Choosing a family plan can be challenging and confusing. Which carrier offers the best deal? What are the differences between the plans? Are taxes and fees included? What are the included perks?
In this article I’m going to unpack all of the different family plans, and highlight the best ones that you should consider signing up for.
I’ll be covering the best family plans for four lines on the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks. I’ll include family plans from the major carriers, as well as plans from smaller carriers so you can find the cheapest, best plan to meet your family’s needs.
My goal is to help you save money on cell service, and family plans are great for this. They typically offer group discounts and can greatly reduce the cost per person of the plan.
So join a plan with your mother-in-law. Get a group of friends together. Or make a family. Seriously, these discounts are great.
That said, each family’s needs are going to be different, and despite the great discounts it is sometimes cheaper to get each person their own separate plans.
You may have some members who use a lot of data and other members who use very little data. If you’re unsure how much cellular data you need, or each member of your family needs, check out our article where we cover how to check your cellular data usage on both iPhone and Android.
If you happen to be on a current family plan, you can also often check your online account to see how much cellular data each line uses.
If each person’s needs are dramatically different, for example, if Grandma uses 100GB+ each month while your son Jeremy only uses 1.2GB each month, then may actually be cheaper to keep each person on their own separate line with a data plan that meets their specific needs.
Regardless of your data needs, I’m including the best family plans with unlimited data, as well as cheap single-line plans so you can compare the cost per person and try and figure out what will work best for your family.
The best family plans on the Verizon network for four lines are from Verizon, Visible, Total Wireless, and US Mobile:
Verizon themselves offer 4 different plans to choose from: Start Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, and Get More Unlimited.
The only differences between these plans are the amount of priority data you get (which is how much data you can use before your data speeds may be slowed down when the network is busy), how much hotspot data you get, and the included perks.
Personally, I would opt for Play More Unlimited family plan for $45 per person. It includes 25GB of priority data, 15GB of hotspot data, 720p video streaming, and an Apple Music subscription. It’s still expensive at $180 total per month, but the included Apple Music subscription is an added perk that I think makes this plan a better deal than the Do More Unlimited plan.
That said, the Do More Unlimited family plan is the same price, $45 per line or $180 total, and can be a great option for people looking for more priority data. It lacks the Apple Music subscription, but it offers double the priority data at 50GB, 500GB of Verizon Cloud Storage, and 50% off a tablet or Jetpack unlimited plan for getting more work done. Still, the lack of the Apple Music subscription and the limited 480p video streaming make the Play More Unlimited Plan a better option to me.
Speaking of expensive, Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan is actually more expensive than Verizon’s postpaid plans. It’s $50 per person. Considering data is ALWAYS deprioritized and the hotspot isn’t supported, I think Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan is absolute garbage. (Sometimes I wonder if the people over at Verizon actually crunch the numbers on their own plans).
What is a decent deal is Verizon's 16GB prepaid family plan. This comes out to just $34 per person with all the group savings, and considering it supports hotspot and unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada, it’s not a bad deal. You could also opt for the 6GB prepaid plan, which is $28 per person.
However, the true best deal on the Verizon network comes from Visible. You can join a Visible Party with 4 total members, and the price of your plan drops to just $25 per person for unlimited handset data and unlimited hotspot data.
Data speeds are deprioritized, and hotspot data is capped at 5Mbps, but this is honestly one of the best deals in the industry right now. Billing is even kept separate between the different lines, so if you are a family of two you can safely join a party with two strangers on the internet for maximum savings.
If you’re looking for more information on Visible, be sure to check out our Visible review. They have a limited number of supported smartphones, and customer support has been hit or miss for some users, but still the value is incredible and I do recommend you check them out.
Total Wireless has a decent family plan too. $24 per person also gets you 100GB of shared data, or 25GB per person, with included support for hotspot data.
Total Wireless supports many more devices than Visible, and this group discount may be an excellent option for some users.
And of course we have to talk about US Mobile, because their family plans include amazing perks such as Apple TV+, Spotify Family, Netflix, Disney Plus, or even PlayStation Plus with four lines.
The way it works is you choose one perk from each tier and US Mobile will reimburse you for that perk. So what I did is factor in these reimbursements to calculate the per-person discount you would get for their unlimited plans.
US Mobile offers 3 different unlimited plans, which it turns out are actually 50GB plans. Factoring in the discount, and you’re looking at $34 per person for 50GB at fast speeds, $39 per person if you add in 10GB of hotspot, and $44 per person if you upgrade to full speed LTE data.
Again, this pricing model factors in the discount, so it assumes you are paying for the subscription services separately. The total cost for US Mobile’s unlimited family plans will be $40, $45, and $50 per person respectively, or $160, $180, and $200 per month, which does include the cost of the subscription services which will be included with the plans.
I am currently trying out US Mobile’s Fast plan capped at 5Mbps, and I will say for me it does feel a little bit slower. I would consider going with their full speed plan with hotspot data.
Honestly I do wish these discounts were a little better, but US Mobile’s custom plans still remain great options for single-line alternative plans with affordable rates for talk, text, and data. My favorites are their $20 plan with 1.5GB of data, their $30 plan with 5GB of data, and their $36 plan with 8GB of data.
The best family plans for four lines on the AT&T network come from AT&T, Cricket Wireless, and Pure TalkUSA:
AT&T offers 3 postpaid plans: Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Elite. Similar to Verizon, the main differences between these plans are in the included amounts of priority data, hotspot data, and added perks.
The cheapest family plan is AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan, which is $35 per person. And honestly guys, I don’t think this plan is worth it at all. Your speeds are always deprioritized and it doesn’t support the mobile hotspot. The real value I think is in the Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite plans.
With 4 people, the prices of the AT&T Unlimited Extra family plan and AT&T Unlimited Elite family plan are reasonable too. Unlimited Extra is $40 per month and includes 50GB of priority data, 15GB of hotspot data, and standard definition video streaming.
The Unlimited Elite family plan is essentially two times Unlimited Extra for $10 per person more. For $50 per person you get 100GB of priority data, 30GB of hotspot data, HD video streaming, and an HBO subscription included for free.
Compared with Wing’s single-line $55 unlimited plan, you can really see how adding a few extra lines to your plan adds excellent value per user. And, unfortunately for Wing, their family plan only drops the price to $50 per month, so AT&T’s postpaid plans are really the better value here.
AT&T’s postpaid plans offer excellent, premium service, but they are expensive. You would expect their prepaid to offer better value, but similar to Verizon’s prepaid plans I am bamboozled.
AT&T’s Unlimited Plus prepaid plan is $45 per person, making it a worse deal than AT&T Unlimited Extra. And the regular unlimited prepaid plan is $35 per person, which sounds more reasonable, but considering data speeds are always deprioritized and the plan doesn’t support the mobile hotspot, it is just as bad as AT&T Unlimited Starter.
The only prepaid plan I would consider is AT&T’s 8GB prepaid plan. This is $30 per person for four people. However, you can get a much better deal by taking advantage of the one-year promotion where you pay $300 up front for one year of service with 8GB of data per month. This comes out to just $25 per month, which is less than the $30 per month family plan.
Despite being more expensive, I think AT&T’s Unlimited Extra and Elite plans are the best options for family plans directly from AT&T. I feel the slightly higher price is worth it because you get a more premium experience.
This brings us to Cricket Wireless, which is basically the saving grace of the AT&T network. Cricket’s plans are all an excellent value. $23 per person gets each line 5GB of LTE data capped at 8Mbps. $25 per person gets each line unlimited data capped at 3Mbps with the option of a hotspot add-on. And $33 per person gets each line unlimited full speed data with 15GB of hotspot data included.
My personal favorite plan is the last option, with full speed data and 15GB of hotspot data. At just $33 per person, this family plan from Cricket is an excellent value.
What is also great about Cricket is all taxes and fees are included in the cost of their plans. What you see is what you pay.
The one plan I would avoid from Cricket is their $25 per person plan with data speeds capped at 3Mbps. I personally feel 3Mbps is slow, and I’d much rather have 5GB at 8Mbps (which I feel is noticeably faster), or pay slightly more for fully uncapped data speeds.
If you’re looking for great single line plans to mix-and-match your own family plan, I suggest checking out Red Pocket, Pure TalkUSA, Cricket, and Wing. Red Pocket offers a $30 plan with 7GB of LTE data. Pure TalkUSA has a $35 plan with 8GB of LTE data. Wing has their awesome $55 unlimited plan, which is one of the best deals for a single-line unlimited plan on the AT&T network. And of course Cricket’s plans are all great options to consider as well.
The best four line family plans on the Sprint network come from Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Tello.
Sprint is currently having a promotion where their family plans are discounted from now through September 30th, 2020, so their prices are actually great deal.
Sprint offers 3 plans to choose from: Sprint Unlimited Basic, Sprint Unlimited Plus, and Sprint Unlimited Premium. What’s nice is ALL Sprint plans include 50GB of priority data. The only differences between the plans are in the amount of included hotspot data and the available perks.
If you don’t need much hotspot data, Sprint’s Unlimited Basic family plan is a great deal at $25 per person. It includes 500MB of hotspot data (which isn’t that much), 480p video streaming, a Hulu membership, and 5GB of roaming data in Canada and Mexico.
If you need more hotspot data, then I’m a big fan of Sprint’s Unlimited Plus family plan for $35 per person. It delivers great value at a reasonable price with 50GB of hotspot data, HD video streaming, a Hulu and Tidal membership, and 10GB of roaming data in Canada and Mexico.
The most interesting option of Sprint’s family plans is their Unlimited Premium family plan at $45 per person. It’s the most expensive of the bunch, costing an extra $360 per year compared with Sprint Unlimited Plus, but it includes a free Amazon Prime membership.
The included perk of Amazon Prime may be enticing to some, but the truth is I don’t think Sprint’s Unlimited Premium plan is worth it. Amazon Prime by itself is only $13 per month, so you would actually save money going with Sprint’s Unlimited Plus family plan and signing up with a Prime membership separately.
The only reason I’d consider the Sprint Unlimited Premium plan is if you needed 100GB of hotspot data.
And to remind you, the pricing of these plans is with the promotion applied. After September 30th, you can expect the cost per month to go up by about $10 per line.
Surprisingly, like Verizon and AT&T, Sprint’s amazing $35 Kickstart plan that’s great for individuals is a horrible deal for families.
It stays at the $35 per person, even for four people, and with deprioritized speeds and no hotspot support this plan is a no-go from me.
Once Sprint’s promotional pricing ends for their family plans, you’re definitely going to want to check out Boost Mobile. Boost Mobile’s unlimited family plans start at $35 plan with unlimited data, 12GB of dedicated hotspot data, and a few other added perks.
Keep an eye on Boost Mobile’s Plans, especially when Sprint’s promotional pricing is over.
A bonus plan I wanted to bring to your attention is Hello Mobile’s 15GB plan. It comes out to just $18 per person with their group discount, and each person gets 15GB of data per month.
I haven’t tried Hello Mobile personally, so I’m unsure what the service and experience is like on their network. Customer support is often more iffy with newer carriers. Still, their plan is a pretty good deal.
Despite Sprint’s great family plan prices, the single-line plans available on the Sprint network from Tello are so affordable that it may be worth having each person check their data usage and sign up for their own plan.
For example, Tello offers straight up the best prices on the Sprint network right now. $7 gets you 1GB of LTE data. $11 gets you 2GB. And $16 gets you 4GB.
Tello even recently started supporting multi-line accounts, so you can have all of your lines under one account while taking advantage of Tello’s amazing prices.
You can check all of Tello’s plans here to see their affordable prices.
My picks for the best T-Mobile plans are from T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, and Mint Mobile:
T-Mobile offers three plans themselves: T-Mobile Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus. Similar to Sprint, all plans include 50GB of priority data before deprioritization. The main differences between the plans are in the amount of hotspot data, video streaming quality, and in the included perks.
T-Mobile Essentials is the cheapest family plan T-Mobile offers, and it looks great at $30 per person with 50GB of priority data. However, video streaming is limited to 480p, the unlimited hotspot data is capped at 3G speeds, only texting is supported when traveling internationally, cellular data in Mexico and Canada is capped at 2G speeds, and the biggest fact of all is that taxes and fees are not included.
If you add on the associated taxes and fees to the T-Mobile Essentials plan, the cost per line will likely be almost as much as the T-Mobile Magenta Plan, which $35 per line with taxes and fees included. So, for either the same price or a couple bucks extra, I think the T-Mobile Magenta family plan is the much better value.
T-Mobile Magenta still has the 480p video streaming limitation, but you get the added perks of 3GB high speed hotspot data before unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds, texting and cellular data when traveling abroad, 5GB of LTE data in Canada and Mexico, 1 hour of in-flight WiFi on GoGo enabled flights, and even a Netflix Basic subscription included for free.
The included taxes and fees, along with the additional perks makes T-Mobile Magenta a better value in my mind than T-Mobile Essentials.
The third option from T-Mobile is their T-Mobile Magenta Plus plan for $43 per person (again, taxes & fees included). This plan includes the same perks as T-Mobile Magenta, but it ups the video streaming quality to HD, increases the high speed hotspot data to 20GB, offers 2x the data speeds when traveling internationally, includes unlimited in-flight WiFi on GoGo enabled flights, upgrades your Netflix subscription to Netflix Standard (which supports 2 screens at HD video quality), and adds options for Name ID and Voicemail to Text features.
Magenta Plus may be enticing to some because of the included Netflix Standard subscription, but the truth is I do not think this plan is worth it either.
T-Mobile Magenta Plus is expensive at $43 per person. That’s $384 more per year than T-Mobile Magenta. Are the added perks really worth an extra $384 to you? I don’t think so.
In fact, you can sign up for T-Mobile Magenta and get a Netflix Standard subscription separately and still save money. Netflix Standard is only $13 per month, and the cost difference between these two plans is much greater than $13 per month. It’s $30 per month. I’d only consider Magenta Plus if you need the extra hotspot data. (But again, after 3GB of high-speed hotspot data Magenta will still have unlimited 3G hotspot data).
The other great family plans on the T-Mobile network are from Metro by T-Mobile. They have a great promotion right now where you can get 4 lines for just $30 per person on their $60 plan. This includes 15GB of hotspot data, 100GB of Google One storage, and Amazon Prime. Taxes and fees are also included with Metro’s plans, so what you see is what you pay. With the included Amazon Prime membership, I think Metro’s $30 plan might be the best plan we’ve covered so far.
I will say the one big downside to Metro is you need to call them whenever you want to switch phones. At least, this was the case for me when I reviewed them in 2017. Calling your carrier to switch phones is a ridiculous hassle. Perhaps Metro has changed their policy, but I doubt it.
If you don’t need an unlimited plan, the best single-line plans on the T-Mobile network come from Mint Mobile. $25 gets you 12GB, $20 gets you 8GB, and $15 gets you 3GB.
Check out all of Mint Mobile’s plans here.
AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan offers the most priority data of any plan out there right now: an astonishing 100GB. Factoring in the 30GB of high speed hotspot data, included HBO subscription, and overall speed and performance of the AT&T network, I think this plan is one of the best premium unlimited data family plans you can get. Plus it’s $5 less per month per person than Verizon’s premium unlimited plan ($55 per person), saving you $240 per year and giving you more priority data.
See AT&T’s Unlimited Elite family plan here.
While not the most premium plan T-Mobile offers, I do think their Magenta plan is one of the best value family plans when it comes to the offerings from the major carriers. Not only is it a great value at $35 per person, but also includes a Netflix Standard subscription, international texting and data (typically $10 per day add-ons from Verizon and AT&T), and all taxes and fees. Including taxes and fees alone saves you an extra $10-$20 per month compared with the offerings from
See T-Mobile’s Magenta family plan here.
It’s an easy choice for me to recommend Metro by T-Mobile and Cricket Wireless as the two carriers offering the best value unlimited plans. As I mentioned in the article, Metro’s current promotion of their $60 unlimited plan, where it is just $30 per line for four people, might just be the best value family plan out there right now. It includes 35GB of priority data, 15GB of hotspot data, and an Amazon Prime membership. Taxes and fees are also included.
Cricket Wireless also offers great plans to choose from. My personal favorite is their $33 per person unlimited data plan. This includes unlimited data at full speeds (no 3Mbps or 8Mbps cap like Cricket’s other plans), 15GB of hotspot data, and all taxes and fees as well. Unfortunately Cricket’s plan will be deprioritized when the network is congested, but at $33 flat per person I think this family plan remains a phenomenal deal.
See Metro’s family plan here.
See Cricket’s family plan here.
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