Verizon-owned Visible’s $25 a month unlimited data plan is hard to beat, but US Mobile is giving Visible a run for its money after the latest overhaul of its plans.
I’ve tested both of these services over the years. In fact, Visible has been my primary carrier since 2019.
US Mobile Unlimited Starter vs. Visible Base Plan
In this article, I want to take a closer look at Visible and US Mobile’s entry-level unlimited plans to help you decide which one is best for you.
Before I go into more detail, here are some fast facts about the two plans:
|US Mobile Unlimited Starter||Visible Base Plan|
|$25/month, taxes and fees included||$25/month, taxes and fees included|
|Unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon’s 5G/4G LTE network||Unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon’s 5G/4G LTE network|
|30GB of premium data||No premium data|
|5GB of hotspot data||Unlimited hotspot data at speeds up to 5 Mbps|
|International texts from U.S.||Unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada|
|Customer support by phone, chat and email||Customer support primarily by chat|
I came up with some questions that you can answer to select the plan most suitable for your needs.
Are You a Heavy Data User?
One of the best things about Visible’s base unlimited plan is that you never have to monitor data usage. With the service, you get truly unlimited high-speed data.
That’s not the case with US Mobile. Its Unlimited Starter plan now includes 30GB of high-speed data per month.
What happens after you use 30GB of data? With US Mobile, your speeds may be slowed down to 1 Mbps for the remainder of the billing cycle.
US Mobile has other unlimited plans with 50GB and 100GB of high-speed data, but they cost more.
To evaluate your needs, check recent cellular data usage from your phone’s settings. For the most recent month, I’ve used 114GB of cellular data.
Since I’m with Visible, that’s no problem. However, I would be throttled after 30GB with US Mobile’s plan.
Most people will not use more than 30GB of data per month. If you don’t expect to use more than 30GB per month, US Mobile is a very good option.
Do You Really Need Premium Data?
US Mobile’s Unlimited Starter plan offers something that Visible’s base plan does not — premium data!
I mentioned earlier that US Mobile’s cheapest unlimited plan includes 30GB of high-speed data. That 30GB is also premium data when you activate on Verizon’s network, which US Mobile calls Warp 5G.
With Visible, you need to upgrade to the Visible+ plan to get 50GB of premium data per month.
When you have premium data, you receive higher priority when the network is busy. Those without premium data will experience slower data speeds during network congestion.
From my experience, this hasn’t been a deal-breaker with Visible. But it certainly is for some customers.
Do You Use Mobile Hotspot Frequently?
Aside from my high data usage, this is probably the biggest reason why I stay with Visible.
With Visible’s base plan, truly unlimited data extends to mobile hotspot usage. The only downside is that mobile hotspot speeds are limited to 5 Mbps on a single device.
Still, I use this feature frequently when I want to connect to the internet from my laptop at coffee shops.
US Mobile recently added 5GB of mobile hotspot data to its Unlimited Starter plan. This plan previously did not include mobile hotspot data.
If you’re like me and use mobile hotspot data regularly, Visible’s plan is probably a better pick.
Even with the 5 Mbps speed cap on Visible’s mobile hotspot data, it’s typically fast enough to surf the web, check emails and even light video streaming.
Single-Line User or Multiple Lines of Service?
This is one area where US Mobile has a clear advantage over Visible.
When I interviewed Visible Managing Director Jeremy Bolton for my YouTube channel, he told me Visible is “exclusively focused on single-line customers.”
With Visible, every line of service gets a separate account.
I know there are some households with more than one person using Visible. Each line has a separate account, so there are multiple bills from Visible every month.
This may be an annoyance for some people, but you can always set up autopay to never worry about missing a bill.
US Mobile offers family plans and a simplified billing process for households with multiple lines of service, so you will only have one bill per month.
However, don’t expect additional savings for multiple lines on US Mobile’s Unlimited Starter plan.
US Mobile reserves multi-line discounts and perks to people who pay for its more expensive unlimited plans — Unlimited Essentials and Unlimited Premium.
Are You Purchasing a New Device?
Visible and US Mobile both sell new phones, but I would argue that these carriers are best for BYOD (bring your own device) customers.
For those who want to purchase a new device from their carrier, Visible has the edge over US Mobile.
Visible has a greater selection of smartphones available from its online shop, including the latest models of Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel devices.
The carrier frequently offers discounts on devices, particularly last model and budget phones.
Since Visible lowered the monthly price of its base plan from $30 to $25 in August 2023, there have been fewer phone deals available to those customers.
Instead, Visible has provided special phone discounts to people who sign up for the Visible+ premium plan.
Do You Want an Apple Watch Data Plan?
If you want a data plan for your Apple Watch, Visible is the way to go. US Mobile doesn’t offer Apple Watch plans at the time of this writing.
With Visible, you can pay $5 a month and get unlimited data for your Apple Watch.
Having a separate data plan for your Apple Watch is not required. However, it does let you make calls and reply to messages when you’re away from your iPhone.
How Important Are International Calling and Text Features?
US Mobile and Visible’s entry-level unlimited plans are not for people who want a lot of international features. Those are typically available with premium plans.
That said, Visible’s base plan includes unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada.
US Mobile’s website says its Unlimited Starter plan supports international texts from the United States. International calling is “coming soon.”
Note: US Mobile is known for announcing features long before they’re actually offered to customers.
Do You Feel Comfortable With Chat-Only Support?
Visible’s customer service options are limited compared to other wireless providers, including US Mobile. This is a factor you must consider before signing up.
I only recommend Visible to people who are comfortable with a digital-only experience.
With Visible, all customer support interactions start through the app or website. In nearly all cases, you will chat with a support agent. There is no phone number to call for help.
US Mobile does offer phone support, plus customer service by live chat and email. That’s a plus for US Mobile.
Don’t expect Visible to begin offering phone customer support anytime soon. Visible is catering to a specific niche: single-line users who are comfortable with a digital-only provider.
If you don’t fit that description, Verizon (which owns Visible) has other prepaid and postpaid options for you.
Visible and US Mobile’s $25 a month unlimited plans both offer service on Verizon’s network at a significant savings over Verizon’s postpaid plans.
Let’s recap what I’ve covered to help you decide which plan is best for you:
- Data: If you use more than 30GB of data per month, Visible is the better option. Choose US Mobile if you want premium data.
- Mobile Hotspot: Frequent mobile hotspot data users will prefer Visible’s plan because of the truly unlimited data.
- Lines of Service: If you have multiple lines of service, US Mobile has a more simplified billing process compared to Visible.
- New Phone or Existing Phone: Both services are great for customers who already have a phone. If you’re buying new, Visible offers more phone deals and a better selection.
- Apple Watch Support: Only Visible offers a cellular Apple Watch data plan at this time.
- International Features: US Mobile and Visible’s $25 unlimited plans are not heavy on international features. If this is important to you, consider a premium plan.
- Customer Service: US Mobile offers phone customer support that you won’t get with Visible.
You may also want to read about the 10 things to know before you sign up for a cheap phone plan.