But, before you finance a new car with all that money you’re going to save on your $20 per month Mint Mobile plan – just read the fine print.
Mint has to do things a little differently to offer a premium service at such accessible prices; it’s also why they are a rising star among competitor wireless carriers.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mint Mobile network before you subscribe to a Mint Mobile plan.
1. Mint Mobile “borrows” their network from T-Mobile.
MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators, refer to small carriers that lease network for their subscribers from a larger company, rather than building their own towers. This is one of the reasons that prepaid carriers, like Mint Mobile, can afford to keep their costs low – without compromising on coverage.
Because Mint Mobile bands use the same frequencies as T-Mobile, Mint users gain access to the same high-quality 4G LTE network that T-Mobile provides its customers.
2. Mint Mobile coverage is actually…pretty good.
T-Mobile ranks second in a close tie between the best coverage in the nation (following Verizon), and first in download speeds. Naturally, Mint Mobile users get access to the very same high-quality network.
Other reports reveal that Mint Mobile follows T-Mobile closely in excellent-consistent, and core quality standards, and ranks high among competitor MVNOs.
There are two ways to find out if the Mint Mobile network will work for you.
- View the Mint Mobile coverage map.
- Purchase a $5 Mint Mobile starter kit.
The Mint Mobile starter kit includes a 7-day trial Mint Mobile SIM card so you can test out Mint Mobile’s coverage firsthand. When you love it and decide to purchase a full-service plan, you’ll even receive a $5 credit back to your account.
3. You’ll need a Mint Mobile-compatible phone.
To join the Mint Mobile network, you’ll need a Mint Mobile-compatible phone, specifically one that works with T-Mobile.
Mint Mobile works on unlocked GSM-compatible devices. If you are already on a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan, then your phone is probably unlocked. The best way to find out is to call your current carrier.
If you’re making payments on your device, you will need to pay off your remaining amount in full before you can bring your phone to the Mint Mobile network. Once you’ve paid off your device, your carrier is obligated to unlock your phone for free.
Find out if your device is Mint Mobile compatible with Mint’s handy compatibility checker.
If you need a GSM-compatible device, you can shop Mint Mobile phones on the website. These phones can be purchased in full or financed through Affirm. Mint Mobile does not currently offer in-house phone financing.
4. Mint doesn’t include unlimited data, but there’s a good reason why.
You may have noticed that the Mint Mobile network doesn’t support unlimited 4G LTE data options in it’s Mint Mobile plans. This can be disappointing to some, as larger carriers often emphasize unlimited data access for their customers.
But Mint Senior VP of Marketing and Creative, Aron North, has a different view on unlimited. He says that with WiFi at work and home, the average person only uses 5GB of data per month on their wireless network. By offering subscribers access to only what they need, Mint is able to keep their plans affordable for its users.
Instead, Mint Mobile plans are available in 3GB, 8GB, and 12GB data buckets, which works for most people. If you need more data, you can purchase it in 1GB and 3GB increments.
Keep in mind this only refers to 4G LTE data. Like other networks, Mint Mobile offers unlimited access to the 3G network with any plan.
5. Mint Mobile plans are only available in bulk.
When you hear about wireless service for $15 or $20 a month, it’s easy to get excited. The truth is, Mint Mobile plans are really that affordable, given that you purchase multiple months in advance.
Mint Mobile plans are only available in prepaid 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month bundles, rather than month-to-month payment options. That means to get the $15 or $20 a month deal; you may have to purchase a 12-month package.
For example, to subscribe to the 8GB of 4G LTE data with unlimited talk and text at $20/month, I would have to purchase the 12-month bundle, which costs $240 upfront. That said, $240 for an entire year’s worth of wireless service is an incredible deal.
Others can get confused with Mint’s 3-month introductory pricing. This pricing gives first-time subscribers the same monthly cost savings that are typically offered at the 12-month level. Once your 3-month service is up, you will need to purchase a 6-month or 12-month bundle to get a similar deal.
6. Mint Mobile’s network is online-only.
If you’ve searched “Mint Mobile near me” online, you’ve likely come up empty. That’s because there are no Mint Mobile stores; instead, the network operates 100% virtually.
This is just one of the ways that Mint VP Aron North says they have reduced its overhead costs. Instead, they give that money back to the consumers in affordable wireless network options and premium Mint Mobile customer service/self-service tools.
If you have more questions about the Mint Mobile network, browse Mint’s online self-service options:
- Browse Mint Mobile FAQs
- Join the Mint Mobile community
- Ask Mint Mobile Reddit r/mintmobile
- View Mint Mobile instructional videos
Or, contact Mint Mobile customer service directly:
- Chat with support on the website
- Dial 611 from your Mint Mobile phone
- Call the Mint Mobile customer service number 800-683-7392 or 213-372-7777
- Email [email protected]
- Talk to sales rep 929-275-6011
Is the Mint Mobile network right for you?
If you’re coming from a big wireless company, deciding to switch to a prepaid MVNO, like Mint Mobile, can be difficult.
That said, the Mint Mobile network may be the right decision for you if:
- You know that T-Mobile/Mint Mobile coverage is good in your area.
- You’re familiar with your high-speed data usage and know that you don’t need an unlimited plan.
- You already Mint Mobile-compatible phone (GSM device), or you are willing to buy a new one.
- You are willing to purchase three, six, or 12-months of wireless service in advance.