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For prepaid carriers, should you go with Mint Mobile or Boost Mobile?


Buy in bulk

Mint Mobile

Big on data

Boost Mobile

Mint Mobile is going to be cheaper overall, but Boost has a lot of features going for it and favors the data-heavy user. If you use a ton of data and need even more data for your Wi-Fi devices, then there is no question, Boost is the better plan for you. If you use more of an average amount of data and your main goal is to save money, then Mint Mobile makes a lot of sense with its bundles saving you money over time.

What even is an MVNO?

Mint Mobile and Boost Mobile are "alternative carriers" or mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). They're not the Big Four (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), but they lease coverage from those networks and resell it to you for less. Plans are often prepaid, and fixed contracts are few and far between.

Mint Mobile Boost Mobile
Network T-Mobile Sprint
Minimum 3 months 1 month
Discounts Bundle More lines

Be sure to check your coverage on the Boost network and the Mint Mobile network first and foremost.

The Sprint and T-Mobile networks have both been making great strides to improving their coverage and speed, and if you live in a covered area, either network should work well for you. With Mint, you save money on bundling months together with the most significant saving coming in 12-month segments. If this is too much of a commitment for you, Boost offers ways to save by adding more lines to your account. This only works if you need more than one line, however.

Mint plans

Mint Mobile doesn't operate with traditional contracts. You pay upfront for your term, which can be three months, six months, or 12 months, with "buying in bulk" saving you more money in the long run. All plans include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data, though you only get so much 4G LTE per month. Unlimited international texting is included in all plans.

Right now there is a promotion at Mint Mobile that brings the price of the 8GB and 12GB plans down to the same $15 per month as the 3GB plan when you buy three months. That's $45 upfront. You'll need to pay attention though because, after your initial three months, your price will return to standard rates.

3GB 8GB 12GB
3 months $15 per month ($45 total)
$25 per month renewal ($75 total)
$20 per month ($60 total)
$35 per month renewal ($105 total)
$25 per month ($75)
$45 per month renewal ($135 total)
6 months $20 per month ($120) $25 per month ($150) $35 per month ($210)
12 months $15 per month ($180) $20 per month ($240) $25 per month ($300)

Add Data at a rate of $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you need more. You can also upgrade to the next plan up if you feel you'll need more every month in the middle of your billing cycle.

Boost Plans

Boost Website on LG G8

Boost Website on LG G8Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

3 Gigs Unlimited Gigs Unlimited Plus
Talk and Text Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Tidal service 6 months 6 months 6 months
Hotspot uses data 12GB 30GB
Video quality SD SD HD
5G No No Yes
Price 1 Line $35 $50 $60
Lines 2-5 $60, $90, $120, $150 $80, $110, $140, $170 $100, $140, $180, $220

Boost Mobile also offers a smaller 2GB data plan with unlimited talk and text for $30 per month.

You can add HD streaming to your plan for $10 per month if you want to take advantage of your new phone display. Keep in mind that this only impacts the two lower plans and that HD video streaming is available on all plans if connected to Wi-Fi.

Boost also offers and insurance packages for $7 per month. This covers damage to your phone as well as loss and theft. You will need to pay a deductible of $20, $50, $100, or $150 depending on the value of your device.


Which phones are offered and compatible?

Mint Mobile app on wood

Mint Mobile app on woodSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

One place that Mint Mobile has a definite advantage is in supported phones. While Boost Mobile uses the Sprint network and can technically work with Sprint phones, many Sprint phones cannot be activated on Boost Mobile. For the most part, you will need a compatible Boost Mobile phone. You can check your IMEI on Boost's website but unless you bought it unlocked or from Boost Mobile in the first place. Your chances are slim.

Mint Mobile, on the other hand, uses T-Mobile's GSM network and will work with nearly any unlocked phone that supports T-Mobile's bands — and that's most of them. This makes it much easier, and cheaper, to switch to Mint Mobile if you don't want to get a new phone.

International usage

Screenshot of international add ons November 2019

Screenshot of international add ons November 2019Source: Boost Mobile

With Mint, you pay by the minute, text, or MB. The rates are $0.05 per text sent, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 per MB. These rates come down to $0.02 per text, $0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per MB for Canada and Mexico. Calls to Canada and Mexico are included with the plan, however.

Boost, however, offers international packages in the form of the Todo Mexico Plus plan for $5 per month which included calling and texting to and from Canada and Mexico as well as 8GB of data to use while visiting Mexico. The International Connect Plus plan offers unlimited texting to more than 70 countries as well as calling to landlines. 200 minutes are also included for mobile lines for $10 per month.


Which should I go with? Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile app BYOP

Mint Mobile app BYOPSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

If you're trying to save money and only intend to call and text to numbers in the US, then Mint Mobile is the best value. Just be sure you're covered by the network.

If you need a lot of data or expect to make a lot of calls and texts to Canada or Mexico, then Boost is going to be the best value. If you intend to travel to Mexico frequently, there is no contest as the Todo Mexico plan offers a great value.

Save in Bundles

Mint Mobile

Buy more to save more

Mint Mobile saves you money by offering plans in a bundle. Buy a large chunk to increase your savings with plenty of data on T-Mobile's LTE network.

Big on Data

Boost Mobile

A ton of data for the social networking enthusiast

Boost Mobile uses Sprint's strong LTE network to provide a ton of data for your phone. Make the most out of your smartphone with unlimited streaming.

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