Ways to Save Money

What’s the Best Cell Phone Plan for You? Here’s How to Find Out

July 14, 2016
by Carson Kohler
Junior Writer
Compare cell phone plans

My phone buzzes. It’s my cell phone provider, which seems to text me more often than some of my friends.

“90% of your data plan has been used. We’ll add 1GB of shared data to your plan for $15.”

How nice. Thank you. Just tack that onto the huge bill my family splits.

It’s a sad world when you pay more to communicate than you do to heat and cool your living space, but that’s what’s happening. So in an effort to help readers save some cash, Money recently analyzed 87 monthly smartphone plans from 10 different providers.

The big finding? It might be time to break up with your Big Four cell phone provider.

But rather than giving up your plan entirely, shop around.

The Best Cell Phone Plans

Before you switch plans, take an honest look at your usage rates. Don’t cheat yourself or you’ll end up like me, with extra fees. Seriously, I’ll take care of it when my phone is eligible for an upgrade next March.

Money’s analysis named these the best cell phone plans:

If You Don’t Need Much Data

Try Boost Mobile Data Boost.

The 2GB plan (0.25GB equates to about 1,000 emails) will cover your non-social media life for only $30 a month with autopay.

For the Family Who Avoids Social Media

Look into Cricket Basic with Group Save Discount.

For $100 a month, each line gets 2.5GB. Since Cricket runs on AT&T’s network, the coverage will be similar. Note that you must buy two phones outright.

If You Love to Stream

Money recommends switching to Cricket Pro.

You’ll get 10GB for $55 a month with autopay. You should be able to binge on Netflix without paying any overage fees.

For the Data-Hungry Family

Your best bet is to research T-Mobile Simple Choice 10GB. Your plan will be $140 per month for three times the data an average user consumes.

You’ll have three options for your phone: Buy it, pay it off in monthly installments or lease it.

For other options (like frequent travelers, addicted upgraders and everyone in between) check out Money’s full analysis or take the quiz to find your best fit.

As for me? I fall somewhere in between.

Because I’d like to switch to my own plan, am a frequent social media uploader and don’t need a new phone, Money recommends I switch to Boost Mobile Data Boost — which would only cost me $40 a month for 5 GB. Yeah, I could probably handle that.

Your Turn: Do you like your cell phone plan, or would you consider switching?

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.

by Carson Kohler
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

Share Your Thoughts

Top Articles