Lesser-Known Cheap Data Cell Phone Plans on Every Network (3 GB from $15/Month, 5 GB from $20/Month)

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phones7Updated 2019. Cell phone bills are getting cheaper than ever. Have you checked prices recently? All of the major networks sell wholesale minutes to MVNOs (Mobile Network Virtual Operators), which they in turn sell at a significant discount to individuals. If you choose to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), every MVNO will have a form where you can check compatibility via identification number (IMEI or MEID).

This list includes unlimited talk and text plans with at least 2 GB and 5 GB of 4G LTE data. The average data user used 3 GB of data per month in 2017. If you don’t need data, here are the lesser-known cheapest talk and text only cell plans. Many of these advertise “unlimited data”, which means they throttle speeds down the 128 kbps (2G) after your LTE allotment runs out. After looking through what must have been over 100 MVNOs, here are the cheapest options by network below (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint).

T-Mobile NetworkT-Mobile Network Color: Hot Pink

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 3 GB LTE Data. Mint Mobile has an unlimited talk, text, and 3 GB LTE data plan from $15 per month. Their intro offer is 3 months at $15 per month. After that, you’ll have to buy 12 months of airtime upfront to get the $15 per month price. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets. They offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee (starts upon SIM activation) so you can test them out before making any commitment.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 8 GB LTE Data. Mint Mobile also has a $20 a month plan with unlimited talk, text, and 8 GB of LTE data. Their intro offer is 3 months at $20 per month. After that, you’ll have to buy 12 months of airtime upfront to get the $20 per month price. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets. They offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee (starts upon SIM activation) so you can test them out before making any commitment.

Note: I recently switched to Mint Mobile in my own phone. Please see my Mint Mobile SIM Activation and Number Port Transfer Review for tips based on my experiences.

Sprint NetworkSprint Network Color: Yellow

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 2 GB LTE Data. Tello Mobile has an unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB data plan for $14 a month. You don’t need to buy a year upfront. You need to choose a custom plan to find this option. Their 2 GB plan is only $14 per month. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 6 GB LTE Data. Tello Mobile has an unlimited talk, text, and 6 GB data plan for $24 a month. You don’t need to buy a year upfront. You need to choose a custom plan to find this option. Their 6 GB plan is only $24 per month. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets.

Sprint Unlimited for $35: Sprint offers a “barebones” but still unlimited talk, text, and unlimited data for $35/month via their Sprint Kickstart plan that they don’t really promote. You can bring your own compatible phone (check with them) or buy one.

AT&T NetworkAT&T Network Color: Blue

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 5 GB LTE Data. Red Pocket Mobile via eBay offers unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB data for $20 a month or less when you pay for 12 months upfront ($240 for one year) with a free SIM included in the kit. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets. You can choose the AT&T network when you sign up.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 3 GB LTE Data. If you prefer a month-to-month plan (no full year commitment), Straight Talk Wireless has an unlimited talk and text plan with 3 GB data for $34 per month with auto-refill (every 30 days). $35 per 30 days without auto-refill.

Verizon NetworkVerizon Network Color: Red

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 2 GB LTE Data. Red Pocket Mobile via eBay offers unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB data for $20 a month or less when you pay for 12 months upfront ($240 for one year) with a free SIM included in the kit. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets. You can choose the Verizon network when you sign up.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 5 GB LTE Data. Total Wireless has an unlimited talk and text plan with 5 GB data for $33.20 per month with auto-refill (every 30 days). This is a month-to-month plan (no full year commitment). You can also choose $35 per 30 days without auto-refill.

If you don’t need data, here are the lesser-known cheapest talk and text only cell plans.

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Comments

  1. According to this reddit thread, FaceTime over cellular data and MMS don’t work on Red Pocket:

    https://old.reddit.com/r/redpocket/comments/8q2e1g/any_one_know_why_redpocket_is_blocking_facetime/

    Just something to be aware of.

  2. I have the Mint Mobile $15/month plan. I believe you have to pay a year in advance to get that deal though.
    It’s a great price. Customer service is basically non-existant, but it’s a great price.

  3. That mind mobile looks intriguing…

  4. Visit this site for detailed analysis, updates and discussions on MVNO’s: https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/ (no affiliation)

  5. I have the simple mobile plan and have been really happy with it so far.

    https://themoneyvikings.net/2018/08/15/deal-of-the-day-cell-phone-plans/

    I get unlimited talk and text + 6GB of data for 40$ month and then it goes back to a slow speed once I use up the 6 GB. I also order the pre-paid cards from amazon at a discount, so I get the 40$ card for 28$ or so. The plan isn’t perfect, and it’s hard to switch from 1 plan to another mid-month, but if you can deal with that, it’s not a bad solution.

  6. which one would you recommend for occasional use w/ 1GB of data and that is good for 60 or 90 days, like Trackphone ?

  7. Where would you suggest to get a phone from that would work on Red Pocket plans?

  8. The 5GB Red Pocket eBay plan for Verizon is not available… only Sprint or AT&T, it seems. Wanted to let you know. (We went with the 2GB plan… my husband is pretty sure that’ll be plenty for him, and it is available on Verizon.)

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