The best cell phone plans for 2024

Cell phone plan quick links

Red, white, and black SIM cards on yellow background

(Image credit: Future)

Jump straight to phone plans by type:
1. Cheap cell phone plans
2. Prepaid
3. Unlimited
4. Family plans
5. Plans for seniors
6. Plans for kids
Quick tips:
1.
How to find the right plan for you
2. How to save money

Finding the absolute best cell phone plans on the market can be tricky with the dizzying amount of options currently available. TechRadar is here to help, however, with an extensively researched list of plans that you should absolutely check out if you're looking to switch up that old plan with something new for 2024.

We've factored in criteria like data allowances, price, coverage, perks, and a host of other metrics to determine the best cell phone plans for most readers. There is, of course, no set best plan for everyone, which is why we've split out our list into easy-to-navigate sections based on the most searched-for criteria. You'll find options for cheap prepaid plans, unlimited plans, family plans, and even cell phone plans for seniors all laid out and compared right here on this page.

Generally speaking, the best cell phone plans are split into two types. First up are the traditional 'postpaid' plans that you usually find at the bigger carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. These often run at a premium and require a contract but offer rock-solid service, a host of useful perks, and heaps of prioritized 5G for super-speedy downloads. They're contrasted by prepaid cell phone plans, which are usually more stripped down in terms of features but offer much lower prices on average. Prepaid plans are superb if you're looking to save some cash - and they usually don't require lengthy contracts, either.

We've made sure to lay out the best cell phone plans as simply as possible on this page but if you need extra guidance then scroll down to the bottom of the page for our handy FAQ section. You can also check out our page on the best phones if you're looking for a handset too.

Best cell phone plans: quick list

Written by
Alex Whitelock
Written by
Alex Whitelock

I've been researching and writing about cell phone plans for four years; in which time I've written dozens of guides on everything from super-cheap prepaid plans to unlimited plans at the big three. This page is the culmination of these four years of research and includes an extensive overview of the cell phone plan market as a whole.

Recent updates

We've just given this page a massive update for 2024 - including new entries for US Mobile, TextNow, and Boost Infinite. We've also rehauled the FAQ section with more up-to-date advice and a handy new reference guide to help you work out your usage.

Cheap cell phone plans

Cheap cell phone plans are going to be great for you if you're a single-line user who just needs the basics and wants a dirt-cheap monthly bill. All our choices here are pretty stripped down, but they do still include a bit of data allowance each month just in case.

Good value for most users: Mint Mobile | $15pm | 5GB | T-Mobile network

Good value for most users: Mint Mobile | $15pm | 5GB | T-Mobile network
Mint Mobile is a good choice if you're looking for a cheap plan that doesn't skimp out too much on features. This prepaid carrier has recently upped the data allowances on all of its plans across the board, which makes the most basic 5GB plan an absolute steal for $15 per month. Included in the plan is mobile hotspot and 5G coverage on the T-Mobile network, which should cover most people in metropolitan areas. One slight downside with Mint is that it operates a buy-in-bulk pricing scheme that only gets you the cheapest rates if you buy your data in yearly allotments. If you're willing to pay for your plan upfront, however, then it's a superb choice.

Best super-cheap plan: Tello Economy | $9pm | 1GB | T-Mobile network

Best super-cheap plan: Tello Economy | $9pm | 1GB | T-Mobile network
If you're looking for the cheapest, and we mean the cheapest plan (which still has some data), then Tello is a great option that also operates on the wider T-Mobile network. The Tello Economy plan gives you unlimited texts, calls, and 1GB data for just $9 a month, which is exceptional value. While extremely basic, Tello's build-your-own-plan setup allows you to easily upgrade or downgrade your data allowances if need be, which is a real selling point versus the carriers that require you to commit. Check out our Tello promo codes page for more ways to save.

Cheap Verizon alternative: US Mobile | $6pm | 1GB | Verizon & T-Mobile network

Cheap Verizon alternative: US Mobile | $6pm | 1GB | Verizon & T-Mobile network
US Mobile is a great alternative choice right now to either T-Mobile or Verizon - especially with its new 'Light Plan'. For just $6 per month, you'll get unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data per month, which is a good starting point if you're really on a budget. As with Mint Mobile's cell phone plans, the US Mobile Light Plan is cheapest when you pay for a full year upfront ($72). If you need more data, US Mobile also operates a number of very competitively-priced unlimited data plans, the cheapest of which is the Unlimited Flex plan for just $15 per month. This plan is a little more stripped down in features versus the rival choices from Mint and Visible but it's just about the cheapest unlimited plan you'll find anywhere right now.

Cheap AT&T alternative: Red Pocket| $13pm | 5GB | AT&T network

Cheap AT&T alternative: Red Pocket| $13pm | 5GB | AT&T network
Red Pocket is another prepaid carrier that's recently introduced the option to pay for a full year of service upfront to secure lower monthly rates on average. Put simply, it's one of the cheapest carriers out there right now - especially if you're looking for a carrier that runs on the greater AT&T network. For just $13 per month ($150 upfront), you can get a full year on the 5GB plan at Red Pocket, which is super cheap even when compared to notable rival carriers like Cricket Wireless, Pure Talk, FreeUp Mobile, and H20 Mobile.

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Light phone users
  • People with easy access to Wi-Fi

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Often have slower data speeds when networks are busy (deprioritization)
  • Smaller data allowances
  • Zero perks (like free streaming services)

See our main cheap cell phone plans article for even more great options.

^ Back to top

Prepaid cell phone plans

The best prepaid cell phone plans on our list overlap pretty heavily with our prior choices for cheap cell phone plans, but generally speaking, we've included options here with more data allowance. As prepaid plans, all the following choices don't include contracts or credit checks.

Best all around value: Mint Mobile | $20pm |15GB | T-Mobile network

Best all around value: Mint Mobile | $20pm |15GB | T-Mobile network
Mint Mobile has a ton of great prepaid options right now including a brand new unlimited data plan for $30 months. However, for best bang for the buck we'd recommend the 15GB data plan. Not only is this one enough data for most people but this plan tier has recently been bumped up from 10GB. Aside from the price, Mint also has plenty of generous perks, free mobile hotspotting, and 5G/4G speeds where applicable. Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network, which covers 62% of the country for 4G LTE, slightly behind Verizon and AT&T but still within the reach of most users.

Best value unlimited data plan:

Best value unlimited data plan: Visible | $25 - $45pm | Verizon network
Visible Wireless is a strong contender for best unlimited data plan right now - especially if you're a data-hungry user on a budget. This Verizon subsidiary offers two excellent tiers of unlimited data plan - both of which are much cheaper than the bigger carriers. The basic (or standard) Visible plan comes in at just $25 per month with no contract or upfront yearly payment and offers completely unlimited data plus free mobile hotspot. There is a caveat with this plan in that you may get lower download speeds if the local area is particularly busy (deprioritization). If you want the equivalent of post-paid speeds, then you can opt for the Visible Plus plan for $45 per month, which features 50GB of priority data, faster mobile hotspot speeds, and the option for an additional smartwatch line at no cost.

Best AT&T: AT&T | $25pm | Unlimited data | 12-month prepaid

Best AT&T: AT&T | $25pm | Unlimited data | 12-month prepaid
While the big carriers are normally pretty stingy when it comes to their prepaid options, AT&T leads the way with a ton of very flexible (and competitively priced options).  Like Mint Mobile, the best prices here are reserved for those who buy their data in chunks, with the sweet spot for value being the $25 per month unlimited data 12-month plan. For a compelling pay-monthly option with less commitment, we'd also recommend checking out H20 Wireless, which offers an excellent 15GB premium plan for $36 a month.

Cheap Verizon alternative: US Mobile | $15pm | Unlimited data | Verizon & T-Mobile network

Cheap Verizon alternative: US Mobile | $15pm | Unlimited data | Verizon & T-Mobile network
US Mobile has emerged in recent months as strong competitor to Visible Wireless. In fact, it's the cheapest prepaid unlimited plan on the market right now with its 'Unlimited Flex' plan sitting at just $15 per month ($180 upfront for a year). If you're looking to save cash, this is a strong option, although Visible does include slightly more generous perks such as better hotspot allowance and more 'premium' data. If you go for the Unlimited Flex plan at US Mobile, expect your speeds to get much slower after 10GB of usage. For a like-for-like alternative to Visible, you'll want to check out the Unlimited Premium plan at $37.50/mo

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Those who don't want a long-term contract
  • Those who don't want a credit check for your plan
  • Those who want a bit of data, but on a budget

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Slower data speeds when the networks are busy (deprioritization)
  • Fewer perks like HD video streaming, international calling, and free streaming services

See our main page on the best prepaid plans for more excellent options.

^ Back to top

Unlimited cell phone plans

Unlimited data cell phone plans, as the name suggests, give you oodles of high-speed data for all your streaming and browsing needs. Note, these plans will generally cost a lot more, came from the 'big names', but also give you the best service and speeds plus a ton of included goodies like third-party streaming subscriptions.

Best coverage and flexibility: Verizon Unlimited Plus | $65pm

Best coverage and flexibility: Verizon Unlimited Plus | $65pm
With a 5G network covering more than 175 million people nationwide across the US, Verizon is simply going to be a great option for most users who want to make the most of that unlimited data. While you're paying a premium with Verizon, the carrier has a flexible array of options due to its new 'myPlan' system for 2023. As of writing, there are three distinct plan tiers with different amounts of unthrottled data and hotspot alliance but we'd recommend the middle 'Unlimited Plus' plan as the best for most users. With this plan, you'll get completely unlimited data on the high-end Verizon 5G Wideband network, 30GB mobile hotspot, and a number of optional perks that you can add on for $10 per month each. These include Disney+ subscriptions, Walmart+ memberships, more hotspot data, and international travel passes. 

Best cheap unlimited plan:

Best cheap unlimited plan: Visible | $25-$45pm | Verizon network
Visible is a subsidiary of Verizon and offers two distinct tiers of cheap unlimited plans that are perfect for data-hungry users looking to save some cash. With this service, you've got the choice between a 'basic' plan for $25 per month and a 'plus' plan for $45. The basic plan is better value all around but will be subject to de-prioritization if the local area is busy. The Plus plan has 50GB of priority 5G data and includes some brand-new perks for 2024 including speedier mobile hotspot allowance and a free line for a smartwatch. Both are fantastic choices right now - and run on the wider Verizon network so you're getting great coverage nationwide.

Best T-Mobile plan:

Best T-Mobile plan: T-Mobile Go5G| $75pm
T-Mobile used to be the best of the big carriers value-wise but the gap has significantly narrowed over the past few years. The new "Go5G" plan is still a fantastic choice for most people, however. For $75 per month for a single line, you get 100GB of 5G priority data and a decent chunk of 15GB mobile hotspot data (Versus 5GB for Magenta). One fantastic thing about T-Mobile's plans specifically is that you can bundle in a third line for free, which can mean some superb savings for multi-line plans - you'll also get a free Netflix Basic subscription if you add two or more lines on your Go5G plan. For one line, we wouldn't say T-Mobile is the best value but it's extremely competitive if you're a multi-line user who can make use of the free Netflix sub.

Cheap T-Mobile alternative: Boost Infinite| $25pm | T-Mobile network

Cheap T-Mobile alternative: Boost Infinite| $25pm | T-Mobile network
Boost Infinite is a relatively new carrier, being an offshoot of the well-established Boost Mobile. Both run on the wider T-Mobile network and offer great cheap prepaid plans but Boost Infinite is more focused on offering affordable unlimited plans. At Boost Infinite you've got a fantastic baseline unlimited plan that comes in at just $25 per month as well as some superb all-inclusive plans that also include the latest flagships from Apple and Samsung without the need for a trade. The 'Infinite Access' plan is just $60 per month and gets you unlimited data, one of the latest phones, and a free upgrade once the new model comes out, which is easily one of the best overall phone deals on the market right now. 

Best AT&T:

Best AT&T: AT&T Unlimited Extra | $75pm
With AT&T you're getting the second-best coverage in the country and their pricing overall tends to be a little bit easier on the wallet than Verizon. Our pick is the mid-tier Unlimited Extra plan, which has unlimited 5G access, 50GB of data prioritization, and 15GB of mobile hotspot data. This is a pretty no-thrills package, focusing on getting you the most amount of prioritized data for your cash. If you're after more perks, you may prefer the top-tier Unlimited Elite plan which will set you back another $10 a month but gets you HD video streaming and a free subscription to HBO Max.

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Heavy phone users who never use Wi-Fi
  • Those who love to stream high-definition content
  • Those with a bit more cash to spend
  • Those who want to get discounts on handsets

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Often twice the cost of prepaid cell phone plans
  • Lengthy (two year) contract terms with costly buy-outs
  • Credit checks to be eligible for some plans

For more unlimited data plan options, check out our guide to the best unlimited data plans in the US. 

^ Back to top

Family cell phone plans

In recent years we've seen most carriers move away from plans that are specifically branded for families - instead opting for a more flexible approach. That said, discounts for multiple lines on a plan (or account) are still commonplace and remain the best way to save on your cell phone bills. We've included pricing for four-line plans just below but note - most of these options will have discounts from 2-lines. As a rule of thumb, however, more lines equals cheaper rates per line on average.

Best high-end family plan: T-Mobile Go5G| $155pm (4 lines)

Best high-end family plan: T-Mobile Go5G| $155pm (4 lines)
T-Mobile has a unique pricing feature that allows it to throw in the third line for free on all its multi-line unlimited data plans. That makes its service particularly good for families, offering on average one tier of plan higher than its competitors for the price. Case in point is the 4-line T-Mobile Go5G plan, which offers 100GB of 5G data (unlimited 3G) plus a free subscription to Netflix Basic - a nice little freebie you'd normally pay more for. 

Best big carrier value:

Best big carrier value: Verizon Welcome Unlimited | $100pm (4 lines)
Verizon's recently switched up its unlimited data plan lineup with a handy new 'myPlan' system. The perks, data allowances, and prices are essentially similar but there's now a flexible mix-and-match layout that allows you to choose exactly what perks, addons, and lines you want to pay for. For example, Verizon's most basic plan tier, the Welcome Unlimited plan, comes in at just $100 for four lines and offers a good starting point to build on if you want streaming perks or Walmart+ membership for $10 per month each. If you wanted to add a line of the higher-tier Unlimited Plus plan, which includes a quicker 5G connection and 30GB of mobile hotspot, then you can do so. In short, there's a lot of flexibility at Verizon and you get some of the best 5G coverage possible to boot.

Best for budget setups: Mint Mobile | $30 - $60pm (2 lines) | T-Mobile network

Best for budget setups: Mint Mobile | $30 - $60pm (2 lines) | T-Mobile network
It's really hard to fault Mint Mobile if you're looking for a cost-effective family cell phone plan for two or more users. While the prepaid carrier doesn't specifically offer discounts for multiple lines it's pretty damn cheap overall and offers a flexible array of data options. Adding to the flexibility at Mint Mobile is the carrier's new family plan feature, which allows you to mix and match various data allowances under the same overall plan. Again, there are no additional savings here for adding multiple lines but you'll skip out on red tape and automatically enroll each line on the cheapest rate without having to pay for a whole year of data upfront. Another great choice here is Visible Wireless' standard unlimited data plan for $25 per month, although it's not specifically set up for multiple lines (you'll need to set them up separately). 

Best AT&T:

Best AT&T: Cricket Unlimited plan | $100pm (4 lines) | AT&T network
For those who get the best coverage on the AT&T network but want a cheaper option, we recommend the basic Cricket Unlimited plan.  At just $100 a month for four lines, this Cricket plan is coming in at much, much cheaper than the equivalent big carrier offerings. That said, your unlimited data is capped out at 8Mbps - much slower than 5G speeds, and you're also not getting any mobile hotspot allowance here, so bear in mind this is a very stripped-down plan indeed.

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Families... (duh)
  • Couples who want to save a bit of cash 

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Very pricey on the four-line options per month
  • Lengthy contracts on the postpaid cell phone plans
  • Credit checks to be eligible for some options

For a more detailed look at cell phone plans for your family, see our guide to this month's best family cell phone plans

^ Back to top

Phone plans for seniors

Like other user demographics, the needs of seniors will differ greatly from user to user. Our choice of the best cell phone plans for seniors focuses on offering a wide range of options, so whether you're just looking for the cheapest plan available or want some flexibility, you're covered.

Best pay as you go: Ultra Mobile | $3pm | T-Mobile network

Best pay as you go: Ultra Mobile | $3pm | T-Mobile network
If you're a senior who doesn't use your phone much and really wants to keep it simple, you can opt to go for Ultra Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan. With 100 minutes, 100 texts, and 100Mb of data, you're only getting the bare essentials here - but enough if you're using your phone sparingly, or making use of WiFi connections primarily. At just $3 a month, this is a very, very cheap plan indeed, although we'd also recommend the Tello economy plan as well if you'd like something a bit less restrictive. That will bump up your cost to $10 a month, but secure you unlimited calls, texts, and 1GB of data a month.

Best for flexibility: Tello | $9 - $25pm | T-Mobile network

Best for flexibility: Tello | $9 - $25pm | T-Mobile network
Tello is a great option for thrifty seniors who want to tailor a plan around their needs. The carrier operates a flexible 'build your own' plan that enables you to choose exactly how much data you want each month, as well as minutes and texts. Don't want data? You can do that too via Tello and choose to upgrade your plan further down the line if you require. Since there are no contracts and you pay each month, it's easy to make any amendments.

Best for unlimited: T-Mobile Essentials Unlimited 55 | $55pm (2 lines)

Best for unlimited: T-Mobile Essentials Unlimited 55 | $55pm (2 lines)
If you're a senior who thinks you'll be best suited by spending more to get an unlimited data plan, we'd recommend T-Mobile as the best value option amongst the big carriers - specifically its Essentials 55 plan. As the name suggests, this one's a plan specifically meant for seniors, offering unlimited data, texts, and minutes, but none of the usual streaming service perks. We'd recommend this one for heavy users only. 

Best no data plan: TextNow| free | T-Mobile network

Best no data plan: TextNow| free | T-Mobile network
If you simply don't need any data at all, TextNow is a fantastic service that offers nationwide call and texts for no cost. While you'll need to pay for a SIM card ($5), once you're all set up TextNow will let you call and text freely without any additional contracts or fees. Unlike traditional carriers, TextNow sells "data passes" that let you sign up for data at any time without of the usual commitments. For example, if you only need a day of data, then you can purchase a day pass for $5.99 or even one hour of data for just $0.99. It's flexible system that's gotten even better recently with the addition of maps, rideshare apps, and emails to the baseline TextNow plan. That means you don't even need to pay for a pass to access everyday essentials! Note, however, that things like YouTube, Spotify, and other data intensive apps aren't covered under this new setup. 

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Older individuals (or couples) who want to keep the monthly costs down
  • Those who want flexibility
  • Those who are eligible for seniors discounts

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Generally very basic, with fewer options and data allowances
  • Not great value if you're a heavy data user (aside from the T-Mobile option)

For a full deep-dive on the top options right now for older citizens, see our roundup on this month's best cell phone plans for seniors.

^ Back to top

Phone plans for kids

The best cell phone plans for kids will generally sit within the prepaid market where monthly data allowances are capped, and those monthly bills can be kept at a minimum. We've rounded up what we think are the best plans for each network just below, so if you're limited by coverage requirements you'll still have options.

Value pick:

Value pick: Mint Mobile | 5GB | $15 pm | T-Mobile network
Mint Mobile is yet again a good pick for kids thanks to its all-around dirt cheap, great value plans. We'd recommend the introduction 5GB / $15/mo plan as a good option for most kids. You'll get a small amount of 5G data but fairly limited speeds afterward, as well as unlimited calling and texting. If the parent is a Mint customer, they can also make use of the new 'Mint Family' feature, which allows them to monitor usage on up to four accounts at a time. 

Also great value: Twigby Mobile | $20pm | 5GB | Verizon network

Also great value: Twigby Mobile | $20pm | 5GB | Verizon network
Twigby Mobile is a prepaid carrier operating on the wider Verizon network, meaning it has superb coverage. Its prices are also fantastic with five distinct plans offering competitive pay-month options ranging up to 20GB of monthly usage. Unlike some carriers, Twigby Mobile has several parental controls featured directly on its app, which can be used for restricting a wide range of content. New customers can also get a $10 per month discount across all the carrier's plans for their first three months right now, making Twigby Mobile a cheap option to try out.

Best for flexibility:

Best for flexibility: Tello Smart plan | 5GB | $14pm | T-Mobile network
Tello offers completely customizable plans as well as set options which are perfect if you want to keep your kid's data usage low. The pricing is fairly competitive due to recent adjustments and keeps up with the latest offers from Mint and Twigby while retaining all that bonus flexibility you get through going with a prepaid option. Tello runs off of the Sprint / T-Mobile network and is compatible with GSM devices.

Who these cell phone plans are great for

  • Parents who want to limited their child's data usage
  • Parents on a budget
  • Kids who will be using Wi-Fi primarily

Downsides of these cell phone plans

  • Fairly small data-allowances
  • Not many options for parental control (aside from Verizon)

^ Back to top


Best cell phone plan: FAQ

Google Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro, and Galaxy S24 on yellow background

(Image credit: Future)

How does TechRadar choose the best cell phone plans?

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Cell phone plan jargon explained

5G: the latest, fastest phone network connection
Data allowance:
how much internet you can use
Prepaid: no-contract plan renewed each month
Postpaid: contracted plan paid for in installments
Pay as you go: only pay for what you use
Coverage: how good cellular service is near you

TechRadar assesses cell phone plans based on several criteria - price, data allowances, perks, coverage, and how they shape up against the competition. Overall, there's no one 'best' cell phone plan but we make it easier by splitting out plans into distinct categories - the best plan for families, the best unlimited plan, and so on. We base these categories on Google Search data and what we think our readers are looking for, based on user feedback. 

How to get the best cell phone plan for you

1. Determine how much data you need

Step one - have a rough ballpark of how much data you'll be using every month. Most plans come with unlimited call and text these days but data allowance is the one metric that really makes the difference between a pricey plan and a much more affordable option. As always, it's no use paying a ton of money for data you don't even use!

Determining exact data requirements can be tricky but there are tools you can use to help out. For example, most phones will have an option to see how much data your phone has used in the settings menu - usually under the internet or network tab. Secondly, we've included a quick reference table of estimated data usage of popular apps just below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
How much data apps use
Header Cell - Column 0 Data usage per hourHow much use per GB
Web browsing15/mb68 hours
FaceBook150/mb6 hours 48 minutes
Instagram600/mb1 hour 42 minutes
TikTok800/mb1 hour 16 minutes
Streaming music (normal quality)51/mb20 hours
Streaming music (high quality)150/mb6 hours 48 minutes
Streaming video (480p)700/mb1 hour 24 minutes
Streaming video (1080p)2500/mb24 minutes
Streaming video (4K)5850/mb10 minutes
Online gaming12/mb85 hours

* The above table data has been sourced from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Airalo, and Mint Mobile.

According to Ericsson, the average amount of data used by North American consumers has grown significantly in the past few years - from 6.1GB per month in 2021 to a hefty 32GB in 2023. By 2026, that figure is predicted to rise to 127GB per month, so more and more people are taking advantage of speedy unlimited plans these days. If you don't feel you need that much data, however, then don't forget the number of excellent prepaid plans on the market with fixed data allowances!

2. Check your coverage

Next, it's worth checking how good provider coverage is in your area. These days, the big three carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) all have relatively comprehensive 5G networks nationwide but there are still differences in coverage outside of major metropolitan areas. All prepaid carriers generally use one of the major carrier networks for service, so you can usually refer to the coverage checker tools available on the big carrier sites:

The above tools are fantastic as a starting point to check whether your local zip code is covered but there are also a number of great third-party tools to help you research a network's reliability in your area:

The first site RootMetrics, collects impartial data nationwide and measures a provider's reliability, speed, coverage, and call quality. It's currently one of the best impartial tools that users can use to determine which major carrier performs the best in your state or city.  OpenSignal is another excellent third-party tool that measures regional download speeds and overall user experience. Neither are super granular, but they're great resources to give you an overall picture of which carrier is offering the best service in your area. 

3. Consider any extras you need

Free streaming services, discounts for additional lines, and international calling are just a few perks that carriers often throw in with their cell phone plans to sweeten the deal. Depending on your needs, some of these could be handy so don't automatically write off the pricier unlimited plans at the major carriers if you think you'll be able to make use of the available perks on a daily basis. If you'd prefer a more stripped-down option, going with a prepaid carrier usually means you'll get the basic package without paying extra.

4. Our bonus tips for saving cash

  1. Review your data usage often
  2. Don't hesitate to switch
  3. Find relevant discounts

The above points are what we would consider the best ways to save cash on your cell phone bill. Firstly, monitor your data usage and make sure you're not spending more than you need to. If you're signed up for a pricey post-paid unlimited plan at one of the major carriers you may not have any leeway here but most smaller prepaid carriers offer a number of plans that you can use to get thrifty. 

Secondly, don't hesitate to shop around and check out other carriers that may fit your needs better. Carriers usually reserve their best promotions for switchers and these can be handy for offsetting the cost of phones or additional lines. Note, however, that you'll want to make sure that you won't incur an early termination fee (ETF) if you're currently bound by a contract.

Thirdly, our final tip for saving cash is to shop around for relevant discounts at the carriers. These are most relevant for first responders, members of the military, and students, but other more niche discounts are available. As of writing, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all have discounts you can apply for. 

Alex Whitelock
Deals Editor

Alex is deals editor at TechRadar. With over three years of experience on-site and eight years working in e-commerce, Alex has made it his personal mission to share all his favorite tips, bargains, and deals with our readers here at TechRadar. At work, he specializes in computing, phones, and covering huge sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Outside of work, you'll find him indulging his keen love of photography and PC gaming, or down at the local climbing gym hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities. His editorial bylines also include contributions to T3 and GamesRadar.