup phone, TextNow is worth considering. For a mere $10.99 a month, you can enjoy 2 GB of high-speed data. Upon reaching your data limit within your billing cycle, the company will reduce you to 2G speeds. So you can continue to surf the Internet, at a reduced pace.
As with the H2O Wireless plan, TextNow’s plan offers unlimited domestic calls and text. For those who need to make international calls, TextNow also offers competitive international calling rates.
1 GB Data | $10/month | Unlimited Talks & Text
5 GB Data | $19/month | Unlimited Talks & Text
If you don’t use much data, the Tello Economy plan might be an excellent choice. You can choose between the 1GB plan priced at $10 per month or the 5 GB plan available for $19 monthly.
All of Tello’s plans come with unlimited talk time and text, and you can enjoy free calls and texts to over 60 countries if you wish to call your family and friends abroad. Whichever plan you choose, Tello offers unlimited 2G data, meaning that once you reach your data cap, your speed will be limited instead of running out of data. Additionally, Tello data plans allocate the same amount of data for hotspot use.
With Tello Economy plans, you can go month to month and there is no contract bind. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan to adapt to your data needs at any time. Tello does not impose any additional fees on its plans, although you can expect to pay taxes based on your state and local jurisdiction, which can be viewed on your checkout page.
500 MB Data | $5/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
Hello Mobile also offers the most cost-effective unlimited talk and text plan, and it even includes the perk of international calls to a selection of countries.
This plan provides a modest 500 MB of 4G LTE/5G data. Beyond this data cap, you will be without data until the start of your next cycle, instead of simply being limited on speeds. It’s worth noting that hotspot data is not included in this plan.
Hello Mobile is currently running a “Buy 1 Get 1” promotion – when you sign up and pay for your first month of service, you get your second month of service at no cost.
5 GB | $15/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that runs on T-Mobile’s 5G network. All Mint plans come with unlimited talk and text, high-speed 5G or 4G LTE data, and free mobile hotspot capabilities. Calls to Mexico and Canada are included at no extra cost, and the rates for international calls to over 160 countries are highly affordable.
Similar to other services we mentioned earlier, Mint also provides unlimited low-speed data. So, even if you’ve reached your 5 GB data limit and have a few days left on your plan, you can still access data at reduced speeds. While this may not be sufficient for streaming movies, it should be adequate for checking emails.
Currently, Mint is offering a promotional deal where all plans are discounted to $15 for the initial three months. After this initial period, the renewal cost for each plan will differ. For instance, the 5 GB data plan stands at $15 per month for a 12-month cycle, with the 15 GB, 20 GB, and unlimited data plans priced at $20, $25, and $30 respectively. You can renew your plan on a 3, 6, or 12-month basis, with longer cycles yielding a lower monthly cost. Additionally, Mint also offers the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade your plans based on your changing needs.
3.5 GB Data | $15/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
If you prefer a cell phone plan from a big name carrier, consider T-Mobile‘s offering, which includes 3.5 GB of data, unlimited domestic talk time, and text for just $15 a month. This plan also features an Annual Data Upgrade, providing an additional 500MB of data per month until March 2025. It’s the first T-Mobile wireless plan that automatically increases data allowances every year, up to a maximum of 4.5 GB per month.
If you deplete your 3.5 GB of data before your billing cycle resets, your data speed will be reduced. However, you can still have internet access to emails, WhatsApp, etc.
It’s important to note that this T-Mobile plan does not include free international calls, but you can enhance your plan with unlimited calling and text to Mexico and Canada for an additional $5 per month or by paying an extra $15 to obtain unlimited calling to mobile lines in over 30 countries and landlines in over 70 countries.
Best No-data Plans
If you find that you don’t need data and you’re looking to reduce your phone bill expenses, consider signing up for a cost-effective talk-and-text package.
Free Unlimited Talk & Text
If you don’t need data, we’d recommend TextNow as an ideal option. TextNow offers a free plan that gives you unlimited talk time and text to the USA and Canada, priced at $0. To take advantage of this plan, you can download TextNow’s app and sign up for the service for free – which lets you make free calls and text to others over Wi-Fi. If you’d like to make calls without the need for Wi-Fi, you can get a TextNow SIM card kit for $4.99. This enables you to enjoy unlimited calling and texting over TextNow’s Nationwide Network.
However, as expected, this free plan does not include data, so you won’t be able to access services like Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. If you need data, you can upgrade to TextNow’s data plan with 1 GB of high-speed mobile data for $9 per month, while the unlimited data plan starts at $19.99 per month.
Another thing you might want to know is that all your calls and texts will be made from the TextNow app. If you opt for the free plan, you should be aware that ads are displayed in the app, which is how the service can provide free calling and texting. Some users have reported the ad issue and if you would like to remove them, consider upgrading to a paid plan which will either reduce in-app ads or remove them entirely, depending on the plan you select.
$5/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
This H2O Wireless no-data plan is also a decent choice for anyone looking for an affordable call-and-text-only plan. It’s an annual plan, so you’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $60 upfront, which allows you to enjoy unlimited talk and text for one year.
After purchasing the plan, you still have the flexibility to add additional add-ons as needed. For instance, you can add high-speed data to your plan cycle, with 2 GB available for $10 or 5 GB for $20. If you need to make international calls, you can purchase a $5 or $10 add-on if you exceed your international talk credit.
US Mobile Kosher Plan
$7.5/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
US Mobile also offers an affordable no-data plan priced at $7.5 per month, including taxes and fees. With this plan, you can enjoy unlimited talk time and texting.
If you require data, you have the option to add data top-ups, although they come at a slightly higher rate: 500 MB for $5, 2 GB for $10, and 6 GB for $20.
Cheapest Unlimited Data Plans
If you don’t have easy access to Wi-Fi, or you enjoy streaming video over mobile data, an unlimited data plan might be what you need. We’ve found a list of the most affordable unlimited data plans for you.
Unlimited Data | $25/ month | Unlimited Talk & Text
50 GB Premium Data | $45/month | Unlimited Talk & Text
Visible operates on Verizon’s renowned network, offering two plans with unlimited talk, text, and data. With both plans, you can also enjoy unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico when you’re in the US, as well as international calling to over 30 countries. However, the Visible+ plan allows you to make up to 500 international minutes of calls per month at no extra cost.
While both plans provide unlimited data, the Visible+ plan offers an impressive 50 GB of premium data. (According to Visible, premium data ensures no data slowdowns due to prioritization.) After utilizing 50 GB of data before your next billing cycle, your data may temporarily slow down during peak traffic times compared to other traffic. Additionally, this plan allows you to use your phone as a hotspot at speeds of up to 5 Mbps, with no data limits on your hotspot usage. This means you can freely stream wherever you are.
Currently, the service is offering a discount to new members of the Visible+ plan. You can use the promo code “35FOR6” to receive a $10 per month discount off the standard Visible+ service cost for the first 6 months of service. After that, standard service costs will apply, starting with the 7th month.
30GB High Speed Data | $25/month
The US Mobile Unlimited Starter plan gives you unlimited talk, text, and 30 GB of high-speed data. After exceeding 30 GB of high-speed data, your data speeds will be reduced to 1Mbps for the rest of the month. The service includes unlimited talk to the US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as unlimited calling to 200+ destinations on their GSM 5G network.
The Unlimited Starter plan also offers 5 GB of hotspot data. If you need more premium data and hotspot data, you can opt for the US Mobile’s Unlimited Essentials plan- priced at $40 per month, which provides you with 50 GB premium data and 10 GB hotspot data. Alternatively, you can choose the Unlimited Premium plan, which costs $50 per month and grants you 100 GB of premium data and 50 GB of hotspot data.
Currently, if you are a new customer to this service and want a new number, US Mobile is offering a 50% discount on the Unlimited Starter plan for the first month. After that, the plan will cost you $25 a month. If you are a new customer and wish to transfer your existing number to this service, you are eligible for a 50-day free trial.
40GB High Speed Data | $30/month
Another plan we recommend is Mint Mobile‘s $30 plan. This plan includes unlimited talk and text, as well as free calling to Mexico and Canada. It also offers 40 GB of high-speed data. However, after reaching the data cap, data speeds will be reduced. You can also utilize up to 10 GB of your monthly data for mobile hotspots.
Mint is currently running a promotion for new customers, allowing you to try its Unlimited data plan for three months at the price of $15 per month. After three months, you can choose to renew your plan on a three, six, or twelve-month basis, with longer cycles resulting in a lower monthly cost. If the plan doesn’t suit your needs, you have the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade your plan later.
Hopefully, this guide has shed light on some of the best, affordable phone plan options to consider. Whether you opt for a limited data plan, a no-data plan, or an unlimited data plan, the best plan is always the one that aligns with your needs. Feel free to share your experiences with these plans or recommend others that we might have missed.