Visible will lock in phone plan rates for five years

(Image credit: Future)

If rising costs have you worried, Visible's latest promotion may offer just what you're looking for — a fixed rate on your wireless phone service that will hold steady for the foreseeable future.

Specifically, Visible announced that new customers who activate accounts with the wireless carrier starting today (November 30) can expect their monthly rate to remain the same for five years. Visible says the locked-in monthly rate, which includes taxes and fees, will let customers know what their paying for phone service each month, fixing at least one expense in their monthly budget.

Visible's rate lock promotion runs though January 3, 2023, and it's open to new customers bringing their wireless business over to the carrier.

If you're not familiar with Visible, you should have at least heard of the carrier's parent company. Visible is owned by Verizon and uses Verizon's network for its service. That means extensive LTE coverage in the U.S. and growing 5G coverage that currently reaches 230 million people. Having reviewed Visible's wireless service a few years ago, I've found that if Verizon coverage is strong in your area, Visible coverage will be, too.

Visible currently offers two plans, both of which provide unlimited talk, text and data. The entry-level Visible plan costs $30 a month and includes 5G coverage on Verizon's nationwide network. You can use your phone as a mobile hotspot and you can make unlimited calls and texts to Mexico and Canada. We rank that option as one of the best cheap cell phone plans under $40.

That said, the $45/month Visible Plus plan offers more, making it one of the best unlimited data plans available. With Visible Plus, 5G coverage includes Verizon's faster Ultra Wideband network, and the ability to use your phone plan when you travel in Mexico and Canada. You're able to call 30-plus countries and send texts to 200-plus countries. Visible Plus subscribers can use up to 50GB of data each month before their speeds are throttled; the entry-level Visible plan can see its speeds slowed down whenever there's traffic on Verizon's network.

Visible's unlimited plans don't have the perks you'll find with service at bigger-name carriers, including Verizon, but the plans are also notably less expensive. Verizon's cheapest unlimited data plan, the Welcome Unlimited package, costs $65 a month for a single line and offers fewer perks than Visible Plus. Visible is also betting that a locked-in rate makes its plans even more appealing.

Of course, Visible isn't the first carrier to offer rate protection as a perk. T-Mobile has offered it in some form or another for years, with the most recent iteration emerging this past spring. That said, T-Mobile's price lock guarantee only applies to qualifying accounts such as its Magenta, Magenta Max and Essentials plans. The cheapest of that trio of unlimited data offerings starts at $60/month for a single line.

At a time of rising costs, locking in rates for an extended period could be one way in which phone carriers differentiate themselves from the competition. We'll see if other wireless providers follow suit in the wake of Visible's five year rate lock.

Philip Michaels

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.