The best unlimited wireless telephone plan

The best unlimited wireless telephone plan

Sarah Tew / CNET

When it comes to selecting a wireless Plan for your new phone – whether you have an iPhone, Galaxy, Android or even a flip phone – things can go quickly complicated. Unlike home internet where there is often alone one or two available options, most of the United States can pick wireless plans by several competitors to different price points offering similar claims of performance or coverage.

For this roundup, I’ll focus on the three main carriers – Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T – which combine the unlimited postpaid multiple plans available to find the ones that offer the greatest benefits and value for single lines e for families of four.

Know yours area

Before getting to the plans, also more important to get the best the deal is doing sure you have the coverage you need. This makes it a lot hard for us for give a general recommendation of whatever one vector. The T-Mobile service in New York may be excellent, but if you are in rural Iowa, Verizon is more reliable.

5G graphics

Screenshot from Sarah Tew / CNET

Although your mileage may vary, the good news is that these networks are continuously growing and improving, in particular because the three main ones players race to cover the United States with 5G. It’s enough possible than ten years ago you left a network complaining about their poor service, but has it strengthened now? up Why of what weapons race for acquire customers.

If you know some friend or family in your area that already use the courier you are considering, ask for theirs experience. Could also go to a courier store, and see if they offer free ways to try out the service before giving you your phone number, such as Test drive by T-Mobile.

Know your discounts

Another thing to keep in mind: discounts. All of carriers offer additional discounts that you may be eligible for for employee on your employer, military state, age or being a student.

First responders, military, veterans, nurses and teachers can get discounts on all major carriers. Verizon has discounts for students, while T-Mobile’s Work perk he could knock $ 10 a month off a Magenta Max plan, with AT&T offering a similar program for his unlimited Elite plan which calls Signature.

If you’re 55 or older, you might also be eligible for a discounted plan: T-Mobile discounted offers plans nationwide for starting at $ 55 per month for two lines, in the meantime, Verizon is AT&T offer similar options but only for residents in Florida.

Now on to choices.

Best for value: T-Mobile Essentials, $ 60 for a single line, $ 105 for four lines


Sarah Tew / CNET

Those looking to save more on unlimited service from major carriers can be best with The essentials of T-Mobile. Unlimited conversation, text, and data are included for all of the base of the unlimited vector plans. In this price- focused comparison, T-Mobile’s option arrives in for $ 60 for a single line, $ 5 per month in cheaper than AT & T’s Unlimited Starter and $ 10 in cheaper than Verizon’s Start Unlimited.

Besides being $ 5 in cheaper than AT & T’s option, Essentials of T-Mobile includes unlimited mobile hotspot (albeit at slower “3G speeds”), giving you some more flexibility. All three carriers offer 5G access with their base plans. We should Verizon’s Start Unlimited note no support its fastest forms of 5G, but it’s unlikely to be missing out on taking advantage of those speeds so early in The 5G life cycle anyway. You can always reevaluate yours options next year after Verizon starts rolling on its new flavor of the wireless technology.

The savings of T-Mobile’s plan also becomes more pronounced on more lines you add. Two lines of Essentials is $ 90 per month, while a similar offer from AT&T or Verizon runs $ 120 a month. Three lines are also $ 97.50 on T-Mobile with a new promotion, compared to AT&T or Verizon’s $ 135 monthly. The four lines option is $ 105 at T-Mobile, compared to $ 140 at other carriers.

These prices come with one caveat: unlike T-Mobile’s Magenta or Magenta Max plans, taxes and fees are not included in whatever of these prices, making the actual total higher.

Best for perks: Verizon Play More Unlimited, $ 80 for a single line, $ 180 for four lines



If you are looking for for giveaways with your wireless service, Verizon has one of the bundle more aggressive out There with his Play More plan ($ 80 per month for one line, $ 45 per month if you have four lines).

In addition to the Disney package, which consists of of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu – the carrier is also throwing in a year’s subscription to Apple Music and Discovery Plus.

A recent addition gives you a year of or Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass for gaming on your iPhone or Android phone respectively.

All in all, the benefits quickly add up if you use whatever of these services. The Disney package normally runs $ 14 per month, Apple Music $ 10, and Discovery $ 5. Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass each run $ 5.

Added up, that’s potentially $ 34 a month in Services. Verizon offers these benefits as a part of è Play more and get more plans, but for most people, the Play More choice is there best in form. Get more runs an extra $ 10 per month ($ 90 per month for a single line, $ 220 per month for four lines) and adds an extra 15GB of tall-speed hotspot data, 50% off a connected device like a monthly plan for tablet and 600 GB of Verizon cloud storage.

Something to note: these benefits are often limited to one per account, so only one line on a family the plan would be qualify to open a Disney Plus account and have it covered by the carrier.

Verizon also allows you to “mix and match” plans when you have multiple lines.

If you have four people on your family slowly, alone one must have Play more to get the benefits for the whole family. The rest can be on the cheaper Start Unlimited, which would make four lines $ 150 per month compared to $ 180 per month if all four lines had Play More. And then one year pass, you should evaluate if the Play More plan still provides enough benefits when Apple Music, Discovery Plus, Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass subscriptions run out.

To read more: The best offers on streaming services

T-Mobile is the runner-up with his Magenta plan ($ 70 per month for a single line, $ 140 per month for four lines). Among the advantages in this plan is unlimited international data (albeit at low “2G speeds”) when traveling in over 210 countries, 1 hour of Go Go in-Wi-Fi in-flight, T-Mobile’s weekly giveaways on Tuesdays and bundle of Netflix’s $ 9 / month base plan (which is limited to viewing) on one screen at a time and without HD).

His most expensive Magenta Max plan arrives with of Netflix more popular Standard plan from $ 14 per month (which allows for HD streaming on up to two screens at the same time), faster international Unlimited data and Wi-Fi Gogo on flights. Unlike the Essentials plan discussed in previously, T-Mobile also includes taxes and fees with the price of its Magenta and Magenta Max plans.


HBO Max is included only with AT & T’s Unlimited Elite Plan.

Angela Lang / CNET

AT&T is unlimited plans I don’t have much in the way of advantages. If you want HBO Max you will need the carrier’s best Elite Unlimited offer ($ 85 for one line, $ 50 per month if you have four lines), though like Verizon you can mix up the plans on your account in so that only one the line has the Elite and the others are on more cheap options like Starter.

How with Verizon and the Disney package, T-Mobile’s offering of Netflix and the AT&T offering of HBO Max is limited to one subscription per account, not one for every line you have.

Why get unlimited?

If you are on T-Mobile, everything of your plans they are unlimited. AT&T and Verizon, however, still offer some layered data plans.

Even if they all are wireless the needs are different, for most we think unlimited plans it makes more sense especially when it comes to choosing a new Plan.

For one line, a 5GB shared data plan on Verizon costs $ 55 for one line, or $ 130 for four lines. This plan has unlimited conversations and messages, but after you use up 5GB of data – and its shared 5 GB with all your lines, not 5GB for each row – yours speed it will slow down drastically until the end of your billing cycle If you want faster data in in the meantime, you need paying an absurd $ 15 per gigabyte.

by Verizon basic the unlimited plan – called Start Unlimited – costs $ 70 per month for one line, or $ 140 for four lines.

AT & T’s option it’s not much better. It has a 4GB plan that runs $ 50 per month for one line ($ 160 for four lines). Each row here gets 4GB of data, but if you go over that threshold in per month you pay $ 10 for each 2GB.

The company basic the unlimited plan, called Unlimited Starter, costs $ 65 per month for one line or $ 140 for four lines.

If you have one or two lines and don’t use A lot of data you might be fine with one of these plans or the old plan you currently to have. For the most part, however, we truly believe that the unlimited is best choice when choosing a new Plan.

We will continue to update this article as new unlimited plans and the best deals emerge. In the meantime, if you know of a better wireless plan a deal or have your favorites, drop put them in the comments or send me a message on Twitter @eliblumenthal

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