Best AT&T unlimited family plans 2020

Best AT&T unlimited family plans 2020



When it comes to getting up and running with a new phone — you need to make two decisions. The first is which wireless carrier you want for your service provider, and the second is to decide which plan will work best for your needs. Many users want to go with an unlimited plan, however, wireless carriers often have more than one unlimited option. 

The basics such as unlimited talk, text, and data are often included. But you’ll notice differences in the extra perks such as mobile hotspot, international usage, and with some carriers — when the soft-data-cap goes into effect.

The days of long-term commitments with your wireless carrier are gone, which makes it easier to switch if things aren’t working out the way you expected, but there is still quite a bit to consider when choosing a wireless carrier and service plan. We’ve been focusing on carriers here on the Swappa Blog, and most recently we’re taking a look at the best unlimited family plan options from the big four carriers, and up today is AT&T.

Is an AT&T unlimited family plan really unlimited?

AT&T does offer unlimited data plans, but as with many other wireless carriers — the unlimited term comes with an asterisk. In the case of AT&T, you will not have to worry about running out of data, and you will not have to worry about paying any overage fees. However, AT&T does make use of soft-caps. Essentially, this means your data speeds may be slowed once you reach a certain level of data in a billing cycle.

AT&T has three unlimited plans, the Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and the Unlimited Elite — and all three options have different levels for the soft-cap. The soft-cap can kick in at 50 GB with the Unlimited Extra plan and at 100 GB with the Unlimited Elite plan. The Unlimited Starter plan soft-cap may kick in at any level. 

  • AT&T Unlimited Starter: AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.
  • AT&T Unlimited Extra: AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy once you cross 50 GB.
  • AT&T Unlimited Elite:  AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy once you cross 100 GB.

It is important to note that your speeds will not be immediately slowed (deprioritized) when you hit the 50 GB or 100 GB levels, or at all times on the Starter plan. The soft-cap simply means that AT&T “may temporarily slow” your data speeds when the network is busy and congested. 

How much is an AT&T unlimited family plan?

AT&T offers three unlimited plans, and they are each available from users with a single line to users with multiple lines. The ‘family’ aspect comes in when you add multiple lines on your account. And, as one would expect — you will see discounts once you begin adding extra lines on your account. The discounts vary based on the plan you choose, and the number of lines on your account.

AT&T Unlimited Starter

  • 2 Lines: $120 per month ($60 per month per line)
  • 3 Lines: $135 per month ($45 per month per line)
  • 4 Lines:  $140 per month ($35 per month per line)

*Plus taxes and fees. Prices shown include an Auto-Pay/Paperless Billing discount of $10 per line, per month.

AT&T Unlimited Extra

  • 2 Lines: $130 per month ($65 per month per line)
  • 3 Lines: $150 per month ($50 per month per line)
  • 4 Lines:  $160 per month ($40 per month per line)

*Plus taxes and fees. Prices shown include an Auto-Pay/Paperless Billing discount of $10 per line, per month.

AT&T Unlimited Elite

  • 2 Lines: $150 per month ($75 per month per line)
  • 3 Lines: $180 per month ($60 per month per line)
  • 4 Lines:  $200 per month ($50 per month per line)

*Plus taxes and fees. Prices shown include an Auto-Pay/Paperless Billing discount of $10 per line, per month.

AT&T unlimited family plan features

AT&T Unlimited Starter AT&T Unlimited Extra AT&T Unlimited Elite
Unlimited Talk & Text Yes Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Yes (Data speeds may be slowed during congestion.) Yes (Data speeds may be slowed after 50 GB during congestion.) Yes (Data speeds may be slowed after 100 GB during congestion.)
5G Data Access No Yes Yes
Mobile Hotspot No Yes Yes
Video Streaming SD streaming SD streaming HD streaming
International Texting Unlimited from the US to 120+ countries Unlimited from the US to 120+ countries Unlimited from the US to 120+ countries
Unlimited Talk, Text & Data in Mexico & Canada Yes (Data speeds may be slowed during congestion.) Yes (Data speeds may be slowed after 50 GB during congestion.) Yes (Data speeds may be slowed after 50 GB during congestion.)
Automatic Fraud Blocking & Spam Risk Alerts Yes Yes Yes
HBO No No Yes

AT&T ON SWAPPA

 

AT&T unlimited family plan discounts

Users can expect a few different options for discounts from AT&T. There is a discount for using auto-pay and paperless billing, which is available for all users. You will also find several other options for getting a discount, however, the remaining discounts, such as military or first responder, will require the user to qualify.

Auto-Pay & Paperless Billing

This discount is available for all users provided they set up their account with auto-pay and paperless billing. Similar to how other carriers handle the auto-pay discount, AT&T lists all prices on the website with this discount applied. In the case of AT&T, this discount is $10 per month per line. Diving into the fine print for this discount and it appears this may not always be applied immediately. AT&T states this discount will start within two billing cycles.

Military, Veteran, First Responder

AT&T offers a 25% discount for military, veterans and first responders. AT&T also notes this discount will begin within three billing cycles, and they do offer a one-time catch-up credit that goes from when you initially qualified to when the discount first showed on your monthly bill. The military, veteran or first responder will need to have an AT&T unlimited plan and be the primary account holder. 

In order to qualify you will need to meet one of the following: 

Military:

  • Active military service personnel 
  • Qualified Military/Veterans 
  • Qualified spouses of active duty or deceased Military service personnel with a valid Department of Defense sponsorship card.

First Responder:

  • Employees and volunteers of Primary first responder entities – including the public sector and private
  • State and local primary first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS, Emergency Management Agencies, and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP).
  • Not eligible:
    • Other public safety is not included as an eligible first responder
    • Retired employees
    • Federal agencies
    • Customers on certain offers are not eligible

AT&T has said the following items can be used for proof of eligibility: Valid Military ID, a current pay stub, Department of Defense Form DD214 (indicating an honorable discharge), a valid retired Military ID, and a current AMVETS membership card (a veteran designated driver’s license). A Veteran Health Insurance card is also acceptable.

Signature Program

Along with the discount for military, veteran and first responders, AT&T also offers the Signature Program. This is available for corporations, government, unions and associations, and colleges and universities. The savings in the Signature Program may vary depending on the organization and the agreement. The bottom line here, the AT&T Signature Program allows these groups to pass their savings over to their employees.

Looking to buy an AT&T phone?

If you’ve decided AT&T is the carrier for you — the next step is to make sure you have a compatible phone. You can always grab a new phone from AT&T, however, as we’ve seen — it can be expensive to buy a current-generation phone at full retail prices. But, you do have an option to save some money. You can potentially save hundreds when shopping for a newish phone on Swappa. If you are looking to go the newish route you’ll want to make sure you are shopping for an AT&T compatible phone, or compatible unlocked phone.

 

SHOP AT&T PHONE DEALS