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Best Cell Phone Plans of 2023
We review the best cell phone plans on the market, with a pick for best performance, value, coverage, family plan deal, and cheap pricing.
Here's the low-down for the best cell phone plans so far in 2023:
- Mint Mobile's $30/mo. unlimited plan the best overall deal for budget plans.
- Xfinity Mobile gives you surprisingly good discounts if you bundle your cell phone plan and TV together.
- Spectrum Mobile's plans offers affordable unlimited data or by-the-gig cell phone plans, but only for Spectrum Internet customers.
- Visible is like budget Verizon in that you get awesome coverage for only $45/mo. (which is cheaper than any unlimited plan from Verizon)
- New Boost Mobile customers can get unlimited data for $12.50/mo. for the first month of service, and then $25/mo. after that.
Quick guide to this article:
- Guide for choosing a cell phone plan
- Mint Mobile: Best budget option
- Xfinity Mobile: Best bundle deal (for Xfinity customers)
- Spectrum Mobile: Best bundle deal (for Spectrum customers)
- Visible: Best coverage (and an amazing deal)
- Boost Mobile: Best deal for new customers
- US Mobile: Best family plan deal
- T-Mobile: Best overall performance
Our plan pick
Plan price (1 line)
|Best deal for new customers||Unlimited 5G/4G LTE Data, Talk, & Text||$25/mo.||View Plan|
|Budget plan||Unlimited Data Plan||$30/mo.||View Plan|
|Coverage||$30 Unlimited Plan||$30/mo.||View Plan|
|Best bundle alternative||Unlimited Plus Data Option||$39.99/mo.||View Plan|
|Bundling with internet||Unlimited Plan||$45/mo.||View Plan|
|Best family plan||Unlimited Basic||$80/mo. |
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
What to look for in a cell phone plan
Entering into a cell phone plan is a lot like entering into a relationship. The more you know before committing, the better. Here's some quick tips of what to look for in a cell phone plan.
- Know how much data you need: It's essential to know how much data you need as many carriers will base their plans on this figure. Not everyone needs an unlimited data plan, so don't overpay for what you don't need. Read our handy guide to see how much high-speed data you actually need.
- Compare prices: With so many options available, we want to make sure you get the best price for your needs. Use the price-comparison tools, like the charts in this review, to make sure you’re getting the best cell phone deal available.
- Watch out for extra fees: Not all cell phone plans are straightforward. Many, especially the cheaper plans, have plenty of devils in the details (like data slowdowns and price increases). We've highlighted some of those details to help you out in your search.
- Make sure your area is covered: Not all mobile providers have stellar service in every part of the US. So to avoid having to sit by the window and wait for bars to appear, check out our coverage maps in this review or read our cell phone coverage guide to see which cell phone service gives you the best coverage.
- Mobile hotspot: Like taking your laptop and working on the beach? Have a demanding toddler that wants to watch YouTube Kids on their iPad during road trips? Mobile hotspot lets you take a Wi-Fi connection just about anywhere.
- International, traveling, and roaming data: If you spend a lot of time abroad, make sure you have a data plan that travels with you.
- Free smartphones and free streaming subscriptions: As a general rule of thumb, if you're switching to a new carrier, make sure they give you a new phone for free in the process. Bonus points if you can get a free streaming subscription out of the deal, like Disney+ with Verizon.
- Family plans: If you plan on paying for multiple cel phone plans, make sure you're getting a discounted family plan. US Mobile currently has our favorite family plan discount.
All right, let’s talk plans, beginning with the most powerful.
Mint Mobile: Best budget unlimited data plan
What we like
Mint offers cell phone plans that are cheap in the good way: it has a super low price tag while still offering all the basics, unlimited talk, text, and data. (And usually sweet deals for new customers).
Here’s what we love about the budget-friendly Mint Mobile unlimited data plan.
Mint’s $30 unlimited data plan no longer holds the championship belt for cheapest unlimited plan (carriers like Ting and Tello recently undercut Mint's pricing). That being said, Mint Mobile still offers a killer bargain when you consider its network and high data caps.
Mint uses T-Mobile’s network
T-Mobile currently has the largest 5G network and the fastest data speeds. As a Mint Mobile customer, you get access to that 5G network for a fraction of what it should cost.
While Mint users won’t get premium treatment (your speeds will slow down before T-Mobile customers see any changes), you will get full use of T-Mobile’s 4G and 5G networks. That means Mint customers should see better data speeds than many other customers on discount plans.
High data cap
Mint Mobile gives its user a 40GB data cap, which equates to over 35 hours of streaming content on YouTube or Netflix (on standard definition). Most cheap unlimited plans give you data caps between 15GB and 20GB every month, and throttle your speeds once you pass that point. It's nice to see an affordable MVNO that doesn't screw you over with a low data cap.
What we don’t like
Obviously, Mint has cut some corners somewhere to get its price down this low. Here’s what we don’t love so much about this unlimited data plan and why you might want to reconsider.
Price hike after 3 months
We don't love that Mint Mobile recently restructured its payment structure a bit, increasing plan prices after three months by $5–$10 for its three-month and six-month plans. You can avoid the price hike by paying for 12-month plan upfront and locking in the same $30/month price.
The biggest drawback to going with Mint (or any prepaid carrier for that matter) is that your data will be deprioritized. That’s just a technical way of saying that when the network is busy, your data speeds will be slowed down (so that the parent network, T-Mobile, can keep its own customers/favorite children at full speed).
Deprioritization is a wily issue to have. You never know quite how much it will affect your service. You might have super fast data speeds all day, then see them trickle to almost nothing in the evening. Or, you might have slow-ish but manageable speeds (think 5–15 Mbps) all the time. It also might have no impact on your experience at all. It's definitely a "your milage may vary" type of problem.
Not the best coverage
Mint’s T-Mobile-run network still has some pretty sizable gaps in 4G and 5G coverage, specifically in rural areas. Check out this coverage map to see where you might experience some issues.
Mint coverage map
Xfinity Mobile's $45 Unlimited Plan: Best bundle
What we like about Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited data cell phone plan
If you’re an existing Comcast Xfinity home internet customer, then Xfinity Mobile is a cell phone service that you need to consider. If you aren't, you might as well skip to the next section because this is an exclusive deal.
We call this a bundle because you cannot get Xfinity Mobile as a standalone service. Even though Xfinity Mobile is sorta exclusive, we like its unlimited plan, and here’s why.
Plan prices are right in the sweet spot
Xfinity Mobile’s price for its unlimited plan is the definition of reasonable. You won't find your wallet catching on fire each month when it's time to pay.
Yes, there are other small carriers with lower prices for an unlimited plan, but Xfinity Mobile is cheaper than all of the Big Three—Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. And Xfinity mobile usually offers more consistent cell phone deals than the Big Three.
Xfinity Mobile provides 5G for all its cell plans—both unlimited and by the gig—at no extra cost.
To get the most out of that, you need to have a 5G smartphone and to live in an area with 5G infrastructure. If you meet that description, then Xfinity Mobile says it can deliver download speeds of around 450 Mbps and upload speeds around 50 Mbps.2 Why would ever need to, but that means you can download a movie off Netflix in under a minute!
18 million Wi-Fi hotspots
Xfinity Mobile subscribers can access millions of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. Technically this is a good thing, but coming from someone who used Xfinity, these hotspots can sometimes be more of an annoyance. Occasionally I would drive around and notice that I suddenly didn't have a strong enough signal to stream a podcast off Spotify. This happened because my phone would automatically connect to Xfinity hotspots that didn't provide good data speeds.
If you're ever in a bind and can't get access to the internet, an Xfinity hotspot could make all the difference, but don't be surprised if your speeds feel slow while connected to it.
What we don’t like about Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited cell phone plan
We want you to know everything we do about this plan, so there are a few aspects we don’t like about Xfinity Mobile. They mostly pertain to data limitations for non-5G devices.
Expect throttled, capped, and deprioritized 4G LTE data speeds
For 4G LTE data, Xfinity says it can deliver download speeds around 5–12 Mbps and upload speeds around 2–5 Mbps. There is a soft data cap of 20 GB, after which you will be deprioritized, and Xfinity will cut your download speeds to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds to 750 Kbps. That’s partly why we say go with 5G if you can.
Non-5G devices experience low-resolution video streaming
Video streaming is where you’re most likely to feel the pain of these data limitations. If you’re on Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited plan, the default video streaming quality may disappoint. It will depend largely on whether your device is 5G and if the network you have access to is 4G LTE or 5G.
The default streaming resolution for non-5G devices on Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited data plan is only 480p, which is just standard definition (SD). But if you're on the 5G network, you'll get the best possible video resolution.
That’s basically the difference between Batman Forever and The Dark Knight. Both are Batman movies, but one is clearly more advanced than the other.
Go with 5G. That’s our best advice when it comes to Xfinity Mobile. With a 5G device on a 5G network, you’ll enjoy 4K streaming. Roar!
If you’re still in a 4G LTE situation, don’t despair—you can still buy HD streaming for any line, which gets you 720p resolution for smartphones and 1080p for tablets.
Let’s say you already have Xfinity home internet, and you’re looking for a new cell phone plan. Xfinity Mobile appeals to you, but you aren’t looking for an unlimited data plan. If that’s you, then take a look at Xfinity Mobile’s By the Gig plans.
We already did the math (you're welcome), and it’s pretty straightforward:
If you use more than 3 GB of cellular data per month, then Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited plan is probably a better deal for you.
Here are Xfinity Mobile’s plans so you can compare them for yourself.
Spectrum Mobile: Best bundle alternative
What we like
Wondering why you should get mobile service from your internet provider? Here are a few good reasons you should consider bundling with Spectrum Mobile.
Great unlimited data deal
Data is king. And having an unlimited data plan is essential nowadays, especially with data-sucking social media apps, the rise of streaming services, and even mobile games. Unfortunately, unlimited data plans can get super pricey. But, if you are a Spectrum Mobile customer, you're in luck.
Spectrum's $45 unlimited data plan is one of the cheapest in the industry. And it's pretty robust.
For $45 you'll get unlimited talk and text, truly unlimited data (with no caps, which separates Spectrum from other prepaid carriers like Mint or Visible), access to tons of high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots including mobile hotspots, and free international calling and texting to specific locations.
Many discount providers and mobile virtual network providers (MVNOs), like Spectrum Mobile, usually skimp on the perks. But we think Spectrum actually offers pretty decent benefits.
One of the best perks Spectrum Mobile offers is mobile hotspot data. You'll be able to use up to 5 GB of full-speed mobile data with Spectrum. But beware, after 5 GB your speeds will slow, making it difficult to stream old episodes of Parks and Recreation or download big files.
If you have a 5G-capable phone, Spectrum Mobile gives you access to its 5G coverage. And any Spectrum Mobile user will be able to use its system of Wi-Fi networks, get 2,000 free minutes of calling to Mexico and Canada, and have free international texting from the US.
Flexible by-the-gig option
If buying as you go is more your speed than buying in bulk, you might be interested in Spectrum's by-the-gig plan. This plan allows you to pay for only the data you've used during the month.
Customers who choose Spectrum Mobile's by-the-gig plan will pay $14 a month for the first gigabit of data as well as unlimited talk and text. Each additional gigabit after that will cost another $14.
This can be a perfect plan for those who only use about 1–3 GB of data each month, but once you go over 3 GB your cost will be more than an unlimited data plan.
Impressive network coverage
Rather than owning its own cellular network, Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon Wireless's cell phone towers to power its mobile service.
That's great news for Spectrum Mobile customers, as Verizon's network is the strongest in the country. Covering about 70% of the country, Verizon's 4G LTE coverage can hook you up even in some of the most rural pockets of the country. Check out Verizon Wireless's coverage map to see where you'll get Spectrum Mobile service.
What we don't like
We love Spectrum's decently-priced, high-powered plans, but there are a few catches.
Must already be a Spectrum customer
In order to enjoy any of Spectrum Mobile's bundles, you must also be an existing Spectrum Internet user. While this is great news for current Spectrum Intenet users, it's a huge hurdle for potential customers.
You might also want to consider if you want your mobile plan to be tied up with your home internet service.
Even if you qualify for Spectrum's mobile service, canceling just your internet subscription will cost you an extra $20 a month per line. And your Wi-Fi speeds will be reduced to 5 Mbps. Yikes.
Limited plan options
Other mobile and internet companies like AT&T and T-Mobile have several unlimited data plans to offer. Even other MVNO providers, like Mint Mobile, offer a bunch of mid-tier data plans to choose from. With Spectrum? You get two choices: unlimited and by-the-gig.
These plans can definitely be the right fit for some customers. But if you're looking for a company that offers you and your family more options, then you'll have to look elsewhere.
Visible Wireless: Best coverage
What we like
Visible is essentially the budget version of Verizon. Long story short: Visible uses Verizon's network to provide coverage and Visible charges a fraction of the price for unlimited data plans. It's an easy recommendation for one of the best cell phone plans.
Verizon, but at a cheaper price
Visible uses Verizon's network to provide coverage for its customers. Think of it like going to Disneyland, but just entering the park through a different entrance (that just so happens to cost half the price you'd normally pay). You basically get access to Verizon's awesome network coverage without having to pay Verizon prices. For example, the basic Verizon unlimited plan will cost you $65/month, whereas the basic Visible unlimited plan will only cost you $30/month. Check out how Verizon and Visible plans compare:
The price doesn't even come close. If you want to get unlimted talk, text, and data on Verizon's network without paying Verizon prices, Visible is the way to go. And if you're looking to save on some sweet mobile deals, Visible can usually deliver.
Fun fact: Verizon actually owns Visible. This is a good thing because you can expect Visible to get preferential treatment over other carriers that piggyback on Verizon's network.
Best overall coverage
Visible offers objectively excellent coverage. In 2023, Visible gets you 4G coverage in 70% of the U.S.1 That’s better than any other carrier.
This superior coverage won’t matter as much to those who live in major metropolitan areas, where every carrier has good coverage. But those who are outside of major areas will almost certainly want to check out Verizon (there are some places where Verizon is really the only game in town). Likewise, folks who travel around the country often will get the best experience with Visible.
Take a look at this coverage map to see just how extensive your coverage will be with Visible. Like we said, it's an easy pick for one of the best cell phone plans.
Unlimited Hotspot data
Both Visible cell phone plans come with unlimited talk, text, data, and hotspot data. It's rare getting hotspot data with a smaller carrier like Visible, let alone unlimited hotspot data.
The catch is that your hotspot data caps at 5 Mbps with Visible. That's enough speed to connect your laptop to the internet and send Slack messages back and forth, but you'll probably have a rough time streaming a Zoom meeting.
What we don’t like
Every small wireless carrier has the same downside: deprioritization and data throttling.
It wouldn't make sense if Visible could charge half of what Verizon charges without any downsides at all, right? In this case, the downside is that your data speeds could slow down if Verizon's network becomes overly congested.
As a Visible user, you might find that you can't refresh your Instagram feed at a crowded stadium, or can't stream a podcast during rush hour traffic. When the network gets congested, Verizon will give priority to its own customers. Your mileage may vary on how often you experience this, but know that it's something that can pop up at the most annoying times.
On the plus side, Verizon owns Visible, so its possible that Visible customers will experience less data throttling compared to other smaller carriers on Verizon's network (like US Mobile).
Boost Mobile: Best deal for new customers
Boost Mobile has a little bit of everything, offering affordable limited data plans, impressive unlimited plans, and many cheap talk and text plans.
What we like
Most MVNO carriers offer specialized plans, like unlimited data or powerful family plans, but Boost Mobile has cell phone plans for almost everyone's taste. And with Boost's Unlimited plans, we think there's something there for everyone.
Cheap unlimited plans
Boost offers unlimited talk and text with all its plans, so your only job is to pick how much data you need. Boost Mobile currently offers a deal that gets you a month of unlimited talk, text, and data for $12.50/mo., which is easily the best deal you'll see in the wireless world. After that first month ends, you'll pay $25/mo. going forward for your unlimited plan. As long as you can keep that same monthly rate going forward, Boost offers one of the best cell phone plans available.
Boost Mobile uses T-Mobile's powerful 5G network
MVNO carriers are more likely to experience slowed data speeds, but luckily with Boost Mobile, you'll be able to enjoy T-Mobile's 5G coverage on all of its plans. T-Mobile has the widest and fastest 5G network in the country, which will definitely help you avoid slow data speeds.
What we don't like
While T-Mobile's 5G network certainly improves Boost Mobile's data speeds compared to other MVNOs, unfortunately Boost is still subject to data deprioritization.
Data deprioritization happens when a network slows down your data speeds while the network is busy. So if you're trying to stream Succession on a Sunday night, T-Mobile's customers will get better speeds.
US Mobile: Best family plan deal
What we like
Family plans, like this one from US Mobile, basically always save you money on your cell phone bill. In fact, US Mobile's family plan happens to be the cheapest family unlimited plan available right now. Here's the details.
Unlimited data for four family members at $80 a month
US Mobile's basic unlimited plan normally costs $35 a month, which is already a good deal for unlimited talk, text, and data. But, for every line you add (up to four), your price-per-line will go down. That means two lines cost $60/month, three lines cost $75/month, and four lines only costs $80/month. That cost for four lines equals out to $20 per person a month for an unlimited data plan.
As it stands right now, no other carrier can beat US Mobile's family plan deals for unlimited data. Here's the proof:
US Mobile uses Verizon’s network
We already talked about how Verizon has the best 4G coverage in the nation. Well, US Mobile uses Verizon’s network. That means you’ll have good service in most of the United States, including many rural areas in the West.
What we don’t like
We really only have one complaint about US Mobile: the data speeds aren’t very fast.
US Mobile advertises that its data speeds can get up to 3 Gbps when connected to a 5G network. With these speeds, you can stream in 4K without ever buffering, or hop on a Zoom call without ever worrying about your connection cutting out. While this sounds amazing, there's one detail to remember: during times of network congestion, your speeds can slow down significantly, making it hard to do much of anything.
But, to be honest, data deprioritization is a problem with every small carrier (and even the cheaper plans from big carriers). So, you’re going to have to deal with it unless you’re willing to shell out a lot more than $20 per line.
T-Mobile's Magenta MAX: Best overall performance
What we like
T-Mobile has, quite simply, jumped ahead of the pack to become the one of the best cell phone providers in the US.
While some of its previous issues persist—specifically poor 4G coverage in rural areas—it has managed to outperform the competition where it matters most: 4G LTE data speeds, data allotments, and 5G coverage. And it has done all of this while still being cheaper, on average, than Verizon and AT&T.
Here’s everything we love about T-Mobile’s premier Magenta MAX plan.
Best 4G data speeds
If you want lightning fast speeds for streaming, gaming, scrolling, posting, and everything else, T-Mobile is clearly the best carrier. We collected speed tests results from over 100,000 mobile customers and found that T-Mobile has the fastest 4G speeds. Here's a look at the average download and upload speeds from the major networks:
But 4G is going the way of dial-up internet and VHS tapes (remember those?). 5G is the new technology in town, and T-Mobile is also dominating in the 5G arena.
When it comes to 5G speeds, OpenSignal’s latest report says, “T-Mobile wins the 5G Download Speed award for the fifth time in a row, increasing once again its lead on Verizon and AT&T … this time T-Mobile places at least 93.9 Mbps ahead of its competitors …”3
Here’s a dirty little secret about the mobile industry: unlimited doesn’t really mean unlimited most of the time. Most unlimited plans actually have a data cap, and once you hit that cap your data speeds can (and will) be drastically reduced.
This is one of the biggest reasons that T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan stands out. The Magenta MAX plan gives you 100 GB a month of high-speed data before deprioritization. If you want the best speed, here it is.
Largest 5G network
T-Mobile doesn’t just have the fastest 5G data speeds. It also has the largest 5G network. According to OpenSignal, T-Mobile users in 16 states were connected to 5G networks 35% of the time.
That might not sound like much, but it’s far more than AT&T customers, who were only connected to a 5G network 25% of the time (in just six states) and Verizon users, who were connected just 17% of the time (in just one state).1
This network makes T-Mobile the most “future-proof” carrier around, since 5G technology will become the new standard for mobile networks in the years to come.
What we don’t like
Obviously, we’re pretty impressed with T-Mobile right now. But that doesn’t mean we are blind to its faults. Here are the things we don’t love about the Magenta MAX plan.
T-Mobile is actually the cheapest of the Big Three. Its prices are generally cheaper than comparable plans from AT&T and Verizon. But that doesn’t matter much when you’re talking about an $85 plan like Magenta MAX.
In short, T-Mobile knows this is the most powerful plan in the industry right now, so they’re not afraid to stick to a high price. And it’s still totally worth it for those who want performance above all else.
We talked about how T-Mobile’s 5G network is the biggest. But that network doesn’t spread into most rural areas of North America, where T-Mobile’s 4G coverage is also spotty. Just look at the holes in this coverage map—it looks like swiss cheese (yum, cheese).
T-Mobile coverage map
You can see the broad swaths of Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada where T-Mobile doesn’t have great coverage. So if you live in one of those areas, you might want to go with another carrier (Verizon has the best 4G coverage in rural areas).
Recap: Which plan is right for you?
We’ve gone over the five best cell phone plans on the market right now. It’s up to you to decide which one fits your lifestyle and budget. Here’s a quick recap to help you make up your mind.
- Best budget unlimited data plan: Mint Mobile offers a perfectly good unlimited data plan for a ridiculous price. Your data speeds may not be the fastest, but your wallet will thank you.
- Best bundle: If you’re already paying Comcast Xfinity internet, then you should look at Xfinity Mobile. It gets you on Verizon’s 5G network for less than $50 a month.
- Best bundle alternative: You always get the best deals when you bundle stuff together, and if you're a Spectrum customer already, you can get an awesome deal on an unlimited cell phone plan from Spectrum Mobile.
- Best overall coverage: Visible Wireless uses Verizon's awesome network, but charges a fraction of the price for unlimited talk, text, and data plans.
- Best deal for new customers: Boost offers an amazing deal that gets you unlimited talk, text, and data for $12.50/mo. for the first month of service. After that month is up, you'll only need to pay $25/mo. going forward for your unlimited plan.
- Best family plan deal: US Mobile will hook you and your loved ones up with an unlimited plan for as little as $20 per line with at least four lines. If you can get four people to go in on unlimited plans with you with US Mobile, you'll get one of the best cell phone plan deals out there.
- Best overall performance: The T-Mobile Magenta MAX plan is simply the most powerful plan on the market, offering truly unlimited data, the fastest speeds, and plenty of cool perks.
That’s all we’ve got to say about the best cell phone plans, best family plans, and best deals for new customers. We hope we’ve been helpful (you can always yell at us in the comments if we haven’t been).
At Reviews.org, we follow a rigorous methodology to review, rank, and recommend cell phone providers based on objective analysis. Here is a more detailed breakdown of our process:
- Conduct comprehensive research: Our research team scours the internet to find the latest and most accurate information on cell phone providers and plans. We use a variety of sources, including industry reports, customer reviews, and comparison websites like WhistleOut.com.
- Analyze coverage data: To evaluate network coverage, we analyze data from sources like RootMetrics, OpenSignal, and Ookla. We look at coverage maps to determine which providers offer the most coverage in a given area. We also use proprietary data from over 100,000 users to evaluate data speeds and overall performance.
- Evaluate pricing: We compare the pricing of different cell phone plans to determine which providers offer the best overall value. Value is based on cost, data allotments, additional perks, coverage, and data speeds. We also consider any hidden fees or charges that might impact the total cost of the plan.
- Assess perks and features: To decide the best cell phone plans, we also factor in all the additional features outside of the usual talk, text, and data. We look at things like data rollover, international roaming, and mobile hotspot capabilities. We also evaluate the quality of the provider’s app and customer portal to determine if they offer a good user experience.
- provider’s customer service.
- Make recommendations: Based on our analysis, we compile a list of the best cell phone providers and plans for different types of users. We provide detailed information on each provider, including their coverage, pricing, features, and customer service. We also provide recommendations based on usage needs, such as the best plans for frequent travelers or the best plans for families.
In conclusion, our methodology is designed to provide our readers with accurate and trustworthy information on cell phone providers and plans. By conducting comprehensive research and analysis, we are able to make recommendations that are based on objective data and user feedback. We take great care to ensure that our recommendations are always unbiased and free from any outside influence.
We crammed a lot into this review, but we thought of a few more things we want to talk about. Hopefully, we’ll cover any lingering questions you may have in this section.
Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T tend to have much better deals on new phones than their MVNO counterparts. But, out of those three, there isn’t a clear winner. They tend to change their deals frequently to highlight new phones and promotions.
So, the best way to figure out which carrier has the best deals right now is to read our cell phone deals page that we update every month.
It really depends on what you want. Some folks will want Verizon’s awesome rural coverage, while others will go for T-Mobile’s lightning fast data speeds. Others still will prefer US Mobile for its incredible family plan pricing.
In short, there isn’t a single carrier that’s clearly the best. But if you read about the five plans we’ve featured in this article, then you’ll probably find something that’s a great fit for you.
There are three major networks in the United States: Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Verizon has the best nationwide coverage, especially in rural areas. T-Mobile has the biggest (and fastest) 5G network. And, while AT&T doesn’t take home the gold medal, it has pretty darn good coverage in most metropolitan and suburban areas.
The easiest way to figure out which network is best for you is to look at coverage maps. You can see maps for all three major carriers and read all about their performance in our up-to-data network coverage analysis.
If you want the best unlimited data plan, regardless of cost, we recommend T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan. It comes with truly unlimited data (no data cap), the fastest data speeds in the industry, and tons of amazing perks.
But there are plenty of other great unlimited data plans that cost less. Visible Wireless has an incredible deal on unlimited data family plans, while Mint Mobile probably has the best deal on an individual unlimited plan.
Just be sure to look at the fine print of every unlimited data plan or mobile deal that you consider. You will often find that there are data caps (unlimited isn’t really unlimited) and data deprioritization on the cheaper plans.
For our money, prepaid carriers offer the best value for unlimited cell phone plans in 2023. Mint Mobile and Visible's unlimited plans cost way less than anything from T-Mobile and Verizon and give you similar coverage. But if you want the best perks, like a free iPhone or Android device, or a free streaming subscription, you'll want to check out the premium plans from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Mint Mobile, Visible Wireless, and US Mobile are all great options for affordable cell phone plans. Each of these discount carriers has something to offer the right customer.
But the market is flooded with cheap cell phone plans right now, so it’s worth shopping around for the very best deal. Just be aware that cheaper isn’t always better. There are usually drawbacks hidden in the fine print, like data deprioritization, price hikes, and coverage gaps.
Consumer Cellular offers the best cell phone plans for the 55+ community. Our favorite is the Unlimited Talk & Text + 10GB Data Plan for $35 a month.
US Mobile currently has the best family plan deal. If you can get at least four people to join in with you, you can get an unlimited talk, text, and data plan for $20 per line.
Verizon's network offers the best coverage overall, covering about 70% of the country with wireless service.