Verizon Grandfathered Unlimited vs New Unlimited Data Plan: Should I Switch?

Verizon’s unlimited plans have been around for quite some time. The carrier has been adamant to help customers switch to its newer unlimited plans, but without much avail. Verizon has added premium charges to its legacy or grandfathered unlimited data plan, reduced the Wi-Fi hotspot usage, and added some other caveats as well, but some users are still sticking to the plan. Not to mention the fact that these customers have to pay the full retail price for their new smartphones, while those on the new unlimited plan have the ability to branch out these payments.

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  • Truly unlimited data with no throttling whatsoever
  • Can use hotspot with the unlimited data
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • The best coverage in the U.S. using Verizon's network, including 5G
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While the negatives of the grandfathered plan seem to outweigh the positives, that’s not always the case, as we will discuss in this article. It is important to note that the old Verizon unlimited plans offer truly unlimited usage as there’s no data throttling. This is partly the reason why users still haven’t switched to the new plans offered by Verizon, even though these plans are incredibly attractive and cost effective.

Verizon grandfathered unlimited vs new unlimited data plan: Should I Switch?

Who should switch?

If you don’t use more than 20GB per month and want to save nearly $20 on the monthly charges, then you should absolutely switch to the new plans. But what are the hidden caveats? For starters, your data speeds will be significantly slower post the 22GB limit (under the $80 unlimited plan). Verizon will basically stop prioritizing your connection after you have exhausted your data cap. The speeds won’t necessarily be slow at all times, but you might face hold-ups in the connection every now and then.

Bear in mind that this is only if you consume more than 22GB of data in a given month. Further, you will only get 10GB of high-speed data to spend via Wi-Fi hotspot on your device. But after 10GB, your hotspot connection will be throttled to 3G speeds. This is not much of a concern given that you will still be able to use hotspot from your smartphone. You will still save the extra money that you will spend on the grandfathered plans to enable hotspot, so the new plan is a win-win for both parties here.

Another reason to switch is you make a lot of international calls on a regular basis. While not all countries are included in Verizon’s new plans, regions like Canada and Mexico are. So if you’re on the legacy unlimited plan, chances are that you’re spending a bomb on making these international calls. The $80 Verizon plan comes with unlimited calling to these regions (might differ on the plan), along with text messages. So not only are you saving in terms of the monthly costs, but you won’t be spending extra for calls and text messages in your monthly cycle. This alone is enough reason for you to switch to the new unlimited plans offered by Verizon.

Who shouldn’t get the plan?

If you’re a fan of the “truly unlimited” data offered by the legacy plans, switching to the new plan doesn’t quite make sense. If you’re using your Verizon account solely for data, and not for calls or text messages, switching seems illogical. It’s important to remember that once you switch to the new plan, it’s impossible to go back to the old unlimited plan. So customers have to make an informed decision on this after giving it a lot of thought.

You also have to realize that as per the new plan, your speed will be significantly reduced post the 22GB cap. While the data will not be completely cut off, it will be prioritized to those users who still have data left in their cap. This will be pretty similar to when you face data outages, although it might happen on a regular basis once you’ve exhausted the 22GB. This can be quite frustrating if you urgently need to access the internet for something important. However, the outages won’t last long and it’s mostly left to chance. If you’re okay with that, the new unlimited plans are worth a shot. So in my opinion, the old grandfathered plans are highly recommended for power users who consume north of 20GB per month and want uninterrupted access.

The last word

The emphasis on using mobile data is very high these days. Given the kind of competition that the carrier faces from fellow networks like T-Mobile, AT&T and the likes, Verizon has been pressurized to bring the best plans for the customers. Verizon currently enjoys the best data network in the U.S., which means a lot of customers are counting on the carrier for their data needs. But given the kind of options available from the carrier, it can be quite confusing to pick the best plans sometimes. Keeping this in mind, it helps to think long and hard about what a user needs and if their needs are being addressed by the carrier’s plans. In most cases, I would say the new unlimited plans make a lot of sense. This is mainly because users stand to save a lot of money on a regular basis, not just in terms of fees and other charges, but also if they’re looking to upgrade to a new device.

There are thousands of users who are still on the old unlimited plan offered by Verizon, which means that the carrier is going to try harder to bring them over to the new plans. We cannot rule out some additional measures like increase in prices, changing of perks etc. Bear in mind that Verizon has already done this to users of the grandfathered plans, so it’s only a matter of time before it takes more steps to bring its users on board. It ultimately depends on the customers, as they make the final call on what they want from their carrier.

Unlimited or not, it always makes sense to save some money whenever and wherever customers can. It’s also important to note that the new plan offers 500MB of 4G LTE roaming in Canada and Mexico. This is something that the old plan doesn’t offer, so if you travel to these countries a lot and are contemplating a switch, this is enough reason to bring you on board.


  1. The added bonus for the grandfathered unlimited plan is that you can watch anything and everything on the phone and send it to a chromecast on the 80″ TV. Especially with androids chromecast app, Many TV stations have side channels on web only like espn for college games, Fios Tv , the list goes on. i use my phone as a remote “cable converter” on the go. just carry a chromecast and stream away. With 5G rolling out its just going to get better, saving 20 bucks isnt important to me knowing i’m not throttled when i need horsepower. It’s only the $ equivalent of one stop at fast food a month.

  2. I have recently added the Verizon unlimited plan and I have used the mobile hotspot (using my phone) to stream MLB games. I have noticed that when I go to my MyVerizon page, it still shows ZERO Hotspot data used! Why is this?

  3. Betty, I am doing the exact same thing. I feel the same way. Until I have to pay $80 month, I’m sticking to the old grandfathered plan at $50/mo. I also use the app that goes around the Mobile Hot Spot and I haven’t noticed too much slow time either. I watch a lot of Netflix thru my Hot Spot. I also have unlimited everything except talk time which is 450 minutes/mo.

    I still get my discount from being a public school employee, although since I retired, it went down a few pennies to $8/ I still get a discount.

    I, too, would like another opinion. I, too, can’t see a reason for changing Verizon Texas.
    E. Bass

  4. It’s true the New Verizon Unlimited Plans no longer offer an employer discount. What they do offer is a 15% Military and Veteran discount, $5 Auto-Pay discount, and a $5 Paperless Billing discount.

  5. $50? That’s a real bargain. I have same grandfather plan, but I pay $120 a month. How come you pay so cheap?

  6. that’s weird they added $20 to your original unlimited plan, the grandfathered plan shouldn’t change. you should call up a Verizon rep to see if the new unlimited plan makes sense for you. they will calculate the new cost for you. one thing to note is Verizon got rid of the company discounts. I believe the only discount they offer now is the auto pay $10 discount. so you should take that into consideration.

  7. I am one of those grandfathered in customers with Verizon. I have unlimited EVERYTHING except talk time (which is 450 minutes/month). I don’t use the Mobile Hotspot. I use an app instead that bypasses the hotspot through Verizon and still makes my phone a hotspot. Not sure if this makes a difference, but I’ve used this app for years. Originally, I was paying an extra $30/mo for (I think) the unlimited plan/hot spot, not sure which now. (It’s been a while back.)
    About 3 months (or more) ago they added another $20 to my unlimited plan. Now I’m paying $50/mo. Which is still saving me money for unlimited plan so far, at least until they add more charges.
    I still believe I’m coming out ahead. What do you think?

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