In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, millions of people are now facing financial hardship due to losing their jobs or having their hours cut back dramatically. While many wireless carriers have signed the FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge, agreeing to help ease customers’ financial burden by waiving late fees and continuing to provide service to all customers, that pledge, as of now, only lasts until mid-May 2020. No one is certain what will happen after that—it’s possible that the FCC extends these benefits for as long as COVID-19 is affecting Americans, but there’s no way of knowing for sure.

If you’re like millions of others crunching numbers right now, you may be looking for a few ways to save money. One option to help reduce spending is to switch to a cheap phone plan. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile recently announced new prepaid plans, starting at just $15/month.

In this article:

T-Mobile Connect Plans From $15/Month

T-Mobile’s Connect Plans, starting at just $15/month, are the cheapest smartphone plans T-Mobile has ever offered. Instead of launching this offering once the Spring merger is finalized, the Un-carrier decided to launch these plans early in order to help vulnerable Americans stay connected during this trying time. They will be available for purchase on Wednesday, March 25.

  • $15 T-Mobile Connect Plan includes:
    • Unlimited talk and text
    • 2GB of high-speed data
  • $25 T-Mobile Connect Plan includes:
    • Unlimited talk and text
    • 5GB of high-speed data

Moreover, thanks to T-Mobile Connect’s Annual Data Upgrade, customers receive an extra 500MB of monthly data ever year, for the next five years. Keep in mind, unlike other T-Mobile prepaid plans, in which your data is temporarily slowed once you meet your allowance, data on a T-Mobile Connect plan will be cut off once you reach your allotted high-speed data.

The T-Mobile Connect 2GB and 5GB plans are prepaid, which means that you aren’t subject to a credit check to get started. This can be especially beneficial for those experiencing financial stress during this time.

Unlike other T-Mobile prepaid plans, data on a T-Mobile Connect plan will be cut off once you reach your allotted high-speed data.

Free YouTube Premium and Online Learning

T-Mobile is offering 2 months of YouTube Premium for free starting tomorrow, March 24, via its T-Mobile Tuesdays weekly “thank you” perk. With YouTube Premium, you can:

  • Watch ad-free videos
  • Download videos to view offline later
  • Play videos in the background while using other apps
  • Access YouTube Music Premium

And that’s not all—if you’re looking to learn a new skill while stuck at home, you can also get a free four-week course from Shaw Academy, which offers fully accredited online classes.

Metro by T-Mobile $15 Plan

T-Mobile is spreading the love by extending its low-cost phone plans to its MVNO, Metro by T-Mobile, as well. On March 25, you will be able to sign up for Metro by T-Mobile’s $15/month prepaid phone plan, which includes:

  • Unlimited talk and text.
  • 2GB of high-speed data.

The $15/month price, however, is only good for 60 days after you activate your new plan. After the 60-day period, the price will increase to $30/month.

Other Metro by T-Mobile Benefits

If you’re a Metro by T-Mobile customer on any voice line, you can get a free 8-inch tablet when you add a line of tablet service on a $15/month unlimited tablet data plan. Moreover, Metro is currently selling the MetroSMART Hotspot for just $25—a discount of $55. For the next 60 days, the $35/month mobile hotspot data plan will include double the data—20GB. The MetroSmart Hotspot enables you to connect up to 15 devices at once; it could be a great option if you’re stuck at home with several roommates and need some extra bandwidth.

Let’s Talk Take: How Good Are These Cheap Plans?

Here at Let’s Talk, we think T-Mobile’s Connect Plans are an excellent opportunity to benefit from service on T-Mobile’s robust 4G LTE network, which covers 62% of the country. Previously, T-Mobile’s cheapest phone plan was the $40 Simply Prepaid Plan, which includes 10GB of data. The $15 or $25 Connect Plans are awesome budget plans for customers who don’t need a lot of data or have consistent and reliable WiFi access—plus, you get to forgo a credit check. Further, you can plan your budget for months or even years to come since the prices of the T-Mobile Connect Plans will remain the same for the foreseeable future—T-Mobile hasn’t said anything about increasing the plan prices.

Important: If you’re currently paying off a phone on monthly installments through T-Mobile, you can’t transfer your monthly installment plan to one of the T-Mobile Connect Plans, since they are prepaid. If you want to make the switch, you’ll have to pay off the remaining balance on your device.

Conversely, Metro by T-Mobile’s $15/month plan is only in effect for 60 days—after that, the price will increase to $30/month. There’s no reason to choose the Metro $15 Plan over one of the T-Mobile Connect Plans, especially because T-Mobile is offering enviable perks that could help you stay entertained while social distancing.

For other affordable phone plans, you can check out prepaid plans offered by MVNOs, such as Tello, Mint Mobile, Twigby, Red Pocket, and more. These plans start as low as $14/month and don’t require a credit check to sign up.