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Cell phone Plan reviews

Best cell phone plans: summary  August 22, 2016 – 07:23 am
Cell phone plan reviews Nearly everyone owns a cell phone these days, but not everyone is confident they have the best cell phone plan for their needs. So we analyzed dozens of plans to help you find the best value, whether you’re looking for a family plan, a solo plan or a plan with tons of data.

What to consider when choosing a plan

First, understand how you use your phone. If you already have service, review your last three to six months’ worth of bills and average your monthly usage when it comes to minutes, texts and data. This will give you a sense of the plan size you need. And pay attention to how carriers handle data overages. Some charge a fee per gigabyte, while others just slow your speed until the next billing cycle.

Also, research each carrier’s coverage area. Ask which carriers your friends, neighbors and colleagues use and how they perform. Last, before signing up, make sure you’re clear on the carrier’s return policy. You can typically return your phone or cancel service within two weeks. After all, saving $10 per month won’t matter much if you can’t get a signal in your house or while at work.

Best cell phone plan for the average user

The average smartphone owner uses about 2GB or 3GB per month, according to various industry reports. We scoped out plans that meet those data needs while minimizing costs.

For solo users, prepaid cell phone plans are often the best monthly value, and this 4GB plan from Virgin Mobile is no exception. Customers pay just $10 per gigabyte, compared with more than $20 per GB with other carriers, and receive unlimited minutes and messages. If you prefer a traditional plan, Sprint’s Small plan is the best bet for your money.

  • Plan name: Virgin Mobile Unlimited Plan.
  • Price (monthly): $40.
  • Plan at a glance: 4GB of data, plus unlimited minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: At just $10 per GB, this is one of the best wireless deals out there.
  • Plan name: Sprint Small plan.
  • Price (monthly): $50.
  • Plan at a glance: 3GB of data, plus unlimited minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: Not ready to go prepaid? Sprint’s Small plan offers the lowest price per GB of the traditional plans we considered.

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Virgin Mobile: The carrier is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint’s network. Its 4GB plan includes unlimited streaming from select apps, such as Pandora and iHeartRadio. You’ll pay retail price for a new phone, between $40 and $500.
  • Sprint: At $16.67 per GB, Sprint’s Small plan is a better deal by far than other traditional plans. Sprint charges a $30 activation fee. The $50 monthly price doesn’t include taxes, fees or device payments. If you opt for a contract over paying for your phone in installments, the monthly price might be higher.

HOW OTHERS COMPARE:

3GB for $60
Medium: 4GB for $70
Simple Choice: 2GB for $50
Basic: 2.5GB for $40

Best family cell phone plan

Families can often get more for their money — on a cell phone plan, at least — if they stick together. Using a family of four as our model, we researched price per gigabyte and monthly cost per person — excluding taxes, fees, insurance and the price of phones — to find the best family plans out there.

The T-Mobile Simple Choice 6GB plan is great for medium-to-heavy data users. Each line gets 6GB of data for a total of 24GB. That works out to less than $7 per gigabyte — the best value per gigabyte of any plan we evaluated. Don’t need that much data? Cricket’s Basic plan is an excellent value for most families. At just $100 per month, it’s the least expensive option for a family of four.

  • Plan name: T-Mobile Simple Choice – 6GB.
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $160.
  • Plan at a glance: 6GB of data per line, plus unlimited minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: This feature-rich plan works out to just $6.67 per GB. Bonus: You don’t share data.
  • Plan name: Cricket Basic with Group Save.
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $100.
  • Plan at a glance: 2.5GB of data per line, plus unlimited minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: You can’t get four lines, and a total of 10GB, for $100 anywhere else. And if you sign up for autopay, it’s just $80 for four lines.
  • T-Mobile: Simple Choice plans with at least 6GB include unlimited video and music streaming from select services. Unused data rolls over each month, up to 20GB total, and you can use it for up to 12 months. T-Mobile charges a $20 “SIM Starter Kit” fee for each line. T-Mobile is in the process of phasing out its Simple Choice plans, so they’re not available online, but you can still sign up over the phone or in store.
  • Cricket: This prepaid carrier is owned by AT&T and uses AT&T’s network. Customers may be able to bring their own phone, or they can purchase a new one at retail price. New customers could pay a $25 in-store activation fee.

All of the prices listed below are for four lines. They don’t include taxes, fees or the price of phones.

10GB shared for $160
Large: 12GB shared for $140
X-Large: 16GB shared for $170
5GB per line (20GB total) for $140

Best data-heavy cell phone plan

Streaming music and videos, uploading photos to social media, and using your smartphone as a mobile hot spot will quickly put you into double-digit data usage. We reviewed plans that include at least 10GB of data for one line to find those that offer the lowest cost and best value per gigabyte of data.

Few plans come close to the value offered by Cricket Wireless: Customers get 10GB for just $60, which works out to just $6 per GB — less if you sign up for autopay. And if 10GB isn’t enough, consider an unlimited data plan. Sprint’s is $60 per month and gives you virtually endless data for less than the cost of 6GB with Verizon or 10GB with T-Mobile.

  • Plan name: Cricket Pro.
  • Price (monthly): $60.
  • Plan at a glance: 10GB of data per line, plus unlimited minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: A great value without a contract or any overage charges. Sign up for autopay and the plan is just $55.
  • Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Freedom.
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited high-speed data, minutes and text messages.
  • Why we like it: Sprint has the cheapest unlimited data plan out there unless you go prepaid.
  • Cricket: Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses AT&T’s network. Customers can save $5 per month by opting for automatic payments. New customers might pay a $25 in-store activation fee. Cricket does allow customers to bring their own phone, if it’s compatible.
  • Sprint: Video streaming is at standard definition with a maximum resolution of 480p. Data speed may slow if you exceed 23GB. And mobile hot spot usage at 4G speeds is capped at 5GB per month. After that, you’ll switch from high-speed data to 2G lower speeds for hot spot usage. Sprint may charge a $30 activation fee.
16GB for $110
T-Mobile One: Unlimited for $75
Unlimited for $60

Best basic cell phone plan

Do you miss the good old days, when cell phones weren’t smart? If you want a simple phone and plan, these are the best options. They offer the basics — calling and texting — with little to no data and a reasonable price tag. Prepaid plans tend to be best bare-bones options, so you also avoid taxes, fees and a long-term commitment.

Source: www.nerdwallet.com

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