Best Phone Plans For College Students

There’s no reason for college students to pay premium prices for cell phone services. Here are our top picks for the best cell phone plans for college students to save money.

best cell phone plans for college students

As a student, it can be tough to find an affordable cell phone plan. Fortunately, many different carriers have begun to realize that students don’t have a lot of money to throw around. That’s why certain carriers such as Tello and Twigby have begun to offer great cell phone plans for students.

College is one of the most exhilarating times in our life and College students have a lot of things to pay for from books to party supplies. But with all that new independence comes a lot of new responsibility, namely financially.

One thing you might not have considered yet is how much it costs to go to school: Tuition, textbooks, room, and board, all adds up quickly. And then there’s cell phone service for your ever-growing number of friends and family members on the other side of town!

Whether you need a lot of data or can get by on Wi-Fi, there is a plan that fits your needs. If you haven’t been keeping an eye on phone carriers, you may have some room to save some money or get a better service for less with these carriers.

Today, College students in the USA have a lot of choices to select from, and for less than they would have if they were here 5 years ago. With many options, choosing the best plan can get complicated. That’s why we created this list of the top 9 cell phone plans for college students, all these companies have positive reviews and are ranked according to affordability and customer service.

Our Top Picks For Best Cell Phone Plans for College Students in 2021

Tello Mobile

Tello Mobile

Tello is a prepaid cell phone service provider with flexible plans and low rates – perfect for college students! There are no contracts, no activation fees, no early termination fees, and customers get nationwide 4G LTE coverage provided by Sprint’s network.

All plans offer unlimited text and minutes, and range from $10, $14, $19, and $39 for added data of 1GB, 2GB, 8GB, and 12GB. You can use your smartphone as a hot spot with free tethering and share your data plan balance with your other devices or even with your friends. Calls to Canada, Mexico, and China are counted the same as domestic minutes.

Tello also has a wide selection of smartphones to choose from, although you’re free to bring your own device to maintain some familiarity.

Tello Mobile has an application for iOS and Android, called My Tello, and you can use it to easily see your remaining balance, check rates for any country, or discover answers to your questions. You can also use the application to link the Tello network over Wi-Fi and do a lot of other things. All of this and more makes Tello the best cell phone service for college students

  • $8/month – Unlimited Talk & text
  • $10/month – 1GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text
  • $14/month – 2GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text
  • $19/month – 4GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text
  • $24/month – 6GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text
  • $29/month – 8GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text
  • $39/month – Unlimited 4G LTE data, Unlimited Talk & text

Visit Tello Mobile



Twigby is another company that understands student life. Twigby is one of the cheapest cell phone plans for college students. Twigby is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that primarily relies on Sprint’s towers to provide cheap cell phone plans. The carrier lets you customize your plan by selecting minutes and data. The more you use, the more you pay.

They offer custom plans as low as $9 per month along with plenty of other perks. All voice packages come with unlimited domestic and global texting.

Whether you’re a light or average data user, Twigby provides an array of data plans ranging from 150MB to 4GB; monthly minutes range from 200 to unlimited. Additionally, Twigby customers receive free, unlimited data at 2G speeds once their selected data cap is reached.

Further, the carrier even offers a 25% discount on your bills for the first six months of usage. This is an excellent promotion keeping costs in mind, and will no doubt make Twigby an exciting option for all. With a robust network and affordable costs, it’s hard not to consider Twigby.

Better yet, you’ll be able to take advantage of free overage protection, so you won’t be charged a single penny when you reach your allotted data for the month.

Limited Time Offer:

  • $6.50/month – Unlimited talk & text
  • $9.50/month – 1GB of 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $10/month – 3GB of 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $12.50/month – 5GB of 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $17.50/month – 10GB of 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text

Visit Twigby



Visible is one of the newest mobile networks on the block, and if you’re a heavy user of data, and is a low-cost option for college students searching for unlimited high-speed data.

For just $40/month you get unlimited talk, text, data, and mobile hotspot. All this on the best mobile network in the country. Visible’s one and the only prepaid plan have quickly climbed up to our rankings due to its affordability and dependability. This prepaid phone plan from Visible is simple to purchase and simply hard to beat.

Visible’s plan is even better once you add additional lines. The more lines you add, the bigger the discounts, to the point where four lines of unlimited data at Visible cost $100. Visible also bills each person on a multi-line plan, so it’s easier for friends to share their cell phone plans.

College students can either bring a compatible device to the carrier or purchase an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel device, among others.

  • $40/month – Unlimited 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text

Visit Visible

Ting Mobile

Ting Mobile

Ting has a lot to offer to college students looking for a discount phone plan. Ting doesn’t have phone plans in a traditional sense. You only pay for what you use. If you don’t use any minutes, texts, or data, you don’t have to pay any more than that. The pricing at Ting is more fluid than other cell phone providers, but you can customize a plan to your needs. The average monthly bill with Ting is $23 per month.

If you use between 1 to 100 minutes in a month, you pay $3. Between 101 and 500 minutes, $9. All the way up to 2101+ minutes, where you pay $35 + $0.019 per minute beyond 2100. The same system goes for text messages and data, albeit with their own scaling values.

Ting also has access to 2 networks, T-Mobile and Sprint, though unlike Google Fi you can’t dynamically change between them, your cell phone might work with both services, however, you’ll require to select whether you want CDMA or GSM service, and can change SIM cards based upon your area and coverage.

  • $10/month – Unlimited talk & text (+$5 per GB LTE/5G)
  • $25/month – 5GB LTE/5G data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $45/month – 22GB LTE/5G data, Unlimited talk & text

Visit Ting Mobile

Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile was a close competitor to being in the top cell phone plans for college students because they do offer pretty good pricing. Ultra Mobile is the best value and most affordable no-contract provider for users who frequently make international calls. They are among the few carriers to bundle international calling and texting along with the usual menu of services.

along with unlimited international texting. Ultra Mobile Plans start as low as $14, with 1GB of high-speed data. Unlimited is available at $49 per month with 2GB and 5GB plans in the middle. You can save money by buying plans in 3, 6, or 12 month stretches similar to Mint Mobile which is part of the same company.

All plans include unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited international voice to 11 countries, including Canada, Mexico, China, and the UK. you also get unlimited calls to more than 80 international destinations.

  • $19/month – 1GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $23/month – 2GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $29/month – 5GB 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text
  • $49/month – Unlimited 4G LTE data, Unlimited talk & text

Visit Ultra Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro also used to be one of our top choices for cell phone plans for college students because they offer great plans that have unlimited data. Metro by T-Mobile (formerly known as MetroPCS), got an overhaul in 2018 with a new name, logo, and plans. Metro by T-Mobile offers a low barrier to entry and is a great option for someone that doesn’t need to jump all the way up to unlimited data

Metro’s plans are more traditional in design. You can save money by adding more lines to your account where each additional line costs less than the previous up to five lines.

Now all the plans by Metro have technically unlimited data. But there is speed throttling once the cap of 2GB or 5GB is lifted from the two lowest tier plans. You pay $60 per month for the most expensive plan on the list. It gives you unlimited data and a Mobile hotspot is also available as part of your 10 GB monthly data allotment, making this an overall great option for college students.

Metro keeps data usage low with a feature called “Data Maximizer” to provide streaming video at a resolution it declares is ideal for mobile phone screens, around 1.5 Mbps. Streaming speed limits can frequently be bypassed by utilizing a VPN to make the connection, although a VPN use will also bypass the Music Unlimited feature, where streaming music from choosing services will not count against your data tally. College students can bring their own Android and iOS-based devices.

  • $40/month – 10GB 5G data, Unlimited Talk & Text
  • $50/month – Unlimited 5G data, Unlimited Talk & Text
  • $60/month Unlimited 5G data, Unlimited Talk & Text with 15GB Hotspot.

Visit Metro by T-Mobile

Google Fi

Google Fi

A wireless service, once known as Project Fi, is now known as the famous Google Fi. Spreading and reaching different phones now, Google Fi is now attracting more customers.

You can get calls and texts starting at $20 per month and data for $10 per GB of use (and you can add extra people for $16-$18 each). But what exactly makes the plan unlimited? You’re only charged $10 for each GB you use up to 6 GBs (on the two-person plan, for more people, the data limit increases), then beyond that, it’s unlimited.

Google Fi service is compatible with most mobile phone brands and platforms. It is worth noting though that iPhones and some Android handsets will not support one of Google Fi’s key features — switching between carriers when signal strength is spotty. Overall, Google Fi is one of the most innovative and easy-to-use MVNOs out there.

  • $20/month – Unlimited talk & text. Each additional line is an extra $15 a month and $10 per 1GB of data, but data over 6GB is free.
  • $70/month – Unlimited data, Unlimited talk & text

Visit Google Fi

GoSmart Mobile

Gosmart Mobile

GoSmart offers some terrific discount phone plans for college students. GoSmart is a subsidiary of T-Mobile and uses its nationwide network. You have the option of purchasing a device from GoSmart or BYOD. GoSmart offers no-contract wireless plans to fit your needs. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, unlimited international texting to over 200 countries, unlimited LTE Facebook access, and access to a nationwide 3G network.

With GoSmart Mobile there are five plans to choose from. All come with unlimited international texting from within the US and international calling to 69 countries. Beginning at $15 each month for unlimited talk and text with 250 MB of 3G data, GoSmart leaps as high as $55 each month, allowing unlimited data at 3G speeds; an extra $10 adds mobile hotspot connection.

One thing unique about this MVNO is that it does not offer data at 4G LTE data speeds.  Speeds are limited to 3G with the exception of Facebook.  Facebook gets unlimited LTE data access.  GoSmart Mobile is said to consider HSPA+ as 3G data speeds.

  • $15/month – 250MB 3G Data, Unlimited talk & text with Unlimited LTE Facebook access.
  • $25/month – 1GB 3G Data, Unlimited talk & text with Unlimited LTE Facebook access.
  • $30/month – 5GB 3G Data, Unlimited talk & text with Unlimited LTE Facebook access.
  • $45/month – 20GB 3G Data, Unlimited talk & text with Unlimited LTE Facebook access.
  • $55/month – Unlimited 3G Data, Unlimited talk & text with Unlimited LTE Facebook access.

Visit GoSmart Mobile

H2O Wireless

H2O Wireless

H20 Wireless uses AT&T’s 4G network to power their own virtual network, which means you’re really shopping on the strength of the plan and the selection of phones offered over something like network strength.

H2O offers a very competitive starting plan — $20/month for 1GB of 4G LTE data (unlimited 2G data thereafter), unlimited nationwide talk and text, unlimited international calling to landlines in over 50 countries (select countries include calling to cell phones), unlimited international texting, and a free $10 international talk credit (for the countries that aren’t covered).

H2O Wireless has a Pay As You Go plan where you can buy a $10 card that lasts 90 days. The rate is a flat 5 cents a minute for talk and 5 cents per text. You must buy another card after it expires in 90 days. This means you could use 800 minutes a year for $3.33 per month ($40 per year).

  • $20/month – 2GB 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Talk &Text
  • $30/month – 6GB 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Talk &Text
  • $40/month – 15GB 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Talk &Text
  • $50/month – Unlimited 4G LTE Data, Unlimited Talk &Text

Visit H2O Wireless

More Cell Phone Plans Resources From

The most important thing to look for when shopping for a student plan is a mobile phone company that allows you to be flexible. If you can avoid signing any lengthy contracts or paying through the nose each month, then you can enjoy all the benefits that come with a great phone for a fraction of the price.

Both Tello and Twigby offer ideal student cell phone plans that come with excellent phone options. Take advantage of the offers available in your area from Tello and Twigby, and you’ll quickly discover that owning a cell phone doesn’t have to mean getting an extra job.

Whether you are looking for a simple call and text package or high-speed internet, We are sure you will find the ideal student cell phone plans for you on this list.

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