Carriers big and small now include extras and perks with their unlimited cell phone plans. At first glance, these extra perks may seem like a huge money-saver, but they can actually add quite a bit of value to your unlimited plan.
Considering the high price tag on some of these plans, how much money are you really saving? Every carrier offers different entertainment perks, as well as other enviable features. Which plan offers the best extras for the best value? Read on to learn more.
In this article:
- Best Cell Phone Plans for Perks
- How Much Are You Really Saving?
- How Good Are These Perks?
- Should You Choose a Plan with Entertainment Perks?
Best Cell Phone Plans for Perks
If you’re like most people, you probably love binge-watching tv shows and all the latest movies and on services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. As such, you’ll be interested to know which of these you could get for free with your unlimited cell phone plan.
The following carriers include these entertainment features with at least one of their unlimited plans:
- AT&T: HBO Max
- T-Mobile: Netflix, Quibi
- Verizon: Disney+, Apple Music, Hulu, ESPN+
- Metro by T-Mobile: Amazon Prime
In order to qualify for these free perks, you simply have to be on an eligible cell phone plan.
Carriers Offering Free Entertainment Perks
|Unlimited Elite||AT&T||$85/mo||HBO Max||$180/year|
|Magenta||T-Mobile||$70/mo||Netflix (one screen) or Quibi||$107.88/year|
|Magenta Plus||T-Mobile||$85/mo||Netflix (two screens) or Quibi||$155.88/year|
|Start Unlimited||Verizon||$70/mo||Disney+ (6 months), Apple Music (6 months)||$101.88/year|
|Play More Unlimited||Verizon||$80/mo||Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, Apple Music (6 months)||$273.69/year|
|Do More Unlimited||Verizon||$80/mo||Disney+ (6 months), Apple Music (6 months)||$101.88/year|
|Get More Unlimited||Verizon||$90/mo||Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, Apple Music||$333.63/year|
|$60 Unlimited Plan||Metro by T-Mobile||$60/mo||Amazon Prime||$119/year|
Let’s Talk Editor’s Pick: Verizon Play More Unlimited
We love Verizon’s $80 flagship unlimited plan, Play More Unlimited, which includes Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and 6 months of Apple Music. Those four entertainment services cost nearly $29/month, so you’re really only paying $51/month for Verizon’s Play More Unlimited plan—plus, you get access to Verizon’s robust 4G LTE network, which ranks number one in the nation. Furthermore, you also get HD streaming and a 50GB data deprioritization threshold with this plan so you can get the most out of your Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ videos.
Taking advantage of your plan’s perks can save you anywhere from $72/year to $431/year, depending on the carrier and plan
How Much Are You Really Saving?
Below are the prices for each streaming service:
- Hulu (ads): $5.99/month
- Amazon Prime: $12.99/month
- HBO: $14.99/month
- Netflix (one screen): $8.99/month
- Netflix (two screens): $12.99/month
- Quibi (ads): $4.99/month
- Disney+: $6.99/month
- Apple Music: $9.99/month
- ESPN+: $5.99/month
The monthly cost of entertainment services can really add up. Taking advantage of your plan’s perks can save you anywhere from $72/year to $431/year, depending on the carrier and plan.
Monthly Entertainment Savings
|Unlimited Elite||AT&T||HBO Max||$14.99|
|Magenta||T-Mobile||Netflix (one screen)||$8.99|
|Magenta Plus||T-Mobile||Netflix (two screens)||$12.99|
|Start Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (6 months), Apple Music (6 months)||$16.98|
|Play More Unlimited||Verizon||Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, Apple Music (6 months)||$28.96|
|Do More Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (6 months), Apple Music (6 months)||$16.98|
|Get More Unlimited||Verizon||Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, Apple Music||$28.96|
|$60 Unlimited Plan||Metro by T-Mobile||Amazon Prime||$12.99|
As you can see, if you take the value of these entertainment perks into consideration, the price of your unlimited plan may drop considerably.
How Good Are These Perks?
Whether the perks make the cost of the plan worth it depends on whether you’re taking full advantage of them. If Netflix is your preferred streaming service, then it doesn’t make much sense to choose a plan that offers Hulu or Amazon Prime. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to commit to the AT&T Unlimited Elite plan if the shows and movies on HBO Max aren’t your cup of tea. But if you’re regularly using the streaming service or services that come with your plan, then it’s most likely worth it.
At the end of the day, the plan that’s best for you includes a combination of features that you’re looking for, such as:
- Coverage in your area
- Travel/international benefits
- Data deprioritization threshold (premium data allowance)
- Entertainment perks
For instance, T-Mobile’s $70 Magenta Plan includes Netflix, which costs $8.99/month. This is a great value considering you also get access to T-Mobile’s powerful 4G LTE network and expanding 5G network, unlimited talk, text, and data, plus unlimited international texting and global data. Verizon’s Play More and Get More Unlimited plans are excellent choices if you want feature-packed plans, incredible coverage, international perks, and the opportunity to mix and match family plans.
If you’re regularly using the streaming service or services that come with your plan, then it’s most likely worth the money
Although there are great reasons to go with an AT&T unlimited plan—including its great network coverage—they may not be the top choice when it comes to entertainment perks. Only the most expensive plan—the $85 Unlimited Elite plan—includes an entertainment perk, an HBO Max subscription. Every other carrier mentioned has more streaming options and access to these entertainment perks on a broader range of unlimited plans. If you get excellent AT&T coverage where you live and want to save money while still benefitting from AT&T’s robust network, you might want to look into an AT&T MVNO. Straight Talk offers an unlimited plan for just $44/month. This plan doesn’t come with any entertainment or travel perks, but at a low price of $44/month, you could sign up for Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu, and still only spend $61.97/month.
Should You Choose a Plan with Entertainment Perks?
Despite how attractive these streaming perks may seem, it’s probably not ideal to choose a phone plan based on entertainment features alone. You could wind up choosing a carrier that doesn’t have reliable coverage in your area, or you may end up paying more than your budget allows. Think of these entertainment perks as the icing on the cake after you’ve combined many different factors in a mixing bowl and baked that cake.
Some factors to consider when choosing a cell phone plan include:
- Plan price
- Full-speed data
- International calling
- Travel benefits
Use these factors to help guide your search, by first setting your financial boundaries and then ranking the importance of each feature. Once you do that, you’ll have a clearer picture as to what carriers and plans you should consider.