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

Mint Mobile SIm card
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Verizon's prepaid plans can be 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 fast 5G network and are more affordable even with the minimum three-month plan. You can save even more if you're able to pay for the entire year at once.

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 with 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. Luckily Mint gives you the 12-month rate for your first three months so you have a chance to see if it's right for you before committing to a year. When you renew, you can choose a 12-month plan to get the maximum savings.

It's worth noting that both Verizon Prepaid and Mint Mobile have some additional fees at checkout, unlike many other prepaid options. Mint Mobile is a bit more straightforward about these fees, showing them in your cart, while Verizon makes you create an account first.

Verizon PrepaidMint Mobile
NetworkVerizonT-Mobile
Minimum term1 month3 months
Smallest data packageNone4GB
Largest data packageUnlimited (deprioritized during congestion)Unlimited (35GB high speed)

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Check your coverage first

(Image credit: Mint Mobile)

Verizon's LTE network isn't necessarily the fastest around, but it still has some of the best coverage. While 5G is spotty, Verizon's LTE network should have plenty of speed for most of what you do on a phone. Speaking of 5G, Verizon includes nationwide 5G on all prepaid plans but if you want to access its faster C-band or mmWave 5G, you'll need Unlimited Plus.

Mint Mobile operates on T-Mobile's network, and while it's not as big as Verizon's network, it isn't far off. T-Mobile has a large lead when it comes to 5G coverage and allows access to its full network, including mid-band, on all of its plans. As we saw in our Mint Mobile review, if you live in an area with good T-Mobile coverage, you should have access to full 5G speeds.

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. If you're paying full price for a phone, you may as well get one of the best Android phones unlocked from the start. You could even save some money with one of the best cheap Android phones.

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 ensure 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 Pixel 6 Pro and the new iPhone 13. You can also finance phones with Affirm.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Verizon Prepaid plans

Verizon Prepaid has five 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 Plus
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
5GNationwideNationwideNationwideNationwideUltra Wideband
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. This could be a great option if you need to travel to Mexico or Canada frequently. But keep in mind that if you use more than 0.5GB of data abroad daily, you'll see 2G speeds.

Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Prepaid: Mint Mobile plans

OnePlus n200 5G with SIM cards outside

(Image credit: 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.

4GB10GB15GBUnlimited (35GB)
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 want to bring more than one line, Mint Family allows you to manage up to five lines. While there aren't specific discounts for Mint Family, you do get the 12-month rate for three months at a time making the initial impact of the plans a bit easier to deal with.

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?

If you want to stick with the Verizon network, Verizon Prepaid is the way to go and it's a good way to save over Verizon's postpaid plans. While Unlimited plans can get pricy, they compare well to other prepaid options when after the loyalty discounts kick in. You can also save $5 more with autopay.

Mint requires a little more upfront but forces customers to think about wireless in a new way. With Mint's plans, you only need to choose which data package makes the most sense for your needs, and then you can save more when you sign up for longer. You get the lowest 12-month rate for your first three months so if it turns out Mint's service isn't working for you, you're not stuck for a full 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.