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The 5 Best Cell Phone Plans for Military Service Members [2024]

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Carissa Rawson

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Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business ...
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Everybody has a cell phone these days, whether it’s your 87-year-old grandmother or your youngest child. Unfortunately, cell phone plan expenses can climb up there, especially if you have a larger family.

Sure, the days of paying 10 cents per text are over, but a $100 a month per person plan is still exorbitant. Happily for those in the armed forces — whether active duty or veterans — there are some decent discounts to help drop down the costs of your cell phone plans for you and your family.

Let’s take a look at the 5 best cell phone plans for military members, what you can expect to receive, and other methods to save money on your cell phone bill.

1. T-Mobile

T-Mobile is our first option on the list simply because it offers the best discounts for those in the military. This is true whether you’re a veteran, retired, or still on active duty. You’ll need to verify your military status, but once you do, T-Mobile offers a 40% discount on phone plans.

T-Mobile military discount
Image Credit: T-Mobile

There are 4 different plans available at the 40% discount: Go5G Military, Go5G Plus Military, Magenta Military, and Magenta MAX Military. Each offers different benefits and pricing.

Go5G Military

The Go5G Military plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data, plus a variety of other features.

  • Cost: $60 per month for 1 line; as low as $30 per month with 4 lines
  • Unlimited data; throttled after 100GB per month
  • HD streaming
  • 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data
  • International data and texting
  • 10GB of high-speed data in Mexico and Canada
  • Access to T-Mobile Tuesdays
  • 1-year AAA membership
  • 6 months of Apple TV+
  • Free Netflix with 2 lines
  • Inflight internet access

Go5G Plus Military

The higher-end version of the Go5G plan includes even more features:

  • Cost: $75 per month for 1 line; as low as $40 per month with 4 lines
  • Unlimited data, no throttling
  • 4K UHD streaming included
  • 50GB of 4G LTE hotspot data
  • High-speed international data and texting
  • 15GB of high-speed data in Mexico and Canada
  • Access to T-Mobile Tuesdays
  • 1-year AAA membership
  • Apple TV+
  • Free Netflix with 1 line
  • Unlimited inflight internet

Magenta Military

The Magenta plans are an older version of phone plans still available to military members. They’re less expensive but don’t provide as many benefits.

  • Cost: $55 per month for 1 line; as low as $25 per month for 4 lines
  • Unlimited data; throttled after 100GB per month
  • 480p streaming
  • 5GB of high-speed hotspot data
  • 5GB of high-speed data abroad
  • 1-year AAA membership
  • Apple TV+ for 6 months
  • 4 passes for full inflight internet per year
  • Unlimited 1-hour inflight internet passes

Magenta MAX Military

The higher-end version of the Magenta plans won’t throttle your internet, but it’s still lacking in extras compared to T-Mobile’s newer plan options.

  • Cost: $70 per month for 1 line; as low as $35 per month with 4 lines
  • Unlimited data, no throttling
  • 4K UHD streaming
  • 40GB of high-speed hotspot data
  • 5GB of high-speed data abroad
  • 1-year AAA membership
  • Apple TV+
  • Free Netflix
  • Unlimited inflight internet
Bottom Line:

T-Mobile offers discounts of up to 40% on phone plans for eligible military and veterans. This can drop costs down to $25 per month when you have multiple lines!

2. Google Fi

Google Fi phone plan
Image Credit: Google

Google debuted its cell phone plan system a few years back, dubbed Google Fi, and has been offering its own products ever since. The nice thing about Google Fi is that it’s simple. You can take your phone wherever you’d like, use an eSim to activate it, and never have to worry about roaming costs.

While Google doesn’t offer discounts for the military, it does allow those who are in the military to bring and use their eligible phone plans abroad without any extra costs.

This is a significant win over plans such as those offered by Verizon, which charge you up to $10 per day while traveling internationally.

Note that you’ll need to verify your government affiliation. You’ll also only be able to do this for 9 months, after which you’ll need to return to the U.S. or apply for another exception.

Currently, there are 3 different phone plans that Google Fi offers: Simply Unlimited, Unlimited Plus, and Flexible.

Flexible

The original Google Fi plan, this option is the cheapest and best if you don’t use a lot of data.

  • Cost: $20 per month + $10/GB up to $80 per month; $10 per month + data for 4 lines
  • Unlimited data; throttled after 15GB per month (can pay extra to turn off throttling)
  • Share data with other devices
  • Hotspot at no additional cost
  • Free calls to Canada and Mexico
  • International data at no additional cost
  • Free texts while abroad

Simply Unlimited

Google debuted new unlimited options when it became clear that users were needing more data. Although cheap, the Simply Unlimited plan doesn’t offer international data.

  • Cost: $50 per month for 1 line; $20 per month for 2 to 4 lines
  • Unlimited data; throttled after 35GB
  • 5GB of hotspot data per month
  • Free data, text, and calls in Canada and Mexico
  • Free calls to Canada and Mexico

Unlimited Plus

Google’s most expensive phone plan offers its best features, though you’ll pay for the privilege.

  • Cost: $65 per month for 1 line; $40 per month for 4 lines
  • Unlimited data; throttled after 50GB
  • Share data with other devices
  • Unlimited hotspot tethering
  • 1-year of YouTube Premium
  • 100GB of Google One cloud storage
  • Free phone calls to 50 countries
  • Free international data
  • Free texts abroad
Bottom Line:

Google Fi doesn’t offer a military discount, but it will allow you to use your phone abroad for up to 9 months at no extra charge.

3. Verizon

Verizon military discount
Image Credit: Verizon

Verizon is a fairly expensive phone company, though you’ll receive some of the fastest internet in the nation if you’re willing to shell out. Discounts for military members with Verizon vary, so you’ll need to verify your information to see what you’ll be offered.

Here are some common offerings:

  • 15% off eligible plans
  • Waived activation on service
  • 25% off accessories purchased through My Verizon
  • $20 per month, per line, for a Welcome Unlimited plan with 4 lines (standard price is $30 per month)

The $20 per month option for the Welcome Unlimited plan can be a great deal if you have 4 folks to share it with. Although it’s an entry-level plan, it still provides decent service, including:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico
  • 480p streaming
  • Throttled speeds during congestion
  • 2GB per day of high-speed international data; throttled thereafter (costs extra)
  • Disney+ for 6 months
  • Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass for 6 months
  • Apple Music for 6 months
Bottom Line:

Verizon’s military discounts aren’t the best, but you won’t find many unlimited plans for just $20 per month.

4. AT&T

ATT military discount plan
Image Credit: AT&T

One of the original cell phone giants, AT&T is still around providing phone plans to a large number of satisfied customers. Like Verizon, its plans tend to be more expensive than most. However, it gives veterans and active-duty service members a 25% discount on 3 different plans: the Unlimited Starter Plan, the Unlimited Extra Plan, and the Unlimited Premium Plan.

Unlimited Starter Plan

AT&T’s most basic offering still includes unlimited talk, text, and data, though you’re subject to throttling at any time.

  • Cost: $48.75 per month for 1 line; $26.25 per month for 4 lines
  • 3GB of hotspot data per month
  • SD streaming

Unlimited Extra Plan

This mid-tier option provides slightly more benefits, but it’s still bare in comparison to competitors.

  • Cost: $56.25 per month for 1 line; $30 per month for 4 lines
  • 50GB of high-speed data; may be throttled thereafter
  • 15GB of hotspot data per month
  • SD streaming

Unlimited Premium Plan

AT&T’s best unlimited plan is just over $15 more per month than its cheapest, which will make it pretty enticing for those who use a lot of data.

  • Cost: $63.75 per month for 1 line; $37.50 per month for 4 lines
  • No throttled data
  • 50GB of hotspot data per month
  • 4K UHD streaming
Bottom Line:

AT&T will give you a 25% discount on 3 of its best unlimited plans, but they’re still pricier than other options.

5. US Mobile

U.S. Mobile phone plan
Image Credit: US Mobile

This last option is more of an honorary mention because it doesn’t offer any special benefits to those in the military. However, it’s so attractively priced — and so full of perks — that it’s worth considering over other providers.

US Mobile is a prepaid phone plan option running on the Verizon network. Don’t let the prepaid name fool you, however. Service is billed monthly and can be completed on autopay, which means you’ll see no functional difference from other cell phone providers.

US Mobile allows you to choose between unlimited and pay-as-you-go plans, but the unlimited options are where it really shines. There are 2 currently available: Unlimited Basic and Unlimited Premium.

Unlimited Basic

US Mobile’s Unlimited Basic plan isn’t its top option, but it still offers more for less than other providers.

  • Cost: $35 per month for 1 line; $20 per month for 4 lines
  • 40GB of premium data; high-speed thereafter
  • 5GB of hotspot data
  • eSim international data for purchase
  • Free international texting

Unlimited Premium

If you travel often or consume a lot of data, you won’t find much better than US Mobile’s Unlimited Premium plan.

  • Cost: $45 per month for 1 line; $30 per month for 4 lines
  • 100GB of premium data; high-speed thereafter
  • 50GB of hotspot data
  • Up to 10GB of international data per month
  • International texting
  • Subscription perks: 1 perk for 3 lines; 2 perks for 4 lines

It’s great to have complimentary international data, but the most notable here is that the Unlimited Premium plan includes subscription perks. This means that in addition to dropping your monthly cost for your cell phone plan, you’ll also receive statement credits for a variety of services. This includes:

  • Apple Music Family
  • Apple TV+
  • The Disney Bundle: Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+
  • HBO Max
  • Netflix standard
  • Pandora Plus
  • PlayStation Plus
  • Slacker Plus LiveXLive
  • Spotify Family
  • Xbox Live Gold

If you aren’t familiar with the pricing involved for these subscription services, here’s an idea: The Disney Bundle combo with ads currently charges $12.99 per month. Signing up for 3 plans drops your monthly cost down to $30 per line. You can then receive $13 in statement credits each month for your subscription.

In the end, you can either choose to pay $80 for 2 unlimited plans, or $92 for 3 phone plans and a subscription to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. That’s amazing!

Bottom Line:

US Mobile doesn’t even offer military pricing, but its public pricing — and its perks — put it on this list anyway.

Other Options for Military Cell Phone Plans

Soldiers looking at a cell phone
Image Credit: Sean Murphy via Adobe Stock

Not interested in any of these cell phone providers? Or maybe you’d like to stack discounts so you can maximize your savings? We’ve got another recommendation for you.

Did you know that if you’re an active-duty member of the military you’re entitled to extra financial benefits? We’re not talking about military discounts, which are given at the discretion of businesses as a way of saying “thank you.” We’re talking about federal regulations such as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA).

Hot Tip:

Check out our recommendations of the best cards for active-duty military members with our handy guide.

These regulations limit the interest rate and the fees that businesses can charge, including annual fees. The SCRA applies to credit you’ve obtained before becoming an active-duty service member and limits the interest rate you can be charged to 6%. This is true for both consumer and small business products.

The MLA, meanwhile, applies to credit that you acquire while you’re actively serving. It caps the interest rate to 36% and applies to consumer credit, though some lenders are known to extend this benefit to small business products.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

That brings us to the Amex Business Platinum card, which is a high-end card offered by American Express. It charges an exorbitant annual fee of $695 but grants customers the ability to earn American Express Membership Rewards points and offers plenty of statement credits in return.

What does this have to do with cell phone plans and active-duty military members? Well, if your Amex Business Platinum card is eligible for SCRA relief you’ll be able to have the annual fee not charged.

As we mentioned, the Amex Business Platinum card provides a lot of perks as thanks for its expensive annual fee, one of which is a monthly credit of up to $10 towards cell phone plans.

Sure, it’s not a huge monthly benefit, but the up to $10 per month you’ll receive as a credit can make a big difference when paired with some of these discounts.

If, for example, you were to use your Amex Business Platinum card to pay for just 1 line of the Unlimited Basic plan offered by US Mobile, you’d drop your monthly out-of-pocket cost to $25. That includes unlimited data, free international texting, and 5GB of hotspot data. Not bad!

Hot Tip:

Not in the military anymore? Don’t worry, we still have you covered with our guide to the best credit cards for military veterans.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card doesn’t offer a monthly cell phone credit, but it’s absolutely a card you should acquire if you’re in the military.

There are a couple of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that the annual fee (which is normally $695) is not charged via the MLA if you’re an active-duty service member. Not only that, were your spouse to get an Amex Platinum card as well, their annual fee would also not be charged.

The Amex Platinum card has a whole host of benefits, one of which is cell phone insurance. This means that if you pay your phone bill with your card, you’ll be able to make a claim in the event your phone is stolen or damaged.

There are limitations to this; your total claim amount cannot be more than $800 and you can only make 2 claims in a 12-month period. There’s also a $50 deductible. However, this is a great perk to have on a card for which you’re paying no annual fee.

Final Thoughts

Joining the military costs a lot, which is one reason why so many companies are eager to give back. This is the case for many cell phone plan providers, which will give discounts to veterans and military service members alike.

T-Mobile’s 40% discount on plans provides the best bang for your buck, but Verizon, AT&T, Google Fi, and even US Mobile are in the running with a variety of options for those who’ve served.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top cell phone service provider for military?

Many cell phone service companies will provide a discount to military members and their families, including T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T, among others.

What is Verizon's military discount amount?

The amount you’ll get as a discount from Verizon if you’re military is going to vary. We’ve seen offers for 15% off plans as well as a limited-time special of $20 per month (with 4 lines) for Verizon’s Welcome Unlimited plan.

How much does AT&T take off for military?

AT&T provides a fairly robust discount for those in the military. If you’re active duty or a veteran, you can receive a discount of 25% on 3 of AT&T’s unlimited plans.

How much is Magenta Max Military on T-Mobile?

The cost you’ll pay for a Magenta Max Military plan on T-Mobile is going to vary based on how many phone lines you have. If you’ve got just 1 line, you can expect to pay $70 per month for your plan. The cost drops with each additional line, down for $35 per month if you have 4 lines with T-Mobile.

Carissa Rawson's image

About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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