Buy in bulk

Mint Mobile

One month at a time

Cricket Wireless

Save money buy buying in bulk. Plans come with unlimited talk and text and have no overages after you've used your data. Speeds are lowered, but you can upgrade your plan mid-cycle or easily add more data.

From $45 per 3 months at Mint Mobile

Pros

  • T-Mobile LTE network
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited slowed data after allowance
  • Free calls to Canada and Mexico
  • Hotspot on every plan

Cons

  • Must buy in bulk
  • No unlimited option

Take advantage of the massive AT&T network without the contracts. You can start as small as just talk and text and go all the way up to unlimited data with 15GB of hotspot data.

From $25 per month at Cricket Wireless

Pros

  • AT&T LTE network
  • Service in Canada and Mexico (unlimited plans)
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited slowed data after allowance (data plans)

Cons

  • SD quality videos (unlimited plans)

Cricket has an advantage in travel to Canada and Mexico with its unlimited plans, and the AT&T LTE network is one of the strongest available. The T-Mobile network that supports Mint has been one of the fastest-growing networks, and if it's available in your area, it will serve you well. Always be sure to check coverage where you go to be sure each network will work for you.

What is an MVNO?

Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless are mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs for short. They're "alternative carriers," meaning that they're not the Big Four (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint).

Switching to an MVNO can save you money because they lease coverage from one of the more extensive networks and resell it to customers. Plans are often prepaid, so you don't have to worry about overages.

Mint Mobile Cricket
Network T-Mobile AT&T
Minimum 3 mo 1 mo
Discounts bundle auto pay

Mint plans

Mint Mobile doesn't operate with traditional contracts. You pay upfront for your term, which can be three months, six months, or twelve 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 (3GB LTE) Medium (8GB LTE) Large (12GB LTE)
3 months $15/month ($45 upfront) $20/month ($60 upfront) $25/month ($65 upfront)
6 months $18/month ($108 upfront) $24/month ($144 upfront) $35/month ($210 upfront)
12 months $15/month ($180 upfront) $20/month ($240 upfront) $25/month ($300 upfront)

Add Data at a rate of $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you need more. You can also upgrade to the next plan up if you feel you'll need more every month in the middle of your billing cycle.

Cricket plans

Cricket offers fairly straightforward unlimited talk and text plans with varying allotments of 4G LTE data. All plan prices are flat fees, with taxes and fees included. So you will only pay $30/month if you opt for the $30 plan, for example. All plans, except the $25/month Talk & Text plan, come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G data. Pricing varies depending on how much 4G LTE data you opt for.

Talk & Text 2GB 5GB Unlimited
Data None 2GB 5GB Unlimited
MMS None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Hotspot None None None +$5 per month
International text None None None 37 countries International usage

With Cricket you can save money with more lines on the unlimited plan. This comes out to $55 for one line, $80 for two, $90 for three, and $100 for four lines. You can add 1GB of 4G data for $10 if you find you need more with a data plan.

International coverage

On Cricket, add calling to international landline numbers in 35 countries for $5 per month and add 1000 minutes to call mobile number and unlimited MMS texting for $15 per month. You can also add individual countries for $10-$15 per month. You are only able to roam in Canada and Mexico on Cricket as long as it is less than 50% of your overall usage. This is included with the unlimited plans.

Mint does things a little differently but perhaps more directly. You pay by the minute, text, or MB. The rates are $0.05 per text sent, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per MB. These rates come down to $0.02 per text, $0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per MB for Canada and Mexico. Calls to Canada and Mexico are included with the plan, however.

If you plan to call internationally, a lot of Cricket can be less expensive, but you'll likely pay more upfront. Mint is a lot more flexible and makes more sense for those that don't call that much,

Which should I go with? Mint Mobile

From a purely price-conscious perspective, Mint Mobile is the better option, especially if you have an unlocked phone of your own. T-Mobile's network is solid, and Mint Mobile's plans are straightforward. So long as you sign up for three months or longer at a time, you get a lot more data for your money. Need more reasons? Read our review!

If discounted phones and roaming in Canada and Mexico are essential to you, then you'll have to go with Cricket (if you're choosing between the two).

Save in Bundles

Mint Mobile

Buy more to save more

Mint Mobile saves you money by offering plans in a bundle. Buy a large chunk to increase your savings with plenty of data on T-Mobile's LTE network.

Tons of Data

Cricket Wireless

More network for more data

Starting as low as talk-and-text and going all the way up to unlimited, Cricket has a plan that works for you. You can even save more with more lines.

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