Where to Find the Best Cellphone Deals

May 7th 2016

The mobile technology industry has exploded in the past five years. Now, there are so many choices that consumers are literally choice drunk. They have to choose a type of phone, a carrier and then a plan within the carrier. It's enough to make a person long for the days before the creation of the first cell phone. The four top companies all consider themselves the best, have their supporters and their detractors.

For most people, the decision on which cell phone plan to select comes down to getting as much as possible and paying as little as possible for the privilege. Within every company, customers have the option of a contract plan or a pay as you go plan. It's very important that the consumer pays close attention to the coverage area of each company. Failure to do this can result in difficulty making and receiving calls, as well as costly roaming fees.

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Verizon

Starting as low as $40 a month for line access, you will pay an additional $60 for a 4GB data plan. For each additional 2GB of data, you will pay an additional $10 a month. With the Share Everything Plan, you get unlimited talking and texting for each line, and all lines share the data plan. Watch your data here because going over the allotted amount will cost you $15 per MB. A single line with unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data will run $60 a month. The same overage rate applies. All contract plans subsidize the phone purchase and, depending on the specific plan chosen, have hefty early termination fees.

There is also a prepaid plan. After purchasing a phone, there is an option to choose a data plan of $60 per month for 2GB or $70 per month for 4GB. Talk and text are included.

Sprint

As with all contract plans, Sprint will give a great discount on phones to get you into a contract. Here, however, there is an option for an All In plan, where you get unlimited talk, text and data for $110 a month. This is the best deal at Sprint for individual plans. For family or group plans, it gets interesting. All lines have unlimited talk and text. However, each line has a data package that is separate from the other lines. The customer can choose an unlimited data package for $30 a month for one member of the family but elect to have no data package for other members. The basic cost per line is $50 per month. This makes for an attractive plan for families. 

Sprint has a few exceptional no-contract plans. After buying a phone, the customer chooses which plan suits them best. The most basic plan is unlimited in text and data but has 500 minutes of talk time on a basic phone for $35 a month, while a smartphone with unlimited talk, text and date will run $60 a month.

AT&T

The basics for a smartphone on a family plan here will run $120 a month for two lines. You get unlimited talk and text, and the two lines share 10MB of data. Each additional line is $15. For the individual, a smartphone with 4GB data with unlimited talk and text will run $95 per month. 

The prepaid option here is a pretty basic one. You buy a phone, then for $60, you have unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data. You can purchase additional data for $10 per GB.

Straight Talk

There are no contract options here. You can purchase a phone through the company, select one of their free phones or bring your own unlocked phone to the table. You have the option of a $30 per month card that provides 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30MB data. There is also a $45 card that has unlimited text, talk and data. Most smartphones will only work with the $45 per month card. You can purchase a new card each month, refill it online or over the phone. There are also options for purchasing three-, six- or 12-month cards. 

Choosing a cell phone plan that fits both your needs and your budget can be tricky. It's even harder if you are looking for a family plan and are trying to balance the needs of several people. These four companies all attempt to make it as easy as possible to purchase their products, but it's up to the consumer to decide which of those products will best meet their needs.

More in category

Related Content