Today AT&T has updated its top-of-the-line unlimited plan.
Previously, AT&T's top-of-the-line plan was known as AT&T Unlimited Elite.
Today, that plan has been replaced with a new plan called AT&T Unlimited Premium.
In this article I’m covering:
- What’s different between the two plans
- Which plan was better
- Why AT&T made the change
- How the AT&T Unlimited Premium plan compares to the plans from Verizon and T-Mobile
- If you should upgrade or switch to AT&T Unlimited Premium
What’s The Difference Between Unlimited Elite and Unlimited Premium?
The old AT&T Unlimited Elite plan was $85 per month for a single line and $50 per line per month for a family of four.
Unlimited Elite included unlimited premium data that would never slow down based on your usage, 40GB of high-speed hotspot data, 4K video streaming, free roaming in Canada, Mexico, and 19 Latin American countries, 6 months of Stadia Pro, and a free HBO MAX subscription.
The new AT&T Unlimited Premium plan keeps most of the same features as Unlimited Elite except for two key changes:
- It upgrades the 40GB of hotspot data to 50GB
- It removes the free HBO MAX subscription
And that’s it.
The two plans are otherwise exactly the same.
Existing AT&T subscribers who were on the legacy Unlimited Elite plan are allowed to keep their current plan as well as their free HBO MAX subscription.
All new subscribers will be placed on the new AT&T Unlimited Premium plan.
You can see the full comparison of Unlimited Elite vs Unlimited Premium below:
Which Plan Was Better?
From a value perspective, the old AT&T Unlimited Elite plan was better for consumers.
HBO MAX was a $15 per month value that was included for free with Unlimited Elite.
Now, with Unlimited Premium, AT&T has removed this $15 value-add and is making customers sign up separately for HBO MAX if they want the streaming service.
For some people, that makes the Unlimited Premium plan more expensive in the long run. It costs an extra $180 per year to get the cell phone plan and streaming service together.
That said, Unlimited Premium does add 10GB of extra hotspot data. However, I think most people would have preferred (and used) the free HBO MAX subscription.
I doubt many people will notice, or even use, the 10 extra gigabytes of hotspot data.
AT&T Unlimited Premium is a step backward in terms of value-add for consumers.
If you have the legacy Unlimited Elite plan, I suggest you keep it.
Why Did AT&T Make This Change?
Why did AT&T make their most premium, and most expensive, plan a worse value for consumers?
Basically, AT&T sold WarnerMedia, the owners of HBO MAX, to Discovery, Inc in May 2021. This decision was made to create a standalone media company.
However, because AT&T no longer owned HBO MAX, AT&T likely had to compensate Discovery for the HBO MAX subscribers that were getting the service through the Unlimited Elite plan.
This reduced the profitability of the Unlimited Elite plan for AT&T.
So what did AT&T do?
They removed HBO MAX from their premium plan.
To soften the blow, they also added 10 extra GB of hotspot data, which doesn’t cost AT&T anything extra to include.
How Does AT&T Unlimited Premium Compare to Top-Tier Plans from Verizon and T-Mobile?
Compared to Verizon 5G Get More and T-Mobile Magenta MAX, the two top-tier offerings from Verizon and T-Mobile, AT&T Unlimited Premium compares reasonably well from a core-feature perspective.
Core features are the features related to using the cell phone service itself. This includes the amount of premium data, hotspot data, video streaming quality, and international features.
Where AT&T Unlimited Premium falls short is with the extra perks and included benefits.
The loss of the free HBO MAX subscription makes the other premium plans from Verizon and T-Mobile look even more appealing.
AT&T Unlimited Premium
AT&T Unlimited Premium is $85 per month for a single line ($50 per month per line for a family of four) and includes unlimited premium data, 50GB of hotspot data, 4K video streaming, free roaming in Canada, Mexico, and 19 Latin American countries, and 6 months of free Stadia Pro.
Verizon 5G Get More
Verizon’s 5G Get More plan costs $90 per month for a single line ($55 per month per line for a family of four).
It includes unlimited premium data, 50GB of hotspot data, 720p video streaming, and 1 free day of roaming in Canada, Mexico, or 210+ of the supported international destinations per month.
Additional roaming days are available for $5 or $10 per day.
Verizon also loads the 5G Get More plan up with perks.
You get a free subscription to Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, and Apple Music.
You also 50% off the cost of a tablet or hotspot plan, 600GB of free Verizon cloud storage, and 50% off the cost of Verizon 5G Home Internet if you choose to get it.
For those at home counting, that’s $64/month in added value to this plan.
T-Mobile Magenta MAX
Lastly, we have T-Mobile’s most premium plan: T-Mobile Magenta MAX.
Magenta MAX is $85 per month ($43 per month per line for a family of four) and it includes all taxes and fees in the price. This makes it the cheapest plan of the three.
Included with the service is unlimited premium data, 40GB of hotspot data, 4K video streaming, 5GB of high-speed data roaming per month in Canada and Mexico, and free international data roaming in 210+ supported international destinations at 2G speeds (256Kbps).
For perks, T-Mobile adds in T-Mobile Tuesdays, a free Netflix Basic subscription for single-line accounts and a free Netflix Standard subscription for multi-line accounts, and free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi.
Overall, strong offerings from the three providers. Although it is clear Verizon and T-Mobile are lathering their plans in perks.
AT&T Unlimited Premium vs Verizon 5G Get More vs T-Mobile Magenta MAX
Here’s how AT&T Unlimited Premium compares to 5G Get More and Magenta MAX:
- AT&T Unlimited Premium includes the same amount of premium data as the other plans (unlimited premium data)
- AT&T ties with Verizon in offering the most hotspot data (50GB)
- AT&T ties with T-Mobile in offering the best video streaming quality (4K)
- AT&T offers the best international roaming in Canada, Mexico, and 19 Latin American countries. You get truly unlimited high-speed data when roaming in these supported countries on AT&T, compared to 5GB of high-speed data per month from T-Mobile and just 0.5GB for one day from Verizon
- T-Mobile offers the best overall international roaming. 5GB of high-speed data per month in Canada and Mexico is still great, and you get free international data roaming in 210+ supported destinations at 2G speeds. That’s way better than spending $10 per day from Verizon or AT&T. Plus. if you want faster international data, T-Mobile has more affordable international add-ons.
- AT&T loses HARD in the perks category. 6 months of free Stadia Pro is a pitiful offering compared to the $64 in perks Verizon bundles into their plan. Heck, even T-Mobile’s free Netflix offer seems great. It’s a permanent offer that you get to keep as long as you have service. AT&T’s 6-month trial of Stadia Pro goes away after, well, six months.
Is AT&T Unlimited Premium Worth It?
One word: No.
It’s not worth upgrading or switching to the new AT&T Unlimited Premium plan.
In my opinion, the best value premium unlimited plan is T-Mobile Magenta MAX.
Not only is T-Mobile the cheapest option when compared to AT&T and Verizon, but it includes useful benefits like free roaming in Canada and Mexico and free international roaming.
Plus, I know a lot of people will enjoy the free Netflix subscription.
The main downside to Magenta MAX is that it only comes with 40GB of hotspot data, which is still plenty. Very few people use that high amount of hotspot data anyway.
So in terms of overall value, T-Mobile is the best in my book.
And if you don’t get good T-Mobile coverage, then I think I would go with Verizon’s 5G Get More plan as the next best option.
Yes, it’s a LOT more expensive at $90 per month plus tax, but I think the added perks do add extra value to the plan. You get what you pay for.
Plus, Verizon has been rapidly expanding its 5G Ultra Wideband network, which is boasting speeds between 300Mbps-4Gbps. It’s awesome.
AT&T Unlimited Premium, on the other hand, is expensive and lacks added value. The only reason I would consider AT&T Unlimited Premium is…well…actually, not at all.
Cricket’s $55 Unlimited More plan includes the same unlimited premium data as AT&T’s plan, 15GB of high-speed hotspot data, the same free high-speed international data roaming in Canada and Mexico, and even a free subscription to HBO MAX with ads!
And it’s 35% LESS expensive than AT&T Unlimited Premium!
You’d save $360+ per year by going with Cricket (Cricket includes taxes and fees, whereas AT&T charges an arm and a leg for taxes and fees) and you'd get 90% of the same plan.
You’d only be missing out on the roaming in those 19 Latin American countries, and to be quite frank you can find super affordable plans in those countries anyway.
So in my opinion, I would encourage people to consider Cricket Unlimited More over AT&T Unlimited Premium.
And if you do need to stick with AT&T, then why not drop down to the Unlimited Extra plan? You save $10 per line per month and get a lot of the same features.
AT&T Unlimited Premium just isn’t worth the high price in my book.