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Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which is better for you?

Pixel 3 XL with Verizon SIM card
Pixel 3 XL with Verizon SIM card (Image credit: Android Central)

Verizon Prepaid

Verizon logo

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Verizon Prepaid brings some great discounts to its massive LTE and 5G network. Loyalty savings reduce your bill by $5 per month after three months of service and $10 after nine months. Combined with some reasonably priced data plans, Verizon Prepaid offers great value on a great network.

Verizon Prepaid

Loyalty Savings

Reasons to buy

Massive Verizon LTE and 5G network
Loyalty savings on data plans
Wide range of plans

Reasons to avoid

Expensive without discounts

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile

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Mint Mobile has a range of plans that come with unlimited talk and text and will work for most people. There's even a large 35GB unlimited plan for heavy users. With Mint, you have to buy at least three months at a time, but if you're willing to buy six or 12 months at once, you can save quite a bit of money.

Mint Mobile

Long-term savings

Reasons to buy

Unlimited talk and text
Free calls to Canada and Mexico
Free hotspot on all plans
Vast T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network

Reasons to avoid

You must buy at least three months
Unlimited plan throttles at 35GB

Verizon's collection of prepaid plans are a great fit for many people. Most customers will be satisfied with its 5GB and 15GB plans, but there's an unlimited plan and even a talk and text-only option for those that need it. Mint Mobile's plans, on the other hand, use T-Mobile network's vast network and are more affordable if you're able to pay for a full year of service upfront.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Save now or later?

Verizon Prepaid's current plans are geared toward heavier data users, with the smallest data package coming in at 5GB and going all the way up to unlimited. These plans do away with family plans and multi-line discounts, replacing them for loyalty discounts that kick in at your fourth month of having an active account.

On the other hand, Mint Mobile asks for your loyalty upfront with discounts given for longer terms. Mint Mobile's plans are a great fit for many people, but the commitment to six or 12 months to get maximum savings makes it less desirable as a prepaid plan. But if you can afford to pay for 12 months upfront after the three-month introductory offer expires, Mint's plans are some of the most affordable.

Verizon PrepaidMint Mobile
Minimum term1 month3 months
Smallest data packageNone3GB
Largest data packageUnlimited (deprioritized during congestion)Unlimited (128Kps after 35GB)

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Check your coverage first

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

Verizon's LTE network isn't necessarily the fastest around, but it still has the best coverage. Chances are, Verizon's LTE network covers you, but you can still check the coverage map (opens in new tab) to be sure. Fortunately, 5G has made its way to Verizon's prepaid plans, and you'll get access to the 5G Nationwide network no matter which plans you pick.

Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's network, and while it's not as big as Verizon's network, it isn't far off. Unless you live in a rural area, you're probably covered. You can check out Mint Mobile's coverage map (opens in new tab) for more information. Click on your area to see a precise depiction of your connection quality. T-Mobile has made a lot of progress in the past couple of years expanding its network, so even if you had poor coverage before, it's worth having another look. Mint Mobile also offers 5G on T-Mobile's network at no additional cost.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: What phone do you need?

You can bring your own phone to Verizon Prepaid as long as it will work with the Verizon network. You can check your IMEI on Verizon's site to be sure. If you're ready for a new phone, there is a decent selection of new devices available though you'll need to pay full price for them.

Mint Mobile supports almost any unlocked phone that works on T-Mobile's network, which means almost any unlocked phone. This is great if you want to keep your phone since you'll be able to drop your Mint SIM card in and get connected right away. If you want to check to make sure your device will work, enter your IMEI in Mint Mobile's compatibility checker. Alternatively, you can download the Mint Mobile app to check for phone compatibility and coverage automatically.

If you're ready for something new, Mint Mobile has a healthy selection of both Android and iOS phones, including the OnePlus 8 Pro and the new iPhone 12. You can also finance phones with Affirm.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid plans

Verizon Prepaid has four plans available, starting with a talk and text plan for basic phones or someone willing to use Wi-Fi exclusively for data. This is the only plan that isn't eligible for the loyalty discount. The next step up adds 5GB of data and the ability to use it as a hotspot. If you want to make calls to Mexico and Canada, it can be added for $5 per month.

The 15GB plan and the two unlimited plans come with calls to Mexico and Canada. While the cheaper unlimited plan doesn't offer any hotspot data, you can add 10GB for $5 per month. With the top-tier unlimited plan, you'll get 10GB of hotspot data included on Verizon's 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide network. If you're able to access the 5G Ultra Wideband network, you'll be able to use your hotspot without any limits.

Talk & text only5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Talk and textUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
High-speed dataNone5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
HotspotNoneSharedShared$5 for 10GBUnlimited (5G Ultra Wideband)
10GB (4G LTE and 5G Nationwide)
Calls to Mexico and Canada$5$5IncludedIncludedIncluded
Usage in Mexico and Canada$5/day$5/day$5/dayIncludedIncluded
Price$30 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$45 with auto pay$60 with auto pay$70 with auto pay
Price after 3 months$30 with auto pay$30 with auto pay$40 with auto pay$55 with auto pay$65 with auto pay
Price after 9 months$30 with auto pay$25 with auto pay$35 with auto pay$50 with auto pay$60 with auto pay

If you're looking to travel to Mexico or Canada, you can add talk, text, and data for $5 per day on all of these plans except both the unlimited plans, which already have it included. If you need to travel to Mexico or Canada frequently, this could be a great option. But keep in mind that if you use more than 0.5 GB of data abroad per day, you'll see 2G speeds.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile app on wood

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Mint Mobile doesn't have a traditional contract but offers discounts to customers willing to buy in for a longer term. The minimum period for Mint Mobile is three months, but the real savings come with 12-month terms. Mint does offer the first three months at the 12-month price, so you don't have to commit to the full year right away. The plans come in three data variants with an unlimited option, though unlimited gets throttled after 35GB of data. All plans are reduced to 128Kbps after you've used your data allowance.

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 data at a rate of $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you need more. You can also upgrade to the next plan if you feel you'll need more data every month, even in the middle of your billing cycle. When you switch to Mint and one of its unique plans, you can keep your phone number..

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Which is better for you?

Both providers offer good value for long-term customers and are some of the best prepaid phone plans to choose from. Mint Mobile asks for a commitment right off the bat, which will be fine for many people, but not everyone looking at a prepaid phone service will be able—or willing—to pay for an entire year of phone service at once. If you can, Mint Mobile is a great choice and hard to beat for value.

However, more people will likely be more comfortable with the way Verizon Prepaid has set up its plans and discounts. If you just want to stay on this network, there are several other Verizon MVNOs to keep in mind. While many people will still overbuy with an unlimited plan, the extras like roaming data will make it worth it. Verizon Prepaid will be a better fit for most people, especially if you don't want to commit to more than a month at a time.

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.