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The best 5G plans in the US: Which carrier is right for you?

5G is finally coming into its own, so it's time to get a plan that's ready for top speeds.
By

Published onFebruary 13, 2024

Red 5G logo projected 1
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Most carriers now include 5G in their unlimited plans, whether you live in a 5G area or not. Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T continue to grow their coverage, while smaller MVNOs are catching a ride on the coattails. While you can find speedy coverage in plenty of places, it all comes down to pricing. Here are the best 5G plans from all of the major US carriers.

Before you jump on the bandwagon, bear in mind that the fastest 5G is still only available in select areas of the United States. Unfortunately, that mainly refers to cities. It will be a while before smaller cities and rural areas get in on the 5G action. 

We’ve focused mainly on unlimited data plans in this rundown. While these tend to be pricier with the bigger carriers, there are plenty of more budget-friendly options. And let’s face it; if you’re considering upgrading to 5G, which can reach download speeds of over 1Gbps, you’re not going to want a plan that’s capped at 3GB.

Check out your options below.

Carriers offering 5G plans:

After you’ve decided on your carrier — or maybe before you decide — you should probably take a look at your best options for 5G devices at the bottom of this page.

Editors note: We will keep this list of 5G plans updated as plans change and more launch.

Verizon 5G plans

Verizon 5G Plans
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband mobile service is some of the fastest coverage around, and Big Red claims it’s 10 times faster than other 5G networks. However, if you live outside of a major city, you will probably spend most of your time on the 5G Nationwide network. 

Check out this table for more on what Verizon offers on the postpaid side:

myPlan Unlimited WelcomemyPlan Unlimited Plus
Cost
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
$65 for one line
$55 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$30 for four lines
$27 for five lines
myPlan Unlimited Plus
$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$42 for five lines
Talk & Text
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Unlimited
myPlan Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Data
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
myPlan Unlimited Plus
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
5G wideband
Hotspot
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Not included
myPlan Unlimited Plus
30GB 4G LTE or 5G
International Service
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
myPlan Unlimited Plus
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
Extra Perks
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
480p streaming
Can add perks for $10 each, including 100GB hotspot data, Apple Music, Apple One, Disney Plus bundle, and more
myPlan Unlimited Plus
480p streaming
Can add perks for $10 each, including 100GB hotspot data, Apple Music, Apple One, Disney Plus bundle, and more

Verizon offers two main unlimited plans on the postpaid side: MyPlan Unlimited Welcome and MyPlan Unlimited Plus. The latter of these plans gets you mmWave 5G access, while the former sticks to the slower (but still very fast) nationwide network. The Welcome plan starts at $65 for one line, while the Plus plan starts at $80. Both plans have access to a variety of perks, though each perk will add $10 to your monthly costs. 

The Welcome plan doesn’t include hotspot access, but you can add it on for $10. Meanwhile, the Plus plan gives you 30GB of hotspot access. 

On the prepaid side, the cheapest plan to support 5G data is Verizon’s 15GB Prepaid option for $35 a month. Still, 5G uses a lot of data, so we’d recommend either the Unlimited Prepaid or Unlimited Plus Prepaid plan. These plans give you hotspot access and 5G data for $50 and $60 a month, respectively. The more expensive plan includes both 5G and mmWave 5G, while the cheaper version doesn’t support mmWave. 

There’s also a Verizon Ultimate tier, but it offers mostly the same features aside from 10GB high-speed international data and few other perks. It’s also really expensive, starting at $75 for a single line. 

AT&T 5G plans

ATT logo on phone stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

New AT&T subscribers can choose from three unlimited plans, each of which now comes with 5G access. All three have unlimited talk, text, and data in the US, Canada, and Mexico. You also get free texting to over 120 countries, along with suspected spam and fraud alerts. AT&T is also following in Verizon’s footsteps with a few new fees. They’re meant to counteract inflation, but it would be surprising to see the fees go away even when the economy stabilizes.

AT&T’s Unlimited Starter plan costs $65 a month for one line, but it drops to just $35 per line with four connections. Of course, these prices include paperless billing and AutoPay discounts. You won’t get any premium data, and AT&T can slow down your data during times of congestion. The Unlimited Starter plan doesn’t include any mobile hotspot data, and you’re limited to standard definition streaming as well. 

Unlimited StarterUnlimited ExtraUnlimited Premium
Cost
Unlimited Starter
$65 for one line
$60 for two lines
$45 for three lines
$35 for four lines
Unlimited Extra
$75 for one line
$65 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$40 for four lines
Unlimited Premium
$85 for one line
$75 for two lines
$60 for three lines
$50 for four lines
Talk & Text
Unlimited Starter
Unlimited
Unlimited Extra
Unlimited
Unlimited Premium
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited Starter
Unlimited basic 4G LTE
5G access with compatible device
Unlimited Extra
50GB premium 4G LTE
Unlimited basic 4G LTE
5G access with compatible device
Unlimited Premium
100GB premium 4G LTE
Unlimited basic 4G LTE
5G access with compatible device
Hotspot
Unlimited Starter
Not included
Unlimited Extra
15GB per line
Unlimited Premium
30GB per line
International Service
Unlimited Starter
Unlimited texting to 120 countries
Unlimited Extra
Unlimited texting to 120 countries
Unlimited Premium
Unlimited texting to 120 countries
Extra Perks
Unlimited Starter
Device security and spam risk alerts
Standard definition streaming
Unlimited Extra
Device security and spam risk alerts
Standard definition streaming
Unlimited Premium
Device security and spam risk alerts
High definition streaming

The Unlimited Extra plan costs $75 a month for one line, or you can get a four-line bundle for $160. These prices are with a $10 discount for using paperless billing and AutoPay. 50GB of data usage falls under premium data, meaning that after this allocation, AT&T can throttle your service at any time if the carrier is getting too much traffic. This plan included SD video streaming, plus it throws in 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data per month.

The most expensive of the AT&T Unlimited plans is called Unlimited Premium. It costs $85 a month for one line or $200 for four lines. The Elite tier will throw in 50GB of free high-speed mobile hotspot data per month and unlimited premium data. Video streaming leaps to 4K UHD, too. 

Unfortunately, as other carriers add more and more streaming options to the mix, AT&T seems to be heading in the opposite direction. It’s stripped away both the HBO Max perk and Stadia Pro from new accounts.

Find out more about AT&T 5G plans via the button below.

T-Mobile 5G plans

T-Mobile 5G Plans
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

T-Mobile claims to have more 5G coverage than AT&T and Verizon combined, with stronger signals covering thousands of miles rather than just city blocks. If T-Mobile didn’t already sound like your best bet for a 5G plan, it gets sweeter — 5G access is included free of charge on every T-Mobile plan.

A few prepaid plans are available from T-Mobile, including the Connect plan, which starts from as little as $15 per month. You’ll struggle to find a cheaper plan that offers 5G capability, but you’d burn through the 2GB of data quickly, so let’s focus on unlimited data plans. The one prepaid plan which offers unlimited data is $50 per month (not including taxes and fees). As unlimited data plans go, it’s pretty bare-bones — 3G hotspot is a good example of this — but you’ll get a 5G unlimited data plan that may only get slowed after using 50GB of data per billing cycle.

In terms of postpaid plans, you’ve got a range of unlimited data options depending on your needs. The headline plans are the Essentials, Magenta, Magenta Max, and Go5G plans. You can get a better breakdown of their postpaid and prepaid options via the ch

Essentials SaverEssentialsGo5GGo5G PlusGo5G Next
Cost
Essentials Saver
Prices per line, plus taxes and fees:

$50 for one line
$40 for two lines
$33.33 for three lines
Essentials
Prices per line, plus taxes/fees:

$60 for one line
$45 for two lines
$30 for three lines
$26.25 for four lines
$24 for five lines

$100/month for Essentials 4 Line Offer - better deal if you sign up for all four lines at once.

Go5G
Prices per line (taxes/fees included):

$75 for one line
$65 for two lines
$51.67 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$41 for five lines
Go5G Plus
Prices per line (taxes/fees included):

$90 for one line
$75 for two lines
$61.67 for three lines
$55 for four lines
$51 for five lines
Go5G Next
Prices per line (taxes/fees included):

$100 for one line
$85 for two lines
$71.67 for three lines
$65 for four lines
$61 for five lines
Unlimited Talk & Text
Essentials Saver
Yes
Essentials
Yes
Go5G
Yes
Go5G Plus
Yes
Go5G Next
Yes
Unlimited 4G Data
Essentials Saver
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with 50 of Premium Data
Essentials
Yes, but might slow down during congestion after 50GB per month
Go5G
Yes, but might slow down during congestion after 100GB per month
Go5G Plus
Unlimited Premium 5G & 4G LTE with
Go5G Next
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with Unlimited Premium Data
Mobile Hotspot
Essentials Saver
Unlimited 3G
Essentials
Unlimited 3G
Go5G
15GB of high speed hotspot data, 3G speeds after
Go5G Plus
50GB of high speed hotspot data, 3G speeds after
Go5G Next
50GB of high speed hotspot data, 3G speeds after
Netflix perk?
Essentials Saver
No
Essentials
No
Go5G
No
Go5G Plus
Netflix Standard with Ads
Go5G Next
Netflix Standard with Ads
Apple TV perk?
Essentials Saver
No
Essentials
No
Go5G
Included
Go5G Plus
Included
Go5G Next
Included
Unlimited video streaming
Essentials Saver
SD streaming
Essentials
SD streaming
Go5G
SD streaming
Go5G Plus
Up to 4K UHD streaming
Go5G Next
Up to 4K UHD streaming

Hit the button below to get more details about the T-Mobile plans, all 5G ready.

UScellular 5G plans

UScellular MVNO carrier stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

UScellular is often left far behind the big three US carriers, but it powers the fourth-largest standalone US network with nearly five million subscribers. It doesn’t boast the largest 5G network around — access is only available in parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, and the midwestern United States. That said, UScellular is still a good way to go if you’re in one of those select locations. 

UScellular offers three main postpaid plans — Basic, Everyday, and Even Better if you want to get signed up while the 5G network continues to grow.

The Basic plan starts at $55 per month for a single line, though the price drops each time you add a line. It’s a simple plan with unlimited talk, text, data, and little else. You can stream in standard definition, but there’s no hotspot access or priority data available.

If you’d rather have the full power of UScellular behind you, either the Everyday plan or the Even Better plan is better. The Everyday option starts at $65 per month, and Even Better will run you $75, but both include hotspot, HD or Full HD streaming, and even a payback perk. As long as you can stay below 3GB per month, UScellular will kick $5 or $10 back to you, depending on your plan.

Check out the button below for some UScellular 5G information.

MVNOs

The Google Fi packaging.

MVNOs usually offer simpler and more affordable plans without the long contracts of the big four carriers, but 5G access is still available if you know where to look. Here’s a quick summary of some MVNOs that offer 5G access.

Metro by T-Mobile

As part of the T-Mobile network, all Metro plans have access to 5G. Unlimited plans start from $40 per month, and all of them offer some integration with the ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program). On that plan and the $60 unlimited plan, you get 100GB of cloud storage with Google One. The $60 plan even includes an Amazon Prime membership.

Google Fi

Also on the T-Mobile network, Google’s Fi plans offer 5G coverage. Where these plans are a bit pricier than Metro, they’re also more flexible. One user can get a plan for as little as $20 per month, though you pay $10 per GB of data. The Unlimited Plus plan is $70 per month, but you can make big savings when adding more than one line. For example, it’s $150 per month for three unlimited lines. If you’re hoping to save some cash, the Simply Unlimited plan is $60 per month and skips international access.

US Mobile

US Mobile now offers 5G access baked into all plans at no extra cost. You can still build your perfect plan, but the unlimited options make better use of the premium speeds. Unlimited options start as low as $40 per month, and you still get the opportunity to choose streaming perks when you add two or more lines.

Mint Mobile

All Mint Mobile plans have access to the T-Mobile 5G network, and they couldn’t be simpler. You can choose from 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data, and the initial three-month plans start from just $15. You’ll be able to roam the United States, and Mint will keep you on 4G or 5G — whichever is stronger.

5G-ready phones

apple iphone 14 pro hero
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We used to have a list noting all the 5G phones that were available from major US carriers, but the list has grown a lot in the last few years. The vast majority of all new phones come with 5G baked in now, though there are a few exceptions, mostly on the budget side. If you don’t see a 5G indicator in the name or see it listed as on official feature, you may have to look elsewhere for a capable device. That said, basically any new mid-range or higher device you get from a carrier is absolutely going to have 5G support. Looking for more advice on what 5G phone to get? You can also check out our guide to the best 5G devices.

Honestly, probably not. While it does offer a speed improvement, currently the gap between LTE and 5G isn’t as wide as you’d think in some regions. Still, it’s a free addition and is only going to get better.

T-Mobile is considered the leader in 5G with the most fastest network and 5G coverage of nearly 2 million square miles. That said, Verizon and AT&T also have strong 5G networks of their own.

In the early days, the cost of 5G varied but in the United States that’s no longer the case. Every major carrier includes 5G support at no additional cost, and the same rules apply to the vast majority of US prepaid carriers as well.

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