With the release of the iPhone 15 I spent last night reviewing the current carrier deals for a good deal. My wife and I have been thinking of making a switch, and the release of the new iPhone is usually a good time to take advantage of promotions.
Many Promotions Aren’t That Good
Nearly every carrier promotion requires you to finance your phone over 24 to 36 months, over which you will then receive your promotional value as a credit off your monthly phone payment. If you read the fine print you only will have your entire phone value covered by this credit if you get the smallest amount of storage. If you want to switch your carrier, you will lose the balance of your promotional value. Almost all these promotions require trade-in requiring an old phone, and many will reduce your credit for older or damaged phones.
Post-Paid Mobile Service is Expensive Unless You are Family
The first two lines on a mobile account are the most expensive. Almost no provider will give you a decent plan for less than $100 month.
Cheap Plans Often Bad Values
We have been on a Verizon Prepaid plan for the past few years paying $80/month for two lines. If you go into the depths of Reddit you will learn that prepaid plans have a different prioritization on most platforms. This means if you’re at a crowded concert or sports game, your phone service will not get through. It is not insurmountably bad, but it creates a frustrating experience at events.
Meanwhile Verizon does not give this prepaid plan access to its newer 5G Ultrawideband network. Ultrawideband has less range but performs at higher speeds and has more capacity in congested areas. If you live in a city or attend large events, this is the important one.
Visible+ is the Secret Verizon Plan You Want
For $45/month all-in a single line will grant you access to prioritized data on the Verizon network, access to their entire 5G portfolio including Ultrawideband. This is slightly less expensive than their best postpaid promotion for two lines, which even when bundled with FiOS costs $90/month + taxes and fees. You’ll save $360 compared to signing up for Verizon’s post-paid Unlimited Plus and trading in two phones for iPhone 15s for $1000 credits over 3 years. That savings evaporates when you consider you’ll also be paying the full financed value of the iPhone on top of that difference.
T-Mobile Likely Best Post-Paid Carrier
For $120/month all-in T-Mobile has great mid-band coverage in many areas. You’ll likely get faster service wherever you are on their network. You just have to be aware there are some places their network doesn’t reach quite as well as Verizon’s. With Canada and Mexico roaming included, it’s also a great deal if you travel across the border. T-Mobile’s plans get better if you can find an insider code and add more lines.