Wireless Plans And Promotions: The Best Carrier Deals This Holiday Season

Friendly Holiday Competition

Before picking up a shiny new mobile device this year for a loved one, or even as an early holiday present for yourself, consider the carrier.

Telecom carriers are getting in the holiday spirit by offering deals, discounts or bundled offerings. Whether you're switching carriers, or adding a new line to an existing account, now's the time to get the most bang for your buck.

Here is a roundup of some of the current wireless plans, as well as the extra holiday promotions out there this season from the biggest carriers.

Then, check out CRN's top 10 smartphone picks for 2015.


Right now, Verizon is offering five wireless plans for data, ranging in size from small to XXL. Customers can switch their plan size at any time. Here's the data plan breakdown before monthly access charges:

Customers can also receive $300 when trading in a smartphone when switching or adding a new line. Both new and existing customers will get $100 instantly.

Verizon's Gift To You

Now through Jan. 6, Verizon Wireless customers that are on or upgrade to the XL or XXL plans will also receive 2 GB of bonus data every month for every new phone they add to the plan this holiday season. The 2 GB of monthly bonus data is shareable and only available as long as the XL or XXL plan is kept active.

Right before Thanksgiving, Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon rolled out its "Give a Gig" promotion that allows customers to send 1 GB of data to friends and family for $10 using the Verizon Messages app on Android devices, or through Verizon's website. This promotion is still ongoing.


AT&T is letting users choose their data for a limited time and this data can be shared between all devices and users on the plan. Excluding monthly access charges, here's how the carrier is breaking it out the data portion of the bill:

AT&T also offers rollover data that can roll over to the next month if unused. Rollover data does expire after one month, or with any plan changes, however.

AT&T's Gift To You

Despite pressure from carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint, AT&T remained steady this holiday season with its wireless plan prices. However, the carrier is giving customers interested in the Mobile Share Value Plan 15 GB of data for the price of 10 GB for a limited time, according to the Dallas-based provider's website.

Other than that, AT&T is focusing its holiday promotions on gear, such as tablets, smartphones and wearables.


T-Mobile offers four data options, but doesn't break out data separately as a part of its billing scheme. Here's how its billing shakes out for each phone line, per month:

2 GB/$50
2 GB/$20
6 GB/$65
6 GB/$35
10 GB/$80
10 GB/$50
Unlimited data/ $95
14 GB/$65
18 GB/$80

The Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier also touts "no sharing of data." Each of four lines in a family plan have its own 6 GB for $30 a month.

T-Mobile offers to pay up to $650 per line to cover early termination fees to device payoffs when new customers switch from another carrier.

T-Mobile's Gift To you

T-Mobile is going for the jugular this holiday season and the carrier has its sights set on AT&T.

AT&T subscribers receive 50 percent off accessories over $70 when they switch to T-Mobile. The discount is good for up to $125 off the total price and includes items like wireless Bluetooth speakers.

T-Mobile didn't leave Sprint out. The carrier also said right before Thanksgiving that it would provide each customer from Sprint or its prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile a $200 bill credit. The credit does not require a device to be traded in.

Sprint Plans

All of Sprint's plans include unlimited talk and text. Unlike the breakout that Verizon and AT&T offer, Sprint's website promises to match your current provider's data plan for half the price.

Alternatively, customers can choose the unlimited data plan for $70/month, or the shared family plan featuring four lines and 40 GB of data for $120 a month.

Like T-Mobile, Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint is also courting new customers by offering to pay switching fees up to $650 per line to new Sprint subscribers.

Sprint's Gift To You

Sprint kicked off the holiday by revealing before Thanksgiving that it would slice the rates of competitor wireless plans from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in half for customers who switch now though Jan. 7. If selected before Jan. 7 of next year, the deal is good until 2018.