Although it seems that the big three carriers are all about family plans these days, you don’t need to feel left out if you’re venturing out on your own. There are still great cellular plans out there for only one person at very affordable prices.
A single-line plan is often the best way to go, even when you have family members, friends, or roommates willing to join in on a plan. After all, if you’re the only person on your plan, you don’t need to worry about what other people need or be concerned that changes you make down the road could affect a larger group. Plus, if you’ve just moved to a new city or you’re heading off to college, staying on a group plan can get even more complicated.
The good news is that not only are there plenty of single-line plans available, but you can find options for every budget. Here are the best phone plans for one person you can get in 2023.
The best budget phone plan
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While the big three only provide their deepest discounts on plans of four lines or more, Visible gives you a single-line plan for only $25 per month with all the basic connectivity that you need on a budget, including 5G access, unlimited data, mobile hotspot capabilities, and unlimited talking and texting to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Visible is backed by Verizon’s 5G network, so you get solid and reliable nationwide coverage. The catch is that the most affordable plan limits you to Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network, so you won’t get the fastest 5G speeds available, but at up to 56Mbps, they should meet most people’s mobile needs. You also get unlimited mobile hotspot tethering, although that is limited to one connected device and speeds up to 5Mbps.
It’s also worth noting that Visible’s unlimited data is truly unlimited, with no specific threshold at which it will be throttled. However, Verizon’s network naturally prioritizes its own higher-paying customers, so Visible users may find themselves getting slower speeds during busier times. For those who need a little more, there’s also the Visible+ plan for $45 per month that provides access to Verizon’s faster 5G Ultra Wideband network with 50GB of “premium” non-throttled data each month, as well as unlimited talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico.
Sign up at Visible
The best premium phone plan
T-Mobile Go5G Plus
Just because carriers offer better deals for multiple lines doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a single-line plan if you’re willing to pay full price. That may be worth it if you’re looking for a top-notch plan with lots of perks, which describes T-Mobile’s Go5G Plus plan to a T (no pun intended).
At $90 per month (with the AutoPay discount), this plan doesn’t come cheap, but you get unlimited access to T-Mobile’s incredibly fast and expansive 5G Ultra Capacity network with no arbitrary data thresholds; T-Mobile guarantees full-speed data up to 100GB per month, and while it reserves the right to throttle your speeds if you go beyond that, it only does so when necessary due to network congestion.
However, that’s not all. You’re also getting 50GB per month of full-speed mobile hotspot data usage (throttled to “3G speeds” beyond that), unlimited international texting both at home and abroad, unlimited calling, and 15GB of high-speed data roaming in Canada and Mexico, plus 5GB of data roaming in over 215 other countries.
T-Mobile throws in a few other nice perks on this plan, including a single-screen subscription to Netflix Basic, a full subscription to Apple TV+, and free in-flight Wi-Fi with video streaming on Alaska Airlines and select American, Delta, and United flights.
Sign up at T-Mobile
The best phone plan for perks
Verizon Unlimited Welcome
If you like getting a few extra perks with your cellular plan, but don’t necessarily want to be restricted to the ones your carrier picks out, then you’ll appreciate Verizon’s new MyPlan program, which features a new pricing structure that lets you pay for just the add-ons you want.
Verizon offers three tiers, but we think the Unlimited Welcome is the most competitive since it starts at $65 per month for a single line (with AutoPay and paper-free billing) and provides unlimited data on Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network, including roaming data in Canada and Mexico.
Although you’ll need to step that up to Verizon’s $80 per month Unlimited Plus plan if you want the fastest 5G Ultra Wideband speeds and mobile hotspot access, Verizon’s low-band 5G Nationwide network is fast enough for video streaming, surfing, and social media, and should be enough to satisfy most folks who just need to keep their smartphone online when they’re out in the world.
However, what makes Verizon’s Unlimited Welcome unique is that you can mix and match additional perks with $10-per-month add-ons on top of your base plan. This includes Verizon features like 100GB of mobile hotspot data or a TravelPass, as well as discounted bundles to streaming services like Disney/Hulu/ESPN+, an Apple One Individual Plan, or an Apple Music Family Plan. You’re also not locked in, so you can change these up at any time to pick the add-ons that work best for you from month to month.
Sign up at Verizon
The best value phone plan
AT&T Value Plus
As the name suggests, AT&T’s Value Plus plan offers some good bang for your buck, providing unlimited data on the carrier’s higher-speed 5G+ network and roaming in Canada and Mexico for $40 a month if you sign up for AutoPay.
Unlike AT&T’s other plans, Value Plus is exclusively designed for one person, so there are no discounts for adding friends and family members even if you want to. There’s also no mobile hotspot access, but you get unlimited texting from the U.S. to over 200 countries.
While the 5G+ access is a nice perk at this price, it’s worth keeping in mind that AT&T’s C-band 5G network hasn’t spread nearly as widely as that of its rivals yet — although it does seem to be catching up. For now, this means you’re more likely to find yourself on the carrier’s slower, low-band 5G network. Still, the Value Plus plan is a good choice if you live in an area where AT&T delivers solid 5G coverage, and since it’s a postpaid plan, it’s very easy to switch to another AT&T plan if your needs change.
Sign up at AT&T
The best prepaid phone plan
Mint Mobile Unlimited
Prepaid phone plans still offer some of the best deals available, although ironically, you’ll often get the best prices only when making a longer-term commitment. Mint Mobile is a good example of this, and it’s hard to beat if you’re willing to pay for a year in advance.
Mint Mobile will give you a three-month trial at its best rate, which works out to $30 monthly for its Unlimited plan (paid as $90 upfront). After that, you’ll need to pay for the next t12 months in advance — another $360 — if you want to keep that rate. Shorter three- and six-month commitments are also available for $120 ($40/month) and $210 ($35/month), respectively.
Regardless of the subscription you choose, Mint Mobile will give you access to T-Mobile’s fastest 5G Ultra Capacity network with 40GB per month of full-speed data. That’s what Mint Mobile calls its “unlimited” plan, but if you’re willing to live with less high-speed data, you can save even more by opting for the 5GB, 15GB, or 20GB plans, which start as low as $15 per month. Even on the lower-tier plans, Mint Mobile won’t cut you off when you hit your limit — it just slows you down.
Mint Mobile also includes mobile hotspot access, but this is where you may want to opt for a lower tier if you plan to use it a lot. In an interesting twist, those on the Unlimited Plan are limited to 10GB per month of full-speed mobile hotspot data, while folks on other plans get to use their entire data allotment, which means the 15GB and 20GB plans actually give you more full-speed hotspot data.
Sign up at Mint Mobile
The best phone plan for frequent travelers
Google Fi Wireless Unlimited Plus
Although free roaming in Canada and Mexico is becoming more common, serious globe-trotters will still find it complicated to use their phones outside of North America on most carriers. However, that’s not the case with Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan, which provides unlimited data in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, plus free Wi-Fi calling back to North America.
Your unlimited data on Google Fi is throttled to slower speeds after your first 50GB each month, but those rules are the same in every country where data roaming is supported, so you can use your phone normally at home and abroad without worrying about how much data you’re consuming. This also includes mobile hotspot data.
In addition to great international roaming and a mobile hotspot, Google Fi Wireless Unlimited Plus also lets you share your data with up to four tablets and other devices that use data-only SIMs at no extra charge and includes 100GB of Google Drive storage and VPN service with Google One and one year of YouTube Premium. You’ll pay $65 each month for one line of Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan, and while it’s not the cheapest option out there, it’s a great deal considering everything that comes with it.
Sign up at Google Fi Wireless