Advertiser Disclosure

Best Unlimited Data Plans 2019

Oct. 1, 2019
Cell Phones, Utilities
Best Unlimited Data Plans
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Unlimited data plans are back in a big way. That’s great news for people who stream music and videos on their smartphone or use it as a Wi-Fi hot spot — activities that eat up a lot of data.

NerdWallet makes managing your finances easy.

Keep track of your spending, credit score, and even find fresh ways to save.

Best unlimited data plan: postpaid

  • Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Basic
  • Price (monthly): $65; $60 with autopay discount.
  • Why we like it: An affordable, entry-level unlimited plan with bonuses like Hulu and 500MB of hot spot access per line. New customers can score additional discounts.
  • Plan name: T-Mobile Essentials
  • Price (monthly): $65; $60 with autopay discount.
  • Why we like it: An affordable, entry-level unlimited plan with bonuses like mobile hot spot (at 3G speeds) and unlimited texting from more than 200 countries.

 

Things to know:

Sprint’s Basic Unlimited plan includes 500MB of high-speed mobile hot spot and video streams in standard definition. International features include calls, texts and 5GB of high-speed data to use in Canada and Mexico. Sprint is hoping to merge with T-Mobile, but the agreement still has several hurdles to clear. Until then, it’s business as usual for Sprint customers.
T-Mobile Essentials includes unlimited mobile hot spot data, but at 3G speeds, which is slightly slower than the 4G data speed you get on your smartphone. Video streaming is in standard definition. International features include unlimited texting while outside of the United States, plus talk, text and 2G data (read: slow) in Mexico and Canada. Unlike other T-Mobile plans, taxes and fees are not included in the price. T-Mobile is hoping to merge with Sprint, but the agreement still has several hurdles to clear. Until then, it’s business as usual for T-Mobile customers.

 

Best unlimited data plan: prepaid

  • Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited
  • Price (monthly): $50
  • Why we like it: Boost’s plan includes more high-speed mobile hot spot data (12GB) than similarly priced plans offered by its competitors.
Metro by T-Mobile
  • Plan name: Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited
  • Price (monthly): $50
  • Why we like it: You get unlimited data, 5GB of mobile hot spot data and 100GB of Google One cloud storage.

 

Things to know:

This prepaid plan comes with 12GB of mobile hot spot data, but video streaming is limited to standard definition. Boost is owned by Sprint, which recently struck a deal to merge with T-Mobile. That deal includes selling its prepaid service (including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile) to Dish Network, but the agreement still has several hurdles to clear before it is effective. Until then, it’s business as usual for Boost Mobile customers.
MetroPCS is now called Metro by T-Mobile. As the name reflects, the prepaid provider is owned by T-Mobile and uses its network. T-Mobile customers take priority when the network is congested, so Metro customers may have slower data speeds during peak times. Video streaming on Metro’s $50 unlimited plan is limited to standard definition. T-Mobile is hoping to merge with Sprint, but the deal still has several hurdles to clear. Until then, it’s business as usual for Metro prepaid customers.

 

Best unlimited data plan: families

  • Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $120
  • Why we like it: An unbelievable prepaid deal that’s too good to last. This limited-time offer from Boost, which includes 30GB of mobile hot spot data, is available for new and existing customers.
  • Plan name: T-Mobile Essentials
  • Price (monthly, four lines): $140; $120 with autopay discount
  • Why we like it: An affordable, entry-level unlimited plan with bonuses like mobile hot spot (at 3G speeds) and unlimited texting from more than 200 countries.

 

Things to know:

Boost is owned by Sprint and uses its network. Sprint struck a deal to merge with T-Mobile that includes selling its prepaid service (including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile) to Dish Network, but the agreement still has several hurdles to clear before it is effective. Until then, it’s business as usual for Boost Mobile customers.
T-Mobile Essentials includes unlimited mobile hot spot data, but at 3G speeds, which is slightly slower than the 4G data speed you get on your smartphone. International features include unlimited texting while outside of the United States, plus talk, text and 2G data (read: slow) in Mexico and Canada. Unlike other T-Mobile plans, taxes and fees are not included in the price. T-Mobile is hoping to merge with Sprint, but the agreement still has several hurdles to clear. Until then, it’s business as usual for T-Mobile customers.

 

You could be saving up to $50 per month on your bills. See how much you could save.

NerdWallet can help you lower your bills and find you more ways to save money.

Best unlimited data plans: summary

CarrierDetailsGet started
Plan: Sprint Unlimited Basic

Best: Postpaid

Monthly cost: $65; $60 with autopay discount
Plan: T-Mobile Essentials

Best: Postpaid

Monthly cost: $65; $60 with autopay discount
Plan: Boost Mobile Unlimited

Best: Prepaid

Monthly cost: $50
Plan: Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited

Best: Prepaid

Monthly cost: $50
Plan: Boost Mobile Unlimited

Best for: Families

Monthly cost: $120
Plan: T-Mobile Essentials

Best for: Families

Monthly cost: $140; $120 with autopay discount

METHODOLOGY

We evaluated unlimited data plans offered by more than a dozen carriers. To determine the best plans, we looked at the monthly plan price before taxes and fees, mobile hot spot allowance and high-speed data caps.

About the author