Are Streaming TV Services With Your Phone Plan Worth It?

Young friends smiling at a smartphone video
GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

All the major cellphone carriers, and most of the smaller ones, offer unlimited cellphone plans.

On face value, these plans all can seem the same. So, carriers have resorted to adding extra perks and features to make their plans stand out.

Often included with these extras are free subscriptions to various streaming services. Streaming subscriptions are available with all of the premium unlimited plans offered by the big carriers, but are these free subscriptions worth signing onto a pricey plan? Let’s take a look.

HBO Max with AT&T

Naturally, AT&T pairs its high-end Unlimited Elite with its own HBO Max.

Unlimited Elite is $15/month more than the base AT&T Unlimited Starter plan. An HBO Max subscription usually costs $14.99/month.

When you factor in other perks like 100GB of guaranteed high-speed data, and 30GB of mobile hot spot, that doesn’t seem so bad.

Of course, that is assuming HBO Max is actually worth the $14.99/month to you. With full access to HBO’s library, plus a ton more, HBO Max is one of the best streaming services out there.

I wouldn’t join AT&T just to get HBO Max free, but if you get great coverage on their network, you want an unlimited plan, and you’d pay for HBO Max anyway, you should take a long, hard look at AT&T Unlimited Elite.

Netflix with T-Mobile

T-Mobile offers a free subscription — either Netflix or Quibi — to anyone with two or more lines on their Magenta or Magenta Plus plan.

With all due respect to Quibi, we’re going to concentrate on the much more popular Netflix. It seems like just about everybody has Netflix these days.

Getting Netflix free would be nice, especially considering you’re likely to get it even if you have to pay for it. Still, the caveat of needing to have at least two lines is pretty restrictive, and for the Magenta plan you’re also stuck with SD video quality.

T-Mobile’s Netflix perk is nice, but probably shouldn’t be the reason you join their network. Instead, join T-Mobile for their strong service and competitive prices.

Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and Apple Music with Verizon

Verizon has had the best LTE network for years, but they’ve also had the most expensive plans. The major carrier has tried to justify their high prices with some excellent perks.

Verizon has your viewing and listening pleasures covered with a subscription bundle that includes Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and Apple Music. Altogether, that’s a value of $22.98/month.

Are all those subscriptions worth that price? With all the content you get from those services, and comparing them to similar services, it’s safe to say that it’s worth it.

If you want those subscriptions you’ll have to get the Verizon Get More Unlimited plan, which is $20 more than their base unlimited plan and just $10 more than their mid-tier unlimited plans.

Tip: If you’re on a Verizon unlimited plan and you’re paying for the Disney+ and Hulu bundle and a separate music streaming service, you should probably go switch to Get More Unlimited Elite right now to get those services free and possibly save a little when all is said and done.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.