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Best Verizon phone plans for 2020: Unlimited, prepaid and more

best verizon phone plans
(Image credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It should be simple to find the best Verizon phone plan, but each step of the process seems to invite more questions. Should you get unlimited data or save money with tiered data? If unlimited data is the way to go, which one of Verizon's four different options is best? And what perks does each plan offer to help you figure out if you're getting the biggest benefit out of your monthly rate?

After poring over the wireless carrier's various options, we've found the best Verizon phone plan, though ultimately, the choice comes down to how you use your smartphone. For most customers, though, an unlimited plan is the better choice, with Verizon's Play More offering the most attractive balance of price and perks now that Verizon includes more streaming channels as part of your subscription.

Verizon's tiered plans are less attractive for families since they force you to share one pool of data for not much of a discount from unlimited pricing, but individuals can find some value if they don't need a lot of data. And Verizon still offers the best prepaid phone plan, thanks to a lot of data and the ability to lower your bill by sticking with the carrier for three months or more.

Here's a closer look at the best Verizon phone plans and how each one can meet your particular needs.

What is the best Verizon phone plan?

If you want data without limits, pick the Play More Unlimited plan from Verizon, which also throws in some nice streaming perks. If cloud storage is more important to you, though, the Do More Unlimited plan costs the same amount as Play More and offers 600GB of storage.

Families should be aware that they can mix and match Verizon’s various unlimited data plans, meaning you could sign your kids up for the cheaper Start Unlimited plan at Verizon. A Just Kids option also puts limits on data for younger users while providing parental control options.

Verizon’s 5GB tiered data plan is the best option for individual users who don’t want to pay up for unlimited data. Anyone who needs a lot of data but still wants to save money should consider the 15GB prepaid plan from Verizon, which also offers discounts over time to lower your monthly cost.

The best Verizon phone plans available now

best verizon phone plans

(Image credit: Verizon)

1. Verizon Play More plan

The best unlimited data plan at Verizon

Amount of data: Unlimited | Cost: $80/month | Family cost (4 lines): $180/month | Perks: 5G coverage; 15GB of hotspot data; Subscriptions to Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+; 6 months of Apple Music

Includes free Disney bundle (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+)
5G coverage included
Expensive compared to T-Mobile's plan
Cloud storage requires Get More or Do More plan

Pressured by rival carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon reintroduced unlimited plans in 2017. The carrier has tweaked and expanded its data plans in the ensuing years, with four different unlimited options currently on offer. We think the Verizon Play More plan is the best unlimited data option because it includes Disney-owned streaming services (Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu) as part of your subscription as of August 20. You also get a six-month trial for Apple Music. 

A single line of Verizon Play More costs $80 a month, which is $10 more than what you’d pay for T-Mobile’s Magenta Unlimited plan. (We think T-Mobile has the best unlimited data plan overall because of that lower cost and T-Mobile’s perks.) Thanks to escalating discounts as you add lines, a family of four would pay $180 each month for four lines of Verizon Play More. Verizon also gives families the option of mixing and matching its different unlimited data plans..

Speaking of those other unlimited plans from Verizon, here are your three other options:

  • Verizon Do More: This plan costs the same as Verizon Play More, but only features six months of Disney Plus along with the six-month trial to Apple Music. You get the same 15GB of hotspot data that Play More subscribers enjoy, but there’s also 600GB of Verizon Cloud Storage, plus half-off for unlimited plans covering connected devices like tablets and watches. 
  • Verizon Get More: Verizon’s most expensive plan, at $90 a month for a single line, also comes with the most perks. Apple Music and the entire Disney bundle are both included, as is the 600GB of cloud storage and 50% discount on connected device plans. Hotspot data doubles to 30GB.
  • Verizon Start Unlimited: On the other end of the spectrum is Verizon’s cheapest unlimited option for $70 a month. Start Unlimited customers only get six month trials to Disney Plus and Apple Music, while Verizon reserves the right to slow your speeds at any time. This is also the only plan where you have to pay extra — $10 a month per line — to get 5G coverage.

Verizon’s three most expensive plans — Play More, Do More and Get More — all cap data at 50GB per month. Go over that limit and Verizon reserves the right to slow your speeds. (Remember, Start Unlimited speeds can be slowed at any time.) Those three plans also feature the ability to enable HD streaming for video.

Verizon lets you mix and match different unlimited plans, so you could opt for one line of Play More for the person in your family who's constantly streaming music and video while picking the cheaper Start Unlimited plan for someone with more modest data needs.

Families with younger kids on their plan can also turn to the  Just Kids option. Just Kids comes with just 5GB of LTE data, plus a Safety Mode that prevents overage charges by slowing down data speeds. Just Kids allows for 20 trusted contacts for unlimited texting and there parental control features that set limits and alerts. You need to have at least one line of data before adding a $50-a-month Just Kids line; the cost drops the more lines you have on your account.

best Verizon phone plans

(Image credit: Verizon)

2. Verizon 5GB plan

Best Verizon phone plan with tiered data

Amount of data: 5GB | Cost: $55/month | Family cost (4 lines): $130/month | Perks: Carryover data; Safety Mode to eliminate overage charges

Carryover unused data to the next month
Low cost for individual
No 5G coverage
Not really practical for families

Unlimited data plans are convenient but costly, especially if you don't consume a lot of data each month. For a lower monthly bill, you can turn to a tiered data plan, which gives you a limited pool of data in exchange for a lower rate.

The best Verizon tiered option for individuals is the carrier’s 5GB data plan for $55 a month. (That's $40 for the plan itself, plus a $20 access fee, but less $5 when you enroll in autopay.) That's a generous slice of data that saves you $15 a month off Verizon's cheapest unlimited plan. You also get carryover data that adds unused data into next month's allotment, while a Safety Mode helps you avoid data overages by slowing your speeds once you use up your 5GB for the month.

Families can take advantage of tiered data plans, too, but every line pulls from the same amount of data. For that reason, families may find the 5GB tier a little constrictive. (In fact, Verizon used to limit the 5GB option to just individual customers.) The 10GB tier might be better for families, though with four lines costing $140, you won’t save that much off an unlimited plan. (Four lines of Start Unlimited would cost just as much.)

best Verizon phone plan

(Image credit: Verizon)

3. Verizon 15GB prepaid plan

Best prepaid phone plan at Verizon

Amount of data: 15GB | Cost: $45/month (after $5 autopay discount) | Family cost (4 lines): $180/month | Perks: Additional $5 loyalty discounts after three and nine months of continuous service; Mobile hotspot

Lots of data
Discounts for autopay, continuous service
Mobile hotspot
No discounts for additional lines

Verizon’s prepaid plans don’t feature a lot in the way of perks. But they do pack in data, especially the carrier’s 15GB plan. Plus, there’s a way to save even more money by sticking with Verizon for an extended period.

Verizon’s 15GB plan costs $50 a month, but enrolling in autopay knocks $5 off the cost. You can save another $5 by sticking with Verizon for three months, and an additional $5 loyalty discount kicks in at the nine month mark. That means you’ll paying $35 for all that data.

Verizon’s prepaid plans also include unlimited data for $60 a month and 5GB for $35. Those prices reflect $5 autopay discounts, and they’re subject to the same loyalty discounts after three and nine months of continuous service.

Prepaid options aren’t a good idea at Verizon if you have multiple lines. There’s no discount as you add more lines to your prepaid plan.

Best Verizon phone plans with 5G coverage

Verizon launched its 5G network in 2019, and high-speed service is now available in 36 cities as of this writing. Verizon also has erected 5G hubs in some NFL stadiums and NBA and NHL arenas, not that anyone’s spending much time in any of those plays during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you live in an area that's covered by Verizon's 5G network and want to experience those faster data speeds, you'll need to opt for an unlimited data plan. Verizon is only offering 5G to unlimited customers, and you'll have to buy a compatible phone. Fortunately, many of the best 5G phones are available through Verizon including the Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and other Samsung phones. Verizon’s also the exclusive home of the Motorola Edge Plus.

5G coverage comes with the Play More, Do More and Get More unlimited plans. Start Unlimited customers must pay $10 on top of their regular monthly rate for 5G coverage.

The best Verizon phone plan for seniors

Verizon does offer a discounted unlimited data plan to anyone 55 years and older, but there’s a huge catch — Verizon’s 55+ plan is only available for people living in Florida. If you’ve got a Florida billing address, you can get two lines of unlimited data for $80 a month, with video streaming at 480p resolution, unlimited mobile hotspot data (though restricted to 2G speeds), and the ability to use your plan in Canada and Mexico. A single line of data costs $60.

T-Mobile offers discounted unlimited plans for seniors 55 years and older that are $10 less expensive than what Verizon charges, and those plans are available to anyone regardless of where they live.

How to choose the best Verizon phone plan

To determine the best Verizon phone plan for your wireless needs, ask yourself what you do with your smartphone. If it involves a lot of streaming, be it movies or music, you're going to want to look at Verizon's unlimited options. Should your data needs begin and end with browsing the internet, checking email and the occasional social media post, you can probably get away with a tiered data plan. 

If possible, look at your monthly data usage on your current plan to see how much you're consuming on average — if it's less than 5GB, you can save money each month with one of Verizon's tiered plans.

Prepaid plans can save some money on your monthly cell phone bill, and Verizon has some of the better prepaid options among the big carriers. Just be aware that you won’t get as many perks with a prepaid as you would with one of Verizon’s postpaid options.

Most people buy their smartphones directly from the carriers, and if you're among them, remember that many of Verizon's best smartphone deals require you to open a line of unlimited data with the carrier.