Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Which MVNO should you get?

Mint Mobile and US Mobile both offer excellent value to customers and are some of the best cell phone plans out there. Mint Mobile is great for a user with excellent T-Mobile coverage that's able to pay for a few months of service upfront to save money in the long run. US Mobile, on the other hand, is perfect for those who want to truly customize their phone plan. US Mobile will also have superior coverage in some areas, thanks to the Verizon LTE network, and offers fast LTE speeds, free international data, and entertainment perks if you're on the unlimited plan.

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

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As we saw in our Mint Mobile review, the 40GB of high-speed data available with Mint Mobile is enough for most people with plenty of performance for just about anything you do online. If you're a lighter user or make use of Wi-Fi, you can get by with one of Mint's smaller data plans. It's also worth noting that the data amount refreshes every month. At the end of your term, Mint will even recommend a plan based on your usage if it turns out you're paying for a bigger plan than you need.

US Mobile has been evolving its plans a lot in the past few years with its unlimited plan becoming one of the best values in prepaid wireless. While you can choose between Verizon and T-Mobile SIMs, if your phone supports it, the Verizon SIM will get you more data for your money. The smallest unlimited plan comes with 30GB of premium data while the upgrade comes with 100GB. This makes US Mobile competitive with even some postpaid plans.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mint MobileUS Mobile
NetworkT-MobileT-Mobile or Verizon
Minimum data5GBNone
Maximum dataUnlimited (40GB high-speed)Unlimited (100GB premium)
Minimum plan term3 Months1 Month
Maximum plan term12 months1 month

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Mint's Mobile's packages

Mint Mobile site on phone in front of plant

(Image credit: Android Central)

Mint Mobile calls the concept of a monthly phone bill into question, offering phone service in chunks of three, six, or 12 months with 5GB, 15GB, 20GB, or unlimited (40GB) data plans. If you check your monthly usage from your last bill, you'll probably fit in one of these plans with some wiggle room.

That being said, if you want to try to save some more money, you can reduce your data usage by taking better advantage of things like public Wi-Fi or downloading videos, music, or podcasts on Wi-Fi before heading out. If you do try this route and find that you still need more data, you can easily upgrade your Mint Mobile plan mid-cycle by paying the difference.

Mint Mobile also has Mint Family to allow you to more easily manage multiple lines. While Mint doesn't offer any specific discounts for multiple lines, it does give you the 12-month monthly rate with three-month renewals. That makes it possible to get Mint's best rates for the whole family without needing to pay for the full year on all lines.

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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)

You can add more high-speed data at a rate of $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you run out, but even if you don't, your data won't get cut off, just slowed down. And if you're on the unlimited plan, your data speeds won't slow down until you hit 40GB. On this plan, you'll only get 10GB of hotspot data, so keep that in mind if you tend to use your mobile hotspot a lot. 

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Build a custom plan or get it all on US Mobile

US Mobile website on a phone

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

With US Mobile, you start by choosing whether you want to build a custom plan or go with one of US Mobile's unlimited plans. For most people, one of the unlimited options is the way to go with low prices, multi-line savings, and even some bonus perks on the larger plans.

The cheaper Unlimited Basic plan comes with 30GB of premium data on Verizon's network with access to nationwide and C-band 5G. C-band is Verizon's mid-band 5G network that falls somewhere in between LTE and mmWave as far as performance. For most people, C-band is more than fast enough for most needs. Even if you use up all of the premium data, you can still get fast data speeds as long as the tower you're using isn't overcrowded.

Still, there are some good reasons to upgrade to US Mobile's pricier Unlimited Premium plan. This plan takes the premium data up to 100GB and gives the user full access to Verizon's 5G network including the fastest mmWave 5G coverage. This plan also gets 50GB of hotspot data and 10GB of international data.

Both plans get multi-line savings with the maximum savings available with four lines. To add to that, if you bring three lines to the Unlimited Premium plan, you get the choice of a free streaming perk with another perk available for four-line plans. Perks include Spotify, Apple Music, Disney+, Netflix, Playstation Plus, Xbox Live Gold, and more.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Unlimited BasicUnlimited Premium
5G AccessNationwide, C-band, mmWaveNationwide, C-band, mmWave
Premium data40GB100GB
Hotspot data5GB50GB
International dataNone10GB
Single line cost (per month)$35$45
Multi-line cost (per line, per month)2 lines: $30, 3 lines: $25, 4 lines: $202 lines: $40, 3 lines: $35, 4 lines: $30

If you prefer to build a custom plan, you can start with no data and work up to 15GB at $26 per month. For minutes, you start at $2 for 75 and work your way up one dollar at a time to $8. Texting starts at $1.50 for 50 texts and goes up to unlimited at $6. You can also get unlimited minutes and texts for $10. All of these plans come with hotspot data at no extra charge and Ludicrous speeds.

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Get the right coverage

US Mobile has better coverage options than Mint Mobile thanks to having SIMs on Verizon's network or T-Mobile's. Depending on your phone's compatibility and your local coverage, you'll be able to use the network that works best for you. If you have the option, Verizon's network is the way to go with US Mobile thanks to premium data and access to the carrier's growing network. Still, it's nice to have the option if your phone works better with the more compatible T-Mobile network. You'll get 5G on US Mobile with either SIM.

You can check to see which network will work with your phone when you sign up for service. As long as your phone is unlocked, you should more than likely get it working on US Mobile.

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

Mint Mobile offers 5G coverage from T-Mobile for free if you have a phone that supports it. More phones support T-Mobile's mid-band coverage than Verizon's C-band since its been out for longer, but most new phones sold for the US market should work well with either.

Both Mint Mobile and US Mobile offer international roaming, but US Mobile comes out ahead, offering up to 10GB of high-speed data with its Unlimited Premium plan when you go abroad. The amount of data you get varies by country, and you will need an eSIM-compatible device for this feature to work properly. Additional data can be obtained at rates that vary by country.

Mint Mobile's international data must be paid for individually at different rates depending on the country via an UpRoam credit of $5, $10, or $20 that's added to your account. Mint Mobile's rates are $0.05 per text, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per MB of data in the countries with service. Mexico and Canada have reduced rates at $0.02 per text, $0.06 per minute, and $0.05 per MB of data.

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Phone selection

Mint Mobile homepage on Google Pixel 6 screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

US Mobile's phone selection is pretty weak, with mostly outdated and overpriced phones available. If you want to use US Mobile, you should bring your own device. Most phones will work with one of US Mobile's networks, but you should check online to be sure. US Mobile's single distinction is that it does sell a flip phone for those that still prefer a tactile keypad over every other feature.

Mint Mobile's selection is a lot better with newer iPhones as well as Android phones from companies like Samsung and Google. There is also a good selection of cheaper phones at reasonable prices. You can still bring the majority of unlocked phones to Mint Mobile thanks to T-Mobile's GSM network. You can check your phone compatibility on Mint Mobile's site or through the Mint app.

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Which should get?

There is no total victory here, as both are among the best cell phone plans available. US Mobile offers great value, especially if you are interested in its unlimited plans. Access to both the Verizon and T-Mobile network means that you get great coverage no matter which you choose, and the price on this plan drops as you add more lines. If you have good Verizon C-band coverage, however, US Mobile is one of the best ways to get premium data outside of Verizon's postpaid plans.

Mint Mobile's plans, on the other hand, are a bit simpler with only four options. If you're able to pay for a few months of service upfront, Mint lets you save some money on your phone bill while still meeting your specific data needs. If you have great T-Mobile coverage, it's an amazing prepaid carrier to consider. If you're able to pay for a year with Mint Mobile, there aren't many other carriers that can match its price.

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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