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The best unlimited data plans in the US
Data is a precious commodity these days. The cost of using mobile web services can go through the roof if you’re a heavy data user. Even if you have multiple options available, you have to be methodical when picking the best unlimited data plans on the market. Factors such as pricing, signal, and throttling caps vary significantly between providers.
In this article, we’ll help you find the best unlimited data plans in the US by digging into all of the best options. The unlimited data plans listed below are for single lines unless otherwise stated.
Best unlimited plans:
A great unlimited plan isn’t complete without a good phone to go with it. Check out our thoughts on choosing a phone at the very bottom of this page.
Verizon unlimited plans
After an eight-year hiatus, Verizon reintroduced unlimited data plans back in February 2017. Currently, Big Red offers four different unlimited data plans: 5G Start, 5G Play More, 5G Do More, and 5G Get More. In addition, all plans come with varying subscriptions to Disney Plus for free.
Unfortunately, Verizon has also announced a new set of fees to help offset inflation. Customers will notice an increase of a few dollars per line listed as administrative costs.
Verizon 5G Start
The cheapest Verizon plan is 5G Start, with one line costing $70 a month with AutoPay (if you don’t use AutoPay, Verizon will add an extra $5 a month to the bill). The plan costs $120 a month for two lines, $135 a month for three lines, $140 a month for four lines, and $150 a month for five lines.
It offers unlimited data, though Verizon can throttle it at any time, along with 480p video streaming, unlimited talk and text in the US, unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, and a free six-month trial for Disney Plus, Apple Music, Discovery Plus, and Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. You can also access Verizon’s Nationwide 5G service — where available — with a compatible phone.
Verizon 5G Play More
Play More Unlimited from Verizon is designed for people who like to stream music and video and play games on their phones. It starts at $80 a month with one line (with AutoPay), $140 a month for two lines, $165 a month for three lines, $180 a month for four lines, and $200 a month for five lines.
It offers unlimited 4G LTE data, with 50GB of “premium” data a month (if the network is experiencing data congestion, your speeds may be throttled if you exceed your monthly premium limit). You get 720p for video streaming and 25GB of mobile hotspot data. You also get unlimited talk and text in the US, unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, the Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus bundle, and twelve months of Apple Music, Discovery Plus, and Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. Finally, you get free mmWave 5G network access with 4K streaming on a compatible phone.
Verizon 5G Do More
Do More is for Verizon users who just want to have high-speeds for their phone for regular or business use. It starts at $80 a month with one line (with AutoPay), $140 a month for two lines, $165 a month for three lines, $180 a month for four lines, and $200 a month for five lines. It offers unlimited 4G LTE or 5G data, with 50GB of “premium” data a month. It also offers 480p for video streaming and 25GB of mobile hotspot data.
In addition, you get unlimited talk and text in the US, unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, and a six-month trial for Apple Music, Disney Plus, and all of the other services mentioned above. You’ll also get 50% off the price of a connected tablet or jetpack standalone mobile hotspot, plus 600GB of cloud storage. Finally, you get free mmWave 5G network access with 4K streaming on a compatible phone.
Verizon 5G Get More
At the top level, there’s the Get More plan. It starts at $90 a month with one line (with AutoPay), $160 a month for two lines, $195 a month for three lines, $220 a month for four lines, and $250 a month for five lines. For that price, you can get unlimited 4G LTE data, with unlimited “premium” data a month, 720p for streaming video, and 50GB of data for mobile hotspot. You also get unlimited talk and text in the US, unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, and free full access to Apple Music and the Disney Plus bundle. The other services come with the same 12-month trial period. There’s the same 50% off the price of a connected tablet or jetpack standalone mobile hotspot, plus 600GB of cloud storage. Finally, there’s free mmWave 5G network access with 4K streaming on a compatible phone.
Verizon allows families under one account to mix and match the carrier’s unlimited plans. So children can use the cheaper plans, while their parents can use the more expensive plans, all on one bill.
T-Mobile unlimited plans
T-Mobile offers three unlimited data plans to choose from — Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Max.
T-Mobile’s Essentials plan is just that — the minimum unlimited plan. You get unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data in the US (throttled after 50GB of monthly data) and access to T-Mobile’s Tuesday promotions. The plan also offers unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data, talk, text, and 2G data in Mexico and Canada, unlimited texting, and a flat rate of $0.25 per minute for calls in more than 210 countries and destinations. You can also get a free year of Apple TV Plus when you join the Un-Carrier with an unlimited plan.
The Essentials plan will set you back $60 for just one line, but $30 per line if you opt for four lines (assuming the payments are made via AutoPay). However, unlike with T-Mobile’s other plans, taxes and fees are not included in the price.
The T-Mobile Magenta plan costs $70 a month for one line, $60 a month each for two lines, $40 a month each for three lines, and $35 a month each for four lines. It offers unlimited talk and texts in the US and unlimited talk and texts while you are in Canada and Mexico — along with up to 5GB of high-speed data. However, during congestion, customers who have used more than 50GB of data in a given month may notice reduced speeds until the next bill cycle.
T-Mobile’s Magenta plan also includes unlimited mobile hotspot data, but only the first 3GB is at 4G LTE speeds. Thereafter it’s 3G. If you’re traveling on a plane with Gogo internet service, the plan offers unlimited texting and one hour of free Wi-Fi data. Video streaming is unlimited, but the resolution is capped at 480p. The plan also includes free texting and data (128Kbps) in more than 210 countries and a free Netflix subscription if you get at least two lines. Taxes and fees are included, although you have to pay $5 per month extra if you don’t sign up for AutoPay.
The standard Magenta unlimited data plan is perfect for both individuals and families who want the benefits of unlimited high-speed data but can live without some features for a lower price.
T-Mobile Magenta Max
If you want some extras, you can sign up for the Magenta Max plan. You’ll pay $85 a month for a single line, $70 a month each for two lines, $50 a month each for three lines, and $45 a month each for four lines. In addition to all the benefits of T-Mobile Magenta, the Plus plan boosts video streaming up to HD resolution, and you can get free unlimited Wi-Fi access on any Gogo-based flight. Mobile hotspot data is boosted to 4G LTE speeds for the first 20GB on your billing cycle before going back to 3G speeds, and the data speed abroad is doubled to 256Kbps. The plan also includes T-Mobile’s Name ID, which can identify calls from unknown numbers.
Adding tablets, connected devices, and other things you should know
T-Mobile allows customers to add a tablet to the Essentials plan for $15 per month and either of its Magenta unlimited data plans for an extra $20 a month. If you have a smartwatch or other connected wearable, it can also be added to any plan for an extra $10 a month. All of the One plan prices include using the $5 a month discount when using AutoPay to pay off bills.
The company has bragged in its promotions for T-Mobile Magenta that its unlimited data don’t have any hidden monthly regulatory fees and sales taxes; all are included in the quoted prices, except for the Essentials plan. However, they may not include some other fees such as extra data passes, late or restore fees, device-upgrade support charges, calling from foreign countries, and more — so be aware of that.
AT&T unlimited plans
New AT&T subscribers can choose from three unlimited data plans with varying data caps. Unfortunately, AT&T is also following Verizon’s lead in adding some slight fees to each of its plans. The goal is to pass the buck of inflation, but the fees are likely to become permanent.
AT&T Unlimited Starter
The cheapest of the three AT&T unlimited plans is Unlimited Starter and costs $65 a month for one line, or you can get a four-line bundle for $140. These prices are with a $10 discount for using paperless billing and AutoPay. Keep in mind that under this plan, your 4G LTE and 5G data speeds could be throttled at any time if the carrier is getting too much traffic. This plan supports standard resolutions for video streaming. All AT&T plans now include six months of Stadia Pro streaming at no extra cost.
AT&T Unlimited Extra
This AT&T unlimited 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. Again, the 4G LTE data speeds could be throttled at any time if the carrier is getting too much traffic. This has all of the features of the Starter plan, plus it throws in 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data a month. You also get 5G access on a compatible device if you’re in a 5G area and unlimited texting from the US to over 120 countries. On this plan, throttling at periods of congestion will only occur after you’ve used 50GB of data each month.
AT&T Unlimited Elite
The most expensive of the three AT&T Unlimited plans, Unlimited Elite costs $85 a month for one line or $200 for four lines. The Premium tier will throw in 30GB of free high-speed mobile hotspot data a month and a high-definition video streaming experience. You also get an HBO Max subscription thrown in. Your 4G LTE data speeds could be throttled if you go over 100GB before the end of your monthly billing cycle.
US Cellular unlimited plans
US Cellular is often overlooked as a standalone carrier, but it offers some pretty solid plans. It owns the fourth-largest network in the United States, and US Cellular is committed to low prices that keep it competitive. You can take your choice of three unlimited plans — Basic, Everyday, and Even Better.
As the name suggests, US Cellular’s Basic unlimited plan is as straightforward as they come. Starting at $55 for one line and dropping as low as $30 per line for four lines, the Basic plan is easily one of the most affordable options. For your money, you’ll get as much talk, text, and data as you can use — but that’s about it.
You can also stream in standard definition (480p), but don’t expect hotspot access or roaming to be available.
The next plan, the Everyday plan, is the best bet for most users. Again, the talk, text, and data remain the same, but now you actually get some perks with your payment. Lines start at $65 for a single connection and drop to $40 with four lines, and it’s easily worth the extra cost. You get access to HD streaming, 25GB of priority data, and a 15GB hotspot per line for starters.
US Cellular adds some basic international access to the mix to make things even better. If you’re heading to Mexico or Canada, you can stay connected with 100 minutes of talk, 100 texts, and 100MB of data. US Cellular will give you $5 back each month you stay under 3GB of data used when you’re stateside.
Even Better 2.0
Finally, you can grab the Even Better plan from US Cellular and enjoy the best that the carrier has to offer. It starts at $75 for one line and drops as low as $50 when you add four lines, and the perks are just a cut above the Everyday plan. The easiest way to describe the Even Better plan is by saying it’s twice as nice. You get double the international access, double the hotspot, and even double the priority data.
On top of the doubled data, the Even Better plan allows for Full HD streaming (1080p), which you won’t find on many other unlimited plans. You’ll also get $10 back each month when you stay under the 3GB threshold.
The big carriers are dependable, but there are plenty of good choices on the prepaid side of things, especially if you are looking to save some cash. Boost Mobile’s selection in the unlimited data plans category starts with the Unlimited Gigs plan for $50 per month. You get unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data, as well as 12GB of hotspot data and a subscription to Tidal Premium. Video streaming is capped at 480p, and you’ll be de-prioritized at times of network congestion. Just keep in mind Boost runs off Sprint’s network, so make sure you have good coverage in your area.
You can sign up for the Boost Unlimited Plus plan for an extra $10 per month ($60 total per month). The streaming quality is upped to 1080p and the hotspot data to 30GB. You get a Tidal subscription, plus 5G access if your device is compatible and you’re in a 5G area.
Metro by T-Mobile
Metro by T-Mobile offers two unlimited data plans. The cheaper one comes in at $50 for one line, and each additional line costs an extra $30. In addition to unlimited calls, text, and data, you also get 5GB of hotspot usage and a subscription to Google One that gives you 100GB of cloud storage. Video streaming is limited to 480p, and all the taxes and fees are included in the price. If the network is congested, customers who have already used up at least 35GB of data in a given month may experience reduced speeds.
The second unlimited plan by the carrier costs $10 more ($60 for one line) and bumps up the hotspot usage to 15GB. It also includes a subscription to Amazon Prime.
Metro by T-Mobile recently joined the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which aims to provide affordable smartphone access to all Americans. Now, qualifying subscribers can cut $30 per line from their bill, essentially dropping the basic unlimited plan to $20 and the premium plan to $30.
Cricket is also a good option for folks looking for unlimited data plans. Its cheapest plan, Cricket Core, costs $55 per month ($50 with AutoPay) and comes with unlimited data with speeds up to 3Mbps and nationwide talk and text. It also offers unlimited texting to 37 countries and unlimited calling and texting to and from Mexico and Canada. You can stream video at up to 480p resolution and use 10GB of mobile hotspot data per month.
The second unlimited plan is called Cricket More, and it’s almost identical to the first one. The only major difference is that it gets you unlimited high-speed data that isn’t capped at 3Mbps. It also includes a 15GB mobile hotspot. One line will set you back $60 per month ($55 with AutoPay), and the data speed can get reduced when the network is congested.
Google Fi Bill Protection and Unlimited plans
Google Fi has “Bill Protection” on its Flexible plans. Fi already offers unlimited talk and text for $20 a month, plus $10 per GB of data after that. However, Project Fi will now stop charging customers if they go over 6GB of data a month. That means an individual line caps at $80 per month under Bill Protection, along with 10GB for plans with two lines, 12GB for three lines, and 14GB for four lines.
The only catch is that Project Fi customers who use more than 18GB of data in a month could have their speeds slowed down. If they want to make sure those speeds stay up, they can still pay $10 per GB for their individual data usage after they exceed 15GB.
Recently, Google Fi introduced a second unlimited plan as well. Unlimited Plus costs $70 a month for one line, $60 a month each for two lines, $50 a month each for three lines, and $45 a month each for four, five, or six lines. Taxes and fees are not included in these prices. They include unlimited data, calls, and texts in the US, free calls to 50 countries and territories, and unlimited data and texting abroad in 200 countries. If you prefer to save some cash, you can grab Simply Unlimited starting at $60 for one line.
In addition, Google Fi unlimited plan customers can also get free 100GB of cloud storage via Google One, special discounts for other Google products, and more. Google states that download speeds may slow down if customers exceed 22GB of data before their monthly billing period ends. Also, at times video streaming quality may be cut down to 480p.
US Mobile unlimited plans
You may already be familiar with US Mobile — which is not connected to US Cellular — because it offers very customizable plans. Of course, you can build a plan with limited talk, text, and data for as little as $4 per month, but that’s not why you’re here. Instead, you’re here because you may have heard about US Mobile’s $40 unlimited plan.
That’s right, just $40 per month gives you unlimited domestic talk, text, and data. It gets better as you add more lines, too — your second line costs $30 per month, and lines three and four are just $20 apiece. Unlike some other prepaid unlimited plans, US Mobile has quite a few perks with its plan. You’ll automatically get Fast speeds, which top out at 5Mbps. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, $5 per month adds hotspot access to your fast speeds, and $10 per month boosts you to Ludicrous speeds of up to 200Mbps.
If you add more than one unlimited line of service, US Mobile will let you pick your streaming perk from an impressively long list. Here’s what each line will give you:
Two lines: Slacker Plus, Pandora Plus, Apple TV Plus
Three lines: Disney Plus Bundle, Netflix, Audible, Spotify Family, Apple Music Family
Four lines: Xbox Live Gold, Playstation Plus
Switching to Visible takes the guesswork out of plan hunting because there’s only one to choose from. It doesn’t have a fancy or confusing name, it’s just the Visible Plan. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Verizon, Visible offers strong nationwide coverage and a close relationship with Big Red that other MVNOs can’t match.
You’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data as expected, and Visible’s plan costs a mere $40 per month. It’s a breeze to turn on your hotspot and connect to one additional device at a time, so you can take your home office on the go if you want to. Unlike Verizon proper, Visible doesn’t offer any streaming perks to keep you entertained.
Our own Andrew Grush gave Visible a shot, and you can read about his thoughts right here. He found it to be a solid option and continues to recommend it to this day.
Other carriers to consider
You’ve probably already noticed, but unlimited plans are hot right now. Every carrier and its mother has an option to try, and the prices vary wildly. As a result, there’s no way we can include them all in this list. However, this section will hopefully give you an idea of a few more carriers to look into.
Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile are two carriers that are bound by the same restriction — you have to be an internet customer before you can sign up for mobile service. Both carriers offer unlimited plans for the same $45 per month, which is a competitive rate. You can bring your own phone or grab a new one, though you ultimately may not save much money due to the internet plan requirement.
Other unlimited options that you can consider include these MVNOs and prepaid carriers:
Unlocked vs carrier phones
You might ponder whether to buy an unlocked phone to bring to a network or to get one as part of your plan when you sign up. We can help you decide. In general, a carrier phone — also known as a locked phone — is sold through a wireless carrier or a third-party partner of that carrier (such as Best Buy, for example). It is already attached to your wireless account when you buy the phone or will immediately attach when you first set it up.
Carrier phones are almost always locked to that carrier; you can’t buy a phone through AT&T and immediately take it to Verizon. This lockdown can be removed, but there are usually significant requirements involved. It also depends on the carrier, with Verizon one of the few carriers that doesn’t lock its postpaid phones.
Unlocked phones are devices you buy without a carrier involved. This could be buying directly from the manufacturer or through a third-party retailer (such as Amazon). Unlocked phones usually come with no SIM card and no prerequisite to sign up with any particular carrier. As the name suggests, unlocked phones are not bound to any particular carrier, so you can feel free to bounce from one carrier to another as you see fit.
So, which is better? Well, a carrier phone has three main advantages.
Firstly, you rarely have to pay for the phone in full up front as the carrier will let you split the cost of the phone across the length of your plan. In fact — and this is the second perk — on the best cell phone plans, you won’t have to pay the full retail price at all. This is because carriers know that it’s much more profitable to get you locked into an 18- or 24-month contract than to sell you a full-price phone. So you’ll regularly see carriers, especially the major players, offering deals when you switch that get you a $1,000 phone for half-price or less across the life of your plan.
Finally, there are some phones which you can only get as carrier phones. The LG V60 above is a great example. You might find it online unlocked somewhere, but only once it’s been through another party’s hands. LG doesn’t sell this phone unlocked yet and doesn’t appear to have any intention of doing so soon.
Interested in going the carrier route? Here’s a link to the best carrier-specific phones:
- Best Verizon phones | Best Verizon prepaid phones
- Best AT&T phones | Best AT&T prepaid phones
- Best T-Mobile phones | Best T-mobile prepaid phones
Prefer to go with a prepaid carrier? We have a list for that too:
- Best Google Fi phone
- Best Cricket phones
- Best US Cellular phones
- Best Mint Mobile phones
- Best Boost Mobile phones
- Best Straight Talk phones
Unlocked phones have the obvious benefit of freedom. Pay for them outright, but then you can do what you like with them. You can bring them to the prepaid plan of one carrier, then cut from it if the plan isn’t working for you and try another. You’re also not restricted to the phones that the carrier in question offers. Plus, you can buy a refurbished device to make significant savings. Some carriers have even caught on to the popularity of this approach and offer refurbished phones as options in their online stores.
But be warned, a disadvantage of buying unlocked is that certain phones don’t support specific network bands. This can be complicated for buyers who don’t know all about the differences between types of networks (CDMA vs GSM, for example) or which bands their carrier predominantly uses in their area. This can be especially confusing when importing devices from other countries. In general, you should do a lot of research on a device before buying to make sure it will work the way you expect it to.
You can dive much further into the pros and cons of carrier vs unlocked phones in our expert analysis on the subject, but those are the key differences. If you’ve already decided that an unlocked device is the way you want to go, then our best phone deals hub is regularly updated on the best deals on unlocked phones from around the web. Also, be sure to check out our guide to the very best Android phones.