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Best Family Cell Phone Plans

Sept. 7, 2018
Cell Phones, Utilities
Best Family Cell Phone Plans
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Finding the right cell phone plan for your family is key to keeping costs down. We scoped out the best family cell phone plans in several categories. Prices don’t include phones, taxes, fees or other charges, such as insurance.

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Best family plans: family of four

  • Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $120
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited talk, text and data, plus 30GB of mobile hot spot
  • Why we like it: An unbelievable prepaid deal that’s too good to last. This limited time offer from Boost is available for new and existing customers.
  • Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Basic
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $160; $140 with autopay discount
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited data, minutes and text messages
  • Why we like it: An affordable, entry-level unlimited plan with bonuses like Hulu and 500MB of hot spot access per line. New customers can score additional discounts.

 

THINGS TO KNOW

Boost Mobile’s promotional plan also includes HD video streaming. Boost is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint’s network. Customers may be able to bring their own phone, or they can buy a new one at retail price.
Sprint’s Unlimited Basic plan includes calls, texts and 5GB of high-speed data to use in Canada and Mexico. Video streams in standard definition.

 

Best family plans: two people

  • Plan name: MetroPCS 5GB
  • Price (monthly, two lines): $70
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited talk and text; 5GB of data per line
  • Why we like it: Each line gets its own data package, for a total of 10GB, plus mobile hot spot access and unlimited music streaming from select services
  • Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Basic
  • Price (monthly, two lines): $110; $100 with autopay discount
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited data, minutes and text messages
  • Why we like it: An affordable, entry-level unlimited plan with bonuses like Hulu and 500MB of hot spot access per line. New customers can score additional discounts.

 

THINGS TO KNOW:

MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile and uses T-Mobile’s network. Its 5GB plan includes unlimited streaming from select apps, such as Pandora and iHeartRadio.
Sprint’s Unlimited Basic plan includes calls, texts and 5GB of high-speed data to use in Canada and Mexico. Video streams in standard definition.

 

» MORE: Best unlimited data plans

Best family plans: prepaid

  • Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $120
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited talk, text and data, plus 30GB of mobile hot spot
  • Why we like it: An unbelievable prepaid deal that’s too good to last. This limited time offer from Boost is available for new and existing customers.
  • Plan name: Cricket Wireless Basic (with Group Save discount)
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $110
  • At a glance: Unlimited talk and text, 5GB of data per line
  • Why we like it: Cricket’s Group Save discount makes for four inexpensive lines with just the right amount of data.

 

Things to know:

Boost Mobile’s promotional plan also includes HD video streaming. Boost is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint’s network. Customers may be able to bring their own phone, or they can buy a new one at retail price.
Cricket operates on AT&T’s network, but it caps its LTE data speed at 8Mbps. You’ll likely notice the difference only when trying to stream HD videos or do other things that need a lot of bandwidth.

 

» MORE: Best prepaid cell phone plans

Best family cell phone plans: summary

CarrierDetailsGet started
Plan: Boost Mobile Unlimited

Best for: Family of four

Monthly cost: $120 (four lines)
Plan: Sprint Unlimited Basic

Best for: Family of four

Monthly cost: $160; $140 with autopay discount (four lines)
Plan: MetroPCS 5GB

Best for: Two people

Monthly cost: $70 (two lines)
Plan: Sprint Unlimited Basic

Best for: Two people

Monthly cost: $110; $100 with autopay discount (two lines)
Plan: Boost Mobile Unlimited

Best for: Prepaid family plan

Monthly cost: $120 (four lines)
Plan: Cricket Basic with Group Save – 5GB per line

Best for: Prepaid family plan

Monthly cost: $110 (4 lines)

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METHODOLOGY

We evaluated more than 200 cell phone plans offered by the following carriers: AT&T, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket, GreatCall, Google’s Project Fi, MetroPCS, Net10, Republic Wireless, Sprint, Straight Talk, T-Mobile, TracFone, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile. To determine the best plans, we looked at the monthly plan price before taxes and fees, the price per gigabyte and features such as unlimited video streaming or rollover data. We considered only national carriers, which ruled out regional providers like U.S. Cellular. For family plans, we looked at plans with at least 6 GB of data and calculated pricing for a family of four.

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