If you’re looking for ways to save money on your phone service, Mint Mobile offers access to T-Mobile’s network for as little as $15 per month.
In this Mint Mobile review, I’ll take a close look at Mint Mobile’s plans and pricing, how to get started, and what to expect from Mint Mobile’s service.
I tried Mint Mobile myself for 30 days. I’ve also compared more than 70 different available phone plans to see how Mint Mobile holds up.
What To Know Before Signing Up for Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides access to T-Mobile’s cellular network. All of the plans include access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, which currently offers the best performance among the top three wireless carriers.
In addition to providing access to a great network, Mint Mobile also offers affordable prepaid plans. Plans begin as low as $15 per month for 5GB of high-speed data, but you’ll have to pay for at least three months of service at a time.
I tested out Mint Mobile’s $15 plan for 30 days to explore its coverage, call and text performance, customer service and more.
Table of Contents:
- Plans and Pricing
- Activation Process
- Call and Text Performance
- Data Speeds
- Customer Service
Below, you’ll find more information about Mint Mobile including what plans are available, how reliable the service is and whether or not you should consider it as your mobile carrier.
1. Plans and Pricing
Mint Mobile offers four different prepaid plans, but prices vary depending on the length of the prepaid plan. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase a Mint Mobile plan for a single month at a time. Instead, you’ll have to pay for three, six or 12 months in advance.
Below, you’ll see the current Mint Mobile plans that you can choose from with the monthly price and high-speed data allotments. New customers are eligible for discounted rates on Mint Mobile’s three-month plans, and I’ve included those prices as well.
Mint Mobile 3-Month Plans
|Monthly High-Speed Data||Monthly Price With New Customer Offer||Total Due With New Customer Offer||Regular Monthly Price||Total Due With Regular Price|
Mint Mobile 6-Month Plans
|Monthly High-Speed Data||Monthly Price||Total Due|
Mint Mobile 12-Month Plans
|Monthly High-Speed Data||Monthly Price||Total Due|
All of Mint Mobile’s plans included unlimited talk and text as well as free calling to Mexico and Canada. You’ll still have unlimited access to mobile data once you hit your monthly data allotment, but your data will be reduced to slower speeds.
Each of these plans also includes 5G and 4G/LTE access as well as free mobile hotspot data and Wi-Fi calling and texting.
Unfortunately, Mint Mobile doesn’t offer discounts for multiple lines. Still, you can order up to four lines at a time at full price. All four lines will be eligible for the new customer savings on the three-month plans, which will likely still be cheaper than most phone plans that do offer multiline discounts. If you’re searching for the best deals on two-line plans, check out our full list of best cell phone plans for two lines here.
2. Activation Process
Signing up for a Mint Mobile plan is fast and easy to do. I recently tried out the $15 plan myself and documented the selection and activation process. At the time, the plan included 4GB of high-speed data. Now, the plan includes 5GB.
To get started, I visited Mint Mobile’s website and chose the $15 plan. I clicked “View Details” and saw a full breakdown of the plan’s pricing and what it includes:
I wasn’t prompted to check my phone’s eligibility, but I saw the link to the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program in the plan details. You can check your phone’s compatibility with a quick check by entering your phone’s brand and model, or you can get the best results by entering your IMEI number.
You can find your phone’s IMEI number by dialing *#06#. Also, make sure you have an unlocked phone before buying a SIM card from Mint Mobile.
Fortunately, my phone was compatible.
Once I’d checked my phone’s compatibility, I felt confident ordering a SIM card. After entering my ZIP code, I saw that 3-5 day shipping was free. If your phone is eligible for an eSIM, delivery is free for that as well. Next-day shipping cost $15.
Even with free shipping and the free SIM card, there was still an additional $5.63 recovery fee and $1.76 in taxes and surcharges. This brought the total for the three-month plan to $52.39.
There’s an optional auto-renewal option, but you don’t have to select it to get the advertised price. I was able to enter my billing and shipping details, and then I just clicked “Place Order.”
The SIM card was delivered to my door two business days later.
The package included an itemized receipt, a Mint SIM card kit including a SIM card remover, and detailed instructions on how to activate your SIM. It also included a “Refer a Friend” kit with an additional SIM card kit and details on the referral discount.
To activate my SIM, I entered it into the phone and scanned a QR code included in the SIM kit to download the Mint Mobile app. Once I’d downloaded the app, I clicked “Activate your SIM.”
I was prompted to find the 11-digit code on the back of my Mint SIM card. Then, I was able to re-check my phone’s compatibility and choose whether I wanted a new number or to keep my current number. To keep your current number, you’ll need your account number, passcode and billing address from your old carrier.
I chose to get a new number, so I entered my ZIP code to get a new local number and created an account for the Mint Mobile app with my name and email address.
The app spent about a minute setting up the service. Once it did, I was able to follow instructions to make sure my settings allowed for Mint Mobile’s service and data. Then my phone automatically connected to T-Mobile’s network, and I was able to place a test call.
3. Call and Text Performance
Over the course of 30 days, I tried out Mint Mobile’s service by making and receiving phone calls as well as sending and receiving text messages.
During the month that I tested Mint Mobile’s service, I had consistently reliable, clear service with no dropped calls or undelivered text messages. However, service varies from one area to the next.
Mint Mobile provides access to T-Mobile’s network and nationwide coverage. To see if the Mint Mobile network specifically offers coverage in your area, check out its coverage map.
If you visit Mint Mobile’s website, you can enter your address, state or ZIP code to see if you’ll have service in your area. You can also see what specific types of coverage are available including 4G/LTE and 5G.
4. Data Speeds
Mint Mobile offers access to T-Mobile’s 4G/LTE and 5G networks. Based on my experience as well as T-Mobile’s coverage map, you’ll likely have reliable access to data with this MVNO.
To make sure you’ll be covered before switching to Mint Mobile, be sure to enter your address on its coverage map online. You can also look at T-Mobile’s coverage map to get a better idea of service in your area since this is the network Mint Mobile operates on.
In addition to good coverage, you’ll also likely experience great download speeds with Mint Mobile. Out of all of the MVNOs I’ve tested, I’ve seen the fastest download speeds with Mint Mobile. This was no surprise to me as T-Mobile’s 5G network is currently way ahead of AT&T and Verizon.
When I tried out Mint Mobile myself, I checked the data speeds using speedtest.net by Ookla:
The download speed was usually around 75 Mbps. The fastest download speed I saw was 105 Mbps while the slowest download speed I saw was 66 Mbps.
According to Consumer Reports, 18 Mbps is the minimum speed necessary for streaming 4K movies and TV shows. Netflix recommends a download speed of 25 Mbps for streaming 4K. Amazon says you’ll need a download speed of at least 8 Mbps for SD video and 40 Mbps for HD video on Prime.
Based on these numbers, Mint Mobile’s high-speed data is fast enough to do most things online, including streaming HD video.
Mint Mobile plans also include hotspot data, which allows you to share your mobile data with other devices. Throughout the month, I connected my laptop to my Mint Mobile hotspot to test the speeds using the same website:
The download speed via hotspot was usually around 35 Mbps. The fastest download speed I saw was 40 Mbps while the slowest download speed I saw was 25 Mbps.
The plan I tried came with 4GB of high-speed data monthly (now 5GB), and it was really easy to check my data usage with the Mint Mobile app. However, Mint Mobile offers up to 40GB of high-speed data per month with its unlimited data plan. After you’ve exceeded your high-speed data limit, speeds will be reduced until the following month.
5. Customer Service
Good customer service is important in a phone carrier. Unfortunately, nearly all major companies seem to be struggling with customer service right now. Whether it’s extended wait times or unhelpful representatives, dealing with customer service with phone service providers can be a pain.
To see how long I’d have to wait for service and what type of service I’d receive, I contacted Mint Mobile in both possible ways: via phone and online chat.
To contact Mint Mobile, you can visit the website or mobile app to chat with an agent or call Mint Mobile at 1 (800) 683-7392 any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET.
When I contacted Mint Mobile customer service, I was warned that wait times were longer than normal. However, I only had to wait around two minutes to talk to a customer service representative on the phone. Including all of the automated messages, I spent just over three minutes waiting before chatting with a live person.
When I tried out the online chat feature, I only had to wait a minute and a half to reach a customer service representative. Despite the longer wait time, I was able to get a faster, more thorough response from the representative on the phone once connected.
Still, all of the customer service representatives I interacted with (both before I purchased the plan and during the month I tested Mint Mobile) were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.
Before I began testing phone plans, I highlighted the key factors that I would be exploring. This way, I would be able to accurately compare phone plans and get a full overview of what to expect from the service.
Here are the key factors I focused on while trying out each phone plan:
- Length of Time. I tested each phone plan for 30 days to observe the network’s reliability and gather feedback from friends and family regarding service.
- Signing Up. I signed up for each phone plan myself to document the process of getting started, testing phone compatibility or bringing your own device, how long it takes to receive the SIM card and the activation process.
- Reliability. I used my personal AT&T line as a base to see how often the tested phone plan had service and noted any dropped calls/undelivered text messages.
- Service. During the month, I made/received at least 15 calls and sent/received at least 15 text messages. I also tested the phone’s data speed and hotspot speed using speedtest.net.
- Customer Support. During my time testing out each phone service, I contacted customer support in all available ways to determine which method is best, how long it took to reach them and how helpful the experience was.
Ultimately, I had a great experience during the month that I tested for this Mint Mobile review. I had great service and coverage throughout the whole experience, and the data speeds were the fastest I’ve seen from an MVNO so far. I didn’t experience any dropped calls or undelivered text messages, and contact customer service was fast, easy and overall pleasant.
At Clark.com, we’ve awarded the Mint Mobile 5GB plan as the best value for a cheap phone plan, and after testing out the service myself, I truly believe that it is. You’ll have access to T-Mobile’s amazing 5G network for as low as $15 per month, plus unlimited data (5GB of high-speed) and access to mobile hotspot features.
However, I do wish you could purchase a month-to-month plan or keep the same new customer rate for the three-month plans once you’re ready to renew.
If you’re thinking about switching to Mint Mobile, ask yourself these questions first:
- Is T-Mobile’s network strong in your area? You can check Mint Mobile’s coverage map and T-Mobile’s coverage map online to see if you’ll have service in your area.
- Can you get by with limited data? Mint Mobile offers phone plans ranging from 4GB to 35GB of high-speed data per month with its unlimited data plan. While all of the plans include unlimited 2G speeds, none of them include truly unlimited high-speed data.
- Is your current phone compatible with Mint Mobile? You can check your phone’s compatibility online.
If you can answer “yes” to each of these questions, then Mint Mobile will likely be a great choice for you. Fortunately, you won’t have to sign a contract when you sign up and you can cancel at any time.
For more options, be sure to read our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now. Once you’ve decided on a new phone plan and you’re ready to make the switch, check out this guide that Team Clark put together to take you step-by-step through the process.