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. 

This article was updated in July 2024 and I review it every three months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.

Best Overall Cheap Phone Plan
Mint Unlimited
Network
Price
$30/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • 40GB data cap before reduced speeds
  • Prepay three months in advance when you sign up
Cheapest Monthly Cell Phone Plan
Tello Economy
Network
Price
$9/month (plus taxes)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data
  • Cheapest monthly plan available with high-speed data
Cheapest Unlimited Cell Phone Plan
Visible
Network
Price
$25/month (taxes & fees included)
Highlights
  • Unlimited talk, text and data
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot with 5 Mbps speeds
  • The cheapest price for unlimited data
Best Cheap Multiline Phone Plan
H2O Wireless Multi-Line
Network
Price
$25 per line per month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • Get 2-4 lines for $25 per line monthly
  • Each line gets 40GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds
Cheapest Annual Prepaid Phone Plan
Boost Mobile Annual Plan
Network
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
Best Cheap Phone Plan for Seniors
Consumer Cellular
Network
Price
$25/month (plus taxes & fees)
Highlights
  • Low prices on limited data plans
  • Discounts available for AARP members
  • Highly rated by Consumer Reports

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:


The Best Cheap Phone Plans

If you’re looking for the absolute lowest cost on a cell phone plan, you can find deals for as low as $9 monthly. For this price, you can get a plan from Tello Mobile with unlimited calls, text and 1GB of high-speed data. For $14 per month, you can get a little more data with Tello Mobile’s 5GB plan.

If you do need 5GB of high-speed data or more, Mint Mobile offers cell phone plans ranging from $15-$30 per month. 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.

As you can see from these prices, opting for limited data is one of the best ways to save money on a phone plan. However, if you don’t have regular access to Wi-Fi, you may truly need an unlimited data plan. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay for a postpaid plan from a major carrier to get unlimited data. For example, Visible offers unlimited data starting at $25 per month while Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan is $30.

In this section, I’ll take a closer look at six great options for a cheap phone plan whether you’re looking for the smallest amount of data possible or an unlimited phone plan:

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Mint Mobile

Best Overall Cheap Phone Plan

While shopping for the best cheap phone plan, you’ve likely come across Mint Mobile. Owned by T-Mobile, Mint offers four different prepaid cell phone plans for great prices: 

  • 5GB of high-speed data for $15 per month
  • 15GB of high-speed data for $20 per month
  • 20GB of high-speed data for $25 per month
  • 40GB of high-speed data for $30 per month

Each plan comes with unlimited talk, text and data. Once you’ve reached your monthly high-speed data allotment, speeds will be reduced for the remainder of the month.

With Mint Mobile, you’ll also have to prepay for three months in advance to get the lowest price. After three months, you can prepay for a year in advance to keep the same monthly rate. 

For a limited time, new customers will get three months of service for free when they buy any three-month plan, which makes the prices even better. Visit this link to get the deal.

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.


Tello 1GB

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 $9 monthly, which makes it the least expensive monthly prepaid plan available anywhere.

In addition to Tello Economy, Tello Mobile offers additional plans including 2GB for $10 monthly and 5GB for $14 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.

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Other Cheap Monthly Phone Plans:

  • US Mobile (Review) offers a light plan with unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data on Verizon or T-Mobile’s network, and AT&T’s network is coming later this year. The light plan costs $10 per line monthly or $96 for 12 months of service ($8/month).  
  • Red Pocket (Review) offers 1GB of high-speed data monthly for $10 or 5GB of high-speed data for $20 on any network. Both of these plans include unlimited data at slower speeds once you’ve reached your high-speed data cap.
  • Mint Mobile (Review) offers 5GB of high-speed data for $15 on T-Mobile’s network. For a limited time, you can get any Mint Mobile plan for the same price for the first three months.
  • Boost Mobile (Review) offers affordable monthly phone plans in addition to its cheap annual plans. Plus, it’s always smart to try a carrier for a short time period before committing to a year of service. You can find a 5GB monthly plan for $15 per month with Boost Mobile. Unlimited plans start at $25 per month.

Visible

Cheapest Unlimited Cell Phone Plan

For $25 per month, Visible offers a phone plan with unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon’s networrk. This plan includes truly unlimited data with no cap, but know that speeds may be reduced during congestion. This plan includes unlimited mobile hotspot with speeds capped at 5 Mbps. The prepaid carrier offers two different phone plans: Visible and Visible+. The standard Visible plan costs $25 per month while Visible+ costs $45 per month and includes 50GB of premium data, faster mobile hotspot and one day of Global Pass for international travel per month.

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.

Other Cheap Unlimited Phone Plans:

  • Mint Mobile (Review) offers an unlimited data plan for as low as $30 per month. The plan includes 40GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds on T-Mobile’s network. For a limited time, new customers can get this plan for $15/month for the first three months.
  • US Mobile (Review) offers two unlimited plans starting at $25 per line monthly. For this price, you can get the Unlimited Starter plan, which includes unlimited talk, text and data. You’ll get 35GB of premium data as well as 10GB hotspot data. The same plan can cost as low as $22.50 per month when you prepay for a year.
  • Boost Infinite (Review) offers the Infinite Unlimited plan for $25 on either AT&T or T-Mobile’s network with 30GB of high-speed data before deprioritization.
  • Boost Mobile (Review) offers a few different unlimited plans. For $25 per month, you can get unlimited talk, text and data without mobile hotspot. For $40 per month, you can get 12GB of mobile hotspot data. For $60 per month, you can increase the mobile hotspot data to 30GB. These plans also includes unlimited talk and text as well as 30GB of high-speed data before reduced speeds.
  • T-Mobile Essentials Saver includes unlimited talk, text and data for $50 per month with 50GB of premium data. This plan also includes unlimited data sharing via hotspot at 3G speeds. Plus, multiline discounts are available.

H2O Wireless

Best Cheap Multiline Phone Plan

For a limited time, H2O Wireless is offering an excellent deal on multiple lines. You can get two, three or four lines for $25 each. H2O Wireless is an AT&T MVNO, which means you’ll have access to AT&T’s 5G/4G LTE network.

H2O Wireless’ multiline plan includes unlimited talk, text and data (40GB high-speed per line per month) as well as 5GB of mobile hotspot data. Previously, the same plan included only 10GB of high-speed data per line and no mobile hotspot, which makes this a great deal! You’ll also get unlimited talk & text to 70 countries from the U.S. plus monthly international talk & roaming credits. 

If you decide to switch to H2O Wireless, you may be able to bring your own phone to save more money. You can check your phone’s compatibility online, and opt for an eSIM to avoid the one-time $3 SIM card cost. Be sure to also read our full review of H2O Wireless before switching.

Other Cheap Multiline Phone Plans:

  • T-Mobile Essentials 4-Line Offer (Review) is available for $100 per month for four lines. That works out to be $25 per line with autopay. It includes 50GB of high-speed data before reduced and unlimited access to 3G mobile hotspot.
  • Cricket Wireless (Review) offers plans for two beginning at $30 per line for 5GB, $35 per line for 10GB or $40 per line for unlimited high-speed data. Three lines can get unlimited data for $30 per line. Four lines can get the same unlimited plan for $100 ($25/line).
  • Google Fi (Review) offers a Simply Unlimited plan that includes 35GB of high-speed data before deprioritization (slower speeds) and 5GB of hotspot tethering per month. The plan costs $40 per line for two lines, $30 per line for three lines or $25 per line for four or more lines. 
  • Xfinity Mobile (Review) offers an unlimited plan with 30GB of premium data for $30 per line for two, $27 per line for three or $25 per line for four. You’ll have to have internet with Xfinity to get this deal.
  • Spectrum Mobile (Review) offers a 12-month deal for two lines. You can get the unlimited plan for $15 per line per month for the first year, or get Unlimited Plus for $25 per line per month for the first year.
  • Straight Talk Wireless (Review) offers an unlimited plan for $37.50 per line for two lines, $30 per line for three lines or $25 per line for four lines. It includes unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon’s network as well as 10GB of hotspot data per month.

Boost Mobile

Cheapest Annual 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 $15 per month and unlimited plans starting at $25 per month.

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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.

Other Cheap Annual Phone Plans:

  • US Mobile (Review) offers a Light Plan with unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data for $96 annually ($8/month). Unlimited annual plans begin at $210 ($17.50/month). US Mobile offers service on Verizon or T-Mobile’s network, and AT&T’s network is coming later this year. 
  • Visible (Review) announced new annual plans earlier this year. They begin at $275 ($23/month) for the basic unlimited plan or $395 ($33/month) for Visible+. These plans run on Verizon’s network. With the basic Visible plan, paying annually will save you $25 compared to monthly service. With Visible+ you’ll save $145 by paying annually.
  • Mint Mobile (Review) offers annual plans that allow you to keep the same low monthly rate that you’ll get as a new customer. Annual plans begin at $180 ($15/month) for 5GB of high-speed data monthly. Mint’s Unlimited plan is available for $360 ($30/month) and includes 40GB of high-speed data monthly.

Consumer Cellular

Best Cheap Cell Phone Plan for Seniors

Consumer Cellular provides a variety of affordable phone plans that range from 1GB to 50GB of high-speed data. The most affordable plan that includes unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data is available for $20 per month per line plus taxes and fees. However, you can get 5GB of high-speed data per month for $25. Consumer Cellular also offers a 5% discount for AARP members.

Although its prices aren’t the lowest available overall, the carrier is an excellent choice for seniors given its affordable plans, high customer satisfaction scores and strong Consumer Reports ratings. Good customer service is hard to find right now due to short staffing, the expansion of the 5G network and more people switching phone plans to save money. However, I had a great experience with Consumer Cellular when I tested the service myself. You can read my full review here.

Consumer Cellular also runs on two reliable networks: AT&T and T-Mobile. If you do switch to Consumer Cellular, you may be able to bring your own phone, either an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any Android phone, to save even more. You can check your phone’s eligibility online. You can also check out additional plans and information on Consumer Cellular’s website.

Other Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Seniors:

  • Lively (Review) is a cell phone service provider that’s marketed specifically toward seniors. With an easy-to-use Lively phone, you can get service beginning at $19.99 per month without data or $24.99 per month with data.
  • T-Mobile Essentials 55+ includes all the same perks as T-Mobile’s Essentials plan with an additional discount for seniors. The plan costs $40 for one line or $55 per line for two lines with autopay. The plan includes unlimited talk, text and data (50GB premium data).

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
Consumer CellularBuy any phone and get two months of service for free. To get this deal, call Consumer Cellular at (888) 511-3894 before July 31.AT&T
VisibleNew customers can get their first month of service on Visible+ for $25 ($20 off at checkout with promo code VIP20). Additionally, Visible’s new annual plans include a discount of up to 26%.Verizon
Mint MobileAll plans are $15 per month for the first three months for new customers. That means you can get the unlimited plan (30GB high-speed data) for 50% off the first three months! T-Mobile
Boost InfiniteAmazon Prime members get a free month of service + 20% discount on a SIM kit.AT&T, T-Mobile
Boost Mobile (Review)Boost Mobile is currently offering one month of unlimited data for $10. You can also 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
Twigby (Review)Ten dollars off for the first three months! Plans include unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data starting at $10 per month. 2GB data plans begin as low as $5 per month.Verizon Wireless
AT&T Prepaid (Review)Students can get $10 off unlimited data with this online-only offer.AT&T
Total by Verizon (Review)Get 50% off any unlimited plan for the first 12 months (new customers only). To get this deal, bring your own phone to Verizon and sign up for any unlimited data plan by July 31.Verizon Wireless

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 money on your monthly bill. After researching 70+ phone plans, I’ve found the absolute cheapest prices with Tello Mobile, Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile and Visible. These low-cost providers run on the same reliable towers that support major phone service providers — for a fraction of the cost. 

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For the absolute cheapest phone plan, check out Tello’s $9 monthly plan. It includes unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data. For slightly more data, check out Mint Mobile’s 5GB plan for $15. Boost Mobile offers 5GB 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 committing to an annual plan.

If you’re looking for unlimited data (or unlimited mobile hotspot) Visible is a great option at $25 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!

Article Updates
  • July 12, 2024: Added H2O Wireless as the best multiline phone plan (now includes 5GB hotspot data and 40GB of high-speed data per line)
  • July 12, 2024: Added US Mobile’s plans throughout the guide
  • July 12, 2024: Updated plan pricing and availability
  • April 2, 2024: Visible+ now has new features.
  • April 2, 2024: Spectrum Mobile’s 2-line plan now costs $15 per line per month for the first 12 months, and it now includes 30GB of high-speed data allotment (previously $30 per line for 20GB of high-speed data per month)
  • April 2, 2024: Google Fi Wireless’ Simply Unlimited plan now costs $90 for three lines (previously $80). The same plan now costs $100 for four lines (previously $80). 
  • April 2, 2024: Replaced T-Mobile Essentials with T-Mobile Essentials 4-Line Offer
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