I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it seems like kids are asking for cell phones at younger ages. My parents bought my first cell phone when I was in 7th grade so I could communicate with them as I walked home from school. Looking back, I wish prepaid cell phone plans would have been an option as it would have saved them a ton of money.
Last Christmas, I bought my son his first cell phone just before he turned 10. While it was exciting for him and I found a good deal on the phone, I also had to start budgeting for an extra bill in the house.
When you start to have three or more cell phone bills in your household, getting a family plan often seems like the best option. Luckily, today there are a lot of great prepaid cell phone plans for families so it can be a very budget-friendly move.
Why Choose Prepaid?
The average cell phone bill is anywhere from $80 to $114 per month. For a couple, that’s $80 to $228 for two phones. If they have two kids who each have a cell phone, you’re looking at $320 to $456 per month just to make calls, send texts, and play on apps.
I’ve always had a prepaid cell phone plan and it’s saved me so much money. Prepaid phone plans are almost always the cheaper option and the quality of service has improved in recent years.
I know maybe 10 years ago, prepaid cell services were spotty at best, but companies have really stepped up and made improvements. What’s interesting is a lot of prepaid phone companies rely on cell service from major providers like Sprint or Verizon.
That said, why would you pay double at a company like Sprint when you could use a prepaid company that utilizes Sprint’s cell service but charges less.
Plus, prepaid phone plans are simpler to deal with. You get what you pay for and you can cancel anytime. There’s no need to worry about going over on your data and getting charged a ton of fees. When your kids have cell phones, this is crucial. With a prepaid plan, it’s now easier than ever to bundle service for multiple phone lines. Below are my top recommendations for prepaid cell phone plans for families.
Tello Mobile is a prepaid cell phone company that relies on Sprint’s mobile network. They offer rock bottom prices while still maintaining a quality service.
With Tello, you customize your own plan based on how many cell phone minutes and gigs of data you want. For example, their lowest plan start at $7/month and you get 500 minutes and unlimited text messages but no data.
If you want around 2 gigs of data per month along with unlimited talk and text, you’d pay around $14/month. Unlimited everything starts at $39 per month.
For family plans, you can have up to 4 lines and customize each phone line. This is nice because if you want to give your kids less talk time or less data, you can and score a lower monthly bill.
Straight Talk is a popular prepaid phone service and you can choose a plan online or buy a phone or service card at your local Walmart.
Their plans start at $35 per month for unlimited talk and text and 5 gigs of data. You can get 25 gigs of data monthly for just $10 more.
Bundling your phone plans will save you money since you can get two lines for just $90 per month. I also like the selection of phones that Straight Talk offers. About two years ago, I was able to get my iPhone for just $100 during their holiday sale.
If you’re considering switching to Straight Talk, see if you can bring your existing phone with you then wait around for a good holiday sale if you want to upgrade your device.
BoostMobile has good prepaid cell phone plans for families and heavy data users. Your bill goes down the longer you stay with them so you could end up paying just $35 per month for unlimited talk and text plus 15 gigs of data.
When you switch to Boost mobile and buy a new phone, you can also get a free phone right now which is a great incentive for families. Create a family plan by mixing and matching different plan options.
Boost Mobile’s cheaper plan starts at $10 per month and includes unlimited talk and text along with 1 GB of data. The coverage area is 99% so you can basically use BoostMobile’s service almost anywhere in the country.
Mint Mobile has flexible plans starting at just $15 per month. They offer 5G and 4G LTE data along with unlimited talk and text.
With Mint Mobile, you pay your plan every 3 months, but you can also choose a 6 or 12-month payment plan. I don’t like how your phone bill increases after 3 months since their lowest prices are only introductory rates.
The only way to keep your introductory rate is if you sign up for the 12-month plan after completing the 3-month plan. A small benefit is that you wouldn’t have a monthly phone bill since you’d pay for it upfront for an entire year.
I love Total Wireless. It’s the cell phone plan my family has currently and we’ve never had any issues. They offer a 25% off coupon when you enter an email on the website, but their prices are already pretty good.
You can buy or bring your phone and service plans start at just $23 per month for unlimited talk and text with 2 GB of data. You can bundle up to 4 lines for just $95 per month. This includes:
- Unlimited talk and text
- Your first 100GB of high speed data to share
- A mobile hot spot of up to 10 GB for each phone line
Another thing that I like about Total Wireless is their rewards program. Each time you pay your bill or buy an accessory, you earn rewards points. These points can be cashed in to pay a future phone bill so you can basically get your family plan for free if you
Visible Mobile offers prepaid phone plans on Verizon’s mobile network. You’re welcome to bring your phone with you to use the service or you can choose from one of their phones.
Plans are $40 per month to start. Visible Mobile calls their family plan a ‘Party Pay’ where you’ll pay less per line with each line added (up to 4).
If you’re looking to save money on your phone bill and have considered switching to a prepaid plan, try one of the companies on this list.
Be sure to shop around and get clear on your needs and preferences. Remember that you can often add on data to these plans if needed and you can always cancel at any time.
Are you using a prepaid family plan or not for cell phones in your household? Why or why not?