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Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Which is right for you?

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

Verizon has long been known for having some of the best coverage in the country and largely still maintains that lead, but T-Mobile has done a lot of work to close that gap. In many urban and suburban areas, the T-Mobile network that Mint uses may deliver better results, especially when it comes to 5G. Even so, rural customers may find Verizon's coverage to be worth the higher cost of its postpaid plans, even if coverage is on the slower LTE network. Verizon will also have higher priority data in times of congestion than Mint will on the T-Mobile network.

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Can Verizon justify its prices?

There's no argument that Verizon's plans are more expensive than Mint's. Verizon, however, has a handful of strengths that Mint simple can't offer. One important consideration is how you buy phones. While either carrier will let you buy a phone outright, Verizon has been very aggressive with its new phone pricing for customers willing to commit to one of its 3-year payment plans. Even so, it's hard to ignore the appeal of a free or heavily discounted high-end phone with its payment plans.

Verizon also offers a handful of perks with plans like its 5G Play More Unlimited and 5G Get More Unlimited plans coming with Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Google Play Pass bundled in. Paired with multi-line discounts, a family looking for new phones that subscribes to these streaming services may find Verizon to be well worth the price.

Mint keeps things very simple in contrast and for many people that like to keep tighter control over the things they buy, it could be well worth giving up the bundled features from Verizon. Mint's plans simply come with varying data amounts and unlimited domestic talk and text. You can save on Mint by paying for a longer-term upfront with the best savings coming from 12-month plans. Since you probably intend to have cell phone service year-round anyways, you can save a bit of cash if your checking account can take the one-time hit.

VerizonMint Mobile
NetworkVerizonMint
5GYesYes
5G mid-band and mmWaveSome plansAll plans
Minimum term1 month3 months
Minimum cost$30 per month$15 per month

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Better coverage nationwide doesn't mean better for you

Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network and simply put, T-Mobile's 5G network is significantly stronger than Verizon's. That's not to say Verizon's network isn't catching up, but Verizon customers will be seeing a lot more LTE in their status bars for the next couple of years at least, especially outside of cities. Verizon's C-band 5G rollout is underway and making good progress but it had a late start compared to T-Mobile's mid-band 5G. In fact, Verizon only began deploying C-band 5G in January of 2022 so its progress is admirable.

One odd thing to note is that Verizon only offers C-band speeds, what it calls Ultra Wideband, to its 5G Play More, 5G Do More, and 5G Get More customers. With a network that's supposed to have much higher capacity than low-band and LTE coverage, it's an odd limitation. Even stranger however is that some Verizon customers have reported phones on 5G Start connecting to Ultra Wideband without the network icon and a speed cap. It remains to be seen how Verizon will continue with this 5G strategy.

T-Mobile on the other hand simply allows all phones to connect to its whole network. Even prepaid customers, like those on Mint Mobile, can access its mid-band 5G at full speed. With 235 million people covered and growing, T-Mobile's mid-band network is one of Mint Mobile's biggest strengths.

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Mint Mobile's plans

Mint Mobile offers four data plans on T-Mobile's network with 5G and in our Mint Mobile review, we saw general good 5G speed. With Mint, you have the selection between 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, and unlimited data, though no plan will ever cut you off entirely (you'll just see your speeds slow down). Unfortunately, the unlimited plan is throttled at 35GB, but this should still be plenty for most users.

The unique thing about Mint Mobile is that you have to purchase your plan in three, six, or 12-month bundles. There is an introductory offer for the first three months, but after that, you'll have to join for 12 months to get the best savings. For instance, the unlimited plan for 12 months will only cost $30 per month, which is a great deal when you compare it to other carriers.

If you bring more than one line with Mint Family, you can get the 12-month rate with only three-month renewals. This can help lessen the impact of the larger multi-month payments you'll need to make with Mint's plan structure.

4GB10GB15GBUnlimited
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)

With each plan, you'll get unlimited talk, text, free mobile hotspot data (up to 5GB on the unlimited plan), and free calling to Mexico and Canada. If you need to call other countries, it's best to stick to a third-party app like WhatsApp to avoid being charged extra. International roaming is available to you if you have to travel overseas, but you'll have to load your UpRoam account with $5, $10, or $20 increments in advance and pay rates by country.

Should you ever run out of data on your Mint plan, you can always add 1GB or 3GB by paying a respective $10 or $20 extra. If you find that you're using too much data (Mint Mobile has a feature called UnliMINTed that will let you know), you're also able to switch to a lower plan. All in all, Mint Mobile does its best to make sure you're not spending more money than you should be spending on your wireless bill. It's an excellent carrier to consider if you need a single line and you're able to pay for a few months upfront, but if you're seeking a multi-line discount, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Verizon's plans

Verizon offers four core unlimited plans: 5G Start, 5G Play More, 5G Do More, and 5G Get More. Each of these plans includes unlimited data on Verizon's 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide network. Though you'll likely get great coverage, it's a good idea to check the coverage map. In addition to data, you'll also get unlimited talk, text, and international texting with each plan. And when you're traveling in Mexico and Canada, you'll still get talk, text, and data (though not quite at the same speeds).

The least expensive core plan with Verizon is the 5G Start Plan, but it has some differences compared to the other unlimited plans. For starters, it doesn't include any mobile hotspot data or access to Verizon's fastest 5G Ultra Wideband network. If hotspot data is important to you or you feel strongly about premium data, i.e., having access to the fastest data speeds possible, a more expensive plan might be a better fit. 

Verizon's top 5G Get More Plan will get you full 5G access with premium data, 50GB of hotspot data, 4K UHD streaming, and subscriptions to the Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle, Apple Music, along with several other perks. On the downside, $90 per month plus taxes and fees is a lot to shell out.

Verizon has also added a cheaper Welcome Unlimited that cannot be combined with the other unlimited plans.

Verizon's postpaid plans
Welcome Unlimited5G Start5G Play More5G Do More5G Get More
Mix and matchNoYesYesYesYes
5G nationwideYesYesYesYesYes
5G Ultra WidebandNoNoYesYesYes
Premium dataNoneNone50GB50GBUnlimited
High-speed hotspot dataNone5GB25GB25GB50GB
Hulu, Disney+,and ESPN+Not includedNot includedIncludedNot includedIncluded
Price per line (1 line)$65$70$80$80$90
Price per line (2 lines)$55$60$70$70$80
Price per line (3 lines)$40$45$55$55$65
Price per line (4 lines)$35$35$45$45$55

While 5G Do More doesn't come with streaming perks, it gets half off a connected device plan, like a hotspot, tablet, or watch plan, and 600GB of cloud storage. It's also worth noting that 5G Play More, 5G Do More, and 5G Get More customers can get 50% off of a Verizon home internet plan including Verizon Fios and 5G Home.

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Which phones will work?

Verizon will work with a wide selection of phones that are compatible with the Verizon network. If you're looking to purchase a new one, you can check its website to see whether there's a good deal. Most of the best Android phones will be compatible, but if you're not sure, you can always check with your IMEI number.

Mint Mobile also has a decent selection of phones sold on its website for you to browse through, but if you're planning on bringing your own device, then you're in luck because any device that works with the T-Mobile network will work with Mint. This means most unlocked devices that are 4G LTE and VoLTE friendly will be compatible. If you're not sure, you can use Mint's compatibility checker through its app or by typing in your IMEI number on its website.

Verizon vs. Mint Mobile: Which should you get?

Verizon is the right carrier for you if you want as many features and perks as you can possibly get out of a cell phone plan, and don't mind spending a bit extra for the fastest data speeds possible. It's an even better option if you have a decent-sized family since the price per line significantly drops as you add more lines. Welcome Unlimited also offers a simpler option for those that don't want all of the perks of the pricier plans.

Mint Mobile, on the other hand, is an MVNO, so you'll never be prioritized over a direct T-Mobile customer, but for the most part, you should get good coverage and plenty of performance. It's also much more affordable and the best choice if you're looking for one or two lines and you're able to pay for 12 months of service. Since Mint's introductory rates apply to its three-month plan, you're not locked in for too long if you find the network doesn't work for you.

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.