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The Best Low-Cost Cell-Phone Plans

AT&T

Since the launch of its 5G network, AT&T has restructured its unlimited data plans. There are three levels of service, but 5G is limited to the top two. Its 5G network currently covers 190 markets in 37 states and Washington D.C. For those who don’t want to buy a 5G device, there’s the Unlimited Starter plan that costs $75 per month. Adding more lines drops the per-line cost, and four lines cost $160. You get unlimited talk, text, and data in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. You also get unlimited texting from the U.S. to over 120 countries. Video streams at DVD quality and the carrier throttles speed when the network gets busy.

There’s an Unlimited Extra plan that includes 5G but still streams video at DVD quality. It costs $10 more per line, and a four-line bundle will cost $20 more for a total of $180. You get 15GB of hotspot data per line and 50GB of premium data to share.

Sprint

Sprint offers 5G service in all three of its unlimited plans. Even though it has merged with T-Mobile, this is not expected to change, and costs are not expected to rise. Its cheapest option for unlimited talk, text, and data called Unlimited Basic starts at $65 for one line and $110 for two. The per-line cost drops as you add more lines. But video streaming is limited to DVD quality. High-speed hotspot usage is included but capped at 500MB per month.

Sprint’s newest Unlimited Premium plan costs $85 per month for one line and $150 for two. But this includes Amazon Prime, data security from Lookout, 100GB of mobile hotspot allowance, unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico.

Verizon

Verizon has four unlimited plans, all with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. For now, they also include a free year of Disney+. If you use over 500MB of data per day, your speed is reduced to 2G levels. Unlimited texting is allowed in over 200 countries. The cheapest options cost $80 for one phone and include DVD-quality streaming and six-months of Apple Music. 5G costs $10 more per month.