The Best Deal for Smart Phones – Back to School with Walmart Family Mobile

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyMobileLive #CollectiveBias

The first thing I heard from the kids when we started talking about back to school shopping was “new phones”. Ahem. Children, please. With the cost of new phones and then the monthly plans, I was pretty sure we'd be in the poor house or the kids would be wearing flour sacks to school. Or so I thought … That's when I met with a representative from Walmart Family Mobile in a local Walmart store and was very excited to find out that not only could I get the kids new mobile phones for a great bargain, Walmart Family Mobile has new post-paid plans that are affordable and convenient. Walmart has the best deal for smart phones for back to school through Walmart Family Mobile, with the lowest priced unlimited plans I've ever seen. With the Walmart Family Mobile plan, the kids can easily BOTH get new smart phones for the school year.

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I got Matt a prepaid phone last fall and we kept forgetting to buy the pre-paid plan card to charge up the phone each month. I like the convenience of him having a phone so we can stay in touch no matter where he is but if I forget to buy the pre-paid card, well, the phone doesn't work! When I talked to the Walmart Family Mobile rep in the store, she said that as long as the phone was an unlocked, GSM (includes SIM card) phone, we could buy a new SIM card to activate the phone on the Walmart Family Mobile postpaid plan. You can get started on the Walmart Family Mobile plan by purchasing a new phone (or bringing in a qualified phone) and purchasing a $25 Walmart Family Mobile starter kit, which is essentially a SIM card. Since there were a number of new phones on display in the store at incredible prices, we decided to look at all of our options.

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You can literally get started with a new phone for under $50 with Walmart Family Mobile's current sales in the store. I spied an LG Zinger phone for $19.88 on Rollback right away but Matthew had other plans. After handling the different phones on display at the Walmart Family Mobile display in the store, he chose the LG Leon for $79.82. The LG Leon has a really nice camera and a bigger screen, which is great for playing games and getting online. Matt's really been loving taking photos lately so we decided to go with the LG Leon and nurture his shutterbug interests.

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The Walmart Family Mobile ESR was super friendly and walk us through everything, showing us all the different phone options as well as explaining how the plan works. The bills are delivered via text message about 2 weeks before they're due and you can pay the bill online, over the phone, or in any Walmart store at the Customer Service desk. According to the Walmart Family Mobile rep, the plan is more affordable in part because of the paperless billing system they use.

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We decided to go with a Walmart Family Mobile service plan that is $29.88/month (for the first line) for Unlimited Talk, Text & Data, which includes up to 1G of 4G LTE data, plus tax.  The Walmart Family Mobile rep will set up the phone and activate it for you while you wait. You also have the option of purchasing the phone and Walmart Family Mobile starter kit and activating it yourself at home. The process of in-store activation was fast and easy, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish, including purchasing the phone and starter kit.

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Walmart Family Mobile representatives are usually available in-store during the weekends. You can look for the balloons in the entertainment area or electronics area of the store to find the Walmart Family Mobile representative. During the week, there's a table set up with flyers and pamphlets that explain the Walmart Family Mobile program. You can also ask any Walmart associate in the Entertainment area of the store to help you with getting your phone and getting it activated. Locate an in-store event with a Walmart Family Mobile rep near you by clicking here.

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Find the display with the blue banner, like the one above, to get started with Walmart Family Mobile.

In meeting with the rep, I asked some questions that I know you'll also want the answers to:

What is Walmart Family Mobile?

Walmart Family Mobile is Walmart's no contract, no credit check, postpaid plan for mobile phones, offering unlimited plans on T-Mobile's Nationwide Network. Essentially, any one over 18 years of age can walk into a Walmart, purchase the phone and SIM card, and be up and running with a new phone when they leave the store.

What are the different plan options?

Walmart Family Mobile offers three unlimited plans, starting at $24.88 per month including unlimited talk and text. We opted for the next plan up, at $29.88 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data (1 GB of 4G LTE data). The next plan up is the unlimited talk, text, and data (3 GB of 4G LTE data) for $39.88 per month.

What phones are offered with Walmart Family Mobile service?

There are a variety of phones available for purchase inside Walmart for use with the Walmart Family Mobile plans or you can activate an unlocked GSM phone (with a SIM card)  as long as it is allowed by warranty and your current carrier contract. All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/ofmp or your local Walmart for current pricing.

How do I know if I am in a good coverage area?

Maps of the service areas are available in the Walmart Family Mobile display and online: Walmart Family Mobile.

How does the service compare to other pre- and post-paid phone plans?

The service on Walmart Family Mobile is the same as service on T-Mobile's network. The main difference is how the plans are billed. Instead of receiving a paper bill, bills are sent to the phone via text message. The bill can be paid on the phone, online, or in any Walmart store at the Money Center or Customer Service desk. You can also automatically pay the bills by setting up auto-pay by calling 611 on the activated phone. We have traditional post-paid service with T-Mobile and after seeing the affordability of the Walmart Family Mobile Plans, I am considering switching all of my phones over to Walmart Family Mobile!

How do I sign up for Walmart Family Mobile and what all do I need to purchase to get started?

All you need to get started with Walmart Family Mobile is a compatible smart phone (one purchased at the display in the store or an unlocked GSM phone) and a Walmart Family Mobile starter kit for $25.

So, why does a third grader need a smartphone anyways?

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We need a phone for Matthew to stay in touch with us while he is at soccer practice, after school, and when he is down the street playing at friend's houses. Sometimes, on day trips, like a recent trip we took to Olvera Street, it's easy for a kid to become separated from you in the crowd or to have a hard time finding you in a sea of people. He can easily just call us up on the phone to let us know where he is and to find us. We also regularly go to Disneyland, and wow, talk about a busy place where you can easily get separated! Our Walmart Family Mobile smart phone helps us stay connected no matter what we're doing.

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Having a mobile phone is invaluable when we are shopping. Sometimes Matt wants to look at something in the toy aisle (Pokemon cards, anyone?) but then lingers too long so I can give him a call to find out exactly where he is and to let him know where to meet up with me. While shopping in Walmart recently, he made a pit stop at the restroom and then called us to see if we were still in the restroom and to ask where he should wait for us. He also wanted a quarter to play the crane game next to the restroom. Boys and their priorities…

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After school or soccer practice, Matt can easily call us up to get a ride, call a friend, or call a family member. I love that he has access no matter if the school office is closed or not.  He also has lots of books and educational games on his phone that help him practice his multiplication tables and get in his 30 minutes of required reading every day. He's taken a recent interest in the Titanic and has been using his phone to research the ship and the history surrounding it. When we have long car trips, like to the Charity Wings Art Center in San Diego or to Disneyland, he'll spout off new facts he's found while searching on his phone online, using the 4G LTE data on the Walmart Family Mobile plan.

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The LG Leon which we got on Walmart Family Mobile is easy for him to hold and to dial. Since the phones are on display, you can try them out right in the store before buying. Walmart also has a friendly return policy where you can return or exchange the phone within 14 days if you decide it isn't the right fit for you.

Walmart Family Mobile is a much more affordable option for our family when adding a new phone for another child. With back to school here your kids are probably talking about brand new phones because they go to school and see all the other kids with brand new phones. The Walmart Family Mobile plan is a great way to get your kids set up for school with a brand new phone without breaking the bank.

Check out these two handy dandy links for more info:

How would you use Walmart Family Mobile to stay connected in your life? Leave me a comment below and let's chat!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

About the Author

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Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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