Mint Mobile offers cheap and simple plans with great features like 5G coverage. But data slowdowns may scare some customers away.
Should I Switch to Mint Mobile?
Mint Mobile is a little company that’s been making a big splash in the cell phone industry with its cheap and simple plans. You’ve likely seen the company’s clever ads with Ryan Reynolds (who is a part owner), but does Mint Mobile really live up to the hype?
The short answer is yes. Tons of people are switching to Mint for a good reason. It has some of the best cheap plans on the market, great features like free 5G access and mobile hotspot data, and it’s super easy to sign up.
But, of course, Mint isn’t for everyone. There are a few drawbacks, including slower data speeds and pesky price changes. In this article we’ll go over some basic facts about Mint that should help you decide whether it's the right carrier for you.
Mint Mobile pros and cons
- Very affordable data plans
- Great coverage
- Free 5G access
- Mobile hotspot data
- Data deprioritization
- No family plan deals
Mint has four plans from $15 to $30 a month
Many major companies, like AT&T and Verizon, charge $70+ for their plans. Some folks (myself included) just don’t want to spend that much. Luckily, with Mint (and other MVNO carriers) you can often get a decent plan for way less.
This chart will show you all of Mint’s plans and prices.
Each of these plans come with unlimited talk and text, access to 5G, and mobile hotspot data.
If you just need a simple cell phone plan with enough data for apps like Google Maps and Facebook, then the 4 GB option is an incredible deal. Meanwhile, the 10–15 GB plans are great options for those who want enough for some TikTok scrolling and casual gaming. All of these limited data plans are perfect for kids, who need some data but shouldn’t be on their phones all day.
If you want an unlimited data plan, then Mint has one of the cheapest plans on the market. A clean $30 a month gets you everything—unlimited talk, text, and data. Though you will have a 35 GB data cap, which means your data can be slowed after using that much.
Mint operates on T-Mobile’s network
Mint is a mobile virtual network operator (also called an MVNO), which means that it actually doesn’t operate its own network. Instead, it rents network bandwidth from a larger company. In this case, Mint uses T-Mobile’s network.
T-Mobile has a large and reliable nationwide network with great coverage in almost all metropolitan and suburban areas. You can check out the coverage map below to see how it looks in your area.
T-Mobile’s mobile data speeds are even more impressive than its coverage map. The company currently has the fastest speeds in the industry (according to our independent data from over 100,000 mobile customers) and rapidly growing 5G infrastructure.
But even though T-Mobile’s data speeds are the best in the country, that doesn’t mean Mint Mobile customers will always see the network’s full potential. This brings us to our next point.
Mint Mobile’s data speeds can be deprioritized
One of the biggest downsides to Mint Mobile and other MVNOs is something called data deprioritization. This means that T-Mobile can (and will) slow down the data of Mint’s customers when the network is busy and instead direct bandwidth towards T-Mobile customers (who pay more).
In practice, deprioritization means that Mint customers will see widely varying data speeds. Sometimes you may get 10–15 Mbps speeds, which is plenty to stream video, audio, and for most online games.
But at other times your data speeds can plummet to under 5 Mbps, which will make it hard to use even some basic mobile apps. So, if you need consistently fast data speeds, then your best bet is to go with a plan from a company that operates their own network: AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
Yes. One way to get around Mint’s slower data speeds is to be in an area with 5G coverage. You will still see slower data speeds than T-Mobile’s own customers who are on 5G, but it will still be a heck of a lot faster than 4G.
Mint doesn’t offer discounted family plans
If you’ve got more than one person in your family who needs a cell phone plan, you really should opt for a family plan. These plans can save you a ton of money, simplify your bill payments, and allow you to put parental controls on children's lines.
With Mint you can add extra lines to your account, but the company doesn’t discount these extra lines like many other companies do. This will definitely be a deal breaker for many potential customers. If you’re looking for an awesome MVNO family plan, then we suggest checking out Visible Wireless.
Mint’s promotional prices are amazing but don’t last forever
One last thing to keep in mind when considering Mint Mobile is that the company’s advertised prices don’t necessarily last forever. For instance, Mint’s 15 GB plan goes from $25 to $45 after the first 30 days, unless you sign up for a multi-month contract.
Here’s a screenshot from Mint’s website that breaks it all down.
Source: Mint Mobile
Basically, Mint will give you the super low promotional costs forever if you buy 12 months of service in advance.
Signing up for Mint Mobile is easy, and you can do it online
If you’re digging Mint’s cheap and powerful plans, then you can get the details on how to sign up here. Once you’ve chosen your plan, created an account, and paid for your first month, the company will send you a SIM kit.
Just insert the SIM kit in your new phone (if you decide to buy one from Mint) or your existing device. Follow the instructions to activate your SIM card and voila, you’re good to go!