Most consumers are familiar with the big-name wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Not nearly as many, though, are as well-versed when it comes to the topic of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).
It might surprise you to know that companies such as MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless operate on the T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T networks, respectively. These network operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.
In this write-up, we will profile Mint Mobile, an online-only MVNO who specializes in bulk savings.
Mint Mobile (previously Mint SIM) was launched in 2016 by Ultra Mobile, and utilizes T-Mobile towers to provide nationwide coverage. Mint exists online-only as they trumpet the savings passed on to consumers by not having to maintain a physical storefront.
PODCAST: What is an MVNO?
Known as one of the most inexpensive providers within its category, Mint accomplishes this with a bit of a different take on prepaid plans. By selling data in bulk (blocks of months), customers receive deeper discounts than typical monthly fare.
As mentioned, Mint offers different packages in bulk. In general, all plans include unlimited talk, text and data. Subscribers choose how much high-speed 4G LTE data they need on a monthly basis.
To help attract subscribers, Mint will often provide discounts to new customers. This is a cost-friendly way of sampling the services. As of today you can get the following plans.
3 Month Plans
- $15.00 per month – 3GB (introductory; reg. $25)
- $20.00 per month – 8GB (introductory; reg. $35)
- $25.00 per month – 12GB (introductory; reg. $45)
6 Month Plans
- $20.00 per month – 3GB
- $25.00 per month – 8GB
- $35.00 per month – 12GB
12 Month Plans
- $15.00 per month – 3GB
- $20.00 per month – 8GB
- $25.00 per month – 12GB
As you can see the longer the term, the more cost-effective it becomes.
Bring Your Own Device
Customers can purchase unlocked devices and potentially finance through SmartPay, but Mint started out as a “Bring Your Own Phone” carrier and it is still a highly-promoted option. Mint is compatible with most unlocked GSM devices. You can check your IMEI to get started.
Mint offers a 7-day money back guarantee when test driving its 3-month plan.
Should you wish to purchase a phone from Mint you’ll find a range of devices from all of the familiar brands. The current crop of handsets is a rather mixed bag, but there are top-tier models like the Google Pixel 3 XL, iPhone X, and Samsung Galaxy S10.
The phones are priced outright as well as monthly, with financing done through Affirm. Moreover, there are certified pre-owned models and reconditioned handsets, too.