LAS VEGAS—The number of real wireless carriers in the United States may be shrinking, but your options for cheap mobile phone plans are growing. There are two things a lot of these companies have in common, though—Sprint and T-Mobile.
These super-cheap prepaid deals work better for people who have their own compatible phones (whether it's an old Sprint phone or an unlocked GSM device) and for lighter data users rather than heavier users.
For more options try The 10 Best Cheap Prepaid Phone Plans You're Never Heard Of and The Best Prepaid SIM Cards. I know that we’re not the only family dealing with expensive phone plans as a recent study by Cowen and Company shows that the average bill of those with Verizon is $148 per month with Sprint and AT&T following close behind at $144 and $141 respectively.
When I got my first cell phone the only real options were the big carriers and outliers like TracFone.
The one drawback to Republic Wireless is that you can’t bring your own phone and you have to choose from one of their four phone options.
Straight Talk is another popular option for those looking for cheap cell phone plans as theirs start at $30 per line though those plans are limited to 1,500 talk minutes. Giv Mobile is another MVNO like Straight Talk but they bring a unique spin to pre-paid cell phone plans. While plans with Giv Mobile start at $20, they’re honestly somewhat light with the data allowance. As with others, Giv Mobile allows you to bring your own phone, though they do offer about 24 different phones to buy directly from them.
The good you receive from the Data Stash promotion comes with a twist on the phone purchase though. Boost Mobile operates on the Sprint network and has plans starting as low as $35 per month that allow for 1 GB of data and unlimited talk and text. Virgin Mobile is another in the lines of cheap no-contract cell phone plans that operates on the Sprint network. Virgin Mobile doesn’t allow you to bring your own phone, though they do have several dozen to choose from including iPhones.
As it’s a TracFone family member you can add minutes in a variety of ways, which is a nice convenience to have. As I said in the beginning, there weren’t many cheap cell phone plans to choose from even a decade ago. If you’re looking to spend less on your monthly cell phone bill there are plenty of options to choose from. I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. Anyway, Ting’s customer service is exceptional and they give a lot of credits for switching over, referring people, or just because. It’s the T mobile network they are adding this month so will expand options for a lot of people. 4G is nice and all, but with us working from home we’re on Wi-Fi the large majority of the time so having a relatively good 3G would serve us well. My girlfriend also uses Ting which is a pay for what you use, since she is around WiFi most of the time.
I had Net10 for a few years and the best thing I liked about the service was rolling over unused minutes each month. I have heard from several people about switching to Cricket and they don’t have any complaints.
The $55 plan includes unlimited talk, text and 5 GB Data at up to 4G LTE Speed Then slowed to unlimited 2G.
This plan offered cell phones prices from $19 to $149, most of these cell phones are running Android system. The Renoir plan for $15 includes 500 talk minutes, 500 text messages, 500 MB of data and Wi-Fi calling.


The Miro plan for $15 includes unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text messages, 2GB of data and unlimited Wi-Fi calling. And it was so easy to set up and activate my phone!  You can view my entire shopping experience on Google+ album and read a little more about my saving. So, if you are looking for a quality wireless service which provides cheap wireless rates than I suggest you check out Walmarts Family Mobile plan.  Your pocket book will thank you for it! Here at the CTIA wireless trade show a bunch of little virtual carriers, known as MVNOs, have come out of the woodwork offering everything from pure prepaid data to unlimited international calling.
Lycamobile is currently running a $19 unlimited, nationwide talk and text deal on T-Mobile's network. While you can have quality service through Verizon the monthly bill can make nearly anyone choke. Thankfully they do have no-contract options available now though a lot of that goes back to competition forcing them that way. That’s just crazy in my opinion, though the good thing is there is significant competition making cheap family cell phone plans relatively easy to find.
Having used Cricket for the past 6-9 months, we’ve not seen any noticeable drop-off in quality. Thankfully that is no longer the case as most people can find plans that cost them no more than $50 as you’ll see below.
They might even offer the cheapest cell phone option out there with monthly plans that start as low as $10, with the average monthly bill being just under $14! Republic Wireless does offer the Moto X, which I’ve read works just fine and is highly rated.
If you move up to the $45 per month plan with Straight Talk then you get unlimited talk, text and 3 GB of data.
To meet what you can get from Verizon you have to sign up for what’s called “The 45” which is $45 per month for unlimited talk and text and 2 GB of data. The promotion allows you to rollover your unused data for up to 12 months and starts you out with 10 GB of data for free. Everything I’ve seen about T-Mobile states you pay for the phone in monthly increments (basically leasing the phone) as opposed to buying it outright. The one thing I have noticed with Virgin Mobile though is that they seem to be lacking with regards to family and business plans. Net 10 comes from the TracFone family and allows you to bring over a compatible phone if you have one. That has changed a lot over the past few years with the competition no-contract cell phone plans have brought to the market. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally.
I tried out Net 10 while waiting for my husband’s phone contract to expire, and between APN setting woes and their buggy website, they were a headache though the price was great.
I like their family pricing but it sounds like from your experience they’re not that different than our experience from TracFone.
I’d say it depends on if you want the international calling and what your data needs are. I think the continued growth in the pre-paid space is only going to force Verizon to offer more plans like that. Includes nationwide coverage and long range, caller ID, no contract, voicemail, call waiting, no check credit.
That notwithstanding, reducing a monthly cell phone bill is one of the best ways to save money as a family.
There are some great options out there to consider if you’re looking to lower your monthly cell phone bill. The plans at Republic Wireless range from $10, which is all on Wi-Fi and has unlimited talk and text to $40 per month that includes up to 5 MB of data. If you don’t need to have an iPhone, Republic Wireless is a great option to consider.


If you’re a heavy data user however you might find Straight Talk restrictive, though if you use Wi-Fi a lot you should be able to avoid that. That isn’t a ton of money, but it is a nice feature assuming they have the ability to give to a charity that’s important to you.
As with Straight Talk, you can bring your own phone to T-Mobile but will need a T-Mobile SIM card to do so. While their plans start as low as $20, that gets you only 300 minutes of talk time each month and unlimited texts.
This would be enough to cause me to look elsewhere when you add it to the light data allowances. If not, you can choose from one of several dozen phones they offer which are admittedly, not the most up to date. I firmly believe reducing your cell phone bill is one of the easiest ways to save money every month – especially if you’re not a heavy data user and don’t care much about what kind of phone you use. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.
Cricket has a few stores in our town, and it was nice to have person-to-person interaction with an MVNO during setup. I don’t believe the Sprint coverage is that good in our area but are planning on looking into that more. Personally speaking, we’re looking at Straight Talk since you can bring your own phone and is a MNVO and Republic Wireless the most seriously.
That said, we only get 2 GB with our current contract, so that alone shows ST is a better deal. I also recently convinced my parents to switch over from Verizon and their bill went from $80 a month with flip phones and it’s now $20 a month!
If you just need basic coverage and are regularly on Wi-Fi then Republic Wireless is a great carrier to consider.
However, if you need bare bones and don’t use a whole lot of data then Giv Mobile is a decent cheap cell phone plan to consider. Assuming you want data coverage then plans start at $35 for unlimited talk and text plus 250 MB of data or the same 300 minute talk limit and unlimited data up to 2.5 GB.
Net 10 also offers relatively reasonable family plans starting at $75 for two lines with the same 500 MB data limit. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level. Their current prices are competitive- we pay $90 for three people, each with 2.5G data per month.
That is much batter than Straight Talk and I've had them for years, because it was unlimited everything (2 gb internet) For $45 plus the tax for the prepaid card so $49 and change. I searched for a month looking for the better deal, found it with Walmart Family Mobile and T Mobile. I will advise you to activate the phone right there in the store, there is a glitch that can cause a problem with the connection to the internet. They will automatically check it and fix it for you at the store while activating.Another issue. Which Network?There are two Networks CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile). I know many others it does not.So, the next time you buy a phone, go window shopping first.



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