The Best Cell Phone Carriers And Plans For Uber And Lyft Drivers

Just a few years ago, finding the best cell phone plan was a pretty simple task.  You just checked the plans of the three or four cell phone carriers in your area and picked the best one.

But today, you can get phone plans in all kinds of colors and sizes.  It is far more complicated today as there are literally hundreds of cell phone carriers across the country and they all offer a large variety of plans.

There are plans that provide more than enough data for use with Uber and Lyft ranging in price anywhere from $25 a month to $150 a month.  And each company offers a slightly different set of features and options – making the decision even more complicated.

So, finding the best unlimited data plan from a cell phone carrier that also provides the best cell phone service, can be difficult, to say the least.

It’s great to have a lot of choices, but when you have so many, you can spend hours researching and figuring out which one is the best.  Hopefully, we at Ridester can help you with that now.

We’ve looked at all the best cell phone plans to see how they stack up for Uber, Lyft and other gig economy workers, so you can make the smart choice when purchasing a plan.

Since many gig and sharing economy workers don’t make an excessive amount of of money, you need the most economical plan possible.  But, you also need service that is 100% reliable and fast.

With those things in mind, we have put together this list of the best cell phone plans and carriers. Let’s dive right in.

How Much Cell Phone Data do Rideshare Drivers Really Need?

A lot of drivers are looking for the best unlimited data plan because data is the backbone of our business.  Data runs our navigation apps and it runs our driver apps, like Uber and Lyft or DoorDash and Postmates, so when people start driving for Uber or Lyft they can get anxious over how much cell phone data they’re going to need.

  • Will it put them over their plan’s limit?
  • Will they end up having to pay a lot more for their phone plan?
  • With high costs like these, are on-demand services even worth a try?

These are great questions, but what you may not know is that these apps don’t really use all that much data.  And the navigation apps don’t use much data either.

You probably don’t have to worry much though because it turns out the Uber and Lyft apps as well as the other gig economy apps, don’t really use all that much data.  Neither do the navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.

Drivers report that when they work 50 hours a week they use roughly half a gigabyte (500 Mbs) of data per week.  That comes out to about 2-2 ½ GBs per month – which is about the same amount of data a single 90-minute HD video would use.

This means a plan that includes just two GBs of data per month would be more than enough for your ridesharing work – at least as long as you don’t watch any 90-minute videos in HD!  And if you work less than 50 hours a week, it should be more than enough. But it doesn’t leave much room left over for anything else.

Of course you’ll want more data than that because you’ll need it for other things as well – such as watching videos while you wait for your next ping!  But if you need or want to save as much money as possible, you most likely won’t need one of the more expensive unlimited plans.  You can easily get by on a 5 Gb per month plan, if you limit your other internet usage.

There are a few other things you’ll want to consider besides just the price and amount of data you’ll get.

You’ll also want to look at the quality and reputation of the cell phone provider and you’ll want to look at the quality of the actual cell phones – especially those features that relate specifically to sharing economy work – such as GPS quality.

Beware of the Limits on Unlimited Plans

With all of the companies advertising and marketing “unlimited” plans – we could find no plans that were actually unlimited.  All plans we found had some kind of limits.

To illustrate my point – look at these four plans from Walmart’s Family Mobile:

Notice the word “UNLIMITED” in large text on each of the ads?  But, look at the last one – the $49.88 plan.  It says “TRULY Unlimited”.  Well, if this one is the only one that’s TRULY Unlimited – then what does that make the other ones?  “LYINGLY Unlimited”!?  If something is unlimited, but it’s not TRULY unlimited – that means it’s, what?  That means it’s Limited!

And that’s the point. All the so-called “unlimited” plans are limited.  All of them. 

Even, the “TRULY Unlimited” plan from Walmart is LIMITED!  It TRULY is!

Most of the companies that offer “unlimited” or even “TRULY Unlimited” data plans, cap your plan at 22 Gigabytes per month.  After that, they slow your speed.

But don’t make the mistake I made one month!  I used the full 22 GBs because I was curious what really happens when you do.  Well, I found out and it wasn’t what I thought!

I thought that after hitting 22 GBs, they would slow you down to 3G speeds.  And I remember 3G.  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either.  You could do things with it.  You could even watch videos.

But guess what?  They don’t slow you to 3G.  They slow you to 2G!  And 2G is so slow you literally can’t do anything with it.  It’s so slow that it’s almost impossible to even get an all-text email.

Heed my warning: when they say they “slow” you to 2G – what they really mean is, they practically shut off your service entirely.  They just don’t want to say they shut it off – because if they say that – they can no longer call it an “unlimited” plan.

But as long as they can claim to provide some service (even though they know it’s not a service anyone can use), they can legally, by law, claim that they offer unlimited plans.  It’s really nothing more than these companies finding a way to tell a legal lie.

Don’t believe me? One of my favorite tech bloggers, Tim Schofield, proved it in real-time. Watch the video below to cell phone throttling in action for yourself:

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s dive into the world of cell phone plans for Uber and Lyft drivers.

The Top Cell Phone Carriers:

The Top Four cell phone carriers in the United States are:

  1. AT&T
  2. Verizon
  3. T-Mobile
  4. Sprint

These are the companies that build the actual cell phone networks.  In the past, these were also the only providers you could get cellular service from.  But today, there are seemingly hundreds of new companies that all sell discounted service plans.

If you’ve ever wondered where all these other companies came from and how they relate to the four major cell phone providers, here is some information you’ll find interesting.  All the other companies are basically resellers of the services of one or more of the top four companies.

In the industry they’re called “Mobile Virtual Network Operators” or MVNOs.  These MVNOs are much smaller companies than the top four carriers.  And they don’t build any networks, they don’t own any cell phone towers.  They are simply resellers of the services provided by the likes of AT&T and T-Mobile.

They lease telephone and data services from the major carriers and then resell those services.  Because they lease large chunks of the big carriers’ networks, they get discounts on their services.  They then turn around and sell those same services, quite often surprisingly, at a higher price than the big carriers do.

We have two cautions though on getting your phone service from an MVNO.

First, one of the major carriers sells data cheaper than all of them.  So, you’re probably not going to get a better deal going with one of these companies.

And second, they are not all on the up and up like the four main carriers are.  If you port an existing phone number over to them or if you get a new phone number from them that you end up using as your primary phone number, you are not guaranteed that they will allow you to take your number with you when you leave.

By law, all phone companies are required to allow their customers to take their phone numbers with them when they leave.  It’s called the Full Mobile Number Portability act – and it’s the law.  But, some of the shadier MVNOs will stall the process of number transfers for so long that their customers will eventually give up.

They won’t come out and say that they won’t allow you to transfer your number to your new carrier, but they’ll say they’re having trouble with it – and they just need a few more days.  And every few days, they’ll tell you they need another few days.

Finally, if you’re like most people you will either give up and lose your old number – or you’ll give up on switching companies and stay with your current MVNO.  And that, of course, is exactly what these companies are hoping you’ll do.

Losing your number can cause a great inconvenience though so if that’s a concern for you, you’re better off sticking with the Big Four.

So Many Plans – How Do I Choose?

Yes, there are literally thousands of plans and it can be difficult to choose.  However, we can simplify it and make it much easier to understand.

While there are thousands of plans, they can be filtered into two basic categories.

  1. Plans for people with high-data usage needs.
  2. Plans for people with low-data usage.

Some reseller companies offer great savings to people who don’t really need to use many services but who need a basic phone primarily for emergency purposes.  The Big Four don’t really offer any plans for people who just need an emergency phone.

But the companies that specialize in low-use customers, can put you on a plan for as low as $15 a month.  It won’t offer much, but if you just need a basic phone for cheap, it might be the way to go.

However, power users would end up paying way too much with these companies.  For instance, Ting Mobile has plans for people who don’t need an unlimited calling plan and who expect to use fewer than 100 calling minutes per month.  If they also only need just 100 text messages and 100 Mbs of data, they can get a phone for just $15 a month.

But this same company would charge you just about $100 a month if you needed 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 7 GBs of data.  Hardly a good deal for more demanding users.  And if you dared to purchase 22 GBs of data (the upper limit most other companies offer), you’d pay $250 a month!  But you can get that same amount of data from the Big Four for much, much less.

Basically, any company that advertises great prices for low-end users is more than likely going to have very high prices for power users.  And vice versa.  Companies that have great prices for high-end users are likely going to be very expensive on the low end or they won’t offer anything on the low end at all.

For Uber and Lyft drivers, whether you want a bottom of the barrel minimum plan or you want to max out at full-speed-ahead – depends on whether or not you’re going to use this phone solely for driving or if it’s going to be your “everything” phone.

If it’s going to be your everything phone, then you’ll need something much more than the most basic minimum plans.  But, if you have another phone you use for everything and you want to use a separate phone for driving, then you might very well only need a basic minimum plan.

Let’s Take a Closer Look

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular plans out there.  First, we’ll look at the Big Four, then we’ll take a look at some of the resellers.

Please keep in mind that the companies are constantly changing their plans, so use this as a guide to compare the companies.  Whoever has the best deal today is probably likely to have the best deal tomorrow – even if they all change things up a bit.

Since there are so many plans with all kinds of different features and variations, we will use a Cost per Gig comparison to get a clear view of who is really giving you the best deal.

On the left side under the cell carrier’s name we will put the Cost per Gig of their “unlimited” plan – which is usually the best price they offer.

We will put the Cost per Gig under each individual plan as well.

Cellular Carrier Minimum Plan for Drivers Maximum (or “Unlimited”) Plan


Cost per Gig:  $4.09

$70/mo. (unless you enroll in AutoPay and paperless billing for a $10 discount).

Cost per Gig:  $14.00

This plan is called Mobile Share Flex.  After you reach the 5 GB limit of this plan your data speed will be slowed to 2G.  Which means in reality that you will have no access to the internet at all until your next billing period.

You can purchase additional data though, at the sky-high price of $15 per GB.

Taxes and fees additional.

$90/mo. (unless you enroll in AutoPay and paperless billing for a $10 discount).

 Cost per Gig:  $4.09

This plan is called the AT&T “Unlimited” Plus Enhanced plan – which limits data at 22 GBs.  After you reach the limits of your “unlimited” plan your data speed will be slowed to 2G.  Meaning that in reality, you will have no access to the internet until your next billing period.


Taxes and fees additional.

Cost per Gig:  $1.40

$45/mo. 4 GBs

Cost per Gig:  $11.25

And if that’s what they think – they’re right!  This is the lowest cost-per-gig plan of all the carriers we looked at.

$70/mo.  (if you enroll in AutoPay for a $5 monthly discount).

 Cost per Gig:  $1.40

T-Mobile ONE:  Unlimited talk, text and data.

What I like about T-Mobile is that although this is an unlimited plan and although T-Mobile gives you more than twice as much data before they throttle your speed, they don’t use the word “unlimited” in the name of the plan.  It’s just called T-Mobile ONE.  I like their more honest marketing.

T-Mobile doesn’t throttle your speeds until you’ve reached 50 GBs of data use in a month.  And that is an almost impossible amount to use – so this plan really does come as close to unlimited as you’ll get.  And to think they don’t use “unlimited” in the plan’s name – amazing!

This plan also comes with a free subscription to Netflix and you’re welcome to stream as much Netflix as you like.  If you already have Netflix – T-Mobile will take care of it and you won’t have to pay a thing for it anymore.

It also comes with a lot of other nice extras – like texting and internet when you’re out of the country.  This is good in 140+ countries and there is no extra charge for it.

It also comes with in-flight texting and one hour of data on all Gogo enabled flights.

And it comes with free mobile hotspot data – that you can use to connect other devices to the internet at 3G speeds.

Taxes and fees are included in the price.

Cost per Gig:  $3.86

$75/mo. when you enroll with AutoPay (more if you don’t).

gounlimited – there’s that word again!  This plan offers “limited unlimited” data.  But, they say “During times of congestion your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic.”  Which is code for this is not a high-speed 4G plan.

Cost per Low-Speed Gig:  $3.41

On their higher priced plan they say, “After 22 GBs per line, in times of congestion your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic.”  So, the higher priced plan gives you up to 22 GBs of “unlimited” data.

This plan obviously gives you something less than that or it gives you slower speeds.  But they don’t say upfront what the catch is.  Shady.

They give you an “unlimited” slow speed mobile hotspot (75 KiloBytes per second – good luck with that)!

And they allow you to watch “all your favorite videos” in low-quality 480p.

That’s for $75.

$85/mo. with AutoPay.

beyondunlimited – the limits on this unlimited plan are more generous than their $75 plan.  But they still have limits!  High-speed data is limited to 22 GBs per month.

Cost per Gig:  $3.86 (Only could Verizon charge more per gig on their higher priced plan than on their lower priced one)!

After you use 22 GBs they say you “may” be slowed “temporarily” in times of congestion.  But, what they mean is that you will definitely be slowed – permanently until your next billing cycle – in all times, whether congested or not!  (Come on guys – just tell the truth).

They also don’t say how much slower you’ll be.  AT&T at least admits that you’ll be slowed to 2G speeds – so we can only assume if Verizon is unwilling to say – it’s gotta be 2G or less (if there is anything less than 2G).

Like all the other plans, this one provides unlimited phone calls and text messages.


Cost per Gig:  $2.95

$45/mo. for 4 GBs of data.

Cost per Gig:  $11.25

Unlimited Talk and Text – This plan will slow you down to 2G after you’ve used 4 GBs of data.  But at least they’re upfront about it.

 If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft and you’re want to get a dedicated phone just for that – then this plan has enough data – as long as you won’t use much for anything else.




$65/mo.  gives you an “unlimited” plan.

Cost per Gig:  $2.95

Unlimited – They somewhat cryptically say, “Data deprioritization during congestion.”  Which is code for, they will cut you down to 2G speeds when you go over your unlimited limit.  But they don’t say what that limit is.  They can’t of course, because it’s unlimited – wink-wink!

(Oops!  While I was on Sprint’s website researching their plans just now – their site died!  I’ve been waiting 6 minutes for a page to load.  That’s typical of Sprint – so, worth mentioning).





My Take

My personal recommendation to anyone is if you’re in an area that gets good T-Mobile coverage – go with T-Mobile.  T-Mobile has hands down, the lowest price per gigabyte of data at $1.40 per gig.

The next closest is Sprint coming in at $2.95 per gig.  Which is 2.1x higher than T-Mobile’s price.  And with Sprint you have to put up with their unbelievably unreliable network!

And T-Mobile has the highest limit on the unlimited plan at 50 GBs per month.  So, hands down, T-Mobile has the best deal.

I have watched T-Mobile achieve great improvements each year.  Years ago their coverage was spotty in most of the country.  It was fine in major cities but once you got a few miles outside the city you’d start having problems.

But today and for the last several years – their coverage has been excellent.  And everywhere I’ve travelled in the country, I’ve never had a problem at all – even when I’m way out in the country.

I also mentioned above that I like their honesty in marketing.  I really do like that a lot.

Verizon and AT&T both come from a monopolistic background.  They were both monopoly companies from their inception until the they were broken up by law.  But I’ve found both of these companies still have a kind of monopoly mindset when it comes to dealing with their customers.

They have always treated me like – they’re so big I should be thankful they’re even bothering with me.  I also believe their sky-high prices are a reflection of that original monopolistic mindset that is still at their core.

Their modus operandi has always been to offer a monthly package at a low price (or at least what they thought was a low price), but then to charge extra for the one feature most customers have to have.

Remember back when text messaging first came out – and people just couldn’t get enough of it?  Before text messaging, these companies sold their plans by the number of minutes you’d use on the phone.  Then when text messaging came out – that gave them a new thing to charge for so they all went to a “low” flat rate for the phone minutes.

They started advertising “unlimited minutes”.   They could do this because they could now charge extra for text messages.  So they picked a quantity of text messages that they knew was much lower than what most people used and they said that number was included.  But they knew people would pay more (a lot more) to get a few more text messages.

When smart phones became the rage – suddenly they had a new thing they could charge for – internet usage.  So now they began advertising plans with unlimited phone minutes, unlimited text messages – and a few megabytes of internet data.  They set that limit well below what they knew most people would use and sold additional data at a price that was – and still is today – far higher than it actually costs them.

Only T-Mobile offers a plan that really does give consumers far more data than they’ll ever be able to use – for a low, flat monthly rate.

T-Mobile has always been competitive in that way.  And they came to America (from Germany) as a competitor – not a monopoly.  Even though their parent company was spawned from a former monopoly.  But when they came to America, they had to compete as a company no one had ever heard of.  And they have been very competitive – always offering plans and features that were ahead of the other companies.

T-Mobile has always made me feel like it is the only one of the four major cell phone carriers that has actually competed honestly.  And by honestly, I mean, they tell you the price and that’s the price.

There are no hidden taxes or fees.  And there are no charges for more of this or that feature.  No additional charges for data overages.  They are also usually the first to offer new and nifty features that the other companies are always scrambling to catch up with.

On every list of carriers, Sprint always shows up last.  And there’s a reason for that.  They are the worst.

They have the worst reception.  They have the slowest data network.  They have the least coverage, nationally.  They have the worst customer service.  And as I discovered during my research, they also apparently have the worst website!  It’s the only one that went down while I was looking at it.

Reseller Deals

The main advantage to getting your cell phone plan through an MVNO reseller is that they sell the exact same services as the Big Four – but at substantial discounts.  We’ll take a closer look later at some of the top resellers and the plans they’re offering.

But for now, below is a list of some of the top cell phone resellers in the country today.  We provide this list as a reference to you in case you’d like to check out more companies than the ones we review here.

Next to each reseller is the Host Network which is the network whose service they are reselling.  That’s good to know because if you know one provider has better service in your area than the others – then you should look for a reseller that uses them as a host.

This list will also tell you the resellers with whom you can bring your own device and it will display which ones have unlimited data plans and which ones don’t.  That should help you narrow down your search.

MVNO (Reseller) BYOD Unlimited Data
Affinity Cellular Verizon No Yes
AirVoice Wireless AT&T Yes No
AF Mobile Verizon Yes No
Best Cellular AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes No
Black Wireless AT&T Yes Yes
Boom Mobile AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
Boost Mobile Sprint Yes Yes
campusSIMs AT&T, T-Mobile Yes Yes
CellNUVO Sprint Yes Yes
Cellular Abroad T-Mobile Yes No
Chit Chat Mobile Sprint Yes No
Consumer Cellular AT&T, T-Mobile Yes No
Credo Mobile Sprint, Verizon No Yes
Cricket Wireless AT&T Yes Yes
China Telecom Americas T-Mobile Yes Yes
EasyGO Wireless AT&T Yes No
EcoMobile Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
Español Mobile Sprint Yes No
Expo Mobile Sprint, Verizon Yes No
Flash Wireless Sprint, Verizon Yes Yes
FMP Wireless Verizon Yes Yes
FreedomPop AT&T, Sprint Yes Yes
good2GO Mobile AT&T, Sprint Yes No
GoSmart Mobile T-Mobile Yes No
GreatCall Verizon No No
Hayai Mobile AT&T, T-Mobile Yes Yes
H2O Wireless AT&T Yes Yes
Helio Sprint Yes Yes
Jaguar Mobile T-Mobile Yes Yes
Jolt Mobile AT&T, T-Mobile Yes No
Kajeet Sprint Yes No
KidsConnect T-Mobile No No
Kroger i-wireless Sprint Yes Yes
Liberty Wireless T-Mobile Yes No
LycaMobile T-Mobile Yes Yes
Madstar Mobile Sprint Yes Yes
MetroPCS T-Mobile Yes Yes
Mint SIM T-Mobile Yes Yes
Mobal T-Mobile Yes Yes
NetZero Sprint Yes No
NTT DoCoMo USA T-Mobile No No
OTG Mobile Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
Page Plus Cellular Verizon Yes Yes
Patriot Mobile Sprint, Verizon Yes Yes
Pix Wireless AT&T, Sprint Yes Yes
Proven Wireless Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes No
Pure TalkUSA AT&T Yes No
Puppy Wireless Verizon, Sprint Yes No
Ready Mobile Sprint Yes No
Red Pocket Mobile AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
Republic Wireless Sprint, T-Mobile Yes No
Roam Mobility T-Mobile Yes Yes
ROK Mobile Sprint, Verizon Yes Yes
Scratch Wireless Sprint No No
SeaWolf Wireless T-Mobile Yes No
Selectel Wireless Verizon Yes No
Simple Mobile T-Mobile Yes Yes
SkyView Wireless AT&T Yes No
Speed Talk Mobile T-Mobile Yes No
Straight Talk AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
Stream Wireless Sprint Yes Yes
Tegra Wireless T-Mobile Yes Yes
Telcel América Sprint, T-Mobile Yes No
Tello US Sprint Yes Yes
Tempo Telecom Sprint, T-Mobile No No
TextNow Sprint, T-Mobile Yes Yes
The People’s Operator USA Sprint, T-Mobile Yes No
Ting Sprint, T-Mobile Yes No
Total Call Mobile Sprint No Yes
Total Wireless Verizon Yes No
Touch Mobile Sprint No Yes
TracFone AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Yes No
Twigby Sprint Yes Yes
UltraMobile T-Mobile Yes Yes
US Mobile T-Mobile, Verizon Yes Yes
UWT Mobile AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile Yes No
Virgin Mobile USA Sprint Yes Yes
Walmart Family Mobile T-Mobile Yes Yes

Source:  Wikipedia

Now, let’s take a look at some of the reseller deals.  This is where you might think you’d be most likely to find the best cell phone plans.  But that’s not usually true.  Contrary to what many believe, the four major cell phone carriers in some cases have plans that cost less than their resellers do.

Finding the right carrier and the right data plan is difficult because there are so many out there.  If you’re an Uber or Lyft driver or any other gig economy worker, you rely on your cell phone and its data plan to do your job.  So, finding the best unlimited data plan should be the most important consideration. 

When these MVNO resellers started popping up and becoming more prominent and well known, people were amazed at what seemed like their great deals.  I remember a friend calling me one day and saying, “Did you know you can get a cell phone for just $50 a month with unlimited EVERYTHING!?”  I said, ‘no way!’  It didn’t sound possible, as I was paying well over $100 to one of the Big Four.

That was their gimmick in the beginning.  Offer a price that sounded like half what the majors were offering and say everything is “unlimited”.  If everything, especially data, were truly unlimited, then they would indeed have some awesome deals.

But upon closer examination, it turns out that in most cases, their data plans cost more per gigabyte than the plans of the four majors.  And in fact, one of the four beats everybody on price – the resellers as well as the other three top carriers.  The reason the resellers don’t beat all of the four majors is because they do in fact have limits on their data that causes their plans to be quite expensive in the end… even at just $50 a month.  If their plans truly were unlimited, then they would beat them.

These companies resell the networks of the above-mentioned four major carriers.  So, you can first eliminate the ones that are on carriers you don’t want to be on.  Either they don’t have good coverage in your area or for some other reason you don’t prefer them.

After you’ve eliminated the ones on the carriers you don’t prefer, then you’ve narrowed the list down considerably and finding just the right plan she be easy after that.

Sprint – is the big loser in the race for the best cell phone plans.  It is so widely recognized that Sprint is a third-rate network, we advise staying away from any reseller that uses Sprint exclusively.  Some use Sprint along with the other networks.  In those cases you can ask them at the time you order service to put you on a non-Sprint plan.

Also, it may come as a surprise to learn that two of the most well-known resellers are wholly owned by Sprint!  Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

Cellular Carrier Reseller for: Minimum Plan for Drivers Maximum (or “Unlimited”) Plan

Cost per Gig:  $2.27 (but watch out – this is on the Sprint network)

Sprint.  In fact, Boost Mobile is wholly owned by Sprint. $35/mo. for 3 Gigs of 4G LTE.  Even though this plan is clearly marked as a 3 Gig plan – they still say it gives you “unlimited data”!  Go figure.

Cost per Gig:  $11.66

They cut your speed back to 2G after you’ve used up the 3 Gigs, so technically they can call it unlimited.  But in reality – 2G will not even let you open a simple web page.  So don’t think having a little 2G cushion is going to help you.  It’s not.  When it goes to 2G speeds, it will be like your data has been completely shut off.



$50/mo. for “Unlimited Gigs” – which is actually a 22 GB plan.

They limit your video streaming to just 480p unless you pay $10 more per month for HD.

Cost per Gig:  $2.27

While this sounds like a good plan, the main problem with Boost Mobile is that it is wholly owned and operated by Sprint and is therefore 100% on the Sprint network.

No annual contract.

Cost per Gig:  $2.72
AT&T.  Crickett is now a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. $30/mo. 2 GBs of high speed data.
Cost per Gig:  $152GBs would be roughly enough data for a phone dedicated solely to driving – with not much left over.$40/mo. for 4 GBs of high speed data.
Cost per Gig:  $10
$60/mo. for “unlimited” data – by which they mean up to 22 GBs.

Cost per Gig:  $2.72

No annual contract.

Cost per Gig:  $150!  Yes, you read that right!  $150 per gig.  This is definitely not the company to go with for a data plan!

AT&T $20 for 100 Megabytes.  (We’re talking MEGAbytes – not GIGAbytes).  Don’t forget that a Megabytes are one thousand times fewer bytes than a single Gigabyte.  A megabyte is 1 million bytes and a Gigabyte is 1 Billion bytes.  So, don’t be fooled by a plan that says 200MB – thinking that’s the same as 200GB.  It’s not!

Cost per Gig: a stunning $200!  But they don’t even offer a single gigabyte. 

Apparently, easyGO didn’t get a good deal with AT&T.  easyGO provides the two worst plans on our list.

$30/mo. for 200 Megabytes.
Cost per Gig:  $150easyGO seems to be stuck in the 90s!  200 Megabytes would have been a great deal back then!To say the least, these plans are not recommended.

Cost per Gig:  $1.71
T-Mobile.  MetroPCS is wholly owned by T-Mobile. $30/mo. for 2 GBs of data
Cost per Gig:  $15.00$40/mo. for 5 GBs of data
Cost per Gig:  $8.00
$60/mo. for unlimited 4G LTE data – up to the limit of 35 GBs.
Cost per Gig:  $1.71 After 35GBs you will be throttled to 2G (meaning, your internet access for all practical purposes will be shut off).metroPCS has a higher unlimited limit at 35 GBs – than most companies which are at 22 GBs.  Only T-Mobile is higher – at 50 GBs.  It stands to reason since metroPCS is owned by T-Mobile.Video streams at 480pThey also offer many of the same features T-Mobile does such as, Hotspot, Wi-Fi Calling, and Scam ID – which notifies you of suspected scam / spam callers.

Cost per Gig:  $4.66

Verizon $40/mo. 6 GBs “Unlimited Talk-Text-Data”
Cost per Gig:  $6.67Selectel has probably one of the most deceptive ads claiming unlimited data when it’s actually a 6 GB plan.They try to make it sound legit by saying “First 6GB at 4G LTE then 2G”.Like the other companies, what they don’t say is that 2G is for all intents and purposes – no data at all.  It’s just too slow for today’s modern applications.  Not even a modern web page will open at 2G speeds today.
$50/mo. for 10 GBs of high speed data
Cost per Gig:  $5.00$70/mo. for 15 GBs of high speed data.
Cost per Gig:  $4.66Selectel’s prices are no bargain – unless you compare them to Verizon’s prices (the carrier they piggy back on).  You get more Gigabytes per dollar with Verizon.

Cost per Gig:  $2.27

T-Mobile $30/mo. 2 GBs

This is truly a simple plan from Simple Mobile.  It’s 2 GBs of data per month with unlimited talk and text.
Cost per Gig:  $15.00


$40/mo. 6 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $6.67


No Contact

$50/mo. – they are one of the few companies that won’t admit to what their upper limit is on their unlimited plan.  So, we will assume it’s 22 GBs like most of the others.
Cost per Gig:  $2.27One thing that might be a consideration for you is that Simple Mobile also has some pretty awesome international calling plans.

Cost per Gig:  $6.00

T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint $35/mo. 2 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $17.50$45/mo. 10 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $4.50No Contract
$60/mo. for 10 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $6.00$55/mo. This is what they call their Ultimate “Unlimited” Data plan.  However, there’s something not quite straight about Straight Talk’s description of this plan.They say at 60 GBs of data usage, they will review your account for “usage in violation of Straight Talk’s terms and conditions.”  So, that’s a little scary.They won’t just cut your speeds (as they do on their other plans), they’ll investigate you!And one other weird thing here – they don’t say this is a “high-speed” plan.  They say that on their other plans, but not on this one.  So, we suspect, this is either a 2G or 3G plan – and we are therefore not going to price it or include it for consideration.

Cost per Gig:  $4.00

Verizon $35/mo. 5 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $7.00$60/mo. 15 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $4.00$85/mo. 20 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $4.25
$100/mo. 25 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $4.00Total Wireless’ plans are pretty straight forward and transparent.  They’re a little pricey, but at least they’re clear about it!

Cost per Gig:  $2.17

Sprint – they are wholly owned by Sprint. Virgin only has one plan. No low priced plan. $50/mo. 23 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $2.17Virgin (i.e. Sprint) has just one plan – and it’s a little bit less per gigabyte than Sprint’s own plan.

Walmart Family Mobile

T-Mobile $29.88/mo. 3 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $14.94$39.88/mo. 9 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $4.43
$49.88/mo. 32 GBs
Cost per Gig:  $1.56


So, which is the best unlimited data plan and which is the best cell phone plan overall, after all is said and done?  Looking at the four major carriers by price – T-Mobile easily comes in at #1.  Followed by Sprint, Verizon and AT&T.

AT&T and Verizon are the most expensive companies and the difference between them on price per gigabyte is just a few cents.  Sprint is the third most expensive.  But because of their well-known problems, we don’t recommend going with them.

T-Mobile, as you can see in the graph below, is the company with the absolute best price and they have also earned a great reputation for features, service and reliability.

T-Mobile, hands down, has the most generous and best unlimited data plan.

Looking at the top resellers, in the graph below, you can see that along with the four major carriers, T-Mobile still comes out on top – with the cheapest per gigabyte data rate.  They literally beat everybody.

Again, T-Mobile beats all other carriers, majors and resellers in the category of best cell phone plans.

In looking at this chart it’s interesting to see because you can see the top three companies with the lowest prices per gigabyte on cell phone data are T-Mobile and two companies that resell T-Mobile.  Those companies are Walmart and MetroPCS.  MetroPCS is in fact owned by T-Mobile.  So, T-Mobile really sweeps up in the best price category.

The second least expensive group are associated with Sprint

Monthly Plans vs. Annual Contracts

Monthly plans don’t involve any kind of credit check.  They are pay as you go.  So, if you have poor credit that might prevent you from getting a plan from one of the major carriers, then one of the pay as you go plans would be the way you’d have to go.

However, a lot of drivers think the MVNO reseller plans are cheaper.  They’re really not cheaper on a per gigabyte basis, although they may come with a lower total monthly cost.  So, if you just have to save that $20 or so dollars a month, then that would be the way to go.

Generally, the unlimited plans from the resellers cost around $50 a month, but they are in fact limited.  And they have different limits.  Anywhere from 15 GB limits to 35 GBs.

For $70 though, you can get as close to an unlimited plan as possible with T-Mobile.  Their plan is $70 for up to 50 GBs of monthly usage.  With that, you would never even have to think again about whether you’re using too much data.  You won’t even get close to using that much data no matter how hard you try!

And in the end, for that convenience, it may not be worth the restrictions on a lower usage plan just to save $20 bucks a month.  Because of the price and the generosity of data, T-Mobile has the best cell phone plans this year.

A lot of drivers don’t want to get tied into an annual contract, so they opt for one of the MVNO reseller plans.  A lot of people also believe these plans are cheaper.  But it turns out they’re not.  So, unless you have a really good reason for avoiding an annual contract you’d more than likely be better off going with an contract plan with T-Mobile.

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