Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Which should you subscribe to?

Both Mint Mobile and Straight Talk are flexible, affordable prepaid carriers that provide great coverage at a lower cost — so which should you choose? Let's break it down. 

Straight Talk provides service on three networks — AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile — ultimately settling on whichever one provides the best coverage in your area. This makes the carrier one of the easiest choices if you just need something that works and you don't want to worry about network compatibility. The problem is that Straight Talk gets expensive fast, especially if you want unlimited data. 

Mint Mobile, on the other hand, provides a simpler approach and offers data sizes that work for most people. The simple pricing structure and discounts make Mint Mobile a great choice when you want to get as much service as possible for your money. Plus, they're now officially owned by T-Mobile, which means the service could get even better in the months to come. 

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Two great prepaid options

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Straight Talk offers the most data of the two if you're willing to pay for it. Still, most people will be happy with one of the smaller plans. Mint Mobile keeps things simple with plans that work for most people, with savings tied directly to how many months you're willing to buy: 3, 6, or 12. Buying more data on Straight Talk is very reasonable, as well, at just $5 for an extra gig.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mint MobileStraight Talk
Minimum data5GB100MB
Maximum dataUnlimited (40GB high speed)Unlimited
Minimum term3 months1 month
Maximum term12 months12 months

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Get the right coverage

Mint Mobile is owned by T-Mobile and only uses that carrier's network, but that'll work for most people. This network has become quite competent over the past few years, and with its past upgrades, the T-Mobile network currently covers most Americans with decent speeds. T-Mobile also has the best 5G coverage of any carrier and with its Ultra Capacity 5G network covering 235 million people, there's a good chance you'll get some of the best network speeds around.

Straight Talk does have the advantage when it comes to network compatibility since it buys coverage from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon and can give you a SIM card to match your device or the coverage where you live. For the most part, new customers will be on either the Verizon or T-Mobile network. In time, Straight Talk will be transitioning over to the Verizon network, but for the time being, there's no need to worry about it. 

So no matter where you live, as long as your phone is compatible, you should be able to get covered on Straight Talk with the right SIM. This can be a little more complicated than Mint, but Straight Talk will help you pick the right network and SIM card when you sign up.

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

One of Mint Mobile's biggest strengths is the simplicity of its plans. Mint offers data in three sizes and an unlimited plan, which slows at 40GB of usage and only comes with 10GB of hotspot data. For your first three-month period, you can get the 12-month pricing to decide if you like the service before signing up.

If you want to bring multiple lines to Mint Mobile, you can use the Mint Family feature. While this doesn't come with specific discounts, it does give customers the lowest 12-month rates on plans but only requires three-month payments. That's like getting the introductory rate the entire time. This can take the sting off of larger multi-month payments, especially with a few lines on your account.

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Header Cell - Column 0 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 also upgrade your plan mid-cycle if you want to start small and work your way up if you run out of data. You can also add more data at a rate of $10 for 1GB and $20 for 3GB. International calling and roaming are available and are charged as you use them, depending on the country. Calls to Mexico and Canada are free.

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Straight Talk plan options

Straight Talk has slimmed down its phone plans to just a few main options with Unlimited Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Bronze starts with 10GB of high-speed data before being slowed to 2G speeds. Video streaming is limited to SD resolutions on these plans.

Unlimited Silver comes in at $45 per month and is truly unlimited with 5GB of hotspot data included. This plan can also be had at a discount if you buy an extended 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month plan. Unlimited Gold takes the hotspot data up to 15GB with 100GB of cloud storage.

If you want even more from Straight Talk, you can get the Unlimited Platinum plan that increases the hotspot data to 20GB. This plan also includes HD video streaming and 100GB of cloud storage and starts at $65 per month.

Finally, Straight Talk has a basic plan with just 100MB of data, 1,500 minutes, and unlimited texts. So again, this might be a decent pick for a backup phone, but won't be a good fit for a smartphone. Extra data is $5 per gigabyte, which is one of the lowest rates of any carrier.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Unlimited BronzeUnlimited SilverUltimate Gold
Data cap10GB then 2GUnlimitedUnlimited
Hotspot dataNone5GB15GB
ExtrasNoneNone100GB of cloud storage

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Bring just about any unlocked phone

Mint Mobile sim card

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

On Mint Mobile, you can bring any phone that is unlocked and works on the T-Mobile network. Luckily, this includes pretty much any of the best Android phones. If you're not sure, you can check your IMEI during the signup process. If you're ready for a new phone, you can also grab one at Mint Mobile. There is a wide range of Androids and iPhones, so you should be able to find something that works for you.

Straight Talk sells a similar range of phones, whether you want a budget phone or top-of-the-line flagship. You can bring just about any unlocked phone to Straight Talk; you need to get the right SIM card to get activated.

If you're shopping around for a new carrier, it's a good idea to get an unlocked phone you can bring with you to any carrier. Luckily, the biggest names like the Galaxy S23 and the Pixel 7 will work with either carrier.

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Which works best for you?

All things said and done, we prefer Mint Mobile for its great savings and flexible set of plans. While we feel like that carrier might be a better choice for most people, either option should give you the wireless experience that you need. 

Straight Talk has a range of plans that should work for nearly everyone, and the smaller 10GB plan will be a good fit for many looking to save on phone service. If you really need it, an unlimited plan can be a good choice if you're willing to pay for it. The plans offer plenty of data and features, making it much easier to pay for more than you can actually use.

Inversely, Mint Mobile nails what the average smartphone user needs with multiple data tiers. While it can't match Straight Talk's unlimited plans for very heavy users, most people can find a Mint Mobile plan that works well enough. Besides that, you get the option of bringing your price lower than anything Straight Talk offers if you are willing to pay for the whole year or even just six months.

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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