Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (2024)

Jump to:

  • The quick list
  • Best family plan overall
  • Most flexible plan
  • Best value plan
  • Best plan for Comcast customers
  • Best prepad family plan
  • Best per-line discounts
  • Best for travelers
  • How to pick the best family cell phone plans

The best family cell phone plan puts a lid on out-of-control wireless phone service costs. All you need to do is find a good rate on a plan with the exact amount of data that you and your family need. And hopefully, there's per line discounts as you add more people to your plan.

Best family cell phone plans at a glance

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (1)

1. The quick list
2. Best family plan overall
3. Most flexible family plan
4. Best family plan value
5. Best family plan for Comcast customers
6.
7. Best prepaid family plan
8. Best per-line discounts
9. Best family plan for travelers
10. How to pick the best family plan

Fortunately, in our research into the best cell phone plans overall, we've found plenty of family options that meet that exact description. Best of all, our top choices include some of the best unlimited data plans so you and your family members won't have to share a pool of limited data. These days, unlimited plans don't cost as much as they used to, particularly if you look beyond the major wireless providers for your coverage.

Of course, a great family plan means more than just a low rate. In our search for the best options, we also look for perks and extras that come with various plans. Some family plans will include complementary streaming services, so you can cover the cost of streaming when you pay your monthly wireless bill. You may also find travel benefits that can help you stay connected overseas. We particularly like plans that let you mix and match cheaper options with more expensive ones, as that can lower the cost per line for families.

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 if you're on a budget.)

Here’s a closer look at the best family cell phone plan options based on our research into the service options out there. Note that the prices in the Quick List section reflect the cost of four lines of data at each carrier.

The quick list

Best overall

1. T-Mobile

Unlimited data for $180 at T-Mobile

T-Mobile's Go5G is the best option with hotspot, data, travel perks and streaming benefits included in the plan. (Taxes and fees are covered, too.) And you may find the plan for less if T-Mobile is running one of its frequent family plan promotions.

Read more below

Most flexible plan

2. Verizon

Unlimited data for $180 at Verizon

Verizon's Unlimited Plus plan costs $180 per month for four lines and features hotspot data and fast 5G coverage. You can pick and choose additional benefits for extra and mix and match with the cheaper Unlimited Welcome plan.

Read more below

Best value

3. Mint Mobile

5GB for $60 at Mint

Mint doesn't add discounts as you add lines, but every line in a plan is subject to the same low rate when you sign up for a year of service. That means four lines of Mint's 5GB plan can cost as little as $60 per month and everyone gets their own pool of data.

Read more below

Best plan for Comcast customer

4. Xfinity Mobile

Unlimited data for $100 at Comcast

Comcast lowers the per line cost of unlimited data as you add more lines. That means a family of four will pay $100 each month for Xfinity Mobile's service, which relies on Verizon's network for coverage.

Read more below

5. AT&T

Unlimited data for $164 at AT&T

The best option for families at AT&T is the carrier's Unlimited Extra plan. Four lines cost $164 per month, and you get hotspot data along with coverage when traveling in Mexico and Canada.

Read more below

Best prepaid perks

6.. Cricket Wireless

Unlimited data for $130 at Cricket

Four lines of unlilmited data cost $130 per month at Cricket Wireless, which uses AT&T's network. But the real story here is a subscription to the ad-supported Max streaming service, a rare benefit for prepaid plans.

Read more below

Load the next 2 plans...

Big discounts

7. Ultra Mobile

Half-off extra lines

Add additional lines of Ultra Mobile's unlimited plan, and you'll pay just $24 for each new line. That's half-off the $49 monthly cost on the first line of data for coverage on T-Mobile's network.

Read more below

Best for travelers

8. Google Fi

Unlimited data for $160 at Google Fi

Google Fi's Unlimited Plus plan includes unlimited talk, text and data, and you can use that data when traveling overseas to 200-plus countries at no additional cost.

Read more below

The best family cell phone plan overall

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (10)

T-Mobile Go5G | 4-line family plan | $180/month - Best value family plan
T-Mobile's Go5G option is a no-brainer when the carrier waives the cost of a third line, bringing the total monthlycost on four lines to $155. But even at full price, Go5G is a great option, thanks to all the hotspot data and travel benefits you get compared to the carrier's Magenta plan (normally $160 for four lines). Other than hotspot data and a larger pool of data to use when traveling in Canada and Mexico, the perks are the same, including a free Netflix subscription and six months of access to Apple TV Plus. Opt for the more expensive Go5G Plus ($220/month for a family of four, though that drops to $185 when T-Mobile isn't charging for a third line), and you get even more benefits, such as a full Apple TV Plus subscription.

Pros: Free Netflix, 5G available, travel perks
Cons: Can’t mix-and-match unlimited plans

The most flexible family cell phone plan

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (11)

Verizon Unlimited Plus | 4-line family plan | $180/month - Most flexible family plan
Families would save more with Verizon's Welcome Unlimited plan, which costs $120/month for four lines. But that plan has few perks and only features 5G coverage from Verizon's slower nationwide network. With Verizon Unlimited Plus, you get Verizon's fastest Ultra Wideband 5G coverage, plus 30GB of hotspot data and a three-year price guarantee. You can also mix and match the best Verizon plans, opting for Welcome Unlimited on some lines to save money. Bring your own device to Verizon, and you can count on additional discounts to your monthly rate. Perks including Disney's streaming service bundle or travel passes to use overseas are available as $10 monthly add-ons that you can add and drop at any time.

Pros: Verizon's fastest 5G coverage, lots of hotspot data, ability to mix and match
Cons: $10 add-ons can add up quickly if you're not careful

Best family cell phone plan value

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (12)

Mint Mobile | 4-line 5GB plan | $60/month - Cheapest family plan, with a catch
Unlike other options on this list, Mint Mobile doesn't offer escalating discounts as you add lines of data to your plan. Instead, each line of data gets the same discount for paying in advance. So a family that opts for Mint's 5GB plan can expect to pay $15 for each line. (And remember, all of those lines get their own 5GB pool.) That's $60 a month, with $180 due up front to cover your first three months of service at the discounted rate. To keep that price after a three-month trial period, you need to commit (and pay for) a year of service. Mint also lets families mix and match its different plans — which is especially relevant right now, as Mint has cut the price on all data plans to $15 for the first three months of service, as part of a tep=mporary promotion.

Pros: Big discounts relative to other family plans, you can mix and match plans
Cons: Requires a year commitment for best price

Best family cell phone plan for Comcast customers

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (13)

Xfinity Mobile | 4-line Unlimited Intro plan | $100/month - A good deal for Comcast customers
Xfinity Mobile has established itself as an attractive option for families, with a discount on its unlimited data plan kicking in once you tack on additional lines. While a single line of data costs $40/month, by the time you add four lines, you're paying $25 per line. There's also an Unlimited Plus option, starting at $50 per line, if you need faster hotspot data or prefer high-resolution video streaming. Families can mix and match unlimited data plans. Xfinity uses Verizon's network, including that carrier's expanding 5G network, so you can expect fast coverage.

Pros: Discounts on multiple lines, uses Verizon's network
Cons: Only available to Xfinity internet customers

Best family cell phone plan at AT&T

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (14)

AT&T | Unlimited Extra 4 line plan | $164/month - AT&Ts best family plan
AT&T's Unlimited Extra plan offers the best balance of price and perks for the carrier's unlimited plans. Families save $40 each month from the more expensive Unlimited Elite plan, but they also enjoy perks like 15GB of hotspot data and the promise that your speeds won't be slowed unless you use more than 50GB of data in a month. AT&T's cheapest plan for families — Unlimited Starter, which costs a family of four $144/month — slows your speeds at any time.

Pros:

15GB of hotspot data, unlimited data when traveling in Mexico and Canada
Cons:
No streaming perks, speeds can be slowed after 50GB of use

Best prepad family plan

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (15)

Cricket Wireless | Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot | $130/month - Best prepaid plan for families
Cricket Wireless is AT&T's prepaid subsidiary, meaning it uses the same network, including 5G coverage. But Cricket plans cost much less, as you can see with this unlimited offering, where four lines of data will cost you $33 per line. (In contrast, four lines under the cheapest Metro Flex line at Metro by T-Mobile cost just under $39 per line.) Cricket's plan even comes with perks, which is a rarity, even among the best prepaid phone plans. You get 15GB of hotspot data, and unlike AT&T, Cricket's plan still includes Max among its benefits. (Be aware it is the ad-supported tier of the streaming service formerly known as HBO Max.)

Pros: 5G coverage included, cheaper than AT&T plans, includes Max
Cons: AT&T can slow data if there's lot of network traffic, Max subscription features ads

Big discounts for extra lines

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (16)

Ultra Mobile Family Plan | 4-line family plan | $121/month — Big multi-line discounts
A single line of unlimited data at Ultra Mobile costs $49/month. But start adding extra lines to that plan under Ultra's Family Plan, and the savings start to kick in. Each additional line costs $24/month, so a family of four would pay just over $121. Perks include unlimited talk and text to 90-plus countries and 10GB of hotspot data.

Pros: Steep discounts when you add extra lines, hotspot data
Cons: First line of unlimited data pricey compared to competition

The best family cell phone plan for travelers

Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (17)

Google Fi Wireless | Unlimited Plus | $160/month - Best perks for travelers
Google Fi's Unlimited Plus plan features unlimited talk, text and data, with optimized performance for Google Pixel devices as well as select phones from Samsung and Motorola. The true appeal to this plan is if you do a lot of traveling, as Google Fi lets you use your data overseas in 200-plus locations at no additional charge. Other Unlimited Plus perks include a year of YouTube Premium.

Pros: Great international coverage, includes YouTube Premium subscription
Cons: As expensive as plans from larger carriers

How to pick the best family cell phone plans

For families, 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. Getting a plan with HD streaming can also be a good idea if you plan to stream on a screen larger than your smartphone's display.

When it comes to unlimited data, remember that there are still some limits on how much data you can use before your speed can slow down. AT&T's Unlimited Extra customers will enjoy a 50GB cap, while Unlimited Elite subscribers face no cap at all. Verizon can slow data for Unlimited Plus customers once they use more than 30GB of data, while Welcome Unlimited customers can see data speeds slowed down whenever there's too much traffic on Verizon's network. T-Mobile Magenta and Go5G customers can see data slowed when they use more than 100GB during a billing cycle; there's no throttling for Magenta Max and Go5G Plus customers.

Use an MVNO like Mint or Cricket, and you can see your data speeds deprioritized in favor of other customers on the parent company's network (T-Mobile and AT&T, respectively).

We’ve mainly 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) among its postpaid plans. If you prefer tiered data, you'd want to turn to service like Mint, which offers plans with different data allocations.

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Best family cell phone plan in 2024 (18)

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

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3 CommentsComment from the forums

  • TGO

    Is that the car from Vacation??

    Reply

  • Larry831

    admin said:

    Looking for the best family cell phone plan? We can help you find a smartphone plan that brings unlimited data to multiple people without breaking the bank.

    Best family cell phone plan in 2020 : Read more

    Great Read. The problem is that I don't have a family to get these deals! I'm debating on Visible or Circledin. Has anyone tried Circledin before? I know with Visible you can join a family plan, but i heard it's super slow.

    Reply

  • Jwhite326

    This article says it was published 11 days ago. But it looks like maybe it was just reposted from two years ago.

    I love Tom's Guide and read it for all things tech-related. But if these are your "best" family plan suggestions in mid-2022, I'm a little underwhelmed. I need to move a family of four from Straight Talk, and was looking for alternatives. Anyway, I spent 2-3 hours digging and I came up with a few other MVNOs that seem to dominate these.

    For example, Google Fi's Simply Unlimited Family plan offers nearly identical service compared to the Magenta plan you're suggesting: the same prioritized data allocations and hotspot capability along with talk and text, but for $20 a line. That's HALF the price. This would save folks almost a grand a year.

    Similarly, US Mobile offers 30 GB of prioritized data on Verizon, plus unlimited talk and text for $20 a line. It's got the same speed as the Verizon Play More plan you're touting, and it costs $100 less PER MONTH, so people could save $1,200 a year. That's a huge chunk of change!

    I feel like with some more research you guys could come up with some better suggestions.

    Reply

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