Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (2024)

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (1)

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Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor

Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.

Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming

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Our Picks

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (3)

$65 per month for one line, $120 per month for four lines

Best Verizon plan for most people: Unlimited Welcome

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (4)

The upgrade pick for those who want faster 5G and hotspot data

Verizon Unlimited Plus

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (5)

Looking for a wireless plan from Verizon isn't as simple as just going into a store or browsing online to pick one out. Verizon, like all of the major US carriers, offers a wide variety of different options even under the promise of "unlimited" talk, text and data. It's within that promise that things can quickly get messy.

After a variety of changes over the years, Verizon today has three main unlimited plans, all with similar names but with different offerings and prices: Unlimited Welcome, Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Ultimate. Welcome can be considered the base, Plus the middle and Ultimate the high-end.

So which plan should you choose? Let's break it down.

Read More: Our Guide to the Best Cell Phone Plans

Pros

  • Verizon's 4G LTE network is a strong backbone
  • Can still get perks
  • Can "mix and match" plans

Cons

  • No access to Verizon's fastest 5G networks
  • No set amount of high-speed data
  • No hotspot data
  • Lower savings on upgrades to new devices
  • Verizon makes the pricing complicated on its website

Network: Verizon

High-speed data: Unlimited, although not at the fastest speeds, and Verizon will slow it in busy areas when the "network is experiencing heavy traffic"

Price: $65 per month for one line, $110 per month for two lines, $120 per month for four lines (with automatic payments and paper-free billing)

See at Verizon

$65 per month for one line, $120 per month for four lines

Best Verizon plan for most people: Unlimited Welcome

Verizon's updated plans have replaced the carrier's previous Welcome Unlimited offer with... one named Unlimited Welcome. While the names are flipped, the core offer is still largely the same: Streaming perks like the Disney Bundle are not included by default with this plan, no hotspot data is provided and you can't hop on Verizon's fastest 5G networks (which it calls Ultra Wideband). Instead, it will be more in line (if not slightly better) than the 4G LTE experience you've had for years.

Upgrading your phone while on this plan also might preclude you from getting Verizon's best device deals.

You do get Verizon's network for $65 per month for one or $120 a month for four lines, assuming you have automatic payments and paper-free billing set up (if not, it's an extra $10 per line, per month). If you do want perks like the Disney bundle or Apple One, you can add them at $10 per month, per perk.

For most people who just want the base service, Welcome is probably more than enough. If you do need faster speed or hotspot data you can move those lines up to Unlimited Plus while keeping the rest on this cheaper option (what the carrier calls "mix and match"). The Plus plan offers many of the same capabilities as Welcome, but with the bonus of 30GB of high-speed hotspot data, the ability to connect to Verizon's fastest Ultra Wideband 5G networks and the comfort of knowing your data won't be slowed in very busy areas (think packed stadiums or arenas).

If you switch to Verizon and bring your own phone, the carrier will give you $180 back over 36 months. This amounts to a $5 monthly savings and is why the carrier's website may show you different pricing. Those looking to save even more can combine the Welcome plan with Verizon's other discounts for teachers, nurses, military and first responders. We cover those discounts here.

Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (6)

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (7)

Pros

  • Access to Verizon's fastest 5G networks
  • More hotspot data
  • Can still get perks like the Disney Bundle
  • Better trade-in offers
  • Can "mix and match" plans

Cons

  • Plans are pricier than Welcome
  • Verizon makes the pricing complicated on its website

Network: Verizon

High-speed data: Unlimited

Price: $80 per month for one line, $180 for four lines (with automatic payments and paper-free billing)

See at Verizon

The upgrade pick for those who want faster 5G and hotspot data

Verizon Unlimited Plus

At its core, Unlimited Plus is very similar to Unlimited Welcome. Both offer unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon's network and can tap into extras like adding in perks at $10/month per perk. You'd primarily want Plus because of the faster 5G speeds and hotspot data.

Whereas AT&T and T-Mobile don't segment access to their fastest 5G networks based on plans, Verizon does. If you want to tap into its fastest data networks (what it calls "Ultra Wideband" or "UW") you need to pony up for a pricier plan. The high-speed hotspot is also a premium feature, with Verizon offering 30GB in the Plus plan. Your data also won't be slowed in busy areas.

Verizon doesn't take a "one-size" approach and lets you "mix and match" family lines to best fit your needs. So, for example, if only one line needs the faster 5G access you can put them on Plus while keeping the rest of the account on cheaper options like Welcome.

It is also worth noting that Verizon (like T-Mobile) has started reserving its best device trade-in perks for its pricier plans, namely Plus and Ultimate. If you're looking to save the most on a trade-in, you may need to commit to a 36-month installment on Plus or the highest-tiered Ultimate plan to get the most value. The same goes for the discount it gives for bundling wireless and home internet.

Being on the cheaper Welcome plan will get you some savings but not the maximum discounts that the carrier offers.

Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (8)

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (9)

How we test

Picking a wireless plan and carrier is an individualized process. What works for you and your family's needs may be vastly different from your friends or neighbors. Even geographically, some areas have better AT&T coverage while others work best on Verizon or T-Mobile (and vice versa). The picks we make are based on over a decade of covering and evaluating wireless carriers, their offerings and their performance.

Since choosing a provider is unique, we focus on larger plans and the value they provide; as well as calling out ways you can test the different networks in your area for yourself so you can make the best pick.

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Factors to consider: Know your area

As we covered in our other wireless guides, to get the best deal you need to make sure you have the coverage that you need. This makes it hard to give a blanket recommendation of any one carrier. T-Mobile's service in New York may be excellent, but if you're in rural Iowa, Verizon is more reliable.

While your mileage may vary, the good news is that these networks are growing and improving all the time, particularly as the three major players race to blanket the US with 5G. It's quite possible that you left a network complaining about its sparse service a decade ago, but now it's beefed itself up because of that race to acquire customers.

If you know any friends or family in your area that already use the carrier you're considering, ask about their experience. You could also go to a carrier's store and see if they offer any free ways to try out the service before switching over, such asT-Mobile's Network Pass. Verizonoffers a similar 30-day "Test Drive" program,while the Cricket prepaid servicehas its own trial programthat lets you sample parent AT&T's network.

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Verizon plans FAQs

What about Unlimited Ultimate?

Verizon's latest top plan, called Unlimited Ultimate, is its priciest. A single line runs $90 per month, while if you have four lines on an account it would be $55 for the Ultimate line each month (in both cases assuming you have automatic payments and paper-free billing enabled).

What you get for that price is access to Verizon's fastest 5G networks, 60GB of high-speed hotspot data (double the amount offered to Plus users), international talk, text and data in over 210 countries as well as other perks like better offers and discounts on device upgrades.

For most people, this plan probably doesn't add enough to justify the $25 price difference between Ultimate and Welcome. If you travel internationally regularly, this plan might make more sense than Plus, as you'd probably be spending the $10-per-month difference on Verizon's TravelPass perk for a few days of high-speed data abroad anyway.

The same goes for if you're looking for the best deal on an upgrade and are already considering the Plus plan for faster 5G data access and hotspot. Some of Verizon's best trade-in deals require Ultimate, and in those specific cases, the money you'd save on the better upgrade deal over three years could match up or offset the cost of paying more for the device and keeping a cheaper plan.

For most people, we'd recommend staying away from this plan. It's likely too pricey for what you're getting when Verizon has better options available.

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (10)

What about cable companies?

Xfinity Mobile, Cox Mobile and Spectrum Mobile all run on Verizon's network and could be options depending on where you live.

To get the best rates, you will need to have an internet package from the respective provider. Expect the value to vary: Spectrum's plans start at $30 a month for its base unlimited plan, while Xfinity comes in at $40 per month and Cox's plans start at $45 a month for a single line. That rate drops to $30 per line per month for two lines at Xfinity and Spectrum (so two lines run $60 a month) while four lines would be $100 monthly at Xfinity and $120 monthly at Spectrum. At Cox, you need to have four lines to get that $30 per line, per month rate.

The above is for the base unlimited plans. Xfinity and Spectrum also have different tiers of unlimited with more high-speed and hotspot data (what they each call "Unlimited Plus"). All three cable companies also offer shared data plans.

As mentioned above these prices require you to have home service from these providers. If you cancel your cable service, expect the bill to jump.

If you cut the cord and ditch Xfinity's home services, for example, each mobile line will cost an additional $25 per month per line. For a family of four, that will jack your monthly bill from $120 a month to $220.

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Do I need to change my Verizon plan when I upgrade my phone?

You don't necessarily need to change plans when you upgrade your phone, but you may need to move plans if you want Verizon's best deals.

Verizon has been reserving some of its best deals for those who are on its priciest plans. For example, its top iPhone 15 Pro deals generally require the priciest Unlimited Ultimate plan (and potentially for you to add a new line or switch from a different carrier).

Verizon has also been adding feesor raising rates on some of its older plans to encourage people to leave them for newer options.

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Are there discounts to lower my Verizon bill?

Yes, Verizon offers a variety of discounts depending on your age, employer or profession. Nurses, teachers, military, first responders, college students and more can take advantage of various programs that could save you significant money on your bill. Florida residents can also save if they are over 55 years old.

It is worth noting that these discounts are often for the whole account. If you have three lines and one of those users is a nurse or a teacher, your whole family can benefit from the savings.

Some of these discounts have caps on the amount of lines that can benefit, so make sure to check the details when signing up. You can also see our story here for more details on the discounts offered.

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Best Verizon Plans: How to Choose and Which Ones to Pick in May 2024 (2024)

FAQs

What are the Verizon changes for 2024? ›

The mobile carrier will be increasing the cost of 5G Get More, 5G Play More, 5G Do More and 5G Start unlimited mobile plans by $4, beginning in March 2024.

What is Verizon's $35 a month plan for seniors? ›

With Verizon Start Unlimited, you can get unlimited text, talk, and data for $35 per month per line. Other perks include free six-month subscriptions to Apple Music and Disney+, so you can listen to your favorite jams and catch up on streaming Disney classics with your grandkids.

How much is the Verizon 55+ plan for seniors? ›

Verizon may be a great fit for you as they are one of the largest wireless carriers with a plan for customers ages 55 and up. Verizon's 55+ Unlimited plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data on its 5G and 4G LTE networks. It starts at $62 monthly for one line or $84 monthly for two.

Does Verizon have a package for seniors? ›

Verizon offers a wireless plan made specifically for seniors, the Verizon 55+ plan. This plan will give you unlimited talk, text, and data.

What network is Verizon shutting down? ›

Verizon is focused on giving customers the best network and technology. For this reason, we will be retiring our 3G network by December 31, 2022. To help transition customers to 4G or 5G we are creating plans that support these devices.

What is the cheapest phone plan for seniors? ›

Senior phone plans FAQs

Mint Mobile's Mint 55 Plus Plan is the cheapest phone plan for seniors, starting at $15 per month if you buy for a full year in advance. Even its minimum three-month plan at $25 per month is more affordable than plans from other carriers.

Does Verizon 55+ include 5G? ›

The 55+ plan includes: Unlimited 4G LTE / 5G data* Unlimited domestic Talk & Text. Talk, text and data in Mexico and Canada included.

What is the average monthly bill for Verizon? ›

Verizon Plans and Prices
Plan1 Line2 Lines
Verizon Unlimited Plus Prepaid$70.00$60.00
Verizon 5 GB$40.00$25.00
Verizon 25 GB$60.00$45.00
Verizon 100 GB$80.00$65.00
8 more rows

What is the best cell phone service for senior citizens? ›

The Top Senior Cell Phone Plans in 2024
  • Lively : Plans for $19.99.
  • Consumer Cellular : Deep Discounts on Multiple Lines.
  • AT&T : Fastest Data Speeds.
  • Mint Mobile : Best Prepaid Option.
  • T-Mobile : Best Senior Discount.
May 20, 2024

Are Costco Verizon plans cheaper? ›

Even if you pay less for a phone at Costco, the plan prices are identical to those offered by the carriers.

Do retirees get Verizon discounts? ›

Retirees do not need to take any action to receive the Retiree Phone Program discount as long as the employee has an active account on the Verizon Employee Phone Program prior to his or her retirement date. To manage your account, please log in to My Verizon.

What are the cons of Verizon? ›

Cons: Expensive compared to some other providers. Data speeds throttled on unlimited plans after a certain threshold. No streamlined, simple postpaid plan options.

What is the easiest cell phone for a senior to use? ›

The Jitterbug Flip2 – Best Basic Cell Phone for Seniors

Like the Jitterbug Smart4, the Jitterbug Flip2 is manufactured and sold by a wireless provider called lively. Lively specializes in serving seniors and offers a number of solutions, including cell phones, aimed at this demographic.

Does Verizon take your old phone when you upgrade? ›

With the Verizon Device Trade-In program, upgrade your old devices to get money towards a new one.

What is Verizon free cash flow for 2024? ›

Free cash flow can be defined as a measure of financial performance calculated as operating cash flow minus capital expenditures. Verizon free cash flow for the quarter ending March 31, 2024 was 2,708.00, a year-over-year.

What are the results of Verizon q1 2024? ›

In first-quarter 2024, Consumer operating income was $7.4 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent year over year, and segment operating income margin was 29.4 percent, an increase from 28.6 percent in first-quarter 2023.

What are Verizon's future plans? ›

Verizon's focus on boosting profitability is a crucial element of its strategy. 5G network investments continue to be a priority for the telecom giant. These investments are critical for supporting Verizon's fixed wireless expansion ambitions and delivering innovative services to its customer base.

Why did my Verizon bill go up in March 2024? ›

To continue improving our industry-leading mobile network and services, each 5G Get More phone line on your account will be charged an added $4/month, no sooner than 3/1/24.

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