T-Mobile vs Verizon 2021 | Cell Phone Plans

Popular Cell Phone Plans

With more than 200 million customers between the two of them, T-Mobile and Verizon have a long history in the wireless space. As industry leaders, the two provide many of the same services. T-Mobile has two plans ranked second and tied for sixth place in our Best Cell Phone Plans of 2021 ratings, compared to Verizon, whose Shared Data 5 GB plan places third in our ratings. Here we will examine the differences between the company offerings to help you decide which cell phone plan best suits your needs.

T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans

Verizon Cell Phone Plans

  • Best for consumers who travel frequently

  • Best for consumers who want reliable 5G coverage

  • Best for consumers who want optional features

  • Best for consumers who want Hulu, Disney+, or Apple Music

  • Not recommended for consumers who don’t need lots of extras

  • Not recommended for consumers who don’t need a ton of data

  • Not recommended for consumers who are on a budget

  • Not recommended for consumers who travel frequently

T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans

  • Best for consumers who travel frequently

  • Best for consumers who want reliable 5G coverage

  • Not recommended for consumers who don’t need lots of extras

  • Not recommended for consumers who don’t need a ton of data


Verizon Cell Phone Plans

  • Best for consumers who want optional features

  • Best for consumers who want Hulu, Disney+, or Apple Music

  • Not recommended for consumers who are on a budget

  • Not recommended for consumers who travel frequently

T-Mobile designs its plans to suit a variety of users, which is easily seen in its optional add-on services and its international features; Magenta customers can use their existing plans overseas at no extra cost. Pricing for T-Mobile’s Magenta plans include taxes and fees, making it easy for you to compare. Verizon offers plans targeted at specific needs and tends to be more expensive than T-Mobile, even with the discounts you get for adding additional lines. Verizon includes easy access to high-definition (HD) streaming and multiple streaming services. By contrast, T-Mobile includes standard-definition (SD) streaming and one Netflix screen in its middle plan, and HD streaming, and three Netflix screens in its highest plan. Verizon may have the largest network nationwide, but T-Mobile provides more 5G coverage.

For $85 a month, T-Mobile’s Magenta Max plan gives you 50 GB of data monthly, the same as Verizon with its Get More Unlimited plan. Both plans also provide access to their respective company’s 4G LTE, 5G Nationwide, and 5G Ultra Wideband networks. However, T-mobile’s 5G network is currently the broadest in the U.S., covering around 40% of the country compared to Verizon’s 11%. While 5G is still being rolled out across the country, T-Mobile has an edge due to more coverage and faster speeds when comparing its 5G service to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband.

There aren’t many more similarities between the plans. For $5 less, T-Mobile’s Magenta Max gives you Netflix and a hotspot with a 20 GB monthly data allowance, in comparison to Verizon’s 30 GB alongside additional streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Apple Music, and 600 GB of cloud storage that can be accessed from any device through the Verizon Wireless cloud for $90 monthly. Overall, the $5 extra you pay for Verizon’s plan goes to the plethora of additional services. So if you’re even mildly interested in a new streaming service you should pick Verizon over T-Mobile if you can afford it. Keep in mind that prices shown here include a $10 discount per month for autopay and paper-free billing. If you decide to opt out of those services your cost will be $10 more per month, per line.

T-Mobile’s cheapest plan is the T-Mobile Connect 2 GB plan, a prepaid plan that costs $15 and includes 2 GB of data on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network. The plan includes unlimited talk time and text messaging. However, once you use the 2 GB of data, you’ll be unable to use any more data until the next payment cycle. It’s a bare-bones plan with few advantages aside from its low monthly price of $15 and a 2 GB data cap that increases by 500 Megabytes (MB) each year for four years. Verizon’s Basic Phone 500 MB plan includes unlimited talking and texting and costs twice as much but is postpaid, so you pay at the end of the billing cycle. That’s the opposite of T-Mobile’s prepaid plan and gives you even less data at just 500 MB a month. With its higher data limit, included hotspot, and lower price, T-Mobile Connect is a better value overall.

T-Mobile Magenta  »

T-Mobile Magenta

Best Nationwide Coverage for 5G

Monthly Cost
$70
Plan Type
Contract
Data
Unlimited

Some restrictions may apply.

T-Mobile, originally called VoiceStream Wireless, is owned by the German corporation, Deutsch Telekom AG. Over the years, it has become the third-largest wireless provider in the U.S. T-Mobile currently provides more than 100 million customers with wireless services.

Verizon Communications Inc is one of the companies created after the AT&T breakup back in the 1980s. Originally called Bell Atlantic, the company became Verizon when it merged with telephone company GTE. It continues to share many of its towers with its old parent company and current rival, AT&T.

T-Mobile’s convenient and straightforward services make it a compelling choice for many who are just looking for a cost-effective phone plan that works well. With T-Mobile, you won’t pay too many additional fees for international services or access to higher speeds, as these are included in its cell phone plans. T-Mobile also tends to be cheaper on average when you start adding lines, so it’s the better company for families and travelers. Verizon tends to be better for individuals because of the extra features you get alongside high-speed data, but it’s the more expensive of the two.

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Our 360 Methodology for Evaluating Cell Phone Plans

We explain what matters most to consumers, experts, and professional reviewers when it comes to cell phone plans. Then we provide an unbiased evaluation of cell phone plans available at the time of review. Our goal is to empower consumers with the information and tools they need to make informed decisions. Learn more about our 360 Reviews methodology for evaluating cell phone plans here.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.