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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
May 30, 2022
Red 5G logo projected 1
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Many 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 the largest cities in the country. You can check the whole list of cities where 5G is available here.

Related: What is 5G, and what can we expect from it?

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 5G, which can reach download speeds of over 1Gbps, you’re not going to want to be capped at 3GB by your plan.

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. Unfortunately, rising inflation has also caused Verizon to add a few dollars in administrative fees for all subscribers. You’ll notice an increase of around $2 per line, which is worth considering.

Verizon offers four unlimited plans, and you get mmWave 5G access included on the top three of those: 5G Play More, Do More, or Get More. If you’re on the 5G Start plan, you can still tap into the Nationwide 5G pool though mmWave will cost you $10 per month.

The 5G Play More and Do More unlimited plans are $80 per month for one service line and come with unlimited talk, text, data, and hotspot (15GB of 4G LTE). They both also include Apple Music, Discovery Plus, and Disney Plus subscriptions. Gamers will appreciate the newly launched Google Play Pass or Apple Arcade perks, free for up to one year.

Both include 50GB of premium network access as well as 25GB of hotspot data. The differences come in the perks, where you’ll get up to half off a watch or tablet plan with the 5G Do More option. It includes one TravelPass day per month and 600GB of cloud storage.

See also: The best Verizon plans

The 5G Get More plan is the premier service with all the bells and whistles: unlimited premium data, 50GB of high-speed hotspot data, HD streaming, and all the extras. It’s $10 more at $90 per month.

There are several other plans available from Verizon, including a few prepaid plans that start at $40 per line for 5GB of data or $50 for 15GB. If you add the $10 you’d pay for 5G access, that’s $60 per month for 5G and a 15GB plan. Not bad if you intend only to use ultra-fast internet access here and there.


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. On the bright side, all AT&T plans now offer six months of Stadia Pro for free.

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.

See also: The best AT&T plans

The most expensive of the AT&T Unlimited plans is called Unlimited Elite. It costs $85 a month for one line or $200 for four lines. The Elite tier will throw in 40GB of free high-speed mobile hotspot data per month and unlimited premium data. Video streaming leaps to HD. Finally, the Elite plan grants users access to HBO Max.

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. The recent merger with Sprint has only accelerated its growth, and there are all types of bullish stats on the website about how much bigger and faster the network will become in the coming years.

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.

See also: The best T-Mobile plans

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, and Magenta Max plans. They’re $60, $70, and $85 respectively for one line, though it’s worth noting that the Magenta and Magenta Max plans include taxes and fees. You can see our detailed analysis of each plan on our T-Mobile plans page, but given that you get unlimited talk, text, and data on all three, the price difference accounts for the extra features you’d expect. For example, the Magenta Plan offers 3GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot before dropping to 3G and has SD video streaming. The Magenta Max plan bumps it to 40GB of hotspot data, unlimited 4K streaming, and truly unlimited 5G access.

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


US Cellular 5G plans

US Cellular MVNO carrier stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

US Cellular 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, US Cellular is still a good way to go if you’re in one of those select locations. It typically offers more affordable rates than the larger carriers, and you can get several recent phones on the cheap.

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

See also: The best US Cellular deals

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 US Cellular 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, US Cellular will kick $5 or $10 back to you, depending on your plan.

Check out the button below for some US Cellular 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. Plans start from $40 per month, and the cheapest unlimited data plan is $50 per month. 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.

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Not all new phones come 5G ready, though it seems like we’re well on our way to that point. Many flagship options now pack the feature, while some budget devices do not. However, it does mean that you’ll still have to remain vigilant when you’re shopping for your next device. If you don’t see a 5G indicator in the name, you may have to look elsewhere for a capable device. You can also check out the best 5G devices right here.

If you’d rather save a bit of time, here are the 5G devices supported by the four main carriers. Most MVNOs should have at least some overlap as they run on the same networks.

Verizon

  • Samsung Galaxy A53, A42, Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra, S21 FE, S20 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3
  • iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE
  • Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro
  • Motorola Edge Plus, Edge, One 5G Ace, G Stylus 5G
  • TCL 10, 30 V 5G
  • Nokia 8V
  • Orbic Myra
  • Kyocera DuraForce Ultra

See also: The best Verizon phones

AT&T

  • Samsung Galaxy A53, A52, A51, A32, A13, Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra, S21, S21 Plus, S21 Ultra, S21 FE, S20 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy Z Fold 3
  • iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE
  • Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro
  • Motorola One, Moto G Stylus
  • AT&T Fusion 5G

See also: The best AT&T phones

T-Mobile

  • Samsung Galaxy A71, Galaxy A53, A52, A32, A13, Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra, S21, S21 Plus, S21 Ultra, S21 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy Z Fold 3
  • OnePlus Nord N20, N200, 8, 9, 10 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 4a 5G
  • iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE
  • Motorola Razr, One 5G Ace, Moto G, Moto G Stylus
  • Revvl V Plus
  • Nokia X100
  • TCL Stylus, 30 XE

See also: The best T-Mobile phones

US Cellular

  • Samsung Galaxy A71, A53, A52, A32, A13, Galaxy S20 FE, S21 FE, Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip 3
  • iPhone 13 Mini, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE