Should I Switch? Verizon Unlimited Data vs More Everything Plan

Posted:

Last Update: February 13, 2017

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On February 13, 2017:

Verizon Wireless brought back the Verizon Unlimited Plan.

With Verizon Unlimited, you also get HD video streaming, Mobile Hotspot, calling and texting to Mexico and Canada and up to 500 MB/day of 4G LTE roaming in Mexico and Canada - included.

  • $80 for unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphone with paper-free billing and AutoPay. Technically $65/month plus $20/month line access fee - $5/month credit for AutoPay.
  • $45 per line for 4 lines with unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphones and tablets with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
  • Add 2 more Tablets, Jetpack Mobile hotspot, or Internet connected devices to the single smartphone plan for a $20/month line access fee each for Jetpacks and Tablets, or $5/month for an Internet connected device like a smartwatch with cell service. Hot spots are capped to 10GB/month.
  • Calling and texting to/from Mexico and Canada is included, as well as 500MB/day of LTE-speed roaming in both countries.

Unlimited Data February 2017 Limitations

  • 10GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot / tethering per Line, then you will slow to 3G speeds
  • Autopay is direct bank debit not using a credit card. Saves them $$
  • Verizon Small (2GB), Medium (4GB), and Large (8GB) plans are still available for those with lesser needs
  • Domestic data roaming at 2G speeds

Data Speed Fine Print

To ensure a quality experience for all customers, after 22 GB of data usage on a line during any billing cycle Verizon may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion.

Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan Price Increase

Unlimited data plan price raised by $20 on November 5, 2015 (unless you are in a contract), but Verizon announced that no throttle of speed will occur. Business and government users will not see a price hike.

Last July 2014, Verizon introduced their "More Everything Plan", which introduced simplified monthly data allowances shareable up to 10 lines and a plethora of data package options to fit different user needs. In July 2016 they increased data caps and prices with a new plan. However, if you are part of the <1% of customers still hanging onto unlimited data, the caveats to this new plan are worth noting:

  • There is still no discount for those who have paid full price for their devices or are out of contract (in comparison to other carriers such as T-Mobile)
  • Prepaid and grandfather plans are not eligible.

Verizon Wireless $50 off select smartphones Coupon Code: VZWDEAL New device payment activation required, excludes upgrades

These changes came in the midst shifting strategies for many mobile phone carriers. AT&T introduced a rollover data plan in January 2015 with similar drawbacks. In an earlier post, we presented a similar framework for thinking about how best to think about saving on AT&T’s mobile plans.

Introduction

With these changes that no longer prevent us from keeping our unlimited data plans, it's time to figure out a smart solution. We could possibly save money and or add new features with a change of plan. Should we purchase a full-price smartphone to avoid being locked in to the terms of the new plan, or is there a better way? BuyVia is committed to helping consumers save money on all their purchases including Smartphone plans. In this article, we'll talk about how to get both a device upgrade and keep your unlimited data.

What is Grandfathered Verizon Unlimited Data?

Verizon charged $50 (It used to be $30 before November 2015) for unlimited wireless data up until mid 2011,  following suit shortly after AT&T stopped offering a similar plan. As their spokesman Ken Muche described it,  Verizon had decided to transition to a more "usage-based model".  Users who had unlimited plans were able to retain their old plans as they upgraded to newer devices, hence the term "grandfathering". Since data package options now come in every shape and form but unlimited, some of us who enjoyed the benefits of constant streaming or other data-consuming processes seem to be out of luck.

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Downsides of Grandfathered Unlimited Data

Having this grandfathered benefit does include some limitations.

  • Data is throttled or slowed down after 6.5GB a month when using 3G
  • Data is not supposed to be throttled on 4G after users complained
  • No hotspot feature
  • Family Plans did not have unlimited talk and text
  • Adding a new line would force it to use a different plan
  • Some have reported that they are unable to change plan attributes

Why Grandfathered Unlimited Data is better than 2017 Unlimited Data Plan

  • No 10GB limit for tethering
  • No network management throttling above 22GB per month
  • No autopay requirement

When Should You Keep Grandfathered Unlimited Data?

With Verizon's new More Everything Plan, we found that worth re-evaluating the plan and any positive changes possible.

You should keep unlimited data if:

  • Your data usage is above average
  • If a new More Everything plan with enough data costs more
  • You do not need the extra minutes or unlimited texts
  • Additional phone lines are not required (Line 3, 4)
  • You do not need to add a Tablet with mobile data
  • Full speed data on 3G is not an issue
  • Having a hotspot is not an issue
  • No need for Unlimited international messaging from the US

If you are affected by some of these issues, you should consider switching plans.

Verizon Unlimited Data vs Current Plan

An typical individual plan from the Grandfathered Unlimited data era.

Sample Verizon Individual Grandfathered Plan
Nationwide talk & text Unlimited $109.99
Email & Web Unlimited $29.99
Monthly Total Charge $139.98 + taxes and fees

If you switch to a Verizon Plan for 1 line with a typical 4GB of data use, you would actually save money. In fact you could sign up for a 24GB plan and still pay the same amount as the grandfathered plan.

Typical Verizon Individual Plan
Monthly Line Access $20
4GB of Data $50
Monthly Total Charge $70 + taxes and fees

 

Here’s a breakdown of the unlimited plan vs the new plan, given a family package with two lines.

Sample Verizon Family Plan for 2 lines with unlimited data (prior to “More Everything Plan”)
Family Share 700 with (2 Lines)* $99.99 plus $9.99 $130
Unlimited Texts $10 x 2 $20
Email & Web Unlimited $30 x 2 $60
Monthly Total Charge $210.00 + taxes and fees

This would be an existing existing plan for 2 Smartphones with unlimited data and a small messaging pack for those not using iMessage.

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Switching from Unlimited Data to Verizon XL 16GB Shared Plan

What if we switched our plan to the currently available plan? Would we save money? Would we gain worthwhile additional features?
Lets assume we have the same 2 lines with an iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S7 with 2 year plans. We initially pay the $199.99 x 2 = $400 + sales tax for 2 phones.

Verizon Wireless XL 16GB Plan
XL 16GB Data Plan, Unlimited Talk/Text $90
Monthly Line Access Fee 2 x $20 $40
Monthly Total Charge $130 + taxes and fees

 

How to tell if it’d be worth switching:

Take a look at your actual usage. If you never exceed the allotted monthly minutes or texts and average data usage is within a range that would not render unlimited access to data “excessive”, then it may be cheaper to stick with the original plan. However, it is also important to consider the degree of your need for features like faster speeds and other capabilities. Additional lines or tablets with wireless data. If you end up needing these features or using more data, talk, or text than the old plan holds for, it may be worth it.

How to Keep Verizon Unlimited Data

If you determine that it is more worthwhile to keep the unlimited data plan, there are a few ways of going about doing so.

  • The first method is simply to purchase a FULL PRICE new, unlocked (off contract) device and add it as a replacement phone on your plan. However, this can be costly -- an unlocked iPhone 16GB 6 will cost $649 plus sale tax. The Verizon Edge installment plan will not allow you to keep unlimited data.
  • You can buy your iPhone elsewhere like from Apple on their iPhone Upgrade Program and bring it to Verizon.
  • In October 2015 Verizon announced it would let Unlimited Data customers buy new phones using their Edge Installment plan.

The other way to go about keeping the old plan takes a few more steps, but can end up saving you more money.

  • Start with a second smartphone line with limited data plan that is eligible for a device upgrade. You cannot use the discounted upgrade on the unlimited data line, even if it qualifies.
  • After purchasing a new phone using the upgrade promotion, you can have the devices swapped between the two lines at any local Verizon store. Make sure the rep known you have unlimited data and want to retain it. The SIM card should be swapped, but the newer device may have a smaller card.
  • After this, you will be able to access unlimited data on the new device.

Conclusion

If you have a grandfathered Unlimited Verizon Plan, it is time to examine your usage and needs. If you have 1 line, you will probably be best served by keeping the plan. You might be better off with the new More Everything Plan in these situations:

  • You cannot afford to pay full price for a new smartphone
  • You do not need to share data with new lines or tablets
  • Preference/need for higher speed especially on 3G
  • Paying for text plan
  • Paying extra for minutes

You cannot adjust your plans number of minutes or texts with Unlimited. Any change will cause unlimited data to go away!

You may save money when you switch wireless plans. Unless you can save money and benefit from one of these additional features, you are probably better stay with your

Unlimited Data plan. Have you made the switch from Unlimited Data or decided not to?

Let us know your thoughts, comments, or experiences below:

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26 responses to “Should I Switch? Verizon Unlimited Data vs More Everything Plan”

  1. Amyy king says:

    I just got the 45$ a month plan for a moto e smart phone.(prepaid)At a minimum I need to also use my iPad Air tablet. The amount off data with this plan is very minimal. The plan is more expensive then just about everyone else with less data. Not sure what I should do. Whether I should get a mobile hot spot, try to increase service, switch to another company. I know your job is to sell your services and equipment. However, I live on a low fixed income. I need to be able to research things, order what I need and even have some fun. I am a senior and very disabled. I have always preferred unlimited everything service so I just don’t have to worry about it. But that is not as readily available anymore. And customer service plays a big role for me also, since I need what I need when I need it. One of the big things that would help me is have free info. Calls. I no longer have a landline. With that I had free info. And free connect. I need this badly but do not want to go back to a landline.

  2. A User says:

    Ive changed my minutes on a UDP recently and still have unlimited data…

  3. Pamela A Rickey says:

    I found this article a little confusing. It starts out by noting that Verizon has just brought back a new unlimited plan and describing the details so I expected it to be part of the comparison. But the rest of the article compares the old unlimited plan only to the family share plan without including the new unlimited plan. At one point it says grandfather plans are ineligible, but I am not sure ineligible for what. Also, it is incorrect to say that the number of minutes cannot be adjusted without losing the grandfathered unlimited data (although it is easy to understand the confusion since Verizon employees always say you can’t change anything). However, it was explained to me that since being allowed to adjust minutes up or down was always a feature of my plan, adjusting the minutes is not considered to be changing the plan. In fact, I did so a couple of times without losing my unlimited data.

  4. Jerome says:

    I just wanted to add that I have a grandfathered unlimited plan. I have been able to change the minutes on my plan and I added hotspot to my plan for $30 last year

  5. Jdiaz says:

    Will i be able to upgrade my telephone at a discounted rate? Not the finance plan.
    I want yo be able to get a discount on a new phone like we use to with a 2 year contract. Is that option still available?

    • norman says:

      Effective January 2017, Verizon will no longer be allowing customers who are upgrading their smartphones to purchase a two-year contract, effectively eliminating two-year contracts for all new and existing users.

      • Eric says:

        My account still gives me the option to upgrade at a discount with 2 year contracts. I used one on my dad’s line in Feb and there are still 3 discounted upgrades showing on my account online.

  6. Mike says:

    I have the xl with three lines and employee discount from my company being on Verizon’s list. Best I can tell since I don’t go over is I’d be paying more. I’m paperless billed on my credit. My monthly total is $173 and change that includes one 24 month subsidized new iphone being on bill. So just the fact that 3 lines before tax would be $162.00 then $20 per line and my one new iPhone plus I’d have to pay with a checking account debit which I consider a risk makes it ridiculously much higher.

  7. ihihi says:

    I have had unlimited basically from day one and cannot add a hotspot. I can change minutes though the savings is minimal so why bother? Here is where if you are like me you can win. I have unlimited and a unlimited 3G USB modem. That went up to $79. Under this new plan I can get a hotspot and unlimited 3G after the 10 LTE. I have unlimited 3G now so… savings $79 right there. Then the savings on the other in my case is almost half. so Verizon would be losing around $180/mo in my case.

  8. Lisa McIntosh says:

    Does the “No 10GB limit for tethering” mean even if you are using FoxFi? I have a grandfathered unlimited plan and I use FoxFi (Note 4 phone)

  9. Tom Milnard says:

    The new Verizon unlimited plan is worthless once you go over 22 gigs. I cannot even check email. I would be okay if throttling meant no HD but it does not work at all.
    So here is what they did.
    1.They forced me to cancel the grandfathered unlimited which was way too much money anyway.
    2. Next they cancel my employee discount and now say it is not available with the unlimited plan. Weird when I had it on my old unlimited plan.
    3. They then throttle my data so much that I cannot send files for work or even load a website simple as Google.

    At least I am not in a contract so time to leave this back stabbing service and try someone new.

    • alyson says:

      I’d like to know more about your expierence because my husband is very concerned about the speen as he uses about 60 gigs a month on the old unlimited plan

    • bill s says:

      Thanks very much for your feedback about your Verizon account. You answered my concerns. I have unlimited everything and was told my bill would go down $50 per month and that all my services would stay the same. I had a strong feeling that was B.S. and they would slow/kill my data speed after the 22gigs.So now I’m basically paying $50 to not have my data slowed down or even cut off as you say Verizon is doing. I was so specific about this to the rep on the phone by asking if my data was being slowed down now on this old unlimited plan. She said yes but that’s not true. So now it’s decision time. Thanks for your help,Tom.

  10. JoAnna Thies says:

    Why not just get Total Wireless.. which uses Verizon towers.. is 4G Lte.. and has 5 gigs of data.. unlimited talk and text…and it is $35.00 a month!

  11. Sean h says:

    On the grandfathered plan with Verizon, you can change your minutes up or down. You can add text messages only and select how many per month based upon the fee. Some phones will allow you to use foxfi and create your own free mobile hotspot. For other phones, its blocked, i.e. Iphones. If you do want to add a mobile hotspot, you cannot add the service online, however if you call customer service they can add it to your plan. Its an additional $30 a month. One note about the mobile hotspot though, it is proratable based on how many days you use it. Therefore if you only need to use it on certain days, just activate on those days, then unactivate when done instead of paying $30 a month for days you dont need it. This can be added and dropped numerous times a month. Most likely this current plan is one last ditch effort to entice the grandfathered plans into switching.

  12. Catherine says:

    Does anyone else think that Verizon charging a line access fee to its customers to use the plan that they just sold them is wrong? You have to pay for it in order to use their services that they just sold to you. This should be illegal.

    • norman says:

      They want you to think of the plan with a certain amount of data as a bucket. You pay for the bucket, then have to pay for the straws (line access fees) to sip from it.

      This way you can buy a big bucket and share it with the entire family or other devices like tablets..

  13. Mohammed says:

    Does other carriers have this limitation “Domestic data roaming at 2G speeds” or just Verizon?

    • norman says:

      Data roaming is typically in rural areas with minimal major company coverage. Verizon has to pay another company to get coverage in the area.

      AT&T customers get unlimited, unthrottled roaming on Commnet with HSPA+ and LTE currently.

  14. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    Verizon’s unlimited plan sounds pretty great. So, if I want to get a plan for my family, I guess the unlimited data plan is the best, right? We need to find one for my three kids and me, because our plan now just isn’t working.

  15. Marconi says:

    The “unlimited” plan is a joke! Once you hit 10 G’s it essentially shuts down. You can tether it to another device which gives you some connectivity, but it makes the old dial up service seem like it was lighting fast in comparison.

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