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What is Total by Verizon? Total by Verizon plans, pricing, and more
The prepaid phone market has changed considerably over the last few years here in the United States. Not only are more MNVOs than ever before, but many major carriers have also invested in their prepaid sub-brands. One such brand is Total by Verizon, which obviously is owned by Verizon Wireless. In this guide, we learn more about Total by Verizon plans, pricing, phone selection, and more.
What is Total by Verizon
Total by Verizon is a prepaid phone carrier that began as a TracFone sub-brand until Verizon purchased it a little over two years ago. Initially, Total Wireless continued to operate mostly the same as always, though it was finally rebranded to Total by Verizon in late 2022. While we originally thought its pricing wasn’t as good as some of its prepaid competition, things have changed and Total Verizon is more competitive than ever in 2024. Most of its multi-line discounts increased by $10 or more per month over the original plans and yet Total still retains plenty of perks and benefits.
Why did Total Wireless change its name to Total by Verizon
Verizon didn’t give any formal reason for making the name change, though the most obvious benefit is brand recognition. Total Wireless wasn’t exactly a household name, but stick “by Verizon” onto the package, and people immediately have some idea of what to expect.
We’ve seen this kind of move before with MetroPCS, which was bought by T-Mobile and eventually rebranded to Metro by T-Mobile.
Total by Verizon coverage
So is Total by Verizon coverage identical to Verizon’s coverage? For the most part, yes. Both run on Verizon’s network, but postpaid Verizon customers will have the benefit of priority speeds for data use. They will also have roaming agreements that help fill in any holes in Verizon’s coverage when traveling domestically, something Total won’t offer.
Check out Total by Verizon’s coverage map for a better look at what you’re signing up for.
The best Total by Verizon plans
$30 per line
$40 per line
$35 per line for 2
$31.67 per line for 3
$27.50 per line for 4
$25 per line for 5
$50 per line
$40 per line for 2
$35 per line for 3
$30 per line for 4
$27 per line for 5
$60 per line
$45 per line for 2
$38.33 per line for 3
$32.50 per line for 4
$29 per line for 5
Talk & Text
5GB high-speed, 2G speeds after
15GB high-speed, 2G speeds after
Unlimited, throttling during congestion
Unlimited, prioritized over Unlimited during congestion
Yes, up to plan limit
Yes, up to plan limit
Unlimited talk & text to Canada/Mexico
Unlimited talk & text to Canada/Mexico
Unlimited talk & text to five countries of your choice
Unlimited talk & text to 70 countries
Disney Premium (No ads) trial for 6 months
Disney Premium (No Ads)
Total by Verizon has four different plans to choose from, two of which are unlimited options. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
- The 5GB Plan is for single users, though there are better options. For $30 a month you’ll get unlimited talk and text, but just 5GB data. You’ll also get unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico and hotspot access up to the limit. That said, there are no multi-line discounts with this plan. It’s also worth noting many cheap phone plans offer just as much data for a fraction of the price, including a Verizon MVNO called US Mobile, which has a 6GB plan for just $18 a month.
- The 15GB Plan is perfect for those with modest needs. The 15GB plan starts at $40 per line, but gets as cheap as $25 a line for five lines. It’s not a bad choice if you have limited data needs.
- The Unlimited plan is a fairly decent choice for families. The Unlimited plan gives you a single line for $50, but gets as cheap as $27 per line for those with five lines. You even get a few cool perks such as unlimited talk and text to five countries of your choice, 10GB hotspot access, and a 6-month trial to Disney Plus Premium (No Ads).
- The Unlimited Plus plan is an excellent plan for families. Total by Verizon Unlimited Plus works a lot like Visible Plus. You get truly unlimited data access and reasonably decent prioritization, even during times of congestion. For single-line users, it’s much cheaper to go with Visible Plus at $45 versus Total Unlimited Plus for $60. However, Visible no longer offers multi-line discounts, and that’s where Total has the advantage. With two lines, the price per line goes down to just $45 a line, and at 5 lines, you’ll see the rate drop to just $29 per line.
Found a plan that sounds like a good match for you? Be sure to hit the button below to sign up.
Total by Verizon phones
It used to be impossible to find a decent selection of phones when shopping for prepaid service, but times have changed. There are many prepaid carriers with phone catalogs that are almost as extensive as the big carriers. Unfortunately, Total by Verizon falls somewhere in the middle.
You won’t find newer Apple flagships, but you will find the iPhone 13 and 12 families and the latest iPhone SE. On the Android side, you’ll find quite a few cheap or even totally free phones, including the Samsung Galaxy A03s, Moto G 5G, Moto G Power, Pixel 6a, and a few others. Unlike Apple, though, you’ll also find newer flagships.
Total by Verizon’s phone selection includes many of the latest Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S23. The Flip 4 and Fold 5 are also available, though their successors aren’t on sale from Total at least yet.
You can learn more about their current phone selections by heading to the Total by Verizon website.
Total by Verizon vs the competition
Total isn’t without competition. You can take a look at our best-prepaid phone plan guide for a deeper look, but below we’ll take a look at just a few competitors that might be worth considering as an alternative.
- Visible: Probably the best Total by Verizon alternative, Visible offers unlimited data starting at just $25 a month and runs on Verizon’s network. There’s also a more premium tier called Visible Plus for $45, which should offer an experience similar to the Unlimited Plus plan on Total.
- US Mobile: Another Verizon-based carrier, US Mobile has a variety of limited data plans that aren’t a bad alternative to Total by Verizon’s limited plans. But really, it’s the unlimited plans that shine here. The $35 base plan isn’t nearly as exciting, but the Unlimited Premium option is $45 per line and works similarly to Visible Plus. Those with multiple lines can also choose one streaming perk if they have at least three lines, and four lines get you the choice of two. The perks offered are: Disney Plus, Netflix, Spotify Family, or PlayStation Plus.
- Mint: Mint runs on T-Mobile’s network but offers pretty aggressive pricing on its unlimited plans. You can get 12 months of service for $360 (paid at once), or what works out to the equivalent of $30 a month. That’s about $20 less a month than Total’s base unlimited package, though Total by Verizon becomes a better deal for those with multiple lines.
- Google Fi Wireless: Google’s MNVO is one of the best around, especially for travelers. There are plans that start at $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, with $10 per gig for all data used, with prices falling to just $15.80 a line for those with six lines. Unlimited plans start at $50 per month for one line and drop as low as $20 per line. There’s even a Plus option with some of the world’s best international traveling rates.
Should you switch to Total by Verizon?
The answer to this will depend on what you’re looking for. For most users, we’d say that there are better plans out there. That’s even true if you absolutely need a carrier that runs on Verizon’s network.
Still, the Unlimited Plus plan is actually pretty solid and is easily the plan we recommend the most out of their line-up. You get basically the same experience as the excellent Visible Plus, but you pay less for it if you have friends or family to share an account with.
Yes and no. While both carriers are owned by Verizon and operate similarly, they are ran independently of each other and have their own plans, phone selection and more.
The answer to this isn’t so straightforward. While some users have reported success with using a locked Verizon phone by simply putting in a Total SIM card, others say they’ve had to call Verizon to get it unlocked. So yes, you can use a Verizon phone, but you might have to go through some hoops or get it unlocked for free by Verizon (as long as you don’t owe payments on it).
If they are older GSM-based phones, no. If it’s a newer Total phone that works with Verizon’s network it should play nice on Verizon but be aware it may be locked. To unlock the phone you’ll need to either pay $50 or stay with Total by Verizon for 12-months before they’ll unlock it for free.