Best Unlimited Data Cell Phone Plans

We looked at the most popular wireless provider’s unlimited plans to find the best options for your smartphone addiction.
  • Best overall
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Best coverage
    Highest data allowance
  • Best perks
    4 out of 5 overall
    Good price
    Decent coverage and speeds
  • Best for bundling
    4 out of 5 overall
    Great nationwide coverage
    Discounts for bundling
  • Best budget plans
    3 out of 5 overall
    Cheapest plans
    50 GB of data before throttling

Unlimited plans are fabulous. They let you say goodbye to data overage charges and hello to all the cat videos you can handle. If you never leave home without your smartphone, always watch Netflix on your tablet, and listen to endless podcasts on your commute, then an unlimited wireless plan is an obvious choice.

But which unlimited plan should you choose? Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint each offer unlimited wireless plans, but you get different monthly costs and levels of service with each one.

In this review, we break down the top four companies’ unlimited data plans so you can find the best option for your family—or even just for yourself.

Unlimited data plan pricing

If you want unlimited data for the lowest monthly cost, then Sprint or T-Mobile is your friend—as long as the service works for your needs.

In the battle of unlimited plans, Verizon comes out on top, but you’ll also pay top dollar for it. (See what we did there?) If you’re looking for the lowest price per month, then Sprint’s plan takes the prize. T-Mobile costs more than Sprint, but it also gives you so much high-speed data that you can get a few seasons deep in a Hulu series like The Handmaid’s Tale before it’ll even try to slow you down.

That said, Sprint and T-Mobile don’t always have the best coverage. If you live in a more rural area where Sprint and T-Mobile tend to have slow service (if they have service at all), then Verizon’s and AT&T’s stellar coverage make them worth the monthly hit to your wallet.

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Should I choose prepaid and postpaid plans?
Prepaid plans are good for sticking to a budget. You know exactly what you’re getting up front. However, postpaid plans often come with better perks or bonuses.

Verizon Go Unlimited Plan: best overall

Verizon’s expensive, but it’s the fastest, most widely available wireless provider in the US.

Pros

  • Best coverage, and speeds
  • Highest data allowance (before throttling)

Cons

  • More expensive

If you want to climb aboard the Good Ship Verizon, then we recommend you go with the Verizon Beyond Unlimited or the Verizon Above Unlimited plan.

Verizon unlimited plans

If you go with the lowest-priced unlimited plan (Verizon Go Unlimited), then Verizon can “deprioritize” your data whenever the network gets busy. You have no guaranteed amount of high-speed data. (AT&T does this on its AT&T Unlimited &More plan, but that doesn’t mean we like it.) If you skip the data finagling and choose the Verizon Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plan, then you get 22 GB or 75 GB of high-speed data, respectively.

The latter option gives you, to put it simply, a crap-ton of data. You can stream every single episode of Rick and Morty and still not reach that ceiling.

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Wait, I thought these plans were unlimited?
Most unlimited data plans won’t charge you for going over your data allowance (makes sense, right?), but there is a limit, and it’s on your speed. The providers will likely throttle, deprioritize, or otherwise reduce your speeds after you hit that limit.

T-Mobile One Plus: best perks

A lot of data, in-flight Wi-Fi, a Netflix subscription, and more.

Pros

  • Decent pricing, coverage, and speeds
  • Great perks

Cons

  • Lacks rural coverage

T-Mobile offers some serious bang for your monthly buck. Both of its unlimited plan options give you a higher data allotment than any other provider except Verizon. And even T-Mobile’s lower-priced plan won’t deprioritize your data during high-traffic times, so go ahead and watch those 10-minute-long Vine compilation videos on YouTube.

T-Mobile unlimited plans

50 GB of data is really high by wireless standards. Sure, that expensive Verizon plan will give you 75 GB, but every other unlimited plan will give you 22–23 GB. T-Mobile’s 50 GB offering is a huge step up. That said, both of T-Mobile’s unlimited plans are very similar. But if you shell out the additional cash for ONE Plus, you get everything that comes with the ONE plan plus a few extras.

T-Mobile unlimited data plan comparison
Plan nameT-Mobile ONET-Mobile ONE Plus
4G LTE speedsYesYes
Netflix subscriptionYesYes
Unlimited international data and textingYesYes
HD video streamingNoYes
Mobile hotspot dataYes*Yes
In-flight Wi-FiNoYes
Voicemail transcriptionNoYes
4G LTE international data speedsNo**Yes
DetailsSee planSee plan

* Limited to 3G speeds. Data effective 7/30/18. ** 5 GB of 4G LTE data available in Mexico and Canada and then speeds will be reduced.

Especially if you’re a traveler who spends hours on end sitting on cross-country or overseas flights, then we think T-Mobile ONE Plus is definitely worth it.

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Extra perk
One other thing we like about T-Mobile’s unlimited plans is its flat-rate promise. T-Mobile includes taxes and fees in its plan pricing so your bill looks the same every month. Other providers charge those things separately.

AT&T: best bundling

Do you want to simplify your monthly TV, internet, and phone bills? AT&T’s partnership with DIRECTV makes it easy.

Pros

  • Great nationwide coverage
  • Discounts for bundling

Cons

  • High activation fees

AT&T unlimited plan pricing

AT&T costs almost as much as Verizon, but if you want to bundle your wireless plan with your internet and cable TV, then AT&T’s unlimited plans are actually a really good deal. AT&T offers a slew of perks, including discounts on DIRECTV, a spectacularly long price lock on your internet plan (if you use AT&T Internet), and premium channel access. Plus, its coverage is comparable to Verizon’s.

AT&T unlimited plans

AT&T’s prices are a bit high, but its coverage is almost as good as Verizon’s. And of course, the biggest selling point for AT&T is its bundling deals on things like TV and premium channels.

If you already use DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW, or AT&T U-verse TV, then AT&T’s Unlimited &More Premium plan can save you an extra $15 every month. That same Premium plan also includes a premium channel of your choice and even a live TV streaming app. Not bad for a cell phone plan.

AT&T Unlimited &More Premium bundling and additional deals:

  • $15/mo. off DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW, or AT&T U-verse TV
  • Included premium channels (HBO, STARZ, CINEMAX, or SHOWTIME) or music subscription (VRV, Amazon Music, Pandora Premium)
  • Included access to WatchTV app
  • Price lock on AT&T internet
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Price lock deal helps save in the future
We’re incredibly impressed with AT&T’s internet price lock deal. That is a long time to hold on to your internet pricing, and if you use AT&T internet, then getting that price lock by adding an AT&T wireless plan could save you a bunch of money.

Large family plan pricing

Even if you want just a wireless plan and don’t need any bundling deals, AT&T can still save you a bit of money over Verizon on large family plans. If you have five lines or more on AT&T’s Unlimited &More Premium plan, then you’ll pay less each month for AT&T than you would for Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited plan.

  • Verizon Beyond Unlimited price, five lines: $250 per month
  • AT&T Unlimited &More Premium price, five lines: $225 per month

So if you want the best AT&T pricing, then call some cousins, round up your kids, and get everyone on a single plan.

Sprint Unlimited Plan: best budget pick

You can’t beat Sprint prices, which may make up for its fourth-place service for some people.

Pros

  • Cheapest plans
  • 50 GB of data before throttling

Cons

  • Ranked 4th in coverage and speeds

Sprint unlimited plan pricing

Sprint has the cheapest monthly plan pricing of any provider on our list. But it also has the third most reliable service and lowest speeds.1 That said, Sprint’s network has gotten a lot better over the last few years—and if you live in a city, or even a large suburb, then you probably won’t notice much of a service difference between Sprint and other major companies.

Sprint unlimited plans

We like the way Sprint does its monthly prices. It makes it easy to understand Sprint’s service and what you get for your money. Unlike T-Mobile, Sprint does charge fees and surcharges separately, but at least it doesn’t have separate line access fees like AT&T.

Budget benefits

Sprint is by far the cheapest unlimited provider of the big four.

You also get 50 GB of data before you start experiencing reduced speeds—and that cap rivals T-Mobile’s 50 GB and beats AT&T’s 22 GB. Verizon still wins here, though, with 75 GB on the Above Unlimited plan—but you’ll pay for it.

Sprint also includes DVD-quality video streaming and 10 GB of mobile hotspot data with its Unlimited Freedom plan, which is more than you’ll get with the lower-tier unlimited plans from any of the other three major providers.

Sprint’s higher plans also throw in some cool perks like free subscriptions to Tidal music and Hulu as well as more data for traveling to Canada and Mexico.

Not only that, but if you’re a fan of using your phone’s data as a hotspot instead of paying for Wi-Fi (or if you’re nowhere near a network), then you can also get up to 50 GB of tethering data—which is a ton compared to Verizon and AT&T’s 15 GB.

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No surfing on a call
Sprint service doesn’t let you use apps while you’re on a call. So you can’t check Facebook or look up the capital of Azerbaijan while also on a call with your best friend. (It’s Baku, by the way.)

One last thing to keep in mind: Sprint’s service can be spotty, so just make sure Sprint has reliable coverage in your area before you sign on. If you live in a city, or a city-esque suburb, you’ll probably be fine. Cabin in the woods? Not so much.

Coverage and speeds

If you want reliable service and speedy data across the country, Verizon is an easy pick.

Verizon sweeps the board when it comes to coverage and data speeds across the country (although there is one study2 that disagrees and puts T-Mobile first for speed). Basically, if you want to wander off into the wilderness and still have full bars, Verizon is your best bet.

That said, AT&T has similar coverage and T-Mobile is pretty up there for speed, so depending on your needs, Verizon isn’t your only good option on the market.

Verizon coverage and speed

Verizon excels at both coverage3 and speed4, with coverage being its big selling point. Those red-covered maps on Verizon commercials aren’t just clever marketing—Verizon really does cover most of the country, and definitely covers more than Sprint or T-Mobile.

Verizon Coverage Map

T-Mobile coverage and speed

T-Mobile generally comes in third for coverage5, although its speeds are really good6. Its network has also gotten better over the last few years, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with T-Mobile’s coverage in cities and suburbs.

It still can’t match Verizon or AT&T for reliability, but T-Mobile beats out Sprint for nationwide service.

Photo: tmobile.com

AT&T coverage and speed

Coverage7 is definitely a huge selling point for AT&T. Its service across the country is almost as reliable as Verizon’s, and it has decent speeds as well. We’d still recommend Verizon if coverage is your main concern, but AT&T wins the day if you already use AT&T internet and DIRECTV and want to bundle the three.

AT&T coverage map 2019

Photo: ATT.com

Sprint coverage and speed

Sprint might have the best prices, but it comes in dead last for service and reliability8. Studies basically always rank Sprint fourth for coverage and speed9 (and everything else), so keep in mind, you get what you pay for.

Phones and devices

You can snag most of the latest smartphones at Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. The only real difference is that Verizon sells Google Pixel phones in stores and the others don’t. If you want a Pixel with a different provider, you’ll have to buy one from Google (or secondhand) and bring your own.

Which top phones do Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint sell? Pretty much all of ’em except Google Pixels:

  • iPhone XS/XS Max
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8

See phones from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Which unlimited plan should I choose?

  • Choose Verizon for the highest available amount of unthrottled data, plus top coverage and reliability across the US.
  • Choose T-Mobile for a high data allotment, transparent pricing, and benefits like free international coverage and in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • Choose AT&T if you want excellent bundling deals, like DIRECTV and premium channel add-ons, plus an unbelievably long price lock on your internet bill.
  • Choose Sprint if you want a budget unlimited plan that still offers HD streaming and mobile hotspot data.

Do you already have an unlimited wireless plan? Which provider did you choose and why? Tell us about your experience in the comments!