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Mint Mobile review: The top carrier for flexible, budget-friendly plans


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Mint Mobile logo on a green graphic background.Mint Mobile is a stellar MVNO option if you know that T-Mobile’s coverage works in your area.

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Mint Mobile is one of the frontrunners in the budget phone plan market, and it’s clear why. They have a robust marketing strategy, a movie-star-slash-business-mogul co-owner, and clear and concise plans that readily simplify managing your phone plan. The plans cost as low as $15/month, with unlimited calling and texting for all plans and access to high-speed data through T-Mobile’s network across the US (not to mention free call and text to Canada and Mexico). 

In brief, Mint Mobile offers prepaid plans that allow users to manage their data easily. Mint features three-, six-, and 12-month plans, each with a low monthly rate. You can adjust your plan anytime, so if you’d like to test-drive the service before committing to the full year, it’s a low financial stake. 

You can save more if you can sign up for a whole year. But at the very least, you can take advantage of a discounted rate for the first three months with Mint Mobile’s new customer offer.

I tested Mint Mobile through an average week in New York City, testing the fundamentals: call quality, data speed and prices, and general coverage. I also took note of the setup process, plan offerings, and some other basics that one would look for when switching carriers.

Plan offerings and flexibility

Mint Mobile’s plan offerings have always been geared toward those seeking savings on their phone plan. As of April 2023, Mint increased the 5G/4G LTE data allotment on its plans while maintaining the same price: Its 4GB plan increased to 5GB, while its 10GB, 15GB, and 35GB plans each increased by 5GB. 

Mint Mobile’s three-month plans are currently discounted with an exceptional new customer promotion, where all four data tiers cost just $15/month. After the promotional period, the plans reset to their standard rates, as detailed below. 

Mint Mobile introductory 3-month plans

Plan and data allotment

Monthly price 

Total price 

5GB Plan

$15

$45

15GB Plan

$15

$45

20GB Plan

$15

$45

Unlimited (40GB)*

$15

$45

Mint Mobile 3-month plans

Plan and data allotment

Monthly price 

Total price

5GB Plan

$25

$75

15GB Plan

$35

$105

20GB Plan

$45

$135

Unlimited (40GB)*

$40

$120

Mint Mobile 6-month plans

Plan and data allotment

Monthly price

Total price

5GB

$20

$120

15GB

$25

$150

20GB

$35

$210

Unlimited (40GB)*

$35

$210

Mint Mobile 12-month plans

Plan and data allotment

Monthly price

Total price

5GB

$15

$180

15GB

$20

$240

20GB

$25

$300

Unlimited (40GB)*

$30

$360

*Mint’s Unlimited plans also include 10 additional monthly GB for high-speed hot spot data, an increase from 5GB as previously offered.

All of Mint’s prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text, free calling to Mexico and Canada from the United States, and WiFi calling and texting. You’ll also get a free SIM card when you switch, and you can use your 5G and LTE data access for a high-speed hot spot if you wish. 

It’s worth noting that once your monthly high-speed data cap is reached, you’ll have slower data speeds — however, you’ll still have access to unlimited data at those lower speeds, so you won’t be entirely cast adrift if you meet your data max. 

Before signing up, you’ll want to confirm that your phone is compatible with Mint Mobile. Nearly all 5G or 4G LTE-supported phones that use SIM cards or eSIMs will be compatible. To be sure, you can use the compatibility checker provided on their site by entering your phone’s brand and model (or, even better, your phone’s IMEI number — which you can find by dialing *#06# or in your phone’s settings). 

From there, your setup will be fairly straightforward, thanks to the “cleverness kit” that comes with your new SIM card. The kit includes instructions on how to keep your existing phone number and a QR code to download the Mint Mobile app easily. It refers to additional tips on their YouTube channel, which has a series of designated videos for setup assistance. 

Mint Mobile review: Mint mobile app and SIM card on phoneMint Mobile’s set up includes a “cleverness kit,” which contains your SIM card and initial instructions.

Eve Montie/Business Insider

Even after inputting your SIM card, the Mint Mobile app will guide you through the basics of setup, with a quick overview of how to use the app and a few checkpoints that confirm whether you want to keep your preexisting phone number. The setup process takes less than five minutes, and the app assistance that walks you through setup is useful and informative.

If you’re unsure whether you’ll like the service, you can try Mint Mobile risk-free with their 7-day free trial. With 250 minutes, 250 texts, and 250MB of data included, the trial will allow you to see how it compares to your existing plan — and you can switch back to your previous plan at any time during the trial if it’s not for you.

Coverage area

Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s networks, so their coverage maps are the same. Mint offers a coverage map tool on its site that you can use to check if your address is covered by its network — and if it is, you’ll be able to do anything from talk and text to downloading and streaming HD video over high-speed data. 

Map of United States indicating Mint Mobile’s data coverage areas.While Mint’s coverage is impressive, you should enter your address on their website to confirm that you’ll be covered.

Mint Mobile

From my testing experience, Mint’s coverage far outperformed my carrier, AT&T, in terms of coverage, and I was thus able to do a lot more with my data than I usually can. This discrepancy wasn’t necessarily a surprise since I live in New York City, and it’s generally known that T-Mobile works better in urban areas than AT&T, but the difference was significant.

Where AT&T had me covered inconsistently and unreliably across most of my testing locations, Mint proved to be more dependable in its coverage in each — including at Business Insider’s office in Manhattan, on a walk through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and at visits to some of my favorite coffee shops. I could easily text or make a phone call from each location with no issues.

I’ll mention again that the coverage map will be useful for any prospective Mint Mobile customer, however, because coverage will vary depending on location and should be paramount in your decision to switch carriers.

Service reliability and speeds

To test Mint’s service reliability, I viewed and downloaded posts from some of the most-used apps on many people’s phones: YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. I had a promising start, as videos loaded perfectly on YouTube with no buffering — but I began to encounter issues when I moved to Instagram and later to TikTok. 

On Instagram, I experienced minor loading issues, but they went away quickly, and I was able to browse as usual, with all but the first few posts loading readily as if I were connected to a WiFi network. 

However, I had more issues with TikTok, where each video took a few seconds to load across the board. While it was only a matter of a second or two of buffering time, those seconds make a difference when discussing an app with a primary focus on instantaneous content generation. Though the app worked perfectly when connected to WiFi and the loading time over data was minimal, if you’re one to scroll through TikTok while on the go, you may grow tired of this barrier to immediacy.

Mint Mobile review: TikTok app shown on a phoneThe data-heavy TikTok proved to be a problematic app for Mint’s cellular service.

Eve Montie/Business Insider

In testing phone and video calls, I had mixed results. Phone calls had zero issues — I had reliable service and good call quality, and overall the service worked. Video calls were a different story, and this was the only point in my testing where I noted a result that, as a user, would have truly bothered me. The call, made over Google Meet while I was connected via a full 5G connection, was grainy, and the audio lagged consistently. I again tested this against a WiFi connection, still using Google Meet, and the graininess and lagging had fully resolved. 

I’ve attributed the poor call quality to deprioritization, an unfortunate byproduct of Mint’s use of T-Mobile’s network, which means that T-Mobile customers have faster data speeds than Mint customers in congested areas.

Customer support

With Ryan Reynolds at the helm, Mint Mobile’s advertising, user interface, and customer support are really where the company shines. Straightforward language, readily available FAQs and other support, and a user-friendly app all serve to create a cohesive and uncomplicated experience as a Mint customer. 

From the jump, Mint’s advertising has appealed to its audience directly and simply, and they carry this attitude throughout the customer journey if you have questions as you go along. The app includes a data usage indicator on the home dashboard to keep track of your usage each month, and you can easily make payments or adjust your plan through the app. 

From a user standpoint, managing your plan and making changes when needed is refreshingly simple. The online chat support and phone support are also responsive, with almost no wait time (a first for a mobile carrier support line in my own experience), and agents who are well-versed in their subject matter and friendly.

mint mobile review: app interface and customer supportMint Mobile’s app offers a helpful customer support tab and the ability to seamlessly adjust your plan.

Eve Montie/Business Insider

Should you sign up for Mint Mobile?

Overall, I really liked using Mint Mobile. The service was consistently good; I was able to send and receive texts and phone calls with no issues, and the loading issues I experienced were mostly minimal. The poor-quality video calls were a blemish on an otherwise excellent carrier experience. 

Mint is a cost-effective service with simple-to-digest materials, readily accessible customer support, and easily adjustable plan management. These user-experience factors and its overall budget value place it ahead of its competition among the best cheap cellphone plans

The amount you’ll save on a plan through Mint is significant compared to what you can expect to spend with most large carriers. With access to T-Mobile’s extensive coverage network, it’s a great value overall — the only catch being that you’ll need to be willing to pay for your data in advance. Even with that stipulation in mind, it’s a comfort to know that your phone bill is out of the way before you even start using your data. 

FAQs

Who owns Mint Mobile?

Mint Mobile announced in March last year that it was set to be acquired by network heavyweight T-Mobile. This prospective acquisition should change very little for the average Mint customer because they already share T-Mobile’s network. 

In announcing the projected $1.35 billion acquisition, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert cited Mint’s “marketing formula” as a reason behind the purchase and said the company will look to spread Mint’s marketing strategy “across more parts of T-Mobile.” It’s likely, then, that T-Mobile will look to expand its options for prepaid plans for their customers in a similar format to Mint’s plans. 

Does Mint Mobile work abroad?

With Mint Mobile, you can make international calls on a pay-per-minute basis (besides calls and texts to Mexico and Canada, which are free and included with your Mint plan). International calls will cost 1 to 60 cents per minute, depending on the destination. 

If you want to use your Mint Mobile plan while abroad, you’ll need to use international roaming credits, which you can add to your Mint Mobile balance on their website or in the Mint Mobile app. In increments of $5, $10, or $20, you can add international roaming credits to your balance, allowing you to text, call, and use data overseas. 

How does Mint Mobile’s family plan work?

Mint’s “Modern Family” plan doesn’t operate the same way other carriers tend to market their family plans — where some carriers might have a discount for adding lines to the family plan, Mint’s plan charges the same amount per line as the first one.

The “family” aspect is really about managing the plan cleanly in one place rather than the price differential. You can start a plan with as little as two lines, and each line will cost differently depending on the data you’ve allotted it — so you could have a family plan with one unlimited data line, one 15GB line, and one 5GB line if you so choose.

How does Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan work?

Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan is one of the cheapest unlimited data plans, starting at $30/month (or just $15/month with the limited-time new customer promotion). Technically, “unlimited data” means 40GB of high-speed data (subject to deprioritization). After 40GB, you’ll still have access to data, but at significantly slower speeds.

Unlike the best cellphone plans from major carriers, unlimited plans from Mint Mobile and most MVNOs are nominally “unlimited” in that they offer a set amount of high-speed data subject to deprioritization. Notable exceptions are Visible Wireless’ Visible+ plan, which offers 50GB of prioritized high-speed data for $45/month, and US Mobile’s Verizon-backed “unlimited” plans, which start at $29/month for 35GB of prioritized data. 

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