Visible vs. Metro by T-Mobile: Which is better for you?

Looking to save some money on your next phone bill? Visible and Metro are two of the best prepaid carriers out there that will get you great coverage at a reduced cost. One thing to note about either carrier is that they're owned and operated by the larger carrier that provides the network connection. In fact, Visible is branded as Visible by Verizon, as is Metro by T-Mobile.

Both carriers offer 5G access, unlimited talk and text, and no contracts or commitments. Both of Visible's plans come with unlimited data at a relatively low rate, making it a great pick for anyone who consumes a lot of high-speed data and wants something simple. Metro by T-Mobile offers four plans with different data offers, perks, and available add-on services, making it a better choice for families seeking multi-line discounts.

Both carriers include fees and taxes in the plan price, so there are no surprises at checkout.

Visible vs. Metro by T-Mobile: At a glance

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Both Visible by Verizon and Metro by T-Mobile are some of the best prepaid carriers that use the network of their owner. Though Visible only has two quite simple unlimited plans while Metro offers four, each has 5G access with either Verizon's network or T-Mobile's as long as your phone is compatible. You're also guaranteed to get unlimited calling and texting, data, and 480p video streaming. Hotspot data with Visible is limited to 5Mbps, whereas with Metro, you'll get 5GB or 15GB of hotspot data, but only with its two unlimited plans.

Metro has traditional multi-line savings for families, while Visible has no multi-line savings.

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Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleMetro by T-Mobile
NetworkVerizonT-Mobile
Domestic RoamingNoYes
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)5GB or 15GB with top two plans
5G accessYes (UWB limited to Visible+)Yes
Video stream quality480p480p

Metro is set up much more like a traditional carrier with its range of plans and multi-line perks encouraging customers to stay put. There's a plan for nearly everyone on Metro, whether you're a light or heavy user. The problem is that Visible's cheapest plan is cheap without needing to bring multiple lines. In fact, Visible is cheaper than even Metro's cheapest plan until you get to three lines.

Visible vs. Metro by T-Mobile: Visible's plans

Visible SIM next to an S20+

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Visible has replaced the single simple plan we tested in our Visible review with two options with a greater focus on 5G and international features. To start, the base Visible plan comes in at $30 per month with unlimited data, unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps, and calling to Mexico and Canada. This plan is the most similar to the old plan but comes in a bit more expensive at $30 per month. If you're looking for a way to match the old $25 price, though, you can still hit that number by signing up via PayPal (opens in new tab).

Visible+ gives the carrier a much-needed premium option while still keeping things simple. Visible+ also comes with unlimited data, though 50GB of it is premium, meaning your speeds stay high even in congested areas. You also get faster 5G performance with Verizon Ultra Wideband 5G. To be clear, the base Visible plans will connect to Ultra Wideband towers but will be limited in speed. Visible+ takes off all limiters and gives you the full speed of the network.

Visible+ also comes with some international features, including roaming in Mexico and Canada. Visible+ also comes with calling to 30+ countries and texting to 200+ countries.

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Visible's plans
Header Cell - Column 0 VisibleVisible+
DataUnlimitedUnlimited (50GB premium)
5G accessNationwideNationwide and Ultra Wideband
Hotspot dataUnlimited (5Mbps)Unlimited (5Mbps)
Spam protectionYesYes
Price$30 per month$45 per month

Visible vs. Metro by T-Mobile: Metro's plans

T-Mobile's wireless carrier, Metro by T-Mobile, offers four plans you can choose from, all of which decrease in price as you add more lines. Its top plan costs $60 per month and goes as low as $30 per month. But whichever Metro plan you pick, rest assured that you'll get access to T-Mobile's nationwide 5G network — the largest in the country.

Metro by T-Mobile's most expensive plan stands out with unlimited high-speed data, 15GB of hotspot data, and a lot of other neat perks like 100GB of Google One cloud storage (only for Android phones) and an Amazon prime membership. With the $50 unlimited plan, you'll get almost the same deal, but with fewer hotspot data (5GB) and no Prime membership. And if you want to reduce your monthly bill, you can more lines to your plan. For four lines on Metro's top plan, you'll only pay $120 a month. Here's what each plan has to offer.

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CategoryUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited5GB
Single Line price$60$50$40$30
Multiple lines$90 for 2, $120 for 3, $120 for 4, $150 for 5$80 for 2, $110 for 3, $140 for 4, $170 for 5$80 for 2, $90 for 3, $100 for 4, $125 for 5$30 per line
5GYesYesYesYes
DataUnlimited high-speed dataUnlimited high-speed data10GB5GB
Hotspot15GB5GBNoneNone
Canada/Mexico Unlimited$5 each per month$5 each per month$5 each per monthNot available
Global Voice International call and text$10 per month$10 per month$10 per month$10 per month
ExtrasAmazon Prime, Google One 100GB, 1 year of Vix+Google One 100 GB, 1 year of Vix+1 year of Vix+1 year of Vix+

Keep in mind that these multi-line discounts are only available in-store, so if you try to sign up online, it will be more expensive. Just keep in mind that you don't really need to buy a bunch of accessories when you're in the store. Unless you want to, that is.

Though no Metro plan comes with any international texting or calling, you do have the option of purchasing such options as an add-on. For instance, if you have an unlimited plan, you can purchase Mexico or Canada Unlimited for an extra $5 per month to get unlimited calls and texts, as well as up to 5GB of data or roaming in each country. 

Or if you need international calling and texting to multiple countries, there's Global Voice for an extra $10 per month, as long as you have at least a $30 base rate plan. Add-on services are particularly useful if you like having flexibility or just aren't sure what you'll need down the line.

Visible vs. Metro by T-Mobile: Which one should you get?

Visible app on phone

(Image credit: Android Central)

If you're bringing multiple lines to a new carrier, Metro can be a great pick with generous multi-line savings when you go to a Metro store. T-Mobile's massive 5G network is perfect for those with a need for speed, and with consistent expansion, will likely remain in first place for quite a bit longer. Metro by T-Mobile is also compatible with the Affordable Connectivity Program. This federal program is designed to help lower-income families stay connected with discounts on data plans.

Visible's simple plan structure makes it an easy pick for someone that just needs one line. The fact that you can take advantage of Visible's best rates alone makes it a great option for those not looking to manage a bunch of lines. Even so, that plan structure may be a bit too simple for some with no option for high-speed hotspot data. It's also worth noting that while Verizon continues to have one of the largest and most reliable networks overall, its 5G is still in second place to T-Mobile. Even so, with good coverage, Visible is an easy recommendation.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.