Get the best value deals on cell phone plans from these top cell phone companies
Picking the best cell phone company should be simple. You go with the company that offers the best coverage, the most flexible plans, and the widest selection of top- and mid-tier phones, all at a great price. But the most expensive provider still charges more than twice as much as the least, for commensurately better service. Where should you draw the line between price and performance? Bellow, we have listed the top cell phone companies with the best cell phone plans in 2020
Most Companies currently offer a wide range of choices for consumers, from well-known brand names to less known but surprisingly well-established companies. With so much competition from cell phone companies in the last few years, prices of phone plans have definitely fallen, along with plans being offered without contracts. There are many options of plans available, suitable for the most casual to serious users.
The best cell phone service in the nation continues to come from Verizon Wireless. The brand’s extensive coverage, speed, and reliability are unmatched, but great speeds are backed by even better prices.
Our Top Picks for Best Cell Phone Companies of 2020
Almost all prices are susceptible to change so please check the service plan website for current information details.
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Tello Mobile – Most Affordable Carrier
Tello is one of the top cell phone companies in the market, and for good reason. Tello allows you to build your own customized plan based on what you exactly need, which gives you full control of your minutes, texts, and data including options for no-data or data-only. You can add more of anything if you find your plan needs adjusting.
Tello offers cheap prepaid phone plans to fit any budget. Starting at just a few bucks a month the plans are infinitely customizable.
All plans come with unlimited free texting and tethering at no extra cost, and also free calls to Canada, Mexico, and China in addition to the U.S.
Customers have the option to purchase additional Pay as You Go plan credits for international calling and texting.
Although Tello doesn’t necessarily have a family plan option it’s important to note that it is one of the cheapest MVNOs on the market and so signing your family up for individual plans will save you hundreds in the long run.
All Tello’s plans include free calls to Canada, Mexico, and China, plus mobile hotspot access with WiFi calling through their application at no extra cost, along with visual voicemail and unlimited 2G data. If you are not happy with your plan, you still can change it at any time.
- $8/month: Get unlimited talk and text
- $10/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and 1 GB of high-speed data
- $14/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of high-speed data
- $19/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and 4 GB of high-speed data
- $24/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and 6 GB of high-speed data
- $29/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and 8 GB of high-speed data
- $39/month: Get unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data
Here are a few amazing facts about Tello Mobile:
- Fully customizable plans; including Data Only plans for Tablets
- Customers can upgrade or downgrade plans for free, anytime.
- No contract, no overage fee, no administration fee, no activation fee and not even port out fees.
- Customers can bring their own devices.
- All plans include free tethering (hotspot)
- Services are available nationwide in the USA.
- Calls from USA to Canada, China and Mexico are included in all voice plans, at the same rate as domestic calls.
- Tello Apps are available for Android and iOS devices, allowing in app outbound WIFI calling and easy account management
Xfinity Mobile – Affordable Unlimited Plan
Do you know about Xfinity Mobile? It’s a Verizon MVNO that gets you unlimited nationwide talk and text and either $12 per GB of data or an “unlimited” plan for $45 per month (capped at 20GB). It’s all the Verizon speed and coverage you could want but through Comcast!
while it’s only available for subscribers of Comcast’s home internet service, it’s a pretty good deal for those that are.
Xfinity Mobile comes with unlimited nationwide calling and texting, access to more than 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots, and 100MB of shared monthly data are included by default with your regular Internet plan.
All Xfinity plans include unlimited talk and text, along with 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots. With the By the Gig plan, data can be shared across all lines, and users can switch from “By the Gig” to “Unlimited” data during their billing cycle at no additional charge.
- 1GB for $12/month ($12 per additional GB)
- 3GB for $30/month ($12 per additional GB)
- 10GB for $60/month ($12 per additional GB)
- Unlimited for $45/month per line on up to five lines, speeds reduced after 20GB
If you’re planning to cut down your cell phone bill. Check out the cheapest cell phone plans for 2020
Verizon Wireless – Best Network Coverage
Verizon is the largest cell phone carrier in the U.S., it has a great reputation and has coverage even in many remote areas where “No Service” is the prominent message from most carriers. However, Verizon does tend to be on the more expensive side. What you’re truly paying for is Verizon’s reliability.
Verizon, one of the top carriers in the US, is introducing new pricing options for its prepaid phone plans. Now you can get 1GB for $30, 6GB for $35, 16GB for $45 or unlimited data for $65 a month. Keep in mind all reported prices take into account a $5 discount you get for signing up to AutoPay.
You can save $10 a month for each additional 6GB prepaid plan you add to your account, $15 for each additional 16GB line, and $20 a month for each unlimited prepaid data plan. You can also mix and match prepaid plans, so you get an unlimited plan, but your family gets limited 4G data plans.
All Verizon prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text in the US and unlimited texting worldwide. The 16 GB plan and Unlimited plan included unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada.
- 6GB Plan: For $40/month ($35 with AutoPay)
- 16GB Plan: For $50/month ($45 with AutoPay)
- Unlimited Data Plan: For $70/month ($65 with AutoPay)
Multi-Line Discount: Verizon makes it easy to add additional lines to its prepaid plans, and of course, the more lines you have the more you save. Here’s how that looks:
- Add a 6GB plan for $30 more (save $10)
- Add a 16GB plan for $35 more (save $15)
- Add an unlimited plan for $50 (save $20)
T-Mobile – Best for Heavy Data Users
After an unsuccessful merger with AT&T in 2012, T-Mobile stays the lowest of the large four U.S. cell phone companies. It now runs an LTE coverage network and after 1st announcing an HSPA+ network that provides LTE-comparable rates of speed.
T-Mobile is following in the footsteps of its competitors by offering a discount on its prepaid unlimited data plan. If you’re a single person who doesn’t like to be tied down and doesn’t need too many extra features, T-Mobile’s prepaid plans will be good for you. Data is capped, but you won’t get charged overages when you surpass your allotment. Your speeds will be slower when you run out of 4G LTE data, but that’s it.
The difference among the plans is the amount of 4G LTE data that comes with each. It starts at $40 per month for unlimited 10GB OF 4G LTE data or $50 and $60 plans come with unlimited data and unlimited plus of 4G LTE.
All T-Mobile prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text, and unlimited 2G data, along with unlimited music, which lets you stream as much music as you want without eating into your 4G LTE allotment. T-Mobile allows you to get up to 5 lines on your T-Mobile prepaid account. Here’s the difference:
Simply Prepaid ($40/month): includes 10GB of 4G LTE data that will be throttled down to unlimited 2G speeds and high-speed mobile hotspot data access that uses your monthly data allotment.
- One Line: $40/month
- Two Lines: $70/month – ($35 per line)
- Three Lines: $100/month – ($33 per line)
- Four Lines: $130/month – ($33 per line)
- Five Lines: $160/month – ($32 per line)
Simply Prepaid Unlimited ($50/month): includes unlimited of 4G LTE data but if you use more than 50GB, though, you could be de-prioritized or even throttled until your next billing cycle. It also offers unlimited mobile hotspot but limited to 3G speeds.
- One Line: $50/month
- Two Lines: $80/month – ($40 per line)
- Three Lines: $110/month – ($37 per line)
- Four Lines: $140/month – ($35 per line)
- Five Lines: $170/month – ($34 per line)
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus ($60/month): includes unlimited of 4G LTE data but if you use more than 50GB, though, you could be de-prioritized or even throttled until your next billing cycle. It also offers 10GB of mobile hotspot at 4G LTE speed.
- One Line: $60/month
- Two Lines: $90/month – ($45 per line)
- Three Lines: $120/month – ($40 per line)
- Four Lines: $150/month – ($37 per line)
- Five Lines: $180/month – ($36 per line)
List of Other Best Cell Phone Carriers & Plans in 2020
AT&T – Best full-featured Company
AT&T is one of the second-largest cell phone company in the United States. It provides single-line, business, single-line plans to fit every cell phone need. AT&T carrier has the difference of being the most high-priced of the large four companies, blocking seasonal promotions and specials.
AT&T also offers decent prepaid plans for those who want to go month by month. These are deals for people who are looking to save some money. For each line, you get unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited messaging to more than 100 countries. You can also purchase extra data to use with your plan if you run out.
Now for $35 a month get 1GB, 8GB for $50, unlimited data for $65 or truly unlimited data for $75 a month. Keep in mind all reported prices take into account a $5 and $10 discount you get for signing up to AutoPay.
There’s also an AT&T prepaid plan promotion that allows you to get the same 8GB data plan for just $25 a month. The catch is that you will have to pay $300 upfront. That means you will get 12 months of service.
All AT&T prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text in the US, Mexico, and Canada with unlimited texts to over 100 countries, along with roaming in Mexico and Canada for talk, text, and data. Here’s the difference:
- $50/month ($40 with AutoPay): 8GB of high-speed data with mobile hotspot access. Note: Unused high-speed data rolls over to next month
- $65/month ($45 with AutoPay): Unlimited 4G LTE data but AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is busy.
- $75/month ($55 with AutoPay): Unlimited 4G LTE data with 10GB of mobile hotspot for use in the U.S. Note: Users should not experience speed slowdowns unless they use over 22GB of data before their billing cycle ends.
Multi-Line Discount: AT&T allows you to get up to 5 lines on your AT&T prepaid account. Adding 2 or 3 lines will get you a $10 discount per month, and adding 4 or 5 will get you a $20 discount per month. For an additional discount, set up the AutoPay option on your account.
Sprint – Best for Seniors
Sprint is one of the top-four cell phone service carriers in the United States, and it’s definitely the most affordable. But the price doesn’t always make up for spotty service across the country. While Sprint’s coverage isn’t quite the same as what you’d get from Verizon or AT&T, it has gotten much better in the last few years.
Sprint prepaid plans are a little hazy right now. On its website, Sprint says its prepaid plans aren’t available to new customers. Uncool. But if you’re a long-term Sprint customer you can presumably opt for a prepaid wireless plan.
If you’re looking to start afresh prepaid plan on a new carrier, you’ll want to check out Tello Mobile which runs on Sprint Network. Those guys have some of the best prepaid deals out there.
If you’re looking for the best cell phone carrier offering No Restrictions. Check out those best prepaid cell phone plans for 2020
Simple Mobile – Best Prepaid Unlimited
Simple Mobile is a TracFone-owned MVNO operating under T-Mobile’s network, has recently made new changes to its prepaid plan options.
With the new changes in place, Simple Mobile is now offering an unlimited LTE data plan that costs only $50 per month and already comes with unlimited domestic talk and text. The other features included in the simple mobile cell phone plans are unlimited international texting and calling and full roaming access while in Mexico at no extra cost.
these plans include unlimited international texting, unlimited international calling to landlines in 64 countries, and unlimited international calling to Mexico, Canada, China, India, and 16 other countries.
All Simple Mobile plans include unlimited talk and text with international text, along with international calling to 69 destinations plus international roaming to 16 Latin American countries.
- 3GB plan for $25 a month ($20 with AutoPay) with mobile hotspot access
- 2GB plan for $30 a month ($28.50 with AutoPay) with mobile hotspot access
- 15GB plan for $40 a month ($37.50 with AutoPay) with mobile hotspot access
- Unlimited data plan for $50 a month ($45 with AutoPay) with a 5GB mobile hotspot.
- Unlimited data plan for $60 a month ($57 with AutoPay) with a 15GB mobile hotspot.
Boost Mobile – Best for Families
Boost Mobile markets itself as the phone company with no surprises. Phone plans include taxes and fees, and you won’t get overage charges, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying when you sign up.
If you’re OK sacrificing some of the extras such as international roaming or a specialized streaming service tacked on to your plan for free, Boost Mobile cell phone plans with unlimited talk, text, and data available for $50 a month, the plan includes 12GB of the mobile hotspot and streaming mobile-optimized HD video up to 480p. Customers can upgrade for an additional $10 per month to increase streaming quality to 1080p HD, and with Boost Dealz customers can watch a few monthly advertising videos per month to reduce the cost of their billing statement.
3 Gigs Plan ($35/month): Includes unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of 4G LTE data with 480p video streaming, and mobile hotspot access, along with some sort of Tidal subscription. Each additional line is an additional $35 per month
Unlimited Gigs Plan ($50/month): Includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited of 4G LTE data with 480p video streaming, and 12GB of mobile hotspot, along with some sort of Tidal subscription.
- One Line: $50/month
- Two Lines: $80/month – ($40 per line)
- Three Lines: $110/month – ($37 per line)
- Four Lines: $140/month – ($35 per line)
- Five Lines: $170/month – ($34 per line)
Boost Unlimited Plus Plan ($60/month): Includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited of 4G LTE data with 1080p video streaming, and 30GB of mobile hotspot, along with some sort of Tidal subscription.
- One Line: $60/month
- Two Lines: $100/month – ($50 per line)
- Three Lines: $140/month – ($47 per line)
- Four Lines: $180/month – ($45 per line)
- Five Lines: $220/month – ($44 per line)
Boost Ultimate Unlimited Plan ($80/month): Includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited of 4G LTE data with 1080p video streaming, and 50GB of mobile hotspot, along with some sort of Tidal subscription.
- One Line: $80/month
- Two Lines: $140/month – ($70 per line)
- Three Lines: $200/month – ($67 per line)
- Four Lines: $260/month – ($65 per line)
- Five Lines: $320/month – ($64 per line)
US Mobile – Best Flexible Phone Carrier
US Mobile is a no-contract cell phone carrier that offers customers calling plans that are flexible and enable them to decide the amount of talk, text, and data that they need every month. US Mobile plans are prepaid plans, which means they are paid for before the billing period before it begins.
US Mobile’s new unlimited data plans all come with unlimited talk, text, and data. Subscribers can still choose their own speeds. Besides offering unlimited high-speed data options, there are now plans with a limited amount of high-speed data and they too are available at different speeds. The new plans are priced as follows.
- $10/month: This plan includes unlimited talk and text
- $20/month: This plan includes unlimited talk, text and 1.5GB of high-speed data
- $25/month: This plan includes unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB of high-speed data
- $30/month: This plan includes unlimited talk, text and 5GB of high-speed data
- $36/month: This plan includes unlimited talk, text and 8GB of high-speed data
- $40/month: This plan includes unlimited, talk, and high-speed data
Metro by T-Mobile – A Cheap T-Mobile Network
Metro uses T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and LTE network, as it is owned entirely by the larger carrier. You have the option to purchase a phone through Metro or bring your own device that’s compatible with the T-Mobile network.
All plans come with unlimited talk, text, data, Wi-Fi calling, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, and Data Maximizer, a feature that helps optimize your high-speed data usage when streaming videos.
The unlimited data plans also include a free Google One membership, which includes 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive, and the $60 plan even throws in an Amazon Prime membership. That’s a $12.99/month value.
- $40/month: Includes unlimited talk, text, and 10GB of high-speed data with unlimited music. Save $10 on each additional line.
- $50/month: Includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited of high-speed data with 5GB of mobile hotspot, along with 100GB of Google One storage. Save $20 on each additional line.
- $60/month: Includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited of high-speed data with 15GB of mobile hotspot, along with 100GB of Google One storage and a free Amazon Prive subscription. Save $30 on each additional line.
Cricket Wireless – Affordable Unlimited Plans
Cricket Wireless is a well-known no-contract service provider that’s been around for a while. One of the biggest advantages of Cricket’s service is covered. Cricket uses AT&T’s network, so you’ll find more widespread national 4G LTE coverage than plans that use Sprint.
Cricket also has a larger-than-average number of plans to choose from, but its unlimited data plan isn’t as competitively priced as MetroPCS or Boost Mobile. But they do offer good group discounts that can save you up to $100 per month with five lines.
All cricket cell phone plans include unlimited talk and text nationwide. Cricket also offers a $5 discount per month with auto-pay (prices below don’t reflect discount). Taxes and fees included in pricing.
- $30/month: This plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of high-speed data
- $40/month ($35 with AutoPay): this plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of high-speed data
- $55/month ($50 with AutoPay): this plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data, along with roaming in Mexico and Canada for calls, texts, and data. Cricket may slow data speeds when the network is congested.
- $60/month ($55 with AutoPay): this plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data with 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot, along with roaming in Mexico and Canada for calls, texts, and data. Cricket may slow data speeds when the network is congested.
Picking a Cell Phone Carriers: What Else to Look For
The companies we outlined above suit many people, but they aren’t for everyone. If you’re trying to find cell phone plans that fit your lifestyle, there are a few things to watch out for along the way.
Coverage & Quality
As we’ve mentioned, the quality of a provider’s coverage is the most important factor you should consider as you compare the best cell phone plans. Verizon claims the top spot in terms of performance, ubiquity, and speed. AT&T is a close second, suffering just slightly in rural regions. T-Mobile’s download speeds are superb, but the carrier can feel useless once you leave metropolitan areas. Sprint’s network is slow and unimpressive but sufficient for most people’s needs.
With the exception of US Cellular, which operates a regional network in the Midwest, every other service provider is an MVNO of one of the Big Four carriers, piggybacking off of their networks. The better ones offer service on AT&T’s towers, but most operate on Sprint’s infrastructure.
There’s one last consideration to remember when picking a quality network: the communications standard that’s used. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, a cellular standard common in the U.S. but rarely used internationally. T-Mobile and AT&T, on the other hand, use the international GSM standard. Unless a device is very specifically made with both types of antennas, GSM phones don’t work on CDMA networks and vice versa. If you plan on buying an unlocked phone and carting it from carrier to carrier, keep this in mind.
Pricing & Fees
For a long time, the chief difference between the big carriers and the smaller prepaid carriers was contracts: You couldn’t buy a new phone from a carrier without committing yourself to two years of service with one company. Now that the Big Four have done away with contracts, cell service is easier to budget, since how much you pay for your connection is separate from how much you pay for your phone.
Of course, many carriers still let you pay for your phone over two years, lumping its price into your monthly bill. But the cost of service by itself is finally easier to understand. It still varies greatly, though; expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $65 per month for service, plus the cost of whichever device you choose to buy.
Beware lest you be drawn in by claims of “unlimited” data; the vast majority of companies that promise it throttle your speeds once you hit a predetermined data cap. Carriers we review here are exceptions to this rule: T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket Wireless, and Boost Mobile. Far more common is unlimited talk and text, a feature offered by each of the service providers we let into our lineup.
One feature available at only two companies is data rollover: the ability to roll any unused data from your monthly allocation over into the next month. At the moment, T-Mobile and AT&T are the only companies offering any sort of data rollover. T-Mobile’s take on it is far more forgiving than AT&T’s, but both are welcome additions the companies are granting at no extra charge.
Finding a decent cell phone carriers can seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Looking for cheap cell phone plans that still give you room to stretch? T-Mobile has you covered. On a tight budget but still, want great service? Check out Cricket Wireless. And of course, there’s always Verizon if you’re willing to pay top dollar for a top-quality experience.
There are dozens of cell phone companies to choose from, and with fierce competition, you’re spoiled for choice. We narrowed down our recommendations to widely available services that offer unlimited data plans, but there are a lot of great options that don’t fit these parameters, including Project Fi and Republic Wireless. A few others do fit within our parameters but didn’t make the cut, including CREDO Mobile, Page Plus Cellular, Wing Mobile, Ultra Mobile, and Lycamobile.