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Best Cheap Phone Plans for November 2023

Nobody wants to overspend on their expenses, and that includes finding ways to cut down on streaming subscriptions and dining out. However, there are certain expenses that you can't compromise on, such as your cellphone plan. The good news is that you don't have to part with your mobile service altogether; you just need to find a more affordable phone plan.

Best Cheap Phone Plans for November 2023

In 2023, there are various options to help you achieve this goal, from prepaid carriers like Mint Mobile to mobile services offered by cable companies such as Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile. Many of these options can be more cost-effective than the unlimited plans offered by major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. What's more, these budget-friendly phone plans often come with the same features as traditional plans and typically operate on a larger carrier's network. Given the multitude of phone plan choices, it can quickly become overwhelming. In line with CNET's approach to covering wireless carriers, we'll focus on options for both single-line users and those seeking plans for four lines. First and foremost, it's essential to consider your area and which carrier provides the best coverage. Cost-cutting won't be beneficial if your service is unreliable. The United States' diverse geography makes it challenging to offer a one-size-fits-all carrier recommendation. T-Mobile might excel in New York but fall short in rural Iowa, where Verizon could offer more reliable service. Networks are continually expanding and improving, especially as the major players compete to roll out 5G across the country. It's possible that a network that once had sparse coverage in your area has since improved thanks to this competition. To gain insight into your area's service quality, consider asking friends or family who use the carrier you're interested in. Some carriers also offer free ways to trial their service before committing, like T-Mobile's Network Pass, Verizon's 30-day "Test Drive," or Cricket's trial program. When evaluating prepaid carriers and mobile options from cable companies, it's important to verify which network they use. For instance, Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's network, Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile use Verizon's network. In these cases, using the respective apps can be a quick and convenient way to test the coverage in your area before making a switch. Now, let's explore some of the top budget-friendly phone plans for 2023.

1. Boost Mobile Unlimited for $25 a Month

  • Networks: AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish

  • High-speed data limit: 30GB

  • Price: $25 per line, per month

Boost Mobile offers an unlimited plan with unlimited talk, text, and data for $25 a month, taxes and fees included. Unlike Mint Mobile's 12-month plan, which was previously recommended, Boost's plan doesn't tie you into 12-month commitments. However, you must be a new Boost customer to access this offer. The plan includes 5G access and 30GB of high-speed data per month, with the option to use hotspot data from your high-speed allotment. It's important to note that you need to set up automatic payments to get the $25 monthly rate.

2. Visible Unlimited (Runner-up: $25 per line)

  • Network: Verizon

  • High-speed data limit: Unlimited (slower than regular Verizon users)

  • Price: $25 per line, per month

Verizon's Visible restructured its unlimited plans, lowering the base plan's price from $40 to $30 per month per line. The carrier removed some features, including access to Verizon's fastest Ultra Wideband 5G network, which is now available in the Visible Plus plan at $45 per month. Visible also discontinued its Party Pay option. However, the $25 monthly rate for the base Visible plan has been reintroduced. To access Verizon's network fully, you'll need to pay $45 per line per month. The plan includes unlimited hotspot data, capped at a maximum speed of 5Mbps, and unlimited talk, text, and data in the US. Taxes and fees are included in this price.

3. Mint Mobile 12-Month Plan (Second runner-up for single line: $30 per month, per line)

  • Network: T-Mobile

  • High-speed data: 40GB

  • Price: $30 per line, per month

Mint Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $30 per month per line for 12 months. Running on T-Mobile's networks, this plan provides 40GB of high-speed data on 5G and 4G LTE each month. If you exceed this limit before the 30-day period resets, your speeds will slow to "3G speeds." The plan also includes 10GB of high-speed hotspot data and free international calls to Mexico and Canada. A limited-time promotion reduces the price to $15 per month for the first three months for new users, after which it reverts to normal rates.

4. Google Fi Wireless Simply Unlimited (Best for a family of four: $80 per month for four lines)

  • Network: T-Mobile

  • High-speed data: 35GB

  • Price: $20 per line, per month (for four lines)

Google Fi Wireless offers its Simply Unlimited plan for $80 per month for a family of four, which amounts to $20 per month per line. This plan includes unlimited talk, text, 35GB of high-speed data, and 5GB of mobile hotspot usage. It also offers free roaming in Canada and Mexico, although taxes and fees are not included in the listed price. Google Fi Wireless primarily operates on T-Mobile's network and provides 5G access, now including iPhones.

5. US Mobile Unlimited Starter (Runner-up: $100 a month for four lines)

  • Network: T-Mobile ("GSM") or Verizon ("Warp 5G")

  • High-speed data: 30GB

  • Price: $25 per line, per month (for four lines)

US Mobile offers its Unlimited Starter plan starting at $25 per line per month. It runs on Verizon's network for "Warp 5G" service and on T-Mobile's network for "GSM" offerings. The plan now includes taxes and fees in the price, 30GB of high-speed data, and 5GB of hotspot data. For additional high-speed data, international roaming, or streaming perks, you can explore US Mobile's Unlimited Essentials or Unlimited Premium plans. However, please note that after using up your high-speed data, phone data speeds will slow to 1Mbps. International calling is available for the "GSM 5G" option.

These budget-friendly phone plans are designed to help you save on your mobile expenses while still enjoying reliable service and essential features.

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