Family cell phone plans (also called shared plans) offer a better value for a single household or family than multiple individual plans by conveniently combining the features you want into one plan, with one rate, and one monthly fee. Get more minutes to share on a family plan, plus customizable other options such as texting and data, all with the same great deal on cell phones. With everyone on one single plan, the whole family is covered. Use the Wirefly cell phone family plan comparison tool below to find the right family plan for your needs.
When you prepare to buy cell phone service, you will find that providers offer family cell phone plans for significantly less than if you were to buy multiple plans separately. Considering the higher profit involved for service providers, it is no wonder that they encourage subscribers to choose family plans. Ultimately, their attention to the needs of subscribers equals potentially major savings for you, the customer. Here is a look at the advantages of family plans, how these plans work and how you can choose the best option for members of your household.
Phone Usage Habits
A family plan can be surprisingly accommodating for families with unique requirements. For example, consider the fact that family plans often let subscribers in a family plan share phone or data minutes with each other. In situations where some members of a family use more minutes than others, this can be convenient as well as cost effective.
Imagine that a family includes three members who have different phone usage habits. These members are a teenaged daughter who uses her phone all of the time, a younger son who only occasionally talks on the phone and an adult daughter who uses fewer minutes than the teenaged daughter but more than the younger son. In case the family decides to shop for cell phone service with AT&T, they will have the chance to choose three separate plans for each of the siblings or a family plan that includes three phones.
The price differences between individual and family plans in terms of phone minutes and data can be surprising for consumers. For example, to get the most affordable individual cell phone service plan at AT&T, which includes unlimited talk and text and 2 GB of data, consumers will pay $65 per month. At the same time, a family plan that includes service for three phones, unlimited talk and text and 10 GB of shared data would be $145 per month. In contrast to the cost of three individual plans at the former price, the $145 family plan saves consumers $50 and even gives subscribers 4 GB more data usage each month. Clearly, the family plan represents a significantly better value in this case. Furthermore, going this route would reduce the likelihood that one subscriber might run out of minutes while another never uses all of the minutes allotted to them.
Of course, this is not the only way to pay less if you are seeking cell phone service for more than one family member. In many cases, service providers will also lower the costs of brand new phones for subscribers who are interested in buying phones at the same time as they order service.
Consider the price of the popular T-Mobile Samsung t159, which can cost as much as $480 if you choose to buy it on Amazon. If you were to order the Unlimited Value plan for this phone, you would pay just $119.99 for the device itself. As more phones are released all of the time, similar deals are always appearing for a wide variety of models.
Data Needs and Family Plans
Shared data is another one of the standard features offered alongside shared minutes in family plans from cell phone providers. In terms of cell phone service options, data includes Internet access as well as emailing, texting and picture messages. Each of these services can be valuable for certain purposes, but not all users are likely to take advantage of these features to the same extent.
To address differences in phone service requirements, a variety of plans are available to suit consumers. As you shop around, you will probably notice that you can choose from limited data and unlimited minutes, unlimited data and minutes and limited minutes and data. Although you can also find options for data only, these types of plans are normally associated with tablets or similar devices and not with phones.
It is important to note, as you prepare to purchase a family plan, that the problem of uneven phone usage among family members actually extends to data as well as talking. When you choose data sharing, you can simply avoid this issue altogether. This means that if your teenaged daughter texts on a very frequent basis, your adult daughter texts here and there and your young son virtually never texts, a shared data plan will make all of them happy.
How should you choose the best family cell phone plan for your needs?
You can find an ideal wireless plan for the requirements of your family by exploring all of the options offered by different providers. Here is a look at some of the most popular plans available for families.
Sprint: For two users, family plans offered by this company start at about $69.99. If you want to add more users, you can expect to pay about $9.99 for each.
T-Mobile: Wireless family plans from this provider start at $59.98 per month. After the first two users, prices for additional users are not listed.
AT&T: Plans for two users start at $59.99 per month, and $9.99 is added for each additional user.
If you plan to put several people on a single plan, you are in luck. Wireless family plans are often most budget friendly in this situation. In contrast, a wireless family plan may not be the best option for you if you only need to set up service for two members of your household. Before you select a phone plan, look at all of the wireless individual plans and family plans available and determine how they compare for the number of family members that need service in your case.
In certain situations, a family plan can actually make sense for setting up service for only two people. After looking at all of your options, you might just find that a family plan is more affordable than going with individual plans. Be sure to look at all of the costs and usage involved before you make your final decision. Call time and data usage are other factors to consider as you weigh your choices. However, we also provide a calculator that you can use to compare your options more easily.
Data needs can vary tremendously between different members of a household, and cell phone providers understand this. If you think that this might be the case with your family, you could be better off ordering individual plans for separate users to ease your budget and improve the experience of everyone involved.
Some plans contain limits that are also important factors to consider before subscribing. If a service provider that interests you has placed a limit on the number of phone lines you can use under a family plan, you should take care to confirm that this limit accommodates the needs of all the members in your household. Failing to verify this detail before placing an order could result in your inability to provide service for everyone who needs it despite the overall suitability of the plan.
If you are looking for a family cell phone plan with a certain number of lines, check out the following pages:
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