T-Mobile has cemented itself as a pretty competitive carrier in the past decade. Offering plans that are cheaper than the competition, and in a lot of ways better. But even T-Mobile doesn’t just have a single plan, it has multiple plans that you can choose from. Each of which are great in their own right.
However, which one is going to be the best for you, and how you use your phone, and your lifestyle? That’s what we are here to determine. In this article, you’ll learn the best postpaid plan, the best plan for those do a lot of traveling, the best prepaid plan and the best MVNO that you can choose to use T-Mobile’s network.
Postpaid vs Prepaid vs MVNO
Before we get started, it’s important to talk about the differences between Postpaid, Prepaid and MVNO. Postpaid are customers that pay for their service after they have received it. That means your final bill will be larger than your first bill. Prepaid essentially means that you pay for your service before you receive it. And MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator, they essentially buy access to T-Mobile’s network at wholesale rates. Which is why it can be a lot cheaper than getting a postpaid plan.
When it comes to coverage, all three will offer the same coverage, if they are on the same network. The difference here is going to be in busy areas. On a network tower, Postpaid customers get priority, followed by prepaid customers. MVNO customers are at the very bottom, however a T-Mobile-owned MVNO may be a bit higher than other MVNO’s, as it’s still a T-Mobile company. Metro by T-Mobile is one that is owned by T-Mobile.
Smartphone selection is another difference here. While postpaid customers get access to almost all smartphones that are available, prepaid and MVNO’s have far fewer options for customers. They also usually do not offer any financing, so you’d need to go through a third-party, like Samsung (and buy unlocked).
Now that you know the difference between postpaid, prepaid and MVNO, let’s get started.
Best overall T-Mobile Plan: Magenta
For the majority of people, the Magenta plan is going to be the best option. Magenta will cost you $70 per month for a single line, or as low as $35 per month, per line for four lines. Keep in mind that with Magenta, your taxes and fees are included in that price.
With T-Mobile’s Magenta plan, you’ll get unlimited talk, text and data as you’d expect. You’ll also get 100GB of premium data, after which, you may get throttled. It also offers 5GB of high-speed data for mobile hotspot, after that it is unlimited at 3G speeds. 5G and Ultra Capacity 5G are included in the plan.
As far as perks go, T-Mobile has kept it pretty light. You can get the Netflix Basic plan (which is one screen in SD quality) if you have two or more lines. If you want to upgrade to its other plans, the difference will be billed to your T-Mobile account. It also only does SD streaming when on its network, no matter the video service.
Best T-Mobile Plan for travelers: Magenta MAX
If you do a lot of traveling, or not able to use WiFi as much, then Magenta MAX is going to be the best option for you. This plan will cost you $85/month for a single line, or as low as $43/month per line for four lines. Like the Magenta plan, this also comes with taxes and fees included in that price.
This plan offers unlimited talk, text and data. But where it really differs from Magenta, is that you get unlimited premium data. Meaning that your speeds will not be throttled. You may however experience slower speeds in congested areas, and that’s only because the network is struggling. Mobile Hotspot comes with 40GB of high-speed data, and unlimited 3G data after that. It will also stream in 4K, keep in mind you’ll need to activate that on your account, though. This plan also includes 5G and 5G Ultra Capacity speeds.
For perks, Netflix is a bit easier to add to your account here. For a single line, you can add the Netflix Basic for free. If you have two or more lines, you can get Netflix Standard included, which offers two screens and HD.
Update: On June 16, 2022, T-Mobile announced that Magenta Max customers will be getting 5GB of high-speed data in over 200 countries. You will also get full in-flight WiFi which can be used for the entire flight, and be used for streaming.
Best T-Mobile Prepaid Plan: T-Mobile Connect 2.5GB
T-Mobile’s prepaid plans are super simple, and start at just $15, which is the plan we chose as their best prepaid plan. T-Mobile Connect 2.5GB will cost you $15 per month.
This plan is super simple, no real gotchas, or perks here. You get unlimited talk, text and data. With 2.5GB of high-speed data and then throttled afterwards. If you don’t use much data, are at home all the time, then this plan is going to be perfect.
T-Mobile Connect also has a 5.5GB plan for $25 per month.
Best T-Mobile MVNO: Metro by T-Mobile
For the best T-Mobile MVNO, what better than Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS) which is of course owned by T-Mobile.
Metro by T-Mobile has plans that are as low as $30/month offering you unlimited talk, text and data, with 5GB of high-speed data.
You can get unlimited high-speed data from Metro by going with its $50 plan. That also gives you 15GB of hotspot data, and 100GB Google One Membership. It’s $60 plan gives you all that, plus Amazon Prime is included in the price.