Cellphone subscriptions can be really pricey in America. According to JD Power and the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average American’s annual cellphone subscription plan costs at least $1,000—that works out to be the cost of buying a used car. And with smartphones being such an integral part of our lives today, chances are that your phone subscription for talk-and-text-only plans takes up a significant amount of your budget.
And that’s why we’ve done the homework and helped find you the cheapest talk-and-text-only plans to cut your monthly expenses below.
What Do I Need to Know Before Switching to One of the Cheapest Talk and Text-Only Plans?
The most crucial component in determining which talk-and-text-only plan to subscribe to is whether it can provide excellent coverage and service to your home and workplace, as well as whether your existing mobile is compatible with the network or not.
T-Mobile & GSM-Based Mobile Devices
The majority of service providers we list are compatible with GSM-based mobile devices. That said, if you’re a T-Mobile or AT&T subscriber and you’ve already paid off your plan and unlocked your smartphone, you can switch to any network that offers talk and text-only plans. If this is the case, all you have to do is port your mobile number and use your device immediately.
Sprint or Verizon Subscriber
On the contrary, if you’re a Sprint or Verizon subscriber, things are a bit different. Both networks comply with CDMA standards which less budget mobile service providers support. Republic Wireless and Google Fi are compatible with GSM and CDMA devices.
However, the majority of service providers we’ve listed depend on AT&T and T-Mobile’s towers for service and coverage. As a result, they’re only compatible with GSM-based devices. TextNow and Boost are the sole providers since they’re compatible only with Sprint’s coverage. That said, they can only support CDMA devices.
Samsung Galaxy and iPhone Devices
Most Samsung Galaxy and iPhone series have CDMA and GSM compatibility. If you bring your current smartphone to a new service provider, chances are you’ll be asked to share its IMEI number to determine whether it will work on that new provider or not. To be sure, you have to ask each mobile provider’s rules and compatibility so you won’t subscribe to a new network that doesn’t support your existing device.
Cheapest Talk and Text Only Plans
1. Republic Wireless
- Add Cell data for $5/month
- Consume 1GB per month pays $20/billing cycle
- Consume 3GB pays at the beginning of each month
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Republic Wireless is one of the most flexible talk-and-text-only plans to help you reduce your monthly phone bills. It offers a Talk & Text Unlimited Plan that operates on a pay-what-you-consume model that is similar to Google Fi. A single device with unlimited talk and text starts at $15/month.
If you want to add cellular data to the plan, you’ll have to pay $5 per GB of data. Subscribers who consume 1GB per month will only pay $20 for that specific billing cycle.
Republic Wireless has a different approach compared to Google Fi. With Google Fi, a meter that tracks your consumed data will be available for your reference. At the end of each month, Google Fi will charge you for the data you used.
On the contrary, Republic Wireless lets you pay $30 at the beginning of each month if you intend to use 3GB. If you require an additional GB, you have the option to purchase more data for that billing cycle for only $5. Hence, you can freely add that service for as long as you need it.
With Republic Wireless’s approach, you can purchase 1GB of cellular data at the start of the month and take it from there. If you’re mostly indoors, 1GB may be more than enough for you. If not, you have flexible options to add more cellular data for later. Republic Wireless also lets you pay for your service yearly all at once for a discounted price if you prefer.
2. Cricket Wireless
- 2GB of monthly cellular data with 8Mbps data speed
- Allow data extension with 128Kbps data speed
Talk and text: Unlimited
With Cricket Wireless, you’ll generally pay $30 for 2GB of monthly cellular data, which may be expensive for you. However, Cricket Wireless has halved the price for a limited period to compete with T-Mobile’s 2GB Connect plan. While Cricket Wireless didn’t indicate how long the promotion will last, do note that the price is always subject to change.
Another variation of Cricket’s 2GB data plan compared to T-Mobile is data allotment. If you have already exceeded the data limit for the month, you won’t be shut off. Cricket Wireless will still allow you to use the data, but your speed will be limited to just 128Kbps.
Cricket Wireless also offers the standard 8Mbps data speed on its talk and text-only plans. As a result, it isn’t the best option, especially if you upload content on multiple social media platforms. Cricket Wireless’s speed cap may be overpowered by most home internet providers. Despite that, it’s one of the cheapest talk-and-text-only plans if you prefer a minimalist plan.
3. T-Mobile Connect
- $15/month with 2.5GB data
- $25/month with 5.5GB data
- No extension of data. T-Mobile doesn’t slow down your data or offer a 3G network.
- 1GB of data add-on for $10
- an extra 0.5GB of data is added for T-Mobile Connect plan for the next 5 years.
Talk and Text: Unlimited
T-Mobile Connect is T-Mobile’s lowest-priced plan. Depending on your preference and need, you can choose between the $15 per month of 2.5GB data or the $25 per month of 5.5GB data.
Both plans already include unlimited talk and text service. Initially, T-Mobile Connect was going to be released after the closure of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. However, due to the global health crisis, T-Mobile has pushed to an earlier rollout to address the needs of people.
With T-Mobile Connect, you will have the traditional approach of limiting data. When you’ve already consumed the 2.5GB or 5.5GB data, you can no longer access anything using an Internet connection. Unlike most modern plans, T-Mobile doesn’t slow down your data or offer a 3G network after you’ve consumed all your data for the current billing cycle. If you require additional data, purchasing 1GB of data add-on for $10 may be too expensive.
As of the moment, an extra 0.5GB of data is added to every T-Mobile Connect plan annually for the next five years. As a result, by 2023, the 2GB data allotment will provide subscribers with 3GB of monthly data. Although T-Mobile Connect doesn’t have an international service, you can still use your current plan and smartphone for hotspots.
Make sure you keep track of your data consumption to avoid depleting it easily. Since T-Mobile Connect has a month-to-month scheme, subscribers can instantly upgrade to T-Mobile’s Simple Prepaid plans, such as the $40 monthly subscription for 10GB.
4. Boost Mobile
Cost: $10/month with 2GB of data
- For higher data, $15/month with 4GB
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Boost Mobile offers two Double Your Data Plans to help you with your budget. To start using Double Your Data Plans, you first need to buy a SIM card worth $9.99 and choose which plan suits you best. You can then purchase the $10 per month subscription for 2GB of data, including unlimited talk and text service.
For higher data, you can switch to the $15 per month that already includes 4GB data, as well as unlimited talk-and-text service. However, similar to Cricket, Boost Mobile offers them for a limited period only. After a month, the standard plan reverts to the normal $35 per month which may be expensive for some people. Since Boost Mobile is a CDMA provider that works on Sprint’s network, it is compatible with many smartphones.
In addition, while other service providers don’t include taxes and other miscellaneous as part of the monthly subscription, Boost Mobile includes them. Hence, it’s technically the most affordable talk-and-text-only plan if you do the math.
Given that Boost Mobile is part of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, the mobile carrier will eventually be sold to new owners who may change the data subscriptions on offer. Although there’s no fixed timeline for the changes, subscribers must expect that they may happen anytime soon.
5. Mint Mobile
- For new subscribers, $45/3months with 4GB data
- $15/month with 4GB data
- 6-month scheme, $25/month with 4GB
- No charge for data limit extension but data will be reduced to 128Kbps.
- Offer 5G/4G LTE connections.
Talk and text: Unlimited
Mint Mobile offers a different twist with its 3-Month Plans. You can purchase a monthly allotment all at once, several times per month. For instance, new subscribers can have 4GB of data per month for three months for a total amount of $45.
That said, you have a subscription that is worth $15 which is one of the cheapest options available nowadays. Mint Mobile’s 3-Month Plans already include unlimited talk-and-text service, nationwide coverage, and 5G/4G LTE connections.
Once the 3-month subscription is completed, the cost increases to $35/month for the same period or $25 if you prefer the 6-month scheme. The only option to retain the introductory 3-month price is by locking your subscription with a 12-month service. However, the length of the subscription may not be the most economical choice nowadays.
Since you’re registering for months of service all at once, it can be risky to subscribe to Mint Mobile’s 6 or 12-month service for a more affordable rate. Fortunately, Mint Mobile offers a 7-day guarantee. If you’ve changed your mind or realize Mint Mobile isn’t the service for you, you can receive a full refund excluding shipping fees within a week.
If you have already exceeded your monthly data allotment, the extra charges won’t be reflected on your current billing cycle. Instead, your speed will be reduced to 128Kbps.
6. Google Fi
- Flexible Plan $20/month
- $35 for 3 months
- $10/GB for data
- Additional 6GB allotment until 15GB until internet service is slowed down for $80/month
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Google Fi’s Flexible subscription may not be the most affordable talk-and-text-only plan available. Aside from the $20/month subscription fee for unlimited talk and text service for one user, an additional $10 per GB is imposed once you’ve consumed the free 6GB allotment.
However, if you’re mostly indoors and connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you can actually save under $30 per month with the Google Fi Flexible plan. Although it doesn’t mean much, Google Fi can definitely compensate with many perks offered for its subscribers.
If you’re a frequent traveler, Google Fi is one of the best options since it provides you with data service at almost the same price and speed as what you’ll receive at home in 200+ countries worldwide. Aside from that, Google Fi also offers unmatched mobile app features, such as free VPN routing for all Internet traffic from your smartphones regardless if you’re using LTE or at home.
If you require more than 6GB per month, the Flexible plan of Google Fi can be converted to an unlimited plan since Google may cap your monthly bill at $80. As a result, you can continue browsing on your device to a maximum of 15GB of data until Internet service is slowed down.
- For unlimited data $40/month.
Talk and Text: Unlimited
Today, every mobile service provider lets you pay a specific amount for the data you use plus unlimited talk-and-text service. However, if you only use a mobile number for calling someone or send them messages, TextNow is literally the cheapest talk-and-text-only plan.
TextNow provides you with unlimited talk-and-text service without data coverage. It’s 100% free and supported by ads that you often encounter using the app. If you require mobile data, TextNow offers 2GB for $20/month. Aside from that, the company also offers unlimited data for $40 per month.
Although using TextNow is 100% free, you’ll still pay $10 for the SIM activation bundle. Given that you’re always at home, TextNow is definitely an excellent alternative to reducing your monthly bill. However, you shouldn’t forget that it doesn’t have a data service unless you’re purchasing one.
Similar to Boost Mobile, TextNow works on Sprint’s infrastructures and needs a CDMA device or inactive Sprint phone if you’re bringing your own handset.
Are Family Plans Worth It?
If the prepaid talk and text-only plans are still a bit expensive for you, it’s also worth checking some of the family plans offered by major service providers. Finding the best family plan for you and your family or friends definitely does the trick.
Most mobile carriers will let you pay an additional 25% on top of your original subscription if you want to add another subscriber. If you have the opportunity to share the expense with a friend or family member, seize it. You can definitely cut the costs of your monthly phone subscription.
If you’re considering a family plan, numerous service providers are worth exploring such as the following:
1. Boost Mobile
Apart from Boost Mobile’s affordable individual subscriptions, the mobile carrier also offers family plans. With Boost Mobile’s Family Plan, you can mix and match Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans to create a flexible family plan that’s suitable to every family member’s preference.
2. Metro By T-Mobile
T-Mobile’s budget-friendly subsidiary, Metro, has a diverse range of Phone Plans that can be shared with a maximum of five family members. Aside from that, Metro’s two-line plan worth $70 per month is an excellent option for couples. Its unlimited plan also features two mobile phones, with an $80/month subscription fee.
3. Verizon Start Unlimited
With Verizon’s Start Unlimited plan, you can enjoy unlimited mobile data and text-and-talk services for four devices at just $140/month. However, if you have 5 to 10 members, each Start Unlimited subscriber is $30 per month.
You also get six-month access to Apple Music and Disney+ with the Start Unlimited plan. The company also offers a subscription for two to three family members; however, there’s a slight increase in price per family member.
If you prefer different phone plans for every family member, Boost Mobile is the perfect option. However, if you keep it simple and straightforward, Metro and Verizon are your excellent alternatives.
Given how interconnected the world is today, it is almost impossible for you to ditch your phone. It’s almost mandatory for you to stay connected 24 hours a day, and that means your phone must be hooked to a good network connection at all times.
But this doesn’t mean you have to pay a monthly premium to ensure that you stay connected. As our list above shows, every major network provider in America has affordable options for you to select to keep your data costs down to a minimum.