Having the best unlimited data plan is still in reach, even if you’re looking to keep your monthly expenses down. That hasn’t always been the case, as plans offering unlimited data used to be among the most expensive options out there, but options are more plentiful these days at many of the best phone carriers.
Yes, unlimited data plans can still be pricey, especially if you get your service from one of the major carriers and opt for one of their perk-heavy plans. But the very best unlimited data plans are more affordable while still dangling benefits like complimentary streaming services and hotspot data. Give up those perks, and you can get unlimited data for even less. If you look beyond the Big Three carriers, you can find unlimited data among the best cheap cell phone plans, with several carriers now offering limitless data for less than $40 per month.
It’s good to know what the best unlimited data plans are right now, 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.
The best unlimited data plans you can get today
The best unlimited data plan on a budget
The best unlimited data plan overall
The best value unlimited data plan
The best value unlimited from a main carrier
The best unlimited plan for Comcast customers
AT&T’s most affordable unlimited data plan
The cheapest unlimited data plan
Best unlimited data plan for travelers
Best alternative prepaid unlimited plan
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 unlimited data plans truly unlimited?
That depends. 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.