Best Mobile Plans for Students that Use a Lot of Data

As a current student I cannot imagine running out of data or reach some kind of usage maximum or especially living without the phone. It is like having everything in our hands. In this post I am compiling a list of best carriers, mobile plans for students and you don’t have to be a student to get the best deals, as well as my experience with the current carrier I have. I will also share the best deals going on right now if you decide to switch to a different plan. First of all, you need to know that mobile data selection will make a big difference in you cost. Did you know that on average college student uses 5GB of data or more and that’s even before Pokemon Go came out!

As technology, in particular internet has progressed over the past 17 years, actually calling people has declined or so-called “cellular usage”. The new challenge is how to get the best deal on the best plan deals that packs it all – unlimited messages, calling, and even data. If you don’t pay attention especially as a student to how much you are paying for your phone monthly, it will really kill your savings. If you are paying $100+ per month for your current plan as a single line, drop that carrier now!

Here are the factors that most of us are looking for as a student that I will be sharing:

  • Unlimited Text, Talk, and Data (Or as close as possible to unlimited data)
  • Phone Prices (We want the latest and greatest)
  • Coverage Options  (As a student we might need traveling across country or even world few times a year to home and back to school)
  • Monthly Cost (Price we pay per month)

If you are with you parents, you should also check out what I have to say about that. Recently I asked few of my friends how much they are paying on the family plans in a family of 3 or 4 and I was blown away how expensive it is. I just had to write this article for best mobile plans for students after hearing those numbers and the greedy carriers behind them. I want to note that there are only few truly unlimited plans available that are actually affordable. Nobody wants to pay extra for the charges that we rack up especially as a student.

T-Mobile 

T-Mobile One No Credit Check – 2 unlimited lines w/10GB for just $80/mo.

I had to list it first because I have been with them for about 5 years now and even though I switched around plans a little but it was only for the better where I score some great deals. As a fan of T-Mobile and you must of seen some funny commercials they have been doing over the past years. I have seen huge improvements and highly suggest checking it out or giving them a try.

T-Mobile offers some great plans and “T-Mobile One” is their latest pitch and it is a great deal for anyone that is looking to switch. Here are top benefits of the plan:

All of this is for $70 as a single line and $120 for two (you also get free Netflix subscription with 2+ lines, $60 per line). 3 lines for $140 ($47 per line), and 4 lines for $160 or $40 per line).

This is a smoking deal because what your friends and you decide to go on a trip to another country for a spring break or summer, well just for $70 you will have yourself covered with internet abroad, can’t get better than that, and I cant imagine being without my phone ever again in different countries after having this perk.

T-Mobile offers unlimited text, talk, and data and will let you roll over your data (anything you haven’t used up will transfer to next month). The current allotment for data is 52GB a month which is a lot! Twice as much as other carriers allow for “they call unlimited”. Their pricing is very simple and fairly priced and you should give them a try.

They also have Simply Prepaid Plan: (No contract with no data overages)

  • $45/month for up to 4GB of 4G LTE
  • $55/month for up to 6GB of 4G LTE

T-Mobile Prepaid Homepage

AT&T

AT&T is one of the top two providers but over the last few years we have the prices go up and is no longer cheap and not the best option for students but the coverage is where it strives. AT&T unfortunately no longer provides unlimited data plans, every carrier claim they are unlimited until you read the terms and you see after how much data you use and they will slow you down (22 GB currently). There’s no more 2 year contracts and you will have to buy phone on installment price or outright,

Here’s their plans breakdown:

Plans start at $90/month for a single line

2 lines $145 or $73 per line

3 lines $165 or $55 per line

4 lines $185 or $47 per line

This plan includes

AT&T also offers Prepaid Plans with no annual contract. Here’s the break down:

Big plus is that AT&T has a great coverage but the pricing will hit you in your pocket. Also, the international coverage add-on will run you a lot of money.

See the Plans for yourself

Verizon

Currently Verizon is #1 in U.S wireless industry, and they deserve it. Their coverage is absolutely great, but the pricing is where they will get you and you really need to think if it’s worth it.

Verizon’s GoUnlimited plans start at

  • $75 for 1 line
  • $130 for 2 lines ($65 per line)
  • $150 for 3 lines ($50 per line)
  • $160 for 4 lines ($40 per line)

The GoUnlimited plans include:

  • Unlimited Data (currently set at 22GB)
  • DVD-Quality Streaming
  • Unlimited Talk & Text
  • Unlimited Mobile Hotspot (speeds at 600kbps)
  • You also qualify for a military discount if you are in the military

Verizon also offers BeyondUnlimited plans for $10 extra per line which is similar to GoUnlimited but adds those options:

  • Unlimited Premium 4G LTE data
  • HD-Quality Streaming
  • Mexico & Canada Included
  • Unlimited Mobile Hotspot (reduced after 15GB)

They also have other options for people that don’t need unlimited ranging from $35/month for 2GB of data, $50/mo for 4GB, $70/mo for 8GB.

See the plans for yourself

Sprint

The truth is that Sprint used to be #3 but unfortunately they have dropped to #4 but I still believe this is the second best choice after T-Mobile just because of their pricing and coverage. Their coverage is pretty great and pricing is hard to beat but you might be running into a lot of trouble with data speeds in many areas. Sprint every about few months offers some great deals to get customers and you should check it out. Recently they offered service of $1 dollar a month for one year for new activations if you buy certain phone from them. The Sprint’s plans also include Hulu’s subscription.

Here’s Sprint’s marketing pitch comparing other carriers to them. You really need to talk to somebody if you are considering Sprint who lives in the same area because you might regret it, I’ve heard and read some horror stories about them and I wanted my actual opinion on this matter. See this chart for yourself and remember every carrier has chart similar to this but making other carriers look not worth it.

See the plans for yourself

That’s it for top wireless carriers, now I would like to share some prepaid services that are for the most part owned by one of those top 4 (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint).

Straight Talk Wireless (Owned by AT&T)

This carrier is owned by AT&T and from my perspective have the best prepaid plans and coverages because it is owned by AT&T.

See the plans for yourself

MetroPCS (Owned by T-Mobile)

This carrier was recently purchased by T-Mobile and has went through a lot of changes over the past year. MetroPCS uses the T-Mobile’s coverage and offers some great plans.

See the plans for yourself

Others to check out

Cricket Wireless (Owned by AT&T)

Boost Mobile (Owned by Sprint)

Bottom Line

I hope the list I compiled has been helpful on your decision. on’t try to go with the best, rather do a little research on other options in your area or even ask me on here and I could research it for you. My choice of T-Mobile is because of it’s coverage and international coverage in every country I’ve been at so far. Can’t beat that from my perspective for the price I pay.

Note*:

This is not a sponsored post and is based on true experiences and research from other people. I am not trying to make one to look better over another.

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Richard Barnett is a student majoring in finance, entrepreneur, marketer, content writer, traveler, and financial blog “Student Money Adviser” owner. You can read more about me here.

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