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Mint Mobile vs. US Mobile: Which carrier is better?

By
Allison Radziwon
July 13, 2023

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Mint Mobile and US Mobile are popular prepaid carriers that offer a variety of plans at great prices. 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 US Mobile is on T-Mobile and Verizon networks. 

Mint Mobile and US 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 US Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile and Verizon. This means you can choose which network you prefer when signing up.  

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 deprioritzes data and offers unlimited slow data, while US Mobile offers premium data and stops data after the cap.

Both carriers give you unlimited talk and texting options with their plans, except for US Mobile’s 500 MB plan. However, US Mobile also offers a plan where you customize how much data you want, while Mint Mobile only offers specific data amounts. Mint Mobile deprioritizes data, meaning you may have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and shopping centers. US Mobile offers premium data, which does not slow during high traffic. However, their limited data plans stop your data connections after the cap, and Mint Mobile does not do this.

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. 

US Mobile Plans

US Mobile offers premium data and a flexible data plan, among others. 

US Mobile offers a variety of plans, including several unlimited and limited data plans. They also offer a plan with customizable data, where you buy as much data as you use. You can have an unlimited number of lines with your phone plan. US Mobile’s QCI tier on T-Mobile is 7 and tier 8 on Verizon. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

US Mobile offers premium data with their plans, which means your data will not slow down in times of high traffic or network congestion.

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

Their plans all include unlimited talk and text, except for the 500MB plan. This plan includes 500 minutes of voice and 500 text messages. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

If you purchase your phone from US Mobile, your device will be sold to you already unlocked. 

Image courtesy of US Mobile’s website

The plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are included with the advertised price. 

Kosher Plan

This plan only offers unlimited talk and text, no data. 

This plan doesn’t offer data. As such, users do not have hotspot access or the ability to stream video without WiFi. 

The plan costs $7.50 per month. 

Light Plan

This plan gives you 500 minutes and 500 text messages. 

This plan gives you 500MB, or 0.5GB of premium data. Your data will stop after this allotment is used. It can be used as hotspot data, but stops at the same cap. 

The plan costs $5 per month. At this rate, you get 500MB at $10 per GB. 

2GB

This plan gives you 2GB of premium data. 

Like other US Mobile plans, you get premium data with this plan. Data stops after 2GB. You can use all of your plan data as hotspot data.

The plan costs $10 per month, so $5 per GB.

6GB

This plan gives you 5GB before slowing down. 

This plan, like the others US Mobile offers, gives you premium data. Data then slows to 2G speeds. This plan also includes hotspot access with all plan data. 

The plan costs $18 per month. At this rate, you get 6GB at $3 per GB. 

12GB

This plan gives you hotspot access. 

12GB of premium data is included with this plan, and then data access stops at that cap. Hotspot access is also available. 

The plan costs $25 per month. At this rate, you get 12GB at $2.08 per GB. 

Shared Data

This plan gives you the option to choose how much data you pay for.

With US Mobile’s shared data plan, users can choose the exact amount of data they use and buy. After you run out of data, your speeds will slow to 2G speeds. This allows for browsing the internet and sending texts or emails, but streaming video or playing games will be difficult. The amount of data you purchase can also be used as hotspot data, and stops once you run out of your specific data allotment. 

The plan costs $9 per line per month, and $2 per GB. After you buy 30GB, this plan costs $16 per 10GB. 

Unlimited Starter

This plan gives you 20GB of premium before slowing down. 

The Unlimited Starter plan that US Mobile offers gives users 20GB of premium data to work with before slowing down to 2G speeds until the next month. This plan does not include hotspot access.

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

Unlimited Essentials 

This plan gives you 50GB premium data. 

The Unlimited Essentials plan is a slight upgrade from Unlimited Starter, which offers 50GB of premium data each month. Speeds slow to 2G after the cap. You also get 5GB of hotspot data, and that access stops once you hit your limit. 

This plan costs $40 per month for one line. You get 55GB per month for $0.73 per GB. 

Unlimited Premium

This plan gives you 100GB of premium data. 

As US Mobile’s biggest plan, this plan gives users 100GB of premium data. After 100GB, data slows to 2G speeds. This plan also gives you 50GB of hotspot data, which stops after the cap. Plans with 3+ lines also have access to several perks that US Mobile offers, such as streaming services and music subscriptions. Only one perk can be chosen at a time, but plans with 4+ lines can choose an additional perk. 

The plan costs $45 per month. At this rate, you get 150GB at $0.30 per GB.

Features

US Mobile offers perks for Unlimited Premium plans with more than 3 lines, and Mint Mobile offers similar perks for all plans. 

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. US Mobile offers perks, like streaming services or music services, with Unlimited Premium plans with more than 3 lines. You have over a dozen perks to choose from. Plans with 3+ lines can choose 1 perk, and lines with 4 or more can choose an additional one. If you have a different plan or an Unlimited Premium plan with less than 3 lines, you do not have access to these perks. 

Domestic Roaming Data

Mint Mobile does not include this feature. US Mobile offers domestic roaming on all plans except their No Data plan. 

Mexico & Canada Connection

Mint Mobile offers talk and text in Mexico and Canada included and roaming data at $0.06 per MB. US Mobile offers talk, text, 1GB of data in Canada and 3GB of data in Mexico for their Unlimited Premium Plan. They also offer call and text in their Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Essentials, and Shared Data plans. The rest of their plans require additional add-ons for connection in Mexico and Canada. Unlimited Starter, Essentials, and Shared Data also have access to these add-ons.

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. US Mobile offers international talk, text, and 10GB of data on Unlimited Premium plan. Their Unlimited Starter, Essentials, and Shared Data plans include international calling and texting. All other plans require additional add-ons for international connection. Unlimited Starter, Essentials, and Shared Data also have access to these add-ons.

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 US Mobile plans stream at 720p High Definition. 

Streaming Services

US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Apple TV+, Netflix Standard, Max, or a bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium.  Mint Mobile does not offer this feature. 

Music Services

US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Slacker Plus LiveXLive, Pandora Plus, Audible, Spotify Family, or Apple Music Family if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium. Mint Mobile does not offer this feature. 

Gaming Services

US Mobile allows you to choose between a subscription to Playstation Plus, XBox Live Gold, Stadia Pro, and Apple Arcade if you have not chosen another perk on a 3+ line plan of Unlimited Premium. Mint Mobile does not offer this feature. 

Cloud Storage

US Mobile and Mint 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. US 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

US Mobile and Mint Mobile do not offer this feature.  

Free Trial

Mint Mobile offers a 7 day free trial. US Mobile offers a 50 day free trial. 

Customer Service 

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

Mint Mobile is a digital-only carrier, meaning they only offer customer support online and over the phone. Mint Mobile offers chat support 24/7 and support over the phone at (800)-683-7392 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST every day of the week. US Mobile offers 24/7 support over the phone at 1(878)-205-0088, and over email at [email protected]

The Verdict

US Mobile’s Unlimited Premium plan is the best deal. 

With 100GB of premium data and 50GB of hotspot data at $45 per month, US Mobile’s Unlimited Plus plan is the best deal – especially if you travel often, as they give you international connection included. You may want to avoid this plan in favor of one with less data if you don’t travel often or use a lot of data in the first place, though, because most phone users use only 20GB per month

However, Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan beats US Mobile’s in terms of price per GB. Since they offer similar features, Mint Mobile offers the better deal here. If you aren’t someone who uses huge amounts of data, this plan works better. 

US Mobile and Mint Mobile offer very similar deals in terms of limited data plans, and both offer good deals.

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

Want to compare other carriers?

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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

Mint Mobile Unlimited Plan

Unlimited
data
40GB high-speed data, unlimited data at 512 kbps (3G speeds)
Hotspot access
10GB mobile hotspot data
Best for:
Heavy data users
More Details

US Mobile 1GB

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

US Mobile 6GB

6GB
data
6GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 6GB)
Best for:
Lighter data users
More Details

US Mobile 12GB

12GB
data
12GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at 12GB)
Best for:
Light data users
More Details

US Mobile Shared Data

Shared Data
data
$2 per GB
Hotspot access
All plan data (access stops at purchased allotment cap)
Best for:
Any users!
More Details

US Mobile Unlimited Premium

Unlimited Premium
data
100GB premium
Hotspot access
50GB
Best for:
Heaviest data users
More Details

US Mobile Unlimited Essentials

Unlimited Essentials
data
50GB premium
Hotspot access
5GB
Best for:
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 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.