Verizon Updates Its Unlimited Plans, Though Perks Will Cost Extra (2024)

Weeks after T-Mobile revamped its unlimited offerings, Verizon is following suit, announcing changes Tuesday to its wireless offerings. Out are the carrier's old assortment of unlimited plans; in are what Verizon is pitching as a simplified offering: two plans, a basic option called Unlimited Welcome and a premium version it calls Unlimited Plus.

The new plans, which will be available starting Thursday, all come with unlimited talk, text and data, though there are some distinctions.

The Unlimited Welcome option lacks any hotspot data and is limited to Verizon's slower 5G network (what it calls "5G Nationwide"). The Unlimited Plus option includes 30GB of high-speed hotspot data per line as well as the ability to connect to Verizon's fastest 5G networks (what it dubs "5G Ultra Wideband," which reaches 200 million Americans).

Unlimited Plus plans also include a three-year "price guarantee" and 50% off the monthly plan for connected devices such as a smartwatch, tablet or hotspot. Both plans will have discounts for those who bundle in home internet service from Verizon, though only the Plus plan will let you get home internet for $25 per month.

As before, the carrier allows for "mixing and matching" plans on a family account. So if you have four lines, and one of them needs faster connectivity, they could go to Unlimited Plus (at $45 per line) while the rest are on Welcome ($30 per line) and pay $135 per month.

Monthly pricing is as follows (and are assuming automatic payments). Because of the carrier's mix-and-match feature, the price per line is listed in parentheses:

Verizon's 2023 Unlimited Plans

Unlimited WelcomeUnlimited Plus
1 line $65$80
2 lines $110 ($55 per line)$140 ($70 per line)
3 lines $120 ($40 per line)$165 ($55 per line)
4 lines $120 ($30 per line)$180 ($45 per line)
5 lines $135 ($27 per line)$210 ($42 per line)

Read more: Best unlimited plans for May 2023

A change from bundled perks to discounts

Potentially the biggest change, however, is how Verizon is handling the inclusion of perks.

Verizon's prior plans like Play More, Get More or One Unlimited had pre-bundled in streaming subscriptions to services like the Disney Bundle (ad-free Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu with ads), Apple Music and Apple One. But the carrier is taking a different approach with its latest plans.

Instead of dropping more services into its wireless offerings, it's switching to a discount model that allows users to add from an array of perks at $10 per month per perk. So if you wanted the Disney Bundle, you could add it to either Verizon plan for $10 per month as opposed to paying what would be $15 per month directly to Disney.

The same goes for Apple One (a savings of roughly $7 per month compared with Apple's regular individual One pricing), Apple Music Family (which can be shared with five people and normally runs $17 per month) and Walmart Plus (which normally runs $13 per month but also includes Paramount Plus Essential).

Other perk options include 100GB of hotspot data (normally $45 per month), three days of international data (what the carrier calls TravelPass, normally $10 per day) and 2TB of storage in Verizon's cloud (normally $15 per month).

There also is a perk that lets you get a $15 credit to the company's Plus Play content management tool for $10 per month. This opens up another 30 or so services, including Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass (which runs $15 per month), Netflix Premium ($20 per month) and HBO Max (normally $16 per month).

In the case of Netflix Premium, the perk wouldn't cover the full $20 monthly price, and you would need to pay the balance using Plus Play. All told, instead of paying $20 per month for Netflix Premium, you'd be spending $15 monthly ($10 to add the perk to your wireless account, $5 more to cover the difference) and getting a savings of $5 per month.

With any Plus Play service, you will need to switch your billing for those respective services to Verizon through that portal.

In another new twist, the carrier will make the perks available for each line regardless of whether you're on the pricier Plus plan or the cheaper Welcome option. Verizon isn't capping the perks at one per line either, so someone with a single line could get discounts on both the Disney Bundle and Apple One.

All perks are managed in the My Verizon app and can be turned on or off at will. And users who don't want any perks can forgo them entirely at any point.

The carrier says it isn't kicking existing users off their plans and will allow those who already have a "mix and match" plan (Get More/Do More/Play More or Start) to mix and match one of these new options into their existing family plans.

Verizon Updates Its Unlimited Plans, Though Perks Will Cost Extra (1)

Adding it up could take some work

While potentially more valuable to those who don't care about faster 5G access, the new plans could get complicated compared with Verizon's older system. But depending on your needs, it could also potentially be cheaper.

If you had one line on Play More (which included the Disney Bundle and had faster 5G connectivity) and three on the cheapest 5G Start (which was $35 per month and like the new Welcome option also lacked the faster 5G network access), you'd pay $160 per month (with automatic payments).

Under the new model, having one line at Unlimited Plus and three on Welcome would run $135 per month. Adding in the Disney Bundle as a $10 perk brings your total price to $145 per month.

Verizon says it will generate some potential bundles that it thinks its users might be interested in to help try to simplify the process, but figuring out what works for each individual or family's plan could require some work by consumers.

And while it could be cheaper for some for others it could be pricier, something Verizon's consumer CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath acknowledges to CNET.

"I tell people, it's not a price up, it's not a price down. It's the ultimate flexibility," he said. "So some customers it's going to price up, some are going to price down... but it's the full control. And even when they price up, you get more for more. That's the thesis."

Verizon Updates Its Unlimited Plans, Though Perks Will Cost Extra (2024)
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