Now’s the Perfect Time to Switch to a Cheaper Phone Plan

Chances are, you’re probably using one of the big three cellular providers in the United States: Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T. You're also probably paying a lot for service you may not need quite as much right now. With a lot of us working at home more, well within reach of a home Wi-Fi network, now may be a good time to switch to a new wireless network with cheaper rates. Mobile data is the priciest part of a cell plan these days, so if you can rely a little more on Wi-Fi instead and downsize your monthly data appetite, you can save a lot of money by switching to an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator—a silly name that means a smaller mobile service provider that runs on one of the big carrier networks.
Check out our guide to the best unlimited plans at the major carriers , best Android phones , and how to pick an iPhone . And for those who are looking to save a bit of money, here's our guide to the best cheap phones for all budgets .
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The 2 Best Plans

Mint Mobile ($25–$40 per line)Mint launched in 2016 and took no time in becoming the best value among smaller cellular networks. Its $40 Unlimited plan is our favorite unlimited service, and its $25 plan is our favorite budget service. Both plans start at $30 and $15 for the first three months.
It has some good benefits too. 4G LTE and 5G are in every plan with no speed caps. For $40 a month (taxes and fees not included), you get unlimited talk, text, and data. After 35 GB, data keeps flowing but at a reduced speed. You can make free calls to Canada and Mexico. There are three more tiers: 3 GB for $25 a month, 8 GB for $35 a month, and 12 GB for $45 a month.

You can lock in the lower $15 and $30 prices if you pay for 12 months up front after your first few months. You can also bulk-buy all the tiers in 6- and 12-month packages to lower the price a bit.

Mint also offers a $5 one-week trial of its service. Download the Mint Mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store and you can try out a limited version of the Mint plan for $5. If you end up liking it and buying a plan after the trial week, Mint knocks the $5 off your renewal price.
Our favorite Mint Mobile plans are $25 per month for 3 GB and $40 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. Both plans are cheaper for the first 3-15 months.Phone compatibility: This network runs on T-Mobile, so any ex-T-Mobile or ex-AT&T phone should work, along with many newer high-end phones that come universally unlocked, like iPhone and Google Pixel. Check here for compatibility.

Also Good for Unlimited Data

Visible ($40 per line)Visible was our favorite until Mint unleashed its unlimited plan, but it's still a great deal if you prefer Verizon's coverage, which is sometimes better in rural areas. It's owned by Verizon and uses its network exclusively. For an unlimited plan, it's affordable at $40 per month for one line, including taxes and fees, and it comes with unlimited talk, text, and LTE data with no speed cap. Navigating Visible's sign-up process is simple.