Best Overall Family Plan Best Prepaid Family Plan Best Value Family Plan
Best Perks Family Plan Best Mix and Match Family Plan Honorable Mention Failure to Launch

Let’s Talk wants you to have the best possible plan for your family, and that’s why we regularly curate and update the hottest family plans from over 30 carriers. To choose the perfect family plan you need to consider many things like your budget, data usage, and what carrier coverage looks like in your area.

This guide will walk you through multiple family plans and help you decide which is best—all while saving you money along the way.


Family Plans Compared

 

Plans Cost per Month Data and Mobile Hotspot Extras Roaming/Global
Best: T-Mobile Magenta Family $140 Unlimited—No Netflix Free Text/Talk to AND from Mexico & Canada
Best Prepaid: Unlimited: Cricket $100 Unlimited—10GB Free Text to 30+ Countries Free Text/Talk to AND from Mexico & Canada
Best Value: Family Plan: Red Pocket  $90 20GB (Shared) Choose which network you want to be on (Sprint/AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile)  Free Intl. Calling to 70+ countries
Best Perks: Unlimited Elite AT&T $200 Unlimited—30GB HBO subscription, HD streaming, 100 GB data deprioritization threshold Unlimited talk, text, data in Canada and Mexico, unlimited text to 120+ countries
Best Mix and Match: Prepaid Multiline Monthly Plan: AT&T $80-$180 Customizable Rollover Data Unlimited Text to 100+ Countries
Honorable Mention: Unlimited Basic Plan: Sprint $100 (5 lines) Unlimited Hulu Unlimited Text/Text in Canada & Mexico + 5GB of roaming data


T-Mobile Logo

Best Overall Plan: T-Mobile Magenta Family Plan

For $140/month T-Mobile is offering a four-line family plan with unlimited high-speed data and unlimited use of your hotspot—keep in mind that the hotspot data runs at 3G speeds which is slower than you’re probably used to. T-Mobile One also gives you unlimited calling and text to and from Canada, Mexico, and 200 more international destinations. In addition to international service, each line gets 5GB of data to use in Canada and Mexico.

This is an ideal plan for families that travel north or south of the U.S. border frequently

Normally this plan costs $70/month, making four individual lines total $280 each month. However, T-Mobile discounts the family plan which saves you over $130 each month, making this family plan a smart choice.

T-Mobile Family Plans

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • Unlimited calling to and from Mexico and Canada
  • Free Netflix account
  • Free inflight texting

Let’s Talk Cons

  • Hotspot data isn’t at 4G speeds
  • More expensive than other unlimited plans


Cricket Logo

Best Prepaid Plan: Cricket Wireless Unlimited Plan (Multi-line)

With prepaid plans, you pay for your service before you use it. We chose Cricket Wireless’ Unlimited Plan as our best prepaid family plan because for only $100/month you get unlimited talk and text PLUS unlimited data. There is one downside to this plan: the data isn’t high-speed and runs at 3Mbps—this isn’t crazy slow, but to put it in perspective, 7Mbps or higher is considered a fast internet speed.

Data speeds aside, this plan has some great perks, including unlimited talk and text to and from Mexico and Canada with unlimited data in these countries as well. Because of the slow internet speeds, this plan is excellent for families who like to use data but don’t need to rely on it for entertainment.

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Unlimited data, text, and talk
  • Unlimited service in Canada and Mexico
  • GREAT price point
  • Good network

Let’s Talk Cons

  • Slower data speeds
  • Have to pay for hotspot use


Red Pocket Logo

Best Value Plan: Red Pocket Family Plan

The best value plan on the market right now is Red Pocket’s Family Plan which is only $90/month for new customers who bring their own phone. Each line will get 5GB of high-speed LTE data, then speeds will be reduced but you can use as much as you want. Also included in this plan is unlimited domestic talk and text with free international calling to over 70 countries.

This plan is great for families who don’t need or want a lot of extras and are just fine with minimal amounts of data. If you’re connected to WiFi frequently, 5GB of data per line should be more than enough. For $90/month, you’re not going to find a cheaper family plan with this much data.

save $5/month on this plan when you enroll in red pocket’s auto-refill program

Red Pocket Family Plans

Let’s Talk Tip: Red Pocket runs on all four carrier networks, so you can choose which network you want to be on when you switch to them.

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Can choose any carrier network
  • 5GB high-speed data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Free intl. calling to over 70 countries

Let’s Talk Cons

  • No mobile hotspot
  • No unlimited data
  • Need to bring your own phone


ATT Logo

Best Perks Plan: Unlimited Elite AT&T

Although this plan is pricier sitting at $200/month for four lines, the AT&T Elite family plan gives you more than just unlimited cell phone service and data. With perks like an HBO subscription, a humongous data deprioritization threshold (100GB before data speeds may be reduced), 30 GB hotspot, roaming in Mexico and Canada, and unlimited text to over 120 countries, this family plan gives you everything you need to stay up to date on pop-culture and connected with friends and family all month long. This plan is perfect for the family that consumes content regularly and wants to pay for HBO and cell service in one spot.

This plan costs $85/month for individual lines, making four lines cost an incredible $340/month. AT&T discounts this family plan significantly saving you just under a whopping $140/month on four lines.

AT&T Family Plans

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Great nationwide coverage
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Content streaming subscription

Let’s Talk Cons

  • More expensive than other plans


ATT Logo

Best Mix and Match Plan: AT&T Prepaid Multi Line Monthly plan

Some major carriers have begun offering family plans that provide the ability to mix and match multiple plans instead of choosing one plan to fit everyone. Mix and match plans are beneficial because you only pay for the services each person uses. This month’s AT&T’s Prepaid Multi Line Monthly plan beats out all others due to competitive prices and perks.

With a range of $80-$180/month for four lines each family member will get unlimited talk and text and can choose between any amount of data

This prepaid mix and match family plan also gives everyone free unlimited texting to Canada, Mexico, and 100 other countries. This plan is great for families who have a wide range of data users on their plan.
All AT&T Plans

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Mix and Match
  • Unlimited talk and text on each line
  • Hotspot use on specific plans
  • Free texting to Canada and Mexico

Let’s Talk Cons

  • Not free streaming accounts
  • Can be pricey


Sprint Logo

Honorable Mention: Sprint Unlimited Basic Plan

Look, Sprint doesn’t have the best coverage in the country, but their prices are nearly unbeatable. Right now they are offering a family plan where the third, fourth, AND fifth line are completely FREE. The Unlimited basic plan averages out to $20/line/month when you have five lines—trust us, that’s a steal of a deal. Not only do you get unlimited talk, text, and data, you also get a FREE Hulu account!

All Sprint Family Plans

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Best priced family plan on the market
  • Free Hulu account
  • 5GB roaming data
  • Free texting to Canada and Mexico

Let’s Talk Cons

  • Sprint Network


Want a new phone to go along with your new plan? Check out our best cell phone deals:



How Many Young Adults Are On Their Parent’s Cell Phone Plan?

It’s become known as the “Failure to Launch” syndrome: young adults who are unable—or unwilling—to establish financial independence from their parents. As millennials take longer to move out of the house, pay off their debts, and get married, they’re also taking longer to get their own cell phone plans.

Our survey found that almost half (49%) of all 18-24 year olds are on their parent’s (or other family member’s) cell phone plans. This percentage drops steeply to 16% in the 25-34 year-old age bracket, and 7.5% in the 35-44 year-old age bracket.

parents cell phone plan

About Our Finding

We expected a significant percentage of young adults to be on family plans, but this 50% figure is startling nonetheless. It speaks not only to young adults’ financial reliance on their parents, but to the popularity of family plans.

73% of all respondents, and nearly 79% of 18-24 year olds, indicated they’re on family plans.

percentage of people on family plans
Family plans can dramatically reduce the costs as you add lines; some four-line plans can effectively halve individual cell phone plan costs. Check out our picks for the top family plans on the market at the moment.

Methodology

To gather our data, we surveyed 1,000 Americans across all age groups about their cell phone plans. We then sorted this data according to age: 18-24 year-olds, 25-34 year-olds, 35-44 year olds, and 45+ year-olds.