When searching for the best unlimited data plan, keep two things in mind — price and perks. The former covers how much you can expect to pay each month for wireless service, while the latter will show what kind of value the best phone carriers include in their plans.
In many cases, the extra benefits are what separate the best unlimited data plans from the rest of the pack. From complimentary streaming services to extra hotspot data, these are the perks that make seemingly expensive unlimited plans from the major carriers worth the cost.
Best unlimited data cell phone plans at a glance
But you don’t have to spend big bucks for unlimited data, which is good news at a time that prices are on the rise elsewhere. If you look beyond the Big Three carriers, you can find unlimited data among the best cheap cell phone plans, with a couple carriers offering limitless data for less than $40 per month.
Now that new phones are available — hello, Galaxy S22 and iPhone SE (2022) — you should be up to speed on the best unlimited data plans, since carriers often require you to sign up for one of their plans to take advantage of their best phone deals. But even if you don’t need to buy a phone right now, taking a look at all the options available might reveal a better plan than the one you have right now.
By looking at the different options for best unlimited plans, you could wind up with a new plan that has better perks than what you’re enjoying — side benefits like hotspot data, the ability to use your plan when you travel overseas and HD video streaming to go with that unlimited talk, text and data. Top unlimited plans also include 5G coverage, which is critical if you’ve got one of the best 5G phones on hand.
We’ve studied the unlimited data plans offered by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to assess which one best fits the needs of different types of users. In addition, we can also highlight lower-priced options among the best prepaid phone plans from Mint Mobile, Visible and others that we consider among the best unlimited data plans.
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How to pick the best unlimited data plan for you
Besides making sure to choose a carrier that offers good service in your area — check out our guide to the fastest wireless networks in addition to asking friends and family about coverage — consider both price and perks. With the best unlimited data plans from major carriers ranging in price from $60 to $90 per month, pick the plan that fits in your budget or turn to a discount carrier like Mint or Visible. Also consider what benefits each wireless carrier includes with their different tiers of unlimited data.
Wondering if you need unlimited data? Unless you’re streaming video and music fairly regularly, you probably can get away with a tiered data plan, like the ones offered by AT&T and Verizon.
Are there any limits to the best unlimited data plans?
Yes and no. While you do technically get unlimited data on all of these plans, many of them will impose a restriction somewhere in the plan to limit you slightly.
AT&T reserves the right to start throttling data at 50GB for Unlimited Extra; Unlimited Starter customers can be throttled at any time. Unlimited Elite customers no longer have to worry about caps, though, as AT&T has removed that limitation from its most expensive plan. Verizon is able to slow data after 50GB are used by Do More, Play More and Get More customers. T-Mobile also lets you use 100GB of data before throttling can begin, though if you opt for the more expensive Magenta Max plan, there’s no cap on data usage at all.
There could also be limits on the quality of video you can stream — some plans restrict video streaming to 480p, requiring you to pay more for HD video streaming. Many plans also impose limits on hotspot data, only allotting a limited amount of high-speed hotspot data. This isn’t really as big of an issue as it sounds. For the average person, hotspotting is simply an added benefit and you won’t really lose out too much by being limited on it.