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AT&T store (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

AT&T provides great coverage to a vast majority of Americans, and it's rapidly developing its 5G network to increase that number of people. It's by far one of the best wireless carriers you could join today and one that you can count on for great performance and reliable speeds. Though AT&T offers a variety of plans with competitive pricing to meet each customer's needs, its most complete plan is AT&T Unlimited Elite. With this plan, you'll get 100GB of premium data, HD video streaming, 40GB of mobile hotspot, and everything you need to be prepared for AT&T's steadily growing 5G footprint.

AT&T on Zenfone 8

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best overall: AT&T Unlimited Elite

AT&T Unlimited Elite

Everything you need and more

Reasons to buy

+
Unlimited premium data and 5G access
+
Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada
+
40GB hotspot data
+
HBO Max included
+
Signature Member discount available

Reasons to avoid

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Very expensive
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Taxes and fees not included
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Streaming speeds are limited by default

The AT&T Unlimited Elite plan will get you the best of the best when it comes to phone plans. With access to AT&T's rapidly growing 5G network, you'll have unlimited premium data. This means no matter how much data you use, you will always get the full speed of the network. You'll also have unlimited talk, text, and data in the U.S. as well as in Mexico and Canada. Though international use in other countries will cost you extra, you get unlimited texting from the U.S. to 120+ countries.

The Unlimited Elite plan also gets you 4K streaming and an HBO Max subscription for the account, making it comparable to T-Mobile's Magenta MAX plan with Netflix. With AT&T's plan, you'll get other bonus features such as advanced mobile security and 40GB of mobile hotspot data. Unfortunately, once you've used up 40GB of mobile hotspot data, your speeds will slow to 128Kbps, but 40GB is plenty for most people.

One drawback of AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan is that it doesn't include taxes and fees, and it doesn't come cheap. One line on this plan will cost $85 per month, but signing up for three lines will drop the monthly bill down to $60 per month ($180 total) or $50 per month ($200 total) for four lines. Remember that these prices are only if you've signed up for AutoPay and paperless billing. Overall, it's a great plan for someone who needs a lot of high-speed data, wants to make the most out of an expanding 5G network, appreciates 4K video streaming, and likes plenty of hotspot data for Wi-Fi on the go.

AT&T on LG V60

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best value: AT&T Unlimited Extra

AT&T Unlimited Extra

For the 5G generation

Reasons to buy

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50GB premium data and 5G access
+
Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada
+
15GB hotspot data
+
Advanced mobile security
+
Unlimited international texting

Reasons to avoid

-
480p streaming
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Taxes and fees not included

AT&T's Unlimited Extra plan is a lot like AT&T Unlimited Elite, but it's one of the best 5G plans available today. You'll (obviously) get access to 5G, along with unlimited talk, text, and data, advanced mobile security, as well as international benefits such as unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada and unlimited texting from the U.S. to 120+ countries. Though you'll get half as much premium data (50GB), this is still more than enough for most people, and you're not likely to see your data speeds slow down anytime soon.

You'll also get 15GB of mobile hotspot data with this plan. Though this is a decent amount, you won't be able to rely on your smartphone as a hotspot every day to upload heavy files, stream Netflix, etc. Once you've reached 15GB, your data speeds will be slowed to 128Kbps, enough to keep you connected when you don't have access to home WI-Fi or need to keep working during an outage. It's worth keeping in mind that video quality is limited to 480p, so you may be disappointed if you're a big streamer.

It's the perfect plan for someone who wants to take advantage of AT&T's 5G network and a vast amount of data without wasting money on the unwanted perks of the more expensive plan. For one line, you'll pay $75 per month; for three, you'll pay $50 per month ($150 total) or $40 per month ($160 total) for four lines. When you take these multi-line discounts into account, AT&T's Unlimited Extra is a great value option that's less attractive than AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan but won't leave you wishing for more. As with other AT&T plans, taxes and fees aren't included, and the prices factor in AT&T's AutoPay and paperless billing discount.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Best family: AT&T Unlimited Starter

AT&T Unlimited Starter

Multiple lines you can afford

Reasons to buy

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Unlimited talk, text, and data
+
5G access
+
Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico & Canada
+
Unlimited international texting
+
Affordable multi-line discounts

Reasons to avoid

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No premium data
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No hotspot data
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480p streaming

AT&T's Unlimited Starter plan is an excellent choice for those who still want 5G access and unlimited talk, text, and data, but won't mind the occasional slower data speeds if the network is busy. For a single line, it costs $65 per month, making it AT&T's cheapest core plan. However, things get even better when you add three lines, and the price becomes $45 per month ($135 total) or $35 per month ($140 total) for four lines. Though this plan is a great deal when you sign up for a few lines, AT&T gives you the flexibility to pick a different plan for each family member with Unlimited Your Way.

AT&T's Unlimited Starter plan comes with the same international features as its two counterparts, but one caveat is that this plan doesn't include any mobile hotspot data. This plan also gives you standard mobile security instead of advanced, meaning that you won't get the expanded Wi-Fi protection, caller ID, or identity monitoring you would with Unlimited Elite or Extra. Nevertheless, AT&T's Unlimited Starter will meet most of your basic data needs and keep your family (and wallet) happy.

Galaxy S20+ 5G network with SIM cards

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best unlimited prepaid: AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus

AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus

Savings upfront

Reasons to buy

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10GB mobile hotspot data
+
5G access
+
Mexico and Canada service
+
HD video streaming
+
100GB personal cloud storage included

Reasons to avoid

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Data speed may slow after 22GB
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Multi-line discounts could be better

AT&T's Prepaid Unlimited Plus will cost you $60 per month for a single line as long as you're signed up for AutoPay, which is cheaper than AT&T's Unlimited Starter plan yet with a lot (or more) of the same benefits. So if you don't mind going prepaid, this plan is a great way to save money. AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus is AT&T's only prepaid plan with 5G access. It also includes 10GB of mobile hotspot data, 100GB of personal cloud storage, unlimited international text, talking, texting, and data in Mexico and Canada. You'll even be able to stream in HD.

If you're looking for a single line and need unlimited data and no fuss, this is one of your best bets. Though AT&T may slow your data speeds if the network is busy, this won't happen until you've consumed 22GB. And unfortunately, after you've used up your 10GB of mobile hotspot data, speeds will slow to 128Kbps. Nevertheless, this prepaid plan shines compared to AT&T's other prepaid options.

If you're looking for a way to further reduce your monthly bill, you can also take advantage of AT&T's Prepaid multi-line discount. Like with AT&T's core plans, each family member will be able to pick the right prepaid plan for themselves (5G, 15GB, Unlimited, or Unlimited Plus) and save between $10 to $20 per line per month. For instance, three lines on Unlimited Plus will cost $160 per month, and four lines will cost you $200. It's not as drastic of a discount as you would get with AT&T's core plans, but every penny counts.

Cricket Coverage Map S20+

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best MVNO: Cricket Unlimited More

Cricket Unlimited More

No contracts, credit checks, or hidden fees

Reasons to buy

+
AT&T 4G LTE and 5G network access
+
Unlimited talk, text, and messaging
+
Multi-line discounts
+
Service in Canada and Mexico (unlimited plan)

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than other prepaid carriers
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SD video streaming

Cricket Wireless is a prepaid MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and one of the best-prepaid phone plans. Its top plan, Cricket More, comes with access to AT&T's 5G network, unlimited high-speed data, 15GB of mobile hotspot data, SD video streaming, and even international benefits like Mexico and Canada usage as well as unlimited texts from the U.S. to 37 countries. However, you'll pay $60 per month for one line, whereas for three, you'll pay $37 per month ($110 total) and $33 per month ($130 total) for four lines.

Cricket's unlimited plan is similar to AT&T's Unlimited Extra plan but at a more affordable price. It even comes with premium data so that you won't be slowed based on usage compared to other Cricket customers. If you're looking for an even more affordable prepaid plan with Cricket, then you can also consider its 5GB plan for only $30 per month for a single line.

AT&T on LG G8

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Best budget: AT&T Prepaid 5GB

AT&T Prepaid 5GB

Budget conscious

Reasons to buy

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Rollover data
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5GB data
+
Unlimited international texting
+
Extremely affordable monthly cost

Reasons to avoid

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No premium data
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No 5G access
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SD streaming
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Pay-per-use talk and text to Mexico and Canada

AT&T's Prepaid 5GB plan is only $30 per month for a single line and is perfect for anyone who won't consume any more data than that. It's a great budget option, and though you won't have access to AT&T's 5G network, you'll still get benefits like turning your phone into a hotspot, getting fraud call blocking and spam alerts, as well as unlimited international texting. This plan gives you SD streaming, and if you have any unused high-speed data, it'll roll over into the next month.

With this plan, talking and texting to Mexico and Canada will be pay-per-use, so that's something to keep in mind if you have family that you call frequently. But you will be able to use talk, text, and data while traveling in Mexico and Canada. Another thing to note with this plan is that once you've used up your 5GB of data, your data speeds will slow to 128Kbps.

If you want a bit more data but don't want to sacrifice this great price, AT&T does offer a nearly identical Prepaid 8GB plan if you pay for 12 months upfront. The price drops down to $25 per month, and you'll get 3GB of extra data to work with, plus the bonus of HD video streaming. If you can't commit to 12 months, there's also a 3-month 8GB plan for $33 per month. Either way, AT&T's Prepaid 5GB plan is one of the best budget choices with this carrier.

Bottom line

Though our hopes are high for AT&T's 5G network, you should still check AT&T's coverage map before signing up for one of the best AT&T plans. But since you can only pick one, AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan is the best overall plan that's guaranteed to meet high expectations. With unlimited premium data and 5G access, this plan is made for the future of 5G. This plan comes with HD streaming, an HBO Max subscription, and a very generous 30GB of hotspot data. It's the most expensive plan, but luckily with AT&T, you can take advantage of multi-line discounts and even sign up more family members with different plans. It's a win-win for everyone.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author: Olivia Photo

Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest kitchen tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she's not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she's in her kitchen trying to make it herself.

Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest smart home tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she's not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she's in her kitchen trying to make it herself.