Mint Mobile vs. Boost Mobile: Which prepaid carrier is best for you?


Comparing Mint Mobile vs. Boost Mobile only makes sense, as both are excellent prepaid carriers that use T-Mobile's network infrastructure to provide you amazing service at lower cost(s). But the question is, which one of these should you go for?

Mint Mobile is distinct, in the sense that it's now wholly owned and operated by T-Mobile, similar to how the prepaid carrier Visible is owned by Verizon. Even though Mint Mobile will be cheaper overall, Boost Mobile has many features going for it and favors the data-heavy user. Boost can also give you much better value if you sign up for more than one line, even more so considering Mint doesn't offer any multi-line discounts. However, if you use an average amount of data and your main goal is to find an affordable plan, Mint Mobile makes a lot of sense with its bundles that can save you quite a lot of money over time.

When you sign up for phone service with one of the big three carriers, you'll most likely end up paying for a list of features you don't need, or having way more data than you'll ever use. A prepaid carrier such as Mint Mobile or Boost Mobile can help you save some cash by providing you with only what you need. While Boost focuses on giving customers a lot of choices so they can choose what suits them best, Mint has distilled its offerings into four distinct plans that must be purchased upfront in packs of three, six, or 12 months.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mint MobileBoost Mobile
NetworkT-Mobile (Owner)T-Mobile (Primary)
5G AccessYesYes
Minimum plan duration3 months1 month
Discounts3, 6, or 12 month bundlesMultiple lines
Data offerings5GB, 15GB, 20GB, and Unlimited plans1GB, 5GB, 15GB, and multiple Unlimited plans
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimited
Mobile HotspotFree (capped at 10GB with Unlimited plan)Up to 30GB (with Unlimited plans)
Video streamingSDSD (HD streaming with $60 Unlimited plus plan)
InternationalFree calls to Mexico and CanadaAvailable as add-on service
Starting cost (Monthly plan)$15$10

Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network for its service. Though the network is vast, you should check your Mint coverage before signing up. Compare this with Boost's coverage map to see which carrier will work better for your location.

Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile doesn't operate with traditional contracts. However, you have to pay upfront for your plan, offered in packs of three, six, or 12 months. By buying in bulk, Mint lets you save you more money in the long run. Fortunately, all of Mint Mobile's plans include unlimited talk and text and you can choose whether if want 5GB, 15GB, 20GB, or unlimited 4G LTE and 5G data. Here's how Mint's plan pricing breaks down.

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Header Cell - Column 0 5GB15GB20GBUnlimited (40GB)
3 months$15/mo. ($45)
$25/mo. renewal ($75)
$20/mo. ($60 total)
$35/mo. renewal ($105 total)
$25/mo. ($75)
$45/mo. renewal ($135 total)
$30/mo. ($90)
$40/mo. renewal ($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)

With each Mint Mobile plan, you'll get free mobile hotspot data, although it'll use up your monthly data allotment or be limited to 10GB with the unlimited plan. Once you have used up 40GB on the unlimited plan or your set data amount, your speeds will reduced for the rest of the month. These are going to be enough for basic data use, but you do have the option of adding 1GB or 3GB of data for a respective $10 or $20 extra. You can even upgrade your plan at any point.

Mint Mobile has an introductory price for the first three months on one of its plans, bringing its unlimited plan to an affordable price of $30 per month. But to continue paying this low price, you'll have to sign up for 12 months once your three months are up, or your monthly bill will increase to $40 per month for another three months or $35 per month for six more months. If you're able to pay in advance, that's where you'll see the most value, especially since there aren't any multi-line discounts.

Boost Mobile plans

boost mobile monthly plans

(Image credit: Boost Mobile)

Boost Mobile has taken a bit of a simpler approach when it comes to its monthly plans. With Boost, you simply choose how much data you think you'll need in a month, starting at just 1GB for $8.33/month if you sign up for a whole year.

There are also two unlimited plans capped at 30GB of 5G/4G data per month. These cost $40 or $60 monthly, depending on whether you want 12GB or 30GB of mobile hotspot data. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, 5G access, mobile hotspot, and, perhaps best of all, no contracts or hidden fees. The $60/month unlimited plan even comes with HD streaming and 'Todo Mexico' add-on for roaming use in Mexico.

Device compatibility

Boost Mobile app on smartphone screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

Both Mint Mobile and Boost Mobile fully support 5G on the T-Mobile network at no additional cost if you have a compatible device. Still, if you just want a phone that works with each carrier, then these are some of the best Boost Mobile phones and some of the best phones to use with Mint Mobile. And if you rather bring your own device to work with Boost Mobile, you need to check whether it's compatible with your preferred network.

Although Boost Mobile uses the former Sprint network and should technically work with Sprint phones, many cannot be activated on Boost Mobile. For the most part, you will need a compatible Boost Mobile phone, but the easiest way to check is by entering your IMEI number on Boost's website. If you use Boost's Expanded Network, most unlocked phones should be compatible, but it's still a good idea to check.

Mint Mobile has a clear advantage over Boost Mobile when it comes to supported phones. Because it uses T-Mobile's GSM network, it'll work with nearly any unlocked phone supporting its bands. So as long as your phone is 4G LTE and VoLTE friendly, you shouldn't have an issue, but you can quickly determine whether your phone is fully compatible with Mint Mobile by heading to its website or downloading its app. This makes it much easier and cheaper to switch to Mint Mobile if you're not in the market for a new phone.

International usage

Screenshot of Boost's International page on website

(Image credit: Boost Mobile)

With Mint Mobile, you won't get much international use out of your plan. Free calls to Mexico and Canada are included, but if you want to do anything else, you'll have to purchase international roaming credits via "UpRoam," which come in $5, $10, $20 increments. Mint Mobile charges $0.05 per text message sent, $0.25 per minute for calls, and $0.20 per MB in most international countries, though prices are lower in Mexico and Canada at $0.02 per text, $0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per MB.

Boost Mobile offers international packages via the 'Todo Mexico' add-on for $5 per month, which includes calling and texting to and from Mexico and 8GB of data to use while visiting Mexico. You'll also be able to call and text anyone in Canada. The 'Global talk & text' add-on offers most of the above, along with unlimited calling to landlines in more than 70 countries and 200 minutes for mobile lines — all for $10 per month. So, if you're a traveler or have family abroad, you simply have more flexibility with a Boost Mobile plan.

Which one should you get?

Phone with Mint Mobile home page on screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

Boost Mobile offers a wide range of plans and some of the best add-on services of any carrier, especially when it comes to international perks. It has also solved one of its biggest problems (weak coverage) by utilizing the T-Mobile network. With its new array of plans and various data options, pretty much anyone can find a good fit with Boost Mobile.

Mint Mobile likes to keep things simple and offers four straightforward plans. The result is that with Mint Mobile, it's easy to find the right plan and save money with a longer service term. So, whether you need the full 40GB of data on its unlimited plan or can get by on the 5GB plan, you'll get one of the best monthly rates. Even after its acquisition by T-Mobile, Mint Mobile continues to be a well-rounded option.

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.

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