A woman holding a cell phone

Finding Affordable Phone Plans

Best Cell Phone Plans

Most people want a cell phone plan with nation-wide calling, unlimited data, and affordable rates. Luckily, there are subsidized plans that make things more affordable. It can be overwhelming to shop around, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Finding the best cell phone plans that fit your needs and lifestyle is important, so be sure to do your research to find the best deals.

What Plan Should I Get?

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry “best phone plan.” You will need to consider a few different things when you shop around. Different plans cater to different demographics and lifestyles.

There are some prominent factors to think about to determine what is best for you:

Cost: In many cases, phones are not a one-time, upfront cost. Instead, they are a monthly commitment that may or may not come with additional fees. You must think about your budget first and foremost before signing up for the most enticing plans.

Data volume: How much data are you going to need? If you are someone who hardly uses their phone, it makes sense to search for a more basic plan. However, if you are someone who spends hours surfing the web, you need to consider a phone plan that compensates your online activity. Going over your data plan every month can be incredibly expensive.

Special deals: Many providers have ongoing deals that may convince you to use them. If you need an actual phone, for example, many providers offer huge discounts on popular phones in exchange for signing up with their plan. Many carriers also offer huge discounts on family plans.

Coverage: Depending on where you live, you may need to ensure that you will actually receive cellphone service in your area. You can have the largest data plan in the world, but if you live in a more isolated region far from any cell phone towers, it’s essentially useless. Check to make sure you don’t live in a dead zone for phone service.

Commitment: How long do you need your phone? Are you someone who is just temporarily switching for better service in a region, or are you someone that would rather reap the benefits of a long-term partnership? Consider reading the fine print before signing any contract. Some deals are great, but they come with commitments that can be more than a year. Canceling such contracts may cost you more in the long run. Pay-as-you-go services allow you to simply pay a set monthly fee. They are also known as “prepaid phones,” and are a great way to avoid paying overage fees or getting locked into a lengthy contract.

What to Avoid

As you’re shopping around, there are also some things that you should keep an eye out for an avoid if possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ensure you know what you’re signing up for.

Unnecessary data plans: Having an unlimited data plan is great, but there are often many details hidden within the fine print. For example, some are not actually “unlimited” and charge certain fees later. You may not need that much data and end up paying a surcharge for no reason. Consider how much data you will use, because it will often save you money to just get a set data plan.

Bare minimum: Some places try to advertise super cheap plans with ridiculously low data volumes. If you only have 1GB of data, it’s not much at all. It makes more sense to save the few dollars and go with nothing or switch to a slightly more accommodating plan.

Overages: Nowadays, many cellphone providers will let you know when you’ve hit your limit and offer you a chance to add more data or minutes. Be careful you don’t sign up for a plan that automatically charges you overage fees. They are expensive and add up quickly.

Popular Phone Providers

To avoid a lot of issues, it can be smart to look into the most popular providers. They are popular for a reason, and many people stick with the same provider for years due to excellent service.

Verizon has arguable the best coverage compared to other phone plans. They offer a wide range of plans to accommodate anyone, including several different unlimited plans. They are a little more costly, but have a great reputation and offer the best quality connections with plans starting as low as $35 a month. There are even tons of perks such as trial memberships of Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu.

Although T-Mobile may not have the best connections or service, they are known for their affordable phone plans. Metro offers the most bang for your buck with amazing deals for family plans. There are also limited promotions for prepaid Mastercard’s for new customers. Plans start at $30 a month with inexpensive phone options.

AT&T offer amazing promotions to help you get the latest phone of your dreams. They have countless plans to cover anyone and are known for having the best data for hot spots. Their plans tend to be on the pricier side, and many of their contracts come with big commitments, but if you like to stay on the cutting edge of tech, you should consider looking into what they can offer you. There are even prepaid plans with 5G for as low as $75 a month.