The best AT&T plans for Christmas 2018

best ATT plans

Getting the best AT&T plan is a matter of priorities. If you know you want to use a lot of data at the highest speeds possible, you'll be looking at the AT&T's unlimited data plans. If you only need a little data or plan to share with family, AT&T's shared plans may be the right pick for you.

Once you've got the best AT&T phone, you'll want the right plan to go with it. And, we're here to help you make that pick with a breakdown of the plans AT&T offers along with all the key details to help you see the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Whether you want a prepaid or a postpaid plan, we've got the information on AT&T's plans to help you make your decision.

Check out all the AT&T plans available to you in our guide below.

AT&T Plans: Explained

AT&T's plans can be broken up into three main categories: unlimited data plans, shared data plans, and prepaid data plans.

Unlimited data plans:

AT&T's unlimited data plans offer all the data you could need. They also pair unlimited talk and text with the data, and they come with a number of other features and limitations we'll get into further down.

Shared data plans:

The shared data plans are AT&T's Mobile Share Plus plans. These offer a set amount of high-speed data for the plan, which can be shared between multiple users on the same account.

For both Mobile Share Plus plans and AT&T's unlimited data plans, the cost per line is reduced the more lines you add, which is a cost-saving incentive for families to sign up together. 

Prepaid plans:

AT&T's prepaid plans are not very different, offering many of the same features as the postpaid plans but with a notably different payment process.

We'll get into all the fine details as we break down each of AT&T's plans below.

att plans

How much data do you really need?

While 1GB of a data might be enough for someone who mostly uses their phone for calling and texting (and the occasional search on Yelp), it may not be enough for most of us data hogs. If you stream a lot of video you may be looking at 10GB plans and up. For a lot of Internet browsing and Instagram use, somewhere in the ballpark of 5GB may be enough. Thankfully, even if you use up all of your high speed data, AT&T continues to provide data at lower speeds, so you can still upload your Instagram photos.

AT&T Next: Device installment and upgrade plan

If the upfront cost of a new phone along with starting a new data plan is too much, AT&T offers an installment plan service to spread the cost of the device over 24 to 30 months. The Next and Next Every Year plans also offer a change to trade-in your phone and upgrade before you've finished paying off the device. Here's how each plan works.

AT&T Next:

AT&T Next lets you break up your device payments over 30 months. At the end of those 30 months (after the phone is paid off) your monthly payments will drop. Alternatively, after 24 months, you have the option of trading in your phone to upgrade to a new phone.

AT&T Next Every Year:

If you can afford slightly higher monthly payments and want to have a new phone every year, the AT&T Next Every Year installment plan spreads the cost of a device over 24 months but lets you upgrade to a new phone every year. After 12 payments, you can trade in your device and switch to a new one.

The best AT&T plans for you:

Now that you know about the types of plans and how to get a device on an installment plan, let's take a look at the plans themselves.

One thing to note here is that we're considering the plans as they're priced when using auto-pay and paperless billing, as these offer discounts to customers. We're also considering them for single lines, so if you're planning to sign up multiple lines, the cost will generally be even cheaper.

Let's take a look at each tier of AT&T's plans and see which one fits your needs the best.

AT&T shared data plans

ATT plans

1. AT&T Mobile Share Plus plan | 3GB data | $50 per month
For $50 per month, you can get 3GB of high-speed data that includes 480p streaming, mobile hotspot functionality, and unlimited talk and text. Unused data can also be rolled over to the next billing period. After you use up your data allotment, you're not completely cut off, as data speeds simply slow to 128Kbps.

 See this AT&T plan here.

ATT plans

2. AT&T Mobile Share Plus plan | 9GB | $60 per month
For $60 per month, you can get a plan that includes 9GB of data at 4G LTE speeds. The terms of this plan are the same as the 3GB plan, but you get more data. If you're signing up with multiple lines, this is likely a better allotment to share, and the price per line will go down.

See this AT&T plan here.

AT&T Unlimited plans

1. AT&T Unlimited Unlimited &More Plan | $70 per month
This plan is straightforward: unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data each month. It includes texting to 120 countries along with calls to Mexico and Canada, plus roaming in those two countries. The plan adds in access to over 30 live TV channels. This plan does limit streaming to 480p and doesn't allow mobile hotspot usage, though. Also, customers may experience reduced data speeds during periods of  network congestion.

See this AT&T unlimited plan here.

2. AT&T Unlimited &More Premium plan| $80 per month
For an extra $10 a month, you can get some decent upgrades to the standard unlimited data plan. AT&T's Unlimited &More Premium plan offers all the same features as the other plan but includes 15GB of mobile hotspot use at 4G LTE speeds, allows 1080p video streaming, and offers access to one of seven music, movie, or entertainment channels, like HBO, Starz, and Pandora. The plan also offers 22GB of high speed data before customers are subject to slowed speeds as a result of data deprioritization.

See this AT&T unlimited plan here.

ATT plans

AT&T prepaid plans

If none of the plans have seemed right for you so far, AT&T also offers a number of prepaid plans with a lot of the same perks as the aforementioned plans and reasonable prices. You can get 1GB for $30, 8GB for $40, unlimited data $55, a higher-tier unlimited plan for $75 – or even no data at all. No contract is required. The 8GB plan and unlimited plans also offer talk, text, and data access while in Canada and Mexico. 

See AT&T's prepaid plans here.