Best Cell Phone Plans – March 2017

Now, all four of the major wireless carriers in the US are offering unlimited data, which has really upped the ante in the industry. As these four carriers are now getting even more competitive, and making it tougher to decide which carrier you should choose. Of course, the biggest reason to choose one carrier over another is coverage, but the other is their pricing. So let's break down all four carriers, and see who offers the best pricing right now.

AT&T

Just last week, AT&T decided to revamp their unlimited data plans a bit - which are now available to everyone, even those that don't subscribe to DIRECTV or U-verse. There's a $60 plan and a $90 plan. The $60 plan is rather limited, as you might expect. You do still get unlimited data, although speeds are capped at 3Mbps, which is fairly slow. Video is also capped at 480p, and there's no mobile hotspot. Meanwhile for $90 a month you can get Unlimited Plus which doesn't cap your speeds, you also get 10GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot and video is streamed in its native format. AT&T also offers up a $25/month credit for those on Unlimited Plus that also subscribe to DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW or U-verse.

Now while Unlimited Choice is $60 for one line, two lines go for $115, three for $135 and four for $155. Keep in mind that these prices do not include the price for your phone(s). Unlimited Plus is priced at $90 for one line, two for $145, three for $165 and four for $185.

Sprint

Sprint's Unlimited Freedom plan looks fairly similar to AT&T's. They did recently change it so that video is no longer throttled, so it will stream video at the native resolution. You are also getting 10GB of mobile hotspot at 4G LTE speeds. Speeds aren't capped at Sprint, unless you're on a busy tower, which they'll throttle you a bit to make sure their network can handle everything.

As far as pricing goes, you can get one line for $50 per month, or two for $90 per month. And for a limited time, you can get three additional lines for free, meaning you can get unlimited data on five lines for as little as $90/month. As with the other carriers, this does not include your smartphones, so that means that you'll still need to pay extra for those.

T-Mobile

Like everyone else, T-Mobile also changed up their T-Mobile ONE plan in the past month. T-Mobile no longer throttles your video streaming, and you now get 10GB of mobile hotspot at 4G LTE speeds, it'll be throttled to 2G speeds afterwards. Additionally, you still get a slew of T-Mobile benefits, like an hour of free GoGo inflight internet while traveling and unlimited roaming in over 120 countries.

This plan starts at $70/month for one line and for a limited time, you can get two lines for $100/month. Three lines will cost you $130 and four for $160. With T-Mobile, taxes and fees are included, but your equipment installment fees for your smartphones, tablets or other devices are not included in that price.

Verizon

Verizon also added unlimited data in the past month, which was a pretty big shock to most people. They are offering it for $80/month, and there's not a whole lot that's bad about their plan. Video is not being throttled, and you do get 10GB of mobile hotspot at 4G LTE speeds. You also get to use your smartphone in Mexico and Canada without added fees.

Pricing for Verizon breaks down to $80/month for one line after $5 autopay credit. Two lines is $140/month, three for $160 and four for $180. Pretty similar to the others, and also your smartphone payments are not included here, and neither are taxes and fees, T-Mobile is still the only one including taxes and fees at this point.

Wrap Up

As you can tell from the table above, the perks of each carrier are pretty much the same, with a few smaller differences. So the thing you are really paying for here is actually the data, and of course you'll want to make sure that the carrier you want to jump to has good coverage in your area, so you'll want to check out Sensorly's crowd-sourced maps. As these are a bit more up-to-date than what the carriers have. As of right now, Sprint does have the best price, but all four are within $40 of each other, if you don't take into account Sprint's three lines free promotion.

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