Verizon Wireless for $25/mo

by Colin Berkshire

I could never have imagined that Verizon could make shopping for a cellular plan more complicated. But in the past several years they have found ways to make it so utterly complicated that even Verizon can’t keep their facts straight.

To understand Verizon-speak you need to know a few code words:

  • Unlimited — means Limited
  • Discount — means Surcharges
  • 5G — does not mean 5GUW (which is the fast one)
  • Includes — means “Briefly Includes”
  • GB — means “Not for Video”
  • Get More — does not mean you get more data, you get more glitter.
  • DVD Quality — means 480p (What a crappy DVD!)
  • $40/mo — means $25/mo

Using these code-words will make reading their pricing tables clearer. For example, any plan that uses the term “Unlimited” means that there are limits on how much useful data you get. When they use the term “GB” to describe how much data you get, it is not for high quality video, which is mostly what you want the data for (you will probably get resolution comparable to an old CRT based TV set.) You get the idea.

If you go through their rate plan finder tool, it will steer you away from the cheaper plans. Using their plan finder pretty much means you will guided into a dark alley to be fleeced by not showing you any of the cost-effective plans.

So how much should you pay?

The honest answer (that Verizon is loathe to tell you) is as follows:

GB (High Speed)
1 Phone
Plan Name
Prepaid 5GB
Prepaid 10GB
5GB (Rollover)
Shared Data 5GB
10GB (Rollover)
Shared Data 10GB 
Prepaid Unlimited
Start Unlimited
Play More Unlimited
Do More Unlimited
Get More Unlimited
Most people would probably do just fine with a $25 a month plan…something Verizon does a good job of hiding from you. In fact, to get this plan there are a number of hoops:
  • There are $60 in tack-on one-time fees that get pro-rated over your first 10 months of service…ignore them.
  • They will gouge you if you call to or from Mexico/Canada
Now, Verizon won’t ever hint to you (anywhere that a $25 monthly plan even exists. But it is right there on their website. You see, it’s the plan they show as being a $40 monthly plan. (I think they do that to scare you away.) Here is how you get to it: Go to Shop + Plans + Prepaid and then check the auto-pay discount and then slide the slider over to 10+ months. Voila! Verizon at $25. Ignore the slider-thingy and just set it at 10 months and understand there is this one-time $60 pro-rated charge.
For $10 more per month (still a deal) you get calls to Canada and Mexico and you get 10GB more data. This plan is actually a pretty great deal.
I must share that Verizon’s information on these cheap plans is (intentionally?) contradictory. They say right in the headline that you can “Share data with your Mobile Hotspot” but under “Compare Plans” it is not shown as being included. There are other contradictions throughout the Verizon plan information.