There’s no denying that cell phone bills can put a depressing dent in your wallet. Thankfully, joining forces with your partner, family, or even a group of friends can help make the burden much more manageable. So, we did some digging and came up with the best family phone plans out there in a number of categories.
From the Big Four (er, Big Three – sorry AT&T, you didn’t make the cut) to prepaid plans, and a wildcard thrown in for good measure, there’s sure to be an unlimited family plan for everyone. When looking at prices, keep in mind that the cost is for four lines and doesn’t include taxes, fees, insurance, or phones (unless otherwise noted).
Family Cell Phone Plans Comparison Chart
Best Family Plan Overall: T-Mobile Magenta
Best Family Plan on a Budget: Sprint Unlimited Basic
Best Family Plan for Coverage: Verizon Unlimited Plans
Best International Family Plan: Google Fi
Best Prepaid Family Plan Overall: Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited High Speed
Best Prepaid Family Plan on a Budget: Cricket Wireless Unlimited Core
Changing Networks or Upgrading? Sell GadgetGone Your Old Phone
All plans have unlimited talk, text, and data domestically. Pricing is for four lines.
|Price/Month For 4 Lines||Mobile Hotspot Data||Taxes & Fees Included||Extra Perks||Video Streaming Speeds||Mexico & Canada Talk, Text, & Data||Int'l Talk, Text, & Data|
|Essentials||$104||✔️||Free stuff & deals on T-Mobile Tuesdays||480p|
|Magenta||$140||✔️||✔️||Netflix/Quibi, free stuff & deals on T-Mobile Tuesdays, Gogo in-flight texting & wifi||480p|
|Text/data in 210+ destinations|
|Magenta Plus||$172||✔️||✔️||Netflix/Quibi, free stuff & deals on T-Mobile Tuesdays, Gogo in-flight texting & wifi||1080p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Text/data in 210+ destinations|
|Unlimited Basic||$100||✔️||Hulu||480p||Unlimited talk/text – 5GB 4G LTE data||Unlimited talk/basic data – 25¢/min talk|
|Unlimited Plus||$140||✔️||Hulu & TIDAL||1080p||Unlimited talk/text – 10GB 4G LTE data||Unlimited talk/basic data – 25¢/min talk|
|Unlimited Premium||$180||✔️||Hulu, TIDAL, Amazon Prime, & Lookout Premium Plus||1080p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Unlimited talk/basic data – 25¢/min talk|
|Start Unlimited||$140||480p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 200+ destinations|
|Play More Unlimited||$180||✔️||Apple Music||720p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 200+ destinations|
|Do More Unlimited||$180||✔️||Half-off unlimited plan for tablet/Jetpack, 500GB cloud storage||480p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 200+ destinations|
|Get More Unlimited||$220||✔️||Apple Music, half-off unlimited plan for tablet/Jetpack, 500GB cloud storage||720p||Unlimited talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 200+ destinations|
|Fi Unlimited||$180||✔️||100GB cloud storage with Google One||480p||Unlimited text/data – Starting 1¢/min talk||Unlimited text/data – Starting 1¢/min talk|
|Metro by T-Mobile|
|Unlimited High Speed – Tier 1||$140||✔️||✔️||100GB cloud storage with Google One||480p|
|Unlimited High Speed – Tier 2||$120||✔️||✔️||Amazon Prime, 100GB cloud storage with Google One||480p|
|Unlimited Cricket Core||$100||Free talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 37 countries|
|Unlimited Cricket More||$130||✔️||Free talk/text/data||Unlimited text to 37 countries|
From the very beginning, T-Mobile’s family plans came out swinging. While the network’s basic Essentials plan is a great choice, it’s their Magenta offerings that had them emerging victorious from the battle of the best family cell phone plans with unlimited data. What T-Mobile lacks in coverage, they more than make up for with their plentiful perks and friendly price.
Ringing in at $140 a month ($35/line) for Magenta and $172 a month ($43/line) for Magenta Plus, these plans bring a free Netflix subscription (and/or Quibi, at the time of writing), free stuff and discounts every Tuesday, complimentary in-flight texting and wifi on Gogo-enabled flights, unlimited mobile hotspot data, unlimited texting and data in over 210 countries, and unlimited video streaming (up to 480p for Magenta, 1080p for Magenta Plus). Plus, all taxes and fees are included, so what you see in the price is what you get.
Although we’re partial to Magenta and Magenta Plus, Essentials ($104/month, $26/line) is a great entry-level unlimited plan. However, it lacks many of the perks, taxes and fees aren’t included, and you’d have to contend with lower speeds from time to time due to data prioritization. So, if you’re one of the lucky ones blessed with good T-Mobile coverage, you’d be hard-pressed to find a family plan with as much bang for your buck as T-Mobile’s Magenta offerings.
|➕ Great extras||➖ Spotty coverage in parts of the U.S.|
|➕ Friendly, simple pricing||➖ Slow streaming speeds without Magenta Plus|
When it comes to perks and price point, the competition between T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s family plans is stiff. But, Sprint Unlimited Basic brings home the win for best family phone plans at a budget price. Starting at $100 each month ($25/line) before taxes and fees, Sprint’s starter unlimited plan comes with unlimited talk, text, and data as well as standard-definition (SD, 480p) video streaming and 500MB of mobile hotspot data.
You can even take stay connected abroad thanks to Sprint Global Roaming. International travelers can count on unlimited talk and text and 5GB of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada; plus free texts, basic 2G (e.g. slow) data, and calls for 25¢ per minute in over 200 destinations. And even though it’s a starter plan, it is not free of extras: consider that Hulu subscription you’ve been pondering yours.
Sure, the video streaming is pretty slow, the mobile hotspot data that’s included is pretty slim, and Sprint’s 4G service only covers 30% of the country. However, if you’re in their coverage zone, Sprint Unlimited Basic is the best family plan you can get at an affordable price.
|➕ Most affordable basic plan of the Big Four||➖ Worst coverage of the Big Four|
|➕ Includes Hulu||➖ Mobile hotspot data capped at 500MB|
When it comes to the best family phone plans and coverage, Verizon is the undisputed leader, with their coverage extending to 70% of the country. Where they don’t win, however, is price. From $140 a month ($34/line) for their basic Start Unlimited plan to $220 a month ($55/line) for their premium Get More Unlimited plan, those monthly bills are steep.
Of course, you do get what you pay for. All of Verizon’s unlimited family plans come with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data in the U.S. along with texting to more than 200 countries and talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico. Video speeds vary depending on which plan you choose, as do the inclusions (including Apple Music, premium data, and 500GB of cloud storage).
Aside from the coverage, Verizon’s big draw is the ability to mix and match their plans to fit your family’s needs. Got a teenager who can’t seem to stop watching YouTube? The Play More Unlimited plan is for them, with HD (720p) video streaming. Need to get a lot of work done on the go? The Do More Unlimited plan has got you covered with a sweet discount for your connected devices. Even your little ones can get in on the action with Verizon’s Just Kids plan, which lets you keep an eye on your child’s screen time and location for extra peace of mind.
|➕ Excellent coverage||➖ High price tag|
|➕ Mix and match plans = tons of flexibility||➖ All the options can get confusing|
If someone in your clan frequently travels abroad for work or if your family prefers more worldly adventures to domestic vacations, one of the best family phone plans for families on the go is Google Fi (formerly Project Fi). For those unfamiliar with this non-traditional option, Google Fi piggybacks off of other networks (T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular in the U.S.) and wifi hotspots to give you the best connection available in your area at that time.
Priced at $180 a month ($45/line), Google Fi’s unlimited family plan hooks you up with unlimited data and texting in the U.S. and abroad, free calls to more than 50 countries, calls to over 150 other countries for as little as 1¢ per minute, full-speed mobile hotspot data, and a Google One membership with 100GB of cloud storage. And if you get itchy at the thought of being locked into a contract, you’re in luck: You can cancel anytime with Google Fi.
Of course, there are some downsides. You need to have a Fi-optimized phone in order to get the full benefits of the network switching technology (non-Fi phones only use the T-Mobile network in the U.S.) and video streaming speeds are a leisurely 480p. But, for families who frequently find themselves overseas, Google Fi best family plan for you.
|➕ Incomparable international coverage||➖ Need Fi-compatible phone for full benefits|
|➕ No contracts||➖ Not a lot of extras|
In the battle of the best prepaid family plans, Metro by T-Mobile’s Unlimited High Speed plan takes home the award. In a surprising twist, for plans with four to five lines, the provider’s premium unlimited option ($120 a month, $30/line) is actually cheaper than its lower-tier unlimited alternative ($140 a month, $35/line). And like T-Mobile, taxes and fees are included.
In addition to unlimited talk, text, and data on T-Mobile’s network, customers also receive 100GB of cloud storage with Google One, 480p video streaming, and at least 5GB of mobile hotspot data (15GB for those on the premium tier). Premium unlimited customers can also online shop to their hearts’ content with an Amazon Prime membership.
Unfortunately, due to the prioritization of T-Mobile customers, Metro users will occasionally need to suffer through reduced speeds. Additionally, if you’re planning on traveling extensively outside the country, we’d recommend steering clear of Metro by T-Mobile as calling, texting, and data is only available internationally with the purchase of an add-on service.
|➕ No contracts, taxes, or fees to worry about||➖ No international coverage included|
|➕ Impressive perks for a prepaid plan||➖ Slow speeds due to data prioritization|
Finally, if your family is looking for something affordable that covers all the necessities without the hassle of a contract then the Unlimited Cricket Core plan is for you. Starting at $100 a month ($25/line), Cricket Wireless’s entry-level unlimited offering is one of the best prepaid family plans out there; although, it is free of any extra perks.
In addition to the necessary unlimited talk, text, and data, customers also get SD (standard definition) 480p video streaming; free texting to 37 countries; and free talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada (must be less than 50% of your total usage in a month for three consecutive months – data speeds can be a slow 2GB).
Cricket Wireless runs on AT&T’s network, so you can expect excellent service throughout much of the United States. Although like Metro by T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless customers take the second rung to those on an AT&T plan, resulting in slower data speeds when the parent network is busy.
|➕ All the essentials without the contracts||➖ Zero extras|
|➕ Able to stay connected while traveling abroad||➖ Slow speeds due to data prioritization|
If your family is making the switch to one of the best family cell phone plans with unlimited data from above, or if it’s that time of year for an upgrade, sell your old, broken phone to us at GadgetGone. We will put cash in your pocket in as little as two business days, and give you a nice little deposit on your new phone.