Walmart has evolved from being a single store in Arkansas to one of the world’s biggest retailers. You can buy almost anything from Walmart: home, fashion and beauty products, outdoor items, gifts and toys, gadgets and accessories, and more. Now you can even purchase mobile plans through Walmart Family Mobile.
What Is Walmart Family Mobile?
Walmart Family Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that has been around since 2010. MVNOs purchase network coverage for resale from the biggest carriers in the US: T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint.
They do not own cellular towers. Walmart Family Mobile obtains network coverage from T-Mobile services instead. This is even if the industry giant sold Walmart Family Mobile to prepaid wireless provider TracFone back in 2016.
Walmart Family Mobile Plan Requirements
Walmart has two types of mobile network coverage plans: Single Line and Family. There are several options under these plans that match different connectivity needs. Let us discuss first what you need to have before you get to choose one.
Supported Mobile Phones
The requirement is that you should have a mobile phone that is compatible with Walmart Family Mobile. The device should be an unlocked GSM phone operating at 1,900 MHz. It also must be LTE-ready; otherwise, you will not be able to make the most out of the plans. If you have a 5G mobile phone, the better in the long run because Walmart Family Mobile is set to integrate the network into its offerings.
You can find out easily if your mobile phone is supported by clicking the blue “Check Compatibility” button on the Walmart Family Mobile website. Alternatively, you may text BYOP to 611611 to double-check and get a quicker response.
Mobile phones from T-Mobile and AT&T may be compatible because they are GSM-enabled. With regard to 5G handsets, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G and OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren currently work with Walmart Family Mobile, according to the website.
Also read: What Is GSM: Everything You Need to Know
You will also need to buy a $25 activation kit from Walmart online or via a physical store. The activation kit includes a SIM card and the activation code for each line. You have to call Walmart customer service if you want to keep using your mobile phone’s existing number.
If your mobile phone is not compatible, you may opt to upgrade to or buy a supported device model from Walmart or other stores. This also requires you to purchase an activation kit.
Walmart Family Mobile Plans
It is time to look at Walmart Family Mobile single-line plans now that you know the essentials. Single-line means only one mobile phone with one mobile number will be supported. This plan suits individuals and small data users the best. The options are more affordable compared to the Family plans.
Single-Line Plan Options
The first plan costs $24.88 per month. You get unlimited texts, calls, and data. In terms of data, though, you only experience high-speed 5G or LTE connectivity for the first 2 GB. Your connection speed will revert to 2G for the remainder of the paid period when you consume beyond 2 GB.
The second plan lists at $29.88 per month. There is no limit to text messages, phone calls, and data. Speed is again the only thing that is affected when you reach the 5 GB mark. You will also be downgraded from the fastest network speed you have to 2G if you exceed the data cap. There is one thing to rejoice about when you upgrade to this plan. You get hotspot capability.
The third plan will require you to shell out $39.88 monthly. Calls and texts are also unlimited. The data you can use at full speed is up to 20 GB. Beyond that, you will be kept at 2G speed. The hotspot feature is 10 GB at maximum.
The last single-line plan is called Truly Unlimited. It is priced at $49.88 per month. Text messages, phone calls, and consumable data have no limits. You can surf the web at 5G or LTE speed all the way. The hotspot is also useable up to 30 GB. You are allowed to stream videos with HD 720p quality.
What is common among the four single-line plans is that you can add more lines for $24.88 each. If you need an additional 1 GB of high-speed data, you can buy the add-on that is worth $9.88.
International calling and roaming for select areas are also available by buying the $10 Extras Pack. The said calls should come from the US or Puerto Rico and are billed per minute consumed. The airtime is good for 180 days of last use and 30 days after suspension of the Walmart Family Mobile service. These rates and conditions are subject to change, per the official website.
Walmart’s Family plans vary depending on how many lines you want to include in your account. The maximum plan is up to five lines. All or most family or group members can experience the service. What is the same across the plans is that you can enjoy 5G or LTE speed and unlimited calls, texts, and data any time.
The Walmart Family Mobile two-line plan goes for $74.76. Add the base rate of $24.88 per line to this and you can get the prices for packages exceeding two lines. Given that, the three-, four- and five-line plans will cost you $99.64, $124.52, and $149.40, respectively.
These are more efficient and cost-saving compared to buying multiple single-line plans. You can also manage all five lines conveniently using just one account.
What’s Good About Walmart Family Mobile?
There are quite a lot of benefits of switching to Walmart Family Mobile. This is why it is the MVNO of choice of millions of clients in the US. Let us discuss the advantages of using the service in terms of coverage, ease of application, plans, and savings.
Wide Coverage Area
Walmart Family Mobile has a wide coverage since it works in places that T-Mobile can reach. Many states in the US are covered but if in doubt, you can check out the Walmart Family Mobile coverage map to see how strong it is in your area. Input your zip code or zoom in or out to find your location. Areas are highlighted in blue, orange, or gray depending on the type of service that is available: 5G, LTE, or International Roam Plans Only.
Easy Application & Compatibility Check
Walmart Family Mobile provides you convenient ways to know if you are qualified for the service. Checking device compatibility with the plans is as simple as sending an SMS or making a few clicks on the website, as you already know.
Walmart Family Mobile plans have clear terms and conditions and do not bind you to a contract. You can continue using the service by paying up on or before the renewal date or stop whenever you desire. Unused data will just be forfeited if you have not maximized your usage. There are also no credit checks and hidden fees.
Big Savings & Discounts
The more lines you have, the bigger savings you get. Walmart estimates that you can save $25 per additional line with the Family plans. Moreover, you are in for monthly discounts. Note that the discounts only apply to the additional lines. You can avail of those by paying for all your lines at the same time. Just go to the Walmart Money Center or MyFamilyMobile.com. You may also get assistance via phone call.
Walmart also has what it calls the SafeLink Benefit for financially-challenged families and the unemployed. It is a program that gives a discount of $10 or more per month. SafeLink Benefit is not transferrable and only covers one account per household. Walmart states that if you take part with SNAP, Medicaid, or other social assistance programs, your eligibility chance is high. You still have to double-check with Walmart if you are indeed qualified.
Single-line plans are also given a monthly AutoPay discount, although it is only up to $2.50 depending on the kind of service plan. When you have AutoPay, the service will renew automatically on the Service Renewal Date. It also gives you timely courtesy alerts before and after your payments so it is convenient to have.
What’s Bad About Walmart Family Mobile?
While there are advantages to getting a Walmart Family Mobile plan, there are also a few drawbacks regarding coverage and support. These disadvantages are experienced by many clients and quite common among MVNOs.
You are at a disadvantage versus T-Mobile users. This happens in heavily populated places. How come? Walmart Family Mobile relies on T-Mobile cell towers as previously mentioned. The latter prioritizes speed allocation to its subscribers first before Walmart’s in some cases.
Mobile Phone Incompatibility
There might also be a low compatibility chance for some non-mainstream devices. Walmart Family Mobile supports Samsung phones, iPhones, LG phones, and a few other brands in its store. What are noticeably not included in its phone catalog are BlackBerry, Nokia, and Google Pixel phones, for example.
Busy Customer Help Hotline
A common con with Walmart Family Mobile is that the customer service hotlines may be busy. This, however, is understandable at times as there are plenty of clients in line wanting to solve their issues or get answers to their inquiries. Customers experience busy hotlines even with other MVNOs. Big network carriers have this problem at times, too.
Walmart Family Mobile vs Other MVNOs
Walmart Family Mobile single-line plans are more affordable in comparison with some MVNO counterparts. Take for example rival Cricket Wireless that makes use of AT&T’s network. The competitor MVNO charges $30 for the base single-line plan that offers the same 2 GB data cap and unlimited calls and text.
Another example is Metro by T-Mobile. It is also powered by Walmart’s parent carrier brand. The base individual plan with the same coverage and speed will cost you $30 as well. Given these, you save about $6 for the most basic plan when you choose Walmart Family Mobile.
The Family plans are a bit pricier compared with other MVNOs. It is reasonable, though, due to the convenience Walmart’s store presence brings. You already know that you can add lines and data at a fixed rate online or at any physical outlet near your place.
Moreover, the multi-line plans support heavy internet usage in these modern times because there are no data caps and connectivity speed reductions. There is not much you can do nowadays with a 2G or 3G network. It is already slow by today’s standards. With Walmart Family Mobile’s 5G and LTE offers, you can keep up with modern times.
Convinced with Walmart Family Mobile’s advantages? Try it now if your answer is yes. Availing a plan is a breeze. If not, check out our take on other MVNOs. We have also reviewed Mint Mobile that operates using T-Mobile, as well as Google’s multi-network compatible Google Fi.
Verdict: Is Walmart Family Mobile Worth It?
It is time for the final verdict now that you know what Walmart Family Mobile can bring to the table. It is worth getting a mobile plan under this MVNO, considering all aspects mentioned previously.
Walmart Family Mobile’s greatest strengths are its hotspot capability and contract-less plans. The hotspot is a unique selling point because very few MVNOs offer it. Mobile hotspots are perfect for today’s on-the-go and fast-paced lifestyle. People have to stay connected anytime and anywhere. A hotspot is very useful in places without Wi-Fi coverage. You can just use your device to double as one. This means you can share your internet connection with your other devices. A hotspot is a nifty feature to have for individuals surfing the web in public places.
Walmart Family Mobile is a prepaid service. It gives you more freedom to back out of a plan to upgrade to a better one or switch providers. There are no contracts, penalties, and cut-off fees. The service also helps you avoid bill shocks, a common issue postpaid subscribers experience. With a prepaid setup, you are able to keep your data use monitored with ease.