Forget Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Wi-Fi, bountiful data are highlights of other, cheaper plans from Republic Wireless, Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless. By Lisa Gerstner, Contributing Editor From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2016 Venturing beyond the major wireless carriers can save you big bucks on a phone plan. See Also: 5 Money-Smart Ways to Use Your Phone When Traveling Overseas Great Deals on Practically Everything Save Big Bucks on Your Phone Plan Best Health Savings Accounts for Your Money Amazon.com: Deal or No Deal? 3 ETFs for Cheap Stocks 3 Strategies to Remodel Your Kitchen for Less 4 Insurance-Policy Add-ons Worth the Money How to Save Big on Furniture and Clothes at Warehouse Sales Wi-Fi first. For a rock-bottom deal, consider a carrier that automatically connects your phone to available Wi-Fi networks. With Republic Wireless, you can get Wi-Fi-only phone service for $5 monthly. Or, to use the Sprint network for backup, you’ll pay $10 a month for unlimited talk and texts. You can add a data plan, too, ranging from a total of $17.50 a month for 500 megabytes of data to $85 monthly for 5GB (most people use 1GB to 2GB a month). For any data you don’t use, you’ll get a credit toward next month’s bill. Choose either an Android Moto E or Moto G phone, which can switch between Wi-Fi and the cellular network. Bountiful data. For $60 a month, Boost Mobile provides unlimited talk, texts and high-speed data on the Sprint network. Or, with a smaller data plan ($35 for 2GB or $45 for 5GB), get an extra 500MB of high-speed data for every three on-time payments, up to 3GB after 18 payments. You get a $5 monthly discount if you make automatic payments. Bring a Sprint-compatible device, or buy a phone from Boost. Solid coverage. You get a combination of strong nationwide coverage and great prices with Cricket Wireless, which runs on the AT&T network. With the Basic plan, for example, you get unlimited talk and texts, plus 2.5GB of high-speed data, for $40 a month ($35 if you make automatic payments). Choose among many of the latest smartphones or bring your own compatible device (all unlocked phones from AT&T and T-Mobile are eligible).