Verizon Wireless announced today that it is updating its prepaid wireless plans effective February 20, 2018. Major changes include the addition of a new plan, an option to add Travel Pass for use in Canada and Mexico, a price reduction and the addition of mobile hotspot to the unlimited data plan.
New Plan Details
The new plan will be priced at $30/month and will include unlimited talk and text with 500 MB of 4G LTE data. Like Verizon's other prepaid plans with data limits, this plan will include carryover data for one month as long as the customer pays their bill on time. It will also include mobile hotspot and unlimited global texting to over 200 countries.
Verizon Wireless's postpaid plans have had a feature that Verizon calls Travel Pass. With Travel Pass, Verizon's postpaid customers can pay between $5 and $10 per day to use their phones while traveling abroad in over 130 countries. Verizon's prepaid plans will now have a watered down version of Travel Pass. For just $5/day, prepaid customers can have access to their talk, text and data while traveling in either Mexico or Canada. Subscribers are only charged the $5 on the days that they use the feature.
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Unlimited Plan Price Drop And Mobile Hotspot
Verizon's prepaid unlimited plan is getting a price drop. On February 20th, the price of the plan will drop down to $75/month. It currently sells for $80/month. The plan will also begin to include unlimited mobile hotspot.
Mobile hotspot speeds will be restricted to 3G, which Verizon says should max out at 600 Kbps.
Verizon's New Prepaid Plan Lineup
With the changes in place, Verizon's Prepaid plan lineup will look like this:
All plans include unlimited talk and text and global texting, so only data is shown below and any other differences that may exist between plans.
- $30/month - 500 MB of data plus full speed hotspot.
- $40/month - 3GB of data plus full speed hotspot.
- $50/month - 7GB of data plus full speed hotspot.
- $60/month - 10GB of data plus full speed hotspot.
- $75/month - unlimited data - during times of heavy network traffic, data speeds will be prioritized below that of other customers. Hotspot limited to 3G speeds.
For a limited time, those who port to Verizon prepaid from another carrier will receive a $50 bill credit. To get the credit customers must subscribe to a plan priced $50 or higher and make 2 monthly payments. The credit should be applied to the customer's bill in their third month of service.
Verizon's prepaid plans have long been priced uncompetitively compared to those of the competition. This is particularly true when you compare Verizon's prepaid plans to its competitor's prepaid brands which include providers such as Boost Mobile (Sprint), Cricket Wireless (AT&T) and MetroPCS (T-Mobile). Verizon doesn't even have its own prepaid brand. Current offers from any of the competing brands trounce anything seen here. To me, Cricket Wireless's latest two promotions which include a Samsung Galaxy S8 for $350 and an unlimited data plan for $40, albeit with slower speeds, seem like a much better value.
If you feel a more direct comparison would be to compare Verizon prepaid directly with Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T prepaid, Verizon will mostly lose on value as well.
AT&T offers its prepaid subscribers unlimited talk, text and data with the first 1GB at 4G LTE data speeds for $30/month. That's twice the data compared to Verizon's new plan. An unlimited data plan, albeit with slower speeds can be had for just $60/month.
Sprint also offers an unlimited prepaid data plan for $60/month and an unlimited everything plan with the first 4GB of data at 4G LTE speeds for $40/month. Both plans are a better value compared to their Verizon counterparts as long as you have good Sprint coverage in your area.
T-Mobile's prepaid plans start at $45/month for a plan that includes 4GB of data. However customers can get a 10GB plan for just $50 and an unlimited data plan for $75/month which is in line with Verizon's new pricing. T-Mobile does not directly offer a cheaper prepaid plan for those that need less data, however, that is what its prepaid brand MetroPCS is for.
So what do you think of Verizon's new prepaid plan lineup? You don't have to take my word for it. You can use the cell phone plan comparison tool to help draw your own conclusions.