Mint Mobile and Boost Mobile are "alternative carriers" or mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). They're not the Big Four (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), but they lease coverage from those networks and resell it to you for less. Plans are often prepaid and fixed contracts are few and far between.

Let's compare Mint Mobile and Boost Mobile to see how they stack up against one another.

Mint Mobile background

Mint SIM coverage map

Who owns it? Ultra Mobile

Which network does it use? T-Mobile 4G LTE

How long has it been around? Since 2016

Tethering allowed? No.

Cheapest plan: $35 for 1 month: 2GB 4G LTE, unlimited nationwide talk, text, and 2G data

Boost Mobile background

Boost Mobile coverage map

Who owns it? Sprint

Which network does it use? Sprint CDMA and LTE

How long has it been around? Since 2000 in Australia and New Zealand, since 2001 in the U.S.

Tethering allowed? Yes

Cheapest plan: $35/month: 2GB 4G LTE, unlimited nationwide talk, text, and 2G data

Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile doesn't operate with traditional contracts. You pay upfront for your term, which can be 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months, with "buying in bulk" saving you more money in the long run. All plans include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data, though you only get so much 4G LTE per month. Unlimited international texting is included in all plans.

Duration Small (2GB LTE) Medium (5GB LTE) Large (10GB LTE)
1 month $35 $50 $60
3 months $23/month ($69 upfront) $33/month ($99 upfront) $39.67/month ($119 upfront)
6 months $19.83/month ($119 upfront) $28.17/month ($169 upfront) $34.83/month ($209 upfront)
12 months $16.58/month ($199 upfront) $24.92/month ($299 upfront) $33.25/month ($399 upfront)


As far as add-ons are concerned, Mint Mobile's selection is very slim:

Extra data:

  • 1GB/month: $10
  • 3GB/month: $20

International credit:

Mint Mobile's plans contain no international calling, though unlimited international texting is included. You can add international calling credit to your account in $5, $10, or $20 increments.

You can see a list of international rates here.

Boost plans

Boost Mobile offers two types of plans: family and single line. What you get with each plan is the same, but you'll save money on each additional family plan line (up to 5 lines).

Single line 2GB LTE Unlimited GBs (up to 23GB LTE)
Price $35/month $50/month
With Auto Re-Boost $30/month No discount
Extras Streaming music without data charges Unlimited HD streaming for $20/month

Family plan 2GB LTE Unlimited GBs (up to 23GB LTE)
Primary line price $35/month $50/month
Primary line with Auto Re-Boost $30/month No discount
Secondary lines (up to 5) $30/month $30/month
Extras Streaming music without data charges Unlimited HD streaming for $20/month

Note: Data is not shared between lines on a family plan. Each line gets its own allotment, based on its plan.


Unlimited music streaming:

One thing that Boost Mobile does offer over Mint Mobile is the ability to stream music for free without it counting towards your data limit. Available through services like iHeartRatio, Spotify, Pandora, Napster, 8Tracks and Slacker, it's one of the best ways to stream lots of music without paying extra.

Extra data:

  • 1GB of 4G LTE: $5/month
  • 2GB of 4G LTE: $10/month

Phone Insurance:

$7 per month covers out-of-warranty software issues, accidental damage (including liquid), stolen/lost phones. You can make up to 2 claims in a 12-month period, at up to $1,500 per claim. Deductibles are $20, $50, $100, or $175, depending on your phone.

International add-ons:

Prices ranges from $3 per month to $10 per month.


$10 per month. You get 24/7 access to premium live and on-demand content, like movies, TV shows, news, sports, and more. Latino package is also available for $10 per month.

Boost Dealz:

Install the free Boost Dealz app and receive a $5 discount off your plan every month for viewing content and ads within the app. You must view 1 ad or offer, per day, for a minimum of 20 non-consecutive days during your billing cycle.

Boost phones

When it comes to unlocked phones and Boost (a subsidiary of Sprint, lest we forget), bringing your own unlocked phone will work, but you have to bring the right phone. A part of the Sprint network still operates using CDMA, and its rules are rather stringent for bringing phones from other carriers, so to save yourself a giant headache and a lot of effort in vain, you'll want to purchase a phone from Boost.

We recommend the following phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 ($499.99)
  • Google Pixel ($649.99)
  • Google Pixel XL ($769.99)

Which should I go with?

If you're looking to save more money on your cell phone plan, then Mint Mobile is the way to go. Just read our review for more!

Despite Boost's family plans, you'll still save more money on a single-line basis — up to $200 per year over boost. From a purely price-conscious point of view, its plans are excellent. And, you can bring just about any unlocked GSM phone over to the network.

That being said, if you're looking for "unlimited" data and think you'll need more than 13GB of data (with the Mint Mobile add-on), then Boost is the better option for you. It also supports unlimited music streaming with select services, so if you're addicted to the tunes, then Boost is probably for you.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)


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