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

Mint Mobile and Straight Talk are flexible Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that provide solid wireless coverage at lower costs, but which of them should you go for? Let's break it down.

Owned by Verizon, Straight Talk provides service via the network infrastructure of all three big carriers — AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile — ultimately settling on whichever one provides the best coverage in your area. This makes it one of the easiest choices if you just need something that works and don't want to worry about things such as network compatibility. The only problem is that Straight Talk gets expensive real fast, especially if you want unlimited data.

Mint Mobile, on the other hand, provides a simpler approach and offers data sizes that work well for most people. It's owned by T-Mobile and uses the latter's network infrastructure, which also means it's going to get even better with time. Mint's simple pricing structure and discounts make it a great choice if want to get as much service as possible for your money.

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Two great prepaid options

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

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mint MobileStraight Talk
NetworkT-MobileAT&T / T-Mobile / Verizon
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 be just fine for most users. This network has become quite competent over the past few years, and with its past upgrades, T-Mobile's network should now suffice for majority of the 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 users, there's a good chance you'll get some of the best network speeds around.

Straight Talk does have an advantage when it comes to network compatibility since it has agreements for coverage with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You get a SIM card to match your device or for the best coverage where you live. For the most part, new customers will be on either Verizon's or T-Mobile's 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.

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

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Mint Mobile's plans

Mint Mobile

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

One of Mint Mobile's biggest strengths is the simplicity of its plans. It offers you data in three capacities, along with an unlimited offering which reduces speeds once your usage goes over 40GB and comes with 10GB of hotspot data too. After the first three months are over, you can renew your service for three, six, or 12 months to get more savings.

If you want to bring multiple lines to Mint Mobile, you can use the 'Mint Family' package. While this doesn't come with specific discounts, it offers the lowest yearly rates on plans but only requires three-month payments. That's like getting the introductory rate for 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 it 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 features are available, and they're charged as you use them, depending on the country. Calls to Mexico and Canada are free.

Mint Mobile vs. Straight Talk: Straight Talk's plans

Straight Talk has streamlined its plans with some unlimited options — Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Unlimited Bronze starts at 10GB of high-speed data and once it's used, speeds are reduced to 2G. Unlimited Platinum is the highest plan that not only gives you unlimited high-speed data, but also goodies like 100GB of cloud storage and 20GB of hotspot data. It's available at $65 per month and includes HD streaming too.

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

Finally, Straight Talk has a basic plan offering 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. Additional data is $5 per GB, which is quite low.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Unlimited BronzeUnlimited SilverUltimate GoldUnlimited Platinum
Data cap10GB then 2G speedsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Hotspot dataNone5GB15GB20GB
ExtrasNoneNone100GB cloud storage, Walmart+ membership100GB cloud storage, Walmart+ membership

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 T-Mobile's network. Luckily, this includes pretty much any of the best Android phones. If you are not sure, you can check your IMEI during the signup process. If you are ready for a new phone, you can also grab one from Mint Mobile. There's a wide selection 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 a top-of-the-line flagship. You can bring just about any unlocked phone to Straight Talk; you just need to get the right SIM card to get activated.

If you're shopping around for a new carrier, it's best to have an unlocked phone that you can bring with you to any carrier. Luckily, some of the most popular devices like the Galaxy S23 and the Pixel 8 will work with either of the two carriers.

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 do 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 its 10GB plan will be a good fit for many looking to save on phone service. If you really need it, any of the unlimited plans can be a good choice if you're willing to pay for it. You get plenty of data and additional benefits, at fairly reasonable prices.

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 users can find a Mint Mobile plan that works well for them. Besides that, they can get the option of bringing their price lower than anything Straight Talk offers, as long as they're willing to pay for the whole year or even 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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