The best AT&T plans for May 2024

If you're thinking about upgrading your cell phone plan, AT&T is definitely worth at least considering. The best AT&T plans offer a healthy amount of data, flexible pricing, and great perks - depending on which tier you go for. There are, however, quite a few AT&T plans featured on the carrier's site right now so we've put together this handy guide to help our readers figure out which is best for them.

Best AT&T plans: quick links

As an overview, AT&T's phone plans generally revolve around postpaid and prepaid options. The former is the type of plan the carrier is generally known for, with feature-laden unlimited plans that can range anywhere from $35 to $85 per month, depending on your number lines. These pricey options are contrasted with AT&T's prepaid plans, which generally run a lot cheaper (as low as $25 per month) without the need for a pesky contract. The downside, as you'd imagine, is that these plans are more basic in regard to perks, mobile hotspot, and data allowances.

At the top of the page, we've summarized what we think are the best AT&T plans currently available for most users - based on the prices and features included in the plans. We do, however, have a full run down of each plan just further down the page which includes full pricing information and our thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each plan tier.

For those interested in AT&T plans today, we'd also highly recommend checking out our companion pages on this week's best AT&T phones and best AT&T deals. The latter in particular is going to be extremely handy if you're looking to save some cash at this carrier - just note that the best promotions at AT&T generally always need unlimited data plans.

Recent updates

Added AT&T's latest prepaid plans (including the excellent 12-month option).

The best AT&T plans

AT&T plans: which is best for me?

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AT&T's plans can be broken up into two main categories: unlimited data plans, and prepaid data plans. Generally speaking, you'll get the most perks, highest speeds, and best service on the unlimited data plans, which, while featuring the highest monthly prices, do also enable you to get some huge discounts on handsets. The best AT&T deals are generally only available with unlimited data plans, so you'll definitely want to factor that into your overall cell phone bill.

If you're on a budget, however, then AT&T prepaid plans are also a very good option. While you won't be able to get a deal on a new handset with these prepaid plans, you will be paying less per month without having to sign a lengthy 36-month contract. Remember though, AT&T prepaid plans often don't feature as much high-speed data as the "postpaid" premium plans and are subject to deprioritized speeds when the local area is busy. 

Just below you can see a full breakdown of every AT&T plan currently offered by the carrier, along with our thoughts. We've included full pricing using the cost for a single-line user, so if you're planning to sign up multiple lines, the cost will generally be much cheaper per line.

AT&T unlimited plans

AT&T's unlimited data plans are the flagship product from the carrier. They're generally pretty pricey but offer all that high-speed data you could ever need per month. They also pair unlimited talk and text with the data, but there are some key differences with each one such as how much priority data you get and things like free streaming service subscriptions - which we'll deep dive into just below.

1. AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan | $65 to $35 per month

1. AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan | $65 to $35 per month
AT&T's unlimited data plans start with the basic Unlimited Starter plan. While you'll get unlimited 5G data, plus talk and text here, there are a few key limitations that make this the 'budget' plan. Firstly, there's no priority data on this plan, which means you'll be subject to speed slow-downs if the local area is experiencing particularly heavy traffic. You'll also only be capped to standard-definition video content (480P), and there's a rather small mobile hotspot allowance of just 3GB per month. Subsequently, this is a very stripped-down plan, but still a good choice if you want unlimited data on a budget.

See this AT&T unlimited plan here.

Our top pick

2. AT&T Unlimited Extra Plan | $75 to $40 per month
This plan upgrades from the Unlimited Starter plan. It has all the same features, but upgrades the high-speed data allotment to 50GB before you'll experience data deprioritization during network congestion. It also includes 15GB of mobile hotspot. This is the AT&T plan that offers the best balance between price and priority data for those who don't want to pay extra for a ton of perks. Subsequently, we'd recommend this one to most people if you're looking to go for an unlimited postpaid data plan.

See this AT&T unlimited plan here


3. AT&T Unlimited Premium| $85 to $50 per month
At the top of the AT&T unlimited data plan pile is the Unlimited Premium plan, which is the newest option in the lineup (replacing the old 'Unlimited Elite' plan). This plan has completely uncapped priority data and 4K UHD streaming, which is going to make it the plan of choice for those looking to stream in the highest possible quality wherever they go. While the plan no longer includes a free HBO Max subscription (boo), it does feature an extremely generous 50GB of mobile hotspot data also. 

See this AT&T unlimited plan here

Other AT&T postpaid plans


1. AT&T Value Plus plan| $50 per month
The AT&T Value Plus plan offers a stripped-down option for single-line users specifically, with a reasonably priced unlimited data post-paid plan fixed at $50 per month. This one isn't bad for the money but this plan tier is subject to deprioritized speeds when the local area is busy. Note, you'll also miss out on hotspot data allowance and any of the included streaming service perks of the pricier plans. Content streaming is also capped out at standard definition (480p). 

See this AT&T unlimited plan here


2. AT&T 4GB plan| $50 to $40 to per month
The 4GB plan is listed alongside the Value Plus plan as one of the more cost-effective postpaid options. Generally speaking, it's aimed users who want 3 to 4 lines at a reasonable price, since the cost is fixed at $40 per line at this level. If we're honest, we don't think this is the best value option out there right now since you're paying a premium for a comparatively tiny amount of data. The prepaid options below are much more cost-effective and also come with the added benefit of not needing to sign a lengthy contract. 

See this AT&T plan here

AT&T prepaid plans

AT&T's prepaid plans are the more budget-orientated offerings from AT&T. With these AT&T plans you won't be signed up to a lengthy service contract, instead you simply pay for each month at a time.

1. AT&T Unlimited prepaid 12-month plan | $300 upfront ($25/mo)
Best value

1. AT&T Unlimited prepaid 12-month plan | $300 upfront ($25/mo)

AT&T's recently switched up its prepaid plan lineup to include this superb annual plan - which offers unlimited data, talk, and text, for just $25 per month. As you've probably already guessed, the catch with this one is that you need to pay $300 upfront for a whole year, which is quite a bit. Also, according to the T&C your 5G data speeds will be capped down to 1.5Mpbs after 12GB of usage, which is much more restrictive than the usual post-paid offering and the 10GB mobile hotspot allowance isn't huge either. Still, this is the best value AT&T prepaid plan right now and a great option if you don't mind paying upfront for a year.

See AT&T's prepaid plans here.

2. AT&T Unlimited prepaid monthly plan | $40 per month 

2. AT&T Unlimited prepaid monthly plan | $40 per month 

Just want a decently priced unlimited plan and not too bothered about the speeds? The standard pay-monthly AT&T prepaid unlimited plan could be a good option for you. This is a 4G plan so its data speeds are capped out at 3Mpbs for the first 30GB and up to 1.5Mpbs thereafter, but all your data is completely unlimited here so you'll never run out. Other bonuses to this plan include unlimited roaming to Mexico and Canada. Since no mobile hotspot is allowed here and the pay-yearly plan is much cheaper overall, we'd recommend the above option if you're willing to shell out $300 upfront.

See AT&T's prepaid plans here.

3. AT&T Unlimited + 5GB hotspot prepaid monthly plan | $50 per month 

3. AT&T Unlimited + 5GB hotspot prepaid monthly plan | $50 per month 

In addition to the basic pay-monthly prepaid unlimited plan outlined above, AT&T also offers a more premium 5G version with 5GB mobile hotspot. At $50 per month, this one is creeping into post-paid price territory but you don't need to pay upfront for a full year with this one. You'll also get unlimited data on the AT&T 5G network as well as free roaming to Mexico and Canada. Overall, this one is a pretty good deal versus the basic $40/mo unlimited plan but it is subject to deprioritized speeds if the local area is particularly busy. 

See AT&T's prepaid plans here.


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 Google search), 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.

Does AT&T offer installment plans?

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 up to 30 months. The Next Up plan also offers a chance to trade in your phone and upgrade before you've finished paying off the device. Here's how those plans works.

AT&T Installment Plan:

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. 

AT&T Next Up:

If you can afford slightly higher monthly payments and want to have a new phone more often, the AT&T Next Up installment plan costs $5 extra each month but lets you upgrade to a new phone after you've paid off half of the cost of your current phone. Once you've paid half, you can trade in your device and switch to a new one.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.

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