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4 Best Cheap Phone Plans (2023): Alternatives To Verizon, AT&T, And T-Mobile

Google Fi uses the 4G LTE and 5G networks of T-Mobile and US Cellular. It’ll throttle (slow down) your data after you pass a certain monthly threshold: 15 GB for the base tier and 35 and 50 GB for the unlimited plans. Data after 6 GB is free on a one-phone-line plan, so you won’t get a surprise giganto bill if you lose track of your data use. That data threshold increases the more lines you have on your plan. There’s free travel, so you don’t have to pay a daily fee overseas. Instead, calls are a flat 20 cents per minute from outside the US, and there’s free unlimited texting. Data costs don’t change outside the US either.

It works with all kinds of phones, including those from Samsung, OnePlus, Google, and Motorola. Unlocked iPhones work too, though it’s still in beta, and 5G isn’t supported on Apple devices. Fi switches between US Cellular and T-Mobile for the best quality, but this network switching is available only on select phones (iPhones not included). You can check whether your device is fully compatible here.

Google Fi offers a $20 per line + $10 per GB of data plan and unlimited plans for $50 and $65. If you have five or more lines, the standard plan is reduced to $16 per line (plus $10 per GB), and if you have four or more lines, the unlimited plans go down to $20 and $40 per line, respectively.

Phone compatibility: Most phones will work just fine with Fi, but only a handful fully support its unique network-switching feature.

Best if You Hardly Use Any Data

Courtesy of Ting

Ting revamped its data plans not long ago from the most à la carte method imaginable, in which you paid on a sliding scale for every single aspect of a phone plan, to a more typical tiered system like its competition. All plans include 5G and 4G LTE network access, unlimited talk and text, and a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. The $10 Flex plan comes without any data, and you pay $5 per gigabyte of data you use. If you hardly use data, this is the best plan on the market. You have the core features of fast network access and limitless talk and text without the high price of paying for data you won’t use.

The $25 plan includes 5 gigabytes of data, all of which you can use over a hot spot, but the $35 plan lets you use only 8 gigabytes of its 12-gigabyte allotment over a hot spot. Both are solid deals, but they are outclassed a bit by the competition. There are two unlimited plans for $45 and $55 per month, but there are better options among the competition due to Ting’s high prices and, well, its definitely limited data: 22 and 35 GB of data before 2G, respectively, before 2G kicks in.