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Mint Mobile vs. Visible Wireless Cell Phone Plans Review
We compared Mint's and Visible's cell phone plans, network performance, and phone selection. Mint offers the best value, but Visible is best for unlimited data.
Mint Mobile and Visible Wireless are two relatively new players in the mobile industry, but they’ve made some big waves by offering simple and affordable plans that people like. How do you know which is better for you? Here’s the short answer up front.
Visible Wireless is probably better for those who want truly unlimited data, as long as you’re okay with somewhat slower data speeds. It also offers way better family plan deals.
But if you’re just looking for a cheap plan with 4–15 GB of data, then Mint Mobile gives you unbeatable value and faster data speeds.
We’ll get into all the nitty-gritty details in this review. First, a few tips to help you choose the perfect cell phone plan.
How to choose a cell phone plan
In our many years evaluating cell phone plans, we’ve come up with some criteria that everyone should consider before they sign up. Here’s what to look for:
- Data: Know how much data you need each month and get a plan that gives you what you enough (but not too much more). Remember, not all data is created equal, so be sure your carrier has data speeds that match your needs.
- Price: You may think you’re getting a good deal, but there’s no way to know until you look at the competition. Compare prices before signing up so you don’t have to switch later.
- Coverage: The three major networks run by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all offer pretty great coverage. But one may have better service in your area. Check out the coverage maps to see which is best.
- Features: Do you want to use your phone as a mobile hotspot? Do you enjoy extra perks, like free subscriptions to streaming services? Do you need international coverage for your business travel?
Mint vs. Visible plans and pricing
Let’s talk plans. As you can see in the chart above, Visible has just one: it’s an unlimited talk, text, and data plan that’s $40 a month. Mint, on the other hand, has four plans on offer. We’ll start with Mint.
Mint Mobile’s data plans
Mint’s four plans are pretty simple. All of them come with unlimited talk and text on T-Mobile’s network (plus 5G access where available). All of these plans also let you use your phone as a mobile hotspot. Other than that, there aren’t really any special features or perks.
So the price difference between these plans really comes down to one thing: data.
Mint Mobile’s plans
There are three limited-data options: 4 GB, 10 GB, and 15 GB. With these plans you’ll get full-speed data until you reach your cap, then your data speeds will be reduced to a piddling 128 Kbps (like using your old dial-up modem).
Then there’s the “unlimited” data option, which is actually more like a 35 GB option. With this plan you’ll get 35 GB of 4G LTE data, but after you reach the cap, you can see speeds plummet.
Another thing that’s important to understand about these data plans is that your data will always be subject to deprioritization. That means your data can be slowed down when the network is busy even before you reach your data cap.
Pricing can get a little funky
There’s no doubt that Mint offers some of the best cheap plans on the market. But the company’s advertised prices can be a little bit deceiving. Most of the prices that you see from Mint are introductory. After your first month, these prices can increase.
For example, the company’s 4 GB plan will go from $15 a month to $25 a month once the promo period ends. That’s a significant rate hike. You can keep the $15 a month price, but you have to sign up for a full year to do so. Here’s a look at the fine print from Mint.
Image source: Mintmobile.com
Mint is still a great deal, as long as you’re willing to sign up for the long haul.
Visible’s unlimited data plan
Visible keeps things easy by offering only one plan, and it’s an impressive one that will appeal to plenty of people. Here’s a look at Visible’s $40 unlimited data plan.
Visible’s $40 unlimited data plan
These are the main features you’ll enjoy if you go with Visible’s unlimited data plan:
- Unlimited talk, text, and data
- Access to 5G networks where available (and with a 5G-capable device)
- Coverage on Verizon’s huge network
- Unlimited hotspot data
- Deals on the newest phones
The fact that you get all this for just $40 makes Visible’s plan one of the best on the market. But we’re not just here to give you a list of pros. There are some cons as well, mainly having to do with data throttling and deprioritization.
Visible’s data speeds
Visible customers will never get super-fast data speeds on a 4G LTE network. Like Mint and other MVNOs, your data can be deprioritized and throttled by the parent network. In this case, Visible just comes out and gives you a clear speed range of 5–12 Mbps.
That’s still enough speed for many basic tasks, like streaming music and video. But if you’re someone who needs reliably fast data for gaming, posting, streaming, or working, then it’s probably best to find another carrier (maybe AT&T or Verizon). Or be sure you stay in a 5G-serviced area, where your data speeds will still be throttled, but you’ll get speeds of at least 200 Mbps!
We’ll sum it up as simply as we can here.
Visible customers will always have their data throttled at 5–12 Mbps. That means your data speeds should almost never be below 5 Mbps or above 12 Mbps (unless you’re connected to the 5G network), no matter how much data you use.
Mint customers will have a data cap of 4–35 GB, depending on which plan they purchase. Data speeds can still be reduced before reaching that cap because of deprioritization, but, in general, they shouldn’t get too slow (and may be faster than Visible’s speeds). Once customers reach the data cap, however, speeds can plummet to way below Visible’s floor of 5 Mbps, to the point where it may be impossible to stream music and videos or even load some basic apps.
Winner: We love Visible’s Party Pay
If you’ve got more than one cell phone user in your family, there’s really no reason not to go in on a family plan together. They can save you a ton of money while simplifying bill pay and offering special perks.
Both Mint and Visible offer family plans, but we’ll tell you up front that Visible’s family plan option is way more impressive when it comes to saving you money. We’ll go into the details below, starting with Mint.
Mint Mobile’s family plans
Mint lets you add up to five lines to a single account. The primary account holder will be able to make payments and changes to each line, which can help simplify paying bills, especially if you have a few kids.
But Mint’s family plans are missing one thing, and it’s a big thing. There are no discounts for adding additional lines. None, nada, zippo. Take the example below: you’ve got four lines, two of them with 4 GB of data and two of them with 15 GB of data.
Sample Mint Mobile plan with four lines
This plan costs $80 a month, which is exactly the same price you would pay if you got each plan separately. That might not seem like a bad deal, but wait till you hear about Visible’s family plan discounts.
Visible Wireless family plan
Visible Wireless calls its family plans Party Pay, which makes sense because you can bundle up with anyone you want (they don’t have to be in your family). And you’ll want to bundle because it saves you a boatload of money. Just take a look.
Visible Wireless unlimited data plan with four lines
This plan gives you four lines with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $100 a month, or $25 per line. To put it simply, that's one of the very best deals you can get anywhere.
Visible’s Party Pay lines come with all the perks and features of its normal individual lines, including 5G access, mobile hotspot use, and independent bill management (so you don’t have Venmo your buddy money for your phone bill every month).
Mint vs. Visible coverage
Mint and Visible are both mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which means that they actually use another company’s network. Mint uses T-Mobile’s network and Visible uses Verizon’s. So, which is better? It depends on what you want.
Visible’s Verizon-powered network will get you the very best coverage in the nation. You’ll have more bars in more areas than your buddies on AT&T or T-Mobile. It’s a great option for those who travel a lot or live in rural areas.
Meanwhile, Mint’s T-Mobile-powered network offers up the largest 5G infrastructure and the fastest 4G speeds in the industry. It’s a great network for those who live in metropolitan areas and do a lot of work or gaming on their phones.
Here's how the networks stack up in terms of download and upload speeds.
Take a look at both networks’ coverage maps below.
Mint coverage map (T-Mobile)
Visible coverage map (Verizon)
Mint vs. Visible phones and devices
Are you tired of working with a clunky old Samsung or an iPhone with a cracked screen? Well, the best time to upgrade to a new device is when you’re switching your plan. Here’s a peek at all the most popular phones you can buy from each of these carriers. Don’t forget to check out our weekly phone deals page, too!
Popular Mint Mobile phones
Popular Visible Wireless phones
Recap: Which carrier is right for you?
Here’s a quick summary of everything we said in our review for the TL;DR folks.
- Plans: Mint Mobile has several very affordable plans with 4–15 GB of data that are great for folks who don’t need unlimited data. Visible offers just one plan, and it comes with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $40.
- Family plans: You can add extra lines to your Mint Mobile account, but you won’t see any cost savings when you do. Visible, on the other hand, offers some incredible discounts when you add a second, third, and fourth line.
- Coverage and performance: Mint uses T-Mobile’s super-fast network and tends to offer faster data (at least until you hit your data cap). Visible runs on Verizon’s network, which offers unparalleled nationwide coverage, but its speeds will stay in the 5–12 Mbps range.
That’s all we’ve got for this Mint vs. Visible review. We hope that we’ve helped you find the perfect phone plan!
When we review two companies, like Mint and Visible, we take everything into account: price, coverage, performance, perks, features, and data speeds. We use a mixture of customer reviews, plan details, and our own proprietary data from over 100,000 mobile customers to inform our analysis and recommendations.