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Xfinity Connect Xfinity Internet Essentials Xfinity Instant TV Choice TV Select Double Play

In my role as a broadband market analyst, I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching Comcast Xfinity’s plans and pricing strategies.

When you read the fine print and run test orders, it quickly becomes clear that the price on the box is not the price you actually pay. This is especially true with the cheapest Xfinity internet-only plans, thanks to the complex xFi fee update in 2024.

The main downside of Xfinity’s cheapest plans are above-average fees and particularly high bill increases after the first 1–2 years of service. I’ve confirmed bill increases as high as 185%.

All Xfinity plans are also subject to data caps (Connect and Connect More) also feature data caps, something their main competitors have all gotten rid of at this point. The only way to get unlimited data with Xfnity is to pay an extra $25/month fee for their advanced Wi-Fi equipment bundle.

To be fair, some features have improved over the years. For starters, they have the most useable low-income plan in the industry. Service setup is simple and equipment is well-designed.

With all that in mind, let’s walk through each of the cheapest plans in detail:

Cheapest for most homes: Xfinity Connect

Screenshot of Xfinity's cheapest plan.
Connect is the cheapest Xfinity plan, not including their low-income subsidy programs. The speed may vary at some locations, as shown above.

At $19.99 per month plus taxes and fees, the Connect plan is priced well below market standards. This is also a plan that I’ve tested personally, in an apartment with three people.

Xfinity Connect gives you download speeds of 75 Mbps, which is enough for a small family or group of roommates to stream in HD on a modest flatscreen and have about four phones and a couple of computers connected.

However, if you rely on high upload speeds to make calls on Zoom or similar, you’re probably going to feel underwhelmed by Xfinity’s 5 Mbps upload speeds. Two devices at once is the maximum I’d suggest for making video calls over Wi-Fi. More than that, and you’ll start to have connection issues due to crowded bandwidth when uploading real-time video. (I usually use an ethernet cable for important calls to avoid Wi-Fi issues.)

That said, there are a few notable benefits to Connect. The most obvious is the frequent use of $50+ Visa prepaid cards to promote new sign-ups. For the truly cost-conscious, I’ve verbally confirmed with Xfinity reps that Visa card offers can be appled toward your bill. This makes the first month effectively free, even if you opt to pay for their $15 per month xFi Wi-Fi routers.

On this plan, you also have the option to add Xfinity’s 4K streaming “Flex” box with NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service free of charge.

Picture of Flex hardware included with some Xfinity plans.
With my internet plan, I got a complimentary Flex box that lets me watch Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, and more from my television.

Now, a bit on the charges you’ll experience with Connect:

First, if you prefer to pay bills by mail or in-person, be prepared for a $10 monthly charge. Fortunately, avoiding that charge is as simple as setting up auto-pay or paperless billing on Xfinity’s website.

Second, in order to get in-home Wi-Fi, you need to either purchase your own router and modem or pay $15 a month for xFi, Xfinity’s own modem/router combo.

On top of that, if you don’t want to install the modem and router yourself, it’ll cost you $100 to have an Xfinity professional do it.

However, you probably don’t need to spend this money. In my case, self-install was simple and I only took 15 minutes. I used a third-party router and modem and avoided the activation cost entirely. If you rent their router and get a “self-install kit,” there is usually a small “activation fee.”

Picture of author's third-party Xfinity router.
This Nighthawk router/modem combo from Netgear has proven completely reliable — and I saved the $15–25 per month that a router from Xfinity would have cost me.

Lastly, don’t expect the relatively cheap price of this plan to stay. After the first year, you’ll see a jump in price to $51 before fees, a 155% increase on the initial rate.

Cheapest for low-income households: Xfinity Internet Essentials

Screenshot of Xfinity's low income plan.
Xfinity Internet Essentials brings surprisingly fast internet to your home for a can’t-beat-it price.

Perhaps a better deal but only available to low-income households, Xfinity Internet Essentials gives you essentially all of the benefits of Performance Starter+ at half of the introductory price.

On this plan, you’ll get 50 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up for $10 per month plus taxes, with the option to purchase your own computer from Xfinity at only $150.

On top of those benefits, you’ll also avoid activation fees and equipment rentals, meaning that you’ll get access to an Xfinity wireless gateway at no additional cost. Lastly, you can use this plan to connect to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.

So, how do you qualify? Xfinity lays out its criteria for the Internet Essentials program on its website:

You may qualify for Internet Essentials if you:

  • Are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and others.
  • Live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available.
  • Are not an existing Xfinity Internet customer and have not subscribed to Comcast Internet within the last 90 days.
  • Have no outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than one year old. Families with outstanding debt that’s more than one year old may still be eligible.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you qualify, the best course of action is to give it a shot; You can apply on Xfinity’s website to know for sure.

Cheapest TV-only plan: Xfinity Instant TV

Screenshot of Xfinity Instant TV product.
Xfinity Instant TV brings basic television to a variety of your screens for only $20 a month.

Xfinity Instant TV is the cheapest TV-only plan from Xfinity, offering a budget-friendly streaming service accessible via smart TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, Roku, or Flex box — eliminating the need for additional hardware.

Key Features

  • Cost: $20/month post a free trial.
  • Content: Combines live TV (ABC, CBS, etc.) with on-demand content, similar to Hulu or Amazon Prime.
  • Access: Requires compatible devices like smart TVs or Roku as mediums to stream.

Additional Considerations

  • Xfinity Instant TV differs from traditional cable TV in access and content format.
  • Initial investment may be needed for compatible devices if not already owned.

  • Comcast typically increased pricing and fees along with inflation on an annual basis. So, keep an eye you your billing.
  • You’re not going to get a lot of channels beyond the essentials (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.) on this plan, and the channel list varies by location. Make sure to speak (or online chat through their website) with an Xfinity rep before you sign up to confirm the channel list.

For more details and subscription options, visit Xfinity’s website.

Cheapest TV bundle: Choice TV Select Double Play

Screenshot of Xfinity Select TV offer.
The Choice TV Select Double Play plan brings speeds of up to 100 Mbps down and about ten basic television channels.

After testing dozens of addresses in Xfinity’s address-testing function, I found that the cheapest television bundle that Xfinity currently offers is Choice Double Play, a combination of television and internet.

Screenshot of Xfinity Select TV offer channel count.
This plan offers basic channels for sports fans, with mid-range 100 Mbps internet included at a discount.

Now a bit about television: Like the last plan I mentioned, the television portion of this bundle is pretty limited. You’re only going to get about 10 or so of the most popular channels, with Xfinity’s catalog of on-demand titles attached — but you can attach specific channels onto your plan for not-so-cheap prices if you care to.

Also like the last plan, the television portion of Choice Double Play also runs through the Xfinity Stream app on your smart TV, phone, laptop, or Roku. This makes streaming simple and efficient.

Before you decide to pull the trigger on Choice Double Play, though, here are a couple of things you should remember:

  • Your price is going to go way up after the first year, and up again after the second year. At $54 per month, this TV-internet bundle is as expensive as some internet-only plans out there, but when both your introductory rate and paperless billing discount expire, the plan will cost you nearly $90 per month.
  • This plan comes with a one-year agreement. The exact amount varies, but expect to pay up to $100 to get out if you need to cancel.

What discounts does Xfinity offer?

Xfinity offers pretty good prices for its cable, phone, and internet packages, and is one of the more generous internet service providers (ISPs) out there when it comes to discounts. Here are some of the groups that stand to receive discounts from Xfinity:

  • Members of the military and veterans: Xfinity offers a $25 coupon and a $100 Visa prepaid card, both of which can be applied to your service, to members of the military (more on that here).
  • Low-income individuals: Xfinity’s Internet Essentials program gives you 50 Mbps (Megabits per second, a common unit of internet speed) download speeds and 5 Mbps upload speeds for about $10 per month.
  • Students: Xfinity offers discounted internet plans to qualified students and a slew of other benefits, like a Visa prepaid card worth up to $100 and six months of Amazon Music Unlimited, completely free.
  • Teachers: Xfinity gives teachers a Visa prepaid card worth $100 as well as some other notable benefits, like free Peacock Premium and discounted internet plans.

On top of all those benefits, Xfinity also takes part in federal internet assistance programs for low-income individuals, like the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline — which we’ll discuss later in this article.

How to avoid bill increases on Xfinity’s cheapest plans

Almost all ISPs have some sort of rate increase after an attractive introductory period. This increase can often be quite costly; fortunately, though, there is a possibility that patience and polite persistence can earn you a discount on that service.

Here’s the gist of what you need to know: It hurts Xfinity’s performance statistics to grant a rate decrease, so you’re fighting an uphill battle. That said, it’s not impossible.

Keeping in mind that call center employees deal with angry customers all day, every day, it’s best to call and start with a script that emphasizes your satisfaction with Xfinity and your desire to keep your current service but also lets the employee know that it is getting costly.

This script, from our article How to Negotiate a Lower Xfinity Bill (as Existing Customer), is a good place to start:

Hi, I recently lost the promo price on my bill and I’d like to get back to a more affordable price. If possible, I don’t want to change my service level or change services. Are there any options for long-time customers in my situation currently?

If you are rejected, don’t give up. Thank the representative for their time and call back. Repeat that script to another representative at least three times.

If none of the representatives give you a discount you are satisfied with, it’s time to talk with Xfinity about canceling your service.

Beginning the process of canceling your service will probably get you transferred to Xfinity’s retention department, where it’s possible you’ll get a deal. If it doesn’t, hang up and try again later. When you speak with retention, reiterate your problem:

Hi, I’ve been calling in because my promo expired and I’m trying to get my bill back to a manageable rate. The last person I spoke with couldn’t seem to get it adjusted. What are my options?

At this point, they might try to offer you a television or phone bundle. Stay on message, respectfully declining the offer:

I really can’t change any of my services right now. My frustration is that I know people in my neighborhood are paying less than me. I really don’t want to switch but I guess I’ll have to if the bill is really stuck at this amount. What about extending my new customer promo? Is that an option?

If that doesn’t work, ask if you can speak to a supervisor before canceling. You can repeat the same script here, but if it doesn’t work, here’s what to say:

Well, I’m sorry we couldn’t come to a deal here. I’m going to think about it a few days before I go through with canceling. Do you know if there’s a promotion coming up in the next week or two that I can call back to take advantage of?

Sometimes, the supervisors will know of seasonal or other discounts that you can use. If not, it’s best to hang up and try again another day.

Discount prices for faster Xfinity plans

Illustration of money and the Xfinity logo.
All Xfinity plans include a $15 per month Wi-Fi router leasing fee. You can remove this ongoing fee by spending $80 or so up-front to purchase your own modem and router.

No one wants to pay more than they need to for internet service, but sometimes we have a minimum level of service that we need for work or entertainment. Here are Xfinity’s internet plans by speed:

All sample prices from Western US service regions. Prices in Eastern US are higher.
Plan NameDownloadUploadPromo PriceFinal Price
Connect75 Mbps5 Mbps$19.99/mo$57
Connect More200 Mbps20 Mbps$30/mo$69
Fast400 Mbps10 Mbps$50/mo$79
Superfast800 Mbps20 Mbps$60/mo$89
Gigabit1000 Mbps100 Mbps$65/mo$99
Gigabit Extra1200 Mbps100 Mbps$70/mo$109
Gigabit X22000 Mbps200 Mbps$120/mo$120

Conclusion: Is Xfinity the cheapest internet option?

Xfinity is usually the cheapest internet option within their service area. They leverage their large size to compete heavily on price, particularly when compared with local or faster fiber operators like Sonic or AT&T.

Unfortunately, they also know where they do and don’t need to compete on price. Customers in the Northeast US will find higher prices across the board, and fewer alternatives in areas like Boston. Meanwhile on the West Coast, their pricing is extremely low — unsurprisingly, these are areas where they compete with fiber internet networks from AT&T, Sonic, and even CenturyLink. In terms of price per Mbps of speed, fiber operators are almost always cheaper.

In terms of value, if what you want is fast download speeds and don’t need much speed on upload, Xfinity might be the right choice for you. It’s particularly well-suited for homes that mostly just watch Netflix and don’t care about upload speed for home office use.

Likewise, if you are a low-income individual who needs a lot of speed but can’t afford the more expensive internet plans, Xfinity has a pretty generous program that could get you there.

Despite those positive factors, it ultimately comes down to your personal situation and the needs only you can really know. Here are a few things I ran into that are good to keep in mind as you pursue service from Xfinity:

  • Watch out for price increases. Almost every ISP jacks up your rate after the first or second year, but Xfinity’s rate increases are often substantial.
  • Xfinity offers good prices for its services (at least for the first year), but the company will try to upsell you on unnecessary devices, speeds, and more. For example, when I ran a test purchase on one of the company’s internet plans, I found it difficult to opt out of paying for Xfinity’s branded modem.
  • Don’t expect Xfinity to be completely transparent. During my test checkout, I found that the upload speed of my internet plan was hidden until the “review” page when I had already given the company my credit card information. To be fair though, they have announced an increase to their upload speeds rolling out over the next few years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest Xfinity internet-only plan?

The cheapest Xfinity internet-only plan is Connect, a $19.99 per month promotional package offering 75 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.

Does Xfinity have low-income assistance plans?

Xfinity Internet Essentials is Xfinity’s program specifically designed to bring internet connectivity to low-income individuals. This plan offers up to 50 Mbps internet-only service for only $10 per month, making it one of the most generous low-income programs currently active in the US. For comparison, Spectrum and AT&T charge up to twice as much for a quarter of the download speed.

Does Xfinity offer discounts?

Xfinity offers discounts to teachers, students, and veterans. However, these discounts are not very high and usually do not repeat monthly. Instead, one-time discounts or free add-ons are more common.

Page Summary
  • The cheapest Xfinity internet-only plan is Connect, which is priced at just $19.99 for the first year, excluding fees, in the Western US.
  • Xfinity has a low-income plan that offers the same speed as Connect for only $10 per month. However, this plan is only available for homes experiencing poverty.
  • Xfinity offers discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and military veterans.

Jameson Zimmer
Broadband Market Analyst
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Last Update: February 13, 2024
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