So, you've been thinking about biting the gun and becoming an AT&T customer?
Good thinking, but which plan to choose? Clearly, the abundance of options in AT&T's roster don't make the choice any easy, but we are here to help.
A couple of weeks ago, we walked you through all the different plans in Verizon's portfolio, but now it's time to subject AT&T to the same treatment.
AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced and AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced
Currently, AT&T has three different unlimited plan offerings - AT&T Unlimited & More Premium, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Sterter.
The Unlimited Elite is the most expensive, but the most loaded out. It comes with high-definition video streaming as well as free premium subscription to HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, VRV, Pandora Premium, or Spotify Premium. AT&T Unlimited Extra is the same as the Unlimited & More Premium, but doesn't treat you to the aforementioned entertainment goodies - no HBO or Spotify Premium are included.
AT&T Unlimited Starter is similar to the two other plans, but comes without a 15GB mobile hotspot per line.
Here's the pricing breakdown:
AT&T Unlimited Elite vs Extra vs Starter plans price and features comparison
|Plan||1 line||2 lines||3 lines||4 lines|
|AT&T Unlimited Elite||$85||$75 per line||$60 per line||$50 per line|
|AT&T Unlimited Extra||$75 per line||$65 per line||$50||$40|
|AT&T Unlimited Starter||$65||$60||$45||$35|
It's obvious that the more, the merrier.
As you can see, once you start adding new lines to the AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced plan, prices become more and more affordable, making them more and more palatable for the regular family of up to four out there, and overall, a better deal.
With prices out of the way, let's see what the two unlimited data plans offer as far as data allotments, features, and speeds are concerned.
|Plan||5G/LTE Data ||Speed throttling||Free video streaming||Hotspot|
|AT&T Unlimited Elite||Unlimited||Yes, after using >100GB per line/mo ||HD, up to 1080p (may be limited to SD after using >22GB/line/mo)||Yes, up to 30GB per line|
|AT&T Unlimited Extra||Unlimited||Yes, after using >50GB per line/mo||SD, up to 480p||Yes, up to 15GB per line|
|AT&T Unlimited Starter||No 5G data||Yes, any time when the network is busy||SD, up to 480p||No|
Common strengths of all plans:
- Unlimited roaming in Mexico & Canada: Pretty self-explanatory, but with either Unlimited Plus or Choice you get unlimited roaming in both neighboring countries.
- Unlimited texting from USA to 120+ countries: With either Unlimited Plus or Choice you can text, send pictures and video messages via MMS to more than 120 countries around the globe at no extra cost.
- Suspected spam and fraud alerts
- AT&T THANKS: AT&T's benefit program allows you to get insider access to special events, various forms of entertainment like movies and music, as well as get expert help, and many others at no extra cost. The majority of these benefits can be explored and used from the dedicated AT&T THANKS app on the app stores.
- Military discounts: If you're qualified military personnel or a veteran you get 15% discount at every monthly bill.
Our verdict: If you want the absolute best unlimited plan on AT&T, you should certainly go for Unlimited Plus Enhanced. It has the most bells and whistles and you shouldn't worry about throttling that much. Well, at least until you don't go over 22GB of LTE data per line per month as you're likely to experience temporary throttling at busier times. Additionally, the 15GB mobile hotspot allotments is well worth it, especially if you use your device to cast Internet in your immediate vicinity. Conversely, if you're perfectly fine with a bit more throttling in busier time windows and don't use your device as a mobile hotspot, you will also be fine with AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced.
Limited & Prepaid Data plans
If you're looking for something else than an unlimited data plan, AT&T's prepaid ones are here to help. But which one to choose - the eponymous AT&T Prepaid plans or the Mobile Share Flex ones? Let's highlight all the features and intricate differences and help you make up your mind.
AT&T Prepaid plans and features comparison
The good ol' Prepaid plans are a perfect match for people that value flexibility over anything else. With no annual plan, credit check, or even an activation fee in sight, it's as close as you can get to freedom when dealing with large corporations. You can have AT&T Prepaid in a variety of flavors, ranging from $30 to $85 per month, depending on your loadout and discounts. Here's a rundown of the prices and features:
|Plan features/Plan||$35/mo||$50/mo||$65/mo (Unlimited data)||$85/mo (Unlimited data plus)|
|Discount after applying AutoPay||$30/mo||$40/mo||$45/mo||$55/mo|
|Included data||1GB, with rollover||8GB, with rollover||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Throttling||Speeds reduced to 128Kbps after high-speed data spent||Speeds reduced to 128Kbps after high-speed data spent||Reduced speeds during busy times||Reduced speeds during busy times after using >22GB/mo|
|Mobile hotspot||Yes||Yes||Add-on option, 5GB/$10||Yes, up to 10GB, USA only, speed reduced to 128Kbps after spending data allotment|
|Video streaming||Up to 1080p FullHD||Up to 1080p FullHD||Up to 1.5Mbps 480p||Up to 1080p FullHD|
|Unlimited talk & text to Mexico & Canada||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Use talk, text, data in Mexico & Canada||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
No matter which plan you choose, we highly recommend enrolling into the AutoPay program, which will automatically charge your eligible credit or debit card every billing period. With AutoPay, you eliminate the possibility of having your service terminated after not paying on time. That's a great thing to have on its own, but the discount on the prepaid plans is another boon to consumers' wallets.
You can save even more if you bundle multiple prepaid plans together. For a second and a third additional lines, you get $10 off on your total monthly bill, while for a fourth and fifth additional line you get $20 off. This means that you can save up to $110 per month if you combine five Prepaid Unlimited Plus plans, or $1,320 per annum. You can check out the interactive AT&T configurator right here
Our verdict: From the get-go, we wouldn't recommend the $65/mo plan as it's pretty hampered when compared to the others. Sure, it comes with unlimited data in tow, but we don't like the lack of mobile tethering functionality as well as its inability to stream 1080p video. Albeit pricier, the Extra unlimited data plan is definitely better value on all fronts unless you neede the generous mobile hotspot allotment of the Elite plan.
When it comes to the 'cheaplings', it all comes to whether you can live with as low as 8GB of fast-speed data per month and whether you travel to Mexico and Canada often - if no, you should probably go for the $55/mo plan which is great value for unlimited with at least some hotspot data allotment at high speeds.