Mint Mobile and T-Mobile use the same T-Mobile network, making it a tough choice to pick between the two. If you're looking for the best value and don't mind signing up for a few months at a time, then Mint Mobile offers fantastic service at a more affordable price, though your data won't be prioritized. On the other hand, T-Mobile is better for those who need as much high-speed data as they can get their hands on and never want to be held back. It's also a great choice for travelers and families who want to take advantage of multi-line discounts and cool perks.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: What's the difference?
Mint Mobile and T-Mobile both use T-Mobile's vast and growing 5G and 4G LTE network to offer customers excellent service. Because each carrier uses the same network, you won't see any differences when it comes to coverage—meaning that if you live in an area with great T-Mobile coverage, you're good to go. However, what sets these two carriers apart is the data speed and performance you'll get. With Mint Mobile's unlimited plan, data speeds will reduce after 35GB of use. Though this is more than enough for most people, T-Mobile's three core plans (Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta MAX) will always be prioritized over any Mint Mobile plan when the network is congested.
With each T-Mobile core plan, you're actually guaranteed to have access to at least 50GB of premium data, so if you need high-speed data regularly, you're better off signing up directly with T-Mobile. You'll also get unlimited mobile hotspot data at 3G speeds, and with T-Mobile's Magenta and Magenta MAX plans, you'll get a respective 5GB or 40GB of high-speed hotspot data. Though Mint Mobile offers free mobile hotspot data as well, it'll use your 4GB, 10GB, or 15GB monthly data allotment. If you're on Mint's unlimited plan, you'll get access to a decent 5GB of hotspot data, but who wouldn't prefer unlimited? Here's how else these two plans compare.
|Data||4GB, 10GB, 15GB or Unlimited||Unlimited (at least 50GB of premium data)|
|Mobile Hotspot||Free (capped at 5GB with the unlimited plan)||Unlimited at 3G speeds with all plans
5GB high-speed with Magenta plan
40GB high-speed with Magenta MAX plan
|Talk and Text||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Mexico and Canada||Free calling to Mexico and Canada||Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada with all plans|
|International texting||Not included||Unlimited|
|International data||Not included||Included with Magenta plans|
|Video streaming||SD||SD (Up to 4K UHD with Magenta MAX)|
|Multi-line discounts||None||Third line free|
|Cost||From $15 per month (all lines)||From $60 per month (one line)
From $30 per line per month (three lines)
Another stark difference between Mint Mobile and T-Mobile is the price you'll pay and whether or not you need to pay upfront. T-Mobile's cheapest core plan, Essentials, starts at $60 per month for one line. This is a far cry from Mint Mobile's unlimited plan at $30 per month. But there's a catch; to lock in Mint's $30 per month price, you'll need to sign up for a 12-month plan after three months of its introductory offer. If not, the price jumps up to $40 per month for another three months or $35 for six months. It's still a great deal, but you need to pay in advance if you join Mint. With T-Mobile, you don't need to sign up for multiple months at a time or pay upfront.
With Mint Mobile, you won't see the same multi-line discounts as you would with T-Mobile — which gives you a third line free with each plan. So if you sign up for T-Mobile's most expensive Magenta MAX plan, you can plan on paying $85 per month for a single line. But for three lines, you'll pay $141 total per month or $47 per month per line. For four lines, you'll pay $172 total per month or $43 per month per line. Though this isn't quite as low as Mint Mobile's extremely affordable $30 per month, it's comparable when considering all the extra perks and features included in a T-Mobile plan and the fact that T-Mobile includes all taxes and fees, unlike Mint.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: Mint Mobile's plans
Mint Mobile is one of the best MVNOs that uses T-Mobile's network, and it'll give you some of the best value you can get out of a cell phone plan. For only $30 per month on Mint's unlimited plan, you'll get unlimited 5G and 4G LTE data as well as unlimited talk and text, 5GB of mobile hotspot data, and free calls to Mexico and Canada. If you only need a single line, it's hard to find a better deal. However, taxes and fees aren't included with any Mint plan, so you can expect a higher monthly bill.
You can opt for an even cheaper plan if you don't actually need unlimited data. Mint offers 4GB, 10GB, and 15GB plans starting at only $15 per month for the 4GB plan. But it's important to note that if you happen to run out of data on any of those plans, or if you reach 35GB on the unlimited plan, then your data speeds will slow to 128Kbps for the remainder of the month. This can be extremely frustrating (and terribly slow), but with Mint's 4GB, 10GB, or 15GB plans, you can add 1GB of data for an extra $10 or 3GB for $20. You'll have some flexibility in finding the right amount of data for your needs, and if you need to switch to a different plan, you can do that too. Here's a closer look at Mint's pricing.
|3 months||$15 per month ($45)
$25 per month renewal ($75)
|$20 per month ($60 total)
$35 per month renewal ($105 total)
|$25 per month ($75)
$45 per month renewal ($135 total)
|$30 per month ($90)
$40 per month renewal ($120)
|6 months||$20 per month ($120)||$25 per month ($150)||$35 per month ($210)||$35 per month ($210)|
|12 months||$15 per month ($180)||$20 per month ($240)||$25 per month ($300)||$30 per month ($360)|
One area where Mint Mobile is a bit weak is when it comes to international features. Though you're able to call Mexico and Canada for free, that's about it. You can always add an international roaming balance to your plan through "UpRoam Credit," but if you're someone who travels frequently, this will quickly add up. Mint Mobile charges $0.05 per text message sent, $0.25 per minute for calls, and $0.20 per megabyte in most international countries, though prices are lower in Mexico and Canada at $0.02 per text, $0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per megabyte.
Mint Mobile is best if you plan on using it domestically, and it's a great deal when you sign up for 12 months at a time. Because Mint doesn't offer any multi-line discounts, it's really the right fit for someone who's looking for just one or two lines. If you need more lines than that or want to ensure that you'll always have access to premium data, then T-Mobile's plans might be worth the extra cost.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: T-Mobile's plans
T-Mobile is one of the best wireless carriers in the U.S. and offers three core plans: Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta MAX. Each of these plans comes with unlimited data, talk, and text, plus 50GB of premium data. With the Magenta MAX plan, you'll actually only get premium data, meaning that your smartphone speeds will never be slowed down based on usage. Another bonus of the Magneta MAX plan is that you're able to stream up to 4K UHD, and you'll get a massive amount of high-speed mobile hotspot data, or 40GB. When that runs out (if it ever does), you'll get unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds and, to top things off, a Netflix subscription included in your plan.
Though the Magenta MAX plan stands out as the best T-Mobile plan, the Essentials and Magenta plans are also great choices and come with a lot of similar perks such as premium data (at least 50GB) and unlimited mobile hotspot at 3G speeds (and 5GB of high-speed hotspot data with the Magenta plan). With the Magenta plan, you'll also get Netflix included, though streaming will be in SD. Here are some of the major differences between each one of T-Mobile's core plans.
|Cost||$60 per month (one line)
$45 per line (two lines) or $90 total per month
$30 per line (three lines) or $90 total per month
$26.25 per month (four lines) or $105 total per month
|$70 per month (one line)
$60 per line (two lines) or $120 total per month
$40 per line (three lines) or $120 total per month
$35 per line (four lines) or $140 total per month
|$85 per month (one line)
$70 per line (two lines) or $140 total per month
$47 per line (three lines) or $141 total per month
$43 per line (four lines) or $172 total per month
|Unlimited talk and text||Included||Included||Included|
|Mobile hotspot data||Unlimited at 3G speeds||5GB high-speed (unlimited at 3G speeds)||40GB high-speed (unlimited at 3G speeds)|
|Taxes and fees||Not included||Included||Included|
|Video streaming||SD||SD||Up to 4K UHD|
|Netflix on Us||Not included||Included (1 Screen SD for 2+ lines)||Included (1 Screen SD with 1 line or 2 Screen HD for 2+ lines)|
|International data||Not included||Unlimited at 128Kbps||Unlimited at 256Kbps|
|Unlimited talk, text, and data (Mexico and Canada)||2G data||5GB of 4G LTE data, then unlimited 2G||5GB of 4G LTE data, then unlimited 2G|
One area where T-Mobile really shines over Mint Mobile is when it comes to international benefits. With each plan, you'll get unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada, as well as unlimited international texting. If you're on the Magenta or Magenta MAX plan, you'll also have access to data abroad, which is incredibly useful if you like to travel and stay connected without having to hunt for a SIM card in another country. Though your speeds will be much slower than at home, it'll still cost you significantly less than international roaming charges.
There's no denying that T-Mobile's plans are more expensive than what you'll find with Mint Mobile. But on the bright side, your monthly bill drops as you add more lines, thanks to T-Mobile offering the third line of each account free. You'll notice that as soon as you sign up for three or four lines, the total monthly cost becomes much more attractive, making T-Mobile's plans ideal for families. They're also a great choice for those who are willing to pay more for premium data and want to use mobile hotspot data without having to worry about it ever running out.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile: T-Mobile: Which carrier is right for you?
Mint Mobile and T-Mobile both have the same fantastic coverage and access to T-Mobile's 5G network, making it hard to choose between the two. If you're looking for a single line (or two) and want to save some money by paying upfront, then Mint Mobile is worth it as one of the best cheap cell phone plans. You'll still get great service and will have the choice between 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data plans. But the biggest drawback with Mint Mobile is that you won't get the same speed and performance as you would with T-Mobile, nor will you get much international use out of your plan.
If you're someone who needs a lot of high-speed data and likes to use hotspot data when Wi-Fi isn't an option, T-Mobile is the better choice. You'll get unlimited talk, text, data, and mobile hotspot data, and international features so you can use your phone abroad or text internationally. Though T-Mobile's plans may be too expensive for some, the monthly price does drop significantly when you sign up for three or more lines, making it a much better family plan. Whichever carrier you pick, these are some of the best phones to use with Mint Mobile and some of the best T-Mobile phones.
Best single line value
Affordable plans with bulk savings
Mint Mobile gives you a choice between 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data plans when you sign up for three, six, or 12 months at a time. Though you have to pay upfront, you'll get T-Mobile's 5G and 4G LTE coverage at a lower cost and free mobile hotspot data.
Plans perfect for families and the data-hungry
T-Mobile's three core plans have a lot more to offer than a fantastic 4G LTE and 5G network and multi-line discounts. Each plan comes with high-speed premium data and unlimited mobile hotspot data. Some plans even offer a Netflix subscription, HD streaming, and unlimited data to use while traveling abroad.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.