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

Comparing Mint Mobile vs. Ultra Mobile is certainly interesting, since both of these Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are now owned by T-Mobile. They both have a history of delivering excellent mobile service through T-Mobile's 5G network infrastructure, so the biggest differences eventually come to the cost, the amount of data that you need, and how many months of service you're willing to buy at once.

Ultra Mobile has a slightly wider range of plans with great international benefits, but Mint Mobile offers a ton of value for money if you're willing to get the service in bulk or take advantage of the Mint Family plan. Suffice to say, both these prepaid carriers are great, and you just need to choose the one that'll work best for you.

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

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Mint Mobile has a lot in common with Ultra Mobile, and that's no surprise since they both use T-Mobile's network. When it comes to data performance, the two carriers should be nearly identical. The big difference comes down to their plans. While Mint only offers plans for a minimum of three months, Ultra has both single-month and multi-month plans that may provide the flexibility some people need.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mint MobileUltra Mobile
Hotspot dataAll plans (10GB limit on unlimited plan)All plans (10GB or 20GB limit on unlimited plan)
5G accessIncludedIncluded
Minimum term3 months1 month
Maximum term12 months12 months

Both carriers use T-Mobile's network infrastructure and have 5G access if you have a phone that supports it. You can access T-Mobile's 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 a bit weaker than a carrier based on the networks of Verizon or AT&T, especially in rural areas. If T-Mobile doesn't provide the coverage you need, you may consider some of the other 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, based on if 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 costs $10 per month if you buy 12 months at once.

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

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Ultra Mobile's Plans
Header Cell - Column 0 1-month3-month6-month12-month
250MB$15 per month$13 per month$11 per month$10 per month
3GB$19 per month$16 per month$15 per month$14 per month
5GB$24 per month$22 per month$21 per month$20 per month
10GB$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 90 countries on all its plans. If you need to call other international locations or roam internationally, all plans except the 250MB plan include a credit for the same.

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 a favorite when it comes to prepaid carriers, all thanks to its easy-to-understand plans and pricing with reasonable data allowances. In our Mint Mobile review, we found the network performance to be strong on T-Mobile's 5G network.

It has four data plans and based on your estimated monthly data requirements, you can choose from 5GB, 15GB, 20GB, or unlimited data. If you use up all of your data allotment or 40GB of data on the unlimited plan, your data speeds will be reduced to 2G but not completely cut off.

All plans offer unlimited talk and text (including calls to Mexico and Canada), though service to other countries is charged by the minute or message.

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Mint Mobile's Plans
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)

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

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 prepaid carriers offer largely the same device 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 and 5G networks. What's great is that the majority of the best Android phones will work with both Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile.

If you're still unsure, you can go to the BYOP pages of the two carriers and enter the device's IMEI number to know whether your smartphone will work properly or not.

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 MVNO 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 (or willing) to buy a single month of service, Ultra Mobile is your best bet with a wide range of single-month plans available. If you barely need any data, Ultra Mobile still is your best bet with its 250MB base plan.

If you are willing to buy three or more months at once, Mint Mobile stands out with great prices on all its plans. With data offerings of 5GB, 15GB, 20GB, and unlimited, it has a well-rounded selection. 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 the service for another year.

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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