Mint Mobile is one of the many prepaid cell phone services here in the US. It’s also now an MVNO and brand of T-Mobile after the recent acquisition of Ka’ena. In this post, I’ve tried to break down Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile features and performance to see which is worth getting.
T-Mobile no doubt will be the clear winner for the most part, considering it’s a Major Carrier with its own towers. However, Mint still leads in some areas, like when looking to cut down your monthly phone bill.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: A Summary of the Cell Phone Providers
|Type of Service||Prepaid||Postpaid & Prepaid|
|5G Download Speeds||600+Mbps||1100+Mbps|
|LTE Download Speeds||110+Mbps||300+Mbps|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$15/ month||$10/ month|
|Unlimited data||YES (with cap)||YES (without cap)|
|Free calls to Mexico/ Canada Call||YES||YES|
|Extra Perks||6-Month Free Service||Free Netflix, Apple TV+, In-flight service, & AAA membership|
Even before we jump to the main comparison, you can see in the chart Mint Mobile packs some quite amazing perks. The cheapest plan at $15 is a great deal as you not only get unlimited talk, texting, and 5GB of high-speed data. But you can also call your family in Canada and Mexico FREE of charge.
The $15 and other prices on the Mint website do not include the taxes and surcharge fees. However, in the Mint Mobile reviews, we saw these additional charges are between $1 to $3/ month.
Of course, the hiding of taxes is not just a thing of the Mint. Even T-Mobile has posted the pricing of most of its phone plans before the taxes and additional fees. It’s only the more expensive postpaid subscriptions that have the listed prices as all you pay.
The T-Mobile postpaid service is pricier than prepaid packages as it includes more perks, starting with “truly’ unlimited high-speed data. Thus, you get to browse, stream videos, or download files as much as you want.
Furthermore, T-Mobile is one of the phone companies that give free phones when you switch or add a line. The free phones include high-end brands, as well as the latest series with 5G connectivity and digital SIM (eSIM).
Comparing Features & Perks of the Cell Phone Providers
Overall, there is so much to cover when comparing Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile. But to keep everything short, I’m only going to focus on the most crucial points:
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: Network Coverage
Mint Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile, which means the two use the same cell towers to connect their subscribers. T-Mobile currently leads on the 5G coverage across the US, beating AT&T and T-Mobile in the race.
Sadly, T-Mobile still has limited cell towers deep in remote/ rural areas. A perfect example is various areas of Oregon and other Midwestern/ Northwestern regions.
In these areas with limited T-Mobile coverage, Mint Mobile also gets affected, leaving the subscribers with weak to no signals.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: Network Roaming
In the areas without native coverage, T-Mobile phones continue to work through its roaming partners. Back in 2021, some roaming partners of T-Mobile were AT&T, US Cellular, Viaero, Commnet, Union, Cellular One, and West Central Wireless. The carrier may be still roaming on them today, but I can’t verify for now.
The best part is that T-Mobile doesn’t charge for domestic roaming service. If traveling in Canada and Mexico, you also get to use your T-Mobile device at no additional cost. Then, the other countries have international roaming rates from as low as $0.25/ minute.
As for Mint Mobile, there is still no domestic roaming at the time of writing. However, the MVNO does have international roaming with its UpRoam Credit credits that go for $5, $10, & $20.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: Browsing Data Speed
T-Mobile is the clear winner here, as you can record up to 1100Mbps when connecting on its 5G Ultra-Capacity network. The 4G LTE can also be great when there’s no network congestion, with a possibility to hit up to 300Mbps on the high-capacity spectrum.
Nevertheless, the T-Mobile network is often congested most times of the day. So, you’re most likely to get data speeds around 100 – 400Mbps on 5G and under 100Mbps on the LTE network.
As for Mint Mobile, you can expect a data speed of 50 – 110Mbps on 4G LTE during cool days without heavy traffic. The data speeds on 5G are also great, peaking over 500Mbps, with the fastest I’ve seen at 630Mbps.
That said, Mint Mobile is a low priority of the T-Mobile network, where the service gets deprioritized during congestion. So, don’t be surprised when you notice 130 – 200Mbps on 5G and as slow as 5 – 10Mbps on 4G LTE.
Mint Mobile vs T-Mobile: Phone Plans & Pricing
When we compare T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile phone plan structure, they’re both budget-friendly, with the latter as cheap as $10. But Mint’s fifteen bucks has more features than you would get with T-Mobile around the same price. See below:
Chart 2:Mint Mobile cell phone plan structure
|Features||4GB Plan||10GB Plan||15GB Plan||Unlimited Plan|
|3-Month Introductory Pack||$45 ($15/ mo.)||$60 ($20/ mo.)||$75 ($25/ mo.)||$75 ($30/ mo.)|
|3-Month Regular Subscription||$75 ($25/ mo.)||$105 ($35/ mo.)||$135 ($45/ mo.)||$120 ($40/ mo.)|
|6-Month Subscription||$120 ($20/ mo.)||$150 ($25/ mo.)||$210 ($35/ mo.)||$210 ($35/ mo.)|
|12-Month Subscription||$180 ($15/ mo.)||$240 ($20/ mo.)||$300 ($25/ mo.)||$360 ($30/ mo.)|
|Mobile Hotspot||YES||YES||YES||YES (capped at 5GB)|
Chart 2.1 T-Mobile Postpaid Cell Phone Plan Structure
|Features||Essentials||Magenta||Go5G||Magenta MAX||Go5G Plus||Go5G Next|
|1 Line Price (w/ AutoPay)||$60/ mo.||$70/ mo.||$75/ mo.||$85/ mo.||$90/ mo.||$100/ mo.|
|2 Lines Price (w/ AutoPay)||$90/ mo.||$120/ mo.||$130/ mo.||$140/ mo.||$150/ mo.||$170/ mo.|
|3 Lines Price (w/ AutoPay)||$90/ mo.||$140/ mo.||$130/ mo.||$170/ mo.||$150/ mo.||$180/ mo.|
|4 Lines Price (w/ AutoPay)||$105/ mo.||$160/ mo.||$155/ mo.||$200/ mo.||$185/ mo.||$225/ mo.|
|5 Lines Price (w/ AutoPay)||$120/ mo.||$180/ mo.||$180/ mo.||$230/ mo.||$220/ mo.||$270/ mo.|
|Hotspot Data||Unlimited (3G speeds)||5GB (then 3G)||15GB (then 3G)||40GB (then 3G)||50GB (then 3G)||50GB (then 3G)|
|Canada/ Mexico Data||Unlimited (2G Speeds)||5GB (then 2G)||10GB (then 2G)||5GB (then 2G)||15GB (then 2G)||15GB (then 2G)|
|Simple Global||Texting Only||5GB Data, Texting||5GB Data, Texting||5GB Data, Texting||5GB Data, Texting||5GB Data, Texting|
|Free Netflix||N/A||YES (1 screen)||YES (1 screen)||YES (2 screens)||YES (2 screens)||YES (2 screens)|
|Free Apple TV+||N/A||YES (6 Months)||YES (6 Months)||YES||YES||YES|
Chart 2.2: T-Mobile Prepaid cell phone plan structure
|Features||Connect at $10||Connect at $15||Connect at $35||10GB Prepaid||Unlimited Prepaid||Unlimited+ Prepaid|
|1 Line Price (before taxes)||$10/ mo.||$15/ mo.||$35/ mo.||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$60/ mo.|
|2 Lines Price (before taxes)||$20/ mo.||$30/ mo.||$70/ mo.||$70/ mo.||$80/ mo.||$90/ mo.|
|3 Lines Price (before taxes)||$30/ mo.||$45/ mo.||$105/ mo.||$100/ mo.||$110/ mo.||$120/ mo.|
|4 Lines Price (before taxes)||$40/ mo.||$60/ mo.||$140/ mo.||$130/ mo.||$140/ mo.||$150/ mo.|
|5 Lines Price (w/ AutoPay)||$50/ mo.||$75/ mo.||$175/ mo.||$160/ mo.||$170/ mo.||$180/ mo.|
|Free 5G Access||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Talk Minutes||1000 Minutes||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Text Messages||1000 texts||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|High-Speed Data||1GB||3.5GB||12GB||10GB (then 2G)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Hotspot Data||Share the 1GB||Share the 3.5GB||Share the 12GB||Share the 10GB||Unlimited (3G speeds)||10GB (then 3G)|
|Canada/ Mexico Data||N/A||$5/ mo. (call/ text)||$5/ mo. (call/ text)||$5/ mo. (call/ text/ data)||$5/ mo. (call/ text/ data)||$5/ mo. (call/ text/ data)|
|Calling to 70+ Countries||N/A||$15/ mo.||$15/ mo.||$15/ mo.||$15/ mo.||$15/ mo.|
Either Mint Mobile or T-Mobile could be the right cell phone service for you. It all depends on what you want and what you can afford to pay for every month.
If looking for the cheapest phone service without browsing much, the T-Mobile Prepaid Connect has plans from $10 (before taxes). The phone plan is still good for browsing as it comes with 1GB of high-speed data. But the data allowances on all the Connect plans are on a hard stop, which means no browsing after reaching your monthly limit.
Also, this would mean Mint Mobile is a more favorable choice if you need a cheap phone service you can also browse a little longer. The most basic phone plan gives you 4GB of high-speed data before getting throttled to unlimited 2G speeds. You also get to call Canada and Mexico free of charge.
Sadly, though, Mint Mobile is still yet to release monthly subscriptions for its service. All the phone plans can only be purchased as a bundle of three, six, or twelve months.