4 Best Cheap Phone Plans (2023): Alternatives to Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
There are four tiers: 4 GB for $25, 10 GB for $35, 15 GB for $45, or Unlimited for $40. The prices are the lowest if you pay for a year at a time. Mint has an offer that lowers the prices to $15, $20, $25, and $30 per month, respective to the aforementioned plans, for the first three months. These prices will revert to the actual rates if you choose to pay every three months, but if you commit to a year you can keep the discounted rate. There’s also a smaller discount if you commit to six months at a time. Mint does not include wireless taxes and fees in its prices.
Mint offers a free one-week trial of its service. Download the Mint Mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and try out a limited version of the Mint plan for free, either by having a SIM card mailed to you or by using an eSIM, if your phone supports it.
We suggest going with the plan that’s $15 per month for 4 GB if you tend not to use much data. Go for the one that’s $30 per month for unlimited data if you’re on your phone a lot away from Wi-Fi. Just remember the prices increase after your first three months.
Phone compatibility: This network runs on T-Mobile, so any T-Mobile or AT&T phone should work, along with many newer high-end phones that come universally unlocked, like iPhones, Samsung phones, and Google Pixels. Check here for compatibility.
Best for Rural Areas
Visible was our favorite until Mint released its Unlimited plan, but it’s still a great deal if you prefer Verizon’s cellular coverage, which is better in remote or rural areas. Visible claims 99 percent of the population is covered in the US. It’s owned by Verizon and uses that network exclusively (which means it’s not technically an MVNO).
Visible’s base plan costs $30 per month for one line, including taxes and fees. It comes with 5G and 4G LTE coverage, as well as unlimited talk, text, and data. There’s also a higher-tier plan: Visible+. For $45 a month for one line, it adds 5G Ultra Wideband—a faster band of 5G service—unlimited talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico (for US customers), and international calling and texting from the US to “30+ and 200+ countries,” respectively.
Your 5G data speed is capped at 200 Mbps, which is speedy enough for most tasks. In times of heavy network traffic, Visible will deprioritize its customers sharing the Verizon cellular infrastructure. For the Visible+ plan, this kicks in only after 50 GB of data use. Visible will give you a gift card of up to $200 if you bring your own device, depending on the device, which is $100 lower than the maximum amount offered late last year. You’ll need to pay for the first three months of service and transfer your old number first.