How to get T-Mobile on a budget
T-Mobile is one of the more affordable options among the major carriers, but a number of MVNOs offer better prices on their monthly plans — and one of those is Mint Mobile (opens in new tab).
Mint specializes in low cost plans while also relying on T-Mobile’s network to provide its wireless service. That means you can get T-Mobile’s speeds, coverage and 5G performance at a much cheaper price by opting for Mint Mobile.
Find out more about Mint Mobile at the bottom of this page.
The best T-Mobile cell phone plans are mainstays among the best cell phone plans overall, and it’s not hard to figure out why. You’ll pay less for coverage than you would at T-Mobile’s main rivals, and you’ll get plenty of perks as part of your plan.
Even if you’re on the hunt for one of the best cheap cell phone plans, T-Mobile remains an option, thanks to its low-cost Connect plans. In other words, no matter your budget for wireless service, there’s likely a T-Mobile plan to fit your needs.
So there’s no doubt that T-Mobile ranks among the best phone carriers. But which of its plans is right for you?
Certainly, if you have multiple lines, you should turn to the Uncarrier as the best T-Mobile plans are among the best family cell phone plans out there, thanks to escalating discounts as you add more lines. But you don’t have to join as a group to get strong value from T-Mobile: both the carrier’s unlimited cell phone plans and its prepaid plans also offer some of the best value around.
While T-Mobile is one of the more affordable major carriers in the US, you can get its coverage, speeds, and 5G connections even cheaper through one of the mobile virtual networks that use its towers —Mint Mobile (opens in new tab). Just keep in mind that Mint won’t have all of the benefits of T-Mobile, plus Mint plans can be slowed when T-Mobile’s network is busy due to deprioritization.
If T-Mobile cell phone plans sound like something that would work for you, we’ve broken down the best T-Mobile cell phone plans below.
Unlimited and family T-Mobile plans
T-Mobile offers three different unlimited data plans — Essentials, Magenta and Magenta Max. You can get a plan for just one person or you can add additional lines for the best prices.
If you add extra lines, T-Mobile’s different unlimited options stand out as some of the best family plans out there. The Essentials option is aimed at those on a tighter budget, while then the two Magenta plans offer some more luxuries for a higher monthly price.
Finally, T-Mobile also has an unlimited plan for any senior customers that ranks as one of the best cell phone plans for seniors.
T-Mobile prepaid plans
If you don’t need unlimited data, T-Mobile also has some great prepaid options. These come at much lower costs, which also means you will also receive a lot less data and fewer perks.
Is T-Mobile a good carrier?
T-Mobile is not just a good carrier but in fact, it takes the top spot on our best phone phone carriers guide. This position comes down to a couple of benefits and factors T-Mobile does very well.
When it comes to terms of plans and offers, T-Mobile is one of the most diverse options. It offers a wide array of prices that span family plans, unlimited data choices, prepaid plans and more.
Past that, our LTE network testing showed that T-Mobile is one of the faster carriers available, and subsequent testing by third parties backs that claim. In Ookla’s most recent testing (opens in new tab), T-Mobile was rated the fastest mobile operator in the U.S.
T=Mobile also ranks well in 5G performance testing by third parties, with RootMetrics (opens in new tab) currently rating T-Mobile tops for 5G speeds and availability. (Verizon’s 5G is judged to be more reliable.) T-Mobile’s 5G service reaches more than 315 million people and through its incorporation of Sprint, 5G speeds have increased further by adding Sprints 5G into the spectrum. Some 225 million people now have access to T-Mobile’s higher-speed 5G
T-Mobile also has weekly giveaways and a host of incentives for its customers, as well as one of the market’s better trade-in schemes. Overall, T-Mobile takes our number 1 spot among phone carriers thanks to its blend of affordability, features, the number of options and its great coverage.
Getting T-Mobile on a budget: Mint Mobile
T-Mobile itself is an affordable carrier but you can get its services cheaper. As we said above, Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) is a popular network that uses the connections, coverage and speeds of T-Mobile to provide wireless service at a discount.
This means that you will experience the exact same coverage and speeds as T-Mobile customers both for 4G and 5G. However, Mint customers could get throttled in peak times.
The benefit of choosing Mint over T-Mobile is its affordability. Mint for example can offer unlimited data for $30 a month, 15GB for $25 a month or even 4GB for $15 a month. However, Mint does its contracts slightly weirdly. You actually pay for your service upfront. When you get Mint, you get a 3-month intro price which, for example, would be how you get the unlimited data for $30 a month.
While the 4GB plan says $15 a month, you are actually paying $45 for that period. When that time period’s up, you then sign up for three, six or 12 months and pay the cost upfront. The longer you sign on for, the better the price.
If you can afford to pay for your cell phone plan upfront, Mint offers some of the cheapest prices out there, and it recently expanded service to include family plans. You can read more about the service in our guide to Mint Mobile.