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Best Phone Plans in 2022

By Jennifer Eblin · Jun 24, 2022

With mobile phones as our main source of communication, it’s important to choose the right phone plan. This way, you can ensure that the plan covers all of your needs at a price you’re willing to pay. There is a range of factors to consider when selecting your plan, like how many phones you need to be covered, the amount of data you receive each month, and access to 5G networks. With all of the phone plans to choose from, it can be difficult to decipher which one will suit you best. Check out these top phone plans and what makes them better than other plans on the market.
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Best unlimited plan
At&t Logo

AT&T Wireless Unlimited Premium Plan

Number of phone lines 1 to 5
Mobile hot spot 50 GB hotspot data
Data included Unlimited data
International coverage Unlimited talk, text and data in Mexico & Canada
5G access Included
Contract required Yes
Cost per line $45-$75/month

Product available at:


Best Perks
Verizon Logo

Verizon 5G Play More Plans

Number of phone lines 1 to 8
Mobile hot spot 25 GB premium mobile hotspot data
Data included 50 GB premium network access, then unlimited
International coverage Talk, text and unlimited data in Canada and Mexico
5G access 5G Ultra Wideband
Contract required Yes
Cost per line $40-$90/month

Product available at:


Coupons

Verizon
Best unlimited plans
T Mobile

T-Mobile Magenta Max

Number of phone lines 1 to 5
Mobile hot spot 40 GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data
Data included Unlimited premium data
International coverage Talk, text and unlimited data in Canada and Mexico
5G access Included
Contract required Yes
Cost per line $40-$85/month

Product available at:


Coupons

T-Mobile
Best prepaid plan
Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile Unlimited Prepaid Plans (12 Months)

Number of phone lines 1 to 5
Mobile hot spot 5 GB mobile hotspot
Data included Unlimited data
International coverage Free international calls to Mexico and Canada
5G access Included
Contract required 3, 6 and 12 months
Cost per line $30/month

Product available at:


Best plan for families
Visible Logo

Visible Standard Plan

Number of phone lines 1 or more
Mobile hot spot Unlimited
Data included Unlimited data
International coverage Calling & texting to Canada & Mexico
Cost per line $30/month
5G access N/A
Contract required N/A

Product available at:


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5 of the Best Phone Plans in 2022

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AT&T is one of the top mobile phone providers that offers plans suitable for most customers. The AT&T Wireless Plus Plan ranks as the best-unlimited plan because for just $50 a month you can get unlimited calling, texting, and data. The plan also incldudes ActiveArmor security, which allows you to block calls from unfamiliar numbers and notifies you about potential fraud or spam calls. This plan also includes unlimited calls, data, and texts to both Mexico and Canada, in addition to unlimited texting to more than 200 other countries.

FAQs

AT&T allows you to bundle your television and internet with your phone plan to save money. The AT&T Wireless Plus Plan also qualifies for bundles with the company’s home phone plans.

If you work for of the companies or belong to an organization that AT&T partners with, you may qualify for a discount. Other discounts are available for those who work in health care or education. You also qualify for discounts on your AT&T Wireless Plus Plan if you’re in the military or if you’re a first responder.

With the AT&T Wireless Plus Plan, you get standard definition streaming to watch Netflix or use other streaming apps on your phone. This plan gives you access to a virtual expert who can help you with your current phone or can help when you want to buy a new one. If you upgrade to a different AT&T plan, you’ll get HBO Max for free.

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Unlimited data, texts, and calls
  • 5G access
  • Free security features
  • Standard definition streaming
  • Unlimited texts to many countries
Disadvantage
  • Fairly basic
  • Slow speeds during busy times of the day
  • Only covers one line
Gamers will love Verizon 5G Play More Plus because it comes with 50 GB of premium data in addition to unlimited data for each month. When you sign up, you get six months of Google Play Pass or Apple Arcade to try new games for free. This plan comes with 5G coverage in certain areas, but your phone will use other towers to ensure that you have service anywhere you go. Thanks to the mobile hot spot, you'll have internet access across the country. The hot spot comes with high speeds and allows you to connect your other devices to the internet.

FAQs

Yes, if you live in an area where Verizon has a fiber network, you can bundle your mobile phone plan with an internet plan. This helps you save money and gives you high-speed internet at home.

Verizon offers tons of discounts for nurses and doctors, along with other health care workers, teachers, and even students. You also get a discount for your plan if you’re a first responder or in the military. Verizon offers discounts if you drop your paper bills and pay automatically each month, too.

As a Verizon 5G Play More Plus customer, you get an entertainment package–worth nearly $19 a month– for free. It gives you six months of Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. The Disney Plus bundle also comes with your plan, which gives you access to Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN+ for free

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Tons of available discounts
  • 5G network
  • No contract required
  • Gives you free access to streaming apps
  • Bundles with your home internet
Disadvantage
  • Lowers your speed when the network is busy
  • No international options
  • May lack good coverage in your area
Unlimited calls, texts, and data are available through T-Mobile Magenta Max in the United States. You get unlimited texting to international numbers and unlimited calls and texts to numbers in Canada and Mexico. Domestic users get free unlimited calls, texts, and data and can use their phones as mobile hot spots. You get 40 GB of hot spot data every month before your speed drops. T-Mobile also offers free Netflix and Paramount+ that you can use on your phone and other devices. This plan allows you to cover your phone, in addition to two others at an affordable monthly rate.

FAQs

T-Mobile only has bundles available in certain areas. These bundles help you save when you sign up for a mobile phone plan along with a home phone plan and/or an internet package. You can also bundle multiple phone plans together for additional savings.

To qualify for discounts for your T-Mobile Magenta Max, simply sign up for automatic payments. The company will take $5 off your phone bill every month. T-Mobile has discounts for health care and education workers as well as government employees and military members.

With T-Mobile Magenta Max, you get free access to Netflix and can stream shows and films on your phone or TV. You also get one free year of Paramount+. Once you register for these streaming apps, you can download and use them on other devices. T-Mobile gives you protection through Scam Shield as well.

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Unlimited calls, data, and texts
  • Covers three different phones and numbers
  • Includes some free international options
  • 4K and UHD streaming on your phone
  • Scam Shield protection included
Disadvantage
  • More expensive than other plans
  • Does not have many discounts
  • Small network
Mint Mobile allows you to bring phones bought from other providers and use it on their 5G network. You can also turn your phone into a 5G hot spot or buy a separate hot spot from Mint to use around your home. The unlimited plan includes free calls, texts, and data in the United States. You also get free texts and calls to both Mexico and Canada. Mint Mobile provides you with a free 3-in-1 SIM card kit that helps you connect your phone to the network.

FAQs

Mint Mobile does not offer any bundles.

When you buy a new phone from Mint Mobile, you qualify for a discount on your plan. Mint Mobile will give you six months of free service when you purchase select phones. There are often deals where you can pay for three or six months of service in advance and pay only $10 per month.

Though Mint Mobile doesn’t include any perks with the Mint Mobile Unlimited Prepaid Plan, you may receive a free autographed photo or card from Ryan Reynolds, the owner of the company. The company also runs contests a few times a year that help customers earn free service and other prizes.

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Unlimited data, texts, and calls included
  • Low price
  • Works with your current or old phone
  • Seven-day refund policy
  • No contract
Disadvantage
  • Not as much coverage as other plans
  • Does not accept all phones
  • Can seriously drop your speed
With Visible Plans, you receive big discounts on your phone plan when you register with four or more people. Not only can you set up phones and plans for your whole family, but you can also join groups to take advantage of these low prices. Unlike other providers that ask one person to pay for all of the plans, Visible allows customers to pay separately. You can sign up and leave whenever you want. Visible gives you unlimited data, calls, and texts on your phone and turns your phone into a 5G hot spot.

FAQs

As Visible only offers phone service, there are, unfortunately, not any bundles to take advantage of.

When you sign up for Visible, you get a discount of $15 off your first month. Though you can bring your phone with you, you also have the option of buying a phone from the company. Visible gives you a gift card with a value of up to $200, depending on the phone you buy.

Visible Plans come with perks at least once a year. You might get a $50 gift card to an online store as a Christmas gift. Visible holds contests to help customers win prizes as well.

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Low monthly rates
  • Perfect for families
  • Turns your phone into an unlimited 5G hot spot
  • Free calls and texts to Mexico and Canada
  • Works with some older phones
Disadvantage
  • Your price can go up when someone leaves the party
  • Smaller network
  • High prices on some phones

List of all Best Phone Plans in 2022 for your needs

Product Date Price Shop
AT&T Wireless Unlimited Premium Plan 06/2022 $ 75.00 Buy
Verizon 5G Play More Plans 06/2022 $ 90.00 Buy
T-Mobile Magenta Max 06/2022 $ 85.00 Buy
Mint Mobile Unlimited Prepaid Plans (12 Months) 06/2022 $ 30 Buy
Visible Standard Plan 06/2022 $ 30.00 Buy

What is a reasonable price for a phone plan?

The average price that customers pay for phone plans today is $113 a month, which is much higher than you might expect. Your price depends on the provider and the type of plan you choose, as well as whether you add any optional features. One example of an optional feature is phone insurance. This covers damage to your phone but requires that you pay a monthly fee for the service. If you drop your phone and shatter the screen, you can contact your cellphone company or insurance provider and file a claim. Many insurers require that you send your phone in for repairs. If the insurer finds that your phone needs too much work, you can pick out a new one in the same price range for free.

Phone plan discounts

When choosing a phone plan, consider all of the discounts that you can use. Discounts can include phone plan coupons that you enter during checkout while others are savings that apply to your account every month. A great example is a military discount, which you can qualify for if you are in the military or if you previously served. Some phone plan providers offer military discounts for the spouses and children of enlisted personnel, too.

Other discounts that help you save on your phone plan include discounts for: 

  • First responders
  • Doctors and other health care workers
  • Teachers
  • Students

Other ways to save on your phone plan

In addition to specific discounts, some companies offer other ways to save on your phone, such as signing up for autopay. Many companies offer a lower price if you choose this feature. It requires that you link a payment method to your account. The company will automatically charge your account for the full amount due each month. In exchange for this feature, you usually get $5 or more off your bill.

Changing your insurance plan can also help you save money. You should always compare the prices of new phones to the insurance you pay. If you pay $8 per month or more for insurance and can get a new phone for $150 or less, you may not need insurance. Many people drop their insurance when their phones age, too. Why pay a lot of money to protect a phone when you know you will need to upgrade it soon?

Some providers allow you to buy a new phone and make payments on it. When you pick out the phone, however, the company will add $20 or more to your total price. You can do the same thing with a tablet or another device. It’s easy to save money when you keep the same cellphone for longer. The downside to this is that some phones won’t be able to upgrade your operating system when they get past a certain age. You may find that it runs a little slower than you would like or that it’s no longer compatible with certain apps.

Though many phones now come with unlimited data, some still charge extra when you go over your data cap. If you have one of these plans, consider switching to a different one. You can also set up a reminder on your phone that alerts you when you near your data cap. In addition, the alert is helpful if your provider drops your data speed when you reach a certain level.

Can you bring your phone when you switch plans?

You can often bring your cellphone with you when you change plans or even providers. If you want to keep your phone number, though, you need to let both companies know that you need to port the number. This requires that the new carrier checks with your old carrier to make sure your account is in good standing. You will need to make sure you don’t owe any money on your phone or plan. The new carrier cannot port your number if you still have a balance on your old account. Porting your number usually takes two to three hours but can take up to 24 hours.

Should you upgrade your phone?

Just because you can bring your old phone, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Experts often say you should upgrade your phone every two to three years. This ensures that you have access to the most recent operating system and all of the latest features. With some phones, you can get up to five or even six years before you need to upgrade. Some of the signs that you need a new phone include the following:

  • The phone shows serious signs of damage, such as a cracked screen
  • You can no longer update your operating system or any of the apps you use
  • It drains the battery quickly and requires charging a few times a day
  • Your phone runs too slowly

Buying a new phone for your plan

Phones from top brands like Apple and Samsung can easily cost $600 up to $1500, which is why many companies offer installment payment plans. This allows you to buy a phone and pay it off over a span of time. Though some plans do not charge interest for three to six months if you pay off the phone before then, others begin charging interest as soon as you buy the phone.

How is a prepaid plan different from a standard plan?

A standard or traditional phone plan asks you to sign a contract and stay with the provider for the amount stated in your contract. Although, with a prepaid phone, you do not need to sign a contract. You have the option of sticking with that company for years or turning off your phone after a single month. Prepaid plans require that you pay your bill at the beginning of the month; you then get a full month of service and receive a new bill at the end of the month. Prepaid plans give you the freedom to come and go as you please and can help you save money. Some companies offer unlimited calls, data, and texts for as little as $60 a month. These companies do not run credit checks, either. As long as you have a phone or buy one from them, you qualify for a phone plan.

Prepaid plans also come with coverage limits. Some of these providers require that you buy phone cards and load them onto your phone. Every text or photo message that you send and each minute you spend on a call or online will take points away from your card. When you run out of points, you need to buy a new one before you can use your phone again. One of the biggest downsides of prepaid plans is that they charge high rates for new phones. You may also find that you cannot make international calls through the phone and that the provider throttles your speed.

Do you need to sign a phone plan contract?

Whether or not you need to sign a contract depends on which company you choose. Contract phone plans are different from prepaid phone plans in that you need to both qualify for a plan and sign a contract. The provider will run a credit check, which will determine whether or not you need to pay a deposit. As long as you make your payments on time, you will either get your deposit back or find that the company applies it to your phone bill. Contracts can last for as little as a year or up to several years.

What are the pros and cons of contract phone plans?

Contract phone plans have benefits that include giving you priority on the network. Many phone providers offer both contract and prepaid phones. They give priority to contract phones when their networks are busy. You’ll find that you get better customer service, too, in that the company will respond to you faster and spend more time trying to make you happy. Another benefit is easily qualifying for a cheaper phone. These companies offer subsidized rates that allow you purchase phones for as little as $50. You may even find deals that give you a new phone when you port your number.

The cons of a contract phone plan are that you are locked into a plan that is more expensive. If you decide that you want to change carriers and are still under contract, you will likely need to pay a termination fee to get out. This fee can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. When you compare prices, you’ll find that you pay much more for a contract phone. Some of these plans cost more than $100 a month for a single line. Keep in mind that you may have fewer options, too, as some of these companies have a limited selection of phones and will not let you bring your own.

What should you look for in a phone plan?

The Big Four is a term that once described the four most popular cellphone companies in the United States: Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T.  Since T-Mobile and Sprint merged, there are now three big companies along with multiple other smaller providers like Visible, Cricket, and Mint Mobile. You can spend hours comparing the available plans and still not feel comfortable picking one. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when picking a mobile phone plan:

Cost

Plans often start at around $40 a month, but Visible drops the price to $25 per month when you join a party line. T-Mobile charges the most at $170 per month, but this includes four lines. You can open a phone line for each member of your family or go in on a plan together with a few close friends. The cost of other plans ranges from $30 to $80 a month. It’s easy to find an affordable plan that works for you.

Coverage

You should never sign up for a mobile phone plan without making sure the company has coverage in your area. Many mobile phone companies have maps you can view online that show you where they have towers and what their network covers. Not only should you check for coverage around your home, but you should also look for coverage around your place of work and other areas you spend time in. Don’t assume that a bigger network is always better; a major city may have many people using the same network, causing the provider to throttle your speed.

Data speeds and caps

Every time you use the internet on your phone, you use data. Most phone plans today come with unlimited data, meaning you don’t need to keep an eye on how much you use because there are no limits. Some plans still give you a certain amount of data, though, like Cricket. Cricket offers different plans that include 10 GB of data or more. Even if you choose an unlimited plan, you will get a soft limit or cap. This tells you how much data you can use before the company will limit your speed. With a plan that has a cap of 50 GB, you’ll enjoy fast speeds until you hit this cap. Your speed will then drop until your next month of service begins. Make sure that you pick a plan that has the data speed and a cap that fits your lifestyle.

Roaming fees

Though not as common today, roaming fees still exist. This is a fee that applies when you use your phone from one carrier on a different network. Most phones have a small icon on the top of the screen that lets you know you are no longer in your network. If you receive a text message or talk to someone for just a few minutes, you need to pay a high fee when you’re outside of your network. Roaming fees apply to anything you do with your phone, including making phone calls, sending text messages, getting picture messages, or surfing the web.

Mobile hot spot

A mobile hot spot is a small device that gives you access to the internet. Many phone plans include a mobile hot spot option. If you live in an area where internet speeds are slow, you can connect your smart TV or video game console to your phone and use your data as an internet connection. Keep in mind that this usually only works with newer phones. You might have an older phone that cannot function as a hot spot. Some plans do not include this feature or require that you pay extra for it.

Grace period

The grace period might be as little as seven days but can be as long as 14 days and it allows you to use the phone and see how the plan works. If you don’t have coverage in your area or have any problems with the plan, you can cancel your contract before the grace period ends. Though some companies will keep the money you paid, others will refund you the total amount you paid minus the service you received during the grace period.

International options

Not everyone needs to make international calls, but many plans include this option. Not only do you want to see if you can make international calls through your plan, but you should also check where you can call. Many providers offer free international calling to Canada and Mexico but charge a fee to call other countries. Some plans give you a certain number of free minutes you can use on international calls and charge you if you go over this amount. You’ll also find plans that include free text and data messaging to other countries.

Total cost

Always look at the total cost you pay per month rather than just the advertised cost. Many companies advertise that you can get a new phone for free when you change carriers but do not inform you about the activation fee. Activation fees can cost as much as $50 plus tax. You also need to look at how much your bill costs when you factor in any taxes due. Depending on where you live, those taxes can increase your bill by 10-20% or more.

Entertainment benefits or perks

As a way to stand out from the competition, many mobile phone companies now offer entertainment perks or bonuses for customers. Many phone plans include free access to at least one streaming service app. Verizon now offers the Disney+ bundle for free with most plans. Not only can you watch your favorite Disney shows and films, but you get full access to Hulu, which allows you to watch even more content. This bundle also includes ESPN+ for sports fans. Both AT&T and Cricket (disclaimer: Crick is owned by AT&T), offer free access to HBO Max. You get both the streaming service and phone plan you need for a price lower than you would pay for each one on its own. Some companies also offer Amazon Prime for free when you sign up.

Party or group lines

You may need a phone plan that covers just one line that you use for personal reasons or two lines that you can use for personal reasons and work. Many carriers offer discounts if you have multiple lines, which can help you save money. Another option to consider is a group or party plan. These are plans designed for multiple people. You usually pay one price for your first line and get a discount on each additional line you add. T-Mobile has a plan that includes four lines of service. Visible also offers plans that include four or more lines. With Visible, you can join parties and sign up for plans with people you don’t know in real life.

Insurance

Though many phone plans come with optional insurance, it’s important to find out how it works and what it covers. It’s rare that you’ll find a plan with included insurance because you usually need to pay extra for coverage. Insurance plans often come from third-party companies that are affiliated with providers but are still separate. To file a claim, you need to contact the insurer directly. The company will charge you a deductible if you have one and will require that you send in your phone for repairs. It can take weeks for you to get your phone back.

4G vs. 5G

It’s important that you consider whether the company uses a 4G or 5G network. The biggest difference between the two is that 5G networks are much faster in terms of both downloading and uploading speeds. You can download a game quickly and surf the web without any lags. While 4G networks are better than the old 3G networks, they aren’t always as fast. Some companies have 5G networks in areas with a lot of people but will move you to a 4G network when you travel outside of metropolitan areas.

 

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Last updated on Jun 24, 2022