The Best Cheap Phone Plans Under $40/Month

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If you’re looking for ways to save on your cell phone bill, there are several inexpensive providers you can switch to without sacrificing the quality of your service. 

I’ve researched more than 70 phone plans to find the absolute best prices on reliable networks. In this article, I’ll share my top picks for cheap cell phone plans. 

Cheapest Monthly Cell Phone Plan
Tello Economy
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$10/month (plus taxes)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data
  • Cheapest pre-built plan available
Best Value for a Cheap Cell Phone Plan
Mint 4GB
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$15/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • 4GB of high-speed data for $15/month
  • Pay three months in advance to get the best price.
Cheapest Annual Prepaid Phone Plan
Boost Mobile Annual Plan
Network
T-Mobile and AT&T
Price
$100 ($8.33/month)
Highlights
  • $100 for 12 months of service ($8.33/month) before taxes and fees.
  • Get unlimited talk, text and 1GB of 5G/4G data each month.
Cheapest Unlimited Cell Phone Plan
Mint Unlimited
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$30/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • 35GB data cap before reduced speeds
  • Prepay three months in advance when you sign up.
  • Although the contract changes, the plan price stays the same after three months.
Best Cheap Hotspot Plan
Tello Mobile Data
Network
T-Mobile
Price
$29/month (plus taxes)
Highlights
  • One of the cheapest unlimited phone plans available
  • Includes 25GB of high-speed mobile hotspot (unlimited but slowed to 2G after 25GB).
Cheapest Unlimited Hotspot Plan
Visible
Network
Verizon
Price
$30/month (taxes & fees included)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and data with 5-12 Mbps speeds
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot with 5 Mbps speeds
  • One of the cheapest prices for unlimited data

Choosing the Best Cheap Phone Plan

As you’re shopping around for a new phone plan, be sure that you consider your needs first. While price is clearly an important factor, you’ll also want to find a provider that has good coverage in your area and offers an appropriate amount of mobile data. For this reason, there are a few options to consider when looking for the best cheap cell phone plan.

It’s important that you have reliable phone service but also that you aren’t paying for features you don’t need. Three great ways to get the cheapest cell phone plan include choosing a plan that isn’t unlimited, opting for prepaid service and switching to a low-cost MVNO that runs on one of the three major networks’ towers.

Here are my top picks for the cheapest phone plans available now:


Cheapest Phone Plans

If you’re looking for the absolute lowest cost on a cell phone plan, you can find deals for as low as $10 monthly. For this price, you can get Tello Mobile’s Economy plan including unlimited calls, text and 1GB of high-speed data. For $15 per month, you can get a little more data with Mint Mobile’s 4GB plan.

If you’re willing to pay for a year in advance, Boost Mobile’s annual plan is available for $100 for 12 months ($8.33 per month before taxes and fees), but I recommend trying out Boost Mobile’s service before paying for an annual plan upfront.

In this section, I’ll take a closer look at these three great options for a cheap phone plan:


Tello Economy

Tello Mobile review

Cheapest Monthly Cell Phone Plan

If you’re looking for the cheapest phone plan available that you can pay for as you go, you’ll find it with Tello Mobile. Tello Economy includes a plan that gives you unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data for $10 monthly, which makes it the least expensive pre-built plan available anywhere.

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In addition to Tello Economy, Tello Mobile offers additional plans including 2GB for $14 monthly and 5GB for $19 per month.

If you decide to switch to Tello, you may be able to bring your own phone, which will save you even more money. You can check your phone’s eligibility online. For more information on Tello, be sure to read our full review.


Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile Review: T-Mobile’s Network for Only $15 per Month

Best Value for a Cheap Phone Plan

Mint is another great option to consider when looking for a cheap cell phone plan. For $15 monthly, you’ll get unlimited talk and text as well as 4GB of high-speed data. Data speed reduces after 4GB, but data is unlimited with this plan. With this new-customer offer, you will have to pay three months in advance to lock in the price, which means you’ll owe $45 at the time of purchase.

Additional plans from Mint Mobile include 10GB for $20 monthly, 15GB for $25 monthly and 35GB for $30 monthly.

For more information on Mint, check out Team Clark’s review. If you decide to switch to Mint, you may be able to bring your own phone and save additional money. Check your phone’s compatibility here before switching.


Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile

Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plan

Boost Mobile offers several cheap monthly plans, but its new annual plan is tough to beat. The plan costs $100 for 12 months, which works out to be $8.33 per month before taxes and fees. For this price, you’ll get 12 months of unlimited talk, text and 2G data. The plan also includes 1GB of 5G/4G data per month that can be shared via mobile hotspot. After 1GB of high-speed data each month, mobile data and hotspot speeds will reduce.

Other plans from Boost Mobile include 5GB for $25 per month, 10GB for $35 per month and the unlimited plan starting at $50 per month.

If you’re thinking about switching to Boost Mobile, be sure to check out the coverage map online. You may also be able to bring your own phone to save even more; just be prepared for a $25 activation fee. Also, be sure to check your phone’s compatibility in person at your nearest Boost Mobile store before purchasing the plan. To learn more about Boost Mobile before switching, including why I warn against ordering a SIM card from Boost Mobile online, read my full review here.

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Cheapest Unlimited Data Plans

One of the best ways to save money on a phone plan is by opting for limited data. However, if you don’t have regular access to Wi-Fi, you may truly need an unlimited data plan.

When it comes to unlimited phone plans, there’s a lot of fine print to consider. Many plans advertise unlimited data, but this often includes slowed speeds after a certain amount of use each month. While the plans listed here do have a limited amount of high-speed data, they are technically unlimited and come with better prices (around $30 per line).

If you’re looking for a plan that’s completely unlimited with no data cap overage, check out T-Mobile Magenta Max for $85 per line.

If you are looking for a cheap unlimited phone plan, here are my top picks:


Mint Unlimited

Mint Mobile Review: T-Mobile’s Network for Only $15 per Month

Cheapest Unlimited Cell Phone Plan

Mint Mobile offers unlimited talk, text and data for $30 monthly plus taxes and fees. This plan includes 5GB of mobile hotspot data and 35GB of high-speed data. After 35GB, speeds reduce, but you can still continue using unlimited data. As with all Mint Mobile plans, you will have to prepay for three months at a time, which makes this plan $90 total at the time of purchase.

Still, you can bring your one phone to Mint Mobile to save money as opposed to purchasing a new one. Simply check your phone’s compatibility online before switching. You can learn more about Mint Mobile in our full review.


Tello Mobile Data

Tello Mobile review

Best Cheap Hotspot Plan

In addition to one of the cheapest plans overall, Tello Mobile also offers one of the cheapest unlimited data plans. You can get unlimited talk, text and data for $29 per month. Data speeds slow after 25GB, but you can continue using unlimited data. Additionally, this plan allows you to share your data with mobile hotspot capabilities.

If you decide to switch to Tello, you may also be able to bring your own phone to save even more money. You can check your phone’s eligibility online. Be sure to read our full review of Tello before switching.

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Visible

Visible cell phone

Cheapest Unlimited Hotspot Plan

For $30 per month, Visible offers a phone plan with unlimited talk, text and data. This plan includes truly unlimited data with no cap, but know that speeds may be reduced during congestion. You can expect download speeds between 5-12 Mbps. Unlike Mint and Tello, Visible runs on Verizon’s network. The prepaid carrier offers two different phone plans: Visible and Visible+. The standard Visible plan costs $30 per month and includes unlimited mobile hotspot with speeds capped at 5 Mbps.

Additionally, you may be able to bring your own phone to Visible when you switch to save even more. To see if yours is compatible, visit Visible’s website. Check out our full review for more about Visible.


Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans

There are many reasons that you may be considering a prepaid phone plan. A prepaid phone plan is one of the top three ways to save money on your phone bill. And unlike traditional post-paid phone plans, prepaid phone plans don’t require a credit check when you sign up for service. Instead, you’ll pay for what you need ahead of time. 

Here are my three top picks for the cheapest prepaid phone plans available now:

The Cheapest Prepaid Phone Plans:

  • Boost Mobile (Review) offers a 12-month prepaid plan for $100 that includes unlimited talk, text and 1GB of 5G/4G data per month. Additional “carrier crusher” plans also include unlimited data (35GB high-speed per month) for $300 upfront which works out to be $25 per month plus taxes and fees. Boost also offers a 2GB monthly plan for $15.
  • Mint Mobile (Review) offers an affordable plan that has the best overall value with 4GB of high-speed data for only $15 monthly.
  • Connect by T-Mobile offers plans beginning at $10 for 1GB of data as well as additional plans including $15 for 3GB, $25 for 6GB or $35 for 12GB. You can check out the details here.

Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile and Connect by T-Mobile offer additional prepaid phone plans that you can check out on their respective websites. The plans displayed here are the cheapest plans available from each. 


Cheap Phone Plans for Two

If you’re shopping for a phone plan for two lines, there are a few deals that are worth considering. But some phone plans offer individual lines for cheap enough prices that you may want to simply buy two. For example, Tello Economy offers 1GB of data for $10 per month per line, which means your total phone bill for two would be $20. Connect by T-Mobile also offers the same deal.

Mint offers 4GB for $15 per line while Boost Mobile offers 2GB for the same price, which would still keep your total bill under $30 for two. 

If you are looking for a little more data, there are several cheap phone plans available that are specifically designed for two users. Here are my top picks if you’re shopping for two lines: 

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 H2O WirelessVisibleXfinity Unlimited
Price for Two$25 per line$30 per line$30 per line
NetworkAT&TVerizonVerizon
Talk and TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DataUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Data Cap Overage6GBNone20GB

The Best Cheap Phone Plans for Two:

  • H2O Wireless offers a plan for $25 per line monthly that includes unlimited talk, text and data. Each line gets 6GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds.
  • Visible (Review) offers unlimited talk, text and data for $30 per line monthly for two. While data is completely unlimited, speeds do slow with congestion.
  • Xfinity Mobile (Review) offers two lines of unlimited for $30 per line. This deal is exclusively available to Xfinity internet customers. It includes 20GB of high-speed data before deprioritization kicks in, though data is unlimited.

Other Plans To Consider:

  • AT&T Prepaid offers two lines from $25 each for 5GB per line. 
  • T-Mobile Essentials is available for $45 per line monthly and also includes unlimited talk, text and data. Unlike the other plans, you will have access to high speed data up until 50GB before reduced speeds.
  • Cricket Wireless (Review) offers plans for two beginning at $30 per line for 2GB, $35 per line for 10GB or $40 per line for unlimited high-speed data with a max speed of 8Mbps.
  • Spectrum Mobile (Review) offers Spectrum Unlimited to Spectrum customers, which was specifically designed for two lines. However, you can now get the same deal with a single line. The plan costs $29.99 per line per month. It includes unlimited talk, text and data (speeds slow after 20GB). It also includes mobile hotspot tethering with reduced speeds after 5GB. 

Cheap Phone Plans for Three

The more lines you add to a phone plan, the more discounts you’ll likely be eligible for. Still, some cheap phone plans that offer individual lines for low prices are worth considering. Tello offers plans beginning as low as $10 per line while Mint and Boost offer lines beginning at $15. Of course, these plans offer very limited data. 

If you’re shopping for phone plans with a little more data, here are my top picks for cheap phone plans for three users:

 T-Mobile EssentialsVisibleT-Mobile Magenta Max
Price for Three$30 per line$30 per line$47 per line
NetworkT-MobileVerizonT-Mobile
Talk and TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DataUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Data Cap Overage50GBNoneNone

The Best Cheap Phone Plans for Three:

  • T-Mobile Essentials (Review) is available for $30 per line for three lines. That works out to be $90 total per month! It includes 50GB of high-speed data before reduced and unlimited access to 3G mobile hotspot.
  • Visible (Review) also offers a plan for $30 per line monthly. It includes unlimited talk, text and data. While the data is completely unlimited, you can expect download speeds between 5-12 Mbps.
  • T-Mobile Magenta Max (Review) includes three lines for $47 each, which makes the total bill around $141. While it’s not the cheapest option available, it does include truly unlimited data with speeds that never slow.

Other Plans To Consider: 

  • Cricket Wireless Unlimited (Review) costs $30 per line monthly, and you’ll get unlimited talk, text and data. Data speeds are limited to a max of 8Mpbs.
  • Google Fi (Review) offers a Simply Unlimited plan that costs $25 per line for three lines ($75 total per month). It includes 35GB of high-speed data before deprioritization and 5GB of hotspot tethering per month. 

Cheap Phone Plans for Four

If you’re shopping for a full family plan, or a plan with four lines on it, you’ll be able to get some of the lowest prices per line. (Of course, some cheap MVNOs offer incredibly low prices per line individually.) Tello Mobile offers plans beginning as low as $10 per line while Mint and Boost offer lines beginning at $15. You should note that these plans include very limited data. 

If you’re looking for a more sustainable multiline setup, here are my top picks for cheap phone plans for four:

 AT&T PrepaidCricket WirelessT-Mobile Essentials
Price for Four$20 per line$25 per line$26.25 per line
NetworkAT&TAT&TT-Mobile
Talk and TextUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Data5GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Data Cap OverageNoneNone50GB

The Best Cheap Phone Plans for Four:

  • AT&T Prepaid offers multiline plans for four beginning at $20 per line monthly. For this price, each line gets 5B of data.
  • Cricket Wireless Unlimited (Review) offers unlimited talk, text and data with max speeds of 8Mpbs for $25 per line monthly. 
  • T-Mobile Essentials (Review) is available for $$26.24 per line for four lines. That works out to be $105 total per month with autopay. It includes 50GB of high-speed data before reduced and unlimited access to 3G mobile hotspot.

Other Plans To Consider:

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  • Visible (Review) offers lines beginning at $30 per month for unlimited talk, text and data with max speeds of 5-12 Mbps.
  • T-Mobile Magenta Max (Review) offers four lines for $43 per line. While this isn’t the cheapest phone plan available, it does include truly unlimited data with speeds that aren’t limited and never slow for less than $200 total monthly.
  • Google Fi (Review) offers a Simply Unlimited plan that costs $20 per line for four lines ($80 total per month). It includes 35GB of high-speed data before deprioritization and 5GB of hotspot tethering per month. 

Limited-Time Cheap Phone Plans

Many phone plans offer introductory offers to first-time customers that include some of the lowest prices you can find on cell phone service. While these plans start out extremely cheap, you can expect a price bump at some point during your service. Still, if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest plans available, these limited-time cheap phone plan deals are worth considering. 

ProviderDealNetwork
Mint Mobile (Review)Through January 15, 2023, new customers can buy any three-month plan and get three months of service for free. Additionally, if you buy a new device and a six-month plan, you can get six months of service for free.T-Mobile
Boost Mobile (Review)You can get 10GB of data for $5 (first month only) with Boost Mobile. Boost also offers an unlimited plan for free for 14 days. Finally, you can get 5GB for $5 per month for the first three months ($15 total).AT&T
Cricket Wireless (Review)New customers can try Cricket with a 14-day free trial including unlimited talk, text and 3GB of high-speed data.AT&T
Visible (Review)Save $15 each month for the first three months with promo code 15OFF. Or get unlimited talk, text and data for $10 a month after you refer a friend on Visible's basic plan.Verizon
Twigby (Review)Ten dollars off for the first three months! Plans include unlimited talk, text and 4GB of data starting at $10 per month. 1GB data plans begin as low as $5 per month.Verizon
AT&T Prepaid (Review)Students can get $10 off unlimited data with this online-only offer. Additionally, anyone can get a year of AT&T Prepaid with 16GB of data per month if you prepay a year in advance (available through 12/14).AT&T

Team Clark’s Methodology

For the purposes of this review, Team Clark determined that the top three things customers care about when it comes to cell phone carriers are price, network reliability/coverage and overall satisfaction.

Various members of our staff tried out each of these popular cell phone providers to get a feel for their reliability and service. We have individual reviews of those providers available on the website.

I also researched more than 70 phone plans at the time of writing and analyzed the following characteristics when determining the best options for each category:

  • Price
  • Network reliability
  • Network coverage
  • Monthly data allotments
  • “Bring your own device” availability
  • Available deals and discounts (loyalty, autopay, additional lines, etc.)
  • Online reviews from real customers

Final Thoughts

Switching to a cheaper phone plan can be a great way to save on your monthly bill. After researching 70+ phone plans, I’ve found the absolute cheapest prices with Tello, Mint and Boost. These low-cost MVNOs run on the same reliable towers that support major phone service providers — for a fraction of the cost. 

For the absolute cheapest phone plan, check out Tello Economy for $10 monthly. It includes unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data. For slightly more data, check out Mint Mobile’s 4GB plan for $15. Boost Mobile offers 2GB of high-speed for the same $15 monthly price, or you can get an annual plan from $100 ($8.33 per month) that includes unlimited text, talk and 1GB of high-speed data. However, I recommend testing out the service for a month first to make sure it works for you before commit to an annual plan.

If you’re looking for unlimited data, Mint Unlimited is a great option at $30 monthly for 35GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds. Tello Mobile also offers a cheap unlimited data plan for $29 per month. If you need unlimited hotspot, consider Visible’s basic plan for $30 per month per line.

For even more options, be sure to read our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now. Once you’ve decided on a new phone plan and you’re ready to make the switch, check out this guide that we put together to take you step-by-step through the process.

Is your favorite plan on this list? Did we miss any cheap plans? Share your opinion in our Clark.com community!

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The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2023: The Cheapest Plan for Every Need - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.