With so many cell service providers, it's becoming harder and harder to choose the one that not only fits your needs, but doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Enter Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile Review Cheat Sheet
Portability (Ease of Set up, Bring Your Own Phone, Ease of Quitting)
Included Features (Mobile Hotspot, WiFi Calling, On Demand Data Upgrade)
Account Dashboard (Track usage, Data Upgrades, Mobile App, Request Support)
Customer Support Responsiveness
Is Mint Mobile worth it?
In a word, yes. If you can prepay for a while year, you're looking at $15 for 3 gbs of data a month, or $30 a month for unlimited data. All plans come with unlimited talk and text.
You need to check to make sure that Mint Mobile (or T-mobile, which is the network Mint Mobile leases) has coverage in your area.
If they do, the minor drawbacks are nothing to worry about–and probably something you already experience with your current carrier!–and the savings make the switch to Mint an incredibly easy decision.
What the FI Community is saying about Mint Mobile:
- Works with almost any phone.
- Best deal! At $15 for 3 gbs of data, is one of the cheapest plan available.
- Cheap trial plans.
- Tethering (HotSpot) included.
- Good download speeds.
- You don't get cut off even if you exceed your data plan, just throttled.
- You can add more data and international roaming on demand.
- If you have access to Wi-FI, you can use Wi-FI calling to get talk and text.
- Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile coverage, which still has some gaps.
- Being on an MVNO means your data may be deprioritized.
- The best prices only come if you prepay for a whole year.
Mint Mobile costs you as little as $15/month for a 3GB, 4G cell phone plan for one line. Compare that to the average cell phone bill in the US, which is right around $63/month for one line, and it's simple to see how you can very easily save hundreds of dollars a year.
The question is, is the savings worth it? Sometimes we feel like we have to sacrifice service for savings. In this case, that's not true. Mint Mobile is the best choice for your wallet and your family because of their affordable plans, ability to work with your current phone, and the perks that they offer as part of every plan.
Table of Contents
- What ChooseFIers Say About Mint Mobile
- How Mint Mobile Works
- Cost Of Mint Mobile
- Phone Questions Answered
- Drawbacks To Service
- Final Thoughts
What the FI Community Says About Mint Mobile
On our ChooseFI Facebook page, there have been several posts about Mint Mobile. The main inquiry has revolved around whether or not you're sacrificing service just to save the money.
The overall consensus from ChooseFIers who have made the switch to Mint is that it's worth it. They love the savings and are happy with their service. Even the ones who say that they have experienced frustrating cell phone issues while on Mint, like dropped calls, say that that minor inconvenience is worth it for the large amount of money they're saving.
Here are some of the most repeated comments:
How Mint Mobile Works
Mint Mobile has four simple steps to sign up with them and start saving.
- Shop for the plan that fits your needs. Mint Mobile has three different plans you can choose from. The plan that most ChooseFIers gravitate to is the most basic plan. The cost is $15/month/line if you pay for a whole year in advance. The plan is for 3GB of 4G data, but don't be fooled. You actually have unlimited data; the service just slows down after you've used 3GB.
If you constantly use more than 3GB of data and want a higher data plan to ensure that your phone runs faster longer, there are two other Mint Mobile plans from which you can choose.
2. Bring your own phone. You can bring your own phone, purchase one from a third-party vendor, or buy one from Mint Mobile directly. But Mint makes it particularly easy to use your own phone when you sign up for one of their plans. You'll just need to switch out the SIM card. More on that later.
3. Activate your new service. You'll need to make sure that your phone is unlocked. Once it is, you're good to go with this step. Here's how you check to see if your phone is unlocked.
4. Insert your SIM card. Mint Mobile requires you to use a SIM card and will give you one for free when you sign up for one of their plans.
Cost of mint mobile vs. competitors
Cost is one of the main reasons that people choose Mint Mobile over other carriers. When you hold Mint up to the pricing plans of other carriers, there's just no comparison.
Below is a chart comparing Mint with several top competitors. It's easy to see that Mint is by far the option that makes the most financial sense.
|Cost for 1 Line||Cost for 2 Lines||Cost for 3 Lines||Gigs of Data|
|Mint Mobile||$15||$30||$45||3GB of 5G (4G for data), then slowdown
(lines 3-5 are free through 4/2021, then $20/line)
|AT&T||$30||$60||$90||3GB of 4G, then slowdown|
|Republic Wireless||$20||$40||$60||1GB of 4G|
*All costs noted in the table above are for the least expensive plan that each provider offers except for Republic Wireless. Their least expensive overall plan does not include any data, so we have profiled the lease expensive plan that includes some data.
Stability is something to seriously consider when it comes to examining costs. It's worth noting that other carriers on this list are constantly changing their cost per line. The lower prices are gimmicks to get you to switch carriers, but that usually only lasts a few months. Then, before you know it, your bill increases exponentially and your service hasn't changed at all.
For instance, Sprint is currently running a special on extra phone lines. At the time of the publication of this article, one line through Sprint is $60, two lines will cost you a total of $100, and there is no charge for a third, fourth, and fifth line. So if you sign up through April of 2021, it will cost you $100 to have five lines through Sprint.
However, as the table shows, after April 2021, the cost of those “free” lines goes up to $20/line. So if you have five lines, on May 1, 2021, you'll pay $60 more per month for the exact same service you had on April 30. Simple math tells you that for just the eight months from May to December 2021, you'll pay $480 for the three “free” lines, making your total bill for that period $1280 instead of the $800 it would have been prior to the price hike.
Mint Mobile's least expensive plan is $15 a month for the first three months. As long as you pay for a year in advance, your monthly rate stays exactly the same. If you choose to pay for three or six months at a time, your rate will be $25/line or $20/line respectively for that least expensive plan.
So to carry through with our Sprint example, one line with Sprint will cost you $720 for one year. One line with Mint Mobile will cost you $180 for one year.
What's included in Mint's service plans
It's also worth considering how many more perks you get with your Mint service. Here are two.
- Sim card. With Mint Mobile, the SIM card that you need to have to run the service is free. Verizon and T-Mobile charge $25 for a card, AT&T charges $5, and Sprint charges up to $30. None of that is astronomical, but it's all money that stays in your pocket if you choose Mint.
- Free calling to Canada and Mexico. Other providers charge for international calling, even if you're only a few miles over the border.
Phone Questions Answered
Have questions about your current phone and Mint Mobile? We have answers.
Can I use my current phone with Mint?
Yes. You will need to have your phone unlocked to be able to use Mint. Most already are, but some people may have to work with their current carrier to get their phone unlocked before switching to Mint. If your phone is locked, your carrier may require you to pay off any remaining balances you have for either a bill or the phone itself prior to unlocking your phone for you. If you're in doubt as to whether your phone is unlocked or not, you can try this site to see if it is.
If you want to order a new phone, you can purchase them directly through the Mint Mobile site. They have a great selection and you can choose the price range that you're comfortable paying.
Can I keep my old phone number?
Yes. During the Mint activation process, you'll be asked if you want to keep your old number or be assigned a new one. You'll just choose “transfer my number” and you'll be able to retain it. However, you must do this during the activation process. You cannot switch numbers once you have activated Mint.
If you would like a new number, you can do that as well. You'll choose “get a new number” and will be asked to enter your ZIP code. Mint will assign you a number based on where you live. You cannot create your own number; you must choose from retaining your old one or using the one Mint generates for you.
What is a SIM card and why do I have to get a new one?
Every cell phone has a SIM card in it. It's basically a memory chip that stores information about you, the user of the phone. That includes your texts, contacts, etc. It's valuable because you can often move it from phone to phone so that you don't have to recreate your history, personal information, etc. when you get a new phone. You just transfer the SIM card.
However, Mint requires you to get a new SIM card when you sign up for their service. That's something that many other providers also require if you're switching to their service form another carrier. Many experts also recommend getting new SIM cards every year; most of us just don't do that. Knowing that you should replace it so often and that you would likely have to do it with any other carrier you switch to means having to get a new one shouldn't be a deterrent to signing up for Mint.
Drawbacks with Mint
Like any cell phone service, Mint has a couple of issues that people mention most frequently when they have issues with their service. There are two that we have seen pop up periodically.
Mint uses T-Mobile's network. That means that if you have T-Mobile and don't have any problems with your service, you shouldn't have any problems switching to Mint. However, if you didn't have T-Mobile before switching to Mint, you should definitely check to see how the Mint coverage is in your area before signing up with the service.
There's a place right on the Mint homepage where you can check your area to see how the coverage is. Type in your ZIP code and a few pieces of information about your phone and your location. You'll see a scale pop up to show you how good your coverage is in the area that you live. It will also tell you if your current device is compatible with the coverage and service.
Service slows down after you reach your data limit
The only other issue that stuck out in our ChooseFI reviews was a service slowdown after you reach your data limit for the month. As we mentioned before, the data plans are actually all unlimited no matter which plan you choose: 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB. But you may notice a slowdown in your service if you go over the GBs that you pay for prior to the start of your next billing cycle. Once the next billing cycle starts, your service should be restored to normal. (A billing cycle is still 30 days, even if you pay upfront for the entire year to get the savings.)
Is Mint Mobile worth it? In a word, yes. You need to check to make sure that Mint has coverage in your area. If they do, the minor drawbacks are nothing to worry about–and probably something you already experience with your current carrier!–and the savings make the switch to Mint an incredibly easy decision.