Verizon's new plans up your data cap - and your bill

A little more money, a lot fewer overage fees

Verizon is updating its phone plans to keep up with data-munchers, increasing the amount of data included with its offers.

Great news, right? Not so fast - the new plans also mean larger bills.

Launched alongside a revamped My Verizon app, Verizon's new plan structure offers about 30% or more extra data across all five of its "sizes" - for a slight uptick in price, of course.

For example, the lower-end "Small" package boosts its cap from 1GB to 2GB while increasing payments from $30 a month to $35, doubling the data for about 17% more in cost.

Verizon's biggest plan, the XXL, goes from 18GB for $100 a month to 24GB for $110 a month, giving high-volume users six more gigs (about 33% more data) to suck down for only a tenth more in payments.

Higher data caps couldn't come sooner for Verizon, with the company reporting that its average smartphone customer has nearly tripled their data consumption in the last three years - from about 1GB a month in 2013 to 2.7GB a month in 2016.

Mo' data, mo' features

But raised data ceilings aren't the only changes coming with Verizon's new plans. The carrier also detailed its extra features (or fees, depending on your usage habits) designed to address potential overages and provide flexibility with used (or unused) data.

Image Credit Verizon

Carryover Data, similar to AT&T and T-Mobile's rollover plans, allow Verizon customers to store up unused data from one month to the next.

Those leftover gigs expire at the end of the next monthly billing cycle, meaning that while last month's remaining data won't go to waste, don't expect to have a massive stockpile waiting for you at the end of the year.

For those who are more likely to expend data than have an excess of it, Verizon's Safety Mode feature pumps the brakes when you go over your cap, drip-feeding you on a 128 Kbps connection that will get you to the next month while keeping your overage fees low.

Safety Mode is included automatically with Verizon's XL and XXL plans, as well as unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada, but either feature can be added for $5 extra a month each for Small, Medium and Large plans.

Want to go over your cap, but keep 4G LTE speeds? Verizon also offers a last-ditch feature called Data Boost, which adds extra data to your plan for $15 a gigabyte, and can be purchased directly through the My Verizon app.

While Verizon's new plans increase costs across the board, having significantly more data to play with - as well as ways to curb going overboard - may be enough to keep customers watching YouTube on the train rather than grabbing their pitchforks.