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Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: Which is better for you?

Both Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile offer great value on prepaid plans. With the T-Mobile network powering both, the biggest difference will be how much data you need and how many months of service you're willing to buy. Ultra Mobile has a wider range of plans and will likely have something that works for any user, but Mint Mobile seems to hit the mark for what the average smartphone user needs. Mint Mobile also has Mint Family to make Mint's best rates more attainable for some.

Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: How much data do you need?

Mint Mobile shares a lot in common with Ultra Mobile, and that's no surprise considering that Ultra Mobile is Mint Mobile's parent company. When it comes to data performance, the two carriers should be nearly identical. The big difference comes down to the plans. While Mint Mobile only offers plans for a minimum of three months, Ultra Mobile has single-month and multi-month plans that may provide the flexibility some people need.

Mint MobileUltra Mobile
NetworkT-MobileT-Mobile
Hotspot dataIncluded with all plans
5GB limit on unlimited plan
Included with all data plans
10GB or 20GB limit on unlimited plan
5GIncludedIncluded
Minimum term3 months1 month
Maximum term12 months12 months

Both carriers use T-Mobile's network and have 5G access if you have a phone that supports it. Support for 5G is included, so you can access T-Mobile nationwide 5G and its faster mid-band 5G network as long as you have a compatible phone. This network provides plenty of coverage for most people but may be weaker than a Verizon or AT&T-based carrier in rural areas. If T-Mobile doesn't provide the coverage you need, it's worth checking out another one of the best MVNO carriers.

Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: Ultra Mobile's plans

Ultra Mobile plans in the app

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Ultra Mobile has two plan categories, whether you want to pay for one month at a time or multiple. If you only want to go for one month, you can start with 250MB for $15. That same plan is just $10 per month if you buy 12 months at once. 

These savings are available on every data package so if you're looking for enough data to use with a smartphone, you can also save. Ultra has two unlimited plans with 40GB or 60GB of high-speed data. If you're a heavy user, these plans aren't a bad value and offer more high-speed data than Mint's largest plan. We found in our Ultra Mobile review that speeds were high on T-Mobile's 5G network.

Ultra Mobile's pricing
1-month3-month6-month12-month
250MB$15 per month$13 per month$11 per month$10 per month
2GB$19 per month$16 per month$15 per month$14 per month
3GB$24 per month$22 per month$21 per month$20 per month
6GB$29 per month$28 per month$27 per month$25 per month
15GB$39 per month$36 per month$35 per month$30 per month
Unlimited (40GB)$49 per month$46 per month$45 per month$40 per month
Unlimited+ (60GB)$59 per month$56 per month$55 per month$50 per month

Ultra Mobile includes unlimited international calling to more than 80 countries. If you need to call other international locations or even roam internationally, all plans except the 250MB plan include a credit.

Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: Mint Mobile's plans

Mint Mobile plans in the Mint Mobile app

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Mint Mobile is an easy favorite when it comes to prepaid carriers thanks to its easy-to-understand plans and pricing with reasonable data amounts. In our Mint Mobile review, we found the network performance to be strong on T-Mobile 5G. 

It has four data plans depending on how much high-seed data you need each month. You can choose between 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data. If you use up all of your data allotment or 35GB of data on the unlimited plan, your data will be reduced to 2G speeds but not completely cut off.

Each plan includes unlimited talk and text, including calls to Mexico and Canada, though service to other countries charges by the minute or message.

Mint Mobile's pricing
4GB10GB15GBUnlimited
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)

One of Mint's best tricks is Mint Family. While the carrier doesn't offer any specific family plans, Mint Family gives multi-line customers access to the 12-month rates with a three-month renewal. This means you don't have to shell out quite as much at once to get the best Mint Mobile rates.

If you need more data, it can be added at a rate of 1GB for $10 or 3GB for $20. You also can upgrade mid-cycle by paying the price difference if you find that you run out of data regularly.

Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: What phones can you get?

Mint Mobile SIM card near a Zenfone 8

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Both carriers offer largely the same phone selection with a range of high-end and budget phones, whether you're looking for Android or iPhone. You can also bring your own phone if it supports T-Mobile's LTE network, including VoLTE. The best phones to use with Mint Mobile will also work with Ultra Mobile.

Your phone needs to support VoLTE to work on either carrier. You can check to see if your phone works by entering your IMEI on either Mint Mobile's or Ultra Mobile's BYOP page.

Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile: Which should you get?

Network performance will be just about the same with either carrier, so you should pick the carrier with a plan that works best for you. Fortunately, both carriers allow you to upgrade to a larger data plan mid-cycle if you find that you didn't get enough data. And if you're only able to buy a single month of service, Ultra Mobile is your best bet with a wide range of single-month plans available. And if you barely need any data, Ultra Mobile is also your best bet with its 250MB plan.

If you are willing to buy three or more months at once, Mint Mobile stands out with great prices on plans that will resonate with more smartphone users at 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited. Mint Mobile really shines with its 12-month plans, but if you're unsure about the service, you can try three months at the 12-month rate before renewing for another year.

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.