Last updated: 6/16/2019
Verizon offers a handful of different unlimited plans. For most customers, the important differences between the plans involve prices, prioritization policies, hotspot access, and video quality caps. My general advice for those who are unsure about which plan to choose is to go with the cheapest plan that’s appealing. You can always upgrade to a fancier plan if the one you start with turns out to be insufficient.
|2 line price||$180||$160||$130||$120|
|3 line price||$210||$180||$150||$155|
|4 line price||$240||$200||$160||$200|
|Deprioritization threshold||75GB||22GB||Always deprioritized||Always deprioritized|
|Streaming video cap||720p||720p||480p||480p|
|Hotspot policy||20GB high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 600Kbps||15GB high-speed data, unlimited data throttled to 600Kbps||Unlimited data throttled to 600Kbps||Not included|
Postpaid unlimited plans
For postpaid unlimited plans, Verizon gives three options:
The biggest differences between Verizon’s postpaid unlimited plans are what they cost and when data becomes deprioritized.
When data traffic from a plan is deprioritized, speeds will be slower when networks are congested. However, deprioritization won’t affect speeds when networks are not congested. How often congestion occurs is largely a function of where you live. In most areas, congestion is rare.
Each unlimited plan has a different threshold for the amount of data that can be used before deprioritization occurs. Here are those thresholds by plan:
- GoUnlimited – 0GB (always deprioritized)
- BeyondUnlimited – 22GBs
- AboveUnlimited – 75GBs
All of those thresholds are based on monthly data usage. If you go beyond your threshold in one billing cycle and become deprioritized, you’ll be reprioritized in the next billing cycle (until you hit your threshold again). Prioritization policies are applied to individual lines rather than entire plans (i.e. excessive data use on one device on a family plan will lead to deprioritization for that device only).
Most video streaming on Verizon’s unlimited plans will be throttled to a certain maximum quality. On the GoUnlimited plan, video is throttled to 480p. On the AboveUnlimited and Beyond Unlimited plans, video is throttled to 720p. In my opinion, either of these quality levels is totally fine and doesn’t really affect the video-watching experience. On the other hand, I care less about video quality than a lot of people.
All three of the postpaid unlimited plans allow unlimited mobile hotspot use at a maximum speed of 600Kbps (fairly slow). With the BeyondUnlimited, the first 15GB of hotspot data used each month is high-speed. The AboveUnlimited plan offers 20GB of high-speed hotspot data.
All three of the unlimited plans come with access to Apple Music. The GoUnlimited plan only includes free access for six months. As far as I can tell, the BeyondUnlimited plan and AboveUnlimited plan offer free access to Apple Music for the length of the plan.
The AboveUnlimited plan comes with 5 free TravelPasses each month (these can be used for service while traveling abroad) and 500GB of space on Verizon cloud.
Which postpaid unlimited plan should I choose?
If you’re uncertain about the appropriate plan to choose, I generally suggest starting out with the cheapest unlimited plan and upgrading to a better one only if you find the cheapest plan insufficient. Deprioritization on the GoUnlimited plan probably won’t be much trouble for the average person. If it does cause you trouble, you’ll find out quickly and can always upgrade.
If you don’t need to take advantage of device installment plans or features specific to postpaid plans, I suggest checking out Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan. For many customers (especially those using a small number of lines), the unlimited prepaid plan will be cheaper than other options.
Prepaid unlimited – How does it compare?
Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan may be a cost-effective option if you’re purchasing a small number of lines. However, if you’re purchasing a large number of lines, the GoUnlimited plan may actually have a lower base price.
Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan does not include mobile hotspot access and video streaming is capped at 480p quality. As with the GoUnlimited plan, data traffic will always be deprioritized. I expect prepaid customers will have access to almost the same domestic coverage, but nationwide coverage is likely to be marginally better for postpaid subscribers. I discus this in much more detail here. I’ve seen some suggestions that prepaid subscribers may be connected with less skilled support teams, but I haven’t personally verified any discrepancies in support quality.
Sources and references
Most of the details about Verizon’s unlimited plans came from Verizon’s postpaid unlimited plans page and prepaid plans page their website on 6/16/2019 (archived postpaid page and archived prepaid page).
- Throttling and Prioritization Explained goes into more detail about what prioritization is and how it works.
- Verizon Coverage: Prepaid vs. Postpaid expands on the differences in coverage between subscriber classes.
Potential conflict of interest
I have financial relationships with many wireless carriers, including Verizon. Details about the relationship with Verizon can be found here.