9 Best Cell Phone Deals (2017): Top Cell Plans, Sales, & Discounts

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What's the best cell phone plan right now?

Lauren Keys

Lauren Keys

DealCrunch Editor

Lauren answered on 5.30.17:

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In the last few years, cell phones have surpassed landlines in terms of widespread use in the US. With smartphones continuing to add new features and functionality, it makes sense to find a service plan to complement your phone and how you use it.

For example, if you’re always connected to wifi, maybe you don’t need unlimited data, or if you have a family, maybe look for a multiline discount.

Below, we’ve compared pricing and deals from the four major wireless carriers, so use these links to learn more about the best cell phone plans offered right now:

Cheapest  |  Unlimited  |  No Contract  |  BOGO  |  Family Plans  |  Prepaid

Best Cheap Cell Phone Deals

While a lot of people seek out unlimited plans these days, what you’re truly paying for is the data. If you look at your data usage, you’ll likely be surprised by how little you actually use when you’re not connected to the wifi you have access to at home, at work, and even out shopping. You can cut your monthly bill significantly by opting for smaller data packages while still enjoying unlimited talk and text.

1

Verizon

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Lowest price

$35/month

Verizon
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Verizon offers four different service plans based on data — an unlimited monthly plan, a large 8 GB a month data plan, a mid-size 6 GB a month plan, and a small 2 GB a month data plan. Regardless of the amount of data you need, Verizon’s plans also come with unlimited talk and text, so you’ll never get overage fees as long as you stay within the service area (you’ll want to check with Verizon if you need to place international calls). Any unused data from the month will carry over into the next month, and if you need it, additional data can be purchased for $15 per 1 GB. The smallest data plan is Verizon’s cheapest service plan for a single line.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#1 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.9 out of 5
www.verizon.com
2

Sprint

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Lowest price

$40/month

Sprint
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Sprint offers two plans — unlimited and a small data plan at 2 GB a month. However, while the data offered is smaller, the 2 GB plan provides unlimited talk and text plus the ability to use your device as a mobile hotspot. Sprint also throws in unlimited international texting for its 2 GB plan. Sprint’s overall coverage may be a few percentage points behind Verizon’s, but in urban markets, particularly along the west coast, Sprint ranks higher.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#2 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.7 out of 5
www.sprint.com

Best Unlimited Cell Phone Deals

If you’re always on the go and need your phone service to keep up, an unlimited plan might be best for you. With unlimited talk, text, and data, you can confidently send messages, stream music and video, turn your device into a mobile hotspot, and even spend two hours on the phone with your mother — all without overage fees.

Photo of a cell phone streaming music

What you’ll want to look for when comparing unlimited plans is any fine print about throttling speeds after a certain amount of data usage (usually around 22 GB) as well as coverage areas, including the countries you can call and text with your service.

3

Sprint

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Lowest price

$60/month

Sprint
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The great thing about Sprint is its competitive pricing. Sprint has the best deal on unlimited talk, text, and data plans. Not only will you be able to stream video from Facebook, YouTube, or HBO Go, but you can do so in high definition without the worry of overages (but there will be a slowdown on your streaming speed at 10 GB). Sprint also enables you to turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot for up to 10 GB of data each month to provide connectivity to your other devices.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#3 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.7 out of 5
www.sprint.com
4

AT&T

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

Lowest price

$60/month

AT&T
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At AT&T, you have two plan options with a $30 price difference. Both plans provide unlimited talk, text, and data (up to 22 GB at high speed), both plans offer international texting to 120+ countries, and both plans allow roaming, texting, and calling to Mexico and Canada. However, that’s where the similarities end. AT&T only offers HD-quality video streaming on the more expensive plan as well as 10 GB of mobile hotspot device tethering. That said, the cheaper service is still one of the most affordable unlimited plans on the market.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#4 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.6 out of 5
www.att.com

Best No-Contract Cell Phone Deals

A few years ago, T-Mobile really shook up the marketplace by providing wireless service without contracts. Today, the big four wireless carriers offer contract-free service plans with more inventive ways to help you subsidize the cost of the newest phones on the market.

Photo of T-Mobile's no contract service ad

Whether you realized it or not, the price of your phone was always baked into your wireless plan — which is why free phone promotions and two-year upgrades were possible. Every carrier will still help you finance your phone as before, but without that being rolled into your service, you can actually save money by not upgrading as often.

5

Verizon

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Lowest price

$35/month

Verizon
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King of coverage Verizon offers the best no-contract service thanks to plans that break down by data usage and simply bill you month to month. From small data usage (2 GB) all the way up to unlimited data, Verizon makes it easy to find a plan that works for you without locking yourself into a service contract. However, if you do need help financing a new phone, which can easily be a $600- to $800-lump-sum purchase, Verizon does offer a phone payment plan in the form of a 24-month contract.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#5 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.9 out of 5
www.verizon.com
6

T-Mobile

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Lowest price

$70/month

T-Mobile
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T-Mobile started the no-contract movement years ago when the company sensed a general unrest among cell phone users for the way carriers handled service plans. Now the self-professed “un-carrier” offers fully featured plans — unlimited talk, text, data, and tethering in 140+ countries — at competitive prices and with hefty multiline discounts all without making you sign a contract.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#6 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.8 out of 5
www.t-mobile.com

Best BOGO Cell Phone Deals

While it’s a less common promotion, you can still find BOGO cell phone deals throughout the year from the major carriers.

Photo of AT&T ad for a BOGO cell phone deal

It’s important to note that these types of specials are never guaranteed, but if you’re not in a rush, you might be to wait for a holiday to see if they promote a buy one, get one free offer on one of the newest phones or even just a 50% off deal for a slightly older device.

7

AT&T

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

Lowest price

$20/month

AT&T
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As of May 2017, AT&T was offering a buy one, get one free special on the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 active, S7 edge, S8, and S8+ as well as the iPhone & and 7+ for those enrolled in its AT&T Next service plan and who also have DirecTV. You could buy the S7 outright for $594.99 or finance it for $19.84/month over 30 months (depending on your credit).

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#7 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.6 out of 5
www.att.com

Best Family Plan Deals

Family plans typically award discounts for connecting four lines, or more, to a single account. However, many carriers have answered consumer demand for more flexible pricing and now offer discounts for connecting any additional lines, which is great news for couples and roommates who want to combine their plans to save.

Photo of a family on mobile devices

Today you’ll see deals for family or group plans of two or more, opening up multiline discounts to more users with the same great service found on single-line plans. Be sure to read the fine print of any plan for shared data packages to make sure it will suit you.

8

T-Mobile

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Lowest price

$35 each/4 lines

T-Mobile
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What we liked about T-Mobile’s family plan was the straightforward pricing — all taxes and fees are included in the quoted price. While every carrier offers multiline discounts, sometimes the advertising can be confusing for “additional lines.” With T-Mobile, you get unlimited talk, text, data, and mobile tethering (though the speed of your hotspot will be at 3G) in 140+ countries.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#8 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.8 out of 5
www.t-mobile.com

Best Prepaid Cell Phone Deals

The prepaid plans offered by the big four carriers all come super-charged with impressive features you’d expect from any unlimited plan today. The biggest factor is data — if you need more, it will cost you. However, there are plenty of affordable and generous data plans offered via prepaid service from one of the main carriers without going to lesser known MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) like Metro PCS or Cricket Wireless.

9

Sprint

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Lowest price

$40/month

Sprint
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Sprint offers the best price on a prepaid line with the most data at 4 GB monthly plus the ability to tether other devices by turning your phone into a mobile hotspot. The service includes unlimited calls in the US and unlimited texting locally and internationally. Other prepaid plans cost more and offer less, but Sprint really stepped up with its prepaid offering.

Offer CategoryDealCrunch RatingOfficial Website
#9 in Best Cell Phone Deals4.7 out of 5
www.sprint.com

Shop Sales & Discounts on Your Phone Plan of Choice

Whether you blaze through data streaming your favorite music or are looking for a multiline discount for your family and friends, there are tons of great options for saving money on your cell phone service.

Photo of a phone in use

The right service and phone can make a world of difference on your budget — and your experience. With these cell phone deals from the nation’s top carriers, you’ll be able to cut your costs in no time without sacrificing on coverage or style.