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Mint Mobile vs. Red Pocket Mobile: Which carrier is better?

By
Allison Radziwon
July 12, 2023

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Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile are both popular prepaid carriers, as they both offer good deals on their phone plans. Each carrier has its positives and negatives, but which offers better phone plans? Let’s compare them and see which is better.

In this article, we plan to discuss the details of both carriers and what they offer. We’ll also cover:

  • What the coverage of both carriers looks like
  • How prices of their plans compare to how much data you get
  • The features each carrier offers for their plans 

Coverage & Reception

Mint Mobile is on the T-Mobile network, while Red Pocket Mobile is on all three networks. 

Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile are both mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. This means that they purchase service access wholesale from one of the three major networks that own infrastructure across the country – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – giving customers service at a much cheaper price. Mint Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile, while Red Pocket Mobile uses all three networks. This means you can choose which network you prefer.

Often, the quality of coverage comes down to your area. One carrier’s coverage may be better in New York, while another’s coverage may be better in California. It’s important to compare between providers on a coverage map of your specific city. Ookla’s coverage map allows you to see where cellular towers are located and which company owns them. This coverage map provides information about coverage from 2G to 5G for several providers.

However, T-Mobile’s 5G coverage and access is hailed as the best coverage overall. 

Plan Options

Mint Mobile offers 3 to 12 months of service at a time, while Red Pocket Mobile offers both monthly and annual plans. 

Both carriers give you unlimited talk and texting options with any plan you choose. However, Red Pocket Mobile offers both monthly and annual plans, while Mint Mobile gives you options between 3, 6, or 12 months. Both companies deprioritize data, meaning you’ll have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and shopping centers.

Mint Mobile Plans

Mint Mobile offers 4 plans, each with multiple options for lengths of service.

Mint Mobile offers plans ranging from 5GB to Unlimited (40GB) data, giving customers more options to meet their needs. Mint Mobile only offers 3, 6, or 12 month plans to sign up for. However, your data is reset every month. Their current New Customer Offer allows you to purchase a 3 month plan at the best deal. Mint Mobile also offers a deal where you can get 6 months of free service if you purchase a phone and a 6 month plan. Mint Mobile allows up to 5 lines on one account, each with their own customizable plan data to draw from.

As a T-Mobile MVNO, Mint Mobile is on tier 7 of 9 Quality of Service Class Identifiers (QCIs).

This indicates the priority level of the carrier on T-Mobile’s network compared to T-Mobile specific plans. This means they’re at a higher priority compared to MVNOs on Verizon or AT&T’s networks. As such, you may experience higher speeds while being deprioritized than other MVNOs.

Image courtesy of Mint Mobile’s website

Mint Mobile keeps your phone locked for the first year after purchase. After, you must request to have your phone unlocked. Taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price. 

5GB

5GB of full speed data is included before you get unlimited data at slow speeds. 

This plan gives you 5GB of data and mobile hotspot access. The plan is again deprioritized, then slows down to 2G speeds after the 5GB allotment. With 2G speeds, users can expect to send text messages and emails or scroll the internet, but streaming video or playing games will be difficult. Hotspot data comes from the 5GB and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $15 per month and $45 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 5GB for $3 per GB.

15GB 

You get 15GB of full speed data, then unlimited slow data. 

This plan gets you 15GB of full speed data and mobile hotspot data. This plan is also deprioritized and slowed down to 2G speeds after 15GB. Your hotspot data comes from the 15GB allotment and stops after 15GB. The plan costs $20 per month and $80 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 15GB at $1.33 per GB. 

20GB

This plan also gives you unlimited slow data after 20GB. 

As it says in the name, you get 20GB of full speed data. This plan is deprioritized, however, and it slows down to 2G speeds after you reach the 20GB cap. The plan also includes mobile hotspot capabilities. Data comes from the 20GB allotment and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $25 per month and $75 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 20GB at $1.25 per GB. 

Unlimited

Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan gives you 40GB before slowing down speeds. 

With Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan, you get 40GB of data. Your data is deprioritized, and it slows down to 3G speeds (512 kbps) after 40GB. At 3G, you can still send texts, send emails, and scroll through social media without too many issues. Streaming video might be a bit slower. While this may be a negative for those who use large amounts of data, most users use about 20GB of data per month or less, according to Ericsson Mobility. This plan also gives you 10GB of mobile hotspot data, allowing your phone to become a WiFi connection for other devices. Data stops after 10GB. 

The plan costs $30 per month, or $90 for the first 3 months. After that, the price is $40 per month. To get the same $30 per month deal, you need to buy 12 months worth of service. At this rate, you get 50GB at $0.60 per GB. 

Red Pocket Mobile Plans

While they offer more plans than Mint Mobile, their unlimited slow data after full speed limits is almost unusable. 

Red Pocket Mobile offers 8 plans. 4 of their plans are paid monthly, and others require you to pay for a full year of service. The annual plans are slightly cheaper, but you must commit to 12 months of service. All plans from Red Pocket Mobile are deprioritized.

Image courtesy of Red Pocket Mobile’s website

Red Pocket Mobile’s QCI tier varies depending on which service you choose. If you choose T-Mobile, which is listed on their website as GSMT, you’ll be on tier 7. The GSMA network, or AT&T, you'll be at tier 8. Verizon’s network, or CDMA, Red Pocket Mobile will have tier 9. 

Image courtesy of Red Pocket Mobile’s website

If you purchase your phone from Red Pocket Mobile, your device will be locked for 12 months after activation. You must submit a request to unlock your device. Taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price. 

1GB Plans

This plan gives you 1GB for $10, and includes mobile hotspot access. 

This plan, as listed, gives you 1GB of data per month. You can use all of the plan’s data as hotspot data. However, hotspot data stops after 1GB. Otherwise, you get data at 64 kilobits per second. This is incredibly slow – not even 2G speeds. You can send and receive emails or texts at this speed, but not much else. 

The annual version of this plan is $9 per month, or $99 annually. 

5GB Annual

This plan gives you 5GB per month for a year of service. 

While you pay for the entire year’s worth of service up front, you get 5GB of data each month. All plan data can be used as hotspot data. You get unlimited slow data after the 5GB, but hotspot data is capped. 

The plan costs $15 per month and $180 annually. At this rate, you get 5GB per month at $3 per GB.

5GB Monthly

This plan gives you 5GB per month, and you pay monthly instead of annually. 

This plan gives you 5GB per month. All plan data is usable as hotspot data. Again, the plan gives you unlimited slow data at 64 kbps after the initial cap.

The plan costs $20 per month. At this rate, you get 5GB per month at $4 per GB. 

20GB Annual

This plan also gives you unlimited slow data after the 10GB cap.

You get 20GB per month for a year of service. Again, your plan gives you the ability to use all plan data as hotspot data. While you get unlimited slow data at 64 kbps after 20GB, you cannot use hotspot data after this cap. 

The plan costs $25 per month and $300 annually. At this rate, you get 20GB per month at $1.25 per GB.

20GB Monthly 

This plan gives you 20GB for $30 per month. 

With this plan, you get 20GB per month. Again, this can be used as hotspot data until the cap. Afterwards, you get unlimited slow data without hotspot access. 

The plan costs $30 per month. At this rate, you get 20GB at $1.50 per GB. 

Unlimited Annual

This plan offers their highest data allotment.

As one of Red Pocket Mobile’s biggest plans, this plan offers 30GB per month for a year. You also get hotspot access for all plan data until the cap. Much like other plans they offer, you get unlimited slow data at 64 kbps after the cap. 

The plan costs $30 per month, or $360 annually. At this rate, you get 30GB per month at $1 per GB.

Unlimited Monthly 

This plan is Red Pocket Mobile’s most expensive plan. 

Red Pocket Mobile offers you 30GB per month with this plan. Like their other plans, you get to use all plan data as hotspot data until the cap. After, you get unlimited slow data.

The plan costs $40 per month. At this rate, you get 30GB at $1.33 per GB.

Features

Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile offer similar features, but Mint Mobile offers more features overall. 

If you’re looking for a plan with more included features, such as international connection or domestic roaming data, it’s best to compare carriers with what they offer. Mint Mobile offers more features with their plans overall, but Red Pocket Mobile offers several similar features as well. 

Domestic Roaming Data

Both Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile do not offer this feature. 

Mexico & Canada Connection

Mint Mobile offers talk and text in Mexico and Canada included and roaming data at $0.06 per MB. Red Pocket Mobile offers talk and data in Mexico and Canada with all plans.

International Connection

Mint Mobile gives you international text included, while international talk and data are pay-per-use. International talk is $0.25 per minute, while international data is $0.20 per MB. Red Pocket Mobile offers international talk with all of their plans.

Video Streaming Quality

Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan streams at 480p Standard Definition, while their limited data plans stream at 4k Ultra High Definition. All Red Pocket Mobile plans offer 720p High Definition streaming.

Streaming Services

Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile do not offer this feature. 

Cloud Storage

Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile do not offer this feature. 

Device Financing

If you buy a phone from Mint Mobile, the carrier allows you to pay for your device in installments over time. Red Pocket Mobile does not offer this feature.

WiFi Calling

Both carriers offer WiFi calling, which allows you to send and receive phone calls over a WiFi connection rather than cellular reception. 

Spam Protection

Both Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile do not offer this feature. 

Free Trial

Mint Mobile offers a 7 day free trial. Red Pocket Mobile does not offer a free trial. 

Customer Service 

Mint Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile do not have physical stores, leaving all of their customer service to online support. 

Both Red Pocket Mobile and Mint Mobile are digital-only carriers, meaning they only offer customer support online. Red Pocket Mobile offers 24/7 chat support from a live agent, and Mint Mobile offers chat support between the business hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST every day of the week. 

The Verdict

Mint Mobile is the better carrier, as they offer more data and features. 

Mint Mobile offers better deals on data with additional features, which makes them the better deal. They offer more data with their plans, and faster data speeds after those caps. Overall, you’re going to get more out of your phone plan if you sign up with Mint Mobile instead. 

We’d recommend checking your data usage before committing to a plan.

Want to compare other carriers?

Really.com helps users compare between features, coverage, price, reviews, and more!

Are you still unsure which carrier to choose, or which phone plan to pick? Use really.com to compare your top choices and find the best deal to fit your needs. Really allows you to compare and sort between most phone plans on the market without the hassle!

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Mint Mobile 5GB Plan

5GB
data
5GB full-speed data
Hotspot access
All plan data (stops at 5GB)
Best for:
Light data users, those who mostly use WiFi
More Details

Mint Mobile 15GB Plan

15GB
data
15GB full-speed data
Hotspot access
All plan data (stops at 15GB)
Best for:
Light-average data users
More Details

Mint Mobile 20GB Plan

20GB
data
20GB full-speed data
Hotspot access
All plan data (stops at 20GB)
Best for:
Average data users
More Details

Red Pocket Unlimited Annual

Unlimited Annual
data
30GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 30GB)
Best for:
Average to heavy data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile 5GB Annual

5GB Annual
data
5GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 5GB)
Best for:
Light data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile 1GB Monthly

1GB Monthly
data
1GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 1GB)
Best for:
Lightest data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile 20GB Annual

20GB Annual
data
20GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 20GB)
Best for:
Average data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile 5GB Monthly

5GB Monthly
data
5GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 5GB)
Best for:
Light data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile 20GB Monthly

20GB Monthly
data
20GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 20GB)
Best for:
Average data users
More Details

Red Pocket Mobile Unlimited Monthly

Unlimited Monthly
data
30GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 30GB)
Best for:
Average to heavy data users
More Details

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your questions,
answered

does this phone service work everywhere?

Yep, we offer premium wireless service on the the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network. If you are in our dewi coverage areas, you’ll also get access to our decentralized phone network powered by the people which will give you even faster speeds and better coverage.

is there a contract?

Nope, it’s pay as you go.

is this prepaid?

yep! You put your card on file and prepay each month so that you never experience any disruption.

does my phone need to be unlocked?

Yep, but it’s super easy to unlock your device as long as it’s paid off. Chat with us and a real human can help you here.

what if I want a new phone?

We have some recommendations on what we think you should get, from iPhones to Droids. Check out our list here which includes affordable places online to get a good deal.

what does decentralized wireless (dewi) mean?

It means we are building a phone network that is powered by the people. Your neighbors put small radios on their roof and help extend the phone network to cover deadzones™ and get even faster speeds. Right now our DeWi network is available in Austin, but we’ll be expanding to other cities REALLY soon. Learn more about DeWi here.

can I keep my phone number?

yup! you can port your current number in a snap. need help? hit up your VIP concierge.