Two companies on the same network—which is better?
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile Review 2022
T-Mobile is a major wireless carrier that offers a variety of powerful plans. But these plans can get pricey. Meanwhile, Mint Mobile is a newer carrier that actually runs on the T-Mobile network, but offers way more affordable plans.
Heading into 2022, Mint is clearly much cheaper, but you also lose out on some nice perks. So, which carrier is right for you? We’ve got all of the information you need to figure that out in this Mint versus T-Mobile review.
Mint pros and cons
T-Mobile pros and cons
Mint vs. T-Mobile unlimited plans
We love when affordable plans include unlimited data, but keep in mind your speeds might slow down when you've used a certain amount of data.
All of these plans come with unlimited minutes and messages—so go ahead and text your heart out. And each plan comes with the same, limited features. You’ll get access to a mobile hotspot (up to your data cap) but no additional subscriptions or perks.
The real difference between these four Mint Mobile plans is the 5G data allotment, which ranges from 4 GB to unlimited (Mint’s unlimited data plan has a 35 GB data cap. After you reach that, your speeds will be slowed).
T-Mobile cell phone plans
T-Mobile's unlimited plans give you a lot of data and a lot of perks.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that Mint’s prices are significantly lower than T-Mobile’s prices. But price is not the same thing as value. The higher cost of T-Mobile’s plans may be worth it for those who want perks and premium features.
T-Mobile offers more variety than Mint. There’s a talk and text only plan with no data. There are several limited-data options. And there are also three different unlimited data plans that offer different perks and data caps.
The Essentials plan comes with a 50 GB cap (after which speeds will be slowed) and few perks. The Magenta plan has a 100 GB cap, and it comes with 5 GB of 5G/4G LTE mobile hotpsot data (as opposed to the Essential plan's unlimited 3G mobile data) and a free Netflix subscription.
If you want the best of the best, T-Mobile’s Magenta Max gives you unlimited top-quality video streaming, 40 GB of 5G mobile hotspot data (with unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data after you hit those 40 GB), free Netflix, and plenty of other special features. Of course, it also costs a pretty penny at $85 a month.
That price tag means that T-Mobile’s Magenta Max plan is almost three times the cost of Mint’s unlimited data plan. That’s a lot of extra dough to pay for increased performance and a few perks. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to you (we’ll talk more about the difference between Mint Mobile and T-Mobile’s performance below).
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile family plans
When you go to the grocery store you don’t just buy food for yourself, you buy food for your whole family. Why not do the same when you’re shopping for a cell phone plan? Family plans can make paying your bill easier, and they can save you a few bucks.
Unfortunately, Mint Mobile doesn’t actually offer any deals or discounts on multi-line plans. But T-Mobile does. Here’s what the company has for families who want to bundle.
It's pretty clear that you’ll save a ton of money when you bundle with T-Mobile. For example, a single line on the Essentials unlimited plan costs $60 a month. But three lines on the same plan costs just $90. That means you’re paying half as much per line.
When you count the savings offered by family plans, T-Mobile and Mint’s prices start to look pretty similar. So if you’ve got a family, you’ll definitely want to consider signing up for T-Mobile together.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile prepaid plans
Mint Mobile only offers prepaid plans. That means you’ll have to pay your bill before you receive service each month. It also means you don’t have to worry about a credit check when you sign up.
Mint Mobile prepaid plans
The T-Mobile plans we previewed above are all postpaid, which means that you can pay your bill at the end of the month (and that T-Mobile will probably require a credit check before you sign up). But the company does offer a few prepaid plans, too.
T-Mobile prepaid plans
As you can see, these plans are cheaper than T-Mobile’s postpaid plans. But they are still $20.00–$30.00 pricier than Mint Mobile’s plans, and don’t come with the cool perks that postpaid plans do. In short, if you’re trying to decide between Mint and T-Mobile prepaid, go with Mint.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile data
Cellular data: you use it for everything, from sending silly GIFs to your friends to playing PUBG Mobile during your lunch break. Having unlimited data might be even more important than having unlimited talk and text. But, not all data is created equal.
Things like data speed (especially 5G speed, which is quickly taking over for 4G LTE), throttling, and deprioritization will all affect your experience as a cell phone customer. So, let’s take a closer look at T-Mobile and Mint Mobile’s data performance.
The T-Mobile network
According to Reviews.org's own research, T-Mobile's network offers the fastest upload and download speeds of any mobile network. That's great news for both Mint and T-Mobile customers.
- Average download speed: 32.73 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps
But just because T-Mobile and Mint are on the same network, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the same exact service, which brings us to deprioritization and throttling.
Deprioritization and throttling
Slow data speeds are the last thing you want when you’re FaceTiming with your parents, streaming the newest show, or gaming with your friends. In order to avoid slowdowns, you’ll need to avoid throttling and deprioritization. If you don’t know what those are, you’re not alone.
- Throttling: Every cell phone plan—even unlimited data plans—has a data cap. Once you go above that data cap, your data will be throttled. That means you’ll experience significant slowdowns (like going from 4G LTE to 3G speeds), including with your mobile hotspot data.
- Data Deprioritization: Certain cell phone plans—usually cheaper ones—can be deprioritized when the network is busy. This means their data speeds will be reduced in favor of other customers on the network.
Mint Mobile’s unlimited data plan has a 35 GB cap before throttling, while all of T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans come with a 50-100 GB cap. That’s a lot of extra high-speed data for all you streamers, gamers, influencers, and web surfers.
When it comes to deprioritization: Mint Mobile customers are always subject to data deprioritization. Those on T-Mobile’s lowest-tier unlimited data plan (Essentials) can also experience deprioritization, but those on higher-tiered plans will not.
T-Mobile vs. Mint coverage
As we’ve stated before, Mint actually uses the T-Mobile network. That means the two companies offer virtually the same coverage. That’s good news for customers of both companies because T-Mobile’s coverage is pretty great (especially since the company absorbed Sprint).
But before you sign up for Mint or T-Mobile you should check out this map. What’s coverage like in your specific area?
T-Mobile vs. Mint phones and devices
If you’ve got an unlocked iPhone (or other device), then you can use your new Mint Mobile or T-Mobile plan on that device. But you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to snag some great deals on new devices.
Both Mint and T-Mobile will sell you a brand new phone when you sign up. Here’s a gander at some of the most popular devices sold by each company.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile customer service
Unfortunately for T-Mobile, sharing its network with Mint doesn't guarantee a shared customer experience. Mint's customer reviews rave about its friendliness and efficiency. Of course, there are inevitably poor reviews. Many of Mint's lower reviews are due to spotty reception or connectivity issues.
T-Mobile has definitely less-than-ecstatic reviews, especially compared to Mint. Customers have reported having difficulty speaking to a real human being. And when they do finally reach a person, a lot of time is spent discussing new plans or upgrades instead of the customer's issue.1
We've heard of positive in-store experiences for T-Mobile, but it's not always realistic to go into a store for every phone issue you might have.
Here are the best ways reach Mint Mobile and T-Mobile:
Mint Mobile customer service
- Call 1-800-683-7392
- Chat with a representative at mintmobile.come/chat
T-Mobile customer service
Recap: Is Mint or T-Mobile better for you?
Which is it going to be for you, the big name cell phone company or the new carrier that’s shaking up the industry? Let’s do a quick recap to help you decide.
- Unlimited plans: Mint has a cheaper unlimited plan, but beware of deprioritization and throttling. This won't happen with T-Mobile, but you'll have to pay more.
- Individual plans: Mint offers four basic plans, from 4 GB of data to unlimited. T-Mobile has a wider variety, from a talk and text only plan to three different unlimited data options. Mint’s prices are much cheaper, but T-Mobile throws in some enticing perks for those who have more to spend.
- Family plans: T-Mobile will hook you up with a hefty discount when you bundle multiple lines into a single family plan. In fact, when you’ve got three or more lines with T-Mobile prices can become similar—or even cheaper—than Mint’s.
- Network performance: Mint and T-Mobile are on the same network, meaning their coverage range is identical. But when it comes to data speeds and performance, Mint customers may have a worse experience than those who pay for T-Mobile’s high-end plans.
The long story short is this: Mint’s prices are basically unbeatable if you just want a simple, individual cell phone plan. But if you want a family plan, or some fancy perks, T-Mobile is the way to go.
If neither of these companies seem right to you, be sure to read up on the very best cell phone plans in the industry. You might find what you’re looking for in one of those.
We’ve spent years tracking the prices and performance of all the major carriers, including Mint Mobile and T-Mobile. For this review we dove deep into the current data so that we could compare these two carriers on nearly every metric.
We used our own proprietary data from over 100,000 customers to evaluate 4G speeds and we used the latest OpenSignal report to rate 5G speeds.2 Along with this data, we used our hands-on experience and publicly available plan information to evaluate Mint Mobile and T-Mobile.
Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it uses other carriers' networks instead of creating its own. Mint operates on T-Mobile's network.
Since Mint doesn't have to pay to maintain their own network, they're able to price their plans and services lower than traditional mobile companies like T-Mobile or Verizon. There is a downside, though, as T-Mobile can prioritize its own customers and reduce speeds for Mint Mobile customers.
Mint does not currently have any storefronts. They operate completely online. You can access your account from the Mint app. And they have amazing customer service if you run into any issues or have questions.
While we can't guarantee if Ryan Reynolds uses Mint Mobile, it's pretty likely since he owns the company. Reynolds bought Mint Mobile in 2019.3