Best Military and Veteran Cell Phone Plans 2020
It’s impossible to properly thank veterans for the service they’ve rendered, but cheaper military cell phone plans is a start.
Pretty much every wireless carrier offers military cell phone plans, but which one is best for you and your family? It depends on your situation.
Best veteran cell phone plans:
- Verizon Start Unlimited Plan for Military: Best overall phone plan
- T-Mobile Magenta Eligible Military Only: Best family plan
- AT&T Unlimited Start for Military: Best budget buy
- Sprint Unlimited Military Plan: Best for perks
All right, you’ve got options, so let’s take a snapshot of all the best wireless providers for military cell phone plans.
Best veteran cell phone plans comparisons
Verizon Start Unlimited Plan for Military: Best overall
The best coverage for an affordable price.
Verizon Beyond Unlimited plan features
What we like about the Verizon Start Unlimited Plan
Out of all the providers, Verizon has the best coverage.1,2 Wherever you may be adventuring, you can rest assured that you won’t be completely off the grid. If anybody needs to reach you or you need to make a call, Verizon is your most reliable option.
Streaming and hotspot
Your Verizon plan gets you DVD-quality streaming and unlimited hotspot coverage (at full-speed up to 10 GB). And right now Verizon is offering a free, 12-month Disney+ subscription. With a combo like that you should never get bored, no matter where you end up.
Let’s say you’re out adventuring again. It’s time to sleep, but you want to catch up on the latest episode of The Mandalorian on your laptop before bed. Verizon’s speeds and hotspot access make this dreamy situation possible.
What we don’t like about the Verizon Start Unlimited Plan
A few bucks more
Though you’re saving money with your Verizon military cell phone plan, you’re paying a little more than you would with another provider. Over the course of a year, those extra bucks certainly do add up.
If you want a cheaper deal, you might want to consider AT&T or T-Mobile, but just be aware you won’t have the same coverage or internet speeds.
Other Verizon veteran cell phone plans
There are three other Verizon military cell phone plans you can choose from. All of them are more expensive than Verizon Go, but they pack a lot of data.
If you’re on the go a lot and need the best coverage, consider the Do More, Get More, and Play More Unlimited Verizon plans.
T-Mobile Magenta Eligible Military Only: Best family plan
Add lines for the whole family.
T-Mobile family plan features
What we like about T-Mobile Magenta Eligible Military Only
Cheap to add extra lines
The bigger the family, the better T-Mobile sets up its family plans. With your veteran or active duty status, adding lines is cheap. Seriously, call up grandma, call up your grandchildren, call up your siblings and get them on your T-Mobile veteran plan.
It only costs $25 a month add a second line to your plan, and just $10 a line after that. (The family that pays together stays together, right?)
Breakup made easy
T-Mobile wants your business. So much so that it’ll cover your remaining payments with your current provider (AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint). As long as you trade in your old phone and opt into a new contract, you’ll be free to join T-Mobile without forking over a bunch of money on cancelation fees with your old provider.
What we don’t like about T-Mobile Magenta Eligible Military Only
Less coverage in rural areas
T-Mobile’s coverage isn’t quite as reliable as Verizon, but it’s still pretty good.2,3 Just don’t be surprised if your network drops while you’re out in the wilderness.
We recently took a T-Mobile phone out into the wilderness of Yellowstone to see if we could find any bars. About 10 minutes after we passed through the national park gates, our bars started dropping like flies. Coverage crept back up from time to time, but the coverage was far from reliable. Still worth it to see the bears and stuff.
Likewise, if you live in a more rural area, or camping is your family vacation of choice, you might run into low bars with a T-Mobile plan.
Does T-Mobile have any other choices for veterans?
Sadly, no. The only T-Mobile veteran plan is the Magenta Eligible Military Only.
AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military: Best budget buy
For vets looking for the cheapest military plan.
What we like about the AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military Plan
Out of all the military discount cell phone plans, AT&T will save you the most money month after month. No matter what veteran cell phone plan you opt for, you’re saving money, but AT&T takes it to another level. Over the course of a year, you can save more than $100 with AT&T. (Hey, $100 can go a really long way!)
Now you’re probably wondering—what’s the catch with AT&T? We’ll get there. But the long and short of it is higher activation fees and coverage that isn’t as good as Verizon.
Phone upgrade and free movie tickets
With the AT&T Next and Next Every Year programs you can upgrade your phone to the latest model before you’ve even finished paying it off. While this might promote fiscal irresponsibility, it’s hard to argue with an iPhone 11 Max Pro.
AT&T will also give you free movie tickets and other entertainment perks because why not? Don’t ask questions. Just take the free stuff.
What we don’t like about AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military Plan
Slow streaming speeds
Sadly, this plan caps your video streaming speed at 1.5Mbps. That means even your standard definition content on Netflix is going to be a bit grainy, at best.
Coverage is . . . eh.
There’s a small gap between AT&T and Verizon,1 but AT&T’s coverage is still second-best. Putting it in this section sounds a bit nit-picky, and it probably is, but you should know that the cheaper monthly price comes with coverage that’s less than the best.
If you live in a big city, though, and you don’t go out in the country too often, AT&T should provide you with solid coverage.
AT&T has a couple of other plans for military that will give you more high speed data (and higher bills). Check it out.
Sprint Unlimited Military Plan: Best perks
Free Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Tidal, with plenty of data to enjoy it all.
What we like about Sprint Unlimited Military Plan
Tons of unthrottled data
Even with unlimited plans you have to worry about using too much data or risk having your data throttled. But this Sprint plan includes more unthrottled, high-speed data—100 GB!—than most people could use in three months, let alone one.
Free service in Mexico and Canada
Have you ever been cruising along Interstate 8 and had your phone switch over to a Mexican cell network? Well with Sprint you won’t have to worry about roaming charges if that happens (or if you take a jaunt down to Tijuana).
You’ll get unlimited talk, text, and LTE data in Mexico and Canada for no extra cost.
Free Hulu subscription
Worried that you’ll never be able to use that 100 GB of data you’ve got? Fear not, because when you sign up for this plan you’ll get free subscriptions to Hulu, Amazon Prime, Tidal, and Lookout.
So go ahead and set up a mobile hotspot, log in to Amazon Prime, and watch a few episodes of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Or maybe you’re in the mood for the much heavier (but still very good) Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu?
What we don’t like about Sprint Unlimited Military
Sprint doesn’t have the quickest speeds in the world. If you raced a Sprint phone and a Verizon phone in an app-downloading race, the outcome would be laughable. Verizon would win by a lot.1
Sprint may test your patience from time to time with its slower speeds, but at least you’re getting a bargain for you and your partner.
Sprint doesn’t have any alternative military cell phone plans—just the one. But we’ll let you know if that changes.
- Best overall veteran plan: The Verizon Start Unlimited Plan for Military gets you amazing coverage and speed for an affordable price. It’s not the cheapest military cell phone plan, but it’s got the most bang for your buck.
- Best family plan: We recommend the T-Mobile Magenta Eligible Military Only plan for the whole family. It’s the cheapest way to add multiple lines to an existing military plan.
- Best budget plan: The Unlimited AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military plan is your bargain-basement option for frugal vets. You get decent coverage and a some free movie tickets.
- Best plan for perks: The Sprint Unlimited Military Plan gives you free subscriptions to Hulu, Amazon Prime, Tidal, and Lookout. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of data to stream it all.