The best family cell phone plans for April 2024

Magenta, white, and green SIM cards on orange background
(Image credit: Future)

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 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. T-Mobile - best for big carrier value
  2. Visible - best for unlimited data value
  3. Mint Mobile - best for basic prepaid plans
  4. Boost Mobile - Another good prepaid option
  5. Verizon - best for flexibility and coverage
  6. Cricket Wireless - 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 Go5G

Best for big carrier value

Pricing: $155/mo (4-lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: Netflix, 5G, hotspot, int. talk & text | Network: T-Mobile

Third line free
No deprioritization
Netflix subscription
Taxes and fees included
Recently price hiked (up $15 per month)

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 mid-tier T-Mobile Go5G plan is a great choice for either three line or four line setups.

With the Go5G plan, you'll get 100GB of priority data, 15GB of mobile hotspot allowance, and a free Netflix Basic subscription (one screen). It's overall a great option for data-hungry families since you'll get a healthy allowance of un-restricted data on a premium 5G network. Unfortunately, this plan is a little more expensive than the previous 'Magenta' plan from T-Mobile, but you do get a better mobile hotspot allowance (15GB versus 5GB).

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
Recent price cut
No bespoke family plan

Visible has been a staple on our list of best family plans since the inception of this guide, simply because it's exceptional value if you need an unlimited data plan on a budget. While the carrier used to specifically have a 'Party Pay' family plan feature that's unfortunately no longer available, a recent price cut (from $30 to $25 per month) has essentially ensured all lines are automatically enrolled on the lowest price anyway.

And, for just $25 per month, the standard (or basic) Visible plan is fantastic considering you get completely unlimited data, mobile hotspotting (at 5MBps), and unlimited talk and text. While the standard Visible plan is potentially subject to deprioritization (as with most prepaid plans), it's overall a solid pick that's now great value for a varied range of setups. Previously, you had to bundle in four lines on a plan to get the cheapest rate possible whereas now you'll automatically pay just $25 per month on the standard plan. A slight caveat here is that there's no bespoke family plan at Visible, so you'll have to manage those lines separately.

If you're a more data-hungry user, you could also consider the premium Visible Plus for $40 per month per line. This tier is significantly more expensive but comes with 50GB of priority data on the Verizon Wideband 5G network, which means it gets the fastest possible speeds without suffering from any slow-down if the local area is network.  

See our Visible wireless plans guide for a detailed breakdown of this service.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

2. Mint Mobile

Best for basic prepaid plans

Pricing: $15/mo - $30/mo (per line) | Data options: 5GB, 15GB, 20GB, Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, mobile hotspot, free Mex & CA calling | Network: T-Mobile

Simple pricing
Generous data allowances
New flexible family plan
Pay upfront

Mint Mobile is an absolutely awesome prepaid carrier if you're looking to maximise value and don't mind paying for a plan upfront. With Mint, you get the choice between three month, six month, and yearly plans that you can buy outright, with the longer service durations equating to lower monthly rates on average. This can mean a relatively hefty sum to pay upfront, but there's also the distinct advantage of no monthly bills or contracts to deal with.

Mint has also recently introduced a family plan of its own recently, which will automatically enable you to bundle multiple lines together at the cheapest rate possible. Unlike other carriers, you're not really 'saving' with Mint's family plan, rather cutting some red tape and getting access to an easier to manage setup versus buying multiple plans. Still, Mint is a fantastic choice with a number of decent budget low-data options and a competitively priced unlimited data plan, all of which can be mixed-and-matched with the Mint family plan.

See our Mint Mobile plans guide for a detailed breakdown of this service.

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Boost mobile)

3. Boost Mobile Unlimited

Another fantastic budget-friendly option

Pricing: $8.33/mo - $60/mo (per line) | Data options: 1GB - Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, mobile hotspot | Network: T-Mobile

New consumer-friendly plans for 2023
Flexible choices
No bespoke family plans

Mint Mobile is a crowd favorite in 2023 but it faces extremely stiff competition from Boost Mobile - another prepaid carrier on the T-Mobile network that's recently switched up its plans to include some superb value choices.

Whereas previously Boost Mobile focused on family plans with savings for multiple-line users, it now features a simpler Mint-like pricing structure where you pay for a monthly, three-month, or yearly plan upfront. This has the disadvantage of not featuring a bespoke setup for families but you get a decent amount of choices at Boost, most of which are very good value. 

Probably the standout plan at Boost Mobile is the standard Unlimited data plan for $25 per month. At this price, it matches Visible Wireless for the overall cheapest unlimited data prepaid plan on the market right now while offering a viable alternative on the T-Mobile network (Visible operates on Verizon). Versus Mint Mobile, it's a little cheaper but caps out at 30GB of 5G data versus 45GB and doesn't feature any free mobile hotspotting allowance. If you need mobile hotspot at Boost Mobile, you'll have to upgrade to the $40/mo plan with 12GB of allowance. 

best family cell phone plans

(Image credit: Verizon)

5. Verizon Unlimited

Good for flexibility, plus coverage

Pricing: $100 to $160/mo (4 lines) | Data options: Unlimited | Talk & Text: Unlimited | Perks: 5G, Hulu, ESPN+, Disney+, hotspot | Network: Verizon

Leading 5G coverage
Good baseline price for plans
Excellent optional perks
Perks can add up in price

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. Recently, these plans have gotten even more flexible thanks to the carrier's new 'myPlan' system, which enables you to add-on features like streaming perks and Walmart+ membership for a small monthly upcharge.

As of mid 2023 there are three baseline plans that you can pick as a starting point at Verizon - a basic Unlimited Welcome tier, a mid-level Unlimited Plus tier, and a Unlimited Ultimate tier. Budget savvy families will still get unlimited data with the Welcome plan but we'd recommend the middle Unlimited Plus plan as a good option for most thanks to its unthrottled data speeds, 30GB of data allowance, and eligibility for good bring-your-own-device promotions and upgrade deals. 

See our Verizon wireless plans 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
A bespoke prepaid plan for families
Mobile hotspot not included on basic plan
Best for 4-5 line setups

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. We do, however, think it's a really compelling alternative to AT&T's current line-up of prepaid plans when you consider it's the same price as the AT&T 12-month unlimited plan. While you're not saving any cash by going with Cricket, you're getting the added flexibility of not having to pay a wad of cash upfront for your plan and a plan that's essentially bespoke for a four-line setup. You're also saving on average $10 per month per line when compared to the cheapest AT&T unlimited post-paid plan.

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 and T-Mobile also has a FamilyMode app, 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. 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 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.