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AT&T Cell Phone Plans: Which One is Right for You?

Use this resource to decide which AT&T cell phone plan is best for you

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Whether you’re new to AT&T or if your cell phone plan is already with AT&T and you’re considering switching plans, this guide clearly outlines all plans currently offered by AT&T so you can make the best decision for your needs.

1) Nation plans for $39.99, $59.99, $79.99 or $99.99
2) Unity plans for $59.99 or $79.99
3) Senior plan for $29.99
4) FamilyTalk Nation plans for various prices
5) FamilyTalk Unity plans for various prices
6) No-contract GoPhone Pick Your Plan
7) No-contract GoPhone Pay as You Go

You can learn about Sprint or T-Mobile, too. You can also learn about all of the prepaid wireless carriers.

1. AT&T Nation plans for $39.99, $59.99, $79.99 or $99.99 (read full plan details)

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While AT&T’s Nation plans are competitively priced with the industry big boys, make sure to take note of one very important distinction: data and text messaging are not included.

To use text messaging and Internet access on your cell phone with any plan in this category, you can bolt it on for an additional fee.

Despite that downside, AT&T Nation plans do have the unique benefit of offering you Rollover minutes. This feature comes from AT&T’s acquisition of Cingular. AT&T Rollover minutes are unused anytime minutes that carry over from month to month for up to 12 billing cycles.

The $39.99 and $59.99 plans here from AT&T come with the exact same amount of anytime minutes in a comparable plan from Sprint.

2. AT&T Unity plans for $59.99 or $79.99 (read full plan details)

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AT&T Unity minutes are a unique feature from AT&T. Unity minutes grant you unlimited calls to and from AT&T wireless, home and business customers. This comprises more than 120 million phones, according to AT&T.

While plans in this category are priced the same as the AT&T Nation plans for the same amount of anytime minutes, you have two fewer plans to choose from in this grouping.

In the Unity category, there’s no $39.99 or $99.99 plan like there is in the AT&T Nation category. While the AT&T Unity plans do also include Rollover minutes, they again don’t include data or messaging.

3. AT&T senior plan for $29.99 (read full details)

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AT&T targets seniors with one budget-friendly plan. While the monthly price is low ($29.99) and the monthly allowance of anytime minutes is low (200), be careful with the cost for each additional anytime minute over the 200-minute limit.

At 45 cents per each additional minute, that cost is high and can add up quickly if you’re not paying close attention. On a plan that’s only about $30 per month (before taxes and other fees), going over by only 66 minutes would add $29.70 in extra fees. That’s about the cost of the plan itself.

This plan does allow for 500 additional minutes on weekday nights after 9 p.m. and on weekends. The plan, though, does not allow for Rollover or Unity minutes. In addition, text messaging and data are not included.

4. AT&T FamilyTalk Nation plans for various prices (read full details)

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AT&T, which coins its shared plans as FamilyTalk plans, has two categories of such plans: those with Unity minutes and those without Unity minutes.

Again, data and messaging are not included and are available for an additional cost. Since that’s the case, the only directly comparable share plan between AT&T and Sprint is at the $69.99 price level.

For $69.99, both AT&T and Sprint share plans pack 700 anytime minutes. That benchmark tells us these share plans are competitively priced among the major U.S. carriers.

AT&T FamilyTalk pricing doesn’t reach an unlimited-minute level, though, until it hits the very large monthly bucket of 4,000 minutes. AT&T strangely prices its unlimited plan at the same price as its 4,000-minute plan.

5. AT&T FamilyTalk Unity plans for various prices (read full details)

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Just like the AT&T Unity and Nation plans without FamilyTalk, the AT&T FamilyTalk Unity plans are priced the same as the FamilyTalk plans without Unity minutes.

One fewer plan exists in the FamilyTalk Unity category as compared to the FamilyTalk grouping without Unity minutes.

Also, there’s no unlimited plan in FamilyTalk Unity category. While there’s not an unlimited plan at the 4,000-minute level, this category even offers a new plan with 6,000 minutes but still without the option of unlimited minutes.

AT&T Unity minutes grant you unlimited calls to and from AT&T wireless, home and business customers. This amounts to more than 120 million phones, according to AT&T.

6. AT&T no-contract GoPhone Pick Your Plan (read full details)

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While Virgin Mobile has the pulse on no-contract cell phone plans for youth callers, AT&T has some strong plans as well in the increasingly popular no-contract space.

AT&T has two groups of no-contract plans. You can either pick your own plan (but still without a contract) or pay as you go.

When picking a no-contract plan, you can choose from relatively low-priced plans ($29.99, $39.99, $49.99 or $69.99) for relatively low amounts of anytime minutes (200, 300, 400 or 650 respectively).

But you pay for that right. For $39.99 with this plan, for example, you receive only 300 anytime minutes whereas you’re entitled to 450 for the same price if you sign an AT&T Nation contract.

7. AT&T no-contract GoPhone Pay as You Go (read full details)

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Unlike the AT&T GoPhone Pick Your Plan, AT&T GoPhone Pay as You Go allows you to pay as you go without a plan and without a service contract. You have to pick, though, one route or the other: 10 cents per minute or 25 cents per minute.

Based on the math, Pay as You Go Unlimited Talk for 10 cents per minute is recommended if you plan on using your phone more than six minutes on the days you talk.

Pay as You Go 25 Cents/Minute is recommended if you plan on using your phone six minutes or less on the days you talk.

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