Mint Mobile review: Tons of data with multi-month savings

Plenty of data for most people on T-Mobile 5G.

Mint Mobile SIM card near a phone with an open SIM tray
(Image: © Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

Mint Mobile is a prepaid carrier with a handful of affordable data plans available in three, six, or 12-month chunks. The more you buy upfront, the lower your monthly price. Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network with 5G for coverage and works with most unlocked phones.


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    Works with almost any unlocked phone

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    Simple multi-month discounts

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    Free calls to Mexico and Canada

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    Mobile hotspot included

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    Mint Family makes multi-line management more economical

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    5G access on every plan


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    Unlimited plan slows at 40GB of usage

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    Videos are limited to SD on unlimited

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    T-Mobile coverage isn’t great everywhere

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Mint Mobile: Starting at $15/month

Mint Mobile: Starting at $15/month

Mint Mobile is a popular prepaid carrier that delivers excellent T-Mobile coverage that you pay for in 3, 6, and 12-month increments of time. There are four data plans available, and each one comes with unlimited talk and text, free calls to Mexico and Canada, a mobile hotspot, and more. 

Many of us have grown accustomed to the ballooning prices of cell phone plans with the big three carriers. These carriers have continued to increase the value of their plans with things like security software, hotspot data, subscription services, and cloud storage with savings coming only when you add as many lines as possible. 

While these features can certainly be nice to have, there’s a lot of money to be saved if you strip away these unessential features. Mint Mobile sticks to what’s most important in a mobile phone plan with unlimited calling and texting on all plans, unlimited data, and plenty of high-speed data for most people. In fact, T-Mobile seems to have picked up on this advantage, as they recent began the process of formally acquiring Mint Mobile. 

Mint is also one of only a handful of carriers offering multi-month savings on all of its plans so if you’ve got the spare cash to pay for up to a year of service, you can save even more. Of course, the minimum three-month plan will be a bit much for some people to swallow at once, but with the first three months following the 12-month rates, it’s worth checking out Mint if you’re in the market for a new phone plan.

Mint Mobile: Plans and availability

Mint Mobile

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

At first glance, Mint’s plan structure may seem a bit confusing, but once you understand how its discounts work, it makes a lot of sense. Mint Mobile has four plans starting at 5GB of data and ranging up to unlimited with 40GB of high-speed data. 

You can buy service for three, six, or 12 months with the price broken down per month being cheaper for the long term. Luckily for those looking to try Mint out, the first three months of service uses the 12-month price, so you can experience the carrier without committing to a full year.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 5GB15GB20GBUnlimited
3 months (introductory price)$15/mo. ($45)$20/mo. ($60)$25/mo. ($75)$30/mo. ($90)
3 months$25/mo. ($75)$35/mo. ($105)$45/mo. ($135)$40/mo. ($120)
6 months$20/mo. ($120)$25/mo. ($150)$35/mo. ($210)$35/mo. ($210)
12 months$15/mo. ($180)$20/mo. ($240)$25/mo. ($300)$30/mo. ($360)

The most significant savings with Mint come from buying six or 12 months, but you may also be able to save by switching to a smaller plan. We've become accustomed to purchasing unlimited plans by default, but most of us simply don't need that much data, especially if we have frequent access to Wi-Fi. 

You can check your last phone bill to see how much data you used or check the data usage in the settings of your Android phone. If you regularly use less than 20GB per month, you don't need Mint's unlimited plan, and you might not even need the 15GB plan.

If you want to bring your whole family to Mint Mobile, you can use Mint Family to make your upfront payment more palatable. With Mint Family, you only need to pay for three months at a time, but you still get the lowest 12-month rate. If you want to get Mint's best rates for your family but can't pay for multiple 12-month plans at once, Mint Family can help.

Mint Mobile: What I like

Change plans close up on Mint Mobile app showing 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month options

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

A cell phone plan is only as good as the network behind it, and in Mint Mobile’s case, that means T-Mobile. In my testing, I used T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G in Northern Florida. T-Mobile isn’t especially fast in my area but I did have 5G coverage including T-Mobile’s fast band n41 most of the time. T-Mobile has been investing heavily in its network with a focus on 5G so if you’ve been unimpressed by the network in the past few years, it may be worth another look. It's also worth noting that T-Mobile recently began the process of buying Mint Mobile, which means its 5G network is sure to become even more reliable. 

I tested my Mint Mobile SIM card in two phones starting with an unlocked ASUS Zenfone 8 before moving on to the Galaxy S20+. The Zenfone 8 didn’t support band n41 and spent most of its time bouncing between 4G and 5G. The Galaxy S20+ does support the vast majority of T-Mobile’s bands and provided a more consistent experience on the network. Band 41 connected without issue, even indoors, giving the Galaxy a serious advantage in network speed.

While Mint Mobile is compatible with a wide range of phones, a phone with a bigger focus on the unlocked U.S. market like Samsung’s Galaxy devices will lead to a better overall experience. Luckily though, the Zenfone did work with more than enough speed for most tasks. It was objectively slower in a speed test but in day-to-day use, I didn’t feel hampered.

For just about anything you need with your phone plan, Mint Mobile lets you do it from the app.

The fact of the matter is that T-Mobile’s compatible network means you can bring just about any of the best Android phones to Mint Mobile and have a good experience. Some phones, such as those designed for Verizon and AT&T, will have fewer supported relevant bands but if they’re unlocked, there’s a good chance you’ll still be able to get connected, even if it is just LTE. To be sure you can use 5G on Mint Mobile, you’ll want a phone that supports 5G band n71 and for faster speeds, band n41.

One thing Mint Mobile gets very right is its app experience. The Mint Mobile app can quickly show you how much data you’ve used while providing you options to upgrade or downgrade your plan as necessary. This is also where you can make payments and enable automatic renewal. It’s important to decide ahead of schedule if you want to upgrade to the 12-month plan before your renewal too because if you’ve started with three months, your plan will be set to renew at the higher three-month rates.

You can also find quick access to customer service with a chat system built into the app. You can call the support number from here to talk to a human if you prefer too. For just about anything you need with your phone plan, Mint Mobile lets you do it from the app. Also, comparing it to the app experience of bigger carriers like AT&T, the app is quick and responsive with a simple layout that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Mint Mobile calls the plan unlimited but after 40GB, your data is slowed down quite a lot.

As mentioned, I tested Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan and by the plan description, you get 40GB of data at full speed with 10GB of hotspot data. This plan also comes with unlimited talk and text including voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling and texting. Data speeds were consistent up to 40GB of usage and calls were reasonably clear. I had no trouble understanding the person on the other line and they also heard me loud and clear.

When it came to data usage, normally 40GB would be more than enough for me as I typically use between 15 and 25GB per month. Mint Mobile calls the plan unlimited but after 40GB, your data isn’t cut off but rather it is slowed down quite a lot. I deliberately blew through the 35GB limit and found my download speeds cut to right around 500Kbps. This was enough speed to send and receive messages including picture mail. This was also enough speed to stream music without much issue. If I had to live with this limitation, I could, but I wouldn’t have to.

Once you’ve used your data up, Mint Mobile gives you two options for more high-speed data. You can get 5GB more for $15 or 10GB for $20. Given that many carriers like Google Fi charge up to $10 per 1GB, this is a pretty decent deal and can help if you find you need the extra data in a pinch.

Mint Mobile: What could be better

Service mode on a Samsung Galaxy S20+ shows 5G NR band information

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Like any prepaid carrier, there are a few compromises that come with the financial benefits. For one thing, data will be a lower priority than a T-Mobile postpaid or business account. That means that in an area with a lot of network congestion, Mint Mobile users could see slower speeds. During my testing in my relatively small city, speeds felt consistent on 5G though, there isn’t a ton of congestion to worry about. This point is less of a con and more of something to keep in mind if you find your Mint Mobile speeds aren’t keeping up with expectations.

Now that Mint Mobile is being bought by T-Mobile, some of the de-prioritization problems may go away — but it's too soon to say for certain. 

If you watch a lot of gaming streams, you might be disappointed by the 480p video streaming limit.

One thing that I don’t like is the video streaming limit. On the unlimited plan, Mint Mobile limits video streams to 480p. This means about 1.5Mbps of speed when using a video app like YouTube. While 480p looks fine on a small phone screen, it’s noticeably softer than a 720p video. It’s also noticeable that on YouTube, 60fps streams will only be available in 30fps at 480p. If you watch a lot of gaming streams as I do, it feels much too low.

I understand that limiting video quality can prevent excessive waste by those that stream hours upon hours of video on mobile data. I also understand that Mint Mobile calls this plan unlimited and it not only has a 40GB high-speed data limit but a video quality limit in place at all times. No matter how reasonable the data limit, calling a plan unlimited before limiting both my high-speed data and my video quality doesn’t feel right. Perhaps that’s why Mint Mobile calls this plan Unliminted.

Mint Mobile: The Competition

Mint Mobile's SIM card sits atop competitors with the Mint Mobile app showing the help page

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Competition is fierce when it comes to prepaid carriers. Ultra Mobile is one of the first to come to mind and was in fact Mint Mobile’s parent company before T-Mobile came in and scooped up both Ultra and Mint. Ultra offers a wide range of data plans on the T-Mobile network starting at just 250MB with up to 60GB of data available. Ultra Mobile also has multi-month savings for up to 12 months. Depending on how much data you need, Ultra Mobile may end up being quicker.

Visible is a prepaid carrier owned by Verizon and it uses Verizon's LTE and 5G network for coverage. Visible only has a single unlimited plan and while it’s deprioritized compared to Verizon Wireless plans, it still has plenty of speed for most people. Visible is also cheap with its plan, coming down to just $25 per month with its Party Pay discount which is available to all customers. Visible also has unlimited mobile hotspot data at 5Mbps.

Mint Mobile: Frequently asked questions

Does Mint Mobile support international service?

Calls and texts to Mexico and Canada are free on all plans. If you want to call other countries, you'll need to add money to your Mint Mobile account and pay per minute or text.

Mint Mobile's international roaming support is as simple as it gets, with a flat rate of $0.05 per text, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per MB for most countries. Service in Mexico and Canada is reduced to $0.02 per text, S0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per MB.

Which Mint Mobile plan should you buy?

When it comes to how much time you should buy between three, six, and 12 months, starting with just three makes the most sense. If you are new to Mint Mobile, you can have the first three months of service for the same monthly cost as 12 months. Not only that, this will help you dial in how much data you'll need before committing long-term.

Starting with three months, you can renew with 12 months and lock in the introductory rate. This will be the best course of action if you find that Mint Mobile works well for you. If it's not working for you, you can let it run out without renewing.

Looking for a family plan? Well, Mint Mobile has Mint Family, a feature that allows one person to manage up to five plans under one account. There aren't multi-line savings like some other carriers, but Mint Mobile gives Mint Family users the 12-month rate with three-month renewals. That means that users won't need to pay for all of the account's full year at once.

Does Mint Mobile support 5G?

Yes, it uses T-Mobile's 5G network, which means that if your phone supports it, you should see the 5G signal on the top-right of your phone. Here are Mint Mobile's current supported wireless bands:

  • Band 2 - 1900MHz
  • Bands 4/66 - 1700/2100MHz
  • Band 5 - 850MHz
  • Band 12 - 700MHz
  • Band 71 - 600MHz
  • Band n71 - 600MHz (5G sub-6)
  • Band n41 - 2.5GHz (5G sub-6)
  • Band n258 - 24GHz (5G mmWave)
  • Band n260 - 39GHz (5G mmWave)
  • Band n261 - 28GHz (5G mmWave)

What phones does Mint Mobile support?

Can you bring your own device?

Surprisingly for a smaller MVNO, Mint Mobile has a pretty great selection of phones you can buy directly from it. You have the option of paying the full price of the phone outright or month-to-month with 0% financing through Affirm.

Most of the best phones for Mint Mobile are also some of the best Android phones you can get. Alternatively, if you already have a phone you want to use with Mint Mobile, you can do that, too.

Mint Mobile works with any GSM-unlocked phone, and if you aren't sure what that means, you can use a compatibility checker on Mint Mobile's website to confirm your device will work by entering its IMEI number. The SIM card itself is free, so you'll just need to purchase one of the above plans to get going with your service.

Don't forget that you can bring your current phone number to Mint Mobile as well.

Mint Mobile: Should you sign up?

An unused Mint Mobile SIM card with multiple sizes supported

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

You should sign up if...

  • You have good T-Mobile coverage
  • You can afford to pay for multiple months upfront
  • You have an unlocked phone that works on T-Mobile’s network

You shouldn't sign up if...

  • You need more than 40GB of high-speed data
  • You want to pay for one month at a time
  • You need priority data
  • You need to add multiple lines

Mint Mobile makes a lot of sense for a lot of people thanks to its wide range of data plans that work for most. Whether you need something small like the 5GB plan or need more than 20GB, Mint Mobile’s plans are priced competitively. If you can afford to pay for a year of Mint Mobile service, your monthly price will be one of the best in the business. 

Mint Mobile is also a better fit for many people thanks to the great compatibility of the T-Mobile network. Just about any unlocked phone works on this network, including 5G phones, so if you’ve been thinking about trying out T-Mobile’s network, Mint Mobile is a great choice.

Samuel Contreras

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.

With contributions from