Phone Plans

Best Shared Phone Service Plans 2023

Sara Nuss
February 26, 2023

You may have noticed that some major wireless companies, like Verizon and AT&T, have raised their plan prices by a few bucks each month. This is not a huge price hike, but it adds up. It may have been all the incentive you needed to start looking for something more affordable.

This article is all about the best shared phone service plans for everyone who wants to save some money on their phone bill. Shared service plans, also known as family or multi-line plans, are one of the best ways to save on service. Even the most expensive premium plans become much cheaper with additional lines. 

There are a lot of plans out there. Finding the right one with so much traffic and ads everywhere is hard. We are here to help. If you want an easy way to check out and compare phone plans, the Really comparison tool will bring up all the best deals in your area. For more analysis of the family plans, we will break down some of our favorite ones. Without further ado, let’s talk about the best shared phone service plans in 2023. 

Pros and Cons of Shared Phone Service Plans

Before we list some of our favorite plans, we wanted to talk about the pros and cons of the best shared phone service plans. While family plans are amazing cost-savers and we recommend them for almost everyone, weighing in the downsides is essential to optimize your plan and service.

Pros of Shared Phone Service Plans

We’ll start out with all the amazing things that multi-line plans bring to the table. The top of the order is certainly the cost savings, and through that, multi-line plans allow for much more robust plans at affordable price points. 

Cost Savings With Shared Phone Service Plans 

Family plans shine because they provide more for less. You receive less expensive lines when you add more on, meaning lots of mid-range and premium plans receive serious discounts. Multi-line savings add on very fast, making a two or three-line plan much more affordable than its flat rate. At three lines, many plans are over half off. 

  • For example, the Verizon Start Unlimited plan costs $80 for one line and $45 per line for three lines. 

Premium Plans Become Affordable

Multi-line cell phone plans drastically lower your monthly phone bill without having to sacrifice your data, which you would have to do to hit that price on your own. It is nice that you can get a phone plan with unlimited talk and text and a few GBs of data for less than $20 a month, but it means you aren’t able to take advantage of all the amazing mobile networks in the country. Let’s look at Verizon Start Unlimited again. At three lines each person pays $45 for their service, receiving amazing high-speed data and service all month. Unreal Mobile, a popular MVNO, has a monthly plan that gives unlimited talk and text with 12 GB of high-speed data for $40. 

This price reduction with shared phone service plans is amazing on the highest tier of price points, but these cost savings also apply to mid-level plans. A lot of value plans don’t have serious multi-line savings but that’s only because they are already so affordable! Mid-level plans, think MVNO plans that cost around $30 to $50 per line per month, get much more affordable with multi-line savings. 

  • For example, the Cricket Unlimited Plan goes from $55 per month per line in a single-line plan down to $25 per month per line in a shared phone service plan with four lines. That’s more than 50% savings on their best family plan deal. 

Cons of Multi-Line Plans

Unfortunately, it is not all good things when you share phone service to save money on your monthly phone bill. Sharing data and decreased flexibility are the major downsides to shared phone service plans. Let's dive into how that affects your phone plan. 

Shared Data Between Lines

Nowadays, lots of multi-line plans include unlimited high-speed data, so this shared data is only a factor in a select few circumstances. Pay extra caution if you want to get a shared phone service plan without unlimited high-speed data. Some of them allocate data per line. For example, if you were to bring three lines into a 5 GB plan, some companies allocate 5 GB per line, and others share the 5 GB among all lines. This leads to potential problems where one user uses all the data, leaving the others to flounder for the remainder of the month without high-speed data. 

Be prepared for minimal data usage if you start a multi-line plan with a limited data plan.

Decreased Flexibility

This disadvantage comes with the simple fact that there are more people on the plan, so decisions are more difficult. On a single-line plan, you have the flexibility to jump from plan to plan or switch carriers whenever you want as long as you aren’t under contract. With multiple people on the same plan, you do not have that same flexibility. 

The increased availability of WiFi makes value cell phone plans better and better. If you can build your day around WiFi phone usage you can save big on your cell phone bill. 

Best Shared Phone Service Plans

Now that we have touched on some of the pros and cons of multi-line plans, let’s talk about the plans themselves and the companies that provide them. It is much easier to switch plans within a company than it is to switch companies, so we will highlight some of the other possibilities beyond the plan we like the best from that company. There is, unfortunately, no best shared phone service plan, but there is a best one for you and your family. What makes that plan the “best” is up to you! 

Before you choose your next plan, take a moment to ponder what it is about phone plans that you value the most. If, for instance, you know you need unlimited high-speed data, feel free to jump down to the Visible Wireless plan, which is our first of that variety. If you are interested in more affordable options without unlimited data, you can peruse some of the earlier options. 

We’ve organized this list from least expensive to most expensive plan at its cheapest amount of lines, but keep in mind how many people you expect to be on your family plan, so you know how much you’re going to pay.  

Tello Mobile Family Plans

Mix and match plans perfect for low-data users

Quick Facts: 

  • $10 a month
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • 1 GB high-speed data
  • No contract 
  • Runs on T-Mobile’s network

Tello Mobile does not offer multi-line discounts, but their plans are so well-priced we want to highlight them anyway. You do have to make a serious sacrifice for this plan — you only receive 1 GB of high-speed data each month. This is a plan for low-data users who can get by with only 1 GB of data each month. The nice thing is that multiple lines each get their own data pool. If you are willing to work within Wi-Fi zones and limit mobile data usage you can save some serious cash with this plan. 

If one GB is not enough, you can get a plan with up to 25 GB of high-speed data. Since they don’t have contracts, you can upgrade or downgrade month by month as you figure out your mobile needs.  New users can bring their own phones along if it is unlocked and compatible with Tello’s service. Almost every phone is, but it is worth double-checking. 

Reach Mobile Family Plan

Best family plan for low-data users

Quick Facts

  • $40, $28, $24, $22, $20 (for 15GB plan)
  • Prepaid Plan
  • T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G networks
  • 15 or 20 GB of high-speed data
  • Hotspot data

Reach mobile does have family plan savings. Unfortunately, this is one where the data is shared between users but stick with us for what sets it apart and cements its place on our list of the best shared phone service plans. Reach Mobile has a “best fit” program that only charges you for the data you use even if you are on a larger plan. Their limited data plans are 2 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, and 15 GB. Once you have three lines you get an extra 5 GB added to the plan, but since it’s shared between every user it is really not much data at all. Their best-fit program provides a great incentive for everyone on the plan to stay off their mobile data to save even more each month.

Reach mobile has a lot of good things going. Their give a plan, get a plan initiative is an amazing example of how larger companies can leverage their earnings for the greater good. Reach Mobile donates free data to women and students who need it all over the world. 

If you have the budget, getting a shared phone service plan that lets every member of the family use their phone as much as they want is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. 

Google Fi Simply Unlimited 

Best family plan for three or more users

Quick Facts: 

  • $50, $40, $25, $20 a month
  • 35 GB high-speed data
  • No contract 
  • Runs on T-Mobile and US Cellular’s network

Next on our list is the simply unlimited plan from Google Fi. This is a great choice for families who use a fair bit of data but don’t need unlimited high-speed data. $50 for 35 GB of high-speed data isn’t our favorite, but once you have three lines the deal is amazing. With great coverage, fast speeds, and a very affordable plan for families of three or more, Google Fi’s simply unlimited is a great choice for a family plan. 

Another note about Google Fi — they have fewer compatible phones than some of the competition. It is important to check your phone’s compatibility before signing on to their network

Visible Unlimited

Best family plan for two users

Quick Facts

  • $30 a month per line
  • Prepaid Plan
  • Verizon’s 4G LTE and 5G networks
  • Unlimited data
  • Unlimited hotspot

Here is another shared service plan without multi-line savings. Hear us out, because we still want to highlight these plans because they are some of the best unlimited cell phone plans on the market. 

Their basic unlimited plan is $30 a month per line with unlimited data and high-speed hotspots. We have this on the top of our list for people who want to save money with MVNOs while getting a really robust plan with as much data as you can use. Most MVNO unlimited plans come with a limited amount of high-speed data with unlimited low-speed data. This makes a lot of MVNOs not great options for people who use a lot (50 GB per month or more) of data. They will always hit the high-speed data limit, and being stuck with low-speed data is terrible. This is not the case with Visible! They give unlimited high-speed data. 

Verizon Start Unlimited

Best affordable family plan on a major wireless provider

Quick Facts

  • $80/60/45/35 a month per line
  • Postpaid Plan
  • Verizon’s 4G LTE and 5G networks
  • Unlimited data
  • No hotspot

This is Verizon’s most affordable plan, with some of the best multi-line savings out there. Going from $80 a month to $35 is astonishing, making this an exceptional option for shared phone service plans with four lines. This plan comes with unlimited high-speed data on a major network, meaning you can rest assured that your data will not slow down unless there is an insane amount of congestion in the area. 

There are a lot of ways to limit your mobile data usage. However, sometimes the ability to use as much data as you want without worrying about running into your limit. 

Mint Mobile Family Plan

Best value family cell phone plan for mixed-data users

  • Mix and match phone plans per line
  • Prepaid Plan
  • T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G networks
  • Data-dependent on plan
  • Hotspot data

Next up is Mint Mobile’s Family Plan. This plan lets every user pick their data allocation for the month, making this a great choice for shared phone service plans with mixed-data users. A mix-and-match plan like this lets members take a cheaper option while letting high-data users get one of Mint Mobile’s more robust offerings. 

Mint Mobile uses contract-based savings, but family plans get the cheapest plans with the shortest contracts, which is a win all around. This gives families a lot more flexibility, especially if there are kids whose data you want to limit, or if anyone is uncertain of how much data they really need. 

T-Mobile Essentials

Best family plan for three or more lines on a major wireless network

Quick Facts: 

  • $60, $45, $30, $25 a month
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited high-speed data
  • 3G Hotspot
  • No contract 

Last but not least in our list of the best shared phone service plans is a plan from T-Mobile. We had to sneak in another family plan from a major wireless network because of how amazing the T-Mobile Essentials family plan is. The $60 a month for a single line is expensive, but with more lines, the savings add up fast. Halving the cost with the third line is spectacular, giving every plan member as much data as they can use. We recommend this affordable cell phone plan for families who need a lot of data during the month. The major benefit of using a major wireless provider instead of an MVNO is that you are certain that you will have the highest-speed data that the carrier can provide. 

This plan comes with 50 GB of “premium” high-speed data. After that, you are in a similar spot as Verizon Start unlimited customers and you will only get slowed down if the T-Mobile network burns through all their MVNO customers and still has an overfull bandwidth. Unless that happens, you and all the members of your family plan will enjoy lightning-fast speeds all day long. 

Another big benefit of going to a major network is that they often have a pretty good new customer deal waiting. There are dangers in these deals, and make sure to examine them with a critical eye to ensure that there are no hidden strings that will cost you more in the long run, but for right now, the third line is completely free! 

These are our best shared phone service plans

These are our best shared phone service plans. Shared phone service plans are the same as family plans and multi-line plans. All this really means is that you don’t have to actually be family to enjoy these savings. What are you waiting for? Grab some friends and chip in together to save big on your phone bill!

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.