Simple data savings

Mint Mobile

Great variety

Straight Talk

One of Mint Mobile's greatest accomplishments has been making choosing the right phone plan simple. With three data sizes and three duration amounts, it's easy to find out which package works for you. You save money by buying more months at a time making Mint Mobile an even better deal.

From $15 per month at Mint Mobile

Pros

  • Large T-Mobile network
  • Compatible with most phones
  • Simple plans
  • Hotspot on each plan

Cons

  • Max of 12GB of data
  • Only one network

Straight Talk has a large variety of plans starting at just 100MB and going up to unlimited data. You can also use any of the four major carrier networks depending on which one has the best coverage for you or works with your phone. You can even save some money with multi-line plans or by buying longer terms up to a year.

From $30 per month at Straight Talk

Pros

  • Choose from four networks
  • Bring nearly any unlocked phone
  • Unlimited plan available

Cons

  • Plans get expensive
  • Hotspot not available with all plans or networks

Straight Talk offers a ton of great options making it one of the easiest choices if you just need something that works without worrying too much about network compatibility. Still, Mint Mobile's simpler approach and data sizes that work for most people help it to be a great choice when you want to get as much service as possible for your money.

Spoiled for choice

Straight Talk's name implies simplicity but as you get deeper into its plans, it gets progressively more difficult to keep the facts straight. While just about anyone can find a Straight Talk plan that will work for them, it's easy to overbuy data and doesn't offer much in the way of discounts. Mint Mobile manages to keep things simple with plans that work for most people with savings tied directly to how many months you're willing to buy. Someone that used more than 12GB of data regularly will find better options with Straight Talk but most people will be well served by Mint's options.

Mint Mobile Straight Talk
Network T-Mobile AT&T
Sprint
T-Mobile
Verizon
Minimum data 3GB 100MB
Maximum data 12GB Unlimited
Minimum term 3 months 1 month
Maximum term 12 months 12 months

Coverage

Mint Mobile only uses the T-Mobile network but for most people, that's fine. This network has become quite competent in the past few years and with its past upgrades, the T-Mobile network currently covers the majority of Americans with decent speeds. You can check your coverage with Mint Mobile to be sure.

Straight Talk has an advantage here since it buys coverage from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon and can give you a SIM card to match your device or the coverage where you live. You can use check your coverage on Straight Talk's site to see which network makes the most sense for you. This can be a little complicated but Straight Talk will help you pick the right network and SIM card when you sign up.

Straight Talk CarriersSource: Straight Talk

Keep in mind that neither of these carriers officially offers 5G support at this time. It's possible that a compatible phone might connect to 5G in some places but don't bet on it.

Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile app on woodSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

One of Mint Mobile's biggest strengths is the simplicity of its plans. While it only offers three sizes for data, most smartphone users should fit comfortably in one of them. For your first three-month period, you can get the 12-month pricing so you can decide if you like the service before signing up.

3GB 8GB 12GB
3 months $15 per month ($45 total)
$25 per month renewal ($75 total)
$20 per month ($60 total)
$35 per month renewal ($105 total)
$25 per month ($75)
$45 per month renewal ($135 total)
6 months $20 per month ($120) $25 per month ($150) $35 per month ($210)
12 months $15 per month ($180) $20 per month ($240) $25 per month ($300)

You can also upgrade your plan mid-cycle so you can 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 is available and is charged as you use it depending on the country. Calls to Mexico and Canada are free.

Straight Talk plan options

Straight Talk is set up much more like a traditional prepaid carrier with discounts given for turning on automatic renewals. The entry-level plan comes in at $30 for one month with 1,500 minutes, 100MB of data, and unlimited texts. You can get 50% more data with auto-refill enabled.

Most people will be interested in the larger data plans with a 5GB plan coming in at $35 per month and 25GB at $45 per month. You save $1 per month with auto-refill. An unlimited plan is available with 10GB of hotspot data for $55 per month.

There is also a 25GB plan with international calling included to mobile numbers in Mexico, China, Canada, and India. This plan comes in at $10 more than the standard 25GB plan. You also add a global calling card to enable international service to any plan.

Furthermore, you can save some money on the 25GB plan by buying 3, 6, or 12 month periods at $130, $255, or $495 respectively. The unlimited plan is also available to two lines for $90, though it does not include hotspot data.

Phone selection

Mint Mobile app compatibilitySource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

On Mint Mobile you can bring any phone that is unlocked and works on the T-Mobile network. If you're not sure, you can check your IMEI to find out. If you're ready for a new phone, you can also grab a new 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. You can bring just about any unlocked phone to Straight Talk, you just need to get the right SIM card to get activated.

Which works best for you?

Straight Talk has such a wide range of plans that pretty much anyone can find something that will work for them. The main issue is that while the plans start small enough at 5GB, they quickly ramp up to 25GB meaning a lot of average users will be buying much more data than they need.

Mint Mobile nails the average smartphone user with tiers of data that will work for nearly any user. 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 buy the whole year.

Simple data savings

Mint Mobile

Save with a longer term

Mint Mobile has a data plan that's for most people and works with most unlocked phones. Save money by signing up for six or 12 months at a time if the service works for you.

Great Variety

Straight Talk

Unlimited option on any network

Straight Talk offers a wide range of plans from 100MB up to unlimited data and even has international options. You can also choose which of the four major networks works best for you.

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