Mint Mobile Review, My 4 Month Trial

Mint Mobile Review
Mint Mobile Review

By Last Updated: Mar 15, 2020


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Mint Mobile Overview

Mint Mobile is an MVNO that uses T-Mobile's network to provide service to its subscribers.  A T-Mobile compatible phone, AT&T unlocked or universally unlocked phone  is required to use the network.

Mint Mobile launched in 2016 as Mint SIM.  It was rebranded in May of 2018 to Mint Mobile.  The name change was done to help make the brand name more recognizable as a company that sells phone plans, and not just SIM cards.

The Mint Mobile brand is owned and operated by Ultra Mobile.  Ultra Mobile has been in business since 2012.  It is another MVNO that runs on the T-Mobile network.  Ultra Mobile specializes in offering international calling and texting services.  Mint Mobile, on the other hand, focuses on offering low-cost phone plans with bulk pricing primarily for domestic use.

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(Disclosure: I was not paid or asked to do this review.  However, when applicable, affiliate links are used within the post).

Mint Mobile's Phone Plans Are Sold With Bulk Pricing

Mint Mobile sells phone plans with bulk pricing.  That means subscribers must signup and pay for service several months in advance.  New customers can choose to signup for 3, 6 or 12 months of service.  Those that are apprehensive about committing to an MVNO for several months have the option to first purchase a Mint Mobile starter kit.  The starter kit costs just $5 and includes a 7-day risk free limited trial with a 100% money-back guarantee.  The kit comes with 100 minutes, 100 text messages and 100MB of data, which should be enough to allow you to know if network coverage is sufficient in your area.

Phone Plan Prices

(Updated 2/4/2019 to show Mint Mobile wireless plans now include more data than ever before)

(Updated 11/11/19 to mention limited time promotion from Mint Mobile)

3GB Multi-Month Plans

  • 3-month pricing- introductory offer of $15/month, $45 due up front.  Regular pricing is $25/month.
  • 6-month pricing - $20/month with $120 due up front.
  • 12-month pricing - $15/month with $180 due up front

8GB Multi-Month Plans

  • 3-month pricing - introductory offer of $20/month, $60 due up front.  Regular pricing is $35/month.
  • 6-month pricing - $25/month with $150 due up front.
  • 12-month pricing - $20/month with $240 due up front

12GB Multi-Month Plans

  • 3-month pricing - introductory offer of $25/month, $75 due up front.  Regular pricing is $45/month.
  • 6-month pricing - $35/month with $210 due up front.
  • 12-month pricing - $25/month with $300 due up front

11/11/19 - for a limited time all Mint Mobile 3-month plans are just $15/month.

All plans include unlimited talk, text and data with the specified amount of data at 4G LTE data speeds.  WiFi calling and texting, mobile hotspot and free international calling to Mexico and Canada are included with each plan.  VoLTE calling is also available with a supported phone.

My Experience With And Review Of Mint Mobile

I initially purchased the 3 month plan with 2GB of data and introductory pricing directly from Mint Mobile.   I was charged $45 for the plan, $5 to ship the SIM card, plus an additional $3.57 in telecom taxes and fees.  In total, the plan ended up costing me $53.57 for the 3 months of service.

Mint Mobile's 3 In 1 SIM Card Kit With 3 Months Of 2GB Data
Mint Mobile's 3 In 1 SIM Card Kit With 3 Months Of 2GB Data

I used an unlocked 64 GB Motorola G4 Plus for the review.  My service was maintained for over 4 months and I refilled my plan twice using Mint Mobile's single month plan with 2GB of data that is only available to current customers.  My single month renewals cost me $35 plus tax each time I renewed them.  That is significantly more expensive when compared to other providers that offer plans with the same amount of data  The multi-month plans, on the other hand, offer some of the best value around. (Update - since the review was first published, Mint Mobile discontinued its pay by the month plan option.)

Initial Impressions

I received my 3 in 1 SIM card kit in the mail and set it aside where it went unopened for weeks.  After about a month I received an email from Mint Mobile telling me that the SIM card needed to be activated within 45 days of purchase or it would become non-refundable and inactive.  Since about 30 days had passed since ordering the SIM card I started the account creation and activation process.

Account Registration, Porting My Number In and Line Activation

Mint Mobile lets you activate your service before you create an online account.  The online account creation was the next step that I was prompted to take care of immediately after I activated my line of service.  Mint Mobile requires you to have a strong password with a mandate to include at least one symbol in it.  I used Dashlane to create a password for me.

I popped out the appropriate SIM card from the 3 in 1 kit to fit into my Moto G4 Plus.  The phone was supposed to automatically be provisioned with the proper MMS, data and cellular settings after inserting the SIM card.  For some reason, no matter what I did I could not get my phone to work.  I could not get a signal.  I tried Mint Mobile's recommended APN settings and it still wouldn't work.  I also removed and reinserted my SIM several times.  After about an hour of trying, I had come to the conclusion that perhaps the SIM card just wasn't the right fit.  Fortunately, I have several SIM card adapters laying around from other reviews that I have done.  So I removed the adapter from the SIM that came with Mint Mobile and put one of my spares on it.  When I put the SIM back in my phone, I finally got a signal.  So clearly, their adapter and KIT for whatever reason, weren't a match for my phone.

Once I got a signal, I received a notification from Mint Mobile to automatically configure my APN settings.  I also received a Voicemail from Mint Mobile.  When I clicked on my voicemail notification, my phone dialed into my voicemail, and I was prompted with step by step setup instructions on how to configure it.  This is the first time that I have encountered such a thing in all of my reviews, and it certainly was welcomed.

I don't know how long it took to port my number in from Tello, which was the MVNO that I was using prior to switching to Mint Mobile.  However, once I got my SIM card properly working with my phone, my number had already been transferred.  At most, the number porting process could have taken one hour.

Account Dashboard

Mint Mobile's Account Dashboard Is Easy To Navigate
Mint Mobile's Account Dashboard Is Easy To Navigate

Mint Mobile has a nice account dashboard.  It is pretty straight forward and informative.  It's very easy to recharge your account and to configure plan options such as enabling WiFi talk and text.  One area where it may fall short for some is that it does not give you call or text logging history.  The only MVNO that I have reviewed thus far to offer those two features is Tello.  Mint Mobile's dashboard also does not tell you how much high-speed data that you have left.  This is an easy fix and something I'd like to see Mint Mobile take care of.  Data logging for many will be even more important than call and text history logging.

For those of you who don't want to manage your account through a web browser, Mint Mobile has an app.  The app fortunately and unfortunately has the same strengths and pitfalls of the online account dashboard.  They are basically a mirror image of each other, although there are some inconsistencies between the two.  For instance, through the dashboard in your web browser, you would click on "UpData" if you want to add more high speed data to your account.  For the app you would click on High Speed Data under the heading of Buy More.  In the web account dashboard you need to click on Billing Info to change your payment options, while in the app you simply click on "Payment Method."  Although both the app and web portal allow you to configure the same options and settings, the naming of each setting and option in the app is more straightforward and easy to understand.  Mint Mobile may want to work on unifying the two interfaces instead of having different names for the same options between the app and web interface.

Mint Mobile's App Doesn't Follow Same Naming Conventions As Web Account Dashboard
Mint Mobile's App Doesn't Follow Same Naming Conventions As Web Account Dashboard

Data Speeds And Consumption

If you have read my other reviews, you know I like to go over data usage and speeds first.  For many, data speeds are the most important part of the review.  So let's see how Mint Mobile's service performed in my area.

Mint Mobile 4G LTE Data Speeds Tested
Mint Mobile 4G LTE Data Speeds Tested

I ran over 42 speed tests during my trial.  The tests were done on different days of the week and at varying times.  About 95% of the tests were done where I live, while an estimated 5% were done in a small neighboring city.  If any speed test came up with what seemed like unusually low speeds, the test was repeated using a different server.  If confirmed, the higher of the two speed tests was retained while the other thrown out.  Taking all those variables into consideration, my download speeds averaged out to 13.72 Mbps, upload 6.67 Mbps with an average ping time of 57.4 ms.   Download speeds had a high of 58 Mbps and a low of 0.9 Mbps.  Upload speeds topped out at 30.8 Mbps with a low of 0.11 Mbps.  Ping times had a high of 186 ms with a low of 46 ms.  Download and upload speeds did vary quite a bit.  One day I'd hit a download speed of 15.1 Mbps and the next 1.3 Mbps.  Download and upload speeds were the highest when I went to a neighboring city and that's when I topped out at 58 Mbps for download and 30.8 Mbps for upload.

The speed tests should be taken with a grain of salt.  If you subscribe to Mint Mobile, it's probably not fair to expect that you'll record the same speeds as I did.  Many variables affect your data speeds including your cell signal strength, your phone, and how congested the network is in your area.  The wide variability in data speeds that I experienced, and the big difference in speeds that I noted while in a neighboring city show the impact that a congested network can have on your data speeds.  During times of network congestion, MVNO customers tend to have a lower speed priority compared to those on a postpaid plan on the parent network.

For my day to day usage, in the real world, I did not notice any of the speed differences.  I didn't notice them while I browsed the web.  I spent the summer months following a 12 week 5k training program.  The program had me running 4 times a week, with some runs lasting over an hour.  I took my phone out with me on every run to stream music from either Pandora, Spotify or Amazon Music.  Not one time did I ever experience any issues with music buffering or what I would perceive to be low-quality audio.  So for my needs, data speeds were just fine.

I did not watch many videos over the course of the test.  I did not have any complaints about the limited amount of YouTube videos I watched.

Unfortunately, the app I use to track my data usage did not seem to be tracking properly.  I therefore relied heavily on Android's built-in data tracking to get an estimate of how much data I consumed during the trial.  It's estimated that I only used about 4GB.

Tethering/Mobile Hotspot

I only tried tethering/mobile hotspot out for the purpose of the review.  When I tried it out, I connected my pc to my phone by the phone's hotspot.  I tried watching video on YouTube at various resolutions.   Things did not go as smoothly as I would have liked.

When the resolution was set to 480p, the video simply wasn't smooth enough.  There was too much buffering and starting and stopping going on to be enjoyable.  I had to drop the resolution down to 360p to be watchable.  I watched about 30 minutes of video.  I also tried browsing the web during my test.  Things were just a tad slow.   When I was done, I disabled the hotspot and checked the data speeds on my phone.  They were coming in at right around 1 Mbps download, so the network was probably a bit busy during my test.  I imagine if it wasn't, I'd have a better hotspot experience.  I may give this another try before I port out when my speed tests give higher download speeds.

Voice Calls And Text Messaging

During the course of the review, I logged 290 minutes worth of calls with 138 of those minutes used for dialing out.  I had good reception and no issues anywhere that I used the phone.

Mint Mobile supports VoLTE and so does my phone.  All of my calls were VoLTE.  The MVNO also supports WiFi calling and texting although I could not find any settings in my phone to turn it on.  I did enable it in my Mint Mobile account dashboard, which is something that you must do to activate the feature.  It's possible the particular ROM I was using during the review did not support the feature for one reason or another.

Over 2,500 text messages were either sent or received during the trial period.  As far as I'm aware all SMS and MMS messages were sent and received without issue.

Customer Support

I did not do a thorough investigation of Mint Mobile's customer support.  Mint Mobile is owned and operated by Ultra Mobile, and I have previously reviewed Ultra Mobile and their customer support system.  The support experience between the two companies should be the same.  Both offer email support, support over the phone and chat support.  Chat support is a bit unique compared to other providers in that it is not powered by a real person.  Artificial intelligence is used to answer your questions.  When the chat bot cannot answer your questions, it asks you for your name, email address and to describe your problem which then gets forwarded to a real person.  I used the Mint Mobile chat bot, and it did not seem to work any different than how it did when I tested Ultra Mobile.  I also called into the support line a few times just to see how quickly someone answered the phone.  Phone calls were answered quick although I had to press a button or two to get through their menu system.  Mint Mobile's automated recording answering system is slightly different than Ultra Mobile's in that the recordings use the same sort of humor that Mint Mobile likes to employ on its website and in its marketing campaigns.  Once you get through it, customer support answered the phone pretty much instantly, just like with Ultra Mobile.  Given all that, I factored in my my prior experience with Ultra Mobile's phone support and have decided to rate Mint Mobile the same in the ratings section below.

Shop Mint Mobile

Ratings

7.4 / 10 Overall Rating
Pros
  • Mint Mobile Offers Some Of The Cheapest Plans Around
  • Easy to use account dashboard
  • WiFi calling and texting and VoLTE are supported on Android and iOS.
  • Visual voicemail available on iOS.
  • User accounts require strong and secure passwords
  • No problems with dropped calls or sending and receiving text messages
  • Mobile app to manage your account
Cons
  • Data speeds were a bit inconsistent, only really noticeable to me when I setup a mobile hotspot to use with my pc
  • Online account dashboard layout and naming system differs from the app
  • Dashboard does not tell me how much high-speed data I have remaining for the month
  • Online chat support is handled by a bot, not a live person
  • Subscribers must signup for service for several months in advance in order to get significant savings compared to other providers
Account Dashboard Ease Of Use9
Download Speeds6
Upload Speeds6
Customer Support Help7
Customer Support Response Speed6
Network Coverage8
Price/Value10

Shop Mint Mobile


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miles
miles
4 months ago

is mint still having problems with phones not ringing to some incoming calls, instead going to voicemail. and are they still having problems with said voicemails being delivered hours later or not at all? thanks.

miles
miles
4 months ago
Reply to  miles

reading other comments cements my view of mint mobile: avoid at all costs.

ps. my phone is a moto g5 plus, showed back in 2018 as it does now, that it is compatible although agents told me it was my phone causing the non ringing and delayed voicemails

jennier lawrence
jennier lawrence
4 months ago

After 3 weeks of trying to get this service working I asked for a refund and went to Verizon- The one thing they fail to mention is YOU MUST OWN YOUR PHONE if you are an AT&T customer– if you don’t forget it- AT&T will not let you go, and if your billing cycle is has not ended they will not let you go either– during this time if you want to transport your old number to mint you have to do it while still a customer at AT&T-which is very difficult b/c AT&T will not let you transport your number while still their customer and if you don’t do it while still their customer then you cannot transport your number– Anyway, without going into the three week headache of trying to make the switch it is just not as easy as they make it out to be- I’ll see how Verizon works- at least I did learn about SIM cards from mint- so something good came of it- but that about all

Wordsmith
Wordsmith
5 months ago

Have had MINT for 2 or 3 weeks now and it looks like I have been had. They can’t seem to decide whether my 4G LTE phone is compatible or not. 3 times prior to, and at the time of, activation, I am assured variously by website, bot, and human that my 4G LTE phone is absolutely compatible. So why can I not get my phone to work poperly? Why is it that, within walking distance of my home and in a large metropolitan area full of cell towers and T-Mobile sites, I get kicked into Roaming status?

So, for the past week or so, I’ve been trading emails with “RoboRoy Rafael” who seems to be the only person handling Customer service tech problems (?). RoboRoy tells me my phone is NOT compatible!!! So…, just to give it another check to see if my phone is or is not compatible, I go to the MINT website to check it again.

OOOoooh! WHOOPIE! It tells me CONGRATULATIONS! I’m ready to go. My phone can go to MINT and do it all.

If they don’t know what the fox they’re doing in their own sandbox, how can I trust them to be able to deal with my phone issues?

Bottom line? As far as I can see, Ryan Reynolds” buying MINT was just a ploy to drive people to drink to up his Gin value. Didn’t work. I’ll just spend my time sharing my horriffic experiences of rudeness and incompetence to warn others to think twice then, seriously think again.

There is, at this junction, an offer from MINT for a $5 “sample pak”. If you are willing to deal with the hassle of switching from your current service to MINT and dealing with the switchback if and when it doesn’t work for you, they will refund your five if it doesnt work.

Sometimes, though, promises are nothing more than idle chatter.

Isabel
Isabel
6 months ago

I have two lines and been with Mint for about 6 months or so now. My ONLY issue is with the sim cards. IMO they only last a few months. Then you will have no service on your phone prompting you to call customer service and get them to send you new sim cards which you will get in 5 to 7 days (yeah you will be without service for that time) until you install your new sim card. I’m still wrestling with the fact of, if paying such low prices a month is worth the aggravation every few months of all of a sudden having no service and having to order new sim cards.

Brandon
Brandon
6 months ago

Don’t let these bad comments deter you. I’ve had mint for over a year and no issues. Some people blame a phone company when they have a bad phone. That’s like blaming a DVD because your tvs pixels are all messed up. Great coverage great price. Not for everyone but I’d say it’s for many

CB
CB
7 months ago

There was an issue with my husband’s referral link, so we called multiple times when we were setting up our accounts to make sure he would still be able to get all of his referral credit for referring his sister and me. We were told by each agent we talked to that no matter what, if there was an issue later, we would be able to call back in and get him the credit if it didn’t go through properly. Fast forward to renewal time and his credit still has not come through. After talking with multiple agents over the last few days, we have now been told he will not be able to get his referral credits because they have no way of verifying who referred who and they apparently gave his credits to someone else and won’t reissue them to him. We are cancelling service and going with Tello instead.

Boris
Boris
8 months ago

If I could give it zero stars to Mint Mobile,I would! Absolute zero. Last year I switched from T-Mobile to Mint Mobile. Never had any issues with T-Mobile but charges of Mint Mobile were much lower.

Before to sign the contract with Mint Mobile I had free 3 months Mint Mobile promo plan, and everything worked perfectly. Then I signed a contract with Mint Mobile for 12 months. However, the problems began immediately. First – poor reception in NYC (sic!). Sometimes my iPhone shows missed calls notification. Second – there are times in NYC when the mobile internet is completely lacking on my iPhone or working extremely slow (speed like 2G). I am in frustration because in free 3 Month promo plan everything was OK. It is simply impossible to compare the work of T-mobile and Mint mobile. It’s even impossible to compare the work with Mint Mobile during the free 3-month promo…

p.s. I highly recommend to avoid Mint Mobile.

Ann
Ann
10 months ago

I got my son a phone with MINT Mobile about 1 year ago and it worked great. I then switched over 3 months ago and have had minor issues with the service. I do not use my phone as much as most people so this works perfectly for me. I am paying for 2 of the 3 gbs 12 month plans. If you are using your phone like it is life support and complaining please go back to paying the money. This is probably for individuals like me who REALLY want to same money and willing to take the headaches as they come. LOVE the service.

Wordsmith
Wordsmith
5 months ago
Reply to  Ann

DON’T BE RUDE! There are those who may well use their cell phone marginally, And then there are those who travel, who use their phone for work, who have medical issues and need to be able to contact someone in case of emergency…

Pawel
Pawel
11 months ago

In short: AVOID!

We noticed the buy 3 months get 3 for free promotion and decided to make use of it. We couldn’t decide between the 8GB and 12GB plan, but ended up going for the more expensive 12GB option. Stuff arrived on time and, after a few activation glitches, everything seemed to be working… Except mobile data wasn’t actually working at all, which my wife only found out a couple of days later when she tried using the phone away from our router.

We subsequently tried following the online instructions to get data to work, logged in to the app, which then got stuck on the “reset your password, error 400” screen. At which point we called the helpline.

While they were able to assist with the issue (resetting the iphone network settings plus some magic at their end did the trick) it then transpired that we weren’t actually getting the 3 months for free…

Why? Because, apparently, the offer only applied to the 8GB package 🙂 In my view a fairly blatant case of mis-selling as the page didn’t mention anywhere that by choosing the more expensive package we would no longer be eligible for promotion…

Now, you’d think that has a simple solution, right? Mint could easily just apply the 3 free months, solving the problem. Or they could downgrade us to the 8gb plan, returning the price difference, which would have also worked for us. I mentioned both of these options during my 45 minute phone call with a supervisor called Karen. Long story short, and for reasons she didn’t care to explain, mint is unable / unwilling to do either. And it gets better: because we called on the 8th day of “using” the service (even thought it was partially dysfunctional for the duration) apparently we are no longer able to cancel either – i.e. we were locked into the more expensive contract that was mis-sold to us for three months… Sweet!

I advised that I consider the transaction fraudulent and a blatant case of mis-selling, which made very little impression on Karen – i.e. it sounded like something they’re very used to… As such, I am now going through my credit card’s transaction dispute system and warning others to stay well away from mint – as I told Karen I would.

In summary: some cheap things are a bargain, in our experience, Mint mobile is the opposite. Proceed at your own risk!

Wordsmith
Wordsmith
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe Paonessa

Okay. Here’s one for you, Joe. Before I switched, I checked to make sure the phones in my household were compatible, I was assured they were. When the SIMs arrived, my son (a Computer Sciences major) activated the phones’ new service. At that time, speaking to a “live” person, he was again told the phones were compatible. GREAT! Let’s get this started. Now, a couple of weeks later, the phones still aren’t working properly. For days now, I’ve been trading emails with somebody in Australia or India or wherever and, today he tells me my phone is not compatible.

The only problem with that is the MINT website told me it WAS!
And, just to be sure, I went back to the website and, using my IMEI, I checked again. CONGRATULATIONS!!! the website tells me, all full of fake confetti and false cheer, my 4G LTE phone can do it all on MINT! Except…

…it can’t.

Wordsmith
Wordsmith
5 months ago
Reply to  Pawel

And they are ALWAYS offering me a credit! A total clusterfox. In the end it comes off as a cheap bait-and-switch. What’s that old saying… You get what you pay for? Word up, people.

Scott Tucker
Scott Tucker
11 months ago

NOT UNLIMITED VOICE – I have had Mint Mobile for 6 months. This month (Day 25) my service stopped. I called support who told me they stopped my service due to high number of minutes used. They could not tell me how many minutes is “too high”. They just told me to wait for 5 days until the new month had started.

Eric Jones
Eric Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Scott Tucker

That is quite disappointing. I would not be able to rely on Mint for my job or my family’s necessary communications.