AT&T and Verizon are two of the largest mobile carriers in the United States. The primary difference between them is that Verizon has more expensive plans but additional perks and better coverage. In contrast, AT&T has higher data usage caps which is incredibly important, and their plans are slightly cheaper.
Depending on your requirements for a mobile phone, both carriers could work well for you. There’s no point in having huge data caps if you always have wireless. There is also no point in paying more for perks that you don’t use.
We’re going to take a full review of each service, compare them and then provide a recommendation so that you can get a reasonable price for features that you’ll actually use.
AT&T vs. Verizon Comparison
|Best 4G Coverage||✅|
|Best 5G Coverage||✅|
|Best Overall Coverage||✅|
|Perks||HBO Max||Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Apple Music|
|Unlimited Premium Data||0 GB – 100 GB Guaranteed. Only top-tier plans get guaranteed premium data||50 GB Guaranteed|
|Hotspot Data||Up to 30 GB||Up to 30 GB|
AT&T Pros and Cons
Verizon Pros and Cons
AT&T vs. Verizon Coverage
AT&T and Verizon both report to have great coverage across the United States, Verizon does have better coverage. The coverage from either provider doesn’t matter if your specific location and the areas you travel to aren’t included, so it’s essential for you to review for your particular location.
Both providers have a coverage map so you can check the service you want and your location to see whether you will be covered. This is the only way to ensure which provider really has the best coverage for you and your requirements.
If you travel to multiple locations often, then Verizon would be the winner with better general coverage that is more likely to be available in different locations. But you can also use the coverage map to check other locations to see how well your coverage will be.
AT&T vs. Verizon Speed
Great coverage doesn’t mean fantastic speed, and most carriers can limit the speed of your service based on your plan. AT&T says they have the fastest speeds, but that would depend on your plan and what area you are located. Their claim would simply be the overall or general speed of their network.
Both AT&T and Verizon offer excellent speeds, so the difference would be negligible. The biggest factor would be what your location is. Reviews online actually show Verizon being the faster network in some cases.
A significant factor will be what plan you choose and what times you use your phone. Unless you get the top-tier plan, you could have limited speeds at certain times of the day or after a certain amount of data is downloaded. So check the plan you pick to see if your speeds will be limited.
Your best option would be to ask a friend or colleague that uses each service and is located in a similar location as you, so you can ensure you won’t get lower than expected speeds from either carrier.
Neither carrier is the winner here, and they’re neck and neck for speed.
AT&T vs. Verizon Prices and Plans
Looking at prices alone, Verizon is the most expensive option overall. Verizon may even be the most expensive carrier in the United States. While there are some cheaper plans for AT&T and Verizon, they are primarily geared towards unlimited plans at higher prices.
AT&T offers a basic unlimited plan for $65 / month, and Verizon provides a basic unlimited plan for $70 per month. The features are similar, and both may throttle your data speeds during peak times.
If you require unthrottled data, you need to move up to the next plan, which will give you a certain amount of unthrottled data every month. Both AT&T and Verizon offer a 50 GB unthrottled plan. AT&T charges you $75/ month, and Verizon charges you $80 /month.
So as you can both carriers offer similar plans, and in most cases, AT&T drops their price by $5, which isn’t a fantastic discount and shouldn’t be the deciding factor in choosing them.
If you have a budget or don’t need all of the features, perks, and services from either AT&T or Verizon, then you would be much better off going with a smaller local carrier that can provide basic service for a lower fee every month.
AT&T vs. Verizon, when only looking at price, AT&T wins by about $5 on most of their plans. If you include the full range of options and perks in their plans then Verizon is the winner.
AT&T vs. Verizon Perks
When comparing perks between AT&T and Verizon, there is a clear winner, and that is Verizon. Assuming you are interested in entertainment packages, then Verizon includes a massive selection of streaming services for free with many of their plans.
Verizon will provide a free subscription to Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Apple music. The price of these alone makes up for the high costs of the plans. If there are services you already pay for or want, then it’s a fantastic perk.
Verizon also offers an online perks option that you can register for if your plan allows it. Go to https://www.verizon.com/rewards/verizon-up/ to sign up and see what kind of discounts and exclusive offers may be available to you. This could be discounts on retailers, food, or even travel perks.
AT&T does offer a similar perk, which is a subscription to HBO, which is still a good perk if AT&T provides better speeds and coverage in your area or if you prefer HBO over the options provided by Verizon.
AT&T has a similar online perks program, and you can sign up for free if your plan allows it; register here: https://www.att.com/att/attthanks/en/index.html. The perks and offers are very similar to Verizon, with discounts and promos for local restaurants, retailers, and even cheaper concert tickets.
AT&T vs. Verizon Reputation
Both AT&T and Verizon offer similar services, but it’s Verizon that has a stronger reputation with customers and people in general. Their customer service and product quality are superior, and they consistently rank in the top 5 mobile carriers as ranked by customers.
AT&T, on the other hand, has a relatively bad reputation. If you’re getting good service from them, then you have no problem. But service and coverage issues are often ignored by the company, and complaints are not dealt with promptly or often at all.
AT&T has even agreed with this and has a plan to improve its reputation over the next few years. So we will see how well they do or if this is just another situation where they don’t put their words into action.
The clear winner is Verizon when it comes to a company with an excellent reputation that is looking after its customers. It’s difficult to make everybody happy when you have so many customers, but it’s still important to be customer-focused, and Verizon is able to do this.
AT&T vs. Verizon (Which One is Better?)
AT&T and Verizon offer very similar services, and their pricing is very close. The most significant factors that should be influencing your decision will be how good the coverage is for each provider in your area and what kind of download speeds you’ll be receiving from them.
Both companies offer entertainment and additional perks to get you to join them, so you can review which seem better. But the cost-saving of the perks from Verizon would be high if you already use those services.
From my perspective, I would choose Verizon if the coverage and speed were similar between both companies in my area. Verizon has better perks for me, a better reputation, and when you look at AT&T, there are many negatives for the company.
If the $5 difference in plans is a deciding factor for you, then neither company may be a good option, and you should look into smaller local carriers that can offer better prices on plans with fewer high-end perks.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.