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Best unlimited data plans in 2022

best unlimited data plan
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Having best unlimited data plan is still in reach, even if you're looking to keep your monthly expenses down. Whereas plans offering unlimited data used to be the most expensive options out there, many of the best phone carriers now offer unlimited data for less.

Some unlimited data plans can still be pricey, but that's usually because they pack in perks that boost the overall value of the plan. 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

1. Cheapest unlimited plan: Mint Mobile (opens in new tab)
2. Best value unlimited plan: Visible (opens in new tab)
3. Best unlimited plan overall: Verizon (opens in new tab)
4. Best unlimited value from a main carrier: T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
5. Perfect for big streamers: AT&T (opens in new tab)

But as we said at the outset, the best unlimited plans don't require you to spend big bucks. 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.

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.

The best unlimited data plans you can get today

The best unlimited data plan on a budget

Mint Mobile | Unlimited data | $15/month - Unlimited data on a budget (opens in new tab)
Normally, Mint charges an already low $30 a month for unlimited data. But under a special limited-time promotion, it's cutting that introductory rate to $15/month for the first three months. At that price, you still get 5G access and no limits on your speeds, usage or video quality. After the first three months, though, you'll need to commit to 12 months of service to get the $30 monthly rate from Mint, which is still one of the least expensive unlimited data plans you can get.

Pros:
Cheapest overall unlimited plan, 5G speeds
Cons:
Speed restrictions, price increases after 3 months

The best unlimited data plan overall

Verizon | 5G Play More | $80/month - Best unlimited plan overall (opens in new tab)
Unlimited plans at Verizon have become especially appealing with the wider availability of Verizon's super-fast Ultra Wideband network (opens in new tab). The 5G Play More option remains the best choice among Verizon's four unlimited plan options, even though its $80/month cost is much more than what you'd pay at Mint. You get a feature-packed plan that includes access to fast 5G, plus subscriptions to Hulu, ESPN Plus and Disney Plus and 25GB of LTE hotspot data. In addition to those perks, you also get trial subscriptions for Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass for streaming gaming and a six-month Apple Music trial. Use more than 50GB of premium data, and Verizon may throttle your speeds. The $90/month 5G Get More plan removes that limitation and adds other perks.

Pros:
Excellent coverage, free streaming subscriptions, 5G access
Cons: Not the cheapest

The best value unlimited data plan

Visible | Unlimited data | $40/month - The best unlimited data prepaid on a budget (opens in new tab)
While Mint Mobile offers the cheapest price for unlimited data , Visible's unlimited option is also a great value. You get unlimited 5G data that makes use of Verizon's coverage and speeds, unlimited hotspot data and no caps on LTE speeds. (5G speeds are currently capped at 200 Mbps.) The other major benefit of Visible's unlimited plan is the 'Party Pay' setup. This allows you to cut down the cost if friends or families join a plan with you. All of the contracts will be separate and you each pay your own bill. This can get your bill down to just $25 per month. Visible now offers a free 15-day trial (opens in new tab) where you can test the service using your current phone and the best Visible deals (opens in new tab) give you other chances to save.

Pros: Very affordable, 5G unlimited data, group paying scheme
Cons:
Not many added benefits

The best value unlimited from a main carrier

T-Mobile Magenta | Unlimited data | $70/month - Best value unlimited plan from a main carrier (opens in new tab)
T-Mobile's Magenta plan has a lot going for it. You get 100GB of priority data — that means your data speed won't be slowed until you consume a lot of data every month. T-Mobile's unlimited plan also includes 5GB of LTE hotspot data with unlimited hotspotting data at 3G speeds. While Magenta doesn't have quite as many features as the Verizon option above, it is cheaper and actually sees its best value when combined with other lines. Plus, you get plenty of perks like a free year of both Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus with T-Mobile's unlimited data plan.
 
Pros: Attractive perks, affordable price, benefits for additional lines
Cons: HD video streaming costs extra

The best unlimited plan for Comcast customers

Xfinity Mobile | Unlimited plan | $45/month - Best unlimited plan for Comcast customers (opens in new tab)
If you're already getting internet service from Comcast — and there's a good chance you are, since it's the nation's largest ISP — consider bundling in phone service through Xfinity Mobile. The price is certainly right, at $45 a month for unlimited data on a single line. (The per-line cost drops as you add extra lines to your plan — with four lines of unlimited data, you'd pay $30 per line at Xfinity.) And for months where you know you won't use that much data, you can switch to by-the-gig pricing.

Pros: Low cost, uses Verizon's network
Cons: Only available to Xfinity internet customers

Feature-filled unlimited data

AT&T | Unlimited Elite plan | $85/month - AT&T's feature-packed unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
This is definitely not a cell phone plan for those on a budget, with AT&T charging $85 per month for a single line of its Unlimited Elite plan. However, this plan includes free access to the HBO Max streaming service, and you can stream in both HD and 4K (at least in instances where the latter is supported). AT&T removed all data caps from this plan, so your speeds won't be slowed no matter how much data you use. The plan now features 40GB of hotspot data as well, and Unlimited Elite subscribers can use their talk, text and data at no charge when traveling in 19 Latin American countries. If the $85 price tag is still too high, though, AT&T does offer two other unlimited plans at $75 and $65 (neither of which have HBO Max included).

Pros:
Unlimited 5G data, free HBO Max, 40GB of hotspot data
Cons:
Expensive

Lower-cost unlimited plan from AT&T

AT&T | Value Plus Plan | $50/month - AT&T's low cost option (opens in new tab)
AT&T has added a fourth unlimited data plan that's aimed solely at individuals looking for just one line of data. The Value Plus Plan costs $50 a month — $15 cheaper than a single line of AT&T's Unlimited Starter plan. As with that offering, Value Plus Plan subscribers can see their speeds slowed if there's a lot of traffic on AT&T's network. You also give up perks like hotspot data. But for budget-minded shoppers, the lower monthly rate may be worth it.

Pros: Low-cost unlimited plan, includes 5G, can use service
Cons: Can't add multiple lines, no hotspot data


The cheapest unlimited data plan

Tello | Unlimited data | $29/month — The absolute cheapest unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
Tello essentially matches Mint Mobile's price on unlimited data, but without the 12-month commitment to guarantee the best price. That makes Tello's revamped unlimited plan one to consider if you want the best possible price for your monthly wireless plan. Don't expect many perks — you can make free calls to 60-plus countries and use your phone as a hotspot, but that's about it. If you don't need unlimited data, Tello offers even cheaper plans.

Pros: The lowest cost for unlimited data, includes free calling to 60-plus countries
Cons: Not many perks


Best unlimited data plan for travelers

Google Fi | Unlimited Plus plan | $65/month - Best unlimited plan for traveling (opens in new tab)
Google Fi's main unlimited plan is not one of the most affordable plans, though Google did just cut $5 off the price. Still, for travelers, the Unlimited Plus plan is the perfect option. Google doesn't charge you extra for texting or using data in more than 200 countries. There are other benefits to Google Fi's plan too, but they're limited to Google phones like the Pixel 6 (opens in new tab), Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab) and Pixel 5a (opens in new tab) as well as select devices from Samsung and Motorola. Use one of these phones, and you'll be able to switch seamlessly between cellular networks and Google's Wi-Fi hotspots. However, any handset can use Google Fi and any 5G-enabled phone can connect to the faster network where available. If $65 a month is too much, Google features a $50 plan, though you give up the international coverage; that cheaper plan just added 5GB of hotspot data.

Pros:
Great international coverage, supports lots of phones now
Cons:
Some features limited to select phones

Best alternative prepaid unlimited plan

Cricket Wireless | Unlimited + 15GB Mobile Hotspot | $60/month - Best alternative prepaid unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
Among prepaid carriers, Metro by T-Mobile charges less than Cricket with an unlimited plan starting at $50 a month. Yet, we like Cricket's plan because you can reduce the cost by $5/month when you enroll in autopay. This Cricket plan also comes with perks like 15GB of hotspot data, 150GB of cloud storage and access to HBO Max with ads. Just as Metro customers enjoy T-Mobile's 5G network, Cricket subscribers can access 5G coverage from AT&T.

Pros: Uses AT&T's network, good perks for a prepaid plan
Cons: Expensive for a prepaid option

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.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • Sunrise250
    There must be some kind of price fixing going on in the US. In Ireland, which is considered a ripoff for cellular plans compared to UK I have unlimited calls, txts, and 80GB + free social media data for about $23-/month including taxes. As I use whatsapp for everything it's all about data. The EU reins in these telecoms so they only make a small fortune in the low billions.
    Reply
  • Erica Louderback
    ATT prepaid has unlimited plan for 30/month. And when you do multi line discount you end up able to get 5 lines for $90 plus a little tax!
    Reply
  • PolluxHT
    the link/reflink for the google fi section links to AT&T, not google fi. So I couldnt even click through yours to sign up, i had to do it on my own.
    Reply
  • cks4301
    Verizon now has a 150GB/mo plan for $80/mo, with limited caveats.
    Reply