Visible and Mint Mobile both bring a lot of value to the carrier space, but each one is best-suited for certain groups of people. If you need the best possible coverage and have one of the few supported Android phones, Visible is the easy choice and offers an insane amount of value for just $40 each month and nothing more (you can even try Visible for $25 for your first month thanks to a current promotion). If you don't have a phone that works on Visible and are OK with T-Mobile's network, Mint Mobile is the better fit. Just be prepared to spend a larger amount of money upfront.
First thing's first, let's talk about the plans being offered by Visible and Mint Mobile.
Starting with Visible, things couldn't be simpler. There's just one to choose from, and it comes with unlimited talk, text, and LTE data. Visible used to have a 5Mbps speed cap for its network but Visible has removed that cap for new and existing customers alike. Now Visible expects customers to get LTE data speeds at 5-12Mbps.
Visible's LTE speed will be more than enough for most activity including music and video streaming (limited to 480p) and social media. The only place you'll really feel that speed is with large downloads such as apps or movies.
Visible's plan includes free mobile hotspot usage (speeds are limited to 5Mbps) and costs $40/month all-in — meaning that taxes and fees are included in the price. In other words, you'll pay exactly $40 for your bill every single month and not a penny more.
Mint Mobile has a much different way of doing things. Rather than paying for your plan month-to-month like you do just about everywhere, Mint Mobile sells in bulk. This means you pay a higher upfront price, but if you look at the monthly rate, you're saving a lot of money.
You can buy plans in three, six, and 12-month increments with your choice of 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB of LTE data. Your monthly rate is cheaper as you buy more months in bulk. For example, if you got 12GB of data on a 12-month plan, you'd spend $300 upfront with that working out to $25/month. For comparison's sake, a three-month plan for 12GB of data retails for $45/month (although it's currently discounted to $25/month for your first three months).
Mint Mobile allows for a lot more customization than Visible, and for almost all of the plans, your monthly rate is lower. Unfortunately, there's no option for unlimited data and taxes and fees are not included in the monthly price that you see. Thankfully, just like Visible, Hotspot access is included at no extra cost.
Visible is powered by Verizon, and over the years, Verizon's established itself as having the best coverage across the United States compared to every other carrier out there. Especially if you live in a rural area, chances are Verizon's got your back where other networks drop the ball.
It's worth mentioning that Visible does not support 3G and does not get access to Verizon's roaming partners so if you're currently on Verizon and have coverage, it's worth double-checking the map anyways.
Comparatively, Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile. T-Mobile's network has improved a lot and is now better than it's ever been, and while you should be able to get a strong LTE connection in more places than not, there are still some pockets where Verizon's coverage reigns supreme.
When it comes to international travel, Mint Mobile stands alone since Visible doesn't offer any international roaming at all. Mint Mobile charges $0.05 per text message sent, $0.25 per minute for calls, and $0.20 per megabyte in quite a few countries. Prices are lower at $0.02 per text, $0.02 per minute, and $0.06 per megabyte in Mexico and Canada. Mint's international pricing is pretty competitive even with other carriers that offer international roaming.
A great carrier isn't so great if you can't use your phone on it, and unfortunately, that's where Visible takes a stumble.
Visible's network is all digital, which means that all of your calls on Visible will use VoLTE. VoLTE is still a little new for carriers in general, so for now, extra care is being taken to make sure devices work flawlessly. The list of supported phones is small but expanding all the time so you will need to check for new phones on Visible's help page.
Currently, all iPhones after the iPhone 6 are supported on Visible as well as numerous Android phones such as Samsung's Galaxy S9 series, the Google Pixel 3 and 4 series, the G7 Power and Z4 from Motorola, and OnePlus 7T and 7 Pro.
Mint Mobile really shines when it comes to supported phones. Since it's a GSM network, you can bring over virtually any unlocked Android phone and have it work perfectly fine. Mint Mobile does sell devices like the Galaxy S10 and Pixel 3 with 0% APR financing if you need a new handset, but if you already have one you'd like to use, you can get a SIM card for free and be on your way to great service.
Get the carrier that's right for you
As you can see, there are some distinct differences between Visible and Mint Mobile.
If you have one of the supported phones and want the best coverage possible, Visible is an excellent choice. Not only is Verizon's network unmatched, but the current offer of unlimited talk, text, and uncapped LTE data for just $40/month and nothing more is tough to beat.
However, if your phone doesn't work on Visible and T-Mobile has good coverage where you live, Mint Mobile is worth signing up for. So long as you're comfortable with paying more from the get-go, Mint Mobile brings a lot of value to the table and — depending on the plan you choose — will likely cost less than what you'd pay at Visible.
Big network, one plan
For the data-hungry
Get Visible's simple unlimited plan with no contract on one of the best LTE networks available. You can also stay connected on more devices with an unlimited hotspot.
Buy in bulk
Save more by planning ahead
Mint Mobile saves you money by offering cell service with bulk pricing. It also has strong support for unlocked phones, and international service increases the value.
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