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. 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:
- Sprint: Hulu, TIDAL, Amazon Prime
- AT&T: HBO
- T-Mobile: Netflix
- Verizon: Disney+ for a year, Apple Music
- 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 Plus||Sprint||$70/mo||Hulu, TIDAL||$191.76/year|
|Unlimited Premium||Sprint||$80/mo||Hulu, TIDAL, Amazon Prime||$430.76/year|
|Magenta||T-Mobile||$70/mo||Netflix (one screen)||$107.88/year|
|Magenta Plus||T-Mobile||$85/mo||Netflix (two screens)||$155.88/year|
|Start Unlimited||Verizon||$70/mo||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music (six months)||$129.93/year|
|Play More Unlimited||Verizon||$80/mo||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music||$189.87/year|
|Do More Unlimited||Verizon||$80/mo||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music (six months)||$129.93/year|
|Get More Unlimited||Verizon||$90/mo||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music||$189.87/year|
|$60 Unlimited Plan||Metro by T-Mobile||$60/mo||Amazon Prime||$119/year|
Let’s Talk Editor’s Pick: Sprint Unlimited Premium
We love Sprint’s $80 flagship unlimited plan, Unlimited Premium, which includes Hulu, Amazon Prime, and TIDAL High-Fidelity subscriptions. Those three entertainment services cost just under $39/month, so you’re really only paying $41/month for Sprint’s premium phone plan. Furthermore, you also get full HD streaming with this plan so you can get the most out of your Amazon Prime and Hulu 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
- TIDAL: $9.99/month
- TIDAL High-Fidelity: $19.99/month
- Amazon Prime: $12.99/month
- HBO: $14.99/month
- Netflix (one screen): $8.99/month
- Netflix (two screens): $12.99/month
- Disney+: $6.99/month
- Apple Music: $9.99/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 Plus||Sprint||Hulu, TIDAL||$15.98|
|Unlimited Premium||Sprint||Hulu, TIDAL Hi-Fi, Amazon Prime||$38.97|
|Magenta||T-Mobile||Netflix (one screen)||$8.99|
|Magenta Plus||T-Mobile||Netflix (two screens)||$12.99|
|Start Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music (six months)||$16.98|
|Play More Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music||$16.98|
|Do More Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music (six months)||$16.98|
|Get More Unlimited||Verizon||Disney+ (one year), Apple Music||$16.98|
|$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 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, Sprint’s $60 Unlimited Basic includes Hulu, which only costs $5.99/month. This is a great value considering you also get unlimited talk, text, and data, plus unlimited international texting and basic data, and Mexico and Canada privileges. Sprint’s Unlimited Basic, Plus, and Premium are all excellent choices for those who want feature-packed plans, as long as you live somewhere where Sprint’s coverage is solid. Similarly, T-Mobile’s Magenta and Magenta Plus plans are definitely worth the money (taxes and fees are included) if you’re into Netflix and chilling. These plans also include Mexico and Canada roaming, unlimited international texting and data, in-flight WiFi, and dedicated hotspot allowances.
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 a Verizon Wireless plan—including its superior network coverage—they may not be the top choice when it comes to entertainment perks. The carrier’s Disney+ offer is only valid for customers who sign up by June 1, 2020, and the subscription only lasts for one year. Every other carrier does not put a time limit on the free streaming service or services they offer. Likewise, some of the more affordable Verizon plans include just a six-month Apple Music subscription. If you want to save money while still gaining access to Verizon’s robust LTE network, you might want to look into a Verizon MVNO, like Visible, which operates on Verizon’s network and offers an unlimited data plan for $40/month. This plan doesn’t come with any entertainment or travel perks, but at a low price of $40/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.