Should I Switch? Verizon Unlimited Data vs More Everything Plan
Last Update: February 13, 2017
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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: