Top Picks for the Best Unlimited Plans on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile from $35 per month
Everyone wants unlimited data these days, so in this article I’m covering the best unlimited data plans on the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks.
I'm even changing a few of my previous recommendations in my best cell phones 2020 post based on new information from my YouTube commenters, so stick around to see what’s new.
Before we get in to the best plans, there are actually three different types of unlimited plans that you should know about:
- Fake Unlimited Plans
- Deprioritized unlimited plans
- Premium unlimited plans
Fake, Deprioritized, and Premium Unlimited Data Plans Explained
Fake Unlimited Plans
Fake unlimited plans are regular data plans pretending to be unlimited. They have a certain amount of high speed data before unlimited 2G data.
Why do carriers do this? Because they know people want unlimited plans, even if they don’t need unlimited data.
People don’t want to think about their data usage. They just want to sign up for a plan and use it however they wish without having to worry about overage charges or monitor their data consumption.
Carriers know this. They also know the average person uses only about 3-5GB of data per month.
Even Verizon themselves say that most smartphones on their network average only about 2GB of data per month. This is from the prepaid section of their website:
If a carrier’s plan has 15GB or more high speed data, they can list it as unlimited and most people won’t notice a difference. (And technically speaking these plans do include unlimited 2G data).
But are these plans really unlimited? No. If we do the math out, downloading data at 2G speeds for a full month only adds up to about 81GB. Add on the 15GB or so that will download at fast LTE speeds in the beginning, and you’re still only at 96GB. Is this “unlimited”? No. Far from it.
Despite being misleading, the truth is these fake unlimited plans do meet the needs of a majority of users, and for a lot of people they could be great options considering their more affordable price points.
Deprioritized Unlimited Plans
Deprioritized unlimited plans are the middle ground of unlimited plans. Technically they do include unlimited LTE data, but the data is deprioritized.
This means when the network is congested, or when a lot of people are using it at the same time, your data speeds will be slowed down over other network traffic. In some locations you will hardly notice this, while in others your speeds could be slowed down to the point of being unusable.
Network congestion varies by location and time of day. If you’re in a city this could be a bigger deal. If you live in more rural areas, I think you’re less likely to notice.
The best way to find out what data deprioritization is like in your area is to sign up for a plan and test for yourself, or talk to someone else with the plan you’re interested in.
Premium Unlimited Plans
Premium unlimited plans are the top of the line. They include a certain amount of “priority” or “premium” data per month. When the network gets congested, these plans are prioritized over all other connections until their priority data amount is consumed.
But also, here’s the thing, when the network gets congested, everyone’s speeds are going to slow down no matter what. It’s like when there is traffic on the highway. Whether you’re in a Tesla or a Ferrari or a Toyota Prius, you’re going slow.
In some heavily congested areas, such as cities, having priority data can be the difference between slow but usable data and completely unusable data. In other locations, everyone will get full LTE speeds with the biggest limitation being the signal strength of the tower.
Fake Unlimited vs. Deprioritized Unlimited vs. Premium Unlimited Summary
Most people will be fine with the fake unlimited plans. The 15GB or more of included LTE data is plenty for most people. You won’t need to think about your data usage, and the prices of these plans are often cheaper than their true unlimited counterparts.
If you do need more than 15GB or so of LTE data per month, then the deprioritized plans are your next best bet in terms of value. These offer great prices and true unlimited LTE data. You won’t be slowed down based on how much data you’ve used, but rather based on the network congestion.
And if you discover the deprioritized plans are unusably slow in your location, then you can consider either switching networks, or upgrading to a priority unlimited plan. At this point you’re probably using enough data on your phone to make it worth the extra price.
Now that you know about the different types of unlimited plans, let’s go over what I think are the best premium, the best value, and the best high data amount alternative plans on the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks.
First up, on the Verizon network the best premium unlimited data plan is their $90 Get More Unlimited plan. You get 75GB of priority data, 30GB of hotspot data, 720p video streaming, an Apple Music subscription, 500GB of Verizon cloud storage, and 50% off a Tablet or Jetpack unlimited plan.
The best value unlimited plan I think comes from Visible. $40 per month gets you full speed unlimited LTE data and unlimited hotspot data. Hotspot speeds are capped at 5Mbps. You can save $15 per month by joining a Visible party, bringing the cost down to $25 per month, and taxes and fees included. This is one of the best deals out there right now.
The biggest downsides to Visible are that they have a limited number of supported devices, and customer support has been a mixed bag for people. Still, the price is unbeatable.
Two popular unlimited plans people have been talking about are the $45 unlimited plans from Spectrum Mobile and XFINITY Mobile. And an update from my previous video–these plans include 20GB of priority data and 5GB of hit speed hotspot data, which counts against your 20GB priority data usage, before unlimited hotspot at 600Kbps.
I’m not a huge fan of these plans because non-customers will be paying $65 per month, it turns out they only support iPhones, Samsung phones, and Pixel phones, and Spectrum mobile has low key amassed 317 one-star reviews on the site MoneySavingPro. There are even complaints of the bill being higher than advertised. So… yeah. Instead of giong with these options, I’d recommend a high-data alternative plan from US Mobile.
And here’s another update–it turns out US Mobile’s unlimited plans are actually 50GB plans. Their website reads, “A tiny fraction of heavier data users may notice reduced speeds afterwards.” Well, a few of those users reached out to me and noticed their data speeds being slowed down to 2G.
Perhaps this will change in the future, but for now these are 50GB plans. Still, 50GB is plenty for most people, and with family plan perks of Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus or Disney Plus, these still could be great options. $40 gets you 50GB at 5Mbps. $45 adds 10GB of hotspot data. And $50 gives you full speed LTE data and full speed hotspot data.
You may also consider US Mobile’s $36 8GB plan or $30 5GB plan. These plans include hotspot support, full speed LTE data, and international roaming data coming soon.
On the AT&T network best premium plan is their $85 Unlimited Elite Plan. 100GB of priority data, 30GB of hotspot data, HD video streaming, and HBO are all included with this plan.
The best value plan right now is hands down Cricket’s $40 BYOD promotion. All you need to do to get this plan is switch your number from a non-AT&T carrier to Cricket, bring your own unlocked devices, and you’ll be getting unlimited data for $40 per month. Cricket is known to have speed caps with their plans, but I’m happy to tell you guys this plan offers uncapped, full-speed LTE data. Unfortunately this plan is always deprioritized and there is no hotspot support.
If Cricket’s plan expires, it’s essentially a cheaper version of AT&T’s $45 unlimited prepaid plan. Again, unlimited deprioritized data, but you do get the option to purchase a 5GB hotspot add-on for $10/mo.
Other great options include plans from AT&T prepaid, Wing, and Pure TalkUSA. $55 per month gets you 22GB or priority data with all of these plans, but there are some differences.
AT&T prepaid has prepaid level data priority and 10GB of hotspot data included.
Wing is different. They are actually providing AT&T business plans, so you get 22GB of priority data at the same priority level as AT&T postpaid. 15GB of hotspot data are also included, and this plan is currently discounted down to just $50 per month on Wing’s website.
And finally Pure TalkUSA’s plan is actually a fake unlimited plan. I learned this from chatting with their support. It’s a 22GB plan with 128Kbps data speeds afterwards, which is a bummer. And another bummer is you are using an iPhone XR or newer, hotspot, visual voicemail, voicemail notification, MMS and FaceTime over cellular will not be available until April of 2020.
I can’t say I recommend Pure TalkUSA's $55 plan anymore but when April rolls around Pure Talk’s other plans will be great options. $45 gets you 15GB, $35 gets you 8GB, and $30 gets you 5GB.
Until then, Cricket or Wing are probably the way to go, and lets not forget AT&T’s 1 year promo where you can get 8GB per month for just $25 per month when you sign up for a year.
Moving on to the Sprint network. The best premium plan here is their $80 Unlimited Premium plan. You get 50GB of priority data, an amazing 100GB of hotspot data, full HD video streaming, and added perks of Amazon Prime, Tital, Hulu, and Lookout Premium Plus.
Surprisingly, the best value unlimited plan on the Sprint network is their own $35 Sprint Kickstart plan. As you’d expect, speeds are deprioritized, and Sprint will actually limit your data streaming rate for video, gaming, and music streaming services. These speeds should still be fast enough to use your phone as you normally would. Hotspot is not available with this plan.
If you’re looking for hotspot support, you can consider Boost Mobile’s $50 plan. This includes pretty much the same data deprioritization and limitations as Sprint Kickstart, but it adds 12GB of hotspot data.
The best high-data amount alternative plan is Tello’s fake unlimited plan, which they recently brought back. This is actually a 25GB plan for $39, and it does support the personal hotspot. You could also customize a plan to meet your needs, such as a 6GB plan for $22 per month if you need a little bit less data or a cheaper price.
And lastly Hello Mobile’s $25 unlimited plan is also another plan I’ve seen mentioned a lot in the comments. Here’s the thing guys, this is actually a fake unlimited plan. As discovered by a reddit user, it’s a 15GB plan that is slowed to 256Kbps afterwards.
Hello Mobile also claims they use both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks simultaneously, but it really looks like the Sprint network is their primary network. Their pricing is great, but I’d probably hold off on trying them out until the full review.
And on the T-Mobile network, the best premium plan is their Magenta Plus plan. $85 per month. 50GB of priority data. 20GB of hotspot data. HD video streaming. 2 standard HD netflix screens. Taxes and fees included. This is a great premium plan.
One thing to note is that the Netflix subscription is only available with 2 or more lines. Thank you to the commenter who pointed this out.
In terms of the best value unlimited plan on the T-Mobile network, we have a few options here.
First we have Teltik. Teltik’s unlimited plan is $40 per month and includes unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds. The reason I chose not to mention Teltik in my Best Cell Phone Plans 2020 video is that Teltik is for businesses. You need to provide business documents when you sign up for a plan. I’ve heard people have provided screenshots of their eBay seller page, but still it is more of a process to sign up for Teltik. If you are able to sign up, they do have some phenomenal plans at great prices.
Previously, I had recommended Ultra Mobile’s $40 unlimited plan, which I thought was the best deal out there. Unfortunately, reading through their terms of service and it appears this is only a 32GB plan, making it a fake unlimited plan.
After further research and a recommendation from a YouTube commenter, I think Simple Mobile’s unlimited plan is the next best option. It is a true unlimited plan, with 40GB of priority data and 5GB of hotspot data included.
You can also consider plans from Metro by T-Mobile. These unlimited plans are great for families because of the group discounts, and their premium plan includes 100GB of Google ONE storage and Amazon Prime.
Lastly, on the T-Mobile network you may consider Mint Mobile as a high-data amount alternative. $25 gets you 12GB of LTE data per month, with support for full-feature service. This $25 price is available for the first 3 months for new customers, and you can keep this price if you decide to renew your plan for the 12 month package.
There are a few additional unlimited plans I want to mention because I’ve seen a lot of discussion around them.
First is Google Fi’s $70 unlimited plan. I previously recommended this in my best plans 2020 video because it uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks simultaneously to provide coverage and it offers amazing international support.
However, one YouTube commenter informed me this plan is actually a FAKE unlimited plan, capping data speeds to 256Kbps after 22GB instead of just deprioritizing you.
And he’s absolutely correct. High speed data is an additional $10 per GB if you choose to buy more, which is kind of ridiculous. Google Fi may still be great for some with their coverage and international support, but I’m super bummed to learn this is actually a 22GB plan.
Next I want to mention Straight Talk. Their unlimited plan is $55 per month and includes 10GB of hotspot data. Straight Talk’s plan is also available on the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks.
However, Straight Talk says they will investigate your account if you use over 60GB, so for all intents and purposes I’d say this is really a 60GB plan. Still, it’s a decent value and could be great for some people.
I’ll also give a shoutout to Red Pocket. Red Pocket’s $60 unlimited plan provides unlimited data on either the AT&T or Sprint networks, and includes unlimited hotspot data as well according to their support representative. Their $40 15GB plan is also a decent option if you don’t need a true unlimited plan.
And I think the last plan worth mentioning, but in my opinion not worth signing up for, is the too-good-to-be-true $20 unlimited plan from Altice Mobile. This plan is actually $30 for non-Altice customers, and only available in certain regions where Altice offers service.
Altice Mobile’s plan is unique because it uses both AT&T and Sprint for coverage and dynamically switches between the networks. The downside? It only uses Sprint for LTE data, and AT&T is used as a backup for calls and texts.
Reddit users are reporting Altice only supports iPhones 6 and up, Moto G7 Play, and the Samsung Galaxy S9. Data speeds are also limited for certain streaming activities. Possibly an option for some, though I’d consider any one of the other unlimited plans mentioned in this article.