Many people don't have the money to spend hundreds of dollars on mobile phone service every month. Thankfully, there are many low-cost—or even free—options that allow you to get service without paying a massive amount. If you aren’t sure which to choose, here are five of the best companies in the business.
- California Lifeline
If you are a resident of California, you can receive a discounted cell phone and service through the California Lifeline program. Most people who are already a part of government assistance such as Medicaid, WIC, and SSI are eligible for this program. You can get a mobile plan for around $12.65 per month. With California Lifeline, you receive free unlimited calls and texts, and there are even some circumstances where you can get up to 250MB of free data.
- Republic Wireless
Republic Wireless is a great service provider that allows you to get a mobile phone with monthly costs of $5 to $40 per month. Best of all, these plans are contract-free, meaning you’re not locked into anything. You pay for what you want. There are three plans available that provide unlimited talk and text with a particular amount of data. For $25 per month, you can get 1GB of data, $40 for 2GB of data, and $55 for 3GB of data.
- Ting Wireless
Ting is proud of the fact that it can offer mobile service for an average cost of just $23 per month. While this price may apply to many customers, the amount you’ll pay is based on the plan you use. There is an easy chart that allows you to pick how many minutes, texts, and gigs of data you’ll need. For example, 2GB of data is $39 per month, 500 minutes is $9 per month, and 1,000 texts are just $5. You do also have to pay for your phone, but the devices are only $6 each.
- Straight Talk
Straight Talk is becoming more ubiquitous as it pops up all over the United States. It can use your old cell phone to connect to its network. The cheapest plan with Straight Talk costs $30 per month, and you'll receive 1,500 minutes nationwide, unlimited texts, and 100MB of data. If you want unlimited talk, text, and data, you can spend $45 per month. If you need to purchase a new mobile device, you have the option to buy a phone with the possibility of getting one for free.
FreedomPop is another service that allows you to use a phone you already own, or you have the option of purchasing one from the website. If you need to buy a phone, FreedomPop allows you to pick from some of the top phones on the market, such as the Samsung S4. One of the best things about this service is that it’s entirely free. You can get 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data for absolutely no cost. This plan is perfect for someone who doesn’t have heavy usage, but still needs to be able to contact people. The service runs on the Sprint network, so you have service anywhere a Sprint customer has service. You can find out if it’s in your area by going to the website.