Verizon is currently the biggest US smartphone carrier, with 146 million subscribers rocking Verizon Wireless plans as of April 2017. Of course, Big Red isn’t without competition. Its three main rivals are AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — and each have been working hard to steal away the company’s thunder. While there are some downsides to Verizon – such as typically higher pricing – there’s also a lot of reasons to consider getting yourself one of the Verizon plans, especially with some of the company’s most recent changes.

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Verizon plans

Until early in 2017, the company had stopped offering unlimited data plans for any of its new customers (a few older subscribers still had unlimited plans via grandfathered agreements) but in February Verizon surprised everyone when it offered access to its new unlimited plan. That move caused all of the other major carriers to make changes to their own plans in order to stay competitive.

In addition to relaunching its unlimited plans, Verizon also decided to cut down the number of its non-unlimited post-paid plans to just three options: S (Small), M (Medium) and L (Large). Previous plans such as X-Large and XX-Large are no longer available for new customers, although anyone who is already signed up for them can continue to use them if they wish. Therefore, if you are looking to either sign up to Verizon for the first time, or if you are switching from another carrier, you won’t be faced with an overwhelming number of plans to choose from.

Keep in mind is that most Verizon plans normally charges a one-time activation fee of $30 for each device you want to add to your account, no matter if you pick an unlimited or non-unlimited plan. Having said that, 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.

So let’s jump right in and talk about the best Verizon Wireless plans out there, and help you on your quest to figure out which is best for you.

Best Verizon Wireless plans – Limited Plans

If you have a big family, we will tell you right now: Go unlimited, it’s a way better option when it comes to new Verizon Wireless plans. However, those that just need one or two phone lines and aren’t concerned with getting unlimited data will find a lot to like in Verizon’s Small-Medium-Large lineup.

All three Verizon Wireless plans include unlimited voice and texting to numbers in the US. They also include support for carry-over data. That means that if you don’t use all of your high-speed data before the end of your monthly billing cycle, that data 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 1 GB of data for $15.

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.

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Pricing couldn’t get much easier, as the S plan is $35 for 2GB, the M plan has 4GB for $50, and the L plan bumps things up to 8GB data at $70. Wait… in the graphic above we say pricing starts at $55 for the S, $70 for the M, and $90 for the L — what gives? In order to use any of these plans, you need to have an active line on the account, each active line adds $20 to the data price. In other words, that $35 then becomes $55, and so on.

One thing that is important to remember is that, unlike some prepaid carriers, Verizon’s pricing is not all inclusive, and so there are extra fees and taxes that will appear on your bill in addition to any of these advertised prices. If you are looking to save a little extra and happen to be  an active or retired member of the military, Verizon does offer a 15 percent discount off all of its standard wireless monthly plans.

Best Verizon Wireless plans – Unlimited Plans

Verizon Wireless plans

Moving on to the new Verizon Unlimited plans, the carrier recently made some changes and is now offering three different choices for consumers. The cheapest of the Verizon plans is called GoUnlimited, while the more expensive choices are BeyondUnlimited and Above Unlimited.

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, and recently the company added unlimited calls and texts from the US to numbers in Mexico and Canada to this plan. 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.

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 next 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 lines. 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, and you can go up to 1080p streaming if you pay a $10 a month extra fee. 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.

Verizon also has a third unlimited plan to choose from. This one is called Above Unlimited and begins at $95 a month for just one line on the account, and goes down to $90 a month each for two lines, $70 a month each for three lines, and $60 a month each for four lines. The biggest feature is that speed slowdowns from LTE data won’t happen unless you go over 75GB of data each month. You still get 720p video streaming, but mobile hotspot service goes up to 20GB of LTE data per month. Above Unlimited also adds support for storing up to 500GB of data on Verizon’s cloud service, and you will get five daily Travel Passes per month. This will give international travelers a way to keep their local talk, text and data features for up to five days in 130 countries.

Recently, Verizon added a new feature for anyone signed up for either BeyondUnlimited or AboveUnlimited; free access to Apple Music. If you use either one of these plans you can stream millions of songs and audio tracks from Apple Music, which normally costs $9.99 a month.

Verizon is allowing families under one account to mix and match the carrier’s unlimited plans, so that children can use the cheaper plans, while their parents can use the more expensive plans, all under one account

In addition to the three 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.

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Verizon Just Kids Plan

Verizon Just Kids Verizon

The newest of the Verizon plans is one that’s designed for parents to give to their children. It’s called Verizon Just Kids. In order to get it, you first have to sign up for one of Verizon’s three unlimited plans, and then add a Just Kids plan to the account. The plan offers 5GB of 4G LTE data per month, plus unlimited talk and texts for up to 20 contacts. The plan also offers free access to Verizon’s Smart Family Premium service, which normally costs $9.99 a 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 be used to locate the phone with the Just Kids plan, and can block access on that phone to apps and websites that parents believe have objectionable content. The Just Kids plan costs just $55 a month if you have two lines on the account, $45 a month for three lines, and $35 a month if you have four or more lines (those prices are with AutoPay included, but don’t include extra fees or taxes).

Verizon 5G plans

Verizon will launch its 5G mobile service in 30 U.S cities in 2019. The first two cities will be Chicago and Minneapolis, and Verizon’s 5G network will launch in those areas on April 11.

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Verizon’s mobile 5G plans will basically be an add-on to the current Verizon unlimited plans. If you already have signed up for Verizon’s  Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plans, you can add 5G service for an additional $10 a month to those plans. Verizon will also offer the first three months of the 5G service for free.

Which of the Verizon plans is best for you?

As we mentioned before, the S, M and L Verizon Wireless plans are best suited if you just have just a few smartphones on your account. They also work best if you are going to use your phone mostly at home on your Wi-Fi network, especially when it comes to more data-intensive tasks like updating the OS and downloading apps.

If you are a heavy streamer on the road, or more importantly if you want to share your Verizon data with family or friends by adding their phones, your best bet is to sign up for one of the Verizon plans that is unlimited. On the bright side, the more phones you add to your Unlimited plan, the lower the price will be for each phone on the account. However, if you have people on your plan who really use a lot of data with their phone, or if they live near a Verizon tower that has a lot of customers. they could be hit with throttled speeds, depending on which plan they pick.

Verizon Wireless, like all phone carriers in the US, will likely make changes and additions to its post-paid Verizon plans in the future. When that happens, this article will be updated with all of the new details. Keep in mind that this feature does not cover Verizon plans for prepaid customers.

What do you think of the Verizon Wireless plans mentioned in this guide? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also, if you are looking for more options outside of Verizon plans, but that happens to use Verizon’s great LTE network — check out the plans below: