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Best cellphone plans: People’s choice

Verizon pay as you goBest Cell Phone Plans: Something for Everyone

Choosing a cell phone plan always seems simple at first. But once you start shopping around, finding the best plan for your needs grows more and more complicated. The questions begin to seem endless: Smartphone or feature phone? How much data do I need? How many minutes do I talk each month? What will the coverage be like in my area?

Everyone’s needs are different. Luckily, there is a plan for every type of mobile user. Here are some of the best cell phone plans for three common user types.

User #1: The Social Butterfly

Best Plan: Verizon Share Everything

The social butterfly uses his or her cell phone for everything. They need a smartphone that is fast and can do it all: surf the Internet, stream videos, Facebook, video chat, email and more. They need a fast network and are willing to pay for it.

Enter Verizon. Verizon boasts the most extensive and reliable 4G network in the nation. They offer top-of-the-line devices and super-fast speed – for a price.

Verizon has streamlined their pricing structure, shifting to a “shared” data experience. Users with more than one device can share their data plan among multiple devices. Verizon also has a useful data calculator on their website,¬†, which helps you figure out how much data you may need.

For example, a smartphone line costs $40, plus $60 per month for 2GB of data, for a total of $100 per month, plus additional taxes.

While Verizon is one of the more expensive plan options, they do offer top-notch speed, quality and coverage.

More Verizon Wireless Plans at

User #2: The Frugal Shopper

Best Plan: Straight Talk Pre-Paid

The frugal shopper wants the advantages of a smartphone, but is willing to make some sacrifices to save some cash.

Straight Talk is a pre-paid wireless plan offered by Walmart. They are usually a model or two behind the most current phone offerings (think iPhone 4S, instead of iPhone 5), but offer excellent phones and good service for reasonable prices. They have some of the best cell phone plans for savings-conscious consumers.

Straight Talk keeps it simple with a $45-per-month plan that offers unlimited talk, text and data. You will need to pay the full price for your phone upfront, but in the long run you save money on monthly fees.

Straight Talk uses different carriers for different phones. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S III runs on the Sprint Network. Coverage in your area will depend on what phone you choose.

User #3: Emergencies Only

Best Plan: Consumer Cellular

Like Straight Talk, Consumer Cellular offers prepaid monthly plans. A visit to their website,, quickly reveals the appeal to seniors, but you do not have to be a senior to use their service.

Consumer Cellular offers the best cell phone plans for users who talk infrequently or just want a phone for emergencies. They have plans for as low as $10 per month. The $10 keeps the phone activated, and minutes are $0.25. You can get plans that include minutes starting at $15 per month.

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