How Much Does a Cell Phone Plan Cost?
In order to choose a cell phone plan that is right for you, you need to answer a few basic questions. First, what company do you want to use? Choose one that provides the best service in your area for the lowest price. To check the signal strength of different companies, go to cellreception.com. If you live in a well populated area, chances are there will be many companies that provide good coverage in your area. The next thing you want to consider is how much you are willing to spend. Cell phone plans can cost anywhere from $30 a month to $150 a month depending on the features included. Finally, decide what features you need to be included and which ones would just be a bonus. Some of these features include mobile-to-mobile, text messaging, and 3g service. You also need to consider what type of phone you want, such as a touch screen, flip phone, or one with a qwerty keyboard.
How much is it?
- Most cell phone companies offer a plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data for one line. This can range anywhere from as little as $45 to $100+ per month, depending on the service provider you choose. Refer to the table below for price estimates from popular carriers that offer the lowest costs as of 2016.
|AT&T||$55 per month for unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data|
|Cricket Wireless||$65 with auto-pay|
|Sprint||$100 for two lines|
|Verizon||$50 per month for unlimited talk, text and 4GB of data|
What is going to be included?
- Most cell phone carriers offer unlimited mobile-to-mobile (within their own company) on every plan they have.
- Almost every plan comes with unlimited nights and weekends. AT&T, however, sometimes has a minute limit on nights and weekends as well.
- Free long distance and roaming is a basic feature on almost any cell phone plan.
- Some companies, such as AT&T, have rollover minutes. This means that any minutes you did not use one month will be added on to the total minutes you can use the following month.
- Voicemail, call forwarding, and caller ID comes standard on most phones.
What are the extra costs?
- Adding a line can range anywhere from as little as $20 to more than $40+ per month, depending on the carrier.
- When signing up for a cell phone plan, there is usually some type of activation fee. If you shop around and look for sales, you may find you can get this fee waived.
- In order to sign up for a cell phone plan, you must have a phone. Most phones come cheaper when signing a contract.
- The advertised price of the cell phone plan you choose will not be the final price of your monthly bill. There are taxes and other surcharges you will have to pay each month. Check with your provider to get a final monthly bill before signing a contract.
- Most cell phone plans require a signed two-year contract. If you break this contract early, there is a substantial fee – usually between $150 and $200.
How can I save money?
- Many cell phone companies give discounts to certain groups of people, such as veterans, teachers, etc.
- Once your contract has expired, you can usually receive an even better plan as well as a free phone upgrade as an incentive to stay with that company.
- Consider low-cost carriers as mentioned in the table below.
|Boost Mobile||Unlimited talk, text and 1G for $30|
|Cricket Wireless||Unlimited talk, text and 2.5GB for $35|
|Freedom Pop||First 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB are FREE|
|Google Fi||Basics start at $20. Each additional 1GB is $10.|
|H20||Unlimited talk, text and 500MB for $35|
|Republic Wireless||Plans start at $15|
|RingPlus||First 100 minutes, texts and MB are FREE|
|Total Wireless||Unlimited talk and text plus 5GB for $35|
How to compare prices:
- The best way to compare prices is to visit a store that offers cell phone service from multiple carriers. For example, Amazon is a dealer for Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
- Cell phone companies always have promotions. Be sure to check out the promotion page before making a decision.
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