Unlimited plans comparison: T-Mobile vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint

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Unlimited plans comparison: T-Mobile vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint
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If you’re shopping for an unlimited data plan with one of the Big 4 wireless providers, money expert Clark Howard has some advice to help you choose between AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

With plans changing from one week to the next, Team Clark has put together this guide to make sense of it all.

RELATED: Total Wireless review: Cheap cell phone plans on Verizon’s network

Unlimited plans comparison: T-Mobile vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. Sprint

“It’s really confusing when you try to pick a cell phone plan because unlimited doesn’t mean unlimited,” Clark says. “Everybody has restrictions or gotchas, depending on what you pay per month.”

Clark says the #1 benefit of an unlimited plan is that you don’t have to worry about bill shock anymore — no overages.

All of the plans featured in this article offer unlimited talk, text and data, but the Big 4 wireless carriers only give you high-speed data up to a limit, then your data speeds are reduced until the next billing cycle.

“Your internet service could be dumbed down to the point where it feels like you went back 15 years,” Clark says.

To find the best plan, Clark suggests making a list of the features that really matter to you: the most high-speed data, HD-quality video, streaming TV, mobile hotspot, international features, etc.

Of course, the monthly price of your unlimited plan will go up as you add more features to the must-have list.

This list features the Big 4 wireless providers only, but some smaller carriers offer unlimited plans at a cheaper price. Read about those options in Clark’s guide to the best cell phone plans and deals!

AT&T 

AT&T store

AT&T Unlimited &More

  • Price: 1 line = $70/month, 2 lines = $125/month, 3 lines = $145/month, 4 lines = $160/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, which may be slowed during times of congestion
  • Get 30+ channels of live TV with WatchTV (See the channel lineup)
  • $15 monthly credit toward DirecTV Now (Ends November 15 for new customers)
  • 480p DVD-quality streaming
  • Unlimited texts to 120 countries
  • Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada, and free roaming

AT&T Unlimited &More Premium

  • Price: 1 line = $80/month, 2 lines = $150/month, 3 lines = $170/month, 4 lines = $190/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, which may be slowed after 22GB/line during times of congestion
  • Get 30+ channels of live TV with WatchTV (See the channel lineup)
  • Option to add one of several premium services: HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium and more
  • $15 monthly credit toward DIRECTV, DirecTV Now or U-verse TV (Ends November 15 for new customers)
  • 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot
  • 1080p HD-quality streaming
  • Unlimited texts to 120 countries
  • Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada, and free roaming

RELATED: 5 things to know before you switch to Cricket Wireless 

Verizon

Verizon Wireless logo

Go Unlimited

  • Price: 1 line = $75/month, 2 lines = $130/month, 3 lines = $150/month, 4 lines = $160/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, which may be slowed during times of congestion
  • DVD-quality streaming (480p)
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot restricted to speeds up to 600 Kbps
  • Mexico and Canada talk, text and data included

Beyond Unlimited

  • Price: 1 line = $85/month, 2 lines = $160/month, 3 lines = $180/month, 4 lines = $200/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, which may be slowed after 22GB/line during times of congestion
  • HD-quality streaming (720p)
  • 15GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, followed by unlimited at speeds up to 600 Kbps
  • Mexico and Canada talk, text and data included

Above Unlimited

  • Price: 1 line = $95/month, 2 lines = $180/month, 3 lines = $210/month, 4 lines = $240/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, which may be slowed after 75GB/line during times of congestion
  • HD-quality streaming (720p)
  • 20GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, followed by unlimited at speeds up to 600 Kbps
  • Mexico and Canada talk, text and data included
  • 5 “TravelPasses” per month to use talk, text and data in more than 130 countries
  • 500GB of Verizon Cloud

RELATED: Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60% to 75%!

T-Mobile 

T-Mobile store

T-Mobile Essentials

  • Price: 1 line = $60/month, 2 lines = $90/month, 3 lines = $105/month, 4 lines = $120/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data, which may be slowed during times of congestion
  • Stream video at DVD-quality, 480p
  • Unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data
  • Unlimited talk, text and 2G data in Mexico and Canada
  • Unlimited texting and flat rate calling at $0.25/minute in 210+ countries and destinations

T-Mobile ONE

  • Price: 1 line = $70/month, 2 lines = $120/month, 3 lines = $120/month, 4 lines = $140/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and include taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, which may be slowed after 50GB/line during times of congestion
  • Netflix Standard 2-screen (up to $10.99/month value) included if you maintain 2+ qualifying T-Mobile ONE lines
  • Stream video at DVD-quality, 480p
  • Data and text included when traveling to 210+ worldwide destinations
  • Unlimited talk, text and up to 5GB of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada
  • In-flight texting and 1 hour of data on Gogo-enabled flights to, from, or within the U.S.
  • Mobile hotspot data included at max 3G speeds

T-Mobile ONE Plus: Additional $15/month per line 

  • Unlimited HD streaming
  • 20GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, followed by unlimited 3G data
  • 2x the data speed abroad in 210+ countries and destinations
  • Unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on Gogo-enabled flights
  • Voicemail to Text and Name ID

Sprint

Sprint store

DEAL ALERT: Get a FREE year of unlimited service with Sprint!

Unlimited Basic

  • Price: 1 line = $60/month, 2 lines = $100/month, special pricing on 3-5 lines = $120/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, which may be slowed during times of congestion
  • Mobile hotspot: 500MB LTE, followed by unlimited data at 3G speeds
  • One Hulu Limited Commercials plan per eligible Sprint account
  • DVD-quality SD Streaming (480p)
  • Unlimited talk, text and 5GB of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada
  • Global roaming in over 185 worldwide destinations

Unlimited Plus

  • Price: 1 line = $70/month, 2 lines = $120/month, 3 lines = $150/month, 4 lines = $180/month, 5 lines = $210/month; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, which may be slowed after 50GB/line during times of congestion
  • Mobile hotspot: 50GB LTE, followed by unlimited data at 3G speeds
  • One Hulu Limited Commercials plan per eligible Sprint account
  • Includes Tidal Premium music streaming
  • Unlimited video in high-definition: Streaming video (up to 1080p), streaming gaming (up to 8mbps) and streaming music (up to 1.5mbps)
  • Unlimited talk, text and 10GB of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada
  • Global roaming in over 185 worldwide destinations

Unlimited Premium 

  • Price: 1 line = $90/month, 2 lines = $160/month, additional lines $50 each; prices are with AutoPay discount and exclude taxes and fees
  • Unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, which may be slowed after 50GB/line during times of congestion
  • Mobile hotspot: 100GB LTE, followed by unlimited data at 3G speeds
  • Amazon Prime included
  • Lookout Premium Plus
  • One Hulu Limited Commercials plan per eligible Sprint account
  • Includes Tidal Premium music streaming
  • Full HD streaming
  • Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada
  • Global roaming in over 185 worldwide destinations

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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