Lesser-Known Cheap Cell Plans with 5G/LTE Data on Every Network – From $15/Month

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Updated 2021. The world of cell phone plans is constantly changing, but you can save hundreds of dollars per year by shopping around and using a lesser-known provider. Every major network sells wholesale minutes to MVNOs (Mobile Network Virtual Operators), which they in turn sell at a significant discount to individuals.

This list includes unlimited talk and text plans that include 5G and 4G LTE data. If you don’t need data, here are the lesser-known cheapest unlimited 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. Here are the best options by network below (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile). I sort by network because that usually makes it easier to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), though every MVNO will have a form where you can check compatibility via your phone’s specific identification number (IMEI or MEID).

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links where available. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may be compensated.

T-Mobile NetworkT-Mobile Network Color: Hot Pink

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 4 GB LTE Data. Mint Mobile has an unlimited talk, text, and 4 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. You can also upgrade to 10 GB of data for $20/month. They offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee (starts upon SIM activation) so you can test them out before making any commitment.
  • Less data, slightly cheaper, less upfront committment. 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 4 GB plan is $19 per month. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets.

Note: I personally use Mint Mobile – see my Mint Mobile review for tips and details based on my experiences.

AT&T NetworkAT&T Network Color: Blue

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 3 GB LTE Data. Red Pocket Mobile GSMA offers unlimited talk, text, and 3 GB data for $19 a month. 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 (GSMA) when you sign up.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 10 GB LTE Data. Red Pocket Mobile GSMA offers unlimited talk, text, and 10 GB data for $30 a month. 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 (GSMA) when you sign up.

Note: Unreal Mobile has good prices on the AT&T network, but they are run by Freedompop which has treated me unethically in the past with poor customer service and misled me about their “free trial”. I can’t recommend them here.

Verizon NetworkVerizon Network Color: Red

  • Unlimited Talk & Text + 3 GB LTE Data. Red Pocket Mobile CDMA offers unlimited talk, text, and 3 GB data for $19 a month. 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 (CDMA) when you sign up.
  • Unlimited Talk & Text + Unlimited LTE Data. Visible Wireless has an unlimited talk and text plan with unlimited LTE data for $40 per month. It’s also owned by Verizon. They also have a Party Pay feature where if you can join with a group of two, three, or four, you can get it down to $25/month ongoing. Each person manages their Visible account and their bill separately. You can join a Party at any time after becoming a Visible customer. Try the r/VisiblePartyPay subreddit to join a Party with strangers (which is within the rules). Note that if someone drops from your party, you will have to go back and fill that spot to keep the discount.

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.)

  9. (Removed by request)

  10. Jorge Quinonez says

    Visible gives me 5g speeds that depending on the time of day are twice as fast as my cable internet. Service is non-existent like Mint. It has far better coverage than my previous provider Cricket, which had descent service. You could call and go to stores for help. On Visible, you can only get support by chat. Overall, it’s still a win-win situation. Faster speed and far better coverage for roughly the same price. It more than makes up for the lack of in-person stores or a number to call for service.

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