Cell phones. Most of us have one – or two. But that little device won’t do much good without a solid network provider. While I won’t dive into the social and psychological costs of having this magical device at our fingerprints, we will be taking a closer look at the best unlimited phone plans of 2019 for:
- financial costs, and
- commitment of having access to a reliable network for our communication needs.
The Best Unlimited Phone Plans of 2019
Unlimited plans are becoming the norm, and it’s not uncommon for an unlimited talk, text and data cell phone plan (for two phones) at say, AT&T, to average about $160+ per month. Add in monthly payments for an upgraded device, and you could be averaging a phone bill of $200+ a month, after taxes and fees.
Unless you are already roped into a plan like that, there are other more affordable options to consider.
Let’s take a closer look at the major carriers and discover where to find the best cell phone plans for 2019.
The Big Four
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint are currently the leading network providers for overall coverage area and reliability according to this review.
However, smaller companies (usually operating as subsidiaries of the larger providers) are rising in popularity due to lack of contract requirements and pared-down plan options.
These smaller companies include:
- Boost Mobile,
- Straight Talk,
- Republic Wireless, and
- MetroPCS, among others…
For the sake of consistency, we’ll take a closer look at what it costs to get the same or similar unlimited plan from each of the aforementioned service providers.
The plan should include:
- unlimited talk,
- unlimited text,
- and unlimited data,
- …and for two phone lines…
The lowest cost option will be chosen in each category.
I will also include a roundup of light-weight plan options for those of you that do not use or need data at max capacity.
Let’s get started!
So who’s on the list of the best unlimited phone plans of 2019? It’s time to dig into it.
Verizon is often listed as one of the most reliable networks in various online reviews. It has great coverage and offers a variety of plan options.
The lowest cost unlimited plan with Verizon is gounlimited and starts at $40 per line and goes up from there. It includes access to the 4G network and includes an unlimited mobile hotspot.
This plan will cost you: $80 per month for two lines, plus taxes and fees. Not too bad for heavy data users. Although, Verizon reserves the right to slow down your data speeds once you reach 22GB for the month.
Think you can handle sharing only 2GBs of data for the whole month? Then Verizon’s Small Plan might be right for you. Coming in at $35 per month (plus $20 per extra line), you can slash that $80 monthly cost down to $55.
AT&T is another big name in the wireless industry and has similar reach and coverage
The lowest cost unlimited plan here is AT&T Unlimited &More℠ at $40 per line. While it also uses the 4G network, there is no mobile hotspot included in this option and it does not include HD Streaming.
This plan will cost you: $80 per month for two lines, as long as you enroll in auto pay and paperless billing, plus taxes and fees. Prices jump from there. Unlike Verizon, AT&T does not offer unlimited mobile hot spot, you aren’t getting as much data for your money.
Don’t need the unlimited data? You can cap your usage at 3GB per month, enjoy standard streaming and a mobile hotspot for only $30 a line. Not exactly a great deal considering that $10 more per month gets you access to unlimited, but hey – that’s still a savings of $120 a year.
Sprint’s coverage has come a long way, but its 4G coverage still falls behind Verizon and T-Mobile. Granted, its 3G coverage still outperforms T-Mobile – so there’s that. If you think you can get by on a little less coverage or it won’t really affect you where you live, then Sprint may have a great unlimited plan option for you.
This plan will cost you: Unlimited Basic comes in at $100 per month for two lines, plus a free subscription to the streaming service, Hulu. Bump up to the Unlimited Plus for only $20 more a month and get 1080hp streaming and 50GBs of mobile hotspot in addition to Hulu.
Sprint goes pretty lightweight once you get out of the unlimited options. If you REALLY don’t need data and spend most of your time on Wi-Fi, you should be good with the 2GB plan at $40 a month per line.
T-Mobile is playing a competitive pricing game with the big guys. With a pretty impressive coverage area, find out if your area receives reliable service with their easily searchable coverage map.
This plan will cost you: $120 for two lines of unlimited and no speed slowing until you reach 50GBs. The others will slow you down around 22GBs of data usage. You’ll also receive a subscription to Netflix. The price already includes taxes and fees and assumes you’ll have autopay, so what you see is what you get cost wise.
Since T-Mobile’s plans are pretty competitive on cost, they don’t really offer a pared down option. If you are over 55 or in the Military, there are additional discounts applied, or if you want more than two lines, you can get each line at $40 per month.
5) Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint and runs on the same network. This network is considered 4th place behind Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. If you are looking for more basic service options, Virgin has three options – Unlimited, 10GB and 5GB.
This plan will cost you: The Unlimited plan comes in at $60 per month, per line, and excludes taxes and surcharges. The “unlimited data” is also reduced to 2G data speeds after the allotted 35GB of 4G LTE is used per billing cycle.
You can go a little cheaper and opt for the 5G and 10GB plans at $35 and $45 a month respectively. Great options if you mostly use your phone for calls and texts, rather than for video streaming and GPS.
But wait, there’s more!
While I’ve highlighted most of the larger networks for the best unlimited phone plans of 2019, if you are looking to spend considerably less than the average plans on the market, take a peek at each of these providers.
Enjoy $60 per month per line of unlimited talk, text and data, or choose 5GBs of data for $35 per month. Cricket Wireless also includes several other plan options under $50.
Boost Mobile provides TWO lines of unlimited talk, text and data with 12GBs of mobile hotspot for only $80 per month. Or, check out the 5GB plan (on the 3G network) for two phones, coming in at $60 per month.
If you are looking for a “no contract” option, then Straight Talk is perfect for you. With the unlimited talk, text and data option coming in at $55 per month, per line, you can opt out or change your choice from month-to-month.
The lightweight 3GB option costs only $35 per month, per line. However, speeds on this network only reach 3G and dip into 2G at some point in the billing cycle. Remember the days of dial-up internet? That’s pretty much what 2G speeds feel like at this point.
Republic offers an option to “choose your own plan.” Begin by selecting how much data you would like, how many lines are needed and pay anywhere from $15 per month, per line to $40 per month.
Operating on the T-Mobile network, MetroPCS offers an unlimited plan at $90 per month for two lines and include an Amazon Prime Membership and 100G of Google One Storage.
Want to keep in simple? Opt for Metro’s 10GB plan at only $40 per line, per month.
The Best Unlimited Phone Plans of 2019 – Which Will You Choose?
While there are still several other providers out there, hopefully, this overview has given you some insight into the current options. With a little bit of research, I’m confident you will find a plan that’s perfect for you and your budget.
So of these ‘best unlimited phone plans of 2019’, which plan is right for you? Are you a hardcore data user? Is there another carrier you’d recommend?
AUTHOR Kerah Kemmerer
Hello! I'm Kerah. I'm a writer and personal finance enthusiast with a background in marketing. I'm also a wedding and portrait photographer, part-time RVer and a lover of simple and minimal living. Always up to some project or adventure over @krisandkerah on Instagram.