If you’re gathering information to find the best cell phone plan for you and your family, you should consider looking into the increasingly popular and competitive cell phone family plans.
Family plans empower multiple cell phone customers to utilize the same pool of minutes within the same contract and billing cycle. This can be a great way to save money and even couples should consider taking advantage of these cell phone family plans because sometimes a family plan is the best cell phone plans for couples.
Just make sure you read the fine print on those plans! In recent years cellular carriers have begun implementing all sorts of variations of the basic concept so you need to carefully read all of the plan details, especially when you’re looking at cheap family cell phone plans.
Choose A Family Plan, Not A Brand
Like with prepaid cell phones, the popularity of family cell phone plans has led cell phone companies to brand family cell plan services separately from their standard offerings. Remember that there is usually no such thing as the overall cheapest cell phone family plans — it is all dependent on what you and your family need and making sure you don’t pay extra for unnecessary cellular services or subscriptions.
These cheap cell phone family plans feature catchy monikers like FamilyTalk (AT&T, Cingular), Family Share (Verizon), FamilyTime (T-Mobile), and Talk For Family (Sprint).
Be sure to do a cell phone plan comparison to make sure you get the best family cell phone plan for your needs.
Cheapest Cell Phone Family Plans Per Provider
Keep in mind not all wireless providers offer specially designed family cell phone plans, but some will offer a discount if you have multiple lines on one account. Ask your provider about a discount if they don’t offer a family plan.
AT&T Cell Phone Family Plans
AT&T’s FamilyTalk plans leverage their large cellular network to include free calls within network. AT&T’s FamilyTalk cell phone plans start at $59.99 for 550 shared minutes, then step up to 700 minutes for $69.99, 1400 minutes for $89.99 and 2100 minutes for $109.99; these prices include 2 lines with additional lines costing $9.99. These plans offer unlimited night and weekend calling starting at 9 pm until 6 am for most plans, unlimited calls to other Mobile to Mobile AT&T customers and no roaming charges. The FamilyTalk plan may provide one of the most compelling features in its Rollover Minutes, allowing you to roll over unused minutes from billing period to billing period and to share them among plan members. Sometimes finding the cheapest cell phone plan just means finding the most flexible cell phone plan.
Texting can be added as either pay-per-use for $0.20 per text message or as an unlimited texting plan for $20 individual or $30 per month for family texting. AT&T’s unlimited voice plan is $119.99 for 2 lines, $49.99 per additional line.
Sprint Cell Phone Family Plans
The cheapest family cell phone plan offered by Sprint wireless is their Talk For Family plan, which includes 700 anytime minutes with 2 lines for $69.99; you can add texting to this plan with options starting at $5 per month for 300 messages. If you want a plan with messaging and/or more minutes the next step up is 1500 anytime minutes and unlimited texting on their network for $99.99 a month or 3,000 minutes for $149.99 per month. Additional lines can be added to these plans for $9.99 per line. These plans offer night and weekend calling starting at 7:00 pm and no roaming charges. Sprint’s network unlimited cell phone plan, including voice, texting and data, starts at $189.99 per month for 2 lines, $89.99 per additional line._____________________________________
T-Mobile Cell Phone Family Plans
T-Mobile offers a variety of cell phone family plans and bundles with the cheapest voice only plan starting at $59.98 per month for 1,000 shared anytime minutes and unlimited weekend and weeknight minutes starting after 9 pm. The same plan with messaging is $79.98 per month. Like many other family cell plans these plans include 2 lines, additional lines are $10 per month for these two plans.
T-Mobile’s unlimited talk and text family cell plan is $99.98 per month starting with 2 lines, $30 per additional lines for this plan. If you want a little bit of everything you can get unlimited talk and text with 2 GB of data for $138.98 ($30 per additional line) — you can add more data, up to 10 GB high speed data, plan prices up to $219.98 per month.
TracFone’s Cell Phone Family Plan
If your searching for a cheap cell phone plan for the family consider TracFone. TracFone is probably most well known for their individual plans but they offer cheap family cell phone plans as well. Their cheapest family cell phone plan is their Value Plan offering 50 minutes at $9.99 per month for the first phone and 40 minutes for $5.99 per month for additional phones. TracFone cheap cell plans include talk, text, email and web. They also have cheap cell phones to go with the service. Additional minutes can be purchased if needed, but any leftover minutes will carry over into the next month.
If you are trying to stick to a budget or trying to contain the habits of a heavy texting teen this type of plan may be a good choice because once the minutes are gone for the month they will have to wait until the next month for more minutes, unless you add more minutes. This can help everyone learn to budget their minutes, but the best part is that there are no cell phone bill shock or surprise overage charges with these plans.
Verizon Cell Phone Family Plans
Verizon’s advertising has become tightly integrated with contemporary pop culture (yes, we can hear you now), so you’re more likely to know their cellular phone family plans already. While they offer great call quality and network coverage they don’t necessarily offer the most affordable cell phone family plans.
Verizon Wireless offers the Family Share plan, which in addition to their standard free unlimited Verizon-network calling known as Mobile to Mobile calling, also provides family cell plan options and shared minutes. Additionally, Verizon offers what they call Friends and Family minutes; with this option you can name up to 10 numbers that you call most often and call these numbers without using your monthly allotted minutes.
As far as the specifics Verizon’s cheapest cell phone family plan starts at $69.98 for 700 minutes, but this option doesn’t include the Friends and Family option. You can get 1,400 minutes for $89.98 or 2,000 minutes for $99.98; these options both include the Friends and Family option. Additional lines are $9.99 for these plans. Their unlimited Family Share Plan starts at $119.98 for 2 lines and $49.99 for additional lines.
Messaging is a separate option. Unlimited shared messaging is $30. If you want something cheaper or less robust you can pay as you text for twenty cents per text message, get 250 texts for $5, 500 for $10 or 5,000 for $20 per month.
Things To Consider With Family Cell Phone Plans
Depending on your geographical area, different networks may have superior coverage and thus be able to offer you the most flexible cell phone family plan. Of the family cell plans right now Verizon wireless scores high on satisfaction surveys and they’re built on the nation’s largest and most established cell phone network. However, this doesn’t guarantee that they have the best coverage in the areas where you and your family will be calling, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be one of the best cell phone plans for you and your family’s particular usage habits.
Sometimes prepaid cell phone family plans, or cell phones without plans, may be your best bet, but not always. You need to monitor and measure your usage before you can determine whether these types of family wireless plans would bet the best cell phone family plans for you.
So be sure to weigh all these described variables when determining the best family cell phone plans for you and yours._____________________________________