Best Unlimited Data Cell Phone Plans 2020
Unlimited plans are the future. Nearly everything we do on our phones these days—from posting on Instagram to streaming a podcast—requires data.
So, if you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to data-overage charges and hello to all the cat videos you can handle.
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.
Best unlimited plans comparison
Mint Mobile: Best value
$30 for an unlimited data plan is nuts
- Cheapest unlimited plan
$30 Unlimited data plan
Mint Mobile recently announced its $30 unlimited plan, and the whole unlimited wireless landscape changed. Somehow, Mint Mobile managed to undercut every single other wireless carrier out there and offer an unlimited price that’ll be super hard to beat.
You get unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data for $30 a month.
As I’ve said before, Mint Mobile’s $30 unlimited plan is an “introductory” price, meaning it will only count for the first three months of your plan. However, if you renew for a 12 months afterwards, your monthly price will stay at $30 a month. We highly recommend you renew for 12 months to keep your cost super low.
Mint Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means that it uses a wireless network that it doesn’t own to provide service. In this case, Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network, which just so happens to boast the fastest wireless speeds around.
The downside is that MVNO’s, like Mint Mobile, can be deprioritized in whatever network it uses. Basically, your data speeds can be throttled during peak usage periods, or in areas of heavy wireless congestion. For example, you might enjoy consistently fast speeds with your Mint Mobile plan, but suddenly when you go to the supermarket, you can barely send a text message. Watch out for deprioritization and try not to rely on your phone too much in crowded areas.
Verizon: Best performance
Verizon’s expensive, but it’s the fastest, most widely available wireless provider in the US.
- Best coverage
- High speeds
- Good data allowance (before throttling)
- More expensive
Other providers may have fancier perks and cheaper prices, but when it comes to getting the best performance—no ifs, ands, or buts—Verizon takes the cake.
Verizon’s coast-to-coast coverage will get you full bars at truck stops and national parks. Its speeds will keep you streaming and gaming without interruption. And you’ll have the high data allowances you need to enjoy all of it.
If you want to climb aboard the Good Ship Verizon, then we recommend you go with the Verizon Start Unlimited or the Verizon Get More Unlimited plan.
Verizon unlimited data plans
If you go with the lowest-priced unlimited plan (Verizon Start Unlimited), then Verizon can “deprioritize” your data whenever the network gets busy. You have no guaranteed amount of high-speed data.
If you skip the data finagling and choose the Verizon Do More Unlimited or Play More Unlimited plan, then you get 50 GB of high-speed data, respectively. With Get More Unlimited you’ll score 75 GB of unthrottled data.
That 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.
T-Mobile: Fastest Data Speeds
T-Mobile offers the fastest data speeds in the country on average
- Fastest data speeds
- Impressive perks
- Lacks rural coverage
Fastest data speeds
T-Mobile offers both the fastest wireless download speeds and upload speeds, meaning you should have a pretty seamless internet experience with your T-Mobile connection. We sampled tens of thousands of wireless users and T-Mobile came out on top, averaging download speeds of 32.73 Mbps and upload speeds of 12.9 Mbps. In case you’re curious, this is how the numbers broke down for all three major wireless networks.
- Average download speed: 28.9 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 9.4 Mbps
- Average download speed: 32.73 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps
- Average download speed: 32.2 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 10.0 Mbps
Here’s what the breakdown for average download and upload speeds looks like in graph form. Everyone loves a graph.
Essentially, you can count on T-Mobile to be your best bet for streaming, updating your social media feed, and browsing the internet. Its also your best bet for uploading stuff to the internet, like your own YouTube videos, Instagram stories, and of course, the tweets.
T-Mobile Unlimited plans
T-Mobile offers some serious bang for your monthly buck. Its network is large and very, very fast. And its Magenta and Magenta Plus plans will get you a litany of perks, such as:
- Unlimited calling with Mexico and Canada, and unlimited international texts to 210+ countries
- Unlimited texting and data (at 128 Kbps) when you travel abroad in many locations
Access to 5G networks where available (if you have a 5G capable device)
- Free Netflix Basic 1-screen subscription when you have two or more lines
- Discounts for military and veterans
- Free in-flight texting
Unlike Verizon, even T-Mobile’s cheapest plan gives you 50 GB of unthrottled data. So go ahead and watch those 10-minute-long Vine compilation videos on YouTube.
Visible Wireless: Best prepaid provider
You can pay less for unlimited data, if you’re okay with slowdowns.
- Cheap plans
- Verizon-run network
- Great family plan
- Data can be deprioritized
Visible Wireless unlimited plan pricing
Sure, the big providers—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon—dominate the wireless market. But there are plenty of smaller, prepaid companies worth checking out, especially if you’re willing to trade a few perks for a cheaper bill.
In fact, we decided to knock AT&T off this list and add a company called Visible instead because it offers better prices and service.
Visible is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it offers prepaid plans using another company’s cell phone network. In this case, that network is Verizon.
So, with Visible, you can get the benefits of Verizon premium network without paying a premium price.
Pop quiz! Which is less, $70 or $40? That’s right, Visible’s $40 plan is much cheaper than Verizon’s $70 plan. But, of course, there’s a catch.
The biggest drawback to using MVNOs, like Visible Wireless, is that your speeds can be deprioritized by the network when it’s congested.
That means you might have a hard time looking up player stats when you’re watching your favorite team in a packed stadium. And you may not be able to stream your favorite show while you sit on the bus during rush hour.
While this is definitely a negative for Visible, it’s worth noting that the company won’t throttle your data when you use too much. Most companies will slow down your data—even on an unlimited plan—after you use a certain amount (usually around 50 GB).
Save even more money with Party Pay
Visible Wireless lets you have up to four lines on your Unlimited Plan. But don’t call it a “family” plan. This is Party Pay, my friend, and what a party it is.
The price of each individual line goes down with every line you add. That means you can get an unlimited data plan for four people for just $25 each.
Visible Wireless Unlimited Plan with 4 lines
This is your party, and you can invite whomever you’d like, not just family. Split your phone bill your roommate, invite the folks in your book club, add a line for that cute person you just met on Tinder. Whatever floats your boat.
Conveniently, everyone manages their own bill on Party Pay. That way you won’t lose service if your flaky best friend forgets to make a payment.
Phones and devices
Get the latest devices for less when you’re signing up.
The best time to score a new phone for a decent price is when you’re switching service. Verizon, T-Mobile, and Visible all sell the latest devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google.
So if you’ve had your heart set on the iPhone 11’s Ultra Wide camera or on the Galaxy 10S’s Fast Wireless Charging technology, then now’s the time to take the plunge. You can learn more about the best deals going on this week on our current deals page.
Which unlimited plan should I choose?
- Choose Mint Mobile if you want the best value for an unlimited plan on the wireless market right now. Just watch out for deprioritization.
- Choose Verizon for the top coverage and reliability across the US.
- Choose T-Mobile for the fastest wireless data speeds around, transparent pricing, and benefits like free international coverage and in-flight Wi-Fi.
- Choose Visible Wireless if you want unlimited data and great coverage for cheap, and you don’t mind occasional data slowdowns.
Do you already have an unlimited wireless plan? Which provider did you choose and why? Tell us about your experience in the comments!