It seems every week one cell phone company or another announces lower costs on their cell phone plan. Writing an article trying to find the best cell phone plan is almost impossible because they change so often. Instead, I wrote this calculator to help you figure it out for yourself.
The calculator is simple to use. If you are thinking about switching plans type in the information about your old plan, the plan you are considering and some information about purchasing new phones. The calculator will tell you what your total cost will be over the next two years along with your average monthly cost over that same period.
Why two years? Because two years is the average time for a new cell phone contract (Even though I recommend you not sign a cell phone contract under any circumstances) and because two years is the average amount of time the average American keeps their cell phone.
Some places to look for a great cell phone plan
I’ll list some of your best options here, but first let me tell you what the worst option is. Under no circumstances should you sign a two year contract with a cell phone carrier. There is no possible scenario where that is a good idea. In the short term signing a contract means you will be paying more, and you can use the calculator below to prove it to yourself if you don’t believe me.
Secondly, prices in cell phone plans are dropping like a rock and locking yourself into a high priced contract ensures you won’t be able to take advantage of the lower prices we will have in the future. I can’t say this strongly enough, do not sign a contract.
OK, so here are some of your best options:
Republic Wireless Moto X $5/month. Data, Talk & Text.– The king of the cheap cell phone plan. RW offers great service and is the plan my family uses. Plans start at $5/ month although I think the $10 plan is more viable. You can find my review of RW here.
Total Wireless– There are a lot of companies with $35/ month no contract plans, but Total Wireless is the only one that runs on the Verizon network. Republic Wireless allows you to make calls and texts over Verizon, but does not allow you to use a significant amount of Verizon data. If you have to use Verizon because you need the wide coverage area and thought you couldn’t have a reasonable cell phone plan then Total Wireless is for you.
Ting-Ting is for people who don’t use their phone a whole lot. It allows you to estimate how much service you will need, then pay for only that amount. I find that process to be needlessly complicated when you can just get the much simpler unlimited everything plan from Republic Wireless but I know a lot of really smart people who think Ting is a great deal.
Ok, enough talk. Let’s figure out which plan is the best deal.
How much can I sell my old phone for?
If you aren’t sure how to answer this question, just head over to Amazon.com, search for your phone, and see what a used phone goes for. I normally sell all my old electronics on Amazon because I find it easier than eBay or Craigslist.
Photo by Eric (Hash) Hersman