Finding the best family cell phone plan can help you save money on your monthly wireless bill, which is reason enough to compare your current plan to what's out there. You just might find a lower monthly rate than what you're paying now.
But a good cell phone plan isn't just about dollars and cents. You also have to consider perks that bring extra value and the coverage each carrier provides. There's also the matter of which carriers offer steeper discounts when you add more lines.
The best family cell phone plans at a glance
1. Best overall family plan: T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
2. Best for coverage and speeds: Verizon (opens in new tab)
3. Best plan for bargain hunters: Mint (opens in new tab)
4. Best plan for small families: Xfinity Mobile (opens in new tab)
We've researched all of this for you, so we can definitively point you toward the best family cell phone plan for a wide array of budgets.
Families should turn to the best unlimited data plans in most cases, so you don't have to worry about which family member is consuming all the data on your plan. For that reason, many of our best family cell phone plan picks focus on unlimited data, though there are some cheaper options available that we highlight.
Families of four can expect to pay between $120 to $220 a month for four lines from the major wireless carriers — in fact, four lines for $120 per month seems to be the sweet spot for plans these days. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive the plan, the better the perks. (We've also compared the cheapest unlimited data plans from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon if you're on a budget.)
Here’s a closer look at the best family cell phone plan options.
The best family cell phone plans
Best family cell phone plan value
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Best family cell phone plan for coverage and speeds
Best family cell phone plan for bargain hunters
Best family plan for Comcast customers
AT&T's best family cell phone plan
Cheapest family plan on AT&T's network
Verizon's cheapest family plan
Best bargain unlimited plan for families
How to pick the best family cell phone plans
Picking the right cell phone plan comes down to balancing the costs of multiple lines of data with the perks each carrier offers. If you do a lot of video streaming, for example, you’ll want to pick a plan that not only throws in a streaming service as a perk (Netflix with T-Mobile, multiple streaming services with Verizon) but also doesn’t slow your data if you consume a lot of data in a given month.
Because the thing about unlimited data is that, with the exception of one plan, it’s not truly unlimited. AT&T's Unlimited Extra customers will enjoy a 50GB cap, just like three of Verizon's four unlimited plans. T-Mobile has doubled the cap on its Magenta plan to 100GB, while the more expensive Magenta Max plan does away with caps entirely for a truly unlimited plan; AT&T followed Magenta Max's lead with its Unlimited Elite plan.
The lowest-priced plans at Verizon (Welcome Unlimited) and AT&T (Unlimited Starter) allow your data speeds to be slowed whenever there's network congestion. That's also a risk you run when you get your service from MVNOs like Mint and Cricket, which can see their traffic deprioritized in favor of other customers on their parent networks (T-Mobile and AT&T, respectively).
We’ve focused on unlimited plans, as only AT&T is the only major carrier that continues to offer a tiered data option (a 4GB in this case). If you prefer tiered data, you'd want to turn to service like Mint, which offers plans with different data allocations.