What has high speeds and coverage all over? Verizon does—but it comes at a price.
Verizon Cell Phone Plans Review 2023
Verizon Wireless offers some of the most powerful unlimited plans on the market, with amazing coverage, tons of hotspot data, flexible family plan options, and a rapidly expanding 5G nationwide network that offers unprecedented speeds. There’s no question that it’s one of the best carriers around.
The only real downside is the cost: Verizon’s plans run about $5 to $15 more than similar plans from its competitors.
So, is Verizon worth its top-shelf price? If you want the best coverage and fast data speeds, then we think you’ll like Verizon’s options. Read on to learn all the nitty-gritty details about Verizon Wireless cell phone plans.
Looking to upgrade to a 5G device?
The only way to take advantage of Verizon’s (and other carriers’) incredible 5G speeds is to have a 5G capable device, like the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21. Check out the latest deals from Verizon and other companies on our deals page!
How to choose the perfect plan
We’ve spent countless hours researching, testing, and writing these reviews. In that time, we’ve come up with some important features to consider when choosing your next cell phone plan. Here are some tips before we get into the in-depth review.
- Data: If you don’t have enough high-speed data, then your smartphone is basically useless. Make sure you have the 4G LTE and 5G data that you need for work, gaming, streaming, scrolling, and everything else.
- Price: Get the best price available by comparing plans using tools like the Whistle Out widgets in this article.
- Coverage: All three major networks—AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon—have pretty good 4G coverage in major cities. But 5G nationwide coverage and rural coverage can vary widely. Check coverage maps for the carrier with the best network in your area.
- Features: There are tons of extra features—like mobile hotspot data, international benefits, and HD video streaming—that you can get. Check the fine print to see what a plan offers before you sign up.
Verizon unlimited plans
Yes, Verizon’s prices are a bit higher than its main competitors (AT&T and T-Mobile). But we think Verizon’s coverage, speed, and performance—three things the company rates highly for—make the price worthwhile.
Take a look at the company’s unlimited plan pricing and features to decide for yourself.
Verizon unlimited plans features
On the surface, these two unlimited plans may look pretty much the same (besides price, of course). They each come with unlimited talk, text, and data. But there are actually some significant differences. This chart breaks it all down.
|Plan details||Unlimited Welcome||Unlimited Plus|
|Data cap||No data cap but data always deprioritized||Unlimited premium network access|
|5G/5G ultra-wideband network access||Nationwide 5G is free + $10/mo. for ultra-wideband access||Free nationwide and ultra-wideband 5G|
|Video streaming quality||720p||4K ultra HD with capable device|
|Mobile hotspot||None||30 GB*|
|Home internet discounts|
Up to 50% off Verizon 5G Home or LTE Home Internet
|International texting to over 200 countries|
|Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico|
|Learn more||View Plans||View Plans|
Data effective 7/14/2023. Offers subject to change.
* Data speeds can be throttled after reaching data cap
As you can see, the real difference between these plans comes down to data allotment and perks.
The Welcome Unlimited plan is the cheapest, but your data speeds can be deprioritized at any time, making it hard to reliably stream, game, or work on your phone. This plan also comes with no mobile hotspot data, and you have to pay extra for ultra-wideband 5G.
The Unlimited Plus plan has pretty much all of the above (but a smidge better): Unlimited premium data (no data deprioritization cap to be seen here), 720p video streams with 4K HD capabilities (depending on your device), free subscriptions, cloud storage, plus 30 GB of hotspot data! It’s a real powerhouse of a plan.
Nationwide 5G vs. ultra-wideband 5G
If you’re confused about 5G, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s a new mobile technology that basically means that you’ll get faster data speeds. But there are different kinds of 5G.
Verizon’s “Nationwide 5G” is kind of like 5G-lite. It gives you just slightly faster speeds than the 4G LTE you’re used to and it’s available all over the country. But ultra-wideband 5G can give you wildly fast data speeds—like 100–200+ Mbps! That’s faster than most home broadband connections. But it’s only available on certain devices and in certain areas.
Verizon unlimited plans comparison
Now let’s put those Verizon prices in context with the other major wireless competitors. Be forewarned: price isn’t everything. Of course, we all want to pay less for our wireless plans, but remember that perks, speed, and coverage matter too.
Imagine you’re stuck waiting at the DMV and your data speeds are too slow to stream. Or what if your car breaks down and your coverage is too shoddy to call AAA? There are some very real reasons that people pay extra for Verizon.
Discounts for seniors, first responders, and others
Never pay full price for anything if you don’t have to. There are several ways to get discounts on Verizon plans. For those who are 55+ there is an unlimited data plan that can save you $20 a month or more. Here’s a look at the company’s senior plan.
Verizon will also hook up students, teachers, first responders, active military, and nurses. Eligible customers can save at least $10 with these plans.
Verizon family plans
We love family plans. There is simply no better way to save money on your phone bill, no matter which carrier you’re with. When it comes to Verizon, you can cut your phone bill in half when you have four lines on your account.
Just check out the prices in this chart.
Verizon’s myPlan lets each member of your family get the unlimited plan they want (Unlimited Welcome or Unlimited Plus) while still getting family plan discounts. This way your teenager can get the streaming perks, and you can get the business perks. Each person can also choose whichever add-ons their heart desires.
Verizon family plans comparison
Adding lines to your Verizon plan will save you money. But your bill will still be higher than it could be with other carriers. If you’re willing to go with a discount carrier, like the Verizon-owned Visible Wireless, you could get a four-line plan for as little as $100 a month.
Verizon prepaid plans
The classic cellular loophole of getting a cheaper deal with a prepaid plan sadly doesn’t work too well with Verizon. The prepaid plans end up being more expensive than cheaper services. But Verizon prepaid plans still offer excellent coverage, so you do have that going for you.
Also, not all of Verizon's prepaid plans come with features like hotspot tethering. If you’ve ever needed to access your computer on the go, you know how important a hotspot can be.
Oh, and one more thing—you could experience slower speeds due to data deprioritization (which is a fancy way of saying you’re at the back of the line when the network is congested).
Verizon cell phones and devices
The best time to score an awesome deal on a new phone is when you’re signing up for a new plan. Verizon can hook you up with a great price on the latest devices, like an Apple iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S22, or Google Pixel 6.
This chart shows some of Verizon’s most popular deals on new phones and devices.
Verizon has owned the championship belt for best coverage for a while now, and it's no different in 2021. Verizon offers 4G coverage to 70% of the country, which leads all major networks.1
This is why Verizon costs more than the wireless competition—good coverage costs money. If you’re the type that ventures to parts unknown (like North Dakota or something), or even if your area is just more rural, you’ll probably want the reliability Verizon provides.
Check out the Verizon coverage map below to see what we’re talking about.
You might notice that Verizon’s 5G coverage isn’t half-bad either. The company hasn’t quite caught up to T-Mobile when it comes to 5G nationwide coverage. But it’s ultra-wideband 5G network is growing fast (towers went up in my Salt Lake City neighborhood last year), meaning that you could get 200+ Mbps speeds if you live in the right area!
Verizon customer service
The cell phone industry as a whole struggles with its customer service, and sadly, Verizon is no exception.
Keep in mind you can still get help with your Verizon account or phone through online chat (if you’re signed into your Verizon account) or throw some hashtags Verizon’s way on Twitter and Facebook.
We’d like to see Verizon innovate and improve when it comes to customer service. And a more transparent way of allowing customers to price and compare plans wouldn’t hurt, either.
How to pay your Verizon bill
Getting a hold of Verizon customer service may be hard. But giving Verizon your money isn’t. There are tons of ways to pay your Verizon bill: with the app, online, over the phone, by mail, or by signing up for Verizon autopay.
You can get a step-by-step guide to paying your Verizon bill and signing up for autopay in this article.
Recap: Is Verizon good?
If you’re looking for the TL;DR on how Verizon’s cell phone service compares, look no further.
- Unlimited plans: You can go for the Unlimited Welcome plan if you’re okay with occasional data slowdowns. If you want reliable speeds and more perks, like mobile hotspot data, then opt for the pricier option, the Unlimited Plus plan.
- Family Plans: If you’ve got a couple of family members who will share a family plan with you, then do it. It will save you a ton of money, but your bill will probably still be higher than it would be with another company.
- Performance: Verizon’s coverage and data speeds earned top ratings again and again. You can’t argue with that.
- Customer service: It’s fairly easy to reach Verizon online, but the entire wireless service provider industry leaves something to be desired when it comes to customer service.
If you’re all about fast speeds and the best coverage, Verizon is a great pick. If you want to get the best possible price, do what you can to work within a family plan. If you’re a single user, reach out to family and friends and see if you can hop on a plan.
This Verizon Wireless review is the result of dozens of hours of research over several years. We’ve monitored Verizon’s plans, performance, and coverage over the years so that we can provide the most informative and helpful analysis to our readers.
We used publicly available information about Verizon wireless plans, customer reviews, and our own data from over 100,000 mobile users to evaluate Verizon’s overall value and data speeds.
We hope that this review has helped you find the perfect cell phone plan. If you’re curious you can read more about our reviewing process in this article.
There are many other carriers that use Verizon’s network. These companies are called mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Instead of operating their own cellular towers, these Verizon MVNOs just lease bandwidth from Verizon.
There are at least 15 smaller companies that use Verizon’s network, but we recommend Visible Wireless for its wildly cheap family cell phone plans and Xfinity Mobile for its awesome bundling deals (for those already on Xfinity internet).
Just be aware that MVNOs often have slower data speeds because when the network gets busy Verizon slows down their customers’ data first!
Overage charges have mostly gone the way of the dinosaurs, and that deserves a cheer.
After your first 30 GB on the Unlimited Plus plan during times of high traffic, Verizon could slow your speed down to 600 Kbps or less.
If you’re on a prepaid cell phone plan (both with a data cap and the unlimited data plan), you might feel like your internet browsing is in slow motion if you exceed your data limit and Verizon throttles you back to 128 Kbps.
Yes, you will need to pay a one-time activation fee if you’re a new Verizon customer, and this rings in at $35 per line.
We also noticed that Verizon waives the activation fee when you purchase a prepaid phone and plan online. Huzzah!
Tired of burying your phone in rice after dropping it in the sink or squinting to see the text on your cracked screen? Then an extended warranty or equipment insurance might be worth it in the long run.
If you’re looking for a standard level of protection (loss, theft, or damage) for only one device, we think the Total Equipment Coverage hits the spot. The price is much less per month than the Total Mobile Protection plan, and the deductible is the same.
Verizon allows you to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and offers a free SIM card if you check your phone’s compatibility on its site (otherwise, the card costs $24.99).
No need to tell all your friends and family to update their contacts—Verizon offers free phone number transfers. It usually takes up to a day to transfer a number from your wireless device, and Verizon says your old phone will continue to work as the transfer proceeds.
You can check if your current number can be transferred on Verizon’s site.
Don’t cancel your current service before you transfer your number to Verizon. While you may be ready to cut ties with your old wireless provider, keeping your service until the transfer is complete helps make your transition smoother.
In general, Verizon accepts returns and exchanges of devices within 30 days, but it still charges you a $50 restocking fee. Heads up: you can exchange your device only once, so make sure your second choice is a match made in heaven.
As with any big company, Verizon’s return and early termination policies are pretty lengthy. We recommend reading through them if you’re considering canceling your service or returning your device.
Does Verizon have a senior discount?
Verizon offers one discount cell phone plan for folks who are 55 and up.
Does Verizon have a military discount?
Verizon’s military discount can knock $10 off your Verizon cell phone bill every month.
To qualify for the military discount, you’ll need to be either active duty or a veteran and provide proof of service.
Active duty members need a military-issued email, paystub, or SCRA Status Report.
Veterans need their DD 214, veterans ID card, military retiree account statement, or a VetRewards card from Veterans Advantage.