If you’re ready to ditch the ‘big-box-brands’ of wireless service, you’ve come to the right place. This Boost Mobile MVNO vs. Mint Mobile MVNO review can help you decide which pay-as-you-go carrier can help you save money. And we know it’s not just about dollars and cents, so we are here to help you understand if Mint Mobile or Boost Mobile’s data and coverage will work better for you and your family.
Both Boost Mobile MVNO and Mint Mobile are great for saving money while maintaining reliable service and data. What else do you need to know for an accurate mobile vs. mobile MVNO comparison? Read on for plan comparisons, phone information, and reviews of service and coverage.
Mint Mobile MVNO overview:
Is this brand really the best-kept secret in the world of cell phones? For some, it very well could be. It’s by far much less expensive than the major carriers and other MVNOs.
To begin, Mint Mobile is an MVNO (a cell phone carrier that uses a major carrier’s network) that offers excellent value for the price and lets you use your current phone and phone number. Mint Mobile runs off the T-Mobile network.
Additionally, Mint Mobile is a pay-as-you-go cell phone service with options to prepay for three, six, or twelve months at a time. The more months you pre-pay, the better the price per month. From $15 per month to $35, you pay for the data you need.
What else do you need to know about Mint Mobile?
- Mint runs off the T-Mobile network with 4G LTE high-speed data.
- Mint allows you to use your phone if it’s unlocked.
- All Mint Mobile plans come with unlimited talk and text.
- Mint allows you to customize your plan based on how much data you want and use.
- You can try Mint for seven days with a money-back guarantee.
- There is no extra charge for hotspot.
- Mint offers true BYOP.
Boost Mobile MVNO overview
Boost Mobile MVNO began offering prepaid mobile service twenty years ago. And they remain one of the most popular MVNO carriers in the United States. Who is the Boost Mobile carrier network? Boost Mobile runs off the Sprint network and offers plans from $25 per line per month. While Mint is independent of T-Mobile, Sprint owns Boost Mobile.
What else do you need to know about Boost Mobile MVNO?
- Boost Mobile is an MVNO that runs off the Sprint network.
- Boost offers multi-line plans.
- You must use a Boost Mobile phone.
- Boost Mobile has physical locations.
- You can use your phone with Boost.
- This MVNO offers unlimited data plans and add-ons.
- You can turn your phone into a mobile hotspot with Boost.
Unlike Mint Mobile, Boost allows its users to pay month by month–there’s no need to buy months in bulk. They also offer unlimited plans.
The critical differences between Boost Mobile MVNO & Mint Mobile MVNO
- Mint Mobile is less expensive, but you must buy months in bulk. You can prepay for a minimum of three months at a time.
- Boost Mobile offers unlimited data plans.
- You can use almost any unlocked phone with Mint Mobile.
- Boost only allows you to use Boost-approved phones, although you do not have to buy one through them. Boost Mobile BYOP has a more limited selection.
The key similarities between Boost Mobile MVNO & Mint Mobile MVNO
Having trouble deciding on Boost vs. Mint? We understand. Among the Boost Mobile alternatives, Mint has a lot to offer. Both share some great perks. Here are the ones that really stand out:
Both Mint Mobile MVNO and Boost Mobile MVNO
- Are prepaid wireless cell phone services that use major carriers’ towers and networks.
- Offer reliable service for a fraction of the price of major carriers.
- Feature unlimited talk and text with all of their plans.
Understanding MVNOs and the value they provide
The four big wireless carriers: Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon own and maintain the majority of the cell towers and infrastructure in the U.S. This allows them to charge high prices and require their customers to sign contracts. MVNOs, or “mobile virtual network operators,” lease or purchase the right to use the big guys’ networks with bulk deals. Then they pass on these lower prices to their customers.
To put it clearly, MVNO cell signals hitch rides on large carriers’ wireless networks.
MVNOs like Boost Mobile and Mint Mobile provide their users with an alternative to contracts.
What is deprioritizing when it comes to MVNOs?
Have you ever noticed when you’re in a stadium or at an event with a lot of other people that your phone’s service slows down? This is because the cell towers get clogged, and all the signals being sent and received cause congestion.
When you use Boost MVNO or Mint Mobile MVNO, the primary carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, prioritize their customers’ messages, calls, etc. This leads to slower service and slower reactivity for MVNO users. When a large carrier gives their customers priority over smaller carriers like Mint Mobile MVNO and Boost MVNO, it’s called “reprioritizing.”
You will find the term “deprioritizing” it in the fine print of almost all MVNOs. This leads to frustration for some MVNO users.
Coverage maps are vital when choosing Mint vs. Boost
As a subsidiary of Sprint, Boost Mobile MVNO’s network reflects Sprint’s coverage. This means Boost Mobile customers receive a strong signal and high speed in major cities and most suburbs.
Compared to other networks, though, Sprint’s coverage takes fourth place. Which means Boost Mobile coverage in the U.S. is also fourth.
Mint piggybacks on T-Mobile’s network, which comes in third nationally for coverage area.
This means Mint will have a more extensive range of coverage. Great for road trips and those that travel for work.
Does this matter? Well, Yes. No matter where you live and work, we suggest you check coverage maps. Checking ensures you’ll be able to make calls and text when needed. Also, check areas that you regularly visit (i.e., your parents’ house, best friend’s apartment, favorite vacation spot).
Mint Mobile MVNO: what does buying in bulk mean?
So, you’ve probably read the word “bulk” and thought to yourself, “how do you buy bulk when it comes to your cell phone?” And, we honestly believe “bulk” might not be the most intuitive term for Mint’s plans.
Simply put, Mint Mobile MVNO plans require you prepay for multiple months upfront. By “bulk” they mean
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 12 months at a time
Also, you’ll also see the word “bundle” instead of bulk. This isn’t 100% accurate, either. With Mint, you can purchase one line for a minimum of three months.
Why is Mint Mobile MVNO so cheap?
In addition to passing along savings as an MVNO, Mint Mobile undercuts other prepaid wireless prices by eliminating stores and simplifying plans.
Why doesn’t Mint Mobile MVNO have stores?
One of the keys to affordable service is that Mint Mobile does not have physical stores. Basically, they are online only. Which is good and bad.
First, no stores mean less overhead and lower prices for their customers.
However, there is the downside of no physical locations. If you’re not tech-savvy then you may struggle with figuring out how to set up your phone. Although, Mint Mobile does have a customer care team that can chat with you on the phone or by email. If you’re anything like my mom, though, getting help over the phone for your phone can be tough.
Luckily, the Mint Mobile community can help you troubleshoot problems you may have, too.
Boost Mobile MVNO VS. Mint plans
Mint Mobile plans at-a-glance
With Mint Mobile MVNO, you won’t drown or get lost in a sea of plans. Basically, their plans are simple.
|Plans||3 GB of Data||8 GB of Data||12 GB of Data|
|Introductory Rate for the First 3 Months||$15/mo||$20/mo||$25/mo|
Mint Mobile add-ons
Mint Mobile doesn’t have a bunch of shiny add-ons. However, they do have the option to add more data before the end of the month. Since you pay as you go, this ensures you pay for what you need and are not paying for unnecessary data.
- $10 for 1 GB
- $20 for 3GB
Additionally, Mint Mobile also has an international roaming add-on. When you add money to your account, you receive credit towards international calls and texts. We’ll get further into that in a minute.
Boost MVNO plans & add-ons
It should come as no surprise that Boost has more plans than Mint Mobile. They also change their prices and plan names more frequently. Depending on limited time offers and promotions, you’ll find prices fluctuate.
Next, you’ll also notice Boost Mobile’s MVNO’s bulk options are more about the number of lines than the number of months you pay for.
At the start of Boost’s business, they used to be famous for its Boost Mobile $45 plan. Now, this plan has crept up to $50 per month.
Here are the two most popular plans Boost Mobile has to offer:
|3 Gigs||Line Numbers||Price|
Boost Mobile MVNO currently offers two more plans which most shoppers may consider expensive. However, these plans feature faster download speeds and more data for your hotspot at lower prices than Sprint, T-Mobile, and the other big carriers.
Boost Mobile Pros and Cons
Of course, every carrier has its benefits and drawbacks. Unlike most, Mint Mobile’s pros and cons are apparent, since their system is so straightforward. Because Boost Mobile’s pros and cons are a little more complicated, we wanted to share them with you, here:
Boost Mobile Pros
First, the pros. Boost Mobile Data usage rates are reasonable. With Boost Mobile, unlimited music streaming won’t eat up all your data, forcing you to refill your account.
- Reliable service
- Physical locations
- Unlimited data
Boost Mobile Cons
Next, we can’t ignore the cons. However, while there aren’t many, they may make your choice easier.
- Prepaid plans cost more
- Deprioritization during congestion slows data speed
- Boost MVNO doesn’t have a true BYOP system
Boost Mobile MVNO’s Add-Ons
You probably already guessed it, but Boost Mobile features a lot of add-ons. Here they are:
- To turn your phone into a mobile hotspot, Boost Mobile charges $50/mo.
- Their Boost Shield phone insurance will run you $7 per month.
- You can purchase a tracker that attaches to your phone for about $50.
Turn your streams HD for $10 per month.
- Family tracking and parental controls cost $7 per month.
International Rates Boost Vs. Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile’s International Rates: How Much Does UpRoam Cost?
Mint Mobile calls its international plan UpRoam. Like everything else with Mint Mobile, it’s beyond easy to understand. You can prepay $5, $10, or $20 online or through text.
- International texts are 5-cents each. Mexico and Canada cost 2-cents per text.
- Calls outside of the U.S. cost 25-cents per minute. Canada and Mexico calls cost 6-cents per minute.
- Data will run you 20-cents per MB outside of the U.S. and 6-cents per MB for Mexico and Canada.
Boost’s Beyond Borders Rates
When compared to Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile’s international plans can save you some cash. As long as you make a lot of cross-border calls, these plans can put money back in your pocket.
Boost Mobile International Connect Plus is $10 per month and features unlimited calls and texting to and from Mexico and Canada. This plan also features unlimited texting internationally and calls to landlines in over 70 countries! Plus, they give you 200 minutes of international talk.
Boost MVNO’s Todo Mexico Plus add-on runs $5 per month and lets you call or text to Mexico and Canada without limits. You can also call or text from Mexico and enjoy unlimited borderless texting.
Bring your own phone: Mint Mobile MVNO Vs. Boost MVNO
Mint Mobile’s BYOP
Uniquely, Mint Mobile’s bring-your-own-phone (BYOP) policy works with any unlocked phone that will take one of their SIM cards. Furthermore, you can even test their SIM card for $4.99 with their Mint Mobile Starter Kit on Amazon.
This is a significant advantage when you decide to switch to Mint Mobile MVNO from a major carrier. For most people, there’s no need to buy a new phone. Use the one you already have and are used to.
BYOP Boost Phones
Does Boost Mobile offer BYOP? Not really. You can order a Boost Mobile-compatible phone elsewhere, but you cannot use an unlocked phone. In reality, the Boost BYOP system is more like BYOBMP (being-your-own-Boost-Mobile-phone).
Which Is A Better Match for Your Needs: Boost VS. Mint Mobile MVNO
Is Boost MVNO for you? Or maybe Mint MVNO is a better option? If you’re still unsure if Boost is better than Mint, it all comes down to what your priority is.
When Mint is the best MVNO option
Again, if you care most about price, Mint is the best option. If you prepay for one year, your mobile service will only cost you $15 per month. While prepaying for six months is still a great value at $20 per month. And with BYOP, you do not need to buy a Mint Mobile phone. You can use the one you have. If you rarely use data while not connected to your WiFi, Mint’s value cannot be beaten.
Do the run-around and hidden costs of the big name brand phone carriers bug you? Mint Mobile is simple and transparent.
You can try Mint Mobile’s MVNO network for one week free to find out if Mint Mobile is the best MVNO for you. In any event, you don’t have to drop a few hundred on a new phone if yours works with their SIM. Check out our mint mobile review to learn more about Mint Mobile and their affordable plans.
When Boost Mobile MVNO is the best choice
In short, Boost Mobile’s unlimited data is tough to beat if you use data to stream on your phone. If you call relatives or others in Mexico and Canada, Boost’s Todo Mexico add-on is a fantastic deal. Boost also has in-person assistance at their stores, although they will likely charge you set up fees.
Finally, no matter which of these carriers you choose, you will save money using an MVNO versus one of the Big Four Carriers.