The Best Cell Phone Service Providers For Your Tight Budget

StraightTalk, Metro PCS, and More

Written By: Cassandra Bondie

In 2018, smartphones are more expensive than ever, especially with the release of the iPhone X - a $1000 phone. Fortunately, there are affordable Android options from companies like Huawei and LG. The same is true for Cell Phone Service Providers. While companies like Verizon and AT&T charge an arm and a leg for unlimited service, other start-ups are willing to accept far less for the same quality. In this article, we're going to explore some of these options.

An Important Disclaimer: Before you switch, remember that not all providers offer unlimited service options. In fact, several of the companies we'll discuss below offer minute plans. For some users, this doesn't really matter, as they already limit their smartphone use. For others, it's a deal breaker. Know your needs before making a final decision.


While no-contract, prepaid service StraightTalk has seen poor reviews, it continues to provide quality service for a reasonable price. Owned by Verizon, StraightTalk allows users to bring their own smartphones. Monthly rates are $35-$55, depending on your service level. All plans offer unlimited nationwide service. Data, however, changes. The cheapest plan provides two gigabytes at high speeds, then data slows. The middle plan provides ten gigabytes before data slows. The final, most expensive plan includes unlimited data. Since StraightTalk benefits from Verizon towers and guarantees low prices, it remains one of our recommended Cell Phone Service Providers for those looking to save.

Metro PCS

Metro PCS is a no-contract, prepaid wireless service owned by T-Mobile. Similar to StraightTalk, this provider offers four plans - all of which include unlimited talk and text. The first, at $30, offers two gigabytes of data. The second, at $40, includes five gigabytes of data. The third, at $50, offers unlimited data. The fourth, at $60, guarantees unlimited data and an included hotspot, allowing you to share data with other devices.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile is a prepaid, no-contract wireless communication brand used by eight independent brand-licensees around the world. The one-size-fits-all plan for USA smartphone owners is $50 a month, with unlimited data, talk, and text. You can add a mobile hotspot for $10 a month, phone insurance for $7 a month, and international calling for $5 a month.


Companies like Verizon and AT&T rarely market plans for individuals that prefer to limit their smartphone use. Ting understands that those people still exist. It focuses service on what you need each month. For example, the company offers an individual line for just $6 a month. For $3 a month, you can add 100 minutes, 100 text messages, or 100 megabytes of data. This plan is ideal for those who prefer a simple phone for work and emergencies only.

Ting also offers more complex plans. For $40, you can get one line with 500 minutes, 1000 text messages, and two gigabytes of data. Not sure if Ting will work for you? Spend two or three months measuring your smartphone usage. You might be surprised what you can afford. An added bonus? All minutes and text messages are global.


Republic is another no-contract Cell Phone Service Provider focused on simplicity. If you text and call often, but use data sparingly, Republic Wireless can help you save. For $20 a month, you can one gigabyte of data and unlimited talk/text. The base plan starts at $15, with $5 added for each gigabyte. The company also offers a fourteen-day money-back guarantee, nationwide coverage, and US-based customer support.


Looking for something a little more traditional? Sprint is a contract plan with affordable rates. This provider is family-focused. For the unlimited plan (which offers unlimited data, talk, text, hotspot data, and Hulu access), the first line is $60 a month. The second line is $40 a month. The third, fourth, and fifth lines are free for the first year. After the year ends, each line after the second is $30 a month.

Cellular Returns

At Cellular Returns, we care deeply about your ability to save money when shopping for smartphones and Cell Phone Service Providers. Interested in selling your old phone? Our process is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Simply visit our website to obtain your free quote, print your prepaid shipping label, pack and send your phone, and wait for your money to arrive. We offer payments via PayPal and check. To learn more, call our team at (855)-301-SELL.
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