You have probably heard Mint Mobile before. Mint Mobile has done a lot of advertising with different influencers over the years, and is really seen everywhere. And it’s not hard to see why. With Mint Mobile, you can get cell service for as little as $15 per month. Which grabs a lot of attention.
Of course, if that didn’t get your attention, Ryan Reynolds owns Mint Mobile. And of course, has starred in some of the company’s ads.
But with Mint Mobile, for some it might sound to good to be true. So, we’re here to answer all of your questions and tell you everything you need to know about the carrier. To help you decide whether you should switch to Mint Mobile or not.
What is Mint Mobile?
Mint Mobile is an MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Which basically means that it runs on AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon’s network in the US. It doesn’t own the network, and that is how they are able to charge so much less than those three carriers do. Essentially, Mint Mobile, and other MVNOs, purchase access to these networks at a wholesale price. Think of it as buying from Sam’s Club or Costco, and then reselling said products.
Of course, there are some downsides from using an MVNO for your phone service. Which we have outlined in this explainer about MVNOs.
What network does Mint Mobile operate on?
As mentioned, Mint Mobile is an MVNO, which means it uses someone else’s network. In this case, that would be T-Mobile. While not everyone likes T-Mobile’s network and coverage, it has consistently gotten pretty impressive over the last decade or so. And in a lot of tests, it edges out AT&T and Verizon. And with Mint Mobile using T-Mobile, it means that virtually any GSM unlocked smartphone will work on Mint Mobile.
How much does it cost?
You can get Mint Mobile for as low as $15 per month. That will come with unlimited talk and text, with 4GB of data. After you hit that 4GB of data, you’ll be dropped down to slower speeds.
For $20 per month, you can get 10GB per month. Or if you need more data, there’s 15GB of data for $25 per month and unlimited for $30 per month.
Mint Mobile doesn’t usually charge you per month. These prices above are for three month plans. So for the 4GB plan, you’re paying $45 up-front, for three months. Which is kind of neat, because it means that you won’t need to pay your bill every month.
It also offers 6 and 12 month plans. The 12 month plans are the same price, but for 12 months. So the 4GB plan would cost you $180. The six month plans are more expensive. Ranging from $20 to $35 per month. So we would recommend getting the 3- or 12-month plan.
Is there unlimited data?
Yes, there is unlimited data available. However, most of you probably don’t need to get unlimited, since there are plans up to 15GB. Since the average data a person uses per month is between two and five gigabytes. Obviously, some people do use a lot more data, and for those people, there are other plans available, including unlimited.
Like with most carriers, this is “unlimited” data. Meaning it’s not truly unlimited. You’ll get 35GB of high-speed data. After you hit that cap, you won’t lose your data, but you’ll get slower speeds. Video always streams at 480p.
There’s no longer a cap on speeds with Mint Mobile. There used to be a cap at 20Mbps, but that was removed recently. So depending on where you are, you may get much faster speeds.
When does Mint Mobile reduce speeds?
No matter which plan you have, Mint Mobile will reduce your speeds after a certain amount of data. For the non-unlimited plans, once you hit your cap you’ll experience slower speeds. On the unlimited plan, you’ll see reduced speeds after around 35GB of data.
Is there 5G available?
Yes. All of the plans from Mint Mobile include 5G data.
It works on T-Mobile’s 5G network. So anywhere that T-Mobile has 5G service, you’ll get 5G on Mint Mobile. Which is pretty much nationwide. And depending on your phone, you may also get mid-band and mmWave 5G through T-Mobile, which will provide even faster speeds.
Do I need to sign a contract?
Nope, as with most MVNO carriers, you don’t sign a contract. That is because you don’t finance your phone through Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile does offer phones, and you can finance them but not through Mint Mobile. That is done through affirm. So if you do miss a payment or default, your cell service won’t be impacted.
What devices work on Mint Mobile?
You can bring any GSM unlocked phone to Mint Mobile. Any phone that would work on T-Mobile will work on Mint Mobile, since it runs on T-Mobile’s network.
Mint Mobile does have a handy page on their website that will help you see if your phone is compatible. But it also needs to be unlocked. Otherwise a SIM locked phone won’t work on Mint Mobile (or any other carrier that you didn’t buy it from).
Now, if you want to buy a new phone, you can do that with Mint Mobile. Mint Mobile carriers a lot of the flagship smartphones. This includes the iPhone 12 and 13 lineup. For Android, there’s also the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Motorola RAZR 5G, Galaxy S21 series, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Motorola Edge (2021) among many others.
Mint Mobile also has a lot of “cheap” smartphones too. Like the Moto E6 for $99, or the Nokia 1.4 for $99. So there’s something for everyone.
How do I sign up?
Mint Mobile makes it pretty easy to sign up for any of its plans. Just head to its website here. Find a plan that you want to use or even just try out. Then click on “Buy Now”.
This will take you to the cart to check out. You can get your SIM instantly with an eSIM. Now this requires an eSIM eligible device. That’s going to be mostly iPhones. The Pixel does support eSIM, but generally only for Google Fi.
It’ll walk you through bringing your number over to Mint Mobile, as well as making sure your phone (if you’re bringing your own) is compatible with its network. And of course, unlocked.
Is it worth it to switch to Mint Mobile?
So here’s the big question. Is Mint Mobile worth it? Well, it really depends on your use-case. If you work from home and don’t really go out much, then Mint Mobile is going to be a great option for you. The reason why I say this is because you’re going to get slower speeds on Mint Mobile versus on T-Mobile. And that’s just down to how MVNO’s work. Where they get deprioritized a lot more than a postpaid customer on T-Mobile.
But if you’re one that is always out of the house or travel a lot, Mint Mobile may not be the right choice for you. And if you use more than 35GB of data per month, it’s not a good option either.
Mint Mobile is not perfect, and not for everyone, but it is a good choice for those that can use it. Getting your phone bill down to as low as $15 per month is definitely pretty cool though.