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T mobile free phone plans

T-Mobile is making a big bet on unlimited. The self-proclaimed “un-carrier” offers just one plan — T-Mobile One — which includes unlimited data for per month.

Taxes and fees are baked into the monthly price, with the exception of taxes on add-ons such as insurance and phone payments. This new benefit makes T-Mobile competitive on price if you need unlimited data. But that’s a big if — many people don’t use enough data to justify an unlimited plan.

And T-Mobile still has some ground to make up on coverage. Its network is fast and reliable in urban areas, but it lags behind other carriers in national and state-level network tests, according to a 2016 RootMetrics report.

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T-Mobile logo

NerdWallet's rating: 5.0 / 5


AT A Glance

  • Plans start at for unlimited data.
  • Strengths: Affordable international coverage.
  • Weaknesses: Network strength, limited plan options.
T-Mobile logo5.0-stars

T-Mobile cell phone plans

T-Mobile One gives you unlimited calls, texts and high-speed data. It also now includes unlimited HD video streaming and 10GB of mobile hot spot data at 4G LTE speeds — upgrades to previous iterations of T-Mobile One, which “optimized” video and limited hot spot access to 3G speeds.

New customers automatically get these added features; existing One plan customers need to accept the changes online or via the T-Mobile app. In either case, you’ll need to turn on HD video via the app to stream at the highest quality, according to a T-Mobile spokesperson.

T-Mobile includes a per month, per line autopay discount in its advertised price. If you don’t opt for autopay, you won’t receive the discount. The prices listed below don’t include that discount:

  • Line 1: per month.
  • Line 2: per month.
  • Lines 3-8: per month.

» MORE: T-Mobile family cell phone plans

A few things to note about T-Mobile One:

  • Activate online, and you can sign up for as many as eight lines on a single plan. You can add more lines by calling T-Mobile. The monthly price per line varies depending on the number of lines in your plan.
  • Data speeds slow if you use 28GB of data in a month, but few people ever do.
  • Your mobile hot spot data is slowed to 3G speeds of you exceed 10GB of hot spot data. You can upgrade to T-Mobile One Plus International for an additional per month, per line to get unlimited mobile hot spot access at 4G LTE speeds.
  • T-Mobile’s new kickback feature will refund you up to per line for any lines that use less than 2GB in a given month. You need to opt in to get the kickback. If you regularly qualify for the discount, you can probably find a cheaper plan with another carrier.

T-Mobile One Plus

T-Mobile’s One Plus costs an extra per month, per line and includes the following features not offered by the standard T-Mobile One plan:

  • Unlimited Wi-Fi on flights with Gogo Wi-Fi.
  • Faster international data speeds.

T-Mobile One Plus International

T-Mobile’s One Plus International costs an extra per month, per line and includes all of the features of T-Mobile One and One Plus, along with a few extra benefits, including:

  • Unlimited calling from the U.S. to landlines in more than 70 countries and mobile numbers in more than 30 countries.
  • Unlimited 4G LTE speeds when using your smartphone as a mobile hot spot.

T-Mobile prepaid plans

T-Mobile also offers four different ways to go prepaid. The carrier’s Simple Choice Prepaid plans mirror its Simple Choice plans, which are being phased out on the postpaid side. You pay a monthly fee for a data package and unlimited calls and texts, but you skip the credit check and contract. You’ll even receive free music and video streaming on select plans and unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico. Simply Prepaid plans are similar, but they don’t include international calling.

In addition, T-Mobile has a pay-as-you-go prepaid plan and a basic monthly prepaid plan.

» MORE: T-Mobile prepaid cell phone plans

How T-Mobile compares on price

T-Mobile One’s price includes taxes and fees, but add-ons such as insurance or device payments are still assessed both. The prices listed below do not include discounts for automatic payments, which are available on some plans.

How T-Mobile compares on features

T-Mobile One plans include practically unlimited data, so data-saving features such as free video and music streaming, rollover data and unlimited 2G data aren’t necessary.

» MORE: 3 steps to finding a cheap cell phone plan

The bottom line

T-Mobile’s One plans are a good value if you need unlimited data. The problem? Most people don’t.

Smartphone owners used about 3.7GB of data per month on average in 2015, according to a June 2016 report from Ericsson, a leading maker of mobile network equipment. And unlimited data starts to make financial sense only when you use more than 6GB on an individual plan, or if you collectively use 24GB between four lines on a family plan.

Another weak point? T-Mobile’s network. Although it has made strides in this area, it still doesn’t match the national strength of Verizon or AT&T.

Call T-Mobile’s customer service at (855) 253-0992.

Kelsey Sheehy is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @KelseyLSheehy. NerdWallet writer Stephen Layton contributed to this report.

Updated Feb. 17, 2017.


For cell phone carriers, NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each subcategory: price, customer service, coverage and features. We considered features such as whether you’re able to bring your own phone, overage charges and international calling options, among others. We looked at Consumer Reports and J.D. Power to get an average customer service satisfaction rating.

Several Nerds contribute to each carrier’s ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.

What the ratings mean:
5 stars out of 5 — Excellent
4 stars out of 5 — Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
3 stars out of 5 — Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
2.5 stars out of 5 (or below) — Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses fit your needs.


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