You can choose from several service providers, but be careful. Not all family plans are created equal.
Best family plan features
Which features are part of the best family cell phone plans? You may have certain expectations, like the ability to choose how much data you get each month. Does your plan extend to your family across the pond? Do you have a phone security app in mind, or should the plan cover that, too?
Full-speed data: Streaming movies and music. Playing online games. These gobble up a lot of data, and you want the fastest data speeds available. Every major provider will slow down your connection once you’ve reached a data limit, but you need to be a power-user to hit that limit. If you’re online that much, you’re probably doing most of your streaming and gaming at home or on Wi-Fi®.
Unlimited talk and text: This is a standard feature for virtually all calling plans. Prepaid service is the exception.
International calls, texts, and data: Services vary widely on this one. Some plans include calls and texts to certain countries. Others add the option of calling back to the U.S. when you’re traveling. A few include data use while you’re abroad, too. If your plan doesn’t include this feature, see if you can add an international plan that’s good when you need it. You can also add international plans for whatever isn’t already covered.
Tethering and mobile hotspots: Offering an extra that’s gone mainstream, most providers know you might need to work on the go. Tether to easily transfer files. Use your phone as a mobile hotspot. Break out the laptop and get the job done.
The simplest way to compare plans is by data and price. But if that’s all you look at, you’re missing the real features that make the best cell phone plan providers stand out.
The best mobile plans give you more choices. For example, when you get a new phone, your AT&T delivery options include:
- Free shipping and hassle-free returns
- Ability to buy online, pick up in store
- Same-day delivery with set-up help
Your provider should also protect your personal data. A built-in phone security app indicates the company is concerned about your safety. But that’s just the beginning. Some companies offer a whole suite of apps and services to help protect and assist your family. AT&T Smart Controls includes options like Purchase Blocker, AT&T FamilyMap®, AT&T Smart Limits®, and many other free or inexpensive choices.
You can get even more from the plans that remind you how much you’re appreciated. Take the AT&T THANKS® program. Extra bennies like Ticket Twosdays (a buy-one-get-one-free movie ticket deal), special Event Access, and other perks drive home how much extra value you get for your price.
What’s the right plan for you?
The answer depends on your family’s priorities. Which is most important to you: data, price, or something in between? If your family:
- Needs a lot of data, get an unlimited plan – AT&T unlimited plans include unlimited data, talk, and text. You will never pay overage fees. And you can even get discounts on your video service, like DIRECTV NOW℠, so you can keep on streaming.
- Cautiously observes data limits, try a shared data plan – Mobile Share FlexSM plans with unlimited talk and text let you choose how much data to share across all of your family’s devices. Rollover Data® saves the data you don’t use this month, and adds it the data you can use next month.
- Keeps a tight budget, consider a prepaid plan – AT&T PREPAIDSM plans have no annual contract and no credit check. You pay for what you want, when you want it. You can even get service 1 day at a time!
Choosing the best wireless plan for your family takes research and certainty about what matters most to you. It’s also important to understand how you use your data. No matter which provider you choose, remember that what makes a cell phone plan a family plan isn’t just the data or the price. Most of all, you want to make sure your family can call and browse online safely and securely. To learn more and ask questions about AT&T phone plans go to the AT&T Community Forums.
This article was written by an AT&T employee. The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.