The Best Cell Phone Family Plans

The Best Cell Phone Family Plans

You want to put your entire family on one cell phone plan, but you're not sure which one to choose. Family plans are great way to keep everyone connected and save money while you do. In this article, I'll talk about the best cell phone family plans!

 

What Do I Need In A Family Plan?

There are a lot of different factors that go into choosing a cell phone family plan. So, before we dive into our favorite plans, we'd like to talk about some of those factors and help you make a more informed decision.

How Many Lines Do I Need?

This answer is pretty straightforward — you'll want one line for each for you want to include on your family plan. Most cell phone plans let you add 5–10 lines.

How Much Data Does My Family Need?

The average person uses less than 6 GB of cellular data per month

If you have an iPhone, you can track your data usage by going to Settings -> Cellular.

Shared Data vs. Fixed Data vs. Unlimited Data

On a similar note, it's important to figure out whether you need a family plan with shared data, fixed data, or unlimited data. Here's the difference between the three:

  • Shared data: Your plan includes an allotment of data that is shared between all lines. If you had 20 GB of shared data on a three line plan, one line could use 14 GB, another could use 5 GB, and the third could use 1 GB.
  • Fixed data: Every line has a set allotment of data that can only be used on that specific line. One line can’t borrow or use the data from another line
  • Unlimited data: If everyone in your family uses a lot of cellular data, you may be better off choosing an unlimited data family plan. Every line will have access to unlimited data.

Reliable Coverage

This isn't exclusive to family plans. You'll want reliable coverage no matter what type of cell phone plan you sign up for.

No matter what type of  cell phone plan you sign up for, you'll want reliable coverage.

Make sure to check coverage in a few places — your neighborhood, a nearby relative's home, your child's college or university, and your family's favorite vacation spot.

You'll want to have reliable coverage in any place you visit frequently. You can compare the networks of every wireless carrier using our coverage maps!

Parental Controls

If you want to add your younger child to your family plan, you're probably interested in a plan that has some parental controls. Although some carriers do provide some parental controls, you'll actually have most control using the settings on the phone you get for your child.

The iPhone has a great feature known as Screen Time, which allows you to set time limits for apps, block certain content, and much more.

screen time on iphone

Android smartphones also have parental controls that you can set up in the Google Play Store. For more advanced Android parental controls, you'll have to download a third-party app.

Do I Need To Sign A Contract?

You don't have to sign a long-term contract to get a family plan anymore. Many wireless carriers offer no contract and prepaid family plans data plans. These plans are very flexible and give you the freedom to quickly change your plan or switch carriers if you feel that it's necessary.

However, some family plans still require that you sign a contract. This is often true of premium unlimited data plans, which tend to have more features and less restrictive high-speed data caps.

Make sure to check the contract details of the plan you're interested in before signing up!

Why Should I Put My Entire Family On One Plan?

There are a couple reasons why you would want to consider putting your entire family onto a singe plan. First, it's just easier to manage one account. You'll get one bill rather than two or more. If there's a problem with your account, you can resolve the problem quickly.

Many carriers offer special multi-line discounts when you sign up for a plan with more than one line. Typically, the amount you’ll save increases when you add more lines to your plan. Check out our other article to learn more about multi-line discounts!

Verizon Family Plans

Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Prepaid 6 GB Unlimited Unlimited 6 GB per line 1–10 $40 / month View Plan
Prepaid 16 GB Unlimited Unlimited 16 GB per line 1–10 $50 / month View Plan
Do More Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $80 / month View Plan
Just Kids Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB 1–9 $55 / month View Plan

Although the starting prices may seem high, Verizon offers multi-line discounts on family plans. You can save $10 or more for every line you add onto your Verizon family plan. Additionally, you can save on your bill by enrolling in Autopay and Paperless Billing.

You can explore other Verizon cell phone plans using our comparison tool!

AT&T Family Plans

Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Mobile Share Plus Unlimited Unlimited 3 GB 1–10 $50 / month View Plan
Prepaid Unlimited Unlimited 1 GB 1–5 $35 / month View Plan
Unlimited & More Premium Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $90 / month View Plan

You can save a lot of money on your plan with AT&T's multi-line and autopay discounts. An important distinction to make here between these two plans is that Mobile Share Plus has shared data, while the Prepaid plan has fixed data.

Check out our comparison tool to compare more AT&T family plans.

Sprint Family Plans

Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Unlimited Kickstart Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $25 / month View Plan
Unlimited Plus Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $70 / month View Plan
Unlimited Premium Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $80 / month View Plan

If you're switching to Sprint, we highly recommend the Unlimited Kickstart Plan. It's the cheapest family plan Sprint offers and it includes unlimited data, just like their other multiline plans.

Discover more Sprint plans using our cell phone plan comparison tool!

T-Mobile Family Plans

Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Essentials Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $60 / month View Plan
Simply Prepaid Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 1–5 $40 / month View Plan
Magenta Plus Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $85 / month View Plan

T-Mobile offers big discounts on family plans. You'll get a multi-line discount when you add lines to your plan and you can save even more by signing up for Autopay.

For example, you can get a four-line Essentials plan for just $120 / month. This brings your monthly price per line down from $60 to $30.

Use our comparison tools to learn about more T-Mobile plans.

Best Family Cell Phone Plans With Unlimited Data

Carrier Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Sprint Unlimited Kickstart Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $25 / month View Plan
Verizon Do More Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $80 / month View Plan
AT&T Unlimited & More Premium Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $90 / month View Plan
T-Mobile Essentials Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $60 / month View Plan
TextNow Unlimited LTE Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $39 / month View Plan

Cheap Cell Phone Family Plans

Carrier Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Sprint Unlimited Kickstart Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–5 $25 / month View Plan
Verizon Prepaid Unlimited Unlimited 6 GB 1–10 $40 / month View Plan
AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Unlimited 1 GB 1–5 $35 / month View Plan
TextNow Unlimited LTE Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $39 / month View Plan

Don't be fooled by the word “cheap” — a cell phone family can be affordable and excellent. You'll save even more on the Verizon, AT&T, and TextNow plans with their multi-line and autopay discounts.

Best MVNO Family Plans

Carrier Plan Name Minutes Messages Data Lines Price
Google Fi Flexible Unlimited Unlimited 2 GB 1–6 $40 / month View Plan
TextNow Unlimited LTE Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1–10 $39 / month View Plan
Boost Mobile 3 Gigs 4G LTE Unlimited Unlimited 3 GB 1–10 $35 / month View Plan
Metro by T-Mobile 10 GB High Speed Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 1–5 $40 / month View Plan

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are wireless carriers that lease coverage from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. One big advantage of choosing an MVNO is that they typically offer plans at a lower price than the big carriers.

However, the larger carriers can distinguish between their subscribers and the subscribers of MVNOs who lease their coverage. This means that MVNO subscribers may have their data speeds throttled during times of network congestion.

The Best Cell Phone Family Plan

So, what is the best cell phone family plan? Our pick is the Verizon Prepaid Plan with 6 GB of data. Every line gets unlimited minutes, unlimited messages, and plenty of cellular data every month. Even better, you don't get charged overages on this plan. You can keep using cellular data beyond your 6 GB monthly allotment, but the speeds are throttled down to 600 kbps.

The Best Cell Phone Family Plan In 2019

The 6 GB Verizon Prepaid Plan

Each line gets unlimited minutes, unlimited messages, 6 GB of cellular data, mobile hotspot, unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada, and unlimited texting to more than 100 countries.

Save $15 / line on each line you add with the multi-line discount and AutoPay discount!

Up to 10 lines. No contracts. No overage charges.

It Runs In The Family

We hope this article helped you find a great new cell phone plan. Make sure to share this article on social media to tell your friends, family, and followers about the best cell phone family plans. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave us a comment down below!

AUTHOR

David Lynch

Hi, I'm David! I'm here to help you fix problems with your iPhone and help you find a better cell phone plan.

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