Walmart Family Mobile Buyer’s Guide (June 2019)

Most wireless customers are familiar with the big-name brands in Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Relatively few buyers, though, are as well-versed when it comes to the topic of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).

Companies like Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless license the towers and coverage from tier-one providers but offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.

Walmart Family Mobile is one such MVNO worth closer inspection. Yes, that Walmart.

About

Using T-Mobile’s network for its service, Walmart Family Mobile is a service provider that exists almost virtually. While you cannot go into a dedicated Walmart Family Mobile store, customers can pay for their service at Walmart locations. Moreover, if you go to Walmart’s website, you can shop for phones and SIM cards.

Given that it does employ T-Mobile’s network, it does allow for customers to use their own devices. If you’ve already purchased an unlocked GSM phone, chances are good it will work just fine with Walmart Family Mobile. Those which might be locked to other carriers, however, may need to be unlocked before making the switch.

Rate Plans

Keeping things nice and simple is the name of the game here. There are currently four rate plans to choose from, all of which stay under $50 per month. As one might expect, each comes with its own amount of data.

  • $24.88 per month – Unlimited talk, text and 2GB of 4G LTE data
  • $29.88 per month – Unlimited talk, text and 4GB of 4G LTE data
  • $39.88 per month – Unlimited talk, text and 14GB of 4G LTE data
  • $49.88 per month – Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data

There are no overage fees for hitting your data threshold. Once met, the speeds are throttled to 2G bandwidth for the rest of the billing cycle. If congested, Walmart Family Mobile customers may notice reduced speeds vs T-Mobile customers that may be further reduced for a small number of customers who use >40GB.

Multiple Lines

Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so for $24.88 per line. Doing so gives the second line add the same amount of data. Indeed, you can currently get unlimited data for two lines for a total of $75 per month. In essence, it’s the $49.88 plan plus the $24.88. There is a limit of five lines per account through Walmart Family Mobile.

Save each month

If you qualify for SNAP, Medicaid, or other social assistance programs, you are probably eligible for the “Lifeline” Financial Assistance. Should you be approved you’ll save $9.25 on your bill each month.

What Deals Does Walmart Family Mobile Have?

For a limited time (exp: July 21, 2019), anyone who purchases a phone priced $49 or higher will receive a $50 Walmart eGift card.

International Calling

Walmart Family Mobile offers $10 Extras Pack bundles which can be used for international calling and roaming. Rates vary by location.

Handset Selection

Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Walmart Family Mobile we find very few Android devices. In essence, it’s a smattering of LG, Motorola, and Samsung  handsets. The selection is a mixed bag, and it skews heavily toward affordability versus power.

Bring Your Own Device

Don’t forget, you can also bring your own GSM phone so be sure to look around at places like Amazon, B&H, or Best Buy. You may find something better or more in line with your needs.

SIM Card kits are available in both standard/micro and nano packages. Typical retail pricing is $25 for those; however, they are often discounted. As of today Walmart has them for just $.99 each.