Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

Cricket Wireless has an advantage when it comes to multi-line discounts, and AT&T's LTE network is among the strongest available out there, with 5G coverage continuing to expand.

However, the T-Mobile 5G network that Mint uses is the largest and fastest 5G network with much more mature mid-band coverage. If it's available in your area, you can get excellent speeds on the majority of the best Android phones you can buy. Always be sure to check coverage to determine which network will work for you.

Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: What is the prepaid advantage?

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Compare Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless at a glance and one thing becomes clear - both prepaid carriers use the network(s) of a much larger carrier to offer competitive coverage at affordable prices. Mint is now owned by T-Mobile and uses its network, while Cricket is a part of AT&T and uses its network. Both are solid options for users who want to get connected on a reliable network with excellent coverage, but don't want to get tied into a contract.

Prepaid operators can also offer a more streamlined experience, which keeps costs down. For example, Mint Mobile does not need to maintain storefronts, and neither it nor Cricket Wireless needs to worry about investing in the network in the long run. That does mean that Mint Mobile and Cricket Wireless are a bit less flexible in what they can offer, but with the current plans, most people can find something they'd be happy with on either of these MVNOs.

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Mint MobileCricket Wireless
Minimum Service Commitment3 months1 month
5G accessFull T-Mobile 5GNationwide 5G only
Family perksMint FamilyDiscounts for up to 5 lines

The best network will vary depending on where you live, and which device you have. So, make sure to compare Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless and check their coverage maps before proceeding. T-Mobile's 5G network is a lot larger and more widespread than AT&T's, so if you're looking to use 5G, Mint Mobile is your best bet. Cricket Wireless supports AT&T's nationwide 5G network which includes its low-band 5G service, but it will lack speed compared to T-Mobile's mix of low-band and mid-band spectrum.

Phone with Mint Mobile home page on screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

Keep in mind that Cricket's coverage will be more robust in rural areas, but either of the two carriers should have solid coverage for most users.

Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Mint Mobile's plans

Mint Mobile doesn't operate on standard month-to-month terms. Instead, you must pay upfront for three, six, or 12 months of usage. Buying in bulk will save you more money in the long run, with the most profound savings at 12 months. All of its plans include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data, though you only get so much LTE and 5G per month. Unlimited international texting is included in all plans.

If you go with the unlimited plan, your data speeds are reduced after 40GB of usage. You also get 10GB of hotspot data. As we found in our Mint Mobile review, this is more than enough data for most people if they make use of Wi-Fi at home.

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Mint's plans
5GB15GB20GBUnlimited (40GB)
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)

You can add extra data at $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you need more. You can also upgrade your plan in the middle of the billing cycle if your data needs to change.

Mint Mobile doesn't offer specific family plan savings, but with the cost of multiple lines with a year of service getting quite high, Mint Family makes the payments quite easier. It allows families to get the monthly rate for a 12-month plan with three-month renewals. This keeps the initial costs lower, so more families can take advantage of Mint Mobile's savings.

Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Cricket's plans

Cricket wireless retail store interior

(Image credit: Android Central)

Cricket Wireless offers you fairly straightforward unlimited talk and text plans, with nationwide 5G access. All its prices are flat fees, with taxes and fees included. So, if you opt for the $30 plan, you'll only pay that much a month. All plans also come with unlimited talk, text, and data, with pricing varying depending on how much data you opt for.

The plans formerly came with speed caps, but those have been removed. In fact, the highest unlimited plan has been upgraded with premium data that won't slow down based on usage. This plan also comes with 15GB of hotspot data, ad-supported Max, and 150GB of cloud storage.

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Cricket's plans
5GB10GBUnlimited (Core)Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot (More)
HotspotNoneNoneAdd-on available15GB
International textNoneNone (Available for extra fee)37 countries37 countries
International callsNoneMexico and Canada (New accounts)Mexico and CanadaMexico and Canada
5G accessNationwide 5GNationwide 5GNationwide 5GNationwide 5G
Other perks2GB cloud storage2GB cloud storage2GB cloud storageMax with Ads, 150GB cloud storage

With Cricket Wireless, you can save money with more lines on unlimited plans. Four lines on the top unlimited plan bring the cost down to $33 per line. Cricket also has a few data-only plans with up to 100GB available if you want to skip calling and texting features altogether.

Cricket has also partnered with Boingo Wireless and LinkNYC to improve customers' experience, with automatic connections to these hotspots. Boingo Wireless hotspots are available in areas like airports, military installations, sports stadiums, and transportation hubs.

Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: International coverage

OnePlus n200 5G with SIM cards

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

On Cricket, you can add calling to international landline numbers in 35 countries for $5 per month. You can also add 1,000 minutes to a mobile number and unlimited MMS texting for $15 per month. You can even add individual countries for $10-$15 per month.

Roaming is only included with unlimited plans, which also come with texting to 37 countries. If you plan on traveling to Canada or Mexico with an unlimited plan, you can also roam as long as it makes up less than 50% of your overall usage.

Mint does things a little differently but perhaps more directly regarding international coverage. While roaming, 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.

However, on Mint Mobile, calls to Canada and Mexico are included with every plan. The cost per minute for international calls depends on the country. For example, you pay a reasonable $0.01 per minute for landlines and mobiles in China. On the other hand, France comes in at $0.01 for landlines and $0.18 for mobiles.

If you plan to call a lot internationally, Cricket Wireless may be a lot less expensive, but you'll likely pay more upfront. Conversely, Mint Mobile is a lot more flexible and makes more sense if you don't call abroad frequently.

Mint Mobile vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

Mint Mobile logo on a Zenfone 8

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Cricket's plans tend to be more expensive than what you can get from Mint, but the price comes down quite a bit with multiple lines on unlimited. Cricket also has some great international perks, including its Mexico and Canada usage. If you're looking for something a bit simpler, the 5GB plan is enough to keep you connected without you having to worry about buying multiple months at once.

From a purely price-conscious perspective, Mint is the better option, especially if you have an unlocked phone of your own. T-Mobile's network is one of the best with 5G, and Mint Mobile's plans are straightforward. So long as you are willing to sign up for three months or longer at a time, you get a lot more data for your money.

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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