Top Verizon and AT&T Plan Picks

Looking for a new phone plan? Well you’re in the right place! We’re diving into the best phone plans for your needs below, but before we dive into specifics, let’s talk about value. Specifically, value over price. While it’s no surprise that cheaper doesn’t always mean better, in the long run, some plans offer more value than others for different reasons we’re covering below. But if you want the very best between Verizon and AT&T (and don't feel like reading) look no further than our top three picks that give the best value for your money.

VALUE SEEKER

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Extra

$40/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
5 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

HEAVY DATA USER

Verizon-logo

5G Do More

$45/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
10 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

STREAMER AND GAMER

Verizon-logo

5G Play More

$45/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
10 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

VALUE SEEKER

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Extra

$40/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
5 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

HEAVY DATA USER

Verizon-logo

5G Do More

$45/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
10 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

STREAMER AND GAMER

Verizon-logo

5G Play More

$45/mo for 4 lines

plus taxes and fees
10 phone lines max

DATA

Features and perks

What to look for in a phone plan

If you’re like many of us, finding a new phone plan is probably less appealing than a trip to the dentist or doing your taxes. Between the eligibility requirements, perks, prices-per-line and applicable phone deals, sorting through all that can be understandably overwhelming. But with some wherewithal and an idea of what to look for, it’s actually a LOT easier than you might think!

The trick when shopping for the best phone plans is to have an idea of what matters most to you before you start comparing. The clearer your idea of what’s important to you, the faster you can get rid of all the plan deal clutter in front of you and dive into the good stuff. But what exactly should matter to you, and more importantly, how can you use it to your advantage?

First, let’s take a look at the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a new phone plan:

Plan Price

Unsurprisingly, how much a phone plan costs is super important. What you may not think of however, is how that plan’s price can save you in the long run. For example, does a plan get more affordable than other plans with more lines added or vice versa? Do they offer better trade-in values that can help you score a great phone deal on top of the plan price? Do their perks and add-ons save you more in the long run?

The point here is that plan pricing goes well beyond the sticker price and requires some thought before settling on what’s cheaper on paper vs. what’s holistically more affordable.

At a high level, you have two options when it comes to data: unlimited or by-the-gig plans. While virtually all plans these days are unlimited, by-the-gig plans are almost always available and are usually around $20 a month cheaper. However, you’ll want to understand how much data you actually use before limiting your options.

While unlimited plans will slow your speeds if you hit the plan’s data cap, limited plans will charge you per gigabyte you go over. Regardless of which plan type you’re leaning towards, be sure to pay attention to just how much data you use before you buy.

coverage

If you’re looking to switch carriers, knowing who has the best 4G and 5G cell phone coverage in your area is critical. Sure you may score a great deal on a new device while you’re at it, and are eying the plan that seems perfect for you, but it all comes down to whether or not your carrier has good coverage where you frequent most.

Overall, Verizon has the best cell phone coverage in the country (70%), followed by AT&T (68%) and T-Mobile (62%). But national coverage maps don’t show you local dead zones, network congestion and even the construction of your house or office. While there isn’t currently a way to compare network coverage side-by-side in real time, checking with friends and family or looking up localized coverage maps for your specific area is the best way to gauge who’s best for you.

additional features

If you’re like most people, you probably have a hefty number of streaming services, but all those T.V. shows, movies, songs and games add up. Maybe you’re constantly on-the-go and use mobile hotspots to keep your devices online. Either way, these can get expensive quickly. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a new phone plan, many include streaming, gaming, and mobile hotspot services as part of their phone plan costs, which can save you money in the long run.

Navi's Plan Picks

While our picks for best phone plans focused on overall value–taking into account all the features we mentioned above to give you the ones that check the most boxes, you may have something specific in mind. Whether you’re looking for a specific price range, list of features or something in between, we’ve got you covered below.

Top Plans by Price

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Starter

$35-65/mo

plus taxes and fees

Verizon-logo

5G Start

$35-70/mo

plus taxes and fees

If you’re interested in an unlimited plan and are purely focusing on price, AT&T’s Unlimited Starter or Verizon’s 5G Start are the best picks. While these are the most basic unlimited plans available, they do offer unlimited 4G LTE talk, text, and data–which is great if you’re happy with relatively fast speeds and average streaming quality. However, both of these plans come with a data cap, meaning if you go over your data limit, you’ll be deprioritized during especially busy times. AT&T comes with the option to include 5G coverage as an ad-on–which will cost you more monthly–while Verizon does not.

These plans sound almost identical, and they are. It really comes down to the $5 you’ll save on AT&T but it’s worth noting that Verizon will give you a free subscription to Disney+ for six months.

Keep in mind that these are the third-tier unlimited plans from both AT&T and Verizon, so if you’re set on price as you’re determining factor, but want Unlimited 5G access and more options when it comes to data, perks, etc. the mid-tier plans are a little more expensive but still offer great savings.

Top Plans by Data

Verizon-logo

5G Get More

$55-90/mo

taxes and fees included

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Elite

$50-85/mo

plus taxes and fees

If you want the very best then Verizon’s 5G Get More and AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plans are for you. Data-wise these give you an absolute ton of options. Unlike the lower- and mid-tier plans, Verizon is the clear winner when it comes to data here, offering 50GB of 5G/4G LTE mobile hotspot data to AT&T’s 40GB. Both plans offer unlimited 5G data without caps.

Considering the price tag, these are the creme-de-la-creme of Verizon and AT&T plans, and if you’re focusing solely on data, Verizon is the winner. However, AT&T is $5 a month cheaper and offers comparable data. It’s worth considering that with both premium plans, you pay for a lot more than better data–there are additional features that come with both plans that you may not use in the long run, so it’s worth comparing both top- and middle-tier plans side-by-side to prevent you from overpaying.

Top Plans by Coverage

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Plans

68% National Coverage

Verizon-logo

Verizon Unlimited Plans

70% National Coverage

Measuring network coverage

isn’t as easy as the coverage maps may suggest. 99% of the time, it boils down to individual factors that differ from person to person. While it’s impossible to tell to any degree of certainty what your experience will be like on Verizon vs AT&T, at a high level, both offer better coverage depending on what you’re looking for.

When it comes to nationwide 4G coverage, Verizon is the clear winner with covering 70% of the nation. Yet, if you’re more interested in 5G coverage, AT&T offers 12% more nationally. Diving deeper, Verizon is shown to perform much better in rural areas. While AT&T has rural pockets with excellent coverage, nationally Verizon does much better. Both networks have great coverage in densely populated metropolitan areas.

The Top Five States with Most Verizon 5G Coverage

  • Delaware (73%)
  • New Jersey (65%)
  • Maryland (53%)
  • Connecticut (46%)
  • Ohio (43%)

The Top Five States with Most AT&T 5G Coverage

  • Delaware (83%)
  • New Jersey (80%)
  • Maryland (78%)
  • Rhode Island (75%)
  • Ohio (71%)

The Top Five States with Most Verizon 4G LTE Coverage

  • Kansas (99%)
  • Arkansas (99%)
  • Georgia (99%)
  • Indiana (98%)
  • South Carolina (98%)

The Top Five States with Most AT&T 4G LTE Coverage

  • Delaware (99%)
  • Indiana (99%)
  • Connecticut (99%)
  • South Carolina (98%)
  • Rhode Island (98%)

Top Plans by Additional Features

Verizon-logo

5G Get More

$55-90/mo

plus taxes and fees

AT&T-logo

AT&T Unlimited Extra

$50-85/mo

plus taxes and fees

If it’s additional features you’re looking for, the top-tier plan options are your go-to. Considering virtually all tiers across Verizon and AT&T have a swell of cool add-ons and additional features, let’s start from the top and work our way down.

If you want a ton of streaming services and the data to ensure you can always watch, listen, or play, Verizon and AT&T offer great options depending on your taste. However, in terms of sheer number of what additional features are offered, Verizon takes the cake–offering their Disney Bundle–including Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN–alongside Apple music and Arcade, Google Play Pass, and one TravelPass day a month. AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan on the other hand, offers better streaming quality, Stadia Pro Gaming for six months, and HBO Max included. Considering the similar price points, it all comes down to whether or not you use or want a particular streaming service.

For the mid-tier plans–AT&T Unlimited Extra, 5G Do More, and 5G Play More–you still have a number of additional options available at a more affordable price. AT&T offers six months of Stadia Pro Gaming streaming. At the mid-tier level, Verizon offers a wider range of add-ons depending on what you prefer. Their Play More plan still includes their Disney Bundle, while Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and Google Play Pass become 6- or 12-month subscriptions. The Get More plan however, includes everything in the Play More plan, plus 1 TravelPass day a month.

When it comes to the low-tier plans, Verizon offers more compared to AT&T–a six month free trial of Disney+, Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass plus Apple Music compared to AT&T only offering six months of Stadia Pro Gaming streaming.

Which plan is right for you?

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