Cellular Family Plans | 2020's Best Options
Cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. They have revolutionized our ability to connect, with each other and the world around us, in ways that even a decade ago would have never seemed possible. Throughout our day, we use them to help us stay in touch, navigate to our next destinations, and surf the web to stay informed about anything under the sun. At night, we use them to stream our favorite content, scan our social media feeds, and even set our alarms before bed to ensure we wake up tomorrow to do it all over again. Living a normal life in 2020 without a working cell phone, for children and adults alike, is inefficient, complicated, and getting more unrealistic by the day.
Unfortunately, the cost associated with having a cell phone that you can rely on to do these things costs money, and the plans can get expensive quickly. When you start to factor in the numerous lines a family might need, a once simple phone bill has quickly become a significant budget strain for millions looking to keep their family and friends connected without breaking the bank. So, whether you are looking to add new phones to your plan to ensure your children can always get ahold of you, or you and your roommates are looking to cut costs, you'll need to find a plan that suits your specific situation. There are many potential considerations, including available data usage and talk/text limits, that means a fair bit of research is required to sift through the many plans available to you.1
We've thought through a variety of the potential scenarios you might be facing when it comes time to sign a new contract and done the background research to help save you time finding the best option for you. Here are the best family plans we've seen in 2020:
Best Overall Plan - T-Mobile Magenta Plus
Our pick for the best overall family plan is the Magenta Plus plan from T-Mobile. The price per line is a bit higher than the other plans listed here, but this is because the plan offers everything you could want in a family plan package. The Magenta Plus plan costs $43 per line, and includes unlimited talk & text, 20 GB of 4G LTE data (with unlimited 3g data after) and even comes with a Netflix and Quibi subscription for the first year. Additionally, T-Mobile includes a free Galaxy smartphone for each of the new lines! Also, the price includes all taxes and fees upfront, so there are no surprises when the bill comes.2
Best Value Plan - Cricket Wireless Unlimited 2 Plan
Cricket Wireless offers the best value when it comes to family plans, offering budget prices without sacrificing quality when it comes to connectivity. Cricket is unique in that they have a partnership with AT&T and use their extensive 4G LTE network, offering premium a premium network to its users without requiring a long term contract. Their wireless unlimited plan includes four lines with unlimited data for only $100, the cheapest we found of any plan that taps into such a robust nationwide network. The plan also offers the flexibility to trade in the unlimited data feature for a lesser amount that comes at a faster speed. With this option, you can add additional bandwidth for a reasonable, fixed rate of $10 per GB.3
Best Pre-Paid Plan - Metro by T-Mobile
For those who are interested in paying for their cell phone plan upfront, Metro by T-Mobile is currently offering the best deal. The metro prepaid plan still uses the T-mobile network for excellent connectivity everywhere but allows customers to pay in advance and avoid a monthly cell phone bill. For only $30 a line, customers can enroll four lines, all of which will have unlimited data capabilities as well as the ability to stream video up to 480p. As an additional bonus, the plan offers each line 100GB of google cloud storage! There are no additional fees or taxes associated with this plan, making the prepaid option even more valuable in terms of predictable costs.4
Lowest Cost Plan - Ting
Ting is the best option for those looking to minimize their family plan costs as much as possible. Ting is an alternative to the big four cell phone networks, and their plans specialize in offering added flexibility to their customers that can lead to serious savings. The savings are especially significant if users can limit their usage, with each of the four lines costing as little as $21 for 525 minutes, 250 texts, and 500mb of data each. Ting customers can use their Spring and T-Mobile devices with their plan, allowing added flexibility for those who are looking to transfer from either of those more prominent providers.5
As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to finding a great deal on a cellular family plan. Deciding what you need in your specific plan and seeking out an option that accommodates those needs without exceeding them can lead to significant savings. Having a cell phone is quickly becoming non-negotiable for all of us; their functionality and convenience continue to revolutionize our lives. Making sure your family and friends are connected has become more important than ever, but how much you spend to do that is primarily up to you and the work you put in to find the best deal.