All of the major carriers—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint—offer a military or veteran discount on at least one unlimited plan. Even better, most discounted military or veteran plans will allow you to add multiple lines, which means your whole family can benefit from a cheaper phone bill. A veteran or military discount plan will save you anywhere from 15% to 50% on your phone bill every month. In this article, we’ll compare popular military plans so you can find the best plan for you and your family.
In this guide:
- Who is Eligible for a Military Plan?
- Which Military Discount is the Best?
- Save Money with a Limited Data Plan
- Deployment Options
Who is Eligible for a Military Plan?
In order to benefit from a military discount on your phone plan, the primary account holder must be active-duty military or a retired veteran that can verify their status. Family members and anyone else on the same account as the military or retired veteran can benefit from the military discount plan as well.
In order to verify your military or veteran status, you’ll need to submit documentation to your carrier. Typically, most carriers will have you do this either online or in-store. Examples of documentation they may ask for include an active “.mil” email address (if you’re active duty), military ID, paystub, honorable discharge form, veterans designated driver’s license, and veteran ID card.
Which Military Discount is the Best?
This largely depends on what your priorities are—namely, price or features. For the best savings for one line, AT&T’s Unlimited Starter for Military plan is your cheapest option at $48.75/month. If you’re looking for a 4-line family plan, the T-Mobile Magenta for Military plan is the most affordable option at $100/month, or $25/month per line. However, if you’re looking for the best coverage in the U.S. and more entertainment perks, Verizon’s Play More Unlimited Plan for Military may be a better option, although one line will cost you $70/month, which is just $10/month in savings.
Check out the table below for some more pros and cons of the best military discount phone plans and continue reading on after that to learn more about these plans.
|AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military
|T-Mobile Magenta for Military
|Verizon Start Unlimited for Military
|Sprint Unlimited Military Plan
A veteran or military discount plan will save you anywhere from 15% to 50% on your phone bill every month.
AT&T Military Discounts
With savings of $16.25/month, the AT&T Unlimited Starter for Military is the cheapest option if you’re only looking for one line. The downside is that this $48.75/month plan doesn’t include any perks to make the plan worthwhile beyond having unlimited data (which may be slowed anytime during congestion). But, if you just need unlimited talk, text, and data for yourself, this is definitely the best deal you’ll get.
AT&T also offers its higher-priced Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans at a 25% discount for military and veterans. Unlimited Extra, their mid-price range plan at $56.25/month for one line, offers 15GB of hotspot per line, as well as 5G access. Unlimited Elite, albeit the most expensive option from AT&T, costing $63.75/month for one line, offers perks like 30GB of hotspot per line, high-definition video streaming, as well as an HBO subscription. Unlimited Elite for Military may be your best option if you’re looking for more perks but still want to stick with AT&T, as it includes a lot more perks than Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Starter, and you’ll still be saving $21.25/month by taking advantage of their military discount.
T-Mobile Military Discounts
If you’re looking to have your whole family on your military discounted plan, T-Mobile’s Magenta for Military plan is the cheapest option at $25/month per line, or $100/month total. That’s $40/month in savings compared to a regular Magenta plan. However, with Magenta, you miss out on some of the perks included on their higher priced Magenta Plus plan, which costs $35/month per line for a family plan, or $140/month total. These perks include more hotspot data, faster international data and texting speeds, high-definition video streaming, and a Netflix 2-screen Standard subscription. Although one thing to keep in mind is that you’ll only be able to take advantage of the Magenta Plus military discount if your account has two or more lines.
T-Mobile’s Magenta or Magenta Plus option is an affordable and good option for family plans, particularly if you or your family does a lot of traveling as both plans offer international data and texting in 210+ countries. You’ll also have reliable service as their coverage does cover most of the U.S., but some small pockets in rural areas may not be able to receive T-Mobile coverage.
Verizon Military Discounts
If you’re looking for perks and superior network coverage, including an Apple Music subscription and Disney+ subscription, any of Verizon’s unlimited plans might be a good option for you, although it may wind up costing you a bit more than military plans through competitors. Verizon’s Start Unlimited plan for Military is their cheapest unlimited data plan at $60/month for one line. If you’re looking for more perks, including high-definition video streaming and mobile hotspot, their $70 Play More Unlimited 1-line plan for Military may be a better option. Either way, you’ll only be saving $10/month with one line, or $20/month in total with 4-lines on Verizon’s military unlimited plans compared to their regularly priced unlimited plans.
Military personnel can also take advantage of a 15% discount on Verizon’s shared data plans, which may be a more affordable option if your family doesn’t use a lot of data, but you still want good network coverage. Verizon’s Small Plan, which includes only 2GB of data for each family member, would only cost $24.43/line per month, or $97.75/month in total for a 4-line family plan.
Sprint Military Discounts
The only Sprint plan that offers a military discount is the Unlimited Premium plan, but the discounted rate only applies if you have two or more lines. Their rates are pretty expensive at $37.50/line per month, or $150/month for a 4-line family plan, but you are saving $30/month compared to their regularly priced Unlimited Premium family plan. But, with that price point in mind, and the least amount of network coverage among major carriers, Sprint’s Unlimited Military plan might not be the best military plan option. Although, if you’re just looking for perks, Unlimited Premium does come with an Amazon Prime membership, Hulu, and Tidal subscription. If these perks appeal to you, Sprint’s Unlimited Military plan might be right for you.
Save Money with a Limited Data Plan
If you know you don’t use a lot of data or you’re looking to save more money, it may be cheaper to get a limited data plan instead of a military discount plan. Check out some cheap limited data plans starting at $25/month for one line.
If you are an active military member who is deployed or has received orders to deploy and you’re wondering what to do about your phone plan, read on to explore different options.
Early Carrier Unlock
If you’re still paying off your phone with your current carrier but you need to find a new plan while deployed, you can typically request an early unlock as long as you provide your deployment papers to them. If you’re interested in using the same carrier when you return from deployment, you can usually request a freeze on your current account so it will be easier to start up your phone plan again when you come back.
Local Prepaid SIM
While deployed in most countries, the easiest and cheapest option for phone service is to get a local prepaid SIM. Carriers vary depending on country, so consult with other military members while deployed or search for a prepaid SIM in the country you’re being deployed to in order to find the best phone service. Most airports and convenience stores also sell prepaid SIM cards, which may be the quickest way to get phone service upon arriving to your deployed destination.