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Cell Phone Carrier Fee Comparison Table

(To our mobile visitors: This chart is too big to display properly on a small screen, so please visit Cheapism.com on your computer.)

All fees are for smartphones. Fees for basic/feature phones and prepaid service may vary.

Carrier-Based Fees

Carrier

Activation Fee

Phone Upgrade Fee

Early Termination Fee

Additional Line for Family Plan

Late Payment Fee

Administrative Fee

Regulatory Charge

T-Mobile

$0

$0

$50-$200 depending on days remaining on contract

$80 for first two lines, $10 for each additional (up to four)

Greater of $5 or 1.5 percent

N/A

$1.61/line

AT&T

$36

$36

Up to $325 ($10 less each month)

$40 for each smartphone (up to 10)

$5

61 cents/line

Up to $1.25/line

Sprint

$36

$36

$100-$350 depending on months left on contract

$50 for first, $40 for second, $30 for third, $20 for each additional (up to 10 total)

Up to 5 percent (varies by state)

Up to $2.50/line

40 cents/line

Verizon Wireless

$35

$30

Up to $350 ($10 less each month)

$40 for each smartphone (up to 10 total)

Greater of $5 or 1.5 percent

90 cents/line

21 cents/line


Usage-Based Fees

Carrier

Domestic Overage Fees

Domestic Roaming

International Roaming (Without Upgrade)

International Upgrade for Service Outside the U.S.

International Upgrade for Service From the U.S.

411 Fee

T-Mobile

None, but data slowed after monthly allotment is reached on cheaper plans

No fee, but data roaming limited by plan

20 cents/minute, free messaging, free limited-bandwidth data in 100+ countries; elsewhere calling rates vary, 20-50 cents/text, $15/MB

High-speed data $15/day for 100MB, $25/week for 200MB, or $50/14 days for 500MB (limited-bandwidth data already included)

$7/month for reduced call rates or unlimited texting; $10/month for unlimited calls to landlines in 70+ countries, reduced call rates, and unlimited texting

$1.99 (plus airtime)

AT&T

35-45 cents/minute; 20-30 cents/message; $20/300MB or $10/GB, depending on plan

No fee, but service may be affected if off-network usage reaches 750 minutes or 40 percent of minutes over two consecutive months, 3,000 messages or 50 percent of messages over two consecutive months, or 24MB or 20 percent of KB in one month

$1/minute in Canada and Mexico, $1.50/minute in Europe region, $2.60/minute elsewhere; 20 cents/text received, 50 cents/text sent; 1.5 cents/KB in Canada, 1.95 cents/KB (or $19.97/MB) elsewhere

$30-$120/month for 80-500 minutes in Canada and Mexico, 30-200 minutes in Europe region, or 15-100 minutes elsewhere; $10-$60/month for 50-600 messages; $30-$120/month for 120-800MB in select countries

$3.99/month for reduced call rates; $10/month for 100 messages, $15/month for 1,000

$1.99 (plus airtime)

Sprint

Up to 45 cents/minute; 20 cents/text; 1.5 cents/MB (or $15.36/GB) without unlimited plan

Service may be affected if off-network usage reaches 800 minutes or a majority of minutes, or 100 or 300 MB (depending on plan) or a majority of KB; 25 cents/MB if customer opts to restore suspended service

59 cents-$5.99/minute; 5 cents/text received, 50 cents/text sent in most countries; 0.4 cents or 1.9 cents/KB ($4.10 or $19.46/MB) for GSM data

$4.99/month for reduced call rates ($2.99 for Canada); $40/month for 40MB or $80/month for 85MB, with $10/MB overage (cheaper for Canada and Mexico)

$4/month for reduced call rates; $10/month for unlimited texts or 20 cents/message; $15/month to use plan minutes to call select countries, in addition to reduced rates and unlimited texting

$1.79 (plus airtime)

Verizon Wireless

45 cents/minute; 20-25 cents/message; $15/500MB or GB, depending on plan

No fee

Starting at 20 cents/minute; 5-50 cents/message (plus data rates for multimedia); $2.05-$20.48/MB

$4.99/month for reduced call rates; $25/month for 100MB

$3.99/month for reduced call rates starting at 6 cents/minute; 20-50 cents/message

$1.99 (plus airtime)