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Best unlimited data plans in 2021

best unlimited data plan
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If the arrival of the iPhone 13 has you hunting for the best unlimited data plan — or even if you're just wondering what other options are out there that top your current wireless service — you've come to the right place. We can help you find a plan that brings the right mix of perks and price, along with a limitless stream of data for your smartphone.

Every unlimited data plan also includes unlimited talk time and text. But you can get other benefits like LTE hotspot data, the ability to use your plan when you travel overseas and HD video streaming. We would also consider a wireless carrier’s 5G coverage if you’re looking to buy one of the best 5G phones.

Best unlimited data cell phone plans at a glance

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

Finding the best unlimited data plan is especially key these days, as many wireless carriers make it a condition of reaping the biggest discounts in their phone deals. (Signing up for unlimited data is a requirement in many of the best iPhone 13 preorder deals, as a matter of fact.)

Fortunately, 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've looked beyond the big carriers to find lower-priced options from Mint Mobile, Visible and others.

Here’s a closer look at the best unlimited data plans for a wide range of different smartphone users. And if you don't need all that data, we've outlined the best tiered data plans among the limited options available.

The best unlimited data plans you can get today

The best unlimited data plan on a budget

Mint Mobile | Unlimited data | $30/month - Unlimited data on a budget
If you're simply after an unlimited data plan at its lowest price, Mint Mobile is the way to go. It lowers the cost of unlimited data all the way down to just $30 a month. At that price, you still get 5G access and no limits on your speeds, usage or video quality. However, you only get that price for three months — after that, you'll have to sign up for another 12 months to hold onto the $30 rate.

Cheapest overall unlimited plan, 5G speeds
Speed restrictions, price increases after 3 monthsView Deal

The best unlimited data plan overall

Verizon | Play More Unlimited | $80/month - Best unlimited plan overall
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum to Mint Mobile, Verizon's Play More plan will cost you $80 each month. But it is also just about the most feature-packed option out there. It includes 5G and subscriptions to Hulu, ESPN Plus and Disney Plus, plus 15GB of LTE hotspot data. Verizon added 12 months of either Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass for streaming gaming. There's also the benefit of Verizon's impressive coverage and speeds as well helping to make this the best overall unlimited data plan.

Excellent coverage, free streaming subscriptions, 5G access
Cons: Not the cheapestView Deal

The best value unlimited data plan

Visible | Unlimited data | $40/month - The best unlimited data prepaid on a budget
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 bills down to just $25 per month.

Pros: Very affordable, 5G unlimited data, group paying scheme
Not many added benefitsView Deal

The best value unlimited from a main carrier

T-Mobile Magenta | Unlimited data | $70/month - Best value unlimited plan from a main carrier
T-Mobile's Magenta plan has a lot going for it. You get 100GB of priority data and 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. At the moment, T-Mobile throws in the third line for free meaning you're only paying $35 per line for four lines. Plus, you get plenty of perks like a free year of Apple TV Plus with T-Mobile's unlimited data plan.
Pros: Attractive perks, affordable price, benefits for additional lines
Cons: HD video streaming costs extraView Deal

The best unlimited plan for Comcast customers

Xfinity Mobile | Unlimited plan | $45/month - Best unlimited plan for Comcast customers
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. 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 customersView Deal

Feature-filled unlimited data

AT&T | Unlimited Elite plan | $85/month - AT&T's feature-packed unlimited plan
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. 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).

Unlimited 5G data, free HBO Max, 40GB of hotspot data
ExpensiveView Deal

Best unlimited data plan for travelers

Google Fi | Unlimited plan | $70/month - Best unlimited plan for traveling
Google Fi's unlimited plan is not one of the most affordable plans, costing as much T-Mobile's Magenta. But if you travel a lot it will be the perfect option for you. 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 Samsung's latest devices, Google handsets like the new Pixel 5a and a few Moto phones. If you have one of these devices 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 $70 a month is too much, Google features a $60 plan, though you give up the international coverage and high-speed tethering.

Great international coverage, supports lots of phones now
Some features limited to select phonesView Deal

Best unlimited plan for switchers

Metro by T-Mobile | Unlimited plan | $25/month - Best unlimited plan for switchers
Metro by T-Mobile's unlimited plans typically start at $50 a month, but anyone mulling a switch from Cricket or Boost can save big on data right now. Metro is cutting the price on its unlimited plan to $25 a month; even better that lower price sticks around for 24 months. You can also pick up a free Galaxy A32 5G as part of this in-store deal.

Pros: Uses T-Mobile's network, low price for unlimited data
Cons: Price changes after 24 months, limited-time offerView Deal

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.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • cks4301
    Verizon now has a 150GB/mo plan for $80/mo, with limited caveats.