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Verizon's new plans don't make much sense for families

MyPlan? Feels more like MyCashGrab if you have multiple lines.
By
May 30, 2023
Verizon logo on smartphone with a colored background Stock photo 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

I’ve been a Verizon subscriber for as long as I’ve had a cell phone. My parents got a discount through their jobs, so Big Red is where we’ve been for over a decade. I’ve seen phone prices rise, streaming perks explode, and a constantly rotating slate of plans rise and fall through the years. Usually, Verizon finds good ways to add value each time it shakes up its plans, but now I’m unsure. I’m not convinced that Verizon’s new MyPlan makes any sense stacked against its current offerings — especially not for families.

What does MyPlan change?

It’s tough to get into the meat of Verizon’s MyPlan changes without talking myself in circles, but thankfully my colleague Andrew Grush already took a good long look at Big Red’s new plans. He broke down what the old plans offered and what the new ones include and put it into one handy table, which you can see below.

myPlan Unlimited WelcomemyPlan Unlimited Plus5G Get More5G Play More5G Do More5G StartWelcome Unlimited
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
5G Get More
$90 for one line
$80 for two lines
$65 for three lines
$55 for four lines
$50 for five lines
5G Play More
$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$40 for five lines
5G Do More
$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
$40 for five lines
5G Start
$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$45 for three lines
$35 for four lines
$30 for five lines
Welcome Unlimited
$60 for one line
$55 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$30 for four lines
$25 for five lines
Talk & Text
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Unlimited
myPlan Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
5G Get More
Unlimited
5G Play More
Unlimited
5G Do More
Unlimited
5G Start
Unlimited
Welcome Unlimited
Unlimited
Data
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
myPlan Unlimited Plus
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
5G Get More
Unlimited 5G Ultra Wide band
Unlimited premium network access

5G Play More
Unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband
50GB premium network access
5G Do More
Unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband
50GB premium network access

5G Start
Unlmited 4G LTE and 5G (no ultrawide)
Welcome Unlimited
Unlmited 4G LTE and 5G (no ultrawide)
Hotspot
myPlan Unlimited Welcome
Not included
myPlan Unlimited Plus
30GB 4G LTE or 5G
5G Get More
50 GB premium hotspot data
5G Play More
25GB premium hotspot data
5G Do More
25GB premium hotspot data
5G Start
No hotspot
Welcome Unlimited
No hotspot
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
5G Get More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Play More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Do More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Start
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Welcome Unlimited
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
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
Up to 50% off a watch, tablet, or hotspot plan
5G Get More
Disney Plus Bundle
Apple Arcade OR Google Play Pass
Apple Music
Up to 50% off a watch, tablet or hotspot plan
1 Travel Pass day per month
Verizon Cloud 600GB
5G Play More
Hulu Bundle
Apple Arcade OR Google Play Passs
5G Do More
Up to 50% off a watch, tablet, or hotspot plan
1 Travel Plass day per month
Verizon Cloud 600GB
5G Start
Try Disney Plus, Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, and Apple Music for 6 months
Welcome Unlimited
No perks

Of course, I won’t leave you with a table to decipher on your own. I’ve spent enough of my time making sense of Verizon’s plans to explain them to my dad, who wants to lower his monthly bill. In the simplest terms, Verizon’s MyPlan is a way to separate the carrier’s extensive suite of perks from the essential mobile coverage you expect each month. It shifts extras that you may not need (or that you use constantly) from being included in the plan to costing an additional $10 per month for each one you want to add.

In gaming terms, Verizon just went from free DLC to paid DLC without making its games any cheaper.

You might think that by segmenting its perks into paid extras, you’ll finally save some money on Verizon’s coverage. You’d be slightly off course. Verizon’s Unlimited Welcome, its basic unlimited plan, kicks off at $65 per line and trickles down to $30 per line if you have four lines. While the price for one line is more expensive, the price when you hit four lines comes out to a wash. However, Unlimited Plus, the more complete plan, seems like it will cost you more to continue using Verizon the way you already do.

Unlimited Plus kicks off at $80 for one line before working its way down to $45 per line for four lines of service. This is on par with the existing Play More and Do More plans and offers slight savings over the premium Get More plan. Verizon’s Unlimited Plus is the way to go for 5G Ultra Wideband (for city dwellers) and if you need a built-in hotspot and plan to use the network’s premium data — different from 5G Ultra Wideband.

If you’re keeping up so far, that means you’re paying the same amount for Verizon’s service, but you’re getting fewer perks in return. Hotspot, 5G Ultra Wideband, and a degree of premium data are already baked into Big Red’s existing plans, along with at least six months of Apple Music, the Disney bundle, and Google’s Play Pass. With the shift to MyPlan, however, you’ll have to shell out an extra $10 per month for things like the Disney Bundle, Apple One, hotspot beyond 30GB, and Apple Music Family. It’s an excellent way to pick and choose the perks that you want, but as it stands, it seems like a better value to pay less even if you’re not using your plan to its fullest potential.

Oh, and even if you think you’ll save money by shifting to the Unlimited Welcome plan and adding the Disney Bundle while ignoring the other perks, Verizon has ways to make you pay up.

What if you want to upgrade your phone?

motorola edge plus 2023 cameras on chair arm
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Many — if not most — Verizon customers get their phones through the carrier and a hefty discount for trading in an old phone. Right now, you can get maximum value with any of Big Red’s Play More, Do More, and Get More plans, while Welcome and Start Unlimited get left in the cold. That’s not changing with MyPlan.

Once you shift to Verizon’s newer plans, you’ll have to shell out for Unlimited Plus to take advantage of any trade-in deals or credits. Unfortunately, that means you can only switch to Unlimited Welcome and save money until you’re ready to upgrade your phone; at this point, you’ll have to opt for the more expensive plan on top of paying a monthly rate for your phone. That means any money you saved during the months on a cheaper plan will probably head right back to Big Red when you decide it’s time to upgrade. On the bright side, Unlimited Plus adds a discount for connected devices like smartwatches and tablets, cutting the cost by up to 50% per month.

To widen the gap, Verizon offers three times the Bring Your Own Device credit with Unlimited Plus if you want to bring the best phone you already have. It tops out at $540 compared to $180 on Unlimited Welcome. Verizon doesn’t include a price guarantee for Unlimited Welcome, either, while Unlimited Plus is locked in for three years.

So, what does this look like for a real family?

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Green Calling On Phone
Harley Maranan / Android Authority

It’s easy to sit here and throw numbers at you to suggest that you’ll probably end up paying more for Verizon’s MyPlan than your current plan. However, running you through my family’s current dilemma might make even more sense. As mentioned above, I’ve been going back and forth with my dad on which plans make the most sense, so let’s get into our setup.

Right now, we have five lines of service on our family plan from Big Red. I’m the cheap one on Start Unlimited for $30 per month because I don’t have to worry about device credits (thanks, Android Authority). The rest of my family is on Play More Unlimited, which costs $40 per line. My brother’s Galaxy S21 is free, my dad’s Galaxy S21 Ultra costs $16 per month, and my mom and my sister are paying around $5 per month for their respective iPhone 14 Pro units. A little bit of quick math tells me that we’re sitting around $215 per month before taxes and fees.

Strap in and get ready for the great plan debate...

Should we decide to switch to MyPlan, there are a few ways we can go. Either my dad and my brother drop to Unlimited Welcome until they’re ready to upgrade again, or they stick with Unlimited Plus ($42 per line with five lines) for the duration. I’ll stay on Unlimited Welcome (which becomes $27 instead of $30 with five lines), mostly because I don’t have to worry about trade-in credit or discounts. My mom and sister will stay on their current plans until they’ve paid off their phones, but then they’ll face the same debate, so I’ll run through the scenarios. In many ways, even if we pick the first scenario, we’ll still wind up in the second one once it’s time to upgrade.

Save money until…

This is the route my dad hopes to roll with, mainly because it saves some money upfront. Once he and my brother have finished their monthly phone payments, he’s hoping to shift them both to Unlimited Welcome at $27 per month. As mentioned, my mom and my sister can’t move plans until they’ve paid off their phones, so the math looks like this:

  • Me: $27 per month for Unlimited Welcome (plus $0 for a device)
  • My brother: $27 per month for Unlimited Welcome (plus $0 for a device)
  • My dad: $27 per month for Unlimited Welcome (plus $0 for a device, $10 for hotspot)
  • My mom and my sister: $40 each per month for Play More (plus $5 each for a device)

Adding up all of the plans, perks, and devices, our monthly bill before taxes and fees would be $181. It’s a pretty good discount from the $215 we currently pay, especially because we don’t have to pay extra for the Disney Bundle as it still comes with Play More. Right now, the only extra perk would be hotspot for my dad. If my mom and my sister swapped to Unlimited Plus right away, each of their lines would cost $2 more, and we’d be spending an extra $10 on one of the lines to get the Disney Bundle, bringing the total to $195. Still a discount, but losing the included hotspot from my dad’s and brother’s lines.

Jump right to Unlimited Plus

The second option, where we’ll end up once my dad and brother are ready to upgrade, isn’t quite as rosy (or budget-friendly) for our family of five. It puts all four of them on Unlimited Plus with myself as the only cheap option. I’m also going to assume that my mom and my sister will keep their iPhones for a little while after they’ve finished their monthly payments (they kept their iPhone 11s for about a year after paying them off). It also brings a few more perk-based fees into the equation, figuring that my dad’s hotspot won’t be the only upgrade. Here’s how the math shakes out:

  • Me: $27 per month for Unlimited Welcome (plus $0 for a device)
  • My brother: $42 per month for Unlimited Plus (plus $5 for a device)
  • My dad: $42 per month for Unlimited Plus (plus $10 for a device, $10 for hotspot, $10 for Disney Bundle)
  • My mom: $42 per month for Unlimited Plus (plus $0 for a device)
  • My sister: $42 per month for Unlimited Plus (plus $0 for a device)

My quick math skills tell me that this comes out to $230 per month, at least when my dad needs hotspot access. We’d only be spending $220 on months that he doesn’t need hotspot, but it’s still more than we’re currently paying to enjoy life on Play More.

We’re also not an Apple Music family — thank goodness for Spotify Family — but if my mom and sister were to decide that they wanted Apple One to catch up on Ted Lasso and take advantage of a mountain of iCloud Plus storage, it would be a $20 per month perk for a family plan, bringing our potential total to $250. Oh, and that’s not taking into consideration that they’d eventually decide to upgrade their phones for whatever monthly fee Verizon is asking at that point.

What other family plans are there?

T Mobile logo
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

If you’ve made it through my math lesson (I didn’t have any more fun writing it than you had reading it), you might have concluded that maybe Verizon’s MyPlan isn’t for you. Honestly, I don’t blame you. It tries to simplify some of the most perk-loaded plans in the US but makes them more complicated and likely more expensive. Thankfully, there are plenty of other fish in the sea — er, unlimited plans on the market.

AT&T still offers its tried and true setup of Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Plus, with pricing that rivals Verizon. You won’t get any streaming perks since AT&T sold off HBO Max, but all of AT&T’s plans include at least a degree of hotspot data. T-Mobile recently changed from its Magenta plans to Go5G, but it offers the clearest picture of what’s included with your plan. You get both Netflix and Apple TV Plus with Go5G Plus and other goodies like T-Mobile Tuesdays and in-flight Wi-Fi where available. T-Mobile’s Essentials plan is similar to Verizon’s Unlimited Welcome, though it beats Big Red by offering 3G hotspot.

Verizon's complicated perks have opened the door for easier, more affordable alternatives.

You can also look outside the Big Three at some of the best MVNOs. There are almost too many to list, but we have an in-depth breakdown of what they offer if you want to get into the weeds. We’re partial to Mint Mobile and Google Fi Wireless out of the many options, both of which run on T-Mobile’s network.

Maybe all of these options have made things too complicated, and Verizon’s MyPlan is all you really need. That’s an option, too. It’s not the cleanest option for my family in the long run, but it might be perfect if you just want a stripped-down version of Verizon’s service each month. If not, it might be time to wave Big Red farewell.

What do you think? Do Verizon’s new plans make sense to you, or is your head spinning just as much as mine? Let us know in the poll below.

Do you think Verizon's MyPlan is a good value?

557 votes