For the family
Cricket's most significant value comes with its family plans. With two or more lines, Cricket's top unlimited plan is one of the best values for heavy data users. All of the smaller plans come with a speed cap, but for many people, that won't be a huge issue. If you're a heavy streamer, want 5G access, or just want to multitask on your phone, it's worth going with the top unlimited plan.
+ Huge AT&T network with 5G
+ No speed caps on plans
+ Multi-line discounts
+ Tons of data on unlimited
- Hotspot not available on all plans
More coverage than ever
Boost Mobile has earned a reputation for offering cheap data and excellent packages to call and roam in Mexico. The weakest part has always been the Sprint network, but thanks to Boost's new Expanded Network based on T-Mobile, Boost customers now have access to much greater coverage. All plans come with hotspot data if you want to share your connection as well.
+ Large T-Mobile network with 5G
+ Great international add-ons
+ Comes with hotspot data
+ Tons of data available
- Some older phones still use Sprint
Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile have both seen some fairly radical changes with their core plans over the past couple of years. Boost's new plans on its expanded network are targeted at other prepaid carriers with data starting at 1GB if you are willing to sign up for a year's worth of service. Cricket only has four main plans starting at 5GB with two unlimited options.
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile: How many lines do you need?
One of the main differences between Cricket and Boost is support for multi-line discounts. While Boost's two top plans have discounts for additional lines, Cricket supports discounts across its three top plans up to five lines. This includes its 10GB plan, which is a great fit for many people. If you need more than a couple of lines, you can save some money with Cricket.
Boost Mobile's two top unlimited plans come with 35GB of high-speed data and some hotspot data with extra lines available at a discount.
|Cricket Wireless||Boost Mobile|
|Network||AT&T||T-Mobile (Sprint legacy)|
|Multi-line discounts||All plans except 5GB||Unlimited plans only|
|Mexico and Canada||Included with unlimited plans||Add-on available|
|Hotspot data||15GB with Unlimited Cricket More||Yes|
Both carriers excel when it comes to calling and traveling to Mexico and Canada. Boost Mobile has a few different add-ons that help with this. There is a $5 per month Todo Mexico PLUS add-on that enables calls to and from Mexico as well as calls to Canada. It also comes with international texting and 8GB of data roaming in Mexico. Additionally, there is an International Connect PLUS add-on that enables calls to many more countries.
Cricket's unlimited plans come with service in Mexico and Canada. Cricket notes that data speeds may be reduced to 2G. You also text to for free 37 additional countries.
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile: Cricket's plans
Cricket has four main plans that all include unlimited talk and text in the U.S. The smallest plan comes with a healthy 5GB of data for $30 per month. This plan doesn't get any auto-pay or multi-line discounts so it doesn't make sense for more than two lines. The 10GB plan does get multi-line and auto-pay discounts, so it matches the price at three lines for the 5GB plan.
Moving up to the smaller unlimited plan, Cricket Unlimited Core, your data is upgraded to have no limits, although you may experience slowed speeds if you're in a congested area. This plan also gets unlimited from the U.S. to 37 different countries.
Cricket Unlimited More adds a bit more with the data getting upgraded to premium data. That means that you'll be first in line on a congested tower so your speeds don't slow down. This plan also gets 15GB of mobile hotspot data, HBO Max with ads, and free usage in Mexico and Canada.
|2GB||5GB||Unlimited Core||Unlimited More|
|Talk, text, and picture mail||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|5G support||Nationwide 5G||Nationwide 5G||Nationwide 5G||Nationwide 5G|
|Video streaming||No limit (480p default)||No limit (480p default)||480p 1.5Mbps||480p 1.5Mbps|
|Single line price||$30||$40 ($35 with auto-pay)||$55 ($50 with autopay)||$60 ($55 with autopay)|
All Cricket plans can access AT&T's nationwide 5G network so if you have a compatible phone, you're good to go. It's also worth noting that Cricket used to have speed cap on its plans but in late 2021, those were removed.
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile: Boost's plans
Boost Mobile keeps its plans fairly simple but getting the one that fits your needs can be a bit more complicated with some plans only being available for extended terms. While we've grown accustomed to multi-month plans from carriers like Mint Mobile Boost isn't quite so straightforward.
For the most part, Boost Mobile's smaller data plans are about the same except for the high-speed data amount. The plans get unlimited talk and texts in the U.S. and data is unlimited after the high-speed amount at 2G speeds. You can use your data as a hotspot if you please.
Boost's two unlimited are a lot more interesting. The smaller plan has 12GB of hotspot data with 35GB of high-speed data on your phone. You can also add lines for $30 per month, $20 less than the single-line price. The larger plan takes the mobile hotspot up to 30GB and adds $10 to the price tag.
|Plans||Monthly||3 months||6 months||12 months|
|1GB||❌||❌||❌||$100 ($8.33 per month)|
|2GB||$15 per month||❌||❌||❌|
|5GB||$25 per month||$45 ($15 per month)||$90 ($15 per month)||$168 ($14 per month)|
|15GB||❌||❌||❌||$240 ($20 per month)|
|Unlimited (35GB)||$50 per month||$90 ($30 per month)||❌||$300 ($25 per month)|
|Unlimited Plus (35GB)||$60 per month||❌||❌||❌|
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile: Pick the right network
Cricket uses the AT&T network, which will work well for the majority of Americans. Cricket also supports nationwide 5G on AT&T, though it's worth keeping in mind that this network is still significantly smaller than T-Mobile's 5G on Boost Mobile. Still, most people will be happy with AT&T's strong LTE performance for a few years.
Boost Mobile is owned by Dish Wireless, and while Dish is hard at work building its own 5G network, for the time being, it's using T-Mobile. Some older phones may still be using the Sprint network but any new customers will be on T-Mobile. This is good news thanks to T-Mobile's strong performance and 5G coverage, which is available to anyone with a compatible phone in its entirety.
If you're after T-Mobile's 5G coverage but aren't convinced by Boost's plans, there are a ton of other T-Mobile MVNOs that offer the same coverage.
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile: The phones
On Cricket and Boost you can use just about any unlocked GSM phone. That means if you buy one of the best Android phones unlocked, it should work on either carrier just fine. You can also keep your old phone if it's unlocked and compatible with either network.
Keep in mind that older Boost Mobile phones that used the Sprint network might not be a good fit. While some models can work with the newer network, it's not a sure thing. It's worth checking before buying a used Boost phone.
Both carriers sell a collection of Android devices, though these phones trend more towards low and mid-range devices. Before you buy a phone through one of these carriers, keep in mind that it will be locked until it's paid off and you fulfill the carrier's unlock requirements. If you're looking to try out multiple new carriers, an unlocked phone is the way to go.
Cricket Wireless vs. Boost Mobile Which should you get?
Both of these carriers have plans and coverage competitive with the best MVNOs out there. Boost Mobile has done a lot to catch up with its competitors and now has plans that will work for just about anyone. If you only need 1GB of data, it's hard to find anything cheaper than Boost Mobile. Boost's 5G network is also a strong choice.
Still, most people will be better suited to Cricket's plan structure, especially if they're bringing more than one line. The multi-line discounts available with Cricket make it one of the best choices for a family. The Unlimited Core plan with four lines is just $100 per month and there aren't many other carriers that come close to that value.
Solid data plans
AT&T's network is extensive and reliable, and Cricket is a cheap way to get connected. You can save a lot by adding more lines as well.
Cheap and growing
More coverage options than ever
Boost Mobile is focused on delivering data and streaming. With the improved network, you can make the most of your smartphone.
When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.
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