Which Company Has the Best iPhone Family Plan?

With unlimited talk, text, and data, the plans' features are what count

Figuring out which phone company offers the best family plan for iPhone users is confusing. There are so many options, so many scenarios and special deals and contingencies that it can be difficult for a family to figure out which phone company charges them the least while giving them the most. 

While rate plans for individuals, families, and businesses used to be based on the number of calling minutes allotted, companies eventually changed to make the amount of data shared between devices on a family plan the major cost with unlimited calling and texting included for all plans. Now, they have changed again, and each of the big four cellular providers offers a least one unlimited talk, text, and data plan.

The number of phones you have in the plan affects the cost, too. 

In most cases, new iPhones have a one-time activation fee and require a two-year contract unless you buy an unsubsidized phone for full retail price.

The prices and features for the plans shown here were accurate for a four-member family as of mid-2018, but given how often phone companies change their offerings and have special deals, you should check out their websites before making a decision. If your family is larger than four members, contact the company for updated rates.

Most of the plans include taxes and fees and offer a military discount. In most cases, if you use more than a specified amount of data in a month, your data service may slow down.

AT&T Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice Plan

AT&T's Unlimited Plus Enhanced Plan costs $190 per month for four lines. It also offers the Unlimited Choice Enhanced Plan for $160 per month for four lines. Each of the plans offers unlimited talk, text, and data. The Unlimited Plus plan streams video in HD and includes a 15GB per line hotspot, while the Unlimited Choice plan streams in SD and does not include hotspot capability.

Both services include HBO and unlimited roaming in Mexico and Canada.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom Plan

Sprint offers one family plan to its customers—the Sprint Unlimited Freedom Plan. For new customers, four lines cost $100 until June 30, 2019. Existing customers pay regular rates, but you'll need to call Sprint to find out what those regular rates are. The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data (with some restrictions), which includes unlimited streaming video up to 1080p, unlimited video in high definition, unlimited data for gaming up to 8Mbps, unlimited data for streaming music up to 1.5 Mbps.

Sprint's plan includes one Hulu limited commercials plan per account and 10GB per line per month mobile hotspot. 

Note: if you use 23GB in a month, your service can be slowed down if you are in a congested area. This may not occur at all if you aren't in a congested area.

Verizon Go Unlimited and Beyond Unlimited Plans

Verizon has two unlimited data plans for four-member families: the Go Unlimited Plan and the Beyond Unlimited Plan for $160 and $200 per month, respectively. Both plans include unlimited talk, text, and data. The Go Unlimited plan offers DVD-quality streaming, while the Beyond Unlimited plan has HD-quality streaming. Both are subject to data slowdowns, but the Beyond Unlimited plan has no slowdowns until after the plan uses 22GB of data in the month. Each plan includes an unlimited mobile hotspot, although the Go Unlimited hotspot is slower than the one in the Beyond Unlimited plan.

T-Mobile ONE Plan

T-Mobile charges $160 for a four-line T-Mobile ONE plan. In addition to unlimited talk, text, and data, the plan includes Netflix, texting, and data in 140+ countries and destinations, a mobile hotspot. You also receive unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data in Mexico and Canada, in-flight texting and one hour of data on Gogo-enabled flights, and streaming video at DVD quality (480p).

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