Mint Mobile can save you a lot of money on your wireless phone bill - here's all you need to know.
Thanks to advertising starring actor (and company owner) Ryan Reynolds, Mint Mobile has made some headway in the prepaid carrier industry. If you’ve been curious about Mint Mobile, now is the time to find out how this low-cost wireless service can help you save money on your monthly phone bill.
Mint Mobile encourages its subscribers to buy in bulk, paying in advance for anywhere from three to twelve months of service, rather than paying a monthly charge. The longer you sign up for at once, the less money you’ll pay each month. When compared to the finest prepaid phone plans, the discounts are rather appealing.
From Mint’s coverage and plans to the devices the network supports, we’ve put up a one-stop shop for everything a potential Mint Mobile customer needs to know. Here’s what you need to know.
What network does Mint Mobile use?
Mint Mobile is an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, like the majority of prepaid providers. MVNOs rely on the infrastructure of existing networks, such as T-Mobile in Mint’s case.
The network of T-Mobile claimed the fastest average upload speeds and tied for second overall in Tom’s Guide carrier testing a few years ago; since then, third-party testing groups have given the network of T-Mobile high grades. Because several other prepaid providers throttle speeds regardless of network circumstances, this is a positive thing for Mint Mobile subscribers. For example, Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T, limits speeds to 8 Mbps at all times for its three cheapest plans; to receive unrestricted speeds, you must upgrade to the $60-per-month Cricket More unlimited plan.
Ultimately, coverage and Mint’s availability in your location are the deciding factors. To that purpose, Mint Mobile has a map on its website that can help you figure out if the service is right for you. A $0.99 beginning kit lets you test out the service with 250MB of 4G LTE data, 250 text messages, and 250 minutes of voice time to evaluate how coverage is; if you sign up for the service, you get the $5 as a bill credit.
What do you get with Mint Mobile 5G?
T-Mobile has expanded its nationwide 5G service to include MVNOs like Mint Mobile. If you have a 5G phone, you can use T- Mobile’s 5G infrastructure for your Mint Mobile subscription at no extra cost when compared to ordinary 4G service.
When compared to other discount networks, that last component — the lack of a surcharge for 5G users — is a big plus for Mint Mobile. Cricket only has 5G on its most expensive plan, and Verizon’s Visible is only now starting to bring out 5G to users. (For the time being, Visible is only available to iPhone 12 owners.)
As a Mint Mobile subscriber, you have the option of bringing your own 5G-capable gadget or choosing one from the service provider. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, OnePlus 8 Pro, and, on the more cheap end, even the Motorola Edge and the 5G variant of the Galaxy A51 are all available from Mint.
Mint Mobile doesn’t use T-Mobile’s millimeter-wave deployment, which promises speeds of over 1 Gbps but only works in metropolitan areas, usually outside where you have line-of-sight to a millimeter-wave node.
Which phones are compatible with Mint Mobile?
Mint Mobile is only available on T-Mobile’s GSM network, therefore you’ll need a GSM phone to use it.
Unlocked phones are usually designed for GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, rather than CDMA networks such as Verizon. Some phones can work on both networks, although CDMA-only devices will have trouble connecting to all of the bands that Mint Mobile and T-Mobile use for service. For example, while LTE and 5G connection may be good, a CDMA smartphone will be unable to access the base-level infrastructure for calls, texts, and 3G data.
WHAT IS AN UNLOCKED PHONE, EXACTLY?
Unlocked phones are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. What is the reason for this? Because when it comes to choosing between models, carriers, and plans, nothing surpasses the flexibility of an unlocked phone.
What is the difference between a locked and an unlocked smartphone? A smartphone that is unlocked is one that is not bound to a certain carrier or contract. As a result, you have complete control over how often — or how infrequently — you shop for new phones and plans. Furthermore, they do not come preloaded with a slew of carrier apps that take up space on your phone. Unlocked phones are also the best option for foreign travel.
Even once you’ve chosen the proper phone, you’ll need to take some steps to get everything up and running, from calls and messages to data. To guarantee that your Android device or iPhone is fully functional when you insert the SIM card, follow the instructions on Mint’s FAQ page.
If you’re on the fence about trying Mint, the Starter Kit is a good place to start. This $0.99 package includes one SIM card and a week of 250MB data access, allowing you to test the network for yourself. The kit costs $0.99, but if you buy a plan afterward, the company will give you $5 off your plan.
Mint Mobile didn’t have its own devices at first. However, this has recently changed, and clients are no longer need to bring their own unlocked device or go to the hassle of finding one that would work on Mint’s network. Popular models such as the second-generation iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, and even the Google Pixel 4 and foldable Samsung Galaxy Z Flip are available on Mint’s website. The store has a surprising number of top models, including a few surprises like the Sony Xperia 1, so it’s worth looking through if you’re interested in giving Mint Mobile a shot.
Which Mint Mobile plans offer the best value?
Mint’s programs are unique because they offer long-term commitments, unlike the prepaid competition, which often offers month-to-month contracts. The carrier recently increased data allowances for 3-month and 6-month subscribers, as well as adding a new unlimited data option (more on that below). Mint’s overall value is still among the best in the market.
Mint Mobile offers tiered data subscriptions with 4GB, 10GB, 15GB and unlimited buckets of LTE data. No matter the data plan you choose or for how long you use it, talk and text are always limitless. As a general rule, the more you buy in advance, the more money you save.
Unfortunately, after your first billing cycle, Mint’s pricing plan becomes quite confusing. The company’s three-month introductory offer ensures that members will pay the same monthly fee as 12-month members. The monthly costs are $15 for 4GB, $20 for 10GB, $25 for 15GB, and $30 for the new unlimited plan.
However, when it comes time to renew, the promotional three-month option is no longer available. If you want to extend your subscription for another three months, your bill will skyrocket. After your first plan expires, you can anticipate to pay the following:
Returning customers who sign up for a three-month plan will pay $30, $45, or $60 more upfront than they did on their first bill. Even if you buy six months at a time, your monthly fee will increase by $5 to $10 each month. Signing up for a 12-month commitment is the only option to keep paying the same rates as a new member.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’ve used all your monthly data allowance on a tiered plan, your speeds will be throttled to 2G. However, you can add more data to your account by visiting Mint’s website or texting “UPDATA” to 6700.
Finally, the three-month bundle is the greatest deal for new subscribers. After that, Mint’s pricing are still low when compared to competing prepaid carriers, but you’ll have to watch out for price hikes and pick your commitment carefully.
How does the unlimited plan from Mint Mobile work?
Last year, Mint Mobile introduced an unlimited data plan that is only slightly more expensive than its tiered plans. It’s also less expensive than Visible’s $40 unlimited package, at least when Mint’s discounted pricing is taken into account. However, there are certain limitations to Mint’s unlimited plan.
To begin with, it’s not unlimited in the traditional sense, as is the case with virtually all carriers’ unlimited plans. After 35GB of data has been used up, Mint Mobile deprioritizes your data, which means you’ll still get service but at a slower speed. Typically, carriers use jargon to get around this, but Mint’s site states plainly that “clients utilizing >35GB/mo will experience decreased speeds.”
Furthermore, unlimited clients’ video streams are limited to standard-definition, 480p resolution; this restriction does not apply to 4GB, 10GB, or 15GB customers. Limitless customers do not have unlimited hotspot usage, which expires after 5GB. If feeding your phone’s data connection to your laptop, tablet, or other device is critical to you, the 15GB-per-month tiered plan is the preferable option.
Mint Mobile has also created a service that allows you to have your monthly data usage logged by the carrier. The idea is that unlimited consumers may track how much data they use each month and downgrade to a lower-cost plan if they don’t use enough data to justify Mint’s unlimited service.
What makes Mint Mobile stand apart from the crowd?
If you want to check Mint Mobile out for yourself, you can do so without risk. If the service doesn’t work out for you, you can request a full refund (excluding shipping and handling) within seven days.
Mint Mobile is a largely bare-bones service in terms of other features, however you may still add to your LTE or 5G data allocation if you’re nearing the limit. An additional 1GB costs $10, and another 3GB costs $20. Additionally, if you’re traveling internationally, the carrier charges the same rates for international roaming data. Mexico and Canada are both free to call.
While many carriers charge extra for mobile hotspot access, Mint Mobile provides it for free to its subscribers, which is extremely convenient. Mint Mobile now supports visual voicemail after earlier refusing to do so. For smartphones having those features, Wi-Fi calls and SMS are also authorized. Most modern Android and iPhone devices (Mint has a full list on its website) support service over Wi-Fi, though it may need to be enabled first in your phone’s Settings menu.
Customers who opt to bring their smartphone to Mint Mobile should be aware of this. If your smartphone is currently locked to another network, the carrier will not assist you in unlocking it — something US Mobile can do for its customers.
What do Mint Mobile consumers have to say?
Mint Mobile has received positive acclaim for its low rates and straightforward user interface. If you have to contact customer service, though, your experience may be less than ideal. Subscribers on the Mint Mobile subreddit have complained about poor customer service, particularly when contrasted to the Google Fi network, which boasts quick responses and availability via several social media channels. To make matters worse, Mint Mobile consumers have less resources at their disposal if something goes wrong due to the lack of a physical presence.
When it comes to network performance, consumers have reported that Mint Mobile has slower speeds on average than T-Mobile. This is most likely due to Mint’s consumers being prioritized over T-own Mobile’s client base. Prepaid users, who almost usually wind up playing second fiddle to postpaid subscribers, are not immune to this problem. However, some Mint Mobile subscribers claim to have experienced peak speeds on occasion, probably when the network was less busy.
Verdict on Mint Mobile
Like most prepaid wireless networks, Mint Mobile does sacrifice some comforts — like readily available customer support and the best possible data speeds — for a lower monthly cost.
Still, Mint’s bulk sales model helps it achieve some of the lowest prices in the industry. And if you can put up with occasionally slowed-down data and having to go to community forums to solve some problems on your own, Mint Mobile shouldn’t let you down.