In an era where communication is synonymous with connectivity, family phone plans have evolved into indispensable tools for keeping our loved ones close, sharing our stories, and organizing our lives. However, finding a plan that doesn’t break the bank while providing top-tier smartphones can often feel like a treasure hunt. Look no further; we’re here to uncover the ultimate solutions. Welcome to our guide on the best family phone plans with free phones, where free smartphones are a central part of the package. Wave goodbye to overpriced bills and say hello to affordable, family-centric communication services that redefine how you stay connected with your nearest and dearest.
Family Phone Plans vs. Individual Phone Plans: Making the Right Call
Family phone plans and individual phone plans are two distinct options for mobile phone service, each catering to different needs and preferences. Let’s explore what family phone plans are and how they stack up against their individual counterparts.
Family Phone Plans: A Unified Solution
Family phone plans are designed to provide mobile phone service for multiple people within a single household. Instead of each family member having an individual plan, family plans consolidate services and billings, offering several key advantages:
- Cost savings: One of the most significant benefits of a family plan is cost efficiency. Typically, family plans offer substantial savings compared to individual plans. This is because the cost of shared data, talk, and text allowances is distributed among family members, reducing the overall expense per line.
- Shared data: Family plans often come with a shared data pool that family members can tap into. This allows for better data management and allocation, ensuring that everyone has access to data without the risk of overages.
- Unlimited talk and text: Many family plans offer unlimited talk and text, ensuring that family members can communicate freely without worrying about running out of minutes or text messages.
- Device discounts: Family plans may provide discounts on new smartphones when adding lines or upgrading devices. This can be a significant advantage for families looking to equip everyone with the latest gadgets.
- Convenient billing: With a family plan, you receive a single monthly bill, making it easier to manage expenses and track usage for all family members. This eliminates the need to juggle multiple individual bills.
- Add-on features: Family plans often offer add-on features, such as parental controls, shared app subscriptions, and the ability to locate family members’ devices. These features enhance the overall family experience.
Individual Phone Plans: Tailored Independence
On the other hand, individual phone plans are designed for solo users who prefer complete control and independence over their mobile service. Here’s how they compare to family plans:
- Personalization: Individual plans allow users to customize their service based on their specific needs. You choose the data, talk, and text allowances that suit your usage patterns.
- No shared costs: With an individual plan, you’re responsible for the entire cost, which can be higher per line compared to a family plan.
- Singular responsibility: Managing your plan and bills is straightforward, as you don’t have to coordinate with other users or share expenses.
- Privacy: Individual plans offer enhanced privacy, as you’re not sharing data or usage details with family members.
Choosing the Right Plan
The choice between a family phone plan and an individual phone plan depends on your unique circumstances. Families seeking cost-effective solutions and shared resources often benefit from family plans, while individuals who prioritize personalization and independence may opt for individual plans. Ultimately, the right choice hinges on your communication needs, budget, and preferences.
About Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones
Many (if not most) families search for the perfect family phone plans and are willing to spend many hours researching the topic online in order to find a cost-effective option. As most carriers and wireless phone companies are aware of the popularity of family phone plans, many of them offer quite affordable and attractive family deals. However, some companies tend to spice up such deals by adding a free phone, and such are considered the best family phone plans. After all, they come with the most benefits.
The best family phone plans with free phones tend to offer unlimited talk minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited data, data roaming, access to a nationwide network, a free phone, and the option to customize plans between family members. Such plans may also include some other benefits, depending on which company and deal you choose.
Currently the Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones 2023
As most carriers and MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) offer a variety of family phone plans, it can be difficult to figure out which one among the many may be the very best family phone plan for you. Since not many offer free phones, this radically reduces the amount of options. Still, we continued to dig deeper, and here is the list of the top five best family phone plans with free phones currently available:
Cricket Wireless Unlimited 2 Plan
Overview: Cricket Wireless offers a nationwide 5G network, unlimited talk, text, and data, and other perks for only $100 a month for four lines. This price is lower than most other carriers’ plans. Some plans also offer unlimited texting to 37 countries from the U.S. Moreover, Cricket also offers enticing device deals, including free iPhones, as well as ACP discounts on plans.
Reasons to Buy:
- Fast 5G coverage across the country.
- Unlimited high-speed data.
- Calls to Mexico and Canada with no extra charges.
- Unlimited texts to 37 different countries.
- Possible eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
- Frequent deals on free phones (currently available TCL 30 Z, Samsung Galaxy A03s, Motorola moto g play (2023), Cricket Icon 4, Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, Motorola moto g 5G (2023), and Cricket Innovate E 5G).
Reasons to Avoid:
- Data speeds may be reduced during network congestion.
Metro by T-Mobile
Overview: Metro by T-Mobile provides prepaid plans, beginning at $80 for two lines, harnessing T-Mobile’s 5G network. The true benefit emerges with the option of four lines for $140, which encompasses boundless data, 100 GB of Google One cloud storage, 8 GB of hotspot data, a one-year Vix Premium subscription, and video streaming at a maximum resolution of 480p. The pricing covers all associated taxes and fees. Metro by T-Mobile further astonishes with its Metro PCS Free Tablet promotion and frequent deals on smartphones.
Reasons to Buy:
- Enjoy unlimited high-speed data.
- Benefit from access to T-Mobile’s reliable 5G network.
- Monthly fee includes taxes and fees.
- Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
- Receive weekly freebies and perks (currently, you can get a Samsung Galaxy A14 5G completely free of charge with the $25/line with 4 lines plan; other free phones include Google Pixel 6a, Revvl 6 5G, and Motorola moto g stylus 5G).
Reasons to Avoid:
- Coverage may not be available in all areas.
Verizon Wireless Unlimited Plans
Overview: Verizon is well-known for its marketing prowess and presents two rate plans with diverse advantages. The Unlimited Welcome plan offers four lines at $25 each (+$10 for Walmart and membership), whereas the elevated Unlimited Plus plan is priced at $30 per line (+$10 for the Disney bundle). Both plans grant access to limitless premium data and a hotspot. Verizon’s robust LTE network and added perks render it an enticing choice. Additionally, the company enhances the offer by providing a complimentary phone to those switching or establishing new lines.
Reasons to Buy:
- Unlimited access to Verizon’s 5G network.
- Unlimited high-speed data + access to mobile hotspot data.
- Stream videos without data caps.
- Discounts with paperless billing and auto pay.
- Frequent deals on free phones (currently, you can choose from the following free phones – Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Samsung Galaxy S22, Google Pixel 7, iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy A23 5G UW, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Plus, Motorola one 5G UW ace, iPhone 13, iPhone SE, etc.)
Reasons to Avoid:
- Requires a 3-year contract commitment.
Overview: Boost Mobile’s offers include unlimited talk and text, 35 GB of 5G/4G data, HD streaming, and a convenient 30 GB mobile hotspot for $60 per month per line. This plan costs $100 a month for 2 people, as such, couples could benefit greatly. Boost Mobile boasts nationwide 5G coverage, no annual contracts, and no additional taxes and fees. Plus, the company participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers large discounts on monthly plans. Moreover, the company frequently offers deals on free phones. Currently, you can get a free Samsung Galaxy A23 5G when you switch with ID verification.
Reasons to Buy:
- Unlimited talk and text.
- 35GB of 5G/4G data + 30GB mobile hotspot.
- ACP discounts and free phone deals (currently, a free Samsung Galaxy A23 5G is available).
- No service contracts required.
- Reliable nationwide coverage that reaches 99% of the population.
Reasons to Avoid:
- Certain plans are limited to new customers.
Overview: T-Mobile’s Magenta plans are ideal for families seeking unlimited data, international travel options, and in-flight texting. You can also get unlimited SD streaming and mobile hotspot data. The prices start at $140 for three lines. The T-Mobile Tuesday app offers exclusive perks and the company offers frequent discounts on tablets, wearables, and phones.
Reasons to Buy:
- Unlimited 5G and 4G LTE data.
- 100GB of premium data + 5GB of high-speed mobile hotspot.
- No additional taxes and fees.
- Access to Netflix on one screen.
- Frequent deals on phones and other devices (currently, you can get a Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, Motorola Razr+, Revvl 6x Pro 5G, Motorola Edge, or OnePlus Nord N300 for free).
Reasons to Avoid:
- Prices may be quite high.
Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones Comparison
So, let’s compare our top five best family phone plans with free phones based on the following main features:
- Contract: Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Metro have no annual service contract, while Cricket will require you to pay a 3-year contract.
- Data: All providers offer unlimited data, while Boost Mobile’s data plans vary.
- Plan price:
- Cricket Wireless
- 5GB plan: $30 a month per line, $60 for 2 lines, $90 for 3 lines, $120 for 4 lines, and $150 for 5 lines.
- 10GB plan: $40 a month per line, $70 for 2 lines, $90 for 3 lines, $110 for 4 lines, and $130 for 5 lines.
- Unlimited plan: $55 a month per line, $80 for 2 lines, $90 for 3 lines, $100 for 4 lines, and $125 for 5 lines.
- Unlimited + 15GB mobile hotspot plan (with Cloud storage and Max with ads): $60 a month per line, $90 for 2 lines, $110 for 3 lines, $130 for 4 lines, and 160 for 5 lines.
- Metro by T-Mobile
- Unlimited $40/line (with unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, T-Mobile Tuesdays, Scam Shield, and 1-year Vix Premium subscription): $80 for 2 lines, $90 for 3 lines, $100 for 4 lines, and $125 for 5 lines
- Unlimited $50/line (with unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, T-Mobile Tuesdays, Scam Shield, 1-year Vix Premium subscription, 8GB of hotspot data, and 100GB Google One membership): $80 for 2 lines, $110 for 3 lines, $140 for 4 lines, and $170 for 5 lines
- Unlimited $60/line (with unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, T-Mobile Tuesdays, Scam Shield, 1-year Vix Premium subscription, 25GB of hotspot data, 100GB Google One membership, and unlimited texting to 210+ countries and destinations): $90 for 2 lines, $120 for 3 lines, $150 for 4 lines, and $180 for 5 lines
- Unlimited Welcome (with Walmart + membership): $35 per line per month for 4 lines with Auto Pay.
- Unlimited Plus (with Disney bundle): $40 per line per month for 4 lines with Auto Pay.
- Unlimited Ultimate (with Apple One): $50 per line per month for 4 lines with Auto Pay.
- Boost Mobile
- See Boost Mobile’s plans and prices at boostmobile.com/shop/buy.
- Essentials (with 50GB of premium data, unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data, unlimited 5G and 4G, and no annual service contract): $90 a month for 3 lines and get a 3rd line for free.
- Go5G Plus (with unlimited premium data, 50GB high-speed mobile hotspot data, and free Netflix): $150 a month for 3 lines and get a 3rd line for free.
- Go5G Next (with unlimited premium data, 50GB high-speed mobile hotspot data, and free Netflix): $180 a month for 3 lines and get a discounted 3rd line.
- See other T-Mobile plans at t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans.
- Cricket Wireless
- Phones: See the list of currently available free phones above or a potentially already updated version at the following links:
- Cricket Wireless: cricketwireless.com/current-phone-and-plan-deals
- Metro by T-Mobile: metrobyt-mobile.com/deals?INTNAV=tNav%3ADeals%3ASeealldeals
- Verizon: verizon.com/shop/online/free-cell-phones
- Boost Mobile: boostmobile.com/phones and boostmobile.com/stores/offers
- T-Mobile: t-mobile.com/switch/free-cell-phone-with-plan
Other Providers That Offer Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones
In addition to the companies listed above, the following may also sometimes offer valuable family plans and free phones:
- Mint Mobile
- Xfinity Mobile
- US Mobile
- Simple Mobile
How to Select the Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones?
Selecting the best family phone plan with free phones involves considering factors like the number of lines needed, budget, data requirements, and network coverage. Here’s a concise guide:
- Determine your needs: Assess how many lines you need and the data requirements for each family member.
- Set a budget: Establish a budget that suits your financial constraints. Family plans often offer cost savings compared to individual plans.
- Compare plans: Research different carriers and their family plan offerings. Look for promotions that include free phones.
- Consider coverage: Ensure the carrier provides reliable coverage in your area and the areas you frequent.
- Check data limits: Pay attention to data limits and any restrictions on data speeds.
- Examine extras: Look for additional perks like international calling, mobile hotspot data, or streaming services.
- Read reviews: Seek feedback from other users to understand the carrier’s performance and customer service.
- Check phone compatibility: If you have existing phones, confirm they are compatible with the chosen carrier.
- Visit carrier stores: If possible, visit carrier stores to discuss options with their representatives.
- Review terms: Carefully read the terms and conditions of the plan, including contract length and any early termination fees.
By following these steps, you can make an informed decision and select the best family phone plan that suits your needs and budget, complete with free phones.
Best Family Phone Plans With Free Phones Through Government Assistance
Certain wireless phone companies also participate in a government assistance program (either Lifeline or ACP/Affordable Connectivity Program). Such companies offer additional discounts on both plans and free phones. Moreover, many Lifeline/ACP companies offer smartphones and plans completely free of charge. Unfortunately, though, both Lifeline and ACP are only available for one person per eligible household. As such, you can only get one free phone and one free or discounted line per household. Other lines must be purchased elsewhere at full price. Still, as receiving a phone and plan completely free of charge is a great offer that shouldn’t be overlooked, here is how you can receive the Lifeline or ACP benefit:
- You must see whether or not you qualify.
- To qualify for Lifeline, your annual household income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or you must participate in another qualifying government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension, or a Tribal program.
- To qualify for ACP, your annual household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or you must participate in another qualifying government assistance program, such as Lifeline, any of the Lifeline programs listed above, WIC, Free School Lunch/Breakfast Program, or Federal Pell Grant.
- Additionally, both programs require you to be at least 18 years old or emancipated and you can only apply through a provider that operates in your area.
- You must provide documents as proof. To successfully apply for either Lifeline or ACP, you must prove the following with copies of these documents:
- Your identity and age: with your ID, passport, birth certificate, etc.
- Your address: with your ID, driver’s license, utility bill, etc.
- Your income: with paycheck stubs, tax return, etc.
- Your program participation: with an approval letter, statement of benefits, etc.
- You must apply for Lifeline and/or ACP.
- To apply for Lifeline through the National Verifier, follow the instructions at lifelinesupport.org/get-started.
- To apply for ACP through the National Verifier, follow the instructions at affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply.
- You may also be able to apply directly through the provider. In this case, find a suitable provider among the companies listed above or at cnm.universalservice.org. Then, visit its website, locate its application form, and complete it by providing all the required information and documentation. Submit the application and if approved, you will be notified and you will soon receive a free phone and plan.