Hands down, T-Mobile plans are the best in the US thanks to the fact that the nation's 'Uncarrier' is the cheapest, yet most feature-filled network you can be on right now. As of January 2017, the perks have grown, with T-Mobile One Plus being the newest is a long line of plan options. But, even if you've found T-Mobile to be your right carrier, choosing the data plan that best fits your needs can feel like a monumental task. Rest easy - we've done the hard work for you. After carefully researching and studying everything this network has to offer, we've crafted a no-nonsense breakdown the best plans T-Mobile has to offer. We took everything to account, from the amount of data you get to the free perks the network throws in to help you get the most for your dollar.
- Just straight there: view the plans at T-Mobile.com
- See also: The best T-Mobile phones available this month
T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan: Explained
The network has long-since tossed annual service contracts out the window and opted for the streamlined Simple Choice Plan. Unlimited text and talk, endless music streaming through Music Freedom and 2GB of data are included in the baseline tier of the Simple Choice Plan. From there you can up the amount of 4G LTE data to fit your personal needs. Your text, talk and data can also be used in Canada and Mexico with no extra or unseen fees. Let's look at the four Simple Choice Plan options.
However, it's not the data itself that sets T-Mobile apart -- it's the perks surrounding it. The aforementioned Music Freedom allows customers of any data level to endlessly stream music from Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and more without burning a hole in the monthly data. T-Mobile's Binge On benefit (included for free with a 6GB or above plan, available for all plans) can really save your monthly data, allowing unlimited 4G LTE video streaming through Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other heavy hitters.
Even if you do (somehow) still go over the data limit, T-Mobile has also ditched overage charges. Instead, the network will throttle your speeds back to the Stone Age, which can be inconvenient. But it's much cheaper than paying for that extra data you're burning up. If you're conservative with your monthly data and have the 6GB plan or above, that can translate into up to 20GB of rollover for domestic use for an entire year with Data Stash. Needless to say, T-Mobile has the most attractive single plan of any of the major networks, if you get coverage in your area.
Choosing the right T-Mobile plan for you:
Although we did most of the work for you, choosing your plan is all about your needs. Since T-Mobile includes unlimited data of some capacity with every plan, your personal plan will depend on how much 4G LTE you expect to use per month. And since streaming music and binging Orange is the New Black won't affect your data (if you opt for the Binge-On option,) you can probably get away with much less data than the other networks.
Let's take a look at who might be best suited for each of T-Mobile's Simple Choice Plans.
T-Mobile plan: 2GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $50 per month
This tier isn't the best value that T-Mobile has to offer, since both its coveted Binge On and Data Stash perks aren't included here. This plan is perfect for the customer with low data needs and who has virtually no interest in streaming video to her/his phone. However, with Music Freedom and unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data domestically and in Canada and Mexico, this is still a plan worth looking at.
- View this plan: at T-Mobile.com
T-Mobile plan: 6GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $65 per month
T-Mobile's 6GB option seems to be the best value the network has to offer. Under normal usage circumstances, 6GB is plenty per month, but when you factor in all of the additional perks (which includes Binge On,) those 6GB become even more plentiful. If you love to stream movies to your phone and use a hefty level of data elsewhere, this is the perfect plan for you.
- View this plan: at T-Mobile.com
T-Mobile plan: 10GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $80 per month
For one user, 10GB is a bit excessive once you eliminate data usage from movie and music streaming. However, if you're a data-holic and are sure you'll burn past 6GB each month, those extra $15 may well be worth sparing yourself of using your phone on T-Mobile's throttled Edge network.
- View this plan: at T-Mobile.com
T-Mobile One plan: Unlimited data | Unlimited calls and texts | $70 per month
T-Mobile is sticking with an unlimited data when other networks have axed them in the US, but it comes with some restrictions. Specifically, HD video streaming won't actually be seen in HD, tethering is throttled and so is all of your mobile data after 26GB is used up
T-Mobile One Plus plan: 2x the data speeds abroad | +$15 per month
Frequent international travelers will want to pay the extra $15 a month for T-Mobile One Plus, which doubles data speeds abroad. It also includes Gogo Full Flight Unlimited Wi-Fi (on your smartphone and on US-based airlines only), Voicemail to Text, Name ID and Unlimited HD day passes for video streaming.
T-Mobile One Plus International plan: Calls to landlines and mobile abroad | +$25 per month
$10 more gets you everything in the T-Mobile One Plus plan, and adds in unlimited international calling to landlines (in 70+ countries) and mobile numbers (in 30+ countries). There's also the perk of using your device as an unlimited 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. It comes out to $95 for a single line, but this is T-Mobile's top package, and many other carrier start at this price.
- View these plans: at T-Mobile.com
T-Mobile: Prepaid plans
If the conventional two-year plan isn't your style, T-Mobile has some impressive prepaid options. For the single monthly options, the benefits are largely the same as the Simple Choice Plan, including unlimited text and talk, as well as Music Freedom. Unfortunately, Binge On and international usage aren't bundled the way they are in the main plan. Let's break down the prepaid monthly options.
An even more flexible option are T-Mobile's Pay As You Go plans, which allow you to pay only for the talk, text and data you know you'll use. Here's a list of Pay As You Go pricing options.
- Talk/Text: $3/month - Any combination of 30 minutes of talk or 30 texts
- Data: $5/day - 500MB of 4G LTE
- Data: $10/week - 1GB of 4G LTE
It's important to keep in mind that the latest and greatest phones will likely not be available under prepaid options.
No more contracts, bigger down payment
T-Mobile has prided itself on being the "Un-Carrier" and leading the fight against annual service contracts. While there's plenty of upside to ditching the termination fee-ridden contracts of the past, it has invited on a few unwelcome drawbacks. Unless you have pristine credit and have never fallen behind on any debts, there's a good chance you will wind up paying a hefty down payment. Sometimes that is as much as half the phone's cost, and when the phone costs are upwards of $800, that's enough to make anyone sweat.
The upside to this is that a whopper of a down payment will dramatically lower your monthly installments, though this can feel like little consolation after dropping hundreds of dollars in the store. If you're a little worried about how your credit will affect your payment, T-Mobile offers a ton of great phones through its Simple Choice Plan with No Credit Check.
Inversely, if you have a strong credit score, that brand new phone may be yours for absolutely nothing up front. Of course, you can always opt to put a down payment on your phone if you'd rather lower that monthly bill.
T-Mobile Plans: Choose your phone
Keep in mind that a great plan is only half of the equation -- you need a great phone to go with it. All of T-Mobile's phones are available with the Simple Choice Plan, including the top of the line iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Check out our ranking of the best phones on T-Mobile.
T-Mobile Family Plans: