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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Pat Mertz Esswein, Associate Editor
| November 1, 2018
When choosing a phone plan, talk and text are the least of your concern; your cost will largely depend on how many users (lines) you choose and how much data you expect to use.
If you’re switching plans, refer to a recent bill so you needn’t guess about usage and try to anticipate any changes ahead -- say, you’re retiring or kicking the kids off your plan. Here are suggested plans for various types of users.
All plans, except for the one targeting families, are priced for one user.
With the T-Mobile Essentials Plan, you’ll pay $30 per line for four lines with unlimited talk, texting and data on a high-speed 4G LTE network. You must make automatic payments to get that price; taxes and fees are extra.
If you want unlimited talk and texting but you use data moderately -- no HD streaming or game playing -- consider the US Mobile Unlimited Talk and Text plan with 5 gigabytes of data at standard speed. The cost is $25 per month (plus $4 for the starter kit).
For the cheapest way to get unlimited high-speed data, check out US Mobile’s offering, which costs from $40 to $55 a month for a single line, depending on the data speed. The plan is no-frills, but it provides great coverage using the Verizon and T-Mobile networks. Data speed may slow after you use 20GB in a month. Most users won’t get there, but you can add more high-speed data for a fee.
With T-Mobile One, you get unlimited talk and text and up to 5GB of data at 4G LTE speed in Mexico and Canada. Plus, you get unlimited, free calling from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada. In more than 100 countries, you get unlimited texting and data at 2G speed free and calls for 25 cents per minute. You can add higher-speed service with T-Mobile One Plus ($15 per month) or an International Pass ($5 per pass).
If you’re not a big mobile-phone user, the Tello Economy plan will provide you with 200 minutes of talk and unlimited texting, plus 500 megabytes of data at 4G LTE speed, for just $10 a month. You can use minutes for calls within the U.S. or to Canada, Mexico and China.