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Best T-Mobile cell phone plans in 2022

Best T-Mobile cell phone plans
(Image credit: Julian Sullivan/Getty Images)
How to get T-Mobile on a budget

T-Mobile is one of the more affordable options among the major carriers, but a number of MVNOs offer better prices on their monthly plans — and one of those is Mint Mobile (opens in new tab).

Mint specializes in low cost plans while also relying on T-Mobile's network to provide its wireless service. That means you can get T-Mobile's speeds, coverage and 5G performance at a much cheaper price by opting for Mint Mobile.

Find out more about Mint Mobile at the bottom of this page.

The best T-Mobile cell phone plans are mainstays among the best cell phone plans overall, and it's not hard to figure out why. You'll pay less for coverage than you would at T-Mobile's main rivals, and you'll get plenty of perks as part of your plan.

Even if you're on the hunt for one of the best cheap cell phone plans, T-Mobile remains an option, thanks to its low-cost Connect plans. In other words, no matter your budget for wireless service, there's likely a T-Mobile plan to fit your needs.

So there's no doubt that T-Mobile ranks among the best phone carriers. But which of its plans is right for you?

Certainly, if you have multiple lines, you should turn to the Uncarrier as the best T-Mobile plans are among the best family cell phone plans out there, thanks to escalating discounts as you add more lines. But you don't have to join as a group to get strong value from T-Mobile: both the carrier's unlimited cell phone plans and its prepaid plans also offer some of the best value around.

While T-Mobile is one of the more affordable major carriers in the US, you can get its coverage, speeds, and 5G connections even cheaper through one of the mobile virtual networks that use its towers —Mint Mobile (opens in new tab). Just keep in mind that Mint won't have all of the benefits of T-Mobile, plus Mint plans can be slowed when T-Mobile's network is busy due to deprioritization.

If T-Mobile cell phone plans sound like something that would work for you, we've broken down the best T-Mobile cell phone plans below.

Unlimited and family T-Mobile plans

T-Mobile offers three different unlimited data plans — Essentials, Magenta and Magenta Max. You can get a plan for just one person or you can add additional lines for the best prices.

If you add extra lines, T-Mobile's different unlimited options stand out as some of the best family plans out there. The Essentials option is aimed at those on a tighter budget, while then the two Magenta plans offer some more luxuries for a higher monthly price.

Finally, T-Mobile also has an unlimited plan for any senior customers that ranks as one of the best cell phone plans for seniors.

T-Mobile Essentials| unlimited data | $60/month or $120 for four lines — Cheapest unlimited plan from T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
The cheapest of T-Mobile's unlimited data plans, Essentials will only cost you $60 a month (or $120 a month for a four-line plan). For that price, you get unlimited calls, texts and 5G LTE data. However you will only get 50GB of premium data (where you are a prioritized customer getting the fastest speeds). You will also be limited to SD video streaming and while you get an unlimited hotspot, it will be limited to 3G speeds.

Pros: Affordable price; No caps on data; Great family discount
Cons: Only 3G hotspot; Limited to SD video streaming

T-Mobile Magenta | unlimited data | $70/month or $160 for four lines — Best value unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
The middle of T-Mobile's unlimited data plans and the overall best value, Magenta will cost you $70 a month for a single line or $160 for four lines. (T-Mobile is known to offer discounts on the third line of service, reducing your monthly cost.) As with the Essentials plan, you get unlimited calls, texts and data and you're still limited to SD video streaming. However, you now get 100GB of priority data, 5GB of high-speed data on your hotspot and Netflix Basic thrown in for free when you have two or more lines. The Magenta plan also qualifies for a year of Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus. When you travel overseas, you can use your data, capped at 256 kbps speeds, except in 11 European countries where you can enjoy 5GB of high speed data.

Pros: Attractive perks; Affordable price; Benefits for additional lines
Cons: No HD video; Limits on premium data

T-Mobile Magenta Max | unlimited data | $85/month or $200 for four lines — T-Mobile's feature-filled unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
T-Mobile's truly unlimited plan costs $85 a month or $200 for four lines. At that price, Magenta Max is quite an investment but you get unlimited calls, texts and data and no limits on premium data. You also both Netflix Basic for one line of data or a Netflix Standard account for two or more lines; you also get a free year of both Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus. Hotspot data increases to 40GB of high-speed data, and you can stream in up to 4K UHD. Travel benefits include 5GB of high-speed data in 210 countries. If you're not worried about costs, this is T-Mobile's best option.

Pros: Netflix Standard; Unlimited priority data; 4K UHD streaming
Cons: Expensive

T-Mobile | 55+ senior unlimited plan | 2-line plan | $55/month — Best value unlimited senior plan (opens in new tab)
If you're 55 or over, you can get one of the above options for a lower price and with a few changes to the features on board. The best-price comes on the Essentials plan. You can get two unlimited lines for just $55 a month ($27.50 per line). This comes with unlimited data, calls, and texts with no speed restrictions, a 3G mobile hotspot, and scam protection. However, you are limited to SD streaming, and if you're in Mexico or Canada, you can only use 2G data. Seniors can upgrade to Magenta or Magenta Max 55+ too for an added cost.

Pros:
Affordable price; No annual contract; 5G at no extra cost
Cons: Limited to 2G in Mexico/Canada; Only SD streaming

T-Mobile prepaid plans

If you don't need unlimited data, T-Mobile also has some great prepaid options. These come at much lower costs, which also means you will also receive a lot less data and fewer perks.

T-Mobile Connect | 3GB data | $15/month — Low cost cell phone plan from a big name carrier (opens in new tab)
This is a great option from T-Mobile if you're on a tighter budget. You'll get 3GB and only have to pay $15 a month to get it. While that is quite a limited amount of data, you will get an additional 500MB added to your plan annually — that 3GB total had previously been 2.5GB at the start of 2022. Be aware that with this prepaid plan, once you're out of data, you've hit your cap and can't keep using data, even at slower speeds. You can upgrade to T-Mobile's connect plan with 6GB of data instead for $25/month, while there's a new 1GB plan available for just $10/month.

Pros: Low costs, 500MB data boosts annually
Cons: Out of data once you hit your cap

T-Mobile prepaid plan | 10GB data | $40/month or $130 for four lines — A strong amount of data for the cost (opens in new tab)
This prepaid plan boosts your data up to 10GB instead of the 2.5GB found above. And while the cost is quite a jump to $40 a month, there are a few key differences in plans. You get scam-blocking protection and caller ID, plus you get Music Unlimited allowing you to stream certain music streaming services without eating into your data cap. Finally, you get a mobile hotspot, though it draws from your 10GB data allotment. Like the unlimited plans further up, you can also add lines for a family plan.

Pros: Music unlimited; Affordable price
Cons:
Limited data; Mobile hotspot and regular data shared

T-Mobile Unlimited prepaid plan | Unlimited data | $50/month or $140 for four lines — Unlimited data at a reduced cost (opens in new tab)
While similar to the unlimited plans above, this prepaid option holds a few key differences. While you still get unlimited data, calls and texts, you'll save $10 a month with this plan compared to T-Mobile's Essentials plan. You don't get international texting or unlimited data in Mexico or Canada though — a feature found on all three unlimited plans further up this guide. You can also upgrade to the Plus version of T-Mobile's unlimited prepaid plan. This is almost identical except a boost of 10GB 4G data on your mobile hotspot.

Pros: Affordable unlimited; Security features; Unlimited hotspot
Cons:
Expensive; Limited to 3G mobile hotspot

Is T-Mobile a good carrier?

T-Mobile cell phone plans

(Image credit: Oscar Wong)

T-Mobile is not just a good carrier but in fact, it takes the top spot on our best phone phone carriers guide. This position comes down to a couple of benefits and factors T-Mobile does very well.

When it comes to terms of plans and offers, T-Mobile is one of the most diverse options. It offers a wide array of prices that span family plans, unlimited data choices, prepaid plans and more.

Past that, our LTE network testing showed that T-Mobile is one of the faster carriers available, and subsequent testing by third parties backs that claim. In Ookla's most recent testing (opens in new tab), T-Mobile was rated the fastest mobile operator in the U.S.

T=Mobile also ranks well in 5G performance testing by third parties, with RootMetrics (opens in new tab) currently rating T-Mobile tops for 5G speeds and availability. (Verizon's 5G is judged to be more reliable.) T-Mobile's 5G service reaches more than 315 million people and through its incorporation of Sprint, 5G speeds have increased further by adding Sprints 5G into the spectrum. Some 225 million people now have access to T-Mobile's higher-speed 5G

T-Mobile also has weekly giveaways and a host of incentives for its customers, such as 25-cent discounts on every gallon of gas you buy at Shell between June 21 and the week of Labor Day this summer. Overall, T-Mobile takes our number 1 spot among phone carriers thanks to its blend of affordability, features, the number of options and its great coverage.

Getting T-Mobile on a budget: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile coverage map

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

T-Mobile itself is an affordable carrier but you can get its services cheaper. As we said above, Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) is a popular network that uses the connections, coverage and speeds of T-Mobile to provide wireless service at a discount.

This means that you will experience the exact same coverage and speeds as T-Mobile customers both for 4G and 5G. However, Mint customers could get throttled in peak times.

The benefit of choosing Mint over T-Mobile is its affordability. Mint for example can offer unlimited data for $30 a month, 15GB for $25 a month or even 4GB for $15 a month. However, Mint does its contracts slightly weirdly. You actually pay for your service upfront. When you get Mint, you get a 3-month intro price which, for example, would be how you get the unlimited data for $30 a month.

While the 4GB plan says $15 a month, you are actually paying $45 for that period. When that time period's up, you then sign up for three, six or 12 months and pay the cost upfront. The longer you sign on for, the better the price.

If you can afford to pay for your cell phone plan upfront, Mint offers some of the cheapest prices out there, and it recently expanded service to include family plans. You can read more about the service in our guide to Mint Mobile.

Alex is an editor at Future with a focus on phones and broadband. With an eye on the best prices across both of these areas, Alex is bringing you the must-have bargains right now.