Mobile phone users who want the most data possible for $40 a month should give AT&T's revamped prepaid plans another look.
The carrier made several tweaks to its prepaid offerings today (April 20) that boost their appeal. Specifically, AT&T now offers an 8GB monthly plan for $50. However, by enrolling in autopay, you can knock $10 off your monthly bill, meaning all that LTE data is yours for $40 a month.
That's a boost from AT&T's old $40-a-month prepaid plan. You used to get 6GB of data for that money — which is certainly generous though not as expansive as 8GB.
For context, MetroPCS customers get 5GB of data for $40 a month. So do subscribers at AT&T-owned Cricket, with a $5 autopay discount lowering that monthly bill to $35. Cricket caps data speeds at 8 Mbps, though — something AT&T doesn't do on its 8GB plan.
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The 8GB prepaid plan at AT&T throws in other perks that should appeal to budget-conscious shoppers. You can stream video at HD resolution, though you'll have to turn off AT&T's Stream Saver feature that lowers resolution to 480p to conserve your data allotment. You get unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada, and you can use your data plan when traveling in those countries. (Fifty percent of your talk and text usage has to be in the U.S. though.)
AT&T made a few other tweaks to its prepaid offerings. Subscribers to its $65-a-month unlimited plan can now get a $10 discount for autopay enrollment, bringing their monthly cost down to $55. That plan restricts data speed and video streaming though. AT&T's truly unlimited plan costs $75 a month after an autopay discount, and it now features 10GB of LTE hotspot data (up from 6GB previously).
AT&T's discounts on multiple lines are more generous now too. You can knock $10 off each line when you add a second or third line. Add a fourth line, and AT&T cuts $20 off the cost of a line. Those lines are eligible for autopay discounts, too. Still, we think MetroPCS is a better choice for families as it offer four lines of unlimited data for just $20 more each month than you'd pay for four lines with 8GB of data each at AT&T.