Mint Mobile is an MVNO, or small carrier, that runs on T-Mobile’s robust network, giving you excellent coverage. Mint Mobile offers affordable prepaid phone plans in 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month bundles, which you pay for upfront. As if these plans aren’t already cheap enough, Mint Mobile offers discounted intro pricing for new customers who sign up for a 3-month plan.

In this Mint Mobile guide:

Compare Mint Mobile plans

Mint Mobile offers four prepaid phone plans, ranging from 3GB/month to unlimited data, all of which are incredibly affordable.

All Mint Mobile phone plans include:

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Free calling to Canada and Mexico
  • Free 5G connectivity
  • Mobile hotspot
  • No data caps (data slowed to 128Kbps)

A nice thing about Mint Mobile is its flexibility with plan length. You can sign up for any of Mint Mobile’s plans on a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month option, with the incentive for choosing a longer service length being a lower monthly price.

Keep in mind, since these Mint Mobile plans are prepaid, you must pay for your service prior to receiving it—so if you choose the $15 3GB/month plan for 3 months, then you’ll have to pay $45 upfront. While $45 is fairly manageable, it may be tough to pay in full for certain 6-month or 12-month plans. Ultimately, which plan length you choose depends on how much money you’re willing to pay upfront vs. monthly.

Mint Mobile’s introductory prices

Mint Mobile offers a great promotional deal for new customers who want to try out Mint—you can switch to Mint Mobile and get a 3-month plan at the price point of the 12-month plan. At the end of the 3 months, if you want to continue service through Mint but still want that nice intro price, all you have to do is renew your plan for 12 months.

For example, Mint Mobile has just added an incredible new unlimited plan that costs just $30/month for 3 months for new customers. That’s one of the cheapest unlimited plans on the market today! After your initial 3 months is up, the price increases to $40/month for the 3-month plan, which is still out-of-this-world cheap. If you want to keep that incredibly low price of $30/month, simply renew your unlimited plan for 12 months and boom—you’re paying nearly one-third of what many unlimited customers are paying elsewhere.

Mint Mobile family plans

Mint Mobile offers family plans that include up to 5 lines on one account. Unfortunately, Mint doesn’t offer discounts on family plans, but its plans are already super affordable to begin with, so it’s understandable. Basically, the benefit of signing up for a Mint Mobile plan is the ease of managing several accounts in one place. Plus, you can mix and match plans—everyone on the account can be on a different Mint Mobile plan with a different plan length.

Here’s how to get started on a Mint Mobile family plan:

  • Log in to your Mint Mobile account.
  • Go to your Mint Family dashboard.
  • Send invites to family members (must be existing Mint Mobile customers).
  • They’ll accept the invitation.

Once your family members have accepted your invitation, then you’ll be able to pay for your Mint Mobile plan, make changes to the plan, view monthly data usage, and add or approve requests for wallet funds, international roaming, and data extras. As the primary account holder, make sure to turn on Auto Renewal—that way, no one has to keep track of their plan renewal dates.

You can manage your Mint Mobile family plan online through your Mint account or via the Mint Mobile app. The Mint Mobile app has super easy to use and great for on-the-go account management.

Mint Mobile add-ons: data and international roaming

Mint Mobile plans already come with some great features, such as free calls to Mexico and Canada and mobile hotspot, but you also have the option of buying add-ons at any point throughout your billing cycle.

Mint Mobile data add-ons include:

  • 1GB data: $10
  • 3GB data: $30

You can add on extra data by texting UPDATA to 6700 or you can sign in to your Mint Mobile account. These data add-ons are applied in real-time, and you can use them immediately after buying them. The extra data doesn’t roll over and will expire at the end of your current 30-day plan cycle, regardless of which plan length you’re on.

Mint Mobile’s international add-ons include:

  • $5 international credit
  • $10 international credit
  • $20 international credit

You can add on international roaming by texting UPROAM to 6700 or by signing in to your account. Unlike data add-ons, international roaming add-ons don’t expire, and your unused international credits will roll over to your next 30-day billing cycle.

The international credits you purchase can be applied to calls, messages, and data while traveling abroad. Mint Mobile’s flat rates for international roaming include:

  • $.05/text sent (receiving international SMS is free)
  • $0.25/minute calls
  • $0.20/MB of data

Mint Mobile phones

You can buy a Mint Mobile phone outright, by paying for full retail price upfront, or via a monthly installment plan offered by a third-party financing company, Affirm. Unlike major carriers, which offer interest-free device installment plans, Affirm charges interest on any Mint Mobile phone you buy on a monthly payment plan.

Affirm charges up to 30% interest on device installment plans.

The monthly installment plans include 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month options, and the interest rates may be as high as 30%. For perspective, if you wanted to buy the iPhone 11 Pro, which costs $999 outright, you could wind up paying nearly $1,300 in total for the phone. Of course, there’s no way of knowing what interest rate you’ll get without checking to see if you qualify.

There’s no harm in seeing if you qualify—it won’t affect your credit score and it takes just a few minutes to complete. If you wind up with an interest rate of 5% or lower, it’s probably not a big deal and may be worth it to you in order to break up the price of the phone into smaller, more manageable monthly payments. However, if you wind up with a high interest rate, you may want to consider buying your phone outright, depending on which model you’re interested in. That said, it’s understandable if you don’t want to fork over a large amount of money at once. In that case, you may want to look elsewhere to buy a new phone, such as directly through Apple or Samsung. You can buy an unlocked phone on monthly installments through either manufacturer and then take it to whatever carrier you want. And if you really want service through a Mint Mobile plan, then you can simply bring it to Mint.

Bring your own phone to Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile prides itself on its simple bring your own phone (BYOP) program. In order to bring your own phone to Mint Mobile, it needs to be compatible with T-Mobile’s network. You can check your device’s compatibility through Mint Mobile’s website.

In addition to needing a compatible phone, you’ll also need to make sure your phone is unlocked. If you bought it from a retailer or manufacturer, then congrats, your phone is unlocked! If you’re currently with a different carrier, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T, then your phone may be locked if you’re still paying it off via monthly installments. You’ll need to pay off your phone in full before you can switch to Mint Mobile.

Once you’ve ensured your phone is unlocked and compatible with Mint Mobile’s network, then all you need to do is purchase a SIM. To activate your device once you have your Mint Mobile SIM:

  • Visit Mint Mobile’s activation page.
  • Enter the 11-digit activation code on the back of the Mint SIM card.
  • Follow the Mint activation steps on its website.

Let’s Talk Take: is Mint Mobile right for you?

Mint Mobile is an affordable, feature-rich, user-friendly MVNO running on T-Mobile’s ever-expanding network. Perhaps the better question here is, why wouldn’t Mint Mobile be right for you? With plans ranging from 3GB to unlimited data, and family plans with up to 5 lines, Mint Mobile has got something for everybody. Plus, you get access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, which currently has the best 5G coverage out of the big carriers. And your phone will seamlessly switch between T-Mobile’s 4G LTE and 5G network, depending on whichever signal is strongest in your area.

The only factor that might be a deterrent for some people is that Mint Mobile doesn’t offer traditional 30-day cell phone plans. Mint Mobile plans are offered in 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month increments, and you must pay for the entire bundle upfront, which can be somewhat costly, especially if you opt for a 12-month plan. If you’d prefer a more traditional monthly phone plan, you may want to consider other T-Mobile MVNOs, such as Simple Mobile and Ultra Mobile, which are reasonably-priced and include international features as well.