Note: This is our 2016 guide. Check out our newly updated 2017 best cell phone plans and deals guide here.

Are you looking to save money? Switching your cell phone carrier can be a great way to do it! Now more than ever, you have a lot of choices when it comes to cell phone service. 

Consumer Reports National Research Center recently surveyed about 90,000 cell phone users and discovered that half of the respondents who switched providers cut their monthly bill by $20 or more! 

There are so many different options for cell phone service right now and so many factors to consider to get the very best deal for you -- including how many people will be on the plan and the network that works best in your area. Generally, Clark recommends Republic Wireless or Sprint as the best deal for one person, or T-Mobile or Sprint for families. If you also want to do a bundle deal including TV, AT&T might be the best price for a family. 

So to help you compare plans across carriers, we've compiled a simple list. You may also want to go to the company's website if you need more information to help you decide based on your needs. 

Read more: The #1 mistake people make when switching cell phone carriers​

Unlimited plans

Several providers are offering unlimited service for under $80 per plan, per month. The best deals are below! (Note that some providers reduce speeds once a plan's applicable high-speed data threshold is reached.)

Low-cost carriers

Freedom Pop

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

Republic Wireless (Clark's favorite for one person)

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

  • Plans start at $15 a month.
  • Get unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data for $20 a month.

Ting

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

  • Cost based on use; average bill is $23 a month. 
  • Buy a phone or bring your own device in most cases. 
  • GSM and CDMA networks.

Total Wireless

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

Read more: Hey, Verizon customers: 2 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60% to 75%!

Cricket Wireless

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

  • $35/month unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB data with auto-pay.
  • Buy a phone or bring your own device
  • Check out the deals and promotions here.

Google Fi

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

H20 Wireless

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

  • $30/month unlimited talk and text with 3GB 4G LTE high-speed data, unlimited 2G after that.
  • Unlimited international talk to 50+ countries + unlimited international text.
  • Get a 10% discount with auto-refill.

Boost Mobile

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

Twigby

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

  • Plans start at $9.
  • $48 a month for unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data.
  • Buy a phone or bring our own phone, if compatible.

U.S. Mobile

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

  • Plans start at $9.
  • Unlimited text, 5,000 minutes and 2.5 GB of data is $44. 
  • Bring your unlocked GSM phone, or U.S. Mobile will try to unlock it for you for a small fee.

Straight Talk

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

Consumer Cellular

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

  • 250 minutes, 300 texts and 30MB is $17.50 per month; Unlimited talk, text, and 4GB data is $90 a month.
  • Buy a phone or bring your own device.

Virgin Mobile

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

TPO Mobile

Mint SIM

These are the best cell phone plans and deals out there

  • Uses T-Mobile network.
  • Save more by buying 6-month or 1 year plans.
  • Current promotion: Use promo code SHOPCLEVER to save 20% on  plans. 12-months service with unlimited talk and text + 2GB LTE data is $166.67 after discount. 

Read more: 5 surprising ways your cell phone affects your health

The big 4 

Sprint

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

  • The Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan is $100/month for two lines, plus you can get the 3rd, 4th and 5th lines free through 1/31/18. This makes each line $20. One line is $60.
  • Check out current promotions here

T-Mobile

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

Read more: How to get free Wi-Fi on your next flight

Verizon

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

Read more: The #1 wireless network in America is…

AT&T

Best cell phone plans and deals for 2016

Read more: 'Buy one, get one free' smartphone offer from AT&T good through Christmas Eve

Cell phone service for $20 a month