One thing Verizon has become good at over the last few years is confusing its customers. Particularly by offering too many wireless plans, plans that are too similar to tell apart, plans that have different features but cost the same, and confusing network names.
Take a quick look at the websites for Verizon Prepaid and Total by Verizon and you’ll immediately notice two websites that look very similar. Both providers have two unlimited plans that cost exactly the same! Both have plans with 15GB of 5G data. It’s confusing to say the least!
Now go take a look at the website for Visible by Verizon. Another two unlimited plans! That’s six unlimited plans between the three different Verizon prepaid brands! So what’s different about them? Which one should you get? And what if you don’t need unlimited?
This guide is going to look at and attempt to solve the confusing problems Verizon has created by having too many prepaid wireless brands with overlapping features and price points. We’ll carefully examine all the overlapping plans to see if anything is different about them and to help you choose the best one that suits your needs.
Before we even compare plans though, we have to go over Verizon’s confusing network names. Verizon customers may have access to one of three different networks, 4G LTE, 5G Nationwide, and 5G Ultra Wideband.
Verizon’s 4G LTE network is the one you are probably most familiar with and may even be using now. It’s been around for years. But it is slowly being replaced by Verizon’s 5G networks. Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network offers data speeds that may be similar to or slightly faster than its 4G LTE network. It’s designed more for coverage than speed.
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network is designed for speed but also offers good coverage. The 5G Ultra Wideband network should perform significantly, and in some cases, multiples faster than both Verizon’s 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide data networks. However, Verizon does not allow all of its customers to access each network. What network you can access depends on what plan you have. So let’s start looking at those plans and see what’s available.
15GB Plans: Verizon Prepaid vs Total by Verizon
Verizon Prepaid and Total by Verizon offer the same unlimited everything plan with the first 15GB of high-speed data available at up to 4G LTE/5G Nationwide data speeds before throttling. But neither plan offers 5G Ultra Wideband network access.
There are more similarities between the two plans beyond which networks they can access. Each plan allows you to use all of its high-speed data allotment on mobile hotspot. Both plans offer unlimited calling and texting to Mexico and Canada. Taxes and fees are extra with each. But that’s about where the identical features end.
Verizon Prepaid’s 15GB plan lists at $45/month, but pricing for it isn’t just that simple. Verizon Prepaid customers can take advantage of either an autopay discount or a customer loyalty discount, but not both together. Customers who enable autopay billing on the plan will save $10/month starting in month two. This lowers the price of the plan down to $35/month. Alternatively, customers who don’t enable autopay billing will save $5/month on their plan after three months of service, and $10/month after nine months of service bringing the price of the plan down to $35/month. This plan does not offer any additional discounts for having multiple lines.
Total by Verizon’s 15GB plan lists at $40/month. Customers who enable autopay billing can save an additional 5%/month on the plan lowering its cost to $38/month. Customers with multiple lines can add additional lines to their accounts priced at $35/line. Multiple line subscribers get added features that include talk, text, and data roaming in Mexico and Canada. But single-line customers do not. This plan also differs from Verizon Prepaid in that Verizon Prepaid’s 15GB plan includes talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico for single lines, not just multiple lines.
Finally, Verizon Prepaid’s plan includes unlimited texting to over 200 countries. Total by Verizon does not offer any international texting.
So, which plan option is better?
For single-line customers, Verizon Prepaid is the better option. It’s cheaper by $3/month if you are willing to enable autopay billing, and it includes Canada and Mexico roaming. For multi-line customers, Total by Verizon is probably the better option for most. If you have two Total by Verizon 15GB plans, you will end up paying $38 for line 1 (with autopay) and $35 for line 2 for a total of $73/month. But with Verizon Prepaid your cost will be $70/month. Although it’s slightly cheaper to have Verizon Prepaid, Total by Verizon allows you to mix and match plans and you can add any other plan priced above $40 to your account for just $35/month. So you can add Total by Verizon’s most expensive unlimited plan which is priced at $60/month for a single line to your multi-line account for just $35. That’s a far better value than having two lines with 15GB of data for $70/month with Verizon Prepaid.
Below is a table summarizing Verizon Prepaid’s 15GB plan vs Total by Verizon’s 15GB plan.
Neither plan includes any sort of priority data. This means that at times when the network is busy, data speeds may temporarily slow down when compared to other subscribers on the Verizon network.
Verizon Prepaid vs Total by Verizon Unlimited Starter Plans
Verizon Prepaid and Total by Verizon’s unlimited starter plans are nearly identical but there are some more subtle differences. But first, let’s start with the similarities.
Both plans include unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data on Verizon’s 5G Nationwide and 4G LTE networks. Both plans include a free six month trial of Disney+. Neither plan offers 5G Ultra Wideband access. Neither plan offers any priority/premium data. Each plan will have identical data speeds, but data speeds will temporarily slow down compared to other customers on the Verizon network when the network is busy. Taxes and fees cost extra with each plan. And this is where the identical features of each plan end.
Verizon Prepaid’s unlimited starter plan has a list price of $60/month. However, the price of the plan drops down to $50/month when autopay billing is enabled. Subscribers that don’t want to enable autopay can still save $10/month on the plan through Verizon Prepaid’s customer loyalty discount program. After three months subscribers will pay $55/month and after nine months the price of the plan drops to $50/month. Additional lines cost the same.
Total by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan lists at $50/month. Customers who enable autopay billing will save 5% per month and pay $47.50/month. Subscribers who have multiple lines will enjoy additional savings. Additional lines are just $35/month.
When it comes to mobile hotspot allowances, Total by Verizon offers 10GB of full-speed hotspot data. After that, hotspot cannot be used again until the next billing cycle. Verizon Prepaid offers 5GB of full-speed hotspot data, then data speeds are reduced to 600Kbps for the rest of the billing cycle.
Verizon Prepaid’s plan includes unlimited talk & text to Mexico and Canada plus international texting to over 200 countries. Subscribers also get talk, text, and data roaming in Mexico and Canada. Total by Verizon offers subscribers the ability to have unlimited talk and text to five countries of their choosing. Full-service roaming in Mexico and Canada is not included for single lines, but customers with multiple lines do get that feature.
So which unlimited starter plan is the better option?
For single lines, unless you need Canada and Mexico roaming and unlimited hotspot at 600Kbps, Total by Verizon is the better option as it is a bit cheaper and network performance will be the same between plans. For multi-line customers, Total by Verizon is the clear-cut winner. Multi-line customers get significant savings with Total by Verizon that aren’t found with Verizon Prepaid.
Below is a table comparing and highlighting the features of each plan.
|Verizon Prepaid||Total by Verizon|
|Autopay Price (AP)||$50||$47.50|
|4-Line Price w AP||$200||$152.50|
|International Texting||200+ countries||5 countries of|
|International calls||No||5 countries of|
|Canada & Mexico|
|Yes||Only if you have multiple lines|
|5G Ultra Wideband Access||No||No|
What About Visible?
There’s another unlimited starter plan from Visible by Verizon that you may want to choose over Total by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan. But before we take a look at Visible’s unlimited starter plan, we must first go over the fundamental differences between Visible and Verizon’s other prepaid brands.
Visible is meant to be an online-only brand with limited customer support options. Visible only offers help over email, chat, and social media. Verizon’s other prepaid brands offer much more robust support. Subscribers to the other brands can head to their local dealers for help, they can also head to big box stores such as Walmart. They can contact customer support over the phone, via chat, email, and social media. If you need help picking the best phone for your use case, a dealer or store representative can help you. These are things that you cannot get with Visible. If you are ok with these trade-offs, Visible by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan may be a better option for you than Total by Verizon’s.
Visible by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan includes unlimited everything for just $30/month with taxes and fees included. Customers can add additional lines for the same $30/month per line price point. The plan comes with 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide network access but no 5G Ultra Wideband access. There is no priority data allotment so during times of network congestion, Visible by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan customers may temporarily experience slower data speeds than other customers on Verizon’s network.
Visible by Verizon’s starter plan includes spam protection, unlimited mobile hotspot, and unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada but no roaming in either country. The unlimited mobile hotspot does have limits though. Hotspot data speeds are limited to 5Mbps and you can only connect one device to the hotspot at a time.
So, which is the better option for you? Total by Verizon’s unlimited starter plan or Visible by Verizon’s?
Each provider should offer the same network performance. Both plans will offer data speeds that are about the same. So it is really going to come down to what features you value in a plan and provider. But Visible’s option is certainly cheaper.
Below is a table comparing Total by Verizon to Visible by Verizon’s unlimited starter plans.
|Total by Verizon||Visible by Verizon|
|Price 1-Line||$50 + tax||$30|
|Autopay Price (AP)||$47.50 + tax||$30|
|4-Line Price w AP||$152.50 + tax||$120|
|International Texting||5 countries of|
|International Calling||5 countries of|
|Canada & |
|Only with multiple lines||No|
|Disney+ 6 Months||Yes||No|
|Call For Support||Yes||No|
|5G Ultra Wideband Access||No||No|
Verizon Prepaid vs Total by Verizon Flagship Unlimited Plans
Verizon Prepaid and Total by Verizon both have flagship unlimited plans. But these two plans differ from each other far more than the other plans we just discussed. They actually have less in common than they do similarities. In dissecting them, we’re still going to start with their similarities.
Both plans include unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data. Both plans also have access to Verizon’s 4G LTE, 5G Nationwide, and 5G Ultra Wideband networks. When connected to 5G Ultra Wideband you’ll get much faster data speeds than when on the 4G LTE or 5G Nationwide networks. Those are about where the similarities end between the two plans.
First, let’s take a look at pricing.
Total by Verizon’s flagship plan costs $60/month or $57/month with auto-refill enabled. Customers can mix and match plans and add additional lines to the plan for $35/month regardless of the plan as long as it’s priced at $40 or higher for a single line.
Verizon Prepaid’s flagship unlimited plan has a list price of $70/month. With autopay enabled, the price of the plan drops down to $60/month. There are no multi-line discounts available. Customers that don’t want to enable autopay billing will get the previously discussed autopay discounts. After three months the price of the plan will drop down to $65/month and after nine months the price will be $60/month.
Next up to discuss is in my opinion the biggest difference between the plans outside of multi-line pricing. Verizon Prepaid’s flagship plan includes 50GB of premium data. That means when you are connected to either Verizon’s 4G LTE or 5G Nationwide networks, your data speeds won’t slow down when the network is busy compared to other customers on Verizon until you use more than 50GB of data during a billing cycle. However, when you are connected to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, you get unlimited premium data. Total by Verizon customers do not get any premium data on Verizon’s 4G LTE or 5G Nationwide networks. Their data speeds will slow down at any time the network is busy. Total by Verizon does not state if you get unlimited premium data when connected to 5G Ultra Wideband, however, it is highly likely that you do.
Total by Verizon’s plan includes 20GB of hotspot data and that’s it. Verizon Prepaid’s plan includes 25GB of full-speed hotspot data. After 25GB, hotspot data speeds are reduced to 3Mbps when connected to the Ultra Wideband network and 600kbps when connected to the 4G LTE or 5G Nationwide networks.
Verizon Prepaid includes a six months free trial of Disney+. Total by Verizon gives you a free subscription to Disney+, not a trial.
Total by Verizon includes unlimited talk and text to 69 countries. Verizon Prepaid includes Global choice. You can call one international country a month at no extra cost. You will receive discounted rates to call 220+ countries along with unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada. You also get unlimited texting to over 200 countries. The Verizon Prepaid plan includes Mexico and Canada roaming, but to get that with Total by Verizon you have to add at least one additional line to your account with at least 15GB of data.
Verizon Prepaid advertises 4K UHD streaming when connected to the 5G Ultra Wideband network. Total by Verizon does not make this claim.
So which plan should you choose? The answer to this is a lot less clear-cut than some of the other comparisons. And it’s going to come down to where you live, the features you need, and the number of lines needed.
If you live in a location that’s congested and there’s no 5G Ultra Wideband network in your area then Verizon Prepaid will be your clear-cut winner. You’ll get faster data speeds, at least for the first 50GB, after that data speeds should be the same between the two plans.
If you plan on using a lot of hotspot data, Verizon Prepaid will be the better option. Verizon Prepaid’s plan comes with more full-speed hotspot data and if you are in an area with 5G Ultra Wideband coverage you get unlimited hotspot data at 3Mbps which is actually quite useable for a variety of tasks.
For most other use cases, Total by Verizon will likely be the better option for you. This is especially true if you have multiple lines. You’ll save a lot more money with Total by Verizon if you have multiple unlimited plan lines.
What About Visible+?
Another option to consider is Visible by Verizon’s Visible+ plan. Earlier in the article, we discussed the general limitations of Visible by Verizon service, so you may want to review them before reading on. A brief recap is that Visible doesn’t have any stores, and customer support is inferior compared to the other two Verizon prepaid brands. If you can live with those drawbacks, Visible’s Visible+ plan may be the right choice for you.
The Visible+ plan includes 50GB of premium high-priority data when connected to Verizon’s 4G LTE or 5G Nationwide networks just like with Verizon Prepaid’s flagship unlimited plan. It also includes 5G Ultra Wideband network access with unlimited premium data when connected to that network. Both provider plans offer unlimited texting to over 200 countries plus full service roaming in Mexico and Canada.
In some ways, Visible by Verizon’s Visible+ plan is a scaled-down version of Verizon Prepaid’s flagship plan. It does include unlimited hotspot. But hotspot data speeds are limited to 5Mbps and you can only connect the hotspot to one device at a time. There’s no allotment of full-speed hotspot data like the 25GB you get with Verizon Prepaid.
The Visible+ plan does not include a Disney+ trial or subscription. It does include unlimited calling from the US to over 30 countries. And you can make up to 500 minutes of international calls per month at no additional cost.
The Visible+ plan costs $45/month and $45 for each additional line.
Visible+ terms and conditions state that videos stream at 480p when on 5G Ultra Wideband, but you do get 4K under this scenario with Verizon Prepaid.
Below is a table comparing Total by Verizon, Visible by Verizon, and Verizon Prepaid’s flagship unlimited plans.
|Verizon Prepaid||Visible+||Total by Verizon|
|Autopay Price (AP)||$60+tax||$45||$57|
|4-Line Price with AP||$240+tax||$180||$162+tax|
|Premium Data On 4G LTE |
or 5G Nationwide Networks
|Hotspot||25GB then unlimited up to 3Mbps||Unlimited @5Mbps||20GB|
|International Calling||Yes, limited to one country/mo||Yes||Yes|
|Canada & |
|Yes||Yes||Only with multiple lines|
|Video streams||Up to 4K||480p||480p|
|Disney+||Yes only for 6-months||No||Yes|
|Call For Support||Yes||No||Yes|
|5G Ultra Wideband Access||Yes||Yes||Yes|
So comparing plans here again, which one is the best for you will really come down to the features you need and possibly how many lines you have. To my eyes, if you are willing to make the trade-offs of not having any stores and less than stellar customer support, the Visible+ plan will offer the best overall value.
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts
- Unlimited GB Hotspot
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts