Data is a precious commodity these days. The cost of using mobile web services can get high, and unlimited plans are scarce. Even if you have multiple options available, you must be smart about picking the right one. Factors such as pricing, signal and throttling caps tend to vary significantly.
In this article we will help you find the best unlimited data plans in the US. We’ve put together the best options we could find.
Verizon – Starting at $75/mo
After years of telling folks they don’t need unlimited data, just ahead of Valentine’s Day 2017 Big Red surprised us all by reintroducing unlimited data after an eight year hiatus. A few month later, the carrier split up its consumer unlimited plans in two. The cheaper plan is called GoUnlimited, while the more expensive choice is BeyondUnlimited.
GoUnlimited begins at $75 a month for just one line on the account, and goes down to $65 a month each for two lines, $50 a month each for three lines, and $40 a month each for four line. Each line beyond that will cost $40 each. That price does not include taxes or other fees and it also assumes you will sign up to use AutoPay. If you don’t, that adds an extra $5 a month to the bill.
While Verizon’s GoUnlimited plan is supposed to offer users unlimited “4G LTE” data, the fine print confirms that Verizon could cut speeds temporarily “in times of congestion” regardless of how much data you have already used. Customers will also get unlimited talk and texting in the US. If you like to stream videos on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube or any other similar service, be aware that video streaming is limited to just 480p resolution under this plan. It does offer unlimited mobile hotspot data, but the speeds are cut way down to just 600kbps.
Verizon’s more expensive unlimited plan, BeyondUnlimited, begins at $85 a month for just one line on the account, and goes down to $80 a month each for two lines, $60 a month each for three lines, and $50 a month each for four line. Each line beyond that will cost $50 each. As with GoUnlimited, the prices for the BeyondUnlimited plans do not include taxes or other fees and assumes you will sign up to use AutoPay.
Unlike GoUnlimited, signing up for BeyondUnlimited will offer customers 4G LTE speeds at any time, even if your cell tower is considered congested with traffic. You may only get hit with slower speeds if you use 22 GB of data before your monthly billing period ends. Video streaming goes up to 720p resolution under the BeyondUnlimited plan, but smartphones that connect to the network won’t be able to get 1080p video streams; that’s reserved just for tablets on Verizon. The BeyondUnlimited plan offers 15 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot speeds use on each line, but those speeds will go down to 600kbps if that cap is exceeded before the month runs out. Finally, the BeyondUnlimited plan offers customers unlimited calls and texts from the US to numbers in Mexico and Canada. If you are vacationing in Mexico and Canada and are under Verizon’s plan, you also get access to 512 MB of free 4G LTE data roaming in those countries per day. After that cap has been exceeded, data is cut down to 2G speeds.
In addition to the two consumer unlimited plans, Verizon also has a new choice for business customers, which begins at $45 a month per line. It offers the same 4G LTE deal as the BeyondUnlimited plan, but with just 480p video streaming on smartphones, and just 10 GB of LTE mobile hotspot data a month.
T-Mobile – Starting at $70/mo
The Uncarrier has a ton of unlimited plans to choose from. With T-Mobile you get four postpaid options – One, One Unlimited 55+, One Plus, and Plus International.
The basic T-Mobile One unlimited plan charges $70 a month for one line, $50 a month each for two lines, $37 a month each for three lines, $40 a month each for four lines and $25 a month for each additional line. It offers unlimited talk and text in the US, and unlimited talk, texting and data while you are in Canada and Mexico. T-Mobile One also includes unlimited mobile hotspot data, but it’s pretty slow, with only 3G speeds available.
If you are traveling on a plan with Gogo internet service, T-Mobile One offers unlimited texting and 1 hour of free Wi-Fi data on those flights. Finally, if you want to stream video, T-Mobile One offers unlimited streaming, but just at 480p resolution. The standard One plan is perfect for both individuals, as well as families, who want the benefits of unlimited high-speed data, but can live without some features for a cheaper price.
T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+
A recently launched plan from T-Mobile is specifically for customers that are 55 years of age and older. The plan, which is geared towards older and retired couples, charges $50 a month for the first line, but just $10 a month for the second line. That means two people that meet the age criteria can get unlimited data for a total of just $60 a month (with the Autopay billing setup).
T-Mobile One Plus
If you want some extras, you can sign up for the T-Mobile One Plus plan. It costs $80 a month for a single line, $60 a month each for two lines, $47 a month each for three lines, $50 a month each for four lines and $35 a month for each additional line. In addition to all the benefits of T-Mobile One, the Plus plan boosts video streaming up to HD resolutions, and you can get free unlimited Wi-Fi access on any Gogo-based flight. Finally, mobile hotpot data is boosted to 4G LTE speeds for the first 10 GB on your billing cycle, before going back to 3G speeds.
T-Mobile One Plus International
If you are a person who travels a lot to other countries, or just contacts many people overseas, there’s the T-Mobile One Plus International Plan. It offers everything in the One Plus plan, but throws in unlimited LTE Wi-Fi hotspot speeds (no going down to 3G on this plan) along with unlimited international calling to landlines in over 70 countries , along with unlimited calls to mobile numbers in over 30 countries.
Adding tablets, connected devices, and other things you should know
T-Mobile allows customers to add a tablet to any of its One unlimited plans for an extra $20 a month. If you have a smartwatch or other connected wearable, it can also be added to any One plan for an extra $10 a month. All of the One plan prices include the use of the $5 a month discount when using AutoPay to pay off bills.
T-Mobile says that if a person uses over 32 GB of data before their monthly bill cycle ends, he or she may experience speed throttling if their cell tower is congested.
You will also have to purchase a T-Mobile SIM card kit for $25 if you don’t already have one. T-Mobile says that if a person uses over 32 GB of data before their monthly bill cycle ends, he or she may experience speed throttling if their cell tower is congested. This will likely only affect a very small fraction of T-Mobile’s users.
The company has bragged in its promotions for T-Mobile One that its prices include no hidden monthly regulatory fees and sales taxes; all of them are included in the quoted prices. However, they may not include some other fees such as extra data passes, late or restore fees, device upgrade support charge, calling from foreign countries and more, so be aware of that.
Not everyone needs unlimited 4G speeds, right? We happen to like this plan most, but T-Mobile also offers 2 GB, 6 GB and 10 GB options at lower prices. By the way, T-Mobile also has Data Stash, which allows you to keep each month’s unused 4G LTE data (up to 20 GB). Other Uncarrier offers include unlimited streaming of music and video (when using certain services) and more.
Sprint – Starting at $60/mo
Sprint has gotten a lot of criticism due to its network, but there are plenty of markets with good coverage and awesome data speeds. If you happen to live in one of them, you could save some cash and go with the Now Network.
The carrier’s Unlimited Freedom Plan is currently using special promotional pricing to bring in new customers, making it one of the most compelling Sprint plans offered right now. At the moment, one line on the plan costs $50 a month, and two lines costs a total of $90. If a customer wants to add a third, fourth or a fifth line to the account, Sprint will throw them in for free. There’s no word on how long this promotion will continued to be offered, but Sprint has confirmed that this special pricing will only last until June 30, 2018 for anyone who signs up for it now.
After this promotion ends, Sprint’s normal price for the Unlimited Freedom Plan is still very reasonable. It starts at $60 a month for the first line, $40 a month for the second line (for a total of $100) and $30 a month each for the third, fourth and fifth line. Again, these prices are great for families, but they are also pretty cheap for individuals who want to have unlimited data.
In addition to unlimited data, talk and texting in the US, the Sprint Unlimited Freedom Plan offers support for streaming video at up to 1080p resolution, along with streaming music at up to 1.5 Mbps and streaming data for games at up to 8 Mbps. Each line on the plan can also offer 10 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot downloads. After that limit is reached before the billing month closes, mobile hotspot streaming goes back down to 2G speeds.
If you just have a tablet, Sprint also offers unlimited data for that device for $25 a month. That also includes unlimited texting and 10 GB of 4G LTE hotspot data. At the moment, Sprint is running a special promotion that cuts the price back on that plan down to $15 a month for the first 12 months.
AT&T – Starting at $60/mo
Stand-alone AT&T plans with unlimited data didn’t exist until Verizon decided to launch it own plan once again. Now, new AT&T subscribers can choose from two such plans, along with three more bundle plans if they also want to add the company’s DirectTV or DirecTV Now television service (AT&T acquired DirecTV for $49 billion in 2014). All of AT&T’s unlimited plans are generally geared towards families and friends rather than individual users.
AT&T Unlimited Choice plan
The AT&T Unlimited Choice plan is the cheapest of the carrier’s stand alone smartphone plans with “unlimited” data. The company charges $60 a month for just one line, and $115 a month for two lines. Each additional line can be added for $20 a month, for up to 10 lines.
Even though you are supposed to have unlimited data with the Choice plan, AT&T does keep the download speeds down to a limit of 3 Mbps, and it may go slower if you are one of the few people that uses 22 GB of data a month or more before your billing cycle ends. Also, video streaming is limited to just standard resolutions at 1.5 Mbps with this plan. On the plus side, you do get unlimited texts from the US to 120 countries, and unlimited calls and texts from US to Canada and Mexico, plus unlimited roaming in Canada and Mexico. Finally, you can cut off $25 a month from your DirecTV Now bill if you have signed up to use the live TV streaming service.
AT&T Unlimited Plus plan
You get more options with the AT&T Unlimited Plus plan, but you will also have to spend more money for that privilege. AT&T charges $90 a month for one line, $145 a month for two lines, and $20 a month for each additional line up to 10 lines. There are no download speed limits on the AT&T Unlimited Plus plan, but you still might get hit with slower speeds if you exceed 22 GB of data before the monthly bill cycle ends.
Video streams go up to HD quality on AT&T Unlimited Plus. and you also get 10 GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data per month. You still get unlimited texts from the US to 120 countries, and unlimited calls and texts from US to Canada and Mexico, plus unlimited roaming in Canada and Mexico. You can cut off $25 a month from your DirecTV Now bill, plus $25 off your DirecTV bill if you are signed up to use the satellite-based TV service. Finally, you can get free access to HBO when you sign up for AT&T Unlimited Choice. Keep in mind that the prices for these plans include discounts for the use of Autopay and paperless billing, which is $5 a month on single lines and $10 a month for multi-lines.
If you want to bundle your wireless service with TV, you can do that as well with three different bundle deals. The AT&T Unlimited Choice + DirecTV now offers users all of the features of the Choice plan, plus access to over 60 TV channels via the DirecTV Now streaming service for $70 a month, with up to two DirecTV now streams at once supported. AT&T Unlimited Plus + DirecTV Now offers all the benefits of the Plus plan, along with the over 60 DirecTV Now channels, for $100 a month, plus free access to HBO.
Finally, the AT&T Unlimited Plus + DirecTV plan includes the Plus benefits, and over 150 channels with the DirecTV satittle service, for $115 a month. That deal includes free HBO plus access to DirecTV in up to four rooms in a house, with an HD DVR. Keep in mind that this specific bundle does require a 24 month agreement for DirecTV. All of the prices in these bundle plans include a $25 bill credit and a $5 discount for the use of Autopay and paperless billing.
As with the Mobile Share Advantage plans, any members of the military, along with qualified veterans, can also get a 15 percent discount on any of these unlimited plans.
Prepaid and MVNOs
Boost Mobile – $60/mo
The big carriers are known to be 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 unlimited plan costs $60 per month, and you can reduce the monthly payment down to $55 if you opt for Auto Re-Boost (automatic card payments).
Subscribers get unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, as well as 8 GB of hotspot data and unlimited music streaming with select partners. Much like the other plans, you’ll be de-prioritized after you use 23GB of 4G LTE data in a billing cycle. Just keep in mind Boost runs off Sprint’s network, so make sure you have good coverage in your area.
MetroPCS – Startng at $50/mo
MetroPCS has a decent unlimited plan, too.
MetroPCS charges $60 ($55 if you select a family plan) and offers unlimited high-speed data, talk and text, as well as unlimited music streaming with certain apps. You’ll also get 8 GB of hotspot usage. Customers who use more than 25 GB in a billing cycle will have their data usage de-prioritized compared to other customers in that billing cycle when network congestion occurs.
MetroPCS also recently launched a new plan that offers unlimited talk, text, and data for just $50 a month. You can also add up to four additional lines for just $25 a piece, so a family of five can get all the wireless service they might need for just $150 a month, with all taxes and fees included. The catch is that MetroPCS will limit video streams to 480p if you sign up for this plan. What’s more, if you live in an area of heavy wireless congestion and you are using more than 32 GB of data a month, you might experience lowered speeds until your next billing cycle.
You can also stream as much music as you’d like from Pandora, Spotify and a few other services without it counting against your monthly data allotment.
Cricket Wireless – $60/mo
Cricket is also a good option for folks looking for unlimited data.
Cricket’s unlimited plan costs $60 per month ($55 with Auto Pay), and comes with unlimited high-speed data and nationwide talk and text. It also comes with unlimited texting to 38 countries, as well as unlimited calling and texting to and from Mexico, Canada and the US. There are no mobile hotspot capabilities with this plan though.
While Cricket doesn’t utilize any de-prioritization methods with a data cap, there are some things you should know before signing up. Cricket only allows customers to utilize download speeds of 8Mbps with compatible 4G LTE devices and 4Mbps with compatible 4G devices. This means that you’ll still get 4G LTE speeds on your mobile device, but they’ll be somewhat limited
Recently, Cricket launched a new unlimited plan specifically for accounts for two lines. The price for the entire plan is $80 a month. Basically, you will get the first line for $55 a month, and the second line for just $25 a month. However, the download speeds for this plan are capped at just 3 Mbps and video streaming is also capped at 480p.
There you have it! Those are our very favorite unlimited data plans in the US. Are you signing up for any of these? Do you have any suggestions? Hit the comments to let us know.