The best family cell phone plans for March 2023

best family cell phone plans
(Image credit: Giphy)

If you're currently researching the best family cell phone plans, let us help you out with a well-researched list of recommendations and tips right here on this page. Finding the right one can be a tricky affair with so many choices, and lengthy service contracts to consider, so we've narrowed it right down here to the ones which we think offer the best overall value currently. That said, we know requirements for family cell phone plans can differ wildly from group to group, so we've tried to offer quite a wide array of options here.

Price is of course the most important factor for most when considering the best family cell phone plans, but we've also considered plenty of other things too. Coverage, data allowances, and discounts for 2-line or 3-line plans specifically have all been considered here with our recommendations, so hopefully you'll find something that's relevant to your requirements.

Now more than ever you'll also find the market absolutely flooded with fantastic options for the best family cell phone plans. Not only do you have some very competitive discounts on multi-line premium unlimited data plans from the traditional 'big three' carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile), but you've also for some great options from smaller prepaid carriers. Visible and Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) are especially great options right now for those who are really on a budget and willing to cut out some of the perks and priority data that you'd normally find on the more expensive post-paid options.

And, we're not just weighing in with a simple list of the best family cell phone plans in this article either. If you need any help, guidance, or unbiased advice, you'll find a very helpful frequently asked questions section at the bottom of the page. For more options, we also recommend checking out our main best cell phone plans article, where you'll find a great overview of the market as a whole.

Best family cell phone plans: top picks

  1. Visible (opens in new tab) - best for overall value
  2. Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) - best for two line value
  3. Boost Mobile (opens in new tab) - best for three line value
  4. T-Mobile (opens in new tab) - best for big carrier value
  5. Verizon (opens in new tab) - best for flexibility and parental control
  6. Cricket Wireless (opens in new tab) - best for value on the AT&T network

The best family cell phone plans

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: T-Mobile)

1. T-Mobile Magenta

Best for big carrier value

Pricing: $140/mo (4-lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: Netflix, 5G, hotspot, int. talk & text | Network: T-Mobile

No deprioritization
Netflix subscription
Taxes and fees included
Still quite pricey
Only 5GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data

Bigger carriers aren't exactly known for value when it comes to family cell phone plans or cellular plans in general for that matter. However, out of the 'big three', T-Mobile stands out as the best value thanks to a fantastic deal that throws in the third line for free when you purchase three or more lines on your plan. Of course, it's still pretty pricey compared to the prepaid carriers on our list, but the T-Mobile Magenta plan offers a ton of goodies for the money.

Like most bigger carriers, T-Mobile throws in a free streaming subscription service with its Magenta plan - in this case Netflix Basic, and also 100GB of 'priority data'. In short, this makes it a great option for those data-hungry families that want to indulge in some streamed content, and you'll get tons of un-restricted speeds which aren't subject to deprioritization, unlike the prepaid plans on our list.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Visible)

2. Visible

Great for unlimited data value

Pricing: $120/mo (4 lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, mobile hotspot, free Mex & CA calling | Network: Verizon

Cheap Unlimited data
No contract
Used to be $5 cheaper per line

Visible used to be our top overall pick for best value family cell phone plan due to its awesome Party Pay feature - an option that's sadly no longer available. It is, however, still an amazing choice overall with its basic unlimited data plan coming in at just $30 per month per line, which is fantastic considering all Visible plans have unlimited 5G access, unlimited calls and texts, and operate on the larger Visible network (for great coverage).

There's a little give and take at play here because the Party Pay feature used to be able to score you a 4-line unlimited data plan for just $25 per line with the baseline plan costing $40 per month. Essentially, you've traded out that lowest monthly rate possible on four lines with a more flexible fixed-rate option - which is going to benefit those wanting two or three lines specifically. 

As with most prepaid options, the Visible Wireless plan isn't a traditional family cell phone plan per se, so you'll essentially have to set up each line as its own plan. That's a bummer when it comes to paperwork but it's definitely worth considering as there's potentially a lot of value here as well as no pesky contracts to sign.

See our Visible wireless plans (opens in new tab) guide for a detailed breakdown of this service.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

2. Mint Mobile

Best for 2 lines

Pricing: $15/mo - $30/mo (per line) | Data options: 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, mobile hotspot, free Mex & CA calling | Network: T-Mobile

Simple pricing
Generous data allowances
Pay upfront
Have to buy multiple months at a time

Mint Mobile, unlike most carriers, doesn't offer specific rates for family plans per se, but its low rates, simple pricing structure, and overall value make it a perfect pick for single or dual-line users. Its unlimited plan, for example, can be picked up for $35 a month at its lowest rate and offers a generous 35GB of 5G data as well as unlimited talk and text and 5GB of mobile hotspot allowance.

With Mint Mobile, you buy your data upfront in increments of three, six, or twelve months at a time, with the longer plans averaging out to a cheaper rate per month. Subsequently, you'll want to be committed before you jump on board with Mint Mobile as to secure the cheapest rates you'll have to be willing to spend a chunk of cash upfront. On the plus side, however, that does mean no monthly bills for up to a year at a time.

See our Mint Mobile plans (opens in new tab) guide for a detailed breakdown of this service.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Boost mobile)

3. Boost Mobile Unlimited

Best for 3 lines

Pricing: $90mo (3 lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, mobile hotspot | Network: T-Mobile

Generous mobile hotspot allowance
Excellent 3-line value
Initial payment of $100

Boost Mobile is a fantastic choice if you're looking for a prepaid carrier that offers a ton of very flexible (and good value) options for family cell phone plans. Unlike some prepaid carriers, Boost really shines when you start to add multiple lines onto an account, and you can also 'mix-and-match' different data allowances per line to create a bespoke plan for your family.

Of particular note is the special rate for its three-line unlimited plan, which comes in at just $90 a month after an initial payment of $100. Although that initial payment is a bit of a kicker here and makes it initially more expensive than Mint, you do get slightly more data allowance on your mobile hotspot with Boost - 12GB in this case. Subsequently, this one's a pretty good option if you're looking for a three-line family cell phone plan specifically, and you can also get some decent savings on handsets via the Boost Mobile deals page (opens in new tab) as well.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Verizon)

5. Verizon Unlimited

Good for flexibility, plus coverage

Pricing: $140 to $220/mo | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, Hulu, ESPN+, Disney+, hotspot | Network: Verizon

Mix-and-match unlimited plans
Just Kids plan available
Excellent streaming perks
5G mobile hotspot caps

Another really strong candidate for family cell phone plans among the bigger carriers is Verizon - which operates a really great 'mix-and-match' service on its unlimited data plans that allows customers to really tailor each line to their own preference. While pricey, you're also getting a ton of great streaming service perks with most of the Verizon plans - Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ to be precise, as well as 50GB per line of priority data for speedy high-definition streaming.

Another standout feature for Verizon is the 'Just Kids' unlimited plan - a rather unique $35/month add-on plan for any unlimited data customer at Verizon. With this plan, parents can limit screen time, track location, and filter content via the Verizon app. Note - the Verizon Just Kids plan also comes with unlimited data (capped at 5Mbs), and unlimited data and text for up to 20 contacts, so it's actually fairly good value.

See our Verizon wireless plans (opens in new tab) guide for a detailed breakdown of this service.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Cricket Wireless)

6. Cricket Wireless

A great prepaid deal on the AT&T network

Pricing: $100/mo (4-lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: Unlimited texts to 37 countries | Network: AT&T

Cheapest on the AT&T network
Unlimited data at 8Mbps
Mobile hotspot not included on basic plan

If you happen to get the best coverage on the AT&T network in your area, then a good option for saving on the entirety of your plan is Cricket Wireless - a prepaid carrier that offers a 4-line unlimited plan for just $100 a month. 

Like most prepaid carriers on our best family cell phone plans list, Cricket Wireless is a pretty stripped-down affair and also subject to deprioritization when the network is busy. That said, it does come in, on average, around $10 per line cheaper (opens in new tab) than AT&T's basic unlimited data plans while offering comparable levels of service and perks.

Family cell phone plans: FAQ

best prepaid plans cheap mobile family

(Image credit: Getty)

Deciding which family cell phone plan is best

Data allowances
It's always a wise policy to have an idea of your family's monthly data usage while you're shopping around for a family cell phone plan. While most of the family cell phone plans on our list are unlimited - at least on paper - most of them do have soft caps on data usage. While you won't be shut off from your cellular connection, you could be downgraded to 3G speeds or worse if you exceed your soft cap - which is often around 35GB to 50GB, depending on the plan. Most carriers make data usage reports readily available via their customer sites, so you should be able to find the information you need fairly easily by logging into your existing account.

While subjective, the number of perks offered by a carrier can really make or break the overall value of the plan. Things like included subscription services, international calling, and big mobile-hotspot allowances can be a neat bonus for some, but a necessity for others. If you think your family is going to make full use of that Hulu, Netflix subscription, or 5G mobile hotspot allowance, then it could be worth it to spend a little more and go with one of the bigger carriers as opposed to the more stripped-down prepaid plans.

Parental controls
Most Android and iPhone devices have parental control features directly accessible via the phone settings, so you don't necessarily have to have a bespoke child-friendly cell phone plan to get some protection. That said, if you do want to easily monitor your child's usage, or want that extra level of protection, then the Verizon Just Kids plan is the only plan on this list to feature that for free. AT&T also offers a Secure Family app (opens in new tab) and T-Mobile also has a FamilyMode app (opens in new tab), although they charge $7.99 and $10 a month to use these services respectively.

Pay separately or together?
Some of the cheaper family cell phone plans featured on our list have separate billing for each line. While cheaper, this can be a bit more of a hassle in regards to paperwork and some may prefer to keep everything under one monthly bill. If you'd prefer to keep things simple, then it could be worth it to go via the more traditional (but pricier) family cell phone plans route.

More great cell phone plans content

Looking to do a bit more research about cell phone plans? Luckily here at TechRadar we've got a ton of useful content to check out, no matter what you're after. 

If you're looking for cheap, and we mean really cheap plans, then head directly to our guide for this month's best cheap cell phone plans (opens in new tab). Another good resource to read is this month's best prepaid plans too - which tend to be great value as well. Finally, if you're a heavy user then you'll definitely want to check out this month's best unlimited data plans, which while pricey, will give you all the 5G data you could ever want as well as tons of streaming subscription perks.

Alex Whitelock
Deals Editor

Alex is deals editor at Future PLC and an all-around expert at one thing - saving readers as much cash as possible while scoring them the best products for their needs. With content that's always packed full of helpful information, no-nonsense expertise, and of course deals, Alex has also written for other leading sites such as T3 and GamesRadar. At work, you'll find him mostly covering computing, gaming, and advising people on how to save on their cell phone plans. Outside of work, you'll find him playing guitar, indulging his love for music, or down at the local climbing gym mostly hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities.