Mint Mobile, Who Even Owns It?
Mint Mobile was originally launched as Mint SIM in 2016 by the wireless provider Ultra Mobile. Ultra Mobile is an MVNO of T-Mobile which means it uses the T-Mobile network for coverage. Not surprisingly, Mint Mobile also uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G network towers for coverage with all of its wireless plans.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 25, 2019
- Mint Mobile’s Phone Plans Explained
- Mint Mobile Fine Print
- Mint Mobile Coverage
- Refer-A-Friend Program
- Drawbacks To Consider Before Subscribing To Mint Mobile
- Plan Summary
- Customer Service Number And Contact Info
- User Reviews
Mint Mobile’s Phone Plans Explained
Unlike traditional providers, Mint Mobile does not charge by the month. Instead, customers are required to pay for their service either 3, 6, or 12 months in advance. Since the plans get paid for in advance, they do not require a credit check. Mint Mobile did at one point in time offer pay by the month phone plans, but those were quietly discontinued in late 2018 and were never a point of emphasis.
Mint Mobile currently offers 4 phone plans, and all are available for purchase at the 3, 6, and 12-month interval time frames. Pricing for each plan option looks like this:
- 3-month pricing- $75 which averages out to $25/month
- 6-month pricing – $120 which averages out to $20/month
- 12-month pricing – $180 which averages out to $15/month
- 3-month pricing – $105 which averages out to $35/month
- 6-month pricing – $150 which averages out to $25/month
- 12-month pricing – $240 which averages out to $20/month
- 3-month pricing – $135 which averages out to $45/month
- 6-month pricing – $210 which averages out to $35/month
- 12-month pricing – $300 which averages out to $25/month
- 3-month pricing – $120 which averages out to $40/month
- 6-month pricing – $210 which averages out to $35/month
- 12-month pricing – $360 which averages out to $30/month
Potential Mint Mobile subscribers should be aware that Mint Mobile considers one month to be equal to 30 days of service. So the 12-month annual plan is for 360 days of service, not 365 days. Taxes and fees cost extra and are further explained later on in the article.
All Single Line 3-Month Plans Come With Special Introductory Pricing
Mint Mobile always offers special introductory pricing on its 3-month plans for new subscribers only. You can check out the introductory rates for each 3-month plan in the list below.
- 4GB plan – $15/month, $45 paid in full
- 10GB plan – $20/month, $60 paid in full
- 15GB plan- $25/month, $75 paid in full
- 35GB plan – $30/month, $90 paid in full
Family Plan Options
Unfortunately, Mint Mobile does not offer true family plans with group discounts. However, subscribers that have multiple lines can manage them all under a single account.
In early May of 2022, Mint Mobile updated how it handles its family plan offerings. Subscribers who want a family plan have the option to pay for their plan in quarterly installments, but only if they buy one of Mint Mobile’s annual plans. Mint Mobile calls this the “Mint Modern Family Plan.” For all other plan options, nothing has changed. Customers must still continue to pay the full price of their plan all at once.
A maximum of 5 lines are allowed in a Mint Mobile family plan. Each line in a family can be subscribed to its own plan.
A Mint Mobile family plan must have a primary account holder that serves as the head of the family. The primary account holder will be responsible for paying for every line in the family plan account.
In order to have a Mint Mobile family plan, autopay billing must be enabled, and it cannot be disabled. Customers with an annual plan that leave their family plan will automatically be billed for the remaining balance due on their plan. They will forfeit their ability to pay for their plan in quarterly installments.
The quarterly installment price of each Mint Mobile Modern Family annual plan option is in the list below.
- 4GB – $45 due every 3-months
- 10GB – $60 due every 3-months
- 15GB – $75 due every 3-months
- 35GB (unlimited) – $90 due every 3-months
Mint Mobile Has A 7-Day Free Trial Plan Available
If you’re not sure you want to go all-in on a longer-term plan you can grab Mint Mobile’s starter plan. Mint Mobile’s starter plan offers prospective customers 7 days of service that includes 250 minutes, 250MB of 4G LTE/5G data, and 250 text messages for $5. The kit comes with a 3-in-1 SIM card. Customers will be given a temporary number to use to evaluate the service. At the conclusion of the trial if the subscriber is not happy with their service they can request a refund. If the customer is happy with the service, the $5 they spent on the trial kit can be applied towards the purchase of any multi-month plan they like, including the introductory offers that Mint Mobile makes available to new subscribers. The trial kit can often be found on Amazon on sale for $0.99 and directly through the Mint Mobile website at its regular rate. Customers with an eSIM-compatible phone can take a test drive with Mint Mobile for free by not having to pay for the 3-in-1 SIM kit. A credit card will still be needed for the trial, but you will not be billed for the trial.
What Plan Features Are Supported By Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile offers all the same basic standard features that are offered by most providers and a few others that are not. All Mint Mobile subscribers get the following features included with their plans:
- Unlimited text messaging
- Unlimited calling
- WiFi calling – use WiFi for your phone calls and text messages when you have no cell signal
- HD Voice/VoLTE calling – high definition voice calls
- International calling to Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited data at 2G data speeds once the high-speed allotment is consumed
- Text message spam filters
- There’s an app available on both iOS and Android that can be used to manage your account
- Money back guarantee
- Plan recommendations – users on Mint Mobile’s 35GB unlimited plan will receive a notification if they aren’t using enough data to warrant subscribing to the plan
— MintMobile (@Mintmobile) November 9, 2020
A word about Mint Mobile’s spam filters. Under section 8.4 of their terms and conditions, Mint states that they use filters to block spam messages. They also state that they cannot guarantee that customers will not receive spam or other unsolicited messages and absolve themselves of any liability for such messages that a customer may receive.
The money back guarantee states that customers who cancel service for any reason within 7 days of activation can get a full refund which includes the refund of any applicable fees or taxes. Any applicable shipping charges will not be refunded.
A few different plan add-ons are available. Customers that run out of high-speed data during a billing cycle can add more. A 1GB data top-up is available priced at $10 and there is a 3GB top-up for $20. Data top-ups are only good for one 30-day plan cycle and do not rollover. The data top-ups are available for use on all plans except for the 35GB data plan. The 35GB plan has its own data top-ups, $15 for an additional 5GB and $20 for an additional 10GB.
Add-ons are also available to call more countries internationally. International calling rates vary by country.
Mint Mobile supports international roaming. So if you’d like to use your phone in another country you can but it will cost you extra money. If you need international roaming you’ll have to purchase an UpRoam plan add-on. UpRoam add-ons are available for $5, $10 and $20 denominations. With international roaming enabled, subscribers will pay $0.05 to send SMS text messages, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per MB of data consumed while traveling abroad. Receiving SMS text messages are free. There are special roaming rates available while traveling in either Canada or Mexico. It costs $0.06 per MB of data consumed, $0.02 per SMS text message, and $0.06 per minute to use your phone in either of those two countries. International roaming credits do not expire and roll over to your next billing cycle.
Mint Mobile Fine Print
Plan Feature Limitations
All plans include hotspot, however, customers on the plan with 35GB of high-speed data can only use 5GB of their monthly data allotment for hotspot. On all other plans, customers can use all their data for hotspot if they’d like.
Unlimited Is Not Unlimited!
Mint Mobile has named each of its phone plans by the amount of high-speed data that includes. The only plan that is not named this way is their 35GB data plan. Mint calls this plan “Unlimited.” Many people would consider an “unlimited plan” to be one that includes unlimited high-speed data. This plan does not. Another thing to note about this 35GB data plan is that video streaming is limited to a resolution of 480p.
There’s An Odd Data Throttling Policy
Nearly all carriers have a data throttling policy where customers’ data speeds slow down for the remainder of their billing cycles if they go over their high-speed data allotments. Mint Mobile is no different.
For all plans but Mint Mobile’s 35GB data plan, data speeds get reduced to 128Kbps after the plan’s high-speed allotment gets reached. For the 35GB plan, data speeds get reduced to 128Kbps after the high-speed data threshold is reached but can be further reduced to 64Kbps if Mint Mobile determines a customer is using data excessively.
During times of network congestion, data speeds may be temporarily slowed down compared to other customers on Mint’s parent network, T-Mobile, until the network congestion gets relieved. In a very limited number of locations where the network is always congested, subscribers may have permanently slower data speeds than they may be used to.
You’ve Got 45 Days
Customers that pick up a Mint Mobile SIM card in a retail store or order one online need to keep in mind one very important fact. You can’t order a SIM card and just sit on it. According to Mint Mobile’s terms and conditions, customers must activate their SIMs within 45 days of purchasing. If they are not activated within that time frame, Mint Mobile states that they reserve the right to suspend or terminate service. For SIM cards that are not subjected to the 45-day rule, Mint reserves the right to inactivate SIMs 3-months after their original purchase.
Hidden Taxes And Fees
Mint Mobile does not charge an activation fee, but they do charge taxes and fees not listed in their advertised prices. The type of taxes and fees assessed include:
- Recovery Fee – assessed to help Mint recover costs associated with various federal and state programs
- Federal Universal Service Fund Fee
- State Universal Service Fund Fee
- Sales and Use Taxes
- 911 Fee
Mint Mobile’s recovery fee is explained in their terms and conditions. Briefly, for the 3GB, 8GB and 12GB plans the Recovery Fee is calculated as a flat fee of $3.75 for a 3-month plan; $6.75 for a 6-month plan; and $11.75 for a 12-month plan. For the 35GB “Unlimited” plan, the Recovery Fee is calculated as a flat fee of $5.50 for a 3-month plan; $8.75 for a 6-month plan; and $16.25 for a 12-month plan. A flat per-transaction fee ($0.50 for service charges of $10.00 or less and $1.00 for service charges of $10.01 or more) may apply for non-plan service purchases (e.g., 4G LTE/5G data add-ons). A flat fee per transaction of 2.5% will also be applied to help recover other administrative fees.
Mint Mobile Coverage
Mint Mobile has access to all of T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G network towers to provide coverage to its subscribers. However, coverage with Mint Mobile may not be identical to coverage that you would get by being on a T-Mobile Postpaid plan. T-Mobile’s Postpaid customers have access to other carriers’ networks. Other networks are used to provide coverage to T-Mobile’s Postpaid customers in areas where T-Mobile does not have its own network towers. This coverage feature is called roaming. Mint Mobile customers don’t have roaming access and are restricted to using T-Mobile’s native network for coverage. So there is a small difference in coverage between being a Mint Mobile customer and T-Mobile Postpaid customer. Mint Mobile does have a coverage map set up on their website so you can check out exactly where you’ll have coverage if you switch over to their service.
Mint Mobile offers a refer-a-friend program. Subscribers that like to share referral codes online can earn themselves a year or more of free service. A maximum of 10 referral credits can be earned by a subscriber per calendar year. Mint Mobile offers more money for each friend that gets referred.
Subscribers that refer one friend will earn a $25 account credit. If a second friend is referred the account credit increases to $30. For a third friend the credit increases to $35, friend number four is $40 and friend number five is $110. If five friends are referred the subscriber earns a total of $240 in account credits which is good for a free year of service on the 8GB plan. If a sixth friend is then referred, the credits reset back to the beginning so that the sixth friend is equal in value to the first one ($25). The credits then go back up for referrals 7-10 as they would for referrals 2-5.
Each friend that signs up through a Mint Mobile referral link earns themself a $15 account credit.
Some Potential Drawbacks To Consider Before Subscribing To Mint Mobile
Customers are free to leave the Mint Mobile network at any time. But if they do it before their plan expires, they will forfeit their remaining months of service and effectively lose money since those months were paid for in advance.
Other drawbacks subscribers may want to consider before making a long-term commitment to a multi-month plan provider are the opportunity costs that may be involved. This is especially true if the 12-month plan is being considered.
Every few weeks new and exciting offers come out from competing providers. Sometimes those offers may provide for a better deal than a Mint Mobile multi-month plan. For instance, it’s fairly common for wireless providers to offer new subscribers a free month of service or even $50 to $200 in cashback or rewards/gift cards just for subscribing. Free phone and bonus data offers are also common. New service providers also come into the market from time to time and they could potentially offer better rates. And of course, spending big money upfront on a phone plan is money that could potentially be spent elsewhere, or saved and invested. Those are some of the opportunity costs one must consider before deciding to commit to a multi-month wireless plan.
If you are ok with the potential drawbacks associated with Mint Mobile, they do offer some of the best bang for the buck value around. You can see for yourself by comparing them to the other cheapest plan providers on the market.
A Summary Of Mint Mobile Phone Plans
Last Updated: May 13, 2022
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts
- Hotspot 10GB
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts
- Hotspot 5GB
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited Texts
- Hotspot 15GB
Mint Mobile Overview
Year Founded: 2016
Networks Used: T-Mobile
Support For BYOD: Yes
Sells Phones: Yes
All Taxes And Fees Included In Price? No
Online Payment Options: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, PayPal