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

Mint Mobile SIM Galaxy S20
Mint Mobile SIM Galaxy S20 (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile has a plan that will work for just about anyone, with a choice between 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data plans. You can also save money if you're willing to buy an entire year of service at once. All plans come with mobile hotspot data, and access to T-Mobile's 5G network at no extra cost.

Mint Mobile

Simple data plans

Fast T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE data network
Affordable data options
Up to 35GB of high-speed data with the unlimited plan
Multi-month savings
Hotspot on every plan
Must buy at least three months
No multi-line discounts
Only 5GB of hotspot data on the unlimited plan
Data slowed after 35GB on the unlimited plan

Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile Logo

Ultra Mobile has many plans to choose from, whether you need just 250MB or want unlimited data. If you're willing to buy three or more months at once, you can save some money. All data plans come with free international calling, hotspot, and 5G at no additional cost.

Ultra Mobile

A lot of choices

Fast T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE data network
Tons of data options
Multi-month savings
Single-month plans are available
Unlimited calling to 80+ international locations
Expensive unlimited plan
Multi-month savings aren't significant

Both carriers 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 gets the price right if you're willing to buy a few months upfront.

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. Both carriers even use the name Ultra in their APN settings. Because of this, you can expect network performance to be largely the same. 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.

Mint MobileUltra Mobile
Hotspot dataIncluded with all plans
5GB limit on unlimited plan
Included with all data plans
10GB or 20GB limit on unlimited plan
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. Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile have identical coverage maps on their websites, but you should still make sure that T-Mobile covers your area before signing up with either carrier.

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

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 $10 per month. Unlimited data is as low as $40 or $50 per month.

Ultra Mobile Cell Phone Plans September 2021

Source: Ultra Mobile (Image credit: Source: Ultra Mobile)

If you're willing to buy three, six, or 12 months, you can choose between 250MB, 2GB, 3GB, 6GB, 15GB, or unlimited data. Buying 12 months gets you the lowest rates, though the discount isn't as steep as Mint Mobile's. If you're on the unlimited plan, your data will slow down after 40GB or 60GB of usage, depending on the unlimited plan you pick. If you're on another plan and need more data, you can upgrade to a larger plan or add data at $10 per 1GB.

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 is one of the best MVNO carriers you can get. It has four data plans depending on how much high-speed 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.

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)

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 app

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: 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 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.