AT&T’s Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans both deliver excellent performance and include unlimited data, minutes, and texts. The Unlimited Elite plan is $10 per line more expensive per month than the Unlimited Extra plan. The extra $10 buys some extra features that are not included in the Unlimited Extra plan.
For most people, I recommend the Unlimited Extra plan. It’s rare for the extras included in the Unlimited Elite plan to justify the plan’s price.
AT&T prices the Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans based on the number of lines on an account. The Unlimited Elite plan is $10 per line more expensive than the Unlimited Extra plan.
The table below shows AT&T’s per-line price before taxes and fees for each plan.
Both the Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plan offer extensive coverage from AT&T’s native network and AT&T’s roaming partners. You can check coverage in your area with AT&T’s interactive coverage map.
Both the Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans come with high-priority data. On the Extra plan, the allotment is for 50GB per line each month. On the Elite plan, subscribers have unlimited high-priority data. Subscribers with high-priority data will experience better speeds during periods when AT&T’s network is congested.
The 50GB per month allotment on AT&T’s Unlimited Extra plan is huge. Most people use far less than 50GB of data each month. Only a tiny minority of cell phone users will experience any benefits by shifting from a 50GB per month allotment of Premium Data to an unlimited amount of Premium Data.
Both the Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plan allow mobile hotspot access for subscribers who want to connect laptops and other devices to the internet via their phones’ cellular connections. The Unlimited Extra plan includes 15GB of full-speed mobile hotspot data each month. The Unlimited Elite plan includes 40GB per month of full-speed hotspot data. AT&T makes hotspot allotments on a per-line basis (rather than a per-account basis).
Subscribers than run through their allotments of full-speed hotspot data can continue to use mobile hotspot, but AT&T will throttle hotspot speeds to a nearly unusable 128Kbps.
Subscribers on AT&T’s Unlimited Extra plan will have most video traffic throttled to standard-definition quality (480p). Unlimited Elite plan subscribers can streaming video in resolutions up to 4k.
AT&T includes free access to HBO Max, an online streaming service that normally costs $15 per month, for subscribers on the Unlimited Elite plan. Subscribers on the Unlimited Extra plan do not get free access to HBO Max.
Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite?
For most people, I recommend the Unlimited Extra plan. It comes with more than enough Premium Data and hotspot data to cover a typical person’s needs. Super heavy users of data, people who hate streaming in standard definition, and those who would get a lot of value out of HBO Max may want to consider the more expensive Unlimited Elite plan.