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Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)
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Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)

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Speaker 1: As owner of mint mobile, I always wanna find ways to save you money, Speaker 2: Join visible, and start saving each month. You Speaker 3: Can earn free wireless by collecting boost coins by just logging in daily Speaker 4: These days, there are some cheap phone plans that could get your monthly bill down to as little as $0. I'm serious, but there are some caveats to be aware of before switching to a plan like this. Here are some of C's top budget, phone plan picks and the fine prints. So you can decide if one of these plans is right for you before we get into [00:00:30] our favorites. You're probably wondering how can a plan actually cost as little as $0 a month? I know it sounds fake, but I promise I'm not click baiting you it's because that plan along with the others, I'll be discussing in this video are largely prepaid plans or ones by MVNOs, which tend to cost less than the mainstream ones. Speaker 4: You may be used to paying your phone bill at the end of the month with Verizon at and T or T-Mobile. And that's a postpaid plan, but with a prepaid plan, you pay before you even touch your service [00:01:00] and you can pay for various lengths of coverage in advance, whether that's 30 days or 365, most of the prepaid plans I'll be discussing are MVNOs or mobile virtual network operators, and don't have their own networks. Instead, they lease service from the big three providers at and T T-Mobile and Verizon. The carrier in MV N O lease is from, is important information for you as the user, because there may be one network that works better than another in your area, determining which carrier the MV N O runs on. Isn't always easy, [00:01:30] but there are a few ways to tell. For example, if you see someone promoting being on America's largest 5g network, they're probably on T-Mobile which touts that message in its own advertising prepaid plans from MVNOs are often cheaper than postpaid plans from the big three, but you may miss out on perks in exchange for that lighter bill. This is where those caveats I mentioned earlier, come into play. For example, if the carrier in MV and O is leasing from gets busy, the MVNO users won't be prioritized. The parent network subscribers will be, which could mean [00:02:00] periodically dealing with slowed network speeds. Prepaid plans from MVNOs may also be limited to streaming videos at four ADP resolution and subscribers often miss out on fun gifts offered by the big three, like free streaming service subscriptions. So you'll have to find another way to watch the latest season of stranger things. Speaker 4: Now let's get into our top cheap phone plan picks organized by category chapters for these categories will of course be in the description below if you'd like to skip to a specific one [00:02:30] and keep in mind that I'm recording this video in May, 2022. So the plan cost detailed here may change as time goes on. If you're like me and are constantly draining your data by watching talks on the go, this first categories for you, let's talk cheapest unlimited data plans. Our first pick is mint mobile, which I promise isn't only on our list for their Ryan Reynolds ads focus, Speaker 5: Stick to the Speaker 4: Script there. Mint runs on T-Mobile and charges $30 a month for a single line with unlimited calls, text data, [00:03:00] and five gigabytes of hotspot. Keep in mind that the data gets slowed down to slower. 3g speeds. After 35 gigabytes of use, the other caveat is that you have to prepay for three months of service and then another whole year to keep that $30 a month price. So you only get major savings by eventually signing up for a year of service. Our runner up is visible as a subsidiary of Verizon. It's the only provider on our list. That's not an MV O but there are still savings to be had visible offers. One plan with unlimited [00:03:30] data calls and texts. It costs $25 for the first month and $40. After that, it won't slow your data. If you pass a certain threshold, but speeds may not be as fast as the regular Verizon network. Speaker 4: Visible also offers a trial program that lets you try out the service for 15 days for free, without entering a credit card. The monthly price can also be made cheaper with party pay, which allows you to add more users, to get your monthly bill down to as low as $25 a month. Visible's party pay works similar to a family plan except [00:04:00] everyone pays on their own. So you can partner with friends and not be responsible for their bill. There are even Reddit forums to help you partner up with random people on the internet and save Speaker 4: The next category is cheapest buy and bulk phone plans. That is plans. That'll offer you savings. If you're willing to pay for a couple of months to a year of service upfront mint, mobile gets another mention here for the savings it offers for signing up for a full year of service. For example, paying for 365 days of coverage allows you to get their unlimited plan [00:04:30] for $30 a month, as opposed to $40 a month, which is what you would pay. If you signed up for just three additional months after your first three months with min, our next pick is boost mobile, which runs on both at and T and T-Mobile's networks right now and has a compelling buy and bulk plan for low data users. If you pay for a year of service upfront, you'll get one gigabyte of data, unlimited calls and texts and a hotspot for just 8 33 a month, but beware your data will slow down after that one gigabyte and one gigabyte isn't a lot. So this really [00:05:00] is only a plan for those of you who aren't using much data it's worth noting that boost mobile has a new boost. One app that lets you earn credits by doing tasks, spinning a virtual wheel or playing games. You can apply those credits to your bill to help lower the monthly cost potentially down to $0. Speaker 4: Now the cheapest phone plans for if you're strictly looking to save money without all the bells and whistles first is text now, which runs on T-Mobile and offers the sounds fake, but is actually real $0 a month [00:05:30] plan with unlimited calls and texts. But note, these caveats you'll need to pay 99 cents for their SIM card and we'll have to deal with in-app ads unless you wanna pay 9 99 a month. And if you want data, you'll also have to shell out some extra cash with one gigabyte starting at 8 99 a month. Next is Teleo, which also runs on T-Mobile and is the better choice. If you expect to use some data, their one gigabyte plan with a hotspot and unlimited calls and tax is $10 a month, but your data will slow down to two gigabyte speeds after [00:06:00] using up your one gigabyte. So this is still a plan for minimal data users. Speaker 4: Finally, let's talk about the best budget plans for groups. First is Google five, which runs on T-Mobile and us cellular and discounts all of its plans for groups of two to six people. Their simply unlimited plan with unlimited calls, texts and 35 gigabytes of data before slowing down goes from 50 to $20 a month for a group of four. Next visible gets another shout out as well for group [00:06:30] of four, it only discounts its unlimited plan from $40 to $25 a month. So not as cheap as Google fi, but we like the fact that their party pay option separates out everyone's bill. So you have more flexibility to partner up with friends or random people you meet on Reddit so that you're not on the hook for their bill. Finally, let's talk about cricket, which runs on at and T and also offers discounts on all of its plans for groups of two to five people. For example, their unlimited plan with unlimited calls, texts, and data that like [00:07:00] visible doesn't slow down. If you pass a certain threshold, goes from $55 to $25 for a group of four. So if you wanna plan with group discounts that leases from at and T this may be the option for you. Speaker 4: Now, if you're ready to dial into one of these budget plans, make sure to do these three things first, finish your contract or phone's installment plan with your current provider. If you leave early, you may still be on the hook for paying whatever's owed second, make sure your phone is unlocked. [00:07:30] That is able to be used with any carrier. Third while we've tried to compile a list of plans from providers, serving various regions, double check the coverage of a plan to make sure it works in your area before you switch. If T-Mobile isn't strong in your area, mint, mobile won't be any better. Same goes for Verizon and visible. So are you ready to make a change or are you gonna stick with what you have? Let me know in the comments below and for the very latest information on budget, phone plan deals, check cnet.com.

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