Unlimited data plans from the largest wireless providers used to come with a hefty price tag. Of course, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all charge a hefty sum for their premium, feature-rich plans.
However, in 2018, T-Mobile introduced Essentials, a more affordable unlimited data package with fewer features. T-major Mobile’s rivals eventually caught on, probably as a result of the company’s dominance in the market for the cheapest cell phone plans overall, many of which also provide unlimited data for a low price.
AT&T and Verizon have introduced their own basic unlimited data plans in the past year. You won’t find many amenities, but the low monthly cell phone price can make up for it.
Now that fall’s flagship smartphones are being released, it’s crucial that you know what options you have for unlimited data plans. Apple’s iPhone 14 is expected to launch soon, and Samsung has released its newest foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
A new wireless plan, especially one that provides unlimited speaking, text, and internet without breaking the bank, is worth considering if you’re in the market for a new phone.
Therefore, we set out to examine how the three largest US carriers stack up against one another in terms of the cheapest, most limitless data plans. Mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs, typically have more affordable options on a monthly basis, whereas the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon charge more for their more robust plans.
If you’re looking for the greatest cell phone discounts and they need you to sign up for an unlimited data plan, then this inexpensive unlimited data phone plan comparison is a smart place to start.
Cheap unlimited data plans compared: AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Verizon
|Single-line cost||Per line cost, 4-line plan||Hotspot data||Other notes|
|AT&T Value Plus||$50||N/A||None||5G coverage, unlimited talk, text and data in Canada and Mexico|
|T-Mobile Essentials||$60||$26.25 (includes discounted 3rd line)||Unlimited at 3G speeds||5G coverage, Includes a year of Paramount Plus|
|Verizon Welcome Unlimited||$65||$30||None||5G coverage, unlimited talk, text and data in Canada and Mexico|
At&t’s Value Plus Plan Is a Low-Cost Option with Unlimited Data.
Money needed, in a single sentence: $50/month
The tab, in four simple lines: N/A
If you need just one line of unlimited data and don’t care about a tonne of extras, AT&T’s Value Plus plan is for you. Value Plus, which costs $50 a month, provides unlimited talk, text, and data usage, though AT&T may reduce data speeds during peak times due to network congestion.
Value Plus differs from AT&T’s more expensive unlimited plans in that it includes an unmetered amount of “premium data,” or high-speed data that is not throttled after a certain amount has been used.
When you sign up for AT&T’s Value Plus plan, you’ll have access to 5G speeds across the country and can even use your phone in Mexico and Canada without worrying about overage fees. Texting is also free and limitless between the United States and over 200 other nations. However, that’s about all the rewards there are.
AT&T’s Value Plus plan is limited in the most significant way by the fact that it is not available to multiple users on a single account (AT&T limits Value Plus pricing to a single line).
AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan costs $140 for four lines (or $35 per line) and AT&T’s Unlimited Extra plan costs $160 for four lines (or $40 per line) if you wish to add more lines. As one might expect, there are additional benefits available with such programs.
After T-Mobile Essentials, the next cheapest plan is the $70/month Magenta plan, which brings the total cost for a family of four to $140 owing to the reduced third line.
The magenta plan increases your premium data cap to 100GB and your hotspot cap to 5GB, both at high speeds. Plans with more than one line include free Netflix and other travel perks like access to the internet while in the air.
Verizon Welcome Unlimited Is a Low-Cost, Unlimited Data Plan.
Money needed, in a single sentence: $65/month
The tab, in four simple lines: Monthly Cost: $120 ($30 x 4 lines)
Verizon’s Welcome Unlimited plan is a newbie among these inexpensive unlimited ones, offering a low starting fee for unlimited data through Verizon’s extensive service. Welcome Unlimited also provides 5G service, albeit over Verizon’s slower nationwide 5G network rather than the speedier C-Band and mmWave-based 5G available in select cities.
Welcome Unlimited’s restricted set of extras is par for the course with other low-priced unlimited plans. Traveling to Mexico and Canada, you can use your phone for voice calls, SMS messages, and internet access, but that’s about it. If Verizon’s network is overloaded, your speeds will decrease.
For families, Welcome Unlimited’s ever-decreasing per-line price of $30 a month for four lines of data is where the service really shines. Welcome Unlimited does not permit plan mixing, unlike Verizon’s other unlimited data plans.
If you want more features with your unlimited data, the next lowest option at Verizon is the 5G Start plan, which costs $70 per month for one line. For $35 a month, a family of four can have access to four lines of high-speed Internet.
The added benefits include 5GB of hotspot data and a choice between a 6-month trial of Disney Plus, Discovery Plus, Apple Music, and either Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, two of the most popular online game subscription services. If you want 5G Play More and all its extra features, you’ll have to pay an extra $80 a month.
Other Low-Cost Options for Unlimited Data
If you’re prepared to go beyond the main wireless carriers, you can find inexpensive options with unlimited plans that are far cheaper. For instance, Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan is $30 per month, but after a three-month free trial, you’ll need to commit to a full year of service to lock in that price.
Visible recently restructured its programs and its entry-level unlimited plan is now $30 per month, without the one-year commitment that Mint requires.
Access to Verizon’s fastest 5G network and unlimited international calling and texting are just some of the features of the $45/month Visible plan. (Verizon owns and operates the network on which Visible operates.) Tello’s $29 unlimited talk/text/data plan is $1 less than the next cheapest provider.
Like Visible, Mint and Tello rely on the networks of major carriers for their service. In this situation, Verizon provides the network for discount services. The good news is that this includes 5G service via those networks. However, if the parent network is extremely busy, your own data transfer rates may suffer.
How to Choose Between Low-Cost, Unlimited Data Plans
To choose the best low-cost unlimited data plan from a major wireless provider, you should consider more than just the monthly cost. Assuming you don’t require more than one line of data, AT&T’s Value Plus plan is the most cost-effective option.
If you reside in an area with good Verizon coverage, the Welcome Unlimited plan is the superior option for families.
Although bonuses aren’t common for such inexpensive plans, they do play a factor in deciding on the best-unlimited package. In spite of this, T-Mobile Essentials features a year of Paramount Plus and hotspot data (although at reduced rates).
In addition, it is the only unlimited plan that guarantees that your data speeds will not be reduced for the first 50GB of consumption. T-5G Mobile’s network is the most reliable, therefore their cheapest unlimited data package is also the best option for those looking for 5G coverage.