Verizon's Mix-and-Match Family Plans: What You Need to Know
Verizon's new high-limit Above Unlimited plan is grabbing all of the attention. But the wireless carrier's biggest move of late is its decision to let families mix and match its different unlimited data offerings when they put together their monthly cell phone plans.
Credit: ShutterstockCurrently, when you sign up for a family plan at Big Red, you pick one of two unlimited data plan options for all lines of data. But with the arrival of the higher-end Above Unlimited plan on Monday (June 18), Verizon customers will now be able to pick from three different unlimited tiers for each line of their family plan, giving them greater flexibility and a potentially lower monthly bill.
Here's how it works. You'll be able to choose from the Go Unlimited plan ($75 for one line), Beyond Unlimited ($85) or Above Unlimited ($95) for each line of data. As you add extra lines, Verizon adds extra discounts based on the plan you pick.
Verizon Unlimited Plan Pricing
|Lines||Go Unlimited||Beyond Unlimited||Above Unlimited|
All three plans offer unlimited talk, text and data, but with different perks. Go Unlimited has the most restrictions, as you can only stream video at 480p resolution and hotspot data is slowed to 3G speeds. (Verizon may also slow your data speeds on this plan if its network gets congested.)
Beyond Unlimited allows for HD video streaming and adds 15GB of LTE hotspot data. Above Unlimited throws in another 5GB of LTE hotspot data, adds 500GB of cloud storage and offers five TravelPasses per month for globetrotters; it also won't slow your speeds until you hit 75GB of data during a month, while Verizon's other plans could throttle you when you over 22GB of use.
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Under the mix-and-match approach, a family could tailor its plan to meet the needs of specific users. One of the lines that needs HD streaming and LTE hotspot data could opt for the Beyond Unlimited option, while using Go Unlimited for the other lines on the plan.
Four lines of Beyond Unlimited currently cost $200 a month once you factor in the escalating discounts for adding extra lines to one of Verizon's unlimited plans. Changing two of those lines to Go Unlimited would lower the monthly bill to $180. That adds up to $240 in savings over the course of a year, and you're no longer paying for features that not everyone on your plan can use.
Mix-and-match pricing won't necessarily mean your monthly bill at Verizon will be lower than it would be at T-Mobile and Sprint. Four lines of unlimited data cost $160 at T-Mobile, while a current pricing promotion at Sprint means you'd only pay $100 for unlimited data at that carrier for the next year. But it does bring some welcome flexibility to Verizon's unlimited data plans for families.