Skip to main content

Unlimited data plans: Who has the best deal?

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Every so often, we do a checkup on the major carriers to see who is offering the best bang for your buck. A few weeks back, T-Mobile announced a new unlimited smartphone plan that claims to offer everything a user needs for $79.99. But does it? We’ve done the math. If you’re in the market for a real individual “unlimited” plan, here is what it will cost you on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

AT&T Logo

AT&T unlimited plan

Total cost: $114.99

Price breakdown: $69.99 for unlimited talk, $20 for unlimited texts, $25 for 2GB of data

AT&T is one of the most expensive carriers around. It doesn’t offer a formal “unlimited” plan, but you can piece your own together, for a price. If you’d like any kind of smartphone plan under $100, prepare to make some sacrifices. Don’t go over your 2GB data cap either, or you’ll be charged another $10 for an extra 1GB of data.

Sprint Logo

Sprint “Simply Everything” unlimited plan

Total cost: $99.99

Price breakdown: This is a bundled plan offered by Sprint

Sprint has one of the better deals going. For $99, it offers unlimited talk, texting, and data. Though data is quietly capped at 5GB last time we checked, few people will exceed this cap. Like most carriers, Sprint does not charge for digital roaming across the United States. If you cut your minutes down to 450, you can achieve a price of $69.99 and still get unlimited data and texting.

T-Mobile LogoT-Mobile “Even More” unlimited plan

Total cost: $79.99 (for a “limited time”)

Price breakdown: This is a bundled plan offered by T-Mobile

We don’t know how long it will last, but T-Mobile’s new unlimited plan is currently discounted by $20, making it the most affordable completely unlimited plan of the bunch. The only stipulation, as usual, is with data. While you have unlimited data, anything you use over 2GB will be throttled, or slowed down a bit. While we’d prefer a completely unlimited data plan, a slight downtick in Internet speed at the end of the month is better than a $10+ dollar surprise charge.

After T-Mobile’s deal ends, you can still get an unlimited data + texting plan with 500 minutes for $79.99, which isn’t bad either.


Verizon Wireless unlimited plan

Total cost: $119.98

Price breakdown: $69.99 for unlimited talk, $20 for 5000 texts, $29.99 for 5GB of data

Verizon may have the fastest 4G network with its impressive LTE technology, but few phones support it yet and it’ll be a year or so before the kinks are ironed out. Data plans are rumored to head north in the coming months as well. While there is no option for unlimited texting on Verizon, the only way to get a good plan for under $100 is to cut your talk service down to 450 minutes.

Overall winner: T-Mobile

If AT&T’s  purchase of T-Mobile goes through, we certainly hope the wireless giant adopts T-Mobile’s pricing.  Currently, T-Mobile has one of the best deals going. Combined with a healthy set of Android phones and a promise that plans will be grandfathered in during the AT&T transition, and there really isn’t a good reason not to take advantage of this deal, which will save you a minimum of $20 a month for 24 months, which adds up to a two-year savings of $480 savings over Sprint, $960 over Verizon, and $840 over AT&T.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Editors' Recommendations

Digital Trends Staff
Digital Trends has a simple mission: to help readers easily understand how tech affects the way they live. We are your…
T-Mobile’s 5G Ultra Capacity network has four times the coverage of Verizon and AT&T
T-Mobile smartphone.

Last week, a report from Ookla revealed that T-Mobile's 5G and 4G LTE networks are nearly twice as fast as those of Verizon and AT&T. Today, Opensignal released the results of a new study that reveals one of the most significant reasons for T-Mobile's lead.

5G services cover a much wider range of frequencies than older cellular technologies, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Since low-band 5G frequencies have considerably more range than higher frequencies and generally share the same airwaves as 4G/LTE services, all three carriers have leveraged this spectrum to provide their extended nationwide coverage. T-Mobile calls this its 5G Extended Range network, Verizon uses the term 5G Nationwide, and AT&T just calls it 5G.

Read more
The best OnePlus phone deal on Prime Day isn’t the 10 Pro
The OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro's camera modules.

The OnePlus 10 Pro is on offer as part of Amazon’s Prime Day 2022, but we’re not going to suggest you buy it, because if you dig around a little more, there’s a better offer on a different OnePlus phone. The OnePlus 9 Pro may be a phone from 2021, but at $699, it’s yours for a very good price, and you get the top version the company made.

OnePlus has reduced the OnePlus 10 Pro to $799 for Prime Day, but for this you get the 8GB/128GB model and not the top -- and recently released -- 12GB/256GB version. For that, you’ll have to pay $969. The $699 OnePlus 9 Pro has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space, but we're not recommending it because of the RAM. It’s the additional storage that’s important here. Neither OnePlus phone has a MicroSD card slot, so you’ve only got the internal storage to rely on. It's a good plan to get as much as possible.

Read more
Verizon’s new Welcome Unlimited plan makes 5G data a lot more affordable
Verizon logo on a smartphone screen in a dark room and a finger touching it.

Verizon is rolling out an even more affordable 5G plan for customers looking for unlimited data without all the extra frills in its Mix & Match plans.

For as little as $30 per month for each line (when signing up for four lines with Auto Pay), the new Welcome Unlimited plan includes all the basics that most users need — including unlimited data, talking, and texting. The plan is separate from Verizon's Mix & Match Unlimited plans and lacks the features of those more expensive options, such as mobile hotspot data and streaming service bundles.

Read more