AT&T storeSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

Best AT&T Cell Phone Plans Android Central 2021

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 impressive plan is AT&T Unlimited Elite. With this plan, you'll get 100GB of premium data, HD video streaming, 30GB of mobile hotspot, and everything you need to be prepared for AT&T's steadily growing 5G footprint. If you're not convinced yet, these are some of the other best AT&T plans to consider.

Best Overall: AT&T Unlimited Elite

AttplansSource: AT&T

The AT&T Unlimited Elite plan will get you the best of the best when it comes to phone plans. Along 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 do get unlimited texting from the U.S. to 120+ countries.

The Unlimited Elite plan also gets you 4K streaming and one HBO Max subscription for the account, making it comparable to T-Mobile's Magenta MAX plan. 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 be slowed to 128Kbps, but for most people, 40GB is a generous amount that will last a while.

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. Keep in mind that these prices are only if you've signed up for AutoPay and paperless billing. Overall, it's a plan that's great 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 won't let 40GB of mobile hotspot data go to waste.

Pros:

  • Unlimited premium data and 5G access
  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada
  • 4K streaming
  • 40GB hotspot data
  • HBO Max included

Cons:

  • Most expensive
  • Taxes and fees not included
  • Hotspot will slow to 128Kbps after 30GB

Best Overall

ATT Logo

AT&T Unlimited Elite

Everything you need and more

Along with unlimited premium data, AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan gets you unlimited talk, text, and data, 5G access, HD streaming, and 40GB of mobile hotspot data. It's the best plan for anyone who needs a lot of high-speed data and doesn't mind a bunch of extra perks.

Best Value: AT&T Unlimited Extra

Att5gSource: AT&T

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, and 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.

With this plan, you'll also get 15GB of mobile hotspot data. 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, which is just enough to do some light browsing and check your email. And when it comes to video with AT&T's Unlimited Extra plan, you'll only be able to stream in SD.

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 some of the extra perks that come with a 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 a little less attractive than AT&T's Unlimited Elite plan but won't leave you wishing for more. As with other AT&T plans though, taxes and fees aren't included and the prices factor in AT&T's AutoPay and paperless billing discount.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • SD streaming
  • Taxes and fees not included
  • Hotspot will slow to 128Kbps after 15GB

Best Value

ATT Logo

AT&T Unlimited Extra

For the 5G generation

AT&T's Unlimited Extra plan will go beyond most people's needs when it comes to cell phone plans. You'll get 50GB of premium data to keep your speeds high, unlimited talk, text, and data, access to AT&T's 5G network, and 15GB of mobile hotspot data.

Best Family: AT&T Unlimited Starter

AttplansfamilySource: AT&T

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, when you add three lines things get even better 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 actually gives you the flexibility to pick a different plan for each member of your family with "Unlimited Your Way." For instance, say dad needs way more data than everyone else. He can go ahead and get the AT&T Unlimited Elite plan while the kids stick with the Unlimited Starter plan.

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. If your WiFi network at home can be spotty or you're someone who likes to work from your laptop from anywhere (the bus, a cafe, the beach, seriously anywhere!) then don't count on this plan when it comes to keeping you connected. This plan also gives you standard mobile security as opposed to advanced, meaning that you won't get the expanded WiFi 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • No premium data
  • No hotspot data
  • SD streaming
  • Standard mobile security

Best Family

ATT Logo

AT&T Unlimited Starter

Multiple lines you can afford

AT&T's Unlimited Starter plan gives you what you need: unlimited talk, text, data, 5G access, and SD streaming. Though you'll get a fantastic deal with this plan when you sign up for multiple lines, nothing comes without a price and you won't get mobile hotspot data or priority data speeds.

Best Unlimited Prepaid: AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus

AttprepaidSource: AT&T

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. If you don't mind going prepaid, this plan is a great way to save some money. AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus is AT&T's only prepaid plan that comes with 5G access. It also includes 10GB of mobile hotspot data, 100GB of personal cloud storage, unlimited international text, and talking, texting, and data in Mexico and Canada. You'll even be able to stream in HD.

There's not much to not like about this plan. 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 be slowed to 128Kbps. Nevertheless, this prepaid plan shines when 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 member of the family 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Data speed may slow after 22GB
  • Multi-line discounts aren't significant

Best Unlimited Prepaid

ATT Logo

AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Plus

Savings upfront

This prepaid plan is a great way to save some money and still get 5G access, HD streaming, and 10GB of mobile hotspot data. It even comes with 100GB of personal cloud storage. Though multi-line discounts aren't as impressive as with other plans, it's a great single-line option.

Best MVNO: Cricket Wireless

CricketSource: Cricket

Cricket Wireless is a prepaid MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and one of the best prepaid phone plans you can get. 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. For one line you'll pay $60 per month, 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. Though you won't get premium data with this plan, you're still guaranteed AT&T's fastest speeds when the network isn't congested. If you're looking for an even more affordable prepaid plan with Cricket, then you can also consider its 2GB plan for only $30 per month for a single line. You won't get much more than that (2GB of data), but if you just need an extremely simple plan then this is a great option.

Pros:

  • AT&T 4G LTE and 5G network access
  • Unlimited talk, text, and messaging
  • Multi-line discounts
  • Various plans to choose from
  • Service in Canada and Mexico (unlimited plan)

Cons:

  • 5G, unlimited data, and 15GB hotspot not included with all plans
  • Data-speed limits for most plans
  • SD video streaming

Best MVNO

Cricket Logo

Cricket Wireless

No contracts, credit check, or hidden fees

MVNO Cricket Wireless is fortunate enough to leverage AT&T's 4G LTE and 5G network but offers its customers better deals. Whether you're looking for a simple 2GB plan for a cheap price, or you prefer having unlimited high-speed data, 15GB of mobile hotspot, and even some international benefits, Cricket has you covered.

Best Budget: AT&T Prepaid 5GB

5gbprepaidattSource: AT&T

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 being able to turn your phone into a hotspot, get 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 there that you call frequently. But you will be able to use talk, text, and data while you're 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 be slowed to a maximum of 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 in advance. The price drops down to $25 per month, and you'll get 3GB 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 you can get with this carrier.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Best Budget

ATT Logo

AT&T Prepaid 5GB

Budget conscious

This wallet-friendly plan will get you 5GB of data, a rollover option if you don't consume all of it, and the ability to use your phone as a hotspot. Though you won't get premium data or 5G access, it's an awesome plan when cash is tight.

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 stands out as the best overall plan that's guaranteed to meet high expectations. With 100GB of premium data and 5G access, this plan is made for the future of 5G and even 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 members of your family 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.

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