Skip to main content

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

US Mobile BYOD
US Mobile BYOD (Image credit: Android Central)

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile offers great value to people who are willing to buy mobile phone service in bulk. With four data tiers in 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited packages, Mint Mobile has a plan that should work for the majority of smartphone users powered by the T-Mobile network with LTE and 5G at no extra cost.

Mint Mobile

Single-line, multi-month

Reasons to buy

Unlimited talk and text on all plans
T-Mobile network with 5G support
Upgrade plan at any time
Hotspot on all plans
International calling and texting

Reasons to avoid

Must buy in bulk
No multi-line perks
Speeds reduce after 35GB on unlimited plan
Hotspot limited to 5GB on unlimited plan

US Mobile

US Mobile logo

Any user can put together a plan that works for them on US Mobile without giving up quality or speed thanks to a choice between the Verizon and T-Mobile network. An unlimited plan comes with ludicrous speeds, 5G access, and free international data, but hotspot data will cost you extra.

US Mobile

Two big networks

Reasons to buy

T-Mobile or Verizon LTE
Save with a custom plan
Entertainment perks for three or more unlimited lines
Up to 10GB international data with the unlimited plan
Fast LTE speeds

Reasons to avoid

Can't switch between networks
Phone selection is limited
No international calling
Hotspot access is an additional cost on most plans

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 Should you want a custom plan?

Mint Mobile is like taking the train instead of driving. It's going to be cheaper because it's tailored to the needs of the many rather than wasting money trying to serve every single customer. You can see this in Mint Mobile's plans, which are divided into four sizes that most people will fit into.

US Mobile is more like taking a car. You can get any size you wish, but if you use it more than you expect, the cost can quickly grow. For many people, it will be the right choice (or the only choice) since you can get a plan that only allows for calls and texts up to having unlimited everything. Still, if your usage places you in one of Mint Mobile's plans, you can save some money while giving up nothing.

Mint MobileUS Mobile
NetworkT-MobileT-Mobile or Verizon
Minimum data4GBNone
Maximum dataUnlimitedUnlimited
HotspotAll plans (5GB cap for unlimited plan)$5 extra charge on unlimited talk and text and 1GB to 30GB plans
Included in custom plans
$10 for 20GB on unlimited plan
International callingFree to Mexico and Canada and add-on for other countriesNot available
International dataAdd-onUp to 10GB included with unlimited plans
Minimum plan term3 Months1 Month
Maximum plan term12 months1 month

The majority of users will fit into a Mint Mobile plan based on usage and will be able to save some money over US Mobile, depending on how many months they are prepared to buy. Mint Mobile's greater flexibility in international calling, especially with free calling to Mexico and Canada, will be a great bonus for many.

US Mobile, which offers endless customization, can also be a fantastic choice for light and heavy users alike. Its $45 unlimited plan is worth it, even though you need to pay an extra $10 for 20GB of hotspot data. For an unlimited plan with GSM and Verizon compatibility, it's hard to beat. It's also a better choice for families looking to save money as they add more lines. With three lines on the unlimited plan, you get a free entertainment perk included as well as international roaming.

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

Mint Mobile

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / 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 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited amounts of data. 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.

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 35GB. On this plan, you'll only get 5GB of hotspot data, so if you need more you may opt for the 15GB plan.

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

US Mobile website

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

With US Mobile, you start by choosing whether you want to build a custom plan, pick from a specific data plan, or go completely unlimited. There is also the option of an unlimited talk and text plan for only $10, while the other plans range from 1GB, 5GB, 12GB, 18GB, or 30GB. With these plans, you can pay an extra $5 to be able to use your data as hotspot data.

The unlimited is a simple $45 per month with 20GB of hotspot available for $10 more. This plan comes with Ludicrous data speed, which takes you to whatever speed the network can provide up to around 250Mbps in ideal conditions. 5Mbps is probably fine for users that stick to social media and messaging, but when it comes to multitasking or downloading large files like games or backup files, you may wish for more.

US Mobile unlimited plan

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

This plan also decreases in price as you add more lines, so for three lines or more on the unlimited plan you'll pay $25 per line. You'll also get to choose from a range of entertainment perks, such as a Netflix subscription, Spotify Family, Playstation Plus, etc. If you have four lines you'll get to pick two. And to top things off, the unlimited plan comes with free high-speed 4G LTE data to use abroad.

US Mobile benefits

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

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.

US Mobile custom plans

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile Get the right coverage

US Mobile has better coverage than Mint Mobile thanks to leveraging Verizon's LTE network as well as 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, but you will need to choose one or the other. In recent years, T-Mobile's network has done quite a bit to catch up to and even surpass other carriers in some areas, so most people should get great service on either network.

Check your phone or search by your zip code on US Mobile's website to determine which network will work best for you. Unfortunately, US Mobile doesn't have a direct map, so it might be worth it to ask customer service to check your address as well as the address of some of the places you may frequently go to, such as your workplace.

Source: Mint Mobile app (Image credit: Source: Mint Mobile app)

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network, and for most people, that's good news. Use Mint Mobile's coverage map to determine if you will have coverage where you live and work. You can use the My Places tab on the map to check multiple addresses at once.

Mint Mobile offers 5G coverage from T-Mobile for free if you have a phone that supports it. Look for 5G bands n71 and n41 for the best possible coverage. US Mobile has a 5G program that utilizes both Verizon's 5G and T-Mobile's 5G network.

Both Mint Mobile and US Mobile offer international roaming, but US Mobile comes out ahead, offering up to 10GB of LTE data with its unlimited plans 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

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. US Mobile offers great value, especially if you are interested in the unlimited plan. 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. It's hard to say no to free international data, Ludicrous speeds, and 20GB of hotspot data—even for the extra $10 per month. US Mobile wins when it comes to customization and giving customers the exact plan that they want.

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, however, neither of these options sounds like what you're looking for, there are quite a few MVNO options on the Verizon network and T-Mobile network that you can go with.

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.