Verizon is currently the second-largest wireless phone carrier in the United States, with 156.1 million subscribers rocking Verizon Wireless plans as of June 2019 (AT&T is currently the largest with 159.7 million subscribers).
Chances are good that, if you’re reading this, you are either already on one of those Verizon Wireless plans or are thinking of joining.
While there are some downsides to Verizon — such as typically higher pricing — its network is one of the largest and fastest in the nation. In general, if you want the most reliable mobile service in the US — and don’t mind paying top-dollar for it — Verizon is likely your best option.
Most Verizon plans normally charge a one-time activation fee of $40 for each device you want to add to your account if you purchase the phone in one of its stores (if you buy a Verizon phone online, that fee goes down to $20). However, Verizon occasionally does away with the activation charge on some of its special promotional offers, so you might want to wait until one of them pops up before you sign up.
Let’s jump right in and talk about the best Verizon Wireless plans out there and, hopefully, help you on your quest to find the right one for your needs.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Verizon Wireless plans regularly whenever the company announces new changes.
Best Verizon Wireless plans: Pre-paid plans
Verizon offers a number of pre-paid plans for people who already own a compatible smartphone or are ready to purchase one. Those Verizon Wireless plans include a single line of service and start at $30 per month and go as high as $65 per month. There is no contract to sign and there are no credit checks: you simply pay for what you’re going to use on a month-to-month basis and can leave Verizon at any time.
On all of its pre-paid plans, Verizon offers a limited amount of high-speed data per month. If you go over that monthly data allotment, your speeds drop down to 2G until the end of that billing cycle. You don’t get charged extra for any data overages.
Those 2G speeds, though, would be very difficult to stomach, especially if you enjoy watching lots of Netflix while on-the-go. As such, you should select the plan with the best data allotment for your needs. If you go too high, you’ll pay for data you don’t use, and if you go too low, you’ll need to suffer through 2G speeds for a time.
Related: Best Verizon pre-paid phones
Here are all the plans and how much they cost, assuming you choose auto-pay as your payment method (add $5 per month if you don’t want autopay):
- 1GB of high-speed data — $30 per month
- 6GB of high-speed data — $35 per month
- 16GB of high-speed data — $45 per month
There is also an unlimited plan for $65 per month with autopay. This plan appears to be truly unlimited, in that you can use as much high-speed data as you like and never receive an overage charge or see throttled speeds. However, Verizon does say that it can “prioritize your data behind other customers during times/places of network congestion,” so the company isn’t fully assuring your speeds.
Technically, these plans come with half-as-much data as advertised and Verizon is throwing in extra data as a “limited-time promotion.” However, the promotion has been happening for months now, so it’s unlikely to go away any time soon. If it does, though, the plans would instead offer 500MB of data, 3GB of data, and 8GB of data for new customers.
All of the pre-paid plans offer unlimited talk and text in the US and unlimited texting worldwide. The $45 and $65 plans also add unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada.
There is also mobile hotspot usage on every pre-paid plan, with the notable exception of the $65 unlimited plan. That plan has no mobile hotspot support at all, so keep that in mind. On the other plans, your mobile hotspot usage applies to your main monthly data allotment and will be at the same or similar speeds as your smartphone data.
Pre-paid family plans or multi-line plans
If you only need pre-paid service for one phone, then the previous section of this article is all you need to know. However, if you’d like to add more lines of service to your plan — but still stay a pre-paid customer — there are Verizon Wireless plans for that, too.
Verizon makes it easy to add additional lines to your pre-paid plan, and it even throws in some discounts on some of them. Here’s how that looks (with autopay on all lines):
- Add a 1GB plan for $30 more (no discount)
- Add a 6GB plan for $25 more (save $25)
- Add a 16GB plan for $30 more (save $30)
- Add an unlimited plan for $45 (save $25)
Obviously, that 6GB plan is the sweet spot in that it costs the least while still delivering a good amount of data (inexplicably for less money than the 1GB plan).
Keep in mind that there are no “buckets” of data with these plans. Instead, each line has its own data allotment which makes things very customizable. If you use a ton of data but your spouse uses very little, you don’t need to worry about sharing data unevenly between you both. They get their own data and you get your own data.
Also, don’t forget that the prices above are simply your monthly payments for the data associated with the plan. Each line will incur an additional one-time activation fee, which is either $40 for in-store activations or $20 for online activations. There will also be taxes and fees involved with each bill.
Best Verizon Wireless plans: Post-paid limited data plans
The primary difference between pre-paid Verizon Wireless plans and post-paid ones is that you need to sign a contract for post-paid plans. In return, post-paid plans usually offer more perks and options over pre-paid plans.
Most people — including those with a need for family plans — will get the greatest amount of value out of an unlimited plan, which we talk about in later sections. However, if you don’t need or want unlimited data and would rather only pay for the data you and your family use, then a post-paid limited data plan is for you.
Verizon breaks down these plans into Small, Medium, and Large sizes. Check them out here:
- Small — A 2GB bucket of shared data for $35 per month
- Medium — A 4GB bucket of shared data for $50 per month
- Large — An 8GB bucket of shared data for $70 per month
All of Verizon Wireless’ post-paid limited data plans include unlimited voice and texting to numbers in the US. They also include support for carry-over data, so if you don’t use all of your high-speed data before the end of your monthly billing cycle, it will be added to your next monthly period. If you need more high-speed data before the end of the billing period, you can add more data in 1GB chunks for $15 each.
All of these plans include what Verizon calls Safety Mode. Basically, if you run out of your high-speed data allotment before the end of your billing period, you can still keep using your phone; it will just access Verizon’s network at a much slower speed.
It should be noted that the pricing above is just what you’ll pay for the monthly data; you will still need to pay $20 per month for each device on your plan and an additional one-time activation fee for each, too. In other words, if you have four smartphones on the Medium plan, it will cost you $130 per month ($20 x 4 devices plus $50 in data). This is without the usual taxes and fees.
Honestly, this plan is in an awkward middle between multiple pre-paid and an unlimited family plan, which we’ll get to in a second. In most cases, you should avoid a post-paid limited data plan unless you have very specific needs that don’t fit into any other plan.
Best Verizon Wireless plans: Unlimited plans
Strangely, even with “Unlimited” in the title, there are four main Verizon Wireless plans in the unlimited data category. One would naturally assume that you’d only need one unlimited plan — that, you know, is unlimited — but that is not the case.
The four unlimited plans can be briefly summed up in the list below. These prices include the $5 autopay discount as well as an additional $5-per-month discount for paperless billing:
- Start — $70 per month with only basic offerings, no hotspot, and 480p video streams.
- Play More — $80 per month with 25GB of “premium” data, 15GB hotspot, and 720p video streams.
- Do More — $80 per month with 50GB of “premium” data, 15GB hotspot, and 480p video streams.
- Get More — $90 per month with 75GB of “premium” data, 30GB hotspot, and 720p video streams.
All four plans include some sort of subscription to Apple Music: either six months free (Start and Do More) or totally free (Play More and Get More). All plans also include unlimited talk and text in the US, Mexico, and Canada. In Mexico and Canada, you can use up to 512MB of 4G LTE data per day with speeds reduced each day to 2G speeds if you go over.
Let’s break down in-depth what each plan offers.
Start Unlimited: This plan is the simplest. For one line you’ll pay $70; $120 for two lines ($20 savings); $135 for three lines ($75 savings); and $140 for four lines ($140 savings). Verizon advertises that the Start plan comes with “unlimited 4G LTE data,” but users “may temporarily experience slower data in times of congestion.” This is why the other three plans offer “premium” data, which is 4G LTE data that will not be affected by congestion.
Play More Unlimited: This plan is perfect for people who stream a lot of content. For one line you’ll pay $80 per month; $140 for two lines ($20 savings); $165 for three lines ($75 savings); and $180 for four lines ($140 savings). Each line on the account gets 25GB of premium data; afterward, data speeds can be slowed if Verizon deems it necessary. It also comes with 15GB of high-speed hotspot for each account (600kbps speeds after that is used) and includes 720p video streams.
Do More Unlimited: This plan is perfect for people who use a ton of data but not necessarily for entertainment purposes. For one line you’ll pay $80 per month; $140 for two lines ($20 savings); $165 for three lines ($75 savings); and $180 for four lines ($140 savings). Each line on the account gets 50GB of premium data; afterward, data speeds can be slowed if Verizon deems it necessary. It also comes with 15GB of high-speed hotspot for each account (600kbps speeds after that is used) and includes 480p video streams.
Get More Unlimited: This plan is for those who want it all. For one line you’ll pay $90 per month; $160 for two lines ($20 savings); $195 for three lines ($75 savings); and $220 for four lines ($140 savings). Each line on the account gets 75GB of premium data; afterward, data speeds can be slowed if Verizon deems it necessary. It also comes with 30GB of high-speed hotspot for each account (600kbps speeds after that is used) and includes 720p video streams.
If you think one of these plans is good for you but a different plan would be good for your spouse or children, Verizon has you covered. As long as everything is under one account, you can mix-and-match the carrier’s unlimited plans. The discounts remain the same no matter which plans you choose ($20 off two lines, $75 off three, etc.).
Verizon’s unique Just Kids plan
Verizon has a special plan designed for children called Verizon Just Kids. To get it, you first need to sign up for one of Verizon’s four unlimited plans as described above and then add a Just Kids plan to the same account. The plan offers 5GB of 4G LTE data per month plus unlimited talk and text for up to 20 contacts.
The plan also offers free access to Verizon’s Smart Family Premium service, which normally costs $9.99 per month by itself. It includes an app that lets parents put in additional limits on data, calls, and texts that are above what the Just Kids plans have in place. It can also locate the phone attached to the Just Kids plan and can block access on that phone to certain apps and websites parents believe have objectionable content.
The Just Kids plan costs $50 per month (with autopay and paperless billing discounts) for one line added to a parent’s unlimited account. The price becomes $80 per month for two Just Kids lines and $105 per month for three Just Kids lines. Four Just Kids lines connected to one parent’s account is actually cheaper: it costs just $100 per month.
Special Verizon international plans
If you’re traveling through Mexico or Canada, your unlimited plan has you (mostly) covered. As stated earlier, you can use up to 512MB of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada per day. After you go over that amount, you’re stuck on 2G speeds until the following day when the allotment resets. You can make unlimited calls and send unlimited texts in Mexico and Canada, too.
If you don’t have an unlimited plan, the above scenario in Mexico and Canada will cost you $5 per day as part of Verizon’s TravelPass program.
If you have an unlimited plan and you’re traveling throughout the other 185+ countries around the world in which Verizon offers service, you’ll also need a TravelPass. You’ll still get free unlimited calls and texts in those countries, but data will cost you $10 per day. The 512MB-per-day limit also applies and you’ll only get charged on the days you actually use data.
If you’re not on an unlimited plan and traveling outside of the US, Mexico, or Canada, you’ll also pay that $10-per-day fee for a TravelPass.
You need to manually turn TravelPass on if you intend to use it by dialing 4004 using your Verizon account device. However, you only need to do it once; even when you get back to the US, you don’t need to turn TravelPass back on when you leave the country again, assuming you are on the same account as the first time you left.
Verizon’s first 5G offerings
Verizon has started rolling out its 5G mobile service with plans to offer it in 30 US cities by the end of 2019. At the moment, if you sign up for the Play More, Do More, or Get More Unlimited plans, you get 5G access for free. Of course, you’ll need a 5G-capable device as well as access to a 5G-active area.
This offer is supposed to last for 10 months, after which Verizon will start charging you $10 per month for the 5G service on top of whatever plan you currently have.
The Start Unlimited plan has no such free 5G offer; if you want it with that plan, you need to spend the extra $10 a month from the start.
Other Verizon wireless plans for non-smartphones
If you don’t need Verizon Wireless plans for a smartphone, Big Red has you covered there, too. The company offers specific plans for different types of connected devices, including tablets, wearables, hotspots, and even “basic” phones.
An LTE-connected tablet will cost you $10 per month, and that includes 1GB of data (and unlimited domestic talk and text, if you use your tablet for that for some reason). A connected hotspot will also cost you $10 per month for 1GB of data. In both scenarios, if you go over your 1GB data allotment, you’ll see a charge for $10 per gigabyte.
Similarly, there’s a $10-per-month plan for wearables such as smartwatches which also gives you 1GB of data per month as well as unlimited domestic calls and texts. As you would expect, it’s an additional $10 per gigabyte per month if you go over your initial allotment. It’s notable that this plan does not work for any variation of the Apple Watch. For that device, there is a separate plan that requires you to attach it to an existing smartphone account.
Finally, there are also connected home options where you pay a flat fee for wireless internet access. These include $60 per month for 10GB of data, $90 per month for 20GB of data, and it continues up from there. Be careful with these, though: you’ll be charged the full $10 fee for each gigabyte you use over your allotted amount, which could add up quickly.
Which of the Verizon Wireless plans is best for you?
In general, this is the advice we give when it comes to choosing the best of the Verizon Wireless plans for yourself and your family:
- If you are a single user without too many data needs, consider a single account on Verizon pre-paid. It will likely offer most things you need at decent prices.
- If you are a single user with a lot of data needs or a person who travels frequently and needs a high-speed hotspot, opt for one of the four unlimited plans.
- If you need a family plan of any kind, stick with the various unlimited plans. Only use the post-paid limited plans if you are certain you don’t need a lot of data, don’t have kids, and don’t need any other perks.
What do you think of the Verizon Wireless plans mentioned in this guide? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.